MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As momentum continues to build towards the inaugural season for Inter Miami CF, a big announcement was made on Tuesday from team and local officials.

Miami is now a step closer to having a state of the art, Major League Soccer stadium.

But before officials could move forward, they had to shift their focus to another sport; golf.

That’s because the city wants to transform Melreese Country Club into Miami Freedom Park, the new home of Inter Miami.

But Melreese has been the home of the First Tee, which is an organization that teaches values and life lessons to children of all abilities through golf.

With Inter Miami CF part-owner Jorge Mas looking on, Miami mayor Francis Suarez talks about the First Tee program moving from Melreese Country Club to a new home. (Source: CBS4)

“Preserving the integrity of First Tee to provide them with the resources they need to continue to inspire future generations to succeed was as promise we made and a promise we will keep today,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

First Tee will be moving to a new location, remaining active and available to help South Florida’s children.

“We have entered into an agreement which will allow us to make a contribution to the First Tee Foundation to not only facilitate a relocation to a wonderful facility but most importantly, to be able to make sure that the young men and women who take advantage of this program, not only don’t miss a step, but that we can make that program grow,” said Inter Miami part-owner Jorge Mas.

The new location hasn’t been finalized but the DeLucca family, who started First Tee, says they are prepared for the change.

“The commitment that Jorge has made to us gives us the ability to recreate the school setting, the covered driving range, the ADA accessibility,” said Charlie DeLucca III. “Jorge [Mas] totally understands it, sat with us in meetings, and has made the commitment it will take for us to move it and keep these programs going for a long time in the future.”

“I don’t think there’s anyone better than our community to take this place over,” said Charlie DeLucca, Jr. “You know they’re going to do a great job. And we’re going to be present in this community we’re not leaving.”

Inter Miami CF and the city are still working on the final lease for the land, but would like to see Major League Soccer kick off in Miami by 2022.

Karli Barnett

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