SBD/June 9, 2014/Facilities

Poll: Miami-Dade Voters Just About Split Over Beckham's Proposal For New MLS Stadium

Forty-five percent of the voters were against the waterfront stadium
David Beckham in his quest to land an MLS stadium in Miami "may have to make return trips" because Miami-Dade County voters currently "are evenly divided over the proposal," according to poll data cited in a front-page piece by Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. A poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi Int'l for the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald among 400 respondents shows that voters by a 45% to 43% margin "were against the ... idea to build a 20,000-seat stadium on the downtown waterfront." That is "essentially a tie, given the poll’s error margin" of 4.3%. In the poll, 54% of respondents between the ages of 18-29 are in favor of the site, compared to 60% of voters ages 65+ "who say the opposite." It is "older voters who are more likely to cast ballots, especially in midterm elections." A spokesperson for Beckham’s group said that the poll "should have noted that the investors plan to pay for stadium construction mostly with private funds, and that they would also landscape newly filled land along the waterfront and connect it to a county-owned tract known as Parcel B that has long been promised as a park" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/9).

STUMP IT LIKE BECKHAM: The AP's Rob Harris noted Beckham's career "has entered a new phase -- the campaign trail." Beckham: "It's definitely something that's different for me. I'm starting to know a little bit more about politics, which I'm glad I didn't go into as a kid. ... This is a tough challenge." Beckham said the stadium "has to be downtown and it has to be on the water because Miami is all about the water and so much is happening downtown." He added, "It would be a mistake if it wasn't downtown, and everyone is coming round to that and seeing that it is the perfect place to be" (AP, 6/7). Beckham: "We feel that we are doing something positive for the city here and I think people know that. ... It can go one way or another, if we get the public support it can be incredible but if we don’t we will find a way to turn them around and make them realize that this is a great thing and we are not here to take their money." REUTERS' Simon Evans noted Beckham's message to "potential referendum voters, as well as the politicians he must convince to back his plan, is that his backers will be investing in the city and not arriving with the begging bowl" (REUTERS, 6/7).
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