Inter Miami CF managing owner Jorge Mas confirmed in a press conference Thursday that the team intends to play its first two Major League Soccer seasons at a stadium it would build at the current site of Lockhart Stadium.
Saturday was a day of high honor for David Beckham. The legendary winger returned to Los Angeles, where the LA Galaxy unveiled a Beckham statue. It is the first statue of any Major League Soccer player by a MLS team. However, as always, at least a little bit of attention was dedicated to another MLS club(-to-be), Inter Miami CF.
It wasn’t easy, but after two efforts in front of the City of Miami Commission and a hard-fought campaign for the support of Miami voters, Inter Miami CF is one step closer to finally claiming a permanent home. Voters approved a change to the city’s charter that would allow the team and the city to negotiate on a no-bid contract to redevelop Melreese County Club into Miami Freedom Park.
The next step for Inter Miami CF is to negotiate with the City of Miami for terms of a lease. Four of the city’s five commissioners must agree on the terms before any development can move forward. Only three commissioners (Joe Carollo, Keon Hardemon and Ken Russell) supported the initiative in July.
The initiative passed easily, clearing the 60-percent threshold in the city. Perhaps even more critically, the initiative met or exceeded expectations in precincts located in the Grapeland Heights community where the project is expected to take place.
Just hours before the start of the City of Miami commission meeting that could potentially decide the deal’s fate, the Term Sheet that establishes the proposal between the ownership group and the city regarding Miami Freedom Park and Soccer Village was made public.
First shared by local columnist Grant Stern, the three-page term sheet covers a number of issues, some dealing in terms already established and some touching on concerns that commissioners shared last week.
For some people at the City of Miami’s commission chambers Wednesday, it was nearly an 18-hour day. For supporters and opponents of Fútbol Miami MLS’ ballot initiative, they came and had their say. However, at nearly 11 p.m., the city’s commissioners voted to delay discussion on the proposed stadium and park for nearly a week.
Fútbol Miami MLS co-owner David Beckham arrives to Regatta Park in Coconut Grove and speaks to supporters before the team argues in front of the City of Miami commission on July 12, 2018.
It’s hard to imagine a time where Fútbol Miami MLS might be “done” with the preparation stage. For years, Miami fans eagerly awaiting a Major League Soccer team to support have awaited a finish line. However, developments over the last week may indicate that Thursday’s meeting with the City of Miami’s commissioners may signal the beginning of the end (or, at least, the end of the beginning).
A short roundup of coverage about Miami soccer:
Andre Carrillo, with his hair dyed gray, booted in a first-half strike, and Edison Flores used his left foot to knock in a rebound in the second 45, much to the delight of the crowd of 46,893, which was dominated by red-and-white clad Peru fans.
Walter Villa of the Miami Herald writes a recap of Friday’s Peru-Croatia victory, where Los Incas dominated in front of a very pro-Peru crowd. But he also goes into greater detail about what Peru’s participation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup means to the fans.
The endless rollercoaster of indecision that is David Beckham’s quest for an MLS franchise has a new twist as of last week. Claro. The Miami Herald reported that Beckham’s group, primarily newly minted owner Jorge Mas, are looking at potential stadium sites other than the Overtown plan which was close to being finalized. The new locations, no less than five according to Mas, span from Downtown to Doral to Hialeah.
They seem to concede that after years of bluffing about requiring a stadium in the “urban core”, MLS doesn’t really care where they put it as long as it’s in the county.
One of the sites that’s making Miamians do a double take is Hialeah Park. And it could be the perfect location for Beckham to base his MLS franchise.
Hear me out, groaning Miamians.
Another day down, another day closer to a significant moment for soccer fans of Miami-Dade County.
“Fútbol Miami MLS” released a website Friday with a countdown clock to a “major soccer announcement” on Monday at noon. On the website, a link was also available to the Adrienne Arsht Center’s website, where tickets were made available for this announcement. (UPDATE: Tickets for the event have sold out).