Judge strikes down challenge to soccer stadium in Overtown

Judge strikes down challenge to soccer stadium in Overtown

MIAMI - A Miami-Dade County judge dismissed a resident's lawsuit challenging the county's no-bid sale of public land to Team Beckham United for a new soccer stadium in Overtown.

Judge Rodolfo Ruiz cited "economic development" as the reason for dismissing the lawsuit, according to the plaintiff, Bruce Matheson.

Matheson said he plans to appeal.

His lawsuit, which was filed in July, cited a Florida statute governing sale of public lands to block the no-bid sale.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez struck the deal to sell the 3-acre county truck depot to Beckham and his partners for $9 million, allowing Beckham's team to complete its site for a privately financed 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium, in return for 50 jobs and public benefits.

Matheson, who owns property in Spring Garden across Northwest Seventh Avenue from the site, had said he would have participated in bidding for the site.

He said a bidding process would have garnered more profit for county taxpayers.

Beckham was not named in the lawsuit.

Gimenez's spokesman, Michael Hernandez, called the dismissal a victory.

"Mr. Matheson has been an opponent of professional sports in Miami-Dade County, and Mayor Gimenez and his administration are proud to have supported Miami Beckham United's pursuit of a privately-financed soccer stadium in the city of Miami," Hernandez said.

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