A Big “W” in Court: Judge denies attempt to stop Inter Miami CF from continuing plans to demolish Lockhart Stadium

Miami, Fla. (Friday, May 3, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

Ordered and Adjudged that Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction, filed April 23, 2019, is hereby DENIED. Additionally, Plaintiff’s unverified request for Emergency Relief, filed April 30, 2019, is hereby DENIED. Furthermore, this Court GRANTS Defendants’ Request for reasonable attorney’s fees in defending against Plaintiff’s unverified Request For Emergency Relief, pursuant to section 57.105, Florida Statutes. See Also Admin. Order 2014-32-Civ(c)(6) (Sep. 30, 2014). DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, on this May 3rd, 2019. s/ Raag Singhal, Circuit Court Judge


And with those words, the merit-less attempt to stop Inter Miami CF from continuing its plans to demolish the abandoned and dilapidated Lockhart Stadium, in order to make way for a new stadium, training centre and academy, was disposed of, leaving club officials, supporters and fans with a much-needed victory.

David J. Winker, acting as counsel for FXE Futbol, went to court to put a halt to the work. He left court owing what will surely be a hefty legal bill to the attorneys who defended the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC. against an emergency motion seeking an injunction that the Court felt was thoroughly without merit.

The primary argument raised by Miami Beckham United, LLC, a co-defendant in this case, was that the City of Fort Lauderdale’s decision to accept the unsolicited bid it made was one that is not properly reviewable by the Court: “The Plaintiff cites to zero authority, and Inter Miami is aware of none, that supports the proposition that a third party, without a legally recognized contractual or property interest in specific municipally owned property, such as Plaintiff, may enjoin that municipality from demolishing its own property.” (Defendant Miami Beckham United, LLC’s Response in Opposition To Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion For Temporary Injunction, pg. 5,6)

It was also argued that the Plaintiff lacks standing (a legal term meaning that it has no ability to bring forth a claim) and failed to meet any of the four requirements needed to be shown for injunctive relief to be granted.

The team’s counsel John K. Shubin, made this statement after today’s decision:

“Today’s decision confirms that the process that is bringing world-class soccer to the City of Fort Lauderdale was both lawful and fair. Our client will continue to move forward in good faith with the hard work that needs to be accomplished to convert this process into a reality. We also hope that we have seen the end of this meritless litigation.”

John K. Shubin, Esq.

With a little over 300 days until the start of the 2020 season, at least the question of where Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami will be playing its home games took a big step forward today.

A major component of Inter Miami CF’s plans for the Lockhart site, in addition to a 19,000 seat stadium that will serve as the interim home for the club as well as the permanent home to its affiliated USL League One (3rd Division), is a youth soccer academy — a competitive, travelling soccer team of the region’s best young players. The academy will be fully funded by the club, and players selected will be able to attend for free. The first members of the Inter Miami CF Academy are expected to be announced sometime soon. More than 6,000 South Florida youth players were scouted and over 500 were invited to attend formal tryouts that have been held at the Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium.

For the public, four “pitches” — a regulation size soccer field that can be used for other sports — will be created, as well as a dog park, a running trail, playground and public park. The estimated investment that Inter Miami is making, including new, $30 million stadium: up to $60 million.

Inter Miami’s permanent home will be located in Miami at Miami Freedom Park, the site now occupied by the Melreese Golf Club. The team is currently working out the details of a lease which will be presented to the City of Miami.

UPDATE: Lockhart Stadium’s demolition is set to officially begin this Wednesday, May 8, 2019. All supporter groups and fans are welcome to arrive between 8:15-8:45 A.M. EDT.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Inter Miami CF Enters Into Agreement with KIN

KIN Partners will be the exclusive sponsorship sales representation agency.

Miami, FL (Tuesday, February 5, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”) continues to make impressive steps in its development, now with slightly more than one year before it kicks off play in North America’s Major League Soccer.

The club announced on February 1, 2019, that it has entered into a contract with the London-based firm, which is headed up by industry veterans Simon Oliveira and Matthew Kay, KIN recently expanded into Miami and Oliveira, the Managing Director of KIN, has previously worked on Beckham’s other business projects. Among KIN’s roster of international clients is Neymar, Jr.

