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Beckham's Miami MLS team gets stadium boost from unanimous City Council vote

12:33 PM GMT+8 21/03/2019
David Beckham Jorge Mas Miami MLS 2018
Inter Miami's plans to build in Fort Lauderdale took a massive step forward with a unanimous vote from the city council

David Beckham's Miami MLS team won a victory on Tuesday as the Fort Lauderdale City Council gave unanimous support to the club's bid to build a soccer training complex and 18,000-seat exhibition stadium in Broward. 

Beckham and his partners were facing a rival bid from FXE Futbol for a stadium plan paired with retail and entertainment development as well. 

Inter Miami's ownership group has put forward that it is willing to spend $60 million to turn the Lockhart Stadium site into an 18,000 seat stadium and a training complex which will host the club's home matches for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

“We’re going to build a new stadium there,” fellow owner Jorge Mas told reporters last week as the club made its plans for the project public. “It’s not a refurbishment of Lockhart. It will be a new stadium for a (second-tier) USL team and a soccer-centric academy. We’ll be able to host tournaments and other games there.”

Tuesday's vote by the City Council was a step forward for the club, which is set to open play next season and is facing a race against time to get everything in place.  

The vote means Fort Lauderdale will now be negotiating a deal with the Beckham group instead of FXE, with Mas also in talks with the city of Miami over a deal for the club's long-term home.  

“Our investment does not depend on third-party financing,” Beckham group lobbyist Stephanie Toothaker told a Fort Lauderdale audience Monday night. 

"And it does not rely on any commercial development on public property to fund any programming.” 

Inter submitted their bid for the stadium site in late January, with the old Lockhart Stadium having been home to the Miami Fusion of MLS from 1998 through 2001. 

Following the first two seasons at the proposed stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Inter plan to move to a permanent home at Miami Freedom Park near Miami International Airport.