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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Overtown residents concerned about David Beckham’s plans to build a soccer stadium in their neighborhood were given a chance to weigh in on the project at a town hall hosted Wednesday.
The meeting, held at the at the YMCA on NW 5th Street, comes as Beckham and his backers make a final push and seek Miami-Dade approval to buy a three acre truck depot from the county that they need to complete the land for the 25,000 seat stadium. The proposed area to build the stadium is a block from the Miami River.
There have been mainly questions about the lack of parking. The pitch was that soccer fans will have to walk to the stadium from nearby parking lots and a Metro Station, but not everyone buys that.
“You are going to put another stadium like we already have full of traffic,” said Mario Chew.
Then there’s the Spring Garden located just across from the proposed site. The unique quiet and historically significant neighborhood has residents totally opposed. They see a 25,000 seat stadium looming over their patch of paradise and cars parked all over their lawn.
‘The impact it is gonna make in this small neighborhood is gonna be challenging. I am scared about the increase of traffic, the safety of our kids playing in the street,” said resident Albert Bahr.
Beckham’s group has already purchased six acres of private land at the proposed site, a two-block area that runs along NW 6th Avenue between 6th and 8th streets.
“I think it is a positive for the community to have this investment,” one resident said.
It has long been known that these three acres were the last puzzle piece needed for plans to move forward, but Beckham’s group did not seem eager to complete the sale until now. That’s because Todd Boehly, a sports mogul with deep pockets, recently joined the ownership group to help bankroll the project.
Boehly is part-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers.