Beckham in face off with Futbol over Lockhart

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Lockhart Stadium Image: Lockhart by Mkropek

David Beckham’s newly-formed MLS franchise Inter Miami recently proposed to demolish the Lockhart stadium in Fort Lauderdale and build a new stadium and training complex at the site of the old stadium, according to media reports.

But soon after the proposal became public, a rival bid to transform the publicly owned site into a sports destination has emerged from FXE Futbol making it harder for Beckham’s franchise to realize its dreams.

On the one side, the Inter Miami proposal envisions a new 18,000-capacity main stadium with extensive infrastructure and 10 additional fields around it. The new project is being designed as a much modern replacement for Lockhart, which has been among the most known soccer stadiums in the United States.

The plan is to build a modular stadium which could host both local and international soccer matches and other events. The total 11 fields will be used by the regular training academy to coach 120 budding players between the age of 12 and 19. In addition, 30 adult players of Inter Miami will comprise the 80 employees at the complex.

The training and stay for the local youth has been prioritized which will be fully funded, according to documents submitted to Fort Lauderdale authorities. While there is no design for Beckham’s project yet, a master plan is being worked on by Arquitectonica.

On the other side, FXE Futbol, a licensed USL franchise which includes event production company Onside Entertainment, has proposed a $100-million renovation for the complex which includes a Top Golf facility and a new USL Championship club, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

FXE Futbol promises to bring Fort Lauderdale its own USL Championship soccer team. The USL Championship professional men’s soccer league is a tier beneath the MLS team Beckham’s group will field, but it would play at Lockhart, not in Miami.

The mixed use plan was presented to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission along with the Beckham group’s plan. The commissioners have 21 days to accept one of the plans or reject them.

Both the proposals are in sync with City of Fort Lauderdale’s desire to reactivate the former Lockhart Stadium site with a multi-use sports facility that would include a public park, public soccer fields and other community amenities.

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