Inter Miami adopts latest back-up plan for stadium drive

The ownership group of Major League Soccer expansion franchise Inter Miami is set to pay $9m (£7.1m/€8.1m) for three acres of land in the city’s Overtown neighbourhood, despite holding plans for a new stadium near Miami International Airport.

The team is due to begin playing in MLS in 2020 and plans on spending its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale at an 18,000-seat facility on the site of the current Lockhart Stadium. Thereafter, the club plans on moving to Miami Freedom Park, which it hopes to build on the site of the Melreese Country Club.

The team, whose ownership group includes David Beckham, had initially set its sights on Overtown as the destination for its permanent stadium before turning its attention to Melreese. However, it has now emerged that the group plans on paying $9m for the Overtown land and will ask for permits to build a stadium there.

The club’s lease deal for the Melreese site still requires approval from the City of Miami and the Miami Herald newspaper reported that Jorge Mas, one of the leaders of the ownership group, told county officials on Monday of the team’s intentions to purchase the Overtown land.

Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade Mayor, said, according to the Herald: “He has this bird in the hand. He’s going to close on the property. And he’s going to start (requesting) permits to build a stadium.”

In a statement reported by the Herald, Inter Miami said that its ownership group remains “fully committed to bringing Major League Soccer to the City of Miami and creating Miami Freedom Park”.

In other news, Inter Miami has partnered with sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures, which becomes the team’s premium sales agency.

Elevate will support the club’s inaugural home season schedule with an emphasis on premium, season and individual ticket sales strategy. Visit our sister site TheTicketingBusiness.com for full details.