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.
There have been many court cases through the years of MLS Miami’s journey to find a home. We’ve discussed at length the cases that dealt with county-owned land for the Overtown site. During that time, Bruce Matheson filed a complaint against Miami-Dade County claiming that Miami Beckham United was receiving subsidies from the county. His argument, which was later ruled against in both the lower and appellate court, stated that “taxpayers deserved the same price per square foot that the previous owners of the adjoining land sold it for.” The appellate court ruled once again that the county is allowed by Florida law to award such deals if they promote economic development, as reported first by the Miami Herald.
Details of the appeal
This specific appeal stems from an original complaint filed in July 2018 against the City of Miami. While the case falls along similar lines as Matheson’s complaint against the county, the original complaint dives deep into the city charter and brings up several instances where transparency, the city charter, and even state statutes may have been violated by the city commission. The judge in the case dismissed Muir’s complaint in August of 2018.
In the initial brief, Muir presents five pages of related cases, state statutes, state rules, and articles from Florida’s constitution. In addition, Muir seems to be arguing that the City should be the party burdened with proving that it in fact has preformed its legal duty with regards to the Melreese site. The argument goes on to state that “Commissioners are bound in their discretion for sale or lease of public land to choose competitive sealed bidding, or ensure public notice in order to allow potential purchasers to compete and ensure that the any lease or sale of property goes to the highest responsible bidder.”
Magic City Soccer has obtained a copy of the “Initial Brief of Appellant” and a full copy of the filing is available below.
Author’s Note: Omar Moubayed is not an attorney and does not claim to be an active member of the Florida Bar Association. Any and all information in this news story is neither his legal opinion nor the legal opinion of Magic City Soccer.
Drew Housman contributed to this article.