Inter Miami CF’s Plan Proposal For Training Centre at Lockhart Stadium

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami CF) has presented a proposal to the City of Fort Lauderdale for the design, construction and maintenance of a training facility and multi-purpose stadium on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium.

The training complex would be used by Inter Miami CF, which will begin play in MLS in 2020, as well as its youth academy and anticipated 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.

The remains of Lockhart Stadium at present.

“The site isn’t being used now, so our idea is we would go and build a state-of-the-art training facility, youth fields that would house our [youth] academy our MLS team, and that would really become our home base of operation for training and development.”

Paul McDonough , Sporting Director, Inter Miami

“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 proposed project includes a multi-purpose sports stadium that would host professional national and international matches, tournaments and exhibition games. The club’s proposal ties in with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s desire to reactivate the former Lockhart Stadium site with a multi-use sports facility.

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.

Video courtesy of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

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