Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Inter Miami appears poised to finally close a deal for its Miami Freedom Park (MFP) project after the Florida city’s Mayor, Francis Suarez, stated that an agreement in principle has been reached.

The news, reported by the Miami Herald newspaper and broadcaster CBS Miami, comes with Inter Miami set to enter its third season playing at the DRV PNK Stadium temporary home in Fort Lauderdale.

CBS Miami, citing sources close to the deal, said an agreement has been reached with the City of Miami to build the new stadium and develop the Freedom Park site, with Suarez approving the venture.

However, the deal must still be signed off by the City Commission. “We have an agreement, in principle,” Suarez told the Herald. “The agreement is obviously subject to approval from the City Commission.”

Inter Miami’s majority owner, Jorge Mas, added: “I think the dream of bringing a state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium to Miami is very close. I look forward to getting the green light from the Commission shortly so we can do the hard part, which is building the project.

“I am super excited. I’m very optimistic we’ll be able to pull four votes. It’s not done until it’s done, but we wouldn’t be bringing something to the Commission if we didn’t think it could pass.”

Inter Miami in May revealed fresh images of Miami Freedom Park as it called on residents to show their support for the stadium project. MFP is intended to become a recreation destination that all Miamians can enjoy, providing 58 acres of public parks and green space, a tech hub, restaurants, shops and soccer fields for the community, as well as the 25,000-seat stadium for Inter Miami.

The stadium design has been created by international sports design firm MANICA, with Miami-based firm Arquitectonica providing the masterplan.

The project will not utilise any city taxpayer dollars as it is 100% privately funded by club ownership. MFP has received support from City of Miami residents, having gained more than 60% voter approval in a November 2018 referendum.

With this vote, the residents indicated that they wanted the City to negotiate and execute a lease for the proposed land for the project, but the plans have not moved forward significantly since then. In June 2020, developers of MFP submitted a Special Area Plan (SAP) application for the project in what they claimed was an important milestone in bringing it to fruition.

Image: ARQUITECTONICA/ArquitectonicaGEO/MANICA