Letters to the Editor

Positives for a local soccer stadium

I realize that many people have no idea how beneficial it is to have a local area Major League Soccer (football) stadium. People continue to search for the negatives rather than look to the positives of having a First Class stadium built in the Overtown neighborhood, which, I am told, is a ‘run down’ area of Miami.

I have lived in the area of London where the Chelsea Football Club plays (Stamford Bridge) which, after the Blitz of London in World War 2, was basically an area of ‘slums.’ This is a heavily populated area of London. The majority of England’s football clubs are located near city centers.

Chelsea moved to Stamford Bridge in 1905. The stadium is surrounded by two major roads (Fulham Road & Kings Road) with two railway stations. The average attendance to a game is 41,663. The stadium does not have any parking facilities as the majority of spectators travel to the games by bus and rail.

Spectators walking from the drop-off points to the stadium pass pubs, restaurants and retail stores.

My family lived less than two miles from Stamford Bridge; we walked to the stadium. Since 1990, much has changed in the immediate area: Two major hotels, four apartment buildings, 12 bars with restaurants, and three banks have been built.

A few weeks ago, I returned to Stamford Bridge. The fans still go to the stadium via public transport as the roads around the stadium are closed to traffic on match days.

On the two-mile walk down Fulham and Kings roads, police are on duty at intersections to guide the public to their destinations. At the stadium, mounted police are stationed by the entrances for those ‘late arriving crowds’ similar to Dolphins games.

Inside the stadium, Stamford Bridge has a highly trained security staff to guide and help spectators; police officers are, basically, in support of the stadium staff.

Rodney Nichols

, Dania