Yeah, so this will probably be the last I write about this lawsuit. I wrote a story about three weeks ago, which outlined the basics of David Beckham’s eternal search for a stadium site in Miami, and the lawsuit holding it up. The tl;dr version being: Beckham had taken over three years to settle on a site, and just as he made an agreement to purchase land in Overtown, he was sued by a local resident (Bruce Matheson), due to the no-bid manner of the sale to Beckham by Miami-Dade County.
Beckham and Miami-Dade County won the lawsuit-in emphatic fashion no less-and Bruce Matheson decided to appeal the ruling, as is his custom. That appeal is ongoing, with Matheson having filed his briefing.
So the next step would presumably be for Beckham/Miami-Dade to file their responsive briefing. In fact, that deadline by my calculation has already passed. So has Beckham filed his brief?
Nope! In fact, it looks like they are abandoning the Overtown site altogether! Money quote:
The statement amplifies what’s been obvious for weeks: that the Mas brothers want the 25,000-seat stadium built somewhere other than Overtown, the Miami neighborhood that has been the Beckham group’s announced site since late 2015.
So what does this mean for the lawsuit? Again, Beckham hasn’t even bothered to file his response to the briefing, though it appears that some new attorneys have appeared on the case. Matheson was granted an extension of a couple of weeks to file his original brief, so it’s possible that as an accommodation that Beckham was, or will be granted extra time to file his response. The other point is that Beckham has until June to fully close on the Overtown site. I don’t see any way he closes on a deal elsewhere that is then fully ratified before then. And I don’t see him agreeing to pay $9 million for a site he doesn’t need.
But it seems silly to give up on the lawsuit, given how thoroughly Beckham won at that lower court level, and how likely he is to win on appeal. But maybe they don’t want to spend the attorney fees fighting for a site they’re not going to purchase. For Miami-Dade County, there would seem to be some merit in fighting the matter, since a victory would affirm the validity of the statute (sound familiar?) they used to effectuate the deal with Beckham. So maybe Beckham remains as a nominal defendant while Miami-Dade County continues to fight the case.
As for me: I don’t really see the point of analyzing a case that may go away, or may be essentially be mooted by the main defendant not even purchasing the land. Reading through a 50-page brief doesn’t seem like a fun use of my time. So, call me when Beckham actually decides to close on that property and put a team there.