Inter Miami, the proposed Major League Soccer team that will be based in the Floridian city, could play its first games at Marlins Park, home of Miami’s Major League Baseball team.
Earlier this month, voters in Miami backed the David Beckham-led group’s vision for a stadium and commercial complex on land currently occupied by Melreese Country Club golf course.
The vote in favour of the Miami Freedom Park plan cleared the way for Inter Miami stakeholders to proceed onto negotiations with city commissioners over a lease deal for the land located next to Miami International Airport.
Plans for the 25,000-seat stadium are still at an early stage and, with MLS targeting a 2020 launch for Inter Miami, the team will need to play at a temporary venue before moving into its new home.
Majority owner Jorge Mas has been discussing the team’s options, with the 36,000-seat Marlins Park in the mix. “It’s a contender,” he said, according to the MLSSoccer website.
“From the beginning I’ve said that our options are Marlins Park, Hard Rock Stadium, (Florida International University). We’ve looked at potentially playing some games up at FAU (Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton), more maybe geared towards a broader fan base in terms of South Florida. This is a beautiful facility here; we’re in conversations with all of the groups involved. Personally, I like this facility, I wouldn’t mind being here. The big advantage here is we’re a Miami team and this is in the city of Miami.”
Mas (pictured) is hopeful of breaking ground on the new stadium by the end of the year, with mid-2021 having been outlined for a potential opening date.
On the club’s plans for a temporary venue, Mas added: “That’s something we need to get going, because we’re going to have players a year from now, and they’re going to need somewhere to train.
“Everything we’ve done, from our team colours, from our design, from trying to capture the passion of our city, from doing something great with a stadium project which is breaking the mould, I think, for how stadiums are built in the United States, we wanted to do it different.
“I believe in MLS, I believe in football and more than that, I believe in my city. I believe in Miami and I want to do something that’s iconic and leaves a legacy for future generations of football and soccer fans.”