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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Soccer star David Beckham and his partners in bringing a Major League Soccer team to Miami have reached a milestone.
It was one year ago, on January 29th, 2018, that Major League Soccer officially granted Miami an MLS expansion team.
In that time Beckham, along with MLS co-owner Jorge Mas, settled on and then moved on from a site in Overtown for their new stadium complex.
Instead, they’re now looking at a parcel of land currently occupied by the Melreese Golf Course and Country Club.
In November, Miami-Dade voters approved a measure that would allow the city to work out a no-bid deal on a monthly lease that would generate at minimum $3.6 million a year for a long as 99 years.
The Miami Freedom Park proposal includes the construction of a 28,000-seat soccer stadium and surrounding sports complex on land next to Miami International Airport.
With that plan in motion, Beckham and Mas’ Inter Miami CF have turned their attention to Broward and Lockhart Stadium.
They have proposed to the city of Fort Lauderdale building a state-of-the-art training facility, multi-purpose sport stadium, youth fields that would be used by the team’s youth academy, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
It would also have public facilities such as a playground, running track, a dog park, and possibly a community meeting center.
Lockhart Stadium, which opened in 1959, has had a long history as a soccer venue, with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Miami Fusion, among others, calling the stadium home in the past. The facility, however, has fallen into disrepair in recent years and currently sits idol.
For Inter Miami, another key factor is that the stadium has a central location for South Florida’s three counties.
The Inter Miami youth academy will have teams that range in age from 12 to 19. More than 120 athletes will get a fully funded opportunity to train as they pursue their collegiate or professional soccer careers, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
In addition to the academy, the complex would also house Inter Miami’s technical staff.
The stadium could host MLS preseason games and local high school sporting events.
Inter Miami has proposed paying for all of the design and construction of the team facilities along with public facilities, except for a community meeting center. Once built, the team would pay for the maintenance of their facilities and city would pay for the maintenance of the community facilities.
The proposed agreement would last for 50 years.