Since the end of January, Inter Miami CF and FXE Futbol, LLC have vied in legal filings and public relations to build support for their proposed renovations of Lockhart Stadium. On Tuesday afternoon, the public finally had the opportunity to review the full proposals submitted by the groups to the City of Fort Lauderdale.
UPDATE: On March 14, 2019, Inter Miami CF co-owner Jorge Mas confirmed it was the club’s intention to use the rebuilt Lockhart Stadium site as a temporary venue for the first two seasons of the club’s Major League Soccer participation. This could have a significant impact on the plan’s viability. You can read more here.
Miami Beckham United, LLC (the group that oversees Inter Miami CF and most related activity) submitted a 73-page plan to the city. In it, it includes much of its original outline revealed in January. It also included a number of design renderings of the proposed site plan, detailing the stadium, training grounds, parkland and a “restaurant concept.”
The proposal also includes a Design and Construction Schedule provided by Manica Architecture, a Kansas City-based firm which also provided the renderings. Per the schedule, the group would like to begin procurement next month, and start clearing the Lockhart Stadium site by May. Construction would begin in July, with the new stadium scheduled to come online in May 2020.
The last page of the proposal deals with finances. The ownership group confirms it has added Goldman Sachs & Co LLC as the structuring agent and financial adviser for the project. Miami Beckham United (as well as FXE Futbol) has confirmed it intends to self-fund all construction related to the project.
FXE Futbol revealed a proposal that was much more thorough than anything yet put out by the organization. At 128 pages, the proposal includes similar features to the Inter plan, including design renderings of the stadium and surrounding areas. The biggest different in the two proposals is the amount of Fort Lauderdale-focused addendum information FXE included. That includes letters from Topgolf (an entertainment partner at the location), Compendium Partners LLC and Longpoint Realty Partners (who are the financial advisers on the project), and a number of civic and business partners, the majority of which come from Fort Lauderdale itself.
According to the FXE proposal, the group expects the stadium could be finished in as short as 28 months and as long as 36 months. It does, however, target the launch of its USL team in 2021, which would be in two years’ time.
John P. Reynal, the managing partner of FXE Futbol, LLC, spoke last month at a town hall about how the Beckham bid changed the focus for FXE.
“When we got a chance to really analyze, I think it turned out to be a good thing,” Reynal told Magic City Soccer about the Beckham bid last month. “It accelerated the process, it made it more competitive, and it forced us to sit around with people from the community, business leaders, and develop something that was more community-inclusive.
“We’re offering a project that’s open to the public, that will generate jobs for the city.”
The choice now lies in the hands of the City of Fort Lauderdale, with a decision possible this month. Pressure has been ramped up on the city’s commissioners from supporters of both proposals. It’s unclear which organization the city is likely to pick.