KIN’s role will be to identify and develop sponsorship opportunities for the expansion club.

“Miami is recognised as a global city with a mix of wonderful cultures and we cannot wait to start working with both the vastly impressive ownership group and one of the most exciting properties in world sports today,” said Matthew Kay.

The announcement comes within days after Inter Miami put forward plans to build a training facility, including a multi-purpose stadium, on the site of the Lockhart Stadium, previously used by the now defunct North American Soccer League’s (NASL) Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Given the transformational aspect of Miami Freedom Park, partnering with an international agency appears to be a smart move. Interest in Inter Miami CF has been high, and the home of the team, in addition to a 25,000 seat stadium, a public park and public soccer fields, will feature hotel, entertainment and retail space as well as a technology hub. It is a US$1 billion complex that will create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city, county, state and school board.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Inter Miami CF celebrates its 1st birthday! A year of firsts. ¡Inter Miami CF celebra su primer cumpleaños! Un año de novedades.

Miami, FL (Tuesday, January 29, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

Happy Birthday Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami! January 29, 2018. It has been one year. One year since David Beckham took the stage at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center and delivered a famous speech in which he recounted how his academy coach once told him “You’ll never make it as a footballer.” “I never quit,” was Beckham’s reply. One year since Marcelo Claure also gave a speech recounting the story of the more than four years between the original announcement on February 5, 2014, during which he and David Beckham tried unsuccessfully to secure a stadium site and to find suitable investors in order to be able to launch the Miami Major League Soccer Club. About how he and David had concluded that the dream was “too big” and against their wishes, had decided to move on. One year since Jorge Mas gave an emotionally charged speech in which he told the story of how he had been contacted by MLS Commissioner Donald Garber, who asked him if he would be interested in co-investing and helping David Beckham get the Miami franchise off the ground, and what Miami has meant to his family and those of people who come here from other places to make a better life.

Between January 29, 2018 and September 5th, the club used the name “Fútbol Miami” as a placeholder while deciding on the actual name, colours and logo. We knew the owners were getting closer, and during the summer several potential team names appeared in trademark searches online at the USPTO. These names, trademarks by lawyers at the direction of companies connected to Miami Beckham United, LLC, included many outstanding names including Club Atlético Miami, Miami Mundial Club de Fútbol, and others. See USPTO Search. 

One of the biggest highlights of the year came before daybreak on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. In the predawn hours, a giant mural painted by local artist Alejandro Mijares was revealed on the walls of a building at the corner of SW 8th Street and SW 1st Avenue in the Brickell neighbourhood of downtown Miami, revealing the club’s name and badge.

The Wall of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami in Brickell.

At the same time, the team had the front and back covers of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald wrapped in pink with the team’s logo and explanations about the symbology. Mijares also painted the newly revealed logo on a wall in the Wynwood neighbourhood.

The morning papers on Sep. 5, 2018
Logo painted on a wall in Wynwood.

In the months since then, the club had many firsts. Soon after, plans were announced to redevelop Melreese Golf Course into the future home of Inter Miami CF and Miami Freedom Park. In July, we endured two full days of hearings before the City of Miami Commissioners, in a the effort by Miami Freedom Park, LLC to have a measure placed on the ballot to allow residents of the City of Miami to decide whether the City should negotiate to enter into a long-term lease of city-owned land at the Melreese Golf Course. In the end, three out of five commissioners approved.

On November 6, 2018, the club celebrated its biggest victory to date: the measure to transform Melreese Golf Course into a world-class stadium and Miami’s largest park, along with 23 acres of public soccer fields, an office/hotel complex with technology jobs and entertainment area passed with a strong majority of voters saying “Yes on 378.” “We won tonight!” are the now famous words of Jorge Mas.

