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By ESPN Staff

Beckham breaks ground for new soccer stadium

SANDY, Utah -- Barely 12 hours after Real Salt Lake and public officials agreed on financing for a new stadium, soccer superstar David Beckham helped break ground for the project that nearly didn't happen.

Real owner Dave Checketts had hoped to have Beckham take part in the ceremonial groundbreaking before Real Salt Lake hosted Real Madrid in an exhibition game Saturday. But agreeing on financing had stalled several times and Checketts had given Saturday as the deadline.

Checketts agreed to a proposal from Salt Lake County late Friday and the groundbreaking ceremony in Sandy, about 15 miles south of Salt Lake City, happened at noon with Beckham digging in next to Checketts.

"It's not absolutely done," Checketts said. "It's still a big act of faith."

Checketts said there were still some details to work out, but the two sides were close enough that the project could go forward.