Soccer legend David Beckham celebrates his election victory to bring a soccer team to Miami
Major League Soccer might be returning to Lockhart Stadium. Well, an MLS training facility, anyway.
David Beckham’s MLS team, Inter Miami, announced on Monday that it had submitted a proposal to the City of Fort Lauderdale for the design, construction and maintenance of a state-of the-art soccer training facility, a multi-purpose sport stadium and a sport centric community destination in the former Lockhart Stadium site.
The facility would serve as the training grounds for Inter Miami’s MLS team and also as home to both its youth academy and anticipated USL reserve team. The training site will feature several regulation soccer fields and modern amenities.
“The vast history of soccer in South Florida has deep roots in Fort Lauderdale dating back to the original Strikers of the 70’s and 80’s, the Miami Fusion of the 90’s and early 2000’s as well as the recent clubs that have called Lockhart Stadium their home,” said Paul McDonough, Inter Miami’s Sporting Director. “It is a privilege to be able to present a sustainable proposal that honors that history and revitalizes the area. Our training facility will serve all of South Florida’s soccer community and provide amateur and professional athletes the opportunity to achieve their goals both on and off the field.”
McDonough said the location was chosen because it is geographically positioned to draw academy players from Palm Beach County, Broward County and Dade County.
“The most important pillar of our legacy is our youth academy, where future players will have the opportunity to train alongside the professionals and aspire to one day represent our community in front of their hometown crowd,” added McDonough. “This proposal will establish our daily soccer operations in a centralized location that caters to youth players from all of South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.”
The Inter Miami youth academy will provide more than 120 local athletes with a fully funded opportunity to train and develop their soccer skills as they pursue professional or collegiate soccer careers. The academy’s teams will range from ages 12 to 19.
The proposed project contemplates a multi-purpose sports stadium capable of hosting professional national and international soccer matches, tournaments and exhibition games as well as youth soccer tournaments and high school sporting events.
“With the Lockhart Stadium proposal, alongside Miami Freedom Park, we are poised to re-establish South Florida as the preeminent global soccer destination,” said McDonough.
Inter Miami’s proposal aligns with City of Fort Lauderdale’s desire to reactivate the former Lockhart Stadium site with a multi-use sports facility that would include a public park, public soccer fields and other community amenities.