Inter Miami can now break ground on its planned new stadium project after it received key approval from local lawmakers.
City of Miami commissioners voted this week to give the green light to the zoning plan for Miami Freedom Park at the current site of the Melreese Golf Course close to Miami International Airport.
The Major League Soccer (MLS) club – whose owners include David Beckham and tycoon Jorge Mas – can now apply for permits and break ground on the project, which will include a new stadium for Inter Miami as well as 58 acres of public parks and green space.
The first stage of the development will be an environmental clean-up of contaminated land under the golf course.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez welcomed the commissioners’ 4-1 decision, which comes five months after the authority approved a 99-year lease deal concerning 73 acres of city-owned land.
The stadium design has been created by international sports design firm MANICA, with Miami-based firm Arquitectonica providing the masterplan, and new renderings were released in May 2021. The project will not utilise any city taxpayer dollars as it is 100% privately funded by club ownership.
Miami Freedom Park 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 had not moved forward significantly since then.
Earlier this year it was reported that Inter Miami have now expanded their plans for the stadium, with a 40,000-seat capacity venue now targeted. Inter Miami have reportedly agreed to discuss hosting University of Miami Hurricanes college football games.
The club will pay an overall annual rent floor of $4.3m (£3.42m/€4.07m), an increase in rent during the construction period, and a revenue-sharing agreement that provides the city with 6% of gross revenue.
Inter Miami currently plays at the 18,000-capacity DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.