Some Residents Ready to Fight New Soccer Site

Some residents of condominiums across the street from the site picked for a new soccer stadium in downtown Miami are already fighting the new plans.

Miami Beckham United outlined plans at a Thursday morning press conference in Miami to build a stadium with at least 20,000 seats on a waterfront site next to the AmericanAirlines Arena. That plan will expand Museum Park by more than 8 acres to create more park land and cafes.

The plan appears to have the support of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Still, more than 600 people have signed an online petition and are speaking out against the plan for the stadium park in downtown Miami. The group picked up a key political player as well, the former mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz.

“I just moved here,” said resident Michael Fueling. “I wanted to be part of the downtown area. I just don’t want a soccer stadium in my front yard.”

Residents said they were concerned about the influx of traffic and the increase in noise during stadium events. Leaders from the four nearby luxury condominiums met to campaign against the project, calling the area a precious piece of waterfront that should be protected.

“What we’re going to see here in the matter of a year or more is really Miami’s signature park, a stadium does not belong in the middle of that park,” Diaz said.

Diaz has wanted a big soccer presence in Miami for years and has worked hard to get a figure like David Beckham involved in a soccer project. However, Diaz said even though the soccer project is on its proposed stadium site, the green space is not the place for the stadium.

“We want it here,” Diaz said. “It’s about putting it in the wrong place.”

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