Rival bid for Lockhart site a new obstacle for Beckham’s MLS and USL dreams

Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, as pictured in March 2018. Photo by Matthew Bunch.

Nothing in Miami is ever easy. And getting their way in Fort Lauderdale just got even harder for Miami Beckham United.

On Monday, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman revealed on Twitter that a second party is competing for the Lockhart Stadium site in Fort Lauderdale. The site is the same one Inter Miami intend to use as the base for their academy and training facility.

According to details reported by Wallman, a company named FXE Futbol LLC is claiming to have signed a letter of intent with USL for a franchise in the second tier of U.S. soccer (USL Championship) if they are able to acquire the Lockhart site, which is currently unused. The owner of FXE Futbol is reported to be John P. Reynal, CEO of OnSide Entertainment, a Miami-based sports event production company with a recent history of bringing well-known international and club sides to face off in Florida.

OnSide Entertainment’s website boasts about having “won a bid alongside Premier Parks to operate a 20,000 seat stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.” Premier Parks intended to operate a water park at the site but that project was scuttled last year after the potential operator determined it could not afford the renovations required.

Despite their partner’s exit, it seems OnSide has kept up its interest in Lockhart, insisting that it has an agreement with USL and is moving forward on a bid for use of the site.

All of these developments come just over a week after Inter Miami announced sweeping proposal for the City of Fort Lauderdale that included a total renovation of the site, including a running track, playground, and fields for public use. Under Inter’s plan, the site would host technical staff and training facilities for both the MLS side and their USL affiliate.

Wallman also reported on Tuesday that Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said “there may be room for both soccer proposals” at the site. However, it is unlikely that USL will allow competing franchises in an MLS market.

Reynal, the OnSide CEO, has previously been supportive of Major League Soccer’s efforts in South Florida. In a January 2017 interview with Negocios Magazine, he said MLS would “add a lot” to Miami.

“It would be excellent if it happens, I hope it happens.”

For more on Inter Miami’s plans for Lockhart, see our previous reporting here.

Comments

  1. Pingback: Fort Lauderdale City Commission votes unanimously to accept proposals for Lockhart Stadium renovation - Magic City Soccer

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