MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – From a private box at Sun Life stadium, David Beckham watched the soccer match between England and Honduras.
If the soccer player turned Miami-soccer-team-owner gets his way, a game similar to the one in the stadium could take place at his proposed soccer stadium in Downtown Miami.
Beckham talked to CBS4 exclusively, while in Little Havana campaigning for support.
Watch the report, click here.
“We’re obviously still working very hard to make sure that we secure the right site,” said Beckham. “We’re confident that we will, but obviously things take time.”
Beckham and his team are currently trying to secure water-front property next to the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami. That site is “plan b” after “plan a,” at PortMiami, was blocked by Royal Caribbean and other big-money opponents.
The current plan is also facing opposition from taxpayers who don’t want to get stuck with the bill. Beckham and his group only want to pay about $500,000 to rent the land once the soccer stadium is built from private funds. That’s according to our media partner, the Miami Herald. City and County leaders in Miami want Beckham’s group to pay rent in the$ 12 to 14 million range so the cost isn’t passed on to taxpayers.
Even soccer fans at the England versus Honduras game say tax dollars for the soccer stadium is a foul.
“We’re actually expecting a lot of private investment and that taxpayers will only have to go the game,” said soccer fan Paola Lopez. “We all expect to actually go to a stadium and see a team go for a title in the MLS, but I think if it’s actually coming out of our pockets, I don’t think people are going to be happy with it.”
Some soccer fans believe a soccer stadium is worthwhile taxpayer investment.
“If we can do it for the Marlins, why not for a soccer program,” said Juan Perez. “We have just as many fans for soccer, as we have for baseball. This (England versus Honduras game) show it. 45,000 people for a soccer event. I think that’s something to look at.”
Beckham is counting on enthusiasm from soccer fans like Perez to vote in favor of a November referendum to make his soccer stadium a reality.
“Hopefully we get support of everybody because I think at the end of the day, we’re bringing soccer to a place that really deserves it and really wants it,” said Beckham.
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