Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami), a proposed Major League Soccer team led by David Beckham, has presented a proposal to the City of Fort Lauderdale for the design, construction and maintenance of a training facility and multi-purpose stadium on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium.
The training complex would be used by Inter Miami, which is scheduled to begin playing in MLS in 2020, as well as its youth academy and anticipated United Soccer League team.
Lockhart Stadium is the home of former North American Soccer League team the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Paul McDonough, Inter Miami sporting director, said: “The vast history of soccer in South Florida has deep roots in Fort Lauderdale dating back to the original Strikers of the 70s and 80s, the Miami Fusion of the 90s and early 2000s as well as the recent clubs that have called Lockhart Stadium their home.
“It is a privilege to be able to present a sustainable proposal that honours that history and revitalises the area. Our training facility will serve all of South Florida’s soccer community and provide amateur and professional athletes the opportunity to achieve their goals both on and off the field.”
He added: “The most important pillar of our legacy is our youth academy, where future players will have the opportunity to train alongside the professionals and aspire to one day represent our community in front of their hometown crowd. This proposal will establish our daily soccer operations in a centralised location that caters to youth players from all of South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.”
The proposed project includes a multi-purpose sports stadium that would host professional national and international matches, tournaments and exhibition games. The club’s proposal ties in with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s desire to reactivate the former Lockhart Stadium site with a multi-use sports facility.
In November, voters in Miami backed the 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.
The team will need to play at a temporary home while any new stadium is built and it has been suggested that Marlins Park, home of Miami’s Major League Baseball team, could serve this purpose.
“With the Lockhart Stadium proposal, alongside Miami Freedom Park, we are poised to re-establish South Florida as the preeminent global soccer destination,” added McDonough.