Beckham's MLS club gets approval to develop training site
Former England star David Beckham's Inter Miami expansion squad in Major League Soccer has received approval to redevelop a Fort Lauderdale site as its training facility and temporary home stadium.
Inter managing owner Jorge Mas said Wednesday that city commissioners finalized Inter Miami's construction plan for the 64-acre Lockhart Stadium site by a 5-0 vote on Tuesday night.
The move keeps Inter Miami on track to launch its inaugural MLS campaign next March, playing its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale before moving to a new facility in Miami.
"We're thankful for the tremendous collaboration from the city of Fort Lauderdale in helping us finalize this agreement and proceed with the next phase of construction following demolition that concluded in late June," Mas said.
Lockhart Stadium was home to the MLS Miami Fusion from 1998 until it folded after the 2001 campaign and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the original North American Soccer League from 1977-1983.
After Inter Miami departs, the team will keep the site as a permanent training facility and the 18,000-seat stadium will host developmental squad and youth academy matches.
"We're working diligently to finalize many elements of the club to bring our fans closer to their first match," Mas said.
Inter Miami will fully fund the $60 million project and agree to operate the facility through a 50-year agreement.
"I would like to thank Jorge Mas and David Beckham for bringing this possibility to our city and I look forward to a long future with them," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said.