One of the biggest holdups of the proposed Miami Freedom Park plan was The First Tee, housed at Miami International Links, Melreese Country Club. After nearly a year of struggle, it appears The First Tee will move to a new home, clearing one of the biggest obstacles for Miami Freedom Park and Inter Miami CF.
Inter Miami CF has been thrown another curveball in the journey for a permanent home. Last week, Miami Beckham United, LLC (the ownership group that controls Inter Miami CF) decidedly beat out FXE Futbol to acquire the negotiating rights to reconstruct Lockhart Stadium in their image. As the focus begins to shift back into Miami-Dade County, Mas was confident during our conversations with him on Monday to secure a deal for the Melreese site. Just seven hours after that conversation, an appeal was filed by Miami-based attorney William Douglas Muir, seeking revision of the City of Miami’s ability to negotiate with Mas on a closed-bid deal for Miami Freedom Park.
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.
It is decision day for City of Miami voters and Miami Freedom Park. Will the city be allowed to negotiate with Inter Miami CF to construct a soccer stadium and mixed-use development on the current site of Melreese Country Club? The city put the question to voters in July, but tonight we’ll find out if the Major League Soccer team moves on to the next step or is sent back to square one. Stay with Magic City Soccer all day for coverage and information about this important vote. For live election results, you can visit Miami-Dade County’s elections page.
This afternoon, Inter Miami CF added to its front office personnel. Jurgen Mainka was announced as the Chief Business Officer for the team.
The City of Miami commission has voted to allow a ballot initiative in support of Miami Freedom Park and Soccer Village to appear on the city’s general election ballot on Nov. 6. The vote was 3-2. Commissioners Keon Hardemon, Joe Carollo and (critically) Ken Russell voted in support. Commissioners Manolo Reyes and Willy Gort voted against.
The day appeared to start where last Thursday’s meeting left off, with commissioners airing their grievances with the deal. The two most prominent voices in the morning were those of Reyes and Carollo.
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.
There is a wide misconception that has grown through the years here in South Florida. It has been the gold standard to every stadium project when it’s time to discuss financing and acquisition. Those familiar with sports here in the Magic City know that I am already talking about Joe Robbie Stadium, now known as Hard Rock Stadium. South Florida idolizes Robbie for building it with his own money, however, lost in the story is the land acquisition deal.