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David Beckham's MLS plans for Miami meet opposition

Spring Garden residents share concerns about plans to build stadium

MIAMI – Just when it seemed David Beckham had found the right site to bring Major League Soccer to Miami, opposition from an unexpected place emerged.

The 9-acre inner city site Beckham's group picked for a major league soccer open air stadium is right across the canal from a neighborhood graced with historic designation, where residents have fought and won against a prison and a train route. Now they're gearing up for a stadium.

"How high is it going to be?" asked Daeja O'Donoghue, a Spring Garden resident. "What is our backyard going to look like now? How many hours of sun are we going to lose out? There is no bridge access here."

"We were totally blindsided," said Jo Catherine Winstead, another resident.

The Spring Garden residents sprung those concerns days after learning about the plans at a town hall meeting. Beckam's team held the meeting last week, advertising the Overtown neighborhood.

Ruth Greenfield, a third generation at the neighborhood, was there to speak.

"I can see those big buses coming in," Greenfield said. "How would you like to have nighttime roaring about a block away?"

"Most of what they presented tonight as fears, we will be able to 100 percent guarantee that won't happen," said Tim Leiweke, of Miami Beckham United.

The team's promises are on record. Spring Garden residents are bracing for the process.

"If they are willing to help us, appease us in some way, or we can go the legal route and appeal," Winstead said.


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