Inter Miami CF made five picks in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday evening, completing another step along the journey to the team’s February 2020 debut. And fans were ready to party.
Major League Soccer has some terms that can be a bit intimidating to new fans as it relates to player aquisition. GAM (General Allocation Money), TAM (Targeted Allocation Money), DP (Designated Player). But one of the first terms every fan of a new team needs to learn is “Expansion Draft.” The 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will take place this evening. What is it? How does it work? And what does this mean for Inter Miami CF?
In this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Drew discuss Miami FC’s start to the NISA Showcase and other NISA news, Miami United’s proposed women’s team, a local Inter Miami CF signee and more. Join us, won’t you?
Inter Miami CF released its season ticket price tiers Tuesday, with prices ranging from approximately $425 for supporters section tickets to nearly $3,000 for premium sideline seats.
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.
News broke over the weekend that Inter Miami will soon announce the signing of their first player, Julián Carranza of Argentine club Banfield.
The outlet TyC Sports was first to report that the 19-year-old will be heading to Miami following a $6 million deal with Banfield for the striker. Carranza will remain with the club for a couple of months before Miami’s inaugural season kicks off in March 2020.
According to @TyCSports, Inter Miami have agreed a $6M deal with Banfield for striker Julián Carranza (with a 10% sell-on clause). The 19-year-old will remain with El Taladro until the end of the year pic.twitter.com/WSrZXIqCen
— Peter Coates (@golazoargentino) June 21, 2019
The young forward was formed in Banfield’s academy and rose up into the senior team, scoring 5 goals in 14 appearances during his 2017/18 debut season, as well as making three appearances in that season’s Copa Libertadores campaign. Carranza is an exciting prospect with reports of having been scouted by Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, and Manchester United, per Argentine radio outlet Radio Continental.
When Carranza finally makes his way here, he’ll likely come with some tips for life in South Florida from his former team captain, ex Miami FC striker Dario Cvitanich. “Super Dario” Cvitanich was FC’s first-ever goalscorer and returned to Banfield, his youth club, in January 2017.
His return coincided with Carranza’s rise into the senior team, where he played deputy to Cvitanich before taking over duties following Cvitanich’s departure to Racing Club earlier this year.
AS USA reported Tuesday afternoon that Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham sold his stake in the club to partners Jorge and José Mas, agreeing to remain a “global face” for the club. Club representatives and the City of Miami went into overdrive to categorically deny the report.
On this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Omar discuss the open of the WPSL season, with local entry FC Surge getting off to a great start. Then, they discuss Women’s World Cup, NPSL, international friendlies and Inter Miami CF. Join us, won’t you?
A Broward County judge ruled Thursday against a motion filed by FXE Futbol, LLC. This likely clears the way for Inter Miami CF to begin the demolition of Lockhart Stadium.
What would the Miami MLS saga be without yet another lawsuit? This time, FXE Futbol is getting in on the action.
FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). The lawsuit was first reported by the Miami Herald.
While the complaint discusses topics we have seen before, there is one wild twist that is being alleged. Perhaps the battle for Lockhart stadium isn’t quite over.
At first glance the complaint, filed by attorney David J. Winker, requests that the court review the Public-Private Partnership Process with regards to the Lockhart site and the city’s decision to award the project to Inter Miami.
“This is an action challenging the validity and effect of the frantic and, ultimately, statutorily inadequate, Public-Private Partnership Process undertaken pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 255.065 by Defendant CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE”
FXE Futbol is seeking a writ of mandamus and civil action against not only the City of Fort Lauderdale but Miami Beckham United, citing damages of over $15,000. While this has been par for the course, this is the first time a competitor has filed a claim seeking to reverse the decision by a local government.
Where the petition really begins to get interesting is on line item 13. According to FXE Futbol, Inter Miami was spreading falsehoods regarding the level of asbestos present at Lockhart in its current state. FXE Futbol has outlined that Inter Miami was advising the city council that there was “a tremendous amount of asbestos present at the stadium” and therefore revitalization or renovation was not actually possible.
The complaint discusses how procedural violations were made by the City of Fort Lauderdale throughout the process, which is much like what we have seen argued and alleged against Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Due to this being the first complaint being filed by a competing interest, FXE Futbol is seeking monetary damages in the amount of “lost profits”.
With March 2020 coming closer with each passing day, Inter Miami cannot afford another lengthy court battle that stalls the process of acquiring permits, clearance, and the demolition of Lockhart stadium. With the timeline already being questioned by the public, if this judgement is granted in favor of the plaintiffs we could see a real snag in Inter Miami’s plans to open in 2020.
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.