It was also a year when the club made its initial moves on the soccer operations and business sides of the front office. Paul McDonough was the first staff member to be hired when he was appointed to the post of Sporting Director in August, just a few weeks before the unveiling of the club´s name and badge. A short time later, on September 20, 2019, Jurgen Mainka, who had previously worked at Concacaf and other MLS Clubs, was named as the club’s first Chief Business Officer. In October, the club named Dennis Sprenkle as the head of HR and Administration. At the beginning of January, 2019, Kurt Schmid joined as the first Technical Director, followed by Niki Budalic as the first Director of Soccer Operations. In the last couple of weeks prior to the one year anniversary, the club began laying the foundation of its Academy, adding Victor Pastora and Juan Carlos Michia, both of whom had been key figures in the famed Weston Football Club youth academy program.

Indeed, it was a year of many firsts. What lies ahead for Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami? A look at this video tells us: “Wait, that was just the beginning. We’re not done. Not by a long way.” It is going to be an exciting 2019.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

La Academia del Club Internacional Names First 2 Coaches

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami Announces Juan Carlos Michia and Victor Pastora as First Academy Coaches
 
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami anuncia a Juan Carlos Michia y a Victor Pastora como primeros entrenadores de su Academia.
 

Miami, FL (January 17, 2019) – via MLS Communications (with edits)

“La Academia” is in session. Very soon at least.

Today, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”) announced the hiring of two local youth coaches with many accolades, Juan Carlos Michia and Victor Pastora, as the first two Inter Miami Academy Coaches.

“We welcome Juan Carlos and Victor to the Inter Miami family with open arms.” Said Paul McDonough, the club’s Sporting Director. “Juan Carlos and Victor will play a fundamental role in establishing the most important legacy pillar for the club: our Academy. A place where local talent can continue to develop their game at no cost and one day perhaps fulfill their dream of representing our community wearing the Inter Miami colors.”

 
Juan Carlos Michia
Juan Carlos Michia arrives this summer at Inter Miami CF at the conclusion of his current season with Weston Football Club.
 
His resume includes 3 years as the head coach of the U-12 team at Weston FC. His career in the youth and professional ranks, both as player and coach, expands more than 30 years and includes highlights such as the Under 20 FIFA World Cup in Argentina in 2003. He played with Quilmes AC of the Argentine first division for 3 years, in two seasons (1979, 1980) in the original NASL with the Houston Hurricane, plus several years in the MISL. He has dual USA-Argentina citizenship.
“I’m looking forward to building a new platform that compliments the existing system for local talent to develop in their own region,” said Michia. “As a player and as a coach, there is nothing better than being able to perform in front of your own community with the dream of becoming a professional player with your own local club.”
 
Víctor Pastora
Victor Pastora has been developing talent at the youth levels for more than 19 years, most recently as the Technical Director for Weston FC Academy. In the past 3 years, the development programs designed and implemented by Victor and his staff, have provided the opportunity for over 18 local players to be promoted into top professional clubs both in MLS and internationally. His programs have also constantly provided South Florida players to the U.S. Youth National Team programs as well as other Concacaf Federations. 
 
“It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to continue working with the South Florida player in a fully funded program with a direct pathway to professional soccer. I have great belief in the talent and character of the South Florida players, Inter Miami CF will provide the resources and support necessary to build a world class academy,” said Victor Pastora. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and look forward to the responsibility of building and representing this franchise.”

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Miami, FL (17 de enero, 2019) – por MLS Comunicaciones (editado)
 
¡Pronto empieza La Academia!
 
El Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami anunció el día de hoy que dos destacados entrenadores locales Juan Carlos Michia y Victor Pastora, se han unido al club como los dos primeros entrenadores de la Academia del Inter Miami.
 
“Damos la bienvenida con los brazos abiertos a Juan Carlos y a Victor a la familia del Inter Miami” dijo Paul McDonough,  director deportivo del equipo. “Juan Carlos y Victor desempeñarán un papel fundamental en establecer el principal pilar de legado de nuestro club: nuestra Academia. Un lugar donde el talento local puede seguir desarrollando su juego sin costo alguno, hasta cumplir un día su sueño de representar a nuestra comunidad vistiendo los colores del Inter Miami.”
 
Juan Carlos Michia se sumará al Inter Miami CF este verano, acabando la temporada actual como entrenador del equipo Sub 12 del Weston FC, dónde se ha desempeñado los últimos 3 años.
 
