Miami-Dade Commissioner reaching out to residents regarding new soccer stadium

MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade County commissioner called for a meeting, Wednesday, to hear residents’ thoughts over a soccer stadium that may be built in their community near Overtown.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez arrived to the community to “make sure their concerns are taken care of [and] to make sure that the concerns of Commissioner Edmonson, who represents that district, are taken care of.”

In 2014, soccer star David Beckham chose Miami-Dade as the market for his new soccer club, which would bring professional soccer to South Florida. Three years later, Beckham is ready to launch his team and has his sights set on an area in Overtown for a stadium.

“I think the people of Miami-Dade do want professional soccer here and a new stadium that’s going to be privately financed,” said Gimenez.

“We want to have the best team in Major League Soccer, we want to have the best stadium in Major League Soccer, we want to be a great neighbor, and we want to do it privately without risk to you,” said Tim Lieweke, a Beckham Group partner.

First, Beckham’s team must buy three acres of land in addition to the six acres of land they have already acquired in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.

The county has agreed to sell Beckham the three needed acres of land for over $9 million. However, in return, they must provide at least 50 permanent full-time jobs, along with other stipulations.

Before plans can move forward, the County Commission must first vote to approve that land deal in June.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson called a meeting on the matter so that people of her district can voice their concerns.

Her vote depends on whether the needs of those in her district are met by the project, she said. Among those needs are job opportunities.

“I think it’s extremely important because these are the people who live in that community,” said Edmonson. “These are the people who have to be able to withstand the traffic [and] withstand the many people coming into their neighborhood.”

Residents of the area voiced their concerns, and what came was a mixed pool of reactions.

Many in Edmonson’s area are concerned with the quality of life after the construction of the stadium, along with the opportunities available to the young people in the area to serve in leadership roles.

In addition to the millions of dollars needed to acquire the land, about $2 million to $3 million will be needed to launch a team for Major League Soccer.

Parking structures are not currently a part of the construction plans. However, officials said, they will secure 2,000 parking spaces and will also shuttle people to and from the stadium.

Even if plans for the stadium are approved, it is estimated that Miami will not see Major League Soccer until at least 2021.

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