Construction on Inter Miami CF‘s stadium in Fort Lauderdale is on track, as the venue is expected to be ready by the club’s home opener in March.
Inter Miami CF will begin play as an MLS expansion team in the spring, with its home opener scheduled for March 14 against LA Galaxy. Long term, the club’s goal is to build a new stadium as the anchor of a surrounding development near Miami International Airport, but–with those plans not finalized–the club will spend its initial seasons at a new facility being built at the former site of Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
The new stadium, which will anchor a larger training academy at the site, has had to come together in a tight timeframe. The effort to make that happen is working thus far, as in a matter of months the site has gone from being the home of a downtrodden Lockhart Stadium to an active construction zone that is seeing the facility on track for the MLS season, progress that was apparent when Inter Miami CF owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas visited the site Tuesday. More from the Miami Herald:
They were hoping to hold training camp at the site starting in mid-January, but it will not be done in time. The club is exploring other venues, some in South Florida and few outside the area.
Nine months ago, the owners stood among overgrown weeds in the dilapidated Lockhart Stadium and announced they planned to build a 19,000-seat stadium there to be their temporary home, and also would build a state-of-the-art training facility. The $100 million complex will include the stadium, a 50,000 square-foot training center, six grass fields and one turf field with 1,500 seats that can be used for high school football and other sports.
“I believe anything can happen if you work hard, but I looked out and thought, ‘Wow, this needs to be built really quick’ and you guys are doing that,” Beckham told the workers. “Nothing goes unnoticed, the hard work you’re doing and the passion you’re doing it with. What’s being created…it is really a miracle.”
Don Lockerbie, the managing director of Miami-based Parker Company, which is the lead consultant on the stadium project, said the workers were touched by the gesture. He admitted he got teary-eyed seeing Beckham kick a soccer ball on the newly-installed field.
In addition to MLS matches, the new stadium will host home games for a new USL League One club established by Inter Miami CF. That team is slated to play in Fort Lauderdale permanently, regardless of if/when the MLS club is able to secure a new facility in Miami.
Photo, tweeted on December 3, courtesy Inter Miami CF.
RELATED STORIES: Optimism for Inter Miami CF Ahead of 2020 Launch; Inter Miami CF Inaugural Home Opener Set for March 14; Work on Inter Miami CF’s Fort Lauderdale Venue Continues; Mas: Inter Miami CF’s Stadium Plans Making Progress; Unsafe Levels of Arsenic Found at Proposed Miami Freedom Park Site; Mas Confident in Status of Inter Miami CF Stadium Projects; Inter Miami CF Investors Submit Miami Freedom Park Draft Lease; Inter Miami CF to Relocate First Tee from Proposed Stadium Site; Inter Miami CF Unveils New Miami Freedom Park Renderings; Resolution Could Put Pressure on Miami Freedom Park Negotiations; Inter Miami CF’s Lockhart Stadium Plan Unveiled; Inter Miami CF Faces Competition for Lockhart Stadium Redevelopment; Inter Miami CF Training Academy Pitched for Lockhart Stadium Site; Beckham Group Pitching Inter Miami CF Training Academy; Attorney Files Two Lawsuits Over Miami Freedom Park Proposal; Ethics Commission Green Lights Miami MLS Stadium Negotiations; Beckham Group Pitching Inter Miami CF Training Academy; Best of 2018, #10: New Beckham Group Stadium Plan Emerges in Miami; Don Garber to Tour Potential Miami MLS Stadium Site; Voters Approve New Miami MLS Stadium; Miami MLS Stadium Referendum Approaching;