Bruce Matheson’s fight against David Beckham’s Major League Soccer stadium will go on, new court records show.
Attorneys for Matheson, a wealthy activist and landowner, are alleging that Miami-Dade County gave Beckham and his partners “a secret discount from the taxpayers” when it gave them a no-bid, $9 million deal for 3 acres of county-owned land. Matheson is suing the county to block the proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Overtown, and is now appealing a judge’s ruling from October that threw out his lawsuit.
The county based the 2017 price on two appraisals from late 2015, the Miami Herald reported. The $9 million comes out to about $74 per square foot. A year later, land was selling for $142 per square foot. Commissioners approved the deal in 2017, requiring that Beckham and his partners spend at least $175 million on construction of the stadium.
Beckham, partners Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas, and Simon Fuller launched the franchise in January, but the group still has a number of challenges to overcome if it does decide to build the stadium in Overtown. Their assemblage includes 6 acres purchased for $19 million in 2016.
In addition to opposition from Matheson, Beckham’s group still needs to close on the county owned land. It also needs to secure land-use changes, rezonings and the contentious permanent closure of Northwest Seventh Street, the Miami Herald reported.
Residents from the nearby Spring Garden neighborhood have vowed to fight it “at every step.” Even the Mas brothers, Beckham’s first local partners, have reservations about the Overtown site, according to the Herald. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis