Inter Miami’s Lockhart Stadium plan gets green light

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami), the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise co-owned by David Beckham, has seen its transformation plans for Lockhart Stadium unanimously approved by Fort Lauderdale city commissioners.

Inter Miami is seeking to transform Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart site into its permanent training complex with the addition of an 18,000-capacity stadium. The community will gain access to over 30 acres of green space to include proposed amenities such as youth soccer fields, a park and a community centre when the project is complete.

Inter Miami plans to launch its first two MLS seasons in Fort Lauderdale, while it works on its permanent home in Miami. The Lockhart Stadium site, which first opened in 1959, will remain the permanent training complex for the clubs’ teams, including its youth academy when Miami Freedom Park opens.

Initial demolition work began at the site in May, but Fort Lauderdale city commissioners gave it the official green light yesterday (Tuesday) with a 5-0 vote in favour. The news comes after Inter Miami last month submitted a draft lease agreement for its Miami Freedom Park project.

The draft agreement entered to the City of Miami included the 25,000-seat stadium, along with what will be one of the city’s largest public parks and a tech hub, among other components. Inter Miami, whose ownership group is led by Jorge Mas and Beckham, will make its MLS debut in 2020.

The club hopes to move into its new stadium by 2021, but has proposed to play at Lockhart Stadium for the 2020 and 2021 MLS seasons, until the Freedom Park stadium opens.

Image: Inter Miami