MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While the Miami city commission meeting was going on inside City Hall, residents gathered outside to show support for the efforts to build a soccer stadium on land currently being used as a public golf course.
Billed as a “tailgate party” without a tailgate in sight, the pep rally for David Beckham and Jorge Mas’ soccer dream was heavy on cool t-shirts and lots of free food.
Jorge Infante said that he was there “because you know Miami is the gateway to Latin America and soccer is our sport.”
The event outside is due to the city commission meeting happening inside, which will be directly addressing the Beckham-Mas vision for a soccer stadium planted on top of what is now the city owned Melreese Country Club.
It was clear that the crowd was the choir for those preaching Major League Soccer for Miami.
“It brings in the community, promises something that will bring a lot of happiness and money to Miami,” said Fabio Casteneda. “A [soccer] club to the city that is mostly Latinos, something that is huge in the Latin community. I think it is an amazing idea.”
For many of the people outside city hall, they have longed for a solid professional soccer team and are more than aware that there is opposition out there.
“I understand the opposition for it but it is a vision for the future and it fits perfect,” said Caesar Moreno.
Many people still feel the sting and fallout from Marlins Park.
“Just like the Marlins’ games, no one in the neighborhood is going to those games, they can’t afford it.” said James Williams. “We don’t get anything out of it.”
Better than t-shirts and food, the man himself David Beckham made a quick appearance to the soccer fans and provided an enthusiastic promise.
“No matter what, we are coming to Miami,” Beckham said. “Simple as that.”