FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Soccer legend David Beckham’s dream to bring a major league soccer team to South Florida is on the fast track with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s vote to seal the deal.
The agreement approved unanimously by the city commission on Tuesday allows the Beckham group to move forward with a project on the site of the now demolished Lockhart stadium.
The $60 million project involves constructing a new 18,000 seat stadium and a training facility.
In return for the use of the land for 50 years, the Beckham group is also building sports fields, a playground, and a City Park.
Fort Lauderdale high school and Stranahan High will be able to play home football games there.
“We are happy to host as long as they are waiting for Miami,” said commissioner Heather Moraitis whose district includes the stadium site.
The plan is for the new team Inter Miami CF to play two seasons here while a permanent Miami location is ironed out Afterwards the team’s minor league team will play at the stadium.
“I’ve talked to them about it and there are different soccer-related activities for kids and leagues worldwide,” said Moraitis.
While the Beckham group pays no property taxes and won’t share any revenue from their business Moraitis says it will spur commercial and residential development along the west Cypress Creek corridor.
But not all soccer fans are happy.
“I think they could have gotten a better deal especially because they had all the leverage,” said Derek Reese who was a frequent voice at city hall.
Reese who once worked for the defunct Strikers soccer team in Fort Lauderdale feels the city gave too much away.
“They gave them all the control for a team who in my opinion was desperate,” he said.
The city says they expect the project to be built in time for the new team to play in March 2020.