David Beckham and his Major League Soccer partners toured Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale Thursday, where they’re hoping their Inter Miami club will play its first two seasons in a brand new venue.
Beckham and Jorge Mas want to build a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex on the site of Lockhart. The team would spend about $60 million to tear the current stadium down and build a new version that seats 18,000.
Inter Miami would play its first two seasons there, while its stadium in Miami is being built. The new Lockhart stadium would also be used by the group’s minor league USL team, and would include a youth academy and training center, public soccer fields and a park.
The City of Fort Lauderdale would have to approve the plan for the stadium, the former home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers that was essentially abandoned three years ago.
“We need somewhere to play for the next two years and we’ve tried to make it work and this is where we’re at and this is where we feel that the heart and soul of the organization will be,” Beckham told reporters Thursday. “Miami is a vision for us that we’ve always had, we always want our stadium and our hub to be there but the heart and soul of our organization and our academy is going to be here.”
Inter Miami faces a competing redevelopment proposal for the site from FXE Futbol. Beckham’s group says they could have the new stadium finished by February of next year, just in time for their inaugural MLS season.