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Appeal filed in fight against David Beckham soccer stadium

MiamiHerald / In granting David Beckham and partners a no-bid deal to pay $9 million for three acres of government land for a soccer stadium, Miami-Dade County gave the venture “a secret discount from the taxpayers” by avoiding the chance for better offers, lawyers fighting the proposed Overtown complex said in court papers filed late Monday.

Bruce Matheson, a wealthy activist who helped drive professional tennis out of Key Biscayne, is suing Miami-Dade to block Beckham’s proposed 25,000-seat stadium on nine acres of land in western Overtown and close to the Spring Garden neighborhood. Matheson owns property in Spring Garden, and is a leader in the opposition effort hoping to derail Beckham and partners’ proposal for a privately financed stadium on the cluster of private and public land.

In 2017, Miami-Dade commissioners agreed to sell the Beckham partnership the three-acre county truck depot for $9 million without seeking other offers, citing the state’s economic-development law to justify the no-bid arrangement. A judge endorsed the deal in an October ruling , but Matheson appealed.

His lawyers this week laid out their arguments in court papers filed with the Third District Court of Appeal. It was a 50-page reminder of the obstacles awaiting the Beckham group just weeks after a triumphant celebration of Major League Soccer awarding the partnership – including new investors Jorge and José Mas – an expansion franchise for Miami.

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