So, I raced out of the new Doral Herald office at 5:20 p.m. Thursday and spent an hour in the car getting to AmericanAirlines Arena for the Big Beckham Moment. David Beckham was in town exploring MLS expansion with local cell phone mogul Marcelo Claure, and the two of them were going to the Heat-Pacers game together. Word from high up in the Claure camp was that Beckham would take a few moments to come outside Gate 4 and greet a group of Miami MLS soccer fans who had made special posters to greet the icon.
So, we all waited -- the fans and media -- outside Gate 4 for TWO AND A HALF HOURS...and neither Beckham nor Claure ever came out. They were inside hobnobbing, and sitting courtside while the fans outside were getting more deflated by the minute. I was disappointed and annoyed, but at least I was being paid to be there. I felt really bad for those poor soccer-loving souls who spent the past 3 days spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter, encouraging fans to go out and show Beckham some love, only to get ignored.
At one point, a handler came out to assess the crowd (75 people, not exactly a mob), and said Beckham's security people were figuring out logistics.
At 9 p.m., the soccer fans rolled up their banners and headed home. I have to say, it was not a good start for the Miami MLS bid. It would have taken 5 minutes max for Beckham and/or Claure to come out and say Thank You to the supporters for taking the time to be there. Loyalty is a two-way street.
Here's my story..