Su trayectoria profesional en equipos juveniles y profesionales, como entrenador y como jugador, se remonta a más de 30 años e incluye logros como la participación en la Copa Mundial Sub 20 de la FIFA, Argentina en 2003. Jugó 3 años con Quilmes de la primera división argentina, 2 temporadas con los Houston Hurricane de la NASL original en 1979 y 1980, y algunos años en el MISL.
 
“Espero con mucha emoción el poder unirme a este proyecto y crear una nueva plataforma para seguir desarrollando el talento local en nuestra comunidad”, dijo Juan Carlos Michia. “Como jugador y como entrenador, no hay nada más satisfactorio que poder jugar frente a tu propio publico soñando en debutar como profesional con tu equipo local”.
 
Victor Pastora, quién cuenta con mas de 19 años de carrera, ocupó recientemente el cargo de Director Técnico de la Academia de Weston FC. En los últimos 3 años, los programas de desarrollo creados e implementados por Victor y su equipo de trabajo le han brindado a más de 18 jugadores locales oportunidades en clubes profesionales en la MLS y a nivel internacional. Sus programas también han aportado una gran cantidad de jugadores del sur de la Florida a los programas de selección nacional juveniles de la Federación de los Estados Unidos y otras Federaciones en Concacaf.
 
“Es un privilegio tener la oportunidad de continuar trabajando con los jugadores del Sur de la Florida en un programa totalmente financiado que da acceso directo al fútbol profesional. Creo firmemente en el talento y carácter de los jugadores del área y encantado de que en el Inter Miami les podremos proporcionar los recursos adicionales y el apoyo necesarios para crear una academia de nivel mundial” dijo Victor Pastora. “Estoy muy agradecido por esta oportunidad y por la responsabilidad depositada en mí representando a esta franquicia”.

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O Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami anunciou hoje que dois excelentes treinadores locais, Juan Carlos Michia e Victor Pastora, se juntaram ao clube como os dois primeiros treinadores da Academia do Inter Miami.

O que eles disseram:

“Estou ansioso para construir uma nova plataforma que complemente o sistema existente, permitindo que os talentos locais cresçam em sua própria região”, disse Juan Carlos Michia. “Como jogador e treinador, não há nada melhor do que ter a oportunidade de jogar na frente da sua própria comunidade com o sonho de se tornar um jogador profissional no seu clube local.”

“É um privilégio ter a oportunidade de continuar trabalhando com jogadores do Sul da Flórida em um programa totalmente financiado que dá acesso direto ao futebol profissional. Acredito firmemente no talento e no caráter dos jogadores na área e estou muito contente com o fato de que, na Inter Miami, podemos fornecer a eles os recursos e o apoio necessários para criar uma academia de classe mundial “, disse Victor Pastora. “Estou muito grato por esta oportunidade e pela responsabilidade que me foi atribuída ao representar esta franquia.”

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Le Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami a annoncé aujourd’hui que deux entraîneurs locaux exceptionnels, Juan Carlos Michia et Victor Pastora, ont rejoint le club en tant que les deux premiers entraîneurs de la Académie d’Inter Miami.

Qu’est-ce qu’ils ont dit:

«Je suis impatient de construire une nouvelle plate-forme qui complète le système existant en permettant aux talents locaux de se développer dans leur propre région», a déclaré Juan Carlos Michia. “En tant que joueur et en tant qu’entraîneur, il n’y a rien de mieux que d’avoir l’occasion de jouer devant votre propre communauté avec le rêve de devenir un joueur professionnel avec votre club local.»

“C’est un privilège de pouvoir continuer à travailler avec des joueurs du sud de la Floride sur un programme entièrement financé qui donne un accès direct au football professionnel. Je crois fermement au talent et au caractère des joueurs de la région et je suis très heureux du fait que, à Inter Miami, nous pouvons leur fournir les ressources et le soutien dont ils ont besoin pour créer une académie de calibre mondial “, a déclaré Victor Pastora. “Je suis très reconnaissant pour cette opportunité et pour la responsabilité qui m’a été assignée de représenter cette franchise.”