Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami CF) will design, construct and operate its Training Centre and Academy on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Aside from an 18,000-capacity stadium and the training complex, Inter Miami and the City of Fort Lauderdale will turn the 64-acre Lockhart Park into a soccer-centric community destination featuring green space and soccer fields for public use. The soccer fields and the stadium will be available for local high school competitions across different sports in coordination with the City of Fort Lauderdale.
Plan Approved By City of Fort Lauderdale With a 5-0 Vote of City Commissioners.
UPDATE: On March 19, 2019, this plan was approved by the City of Fort Lauderdale. Read More Here: City-commissioners-unanimously-approve-moving-forward-with-inter-miami-cf-facility-at-lockhart-stadium/
Demolition Day Focuses On The Future For Soccer in South Florida.
Details of the Plan
The training complex will be used by Inter Miami CF, begins play in MLS in 2020, as well as its youth academy and future United Soccer League team.
Lockhart Stadium was the home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers throughout their various incarnations in the defunct North American Soccer League. The original stadium opened in 1959 and little in the way of upgrades had been done over the years. It was the home of the Miami Fusion, an MLS team that never played in Miami and was contracted by the league after the 2001 season.
Paul McDonough, Inter Miami Sporting Director, said: “The vast history of soccer in South Florida has deep roots in Fort Lauderdale dating back to the original Strikers of the 70s and 80s, the Miami Fusion of the 90s and early 2000s as well as the recent clubs that have called Lockhart Stadium their home.
“It is a privilege to be able to present a sustainable proposal that honours that history and revitalises the area. Our training facility will serve all of South Florida’s soccer community and provide amateur and professional athletes the opportunity to achieve their goals both on and off the field.”
He added: “The most important pillar of our legacy is our youth academy, where future players will have the opportunity to train alongside the professionals and aspire to one day represent our community in front of their hometown crowd. This proposal will establish our daily soccer operations in a centralised location that caters to youth players from all of South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.”
The project will include a multi-purpose sports stadium that would host professional national and international matches, tournaments and exhibition games. The club’s vision ties in with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s desire to reactivate the former Lockhart Stadium site with a multi-use sports facility that provides a public benefit.
This is not to be confused with the planned home for the team in Miami. In November 2018, voters in Miami backed the Beckham-led group’s vision for a stadium and commercial complex on land currently occupied by Melreese Country Club golf course. The overwhelming vote in favour (over 60%) of the Miami Freedom Park plan paves the way for Inter Miami stakeholders to proceed onto negotiations with city commissioners over a lease deal for the land located next to Miami International Airport.
“With the Lockhart Stadium proposal, alongside Miami Freedom Park, we are poised to re-establish South Florida as the preeminent global soccer destination,” added McDonough.
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