Less than six months after the proposal was introduced, and less than two months after demolition began, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s commission Tuesday night gave final approval to the construction of a stadium at the site of Lockhart Stadium for the use of Inter Miami CF.
The vote, which was unanimous and took only a few minutes of deliberation, now guarantees that Inter Miami CF will have a home to play in when it begins its first Major League Soccer campaign.
There are still wrinkles to iron out. Most notably, the Federal Aviation Administration will have say over the construction process, due to the lot’s proximity to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. According to Chris Wittyngham, who spoke to a team official after the vote, the team is ready to start building as soon as that approval is given.
Spoke to a team official after the approval. He says they’re ready to go as soon as possible on construction.
They do have to go through a process with the FAA about the adjacent airport but otherwise it will move quickly.
— Chris Wittyngham (@ChrisWittyngham) July 9, 2019
640 the Hurricane radio host Andy Slater spoke to the team before the vote. A spokesperson stated that they believe the FAA approval could come in September.
If tonight’s @InterMiamiCF vote passes, as expected, when would stadium start to go up?
“We are targeting mid-September,” team rep says.
Mayor’s office tells me “some hurdles” remain, including getting FAA approval since site is near executive airport. https://t.co/6PLyLDHniS
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) July 9, 2019
The FAA has been a speed bump on construction at the Lockhart Stadium site before. A long-proposed water park next to the stadium was scuttled because of FAA regulations.
Ownership has routinely stated that they expect the stadium to be completed by the start of the 2020 MLS season.