A Florida appeals court on Wednesday sided with Miami-Dade in a no-bid deal with David Beckham and partners to buy county land for an Overtown stadium the retired soccer star no longer wants.
The Third District Court of Appeal ruled against Bruce Matheson, a wealthy landowner near the former stadium site who last year sued the county over the legality of selling public real estate without inviting other bids.
At the time, the Matheson suit was considered the last big hurdle for Beckham finally securing a Major League Soccer stadium. But by the end of 2017, Beckham had new partners in Jorge and Jose Mas, Miami executives who were against the Overtown site and quickly engineered a deal with Miami for a stadium, mall and office park at the city-owned Melreese golf course. City voters are being asked to authorize the agreement in a November referendum.
In its unanimous decision, the appeals court ruled state law allows county governments to award no-bid land deals in the interest of economic development. Miami-Dade cited the state’s economic-development statute in justifying the $9 million sales contract, which was based on appraisals commissioned by the county. “We adopt the trial court’s reasoning that the county had no clear legal duty to offer the 2.79 acres for competitive bid,” the opinion reads. See more...