FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A soccer organization that challenged David Beckham group’s Inter Miami CF for use of the land at Lockhart Stadium and lost has sued the team and the city.
In the lawsuit filed Monday by FXE Futbol, they allege the city violated state laws in the process of evaluating and ranking the two bids. They also claim that Inter Miami CF representatives gave “false statements regarding the presences of a ‘tremendous amount’ of asbestos at historic Lockhart Stadium, when there is in fact almost no asbestos present at the Stadium. These false statements subverted the selection process,,,”
Last month, Ft. Lauderdale commissioners ranked the Beckham group’s plan better than FXE Futbol and approved an interim agreement that allows for the demolition of the Lockhart while a final deal is worked out. Inter Miami CF said they will build a new 18,000 seat Lockhart Stadium with private funding and their MLS team will play at Lockhart for two seasons until their Miami stadium is ready.
The team promised a permanent training facility at Lockhart stadium, corporate offices, another pro team at the stadium and lots of fields for public use.
FXE Futbol’s plan was to renovate of Lockhart to host a Division 2 soccer team. They also promised retail space, Top Golf and lots of public access.
At the time, FXE Managing Director John Paul Reynal said they worked 2 years on their bid and felt like Beckham’s group undercut them. Plus he believed city commissioners ignored the advice of their staff by rushing through this decision.
After their presentation to the city, Mayor Dean Trantalis said there was a big problem with FXE Futbol’s bid in that they did not have a commitment from their league and therefore even if their plan was approved, there was no way to determine if they’d ever have a team playing there.
Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Alain E. Boileau told the Miami Herald the FXE Futbol lawsuit had no legal merit and the city’s decision “will be defended vigorously.”