Inter Miami CF parking woes in Fort Lauderdale after city says Miami Beckham owes it more than $1.3M

Fort Lauderdale commissioners move forward with plans to build community park

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fans looking to attend Inter Miami CF home games moving forward might have a harder time trying to find parking at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Local 10 News spoke with Fort Lauderdale Commissioner John Herbst on Friday who gave viewers the latest progress after the city ended its parking agreement with Miami Beckham.

The City of Fort Lauderdale had an existing parking agreement with Miami Beckham to allow them to continue to utilize Lockhart Park as an overflow parking area for their games.

The agreement came to an end on Wednesday after the city chose not to extend it and will now prohibit game attendees from using the lot moving forward.

“They will have to make alternative arrangements for their patrons to park,” said Herbst.

Herbst told Local 10 News that the team failed to build on this field its portion of a promised community park.

“Miami Beckham agreed to construct for us as part of the overall deal for them to get their 40 acres for about $1 a year,” he said.

A city spokesperson told Local 10 News that Miami Beckham owes the City of Fort Lauderdale more than $1.3 million in building permit fees.

“Everybody has to pay for building permits when you pull them and to date they have not yet made the payment. This is a highly unusual situation and you typically never have construction take place without the building payments having been paid for,” he said.

Herbst said the city would not entertain any extension for time for parking at the overflow area without Inter Miami CF making payment for the building’s permit fees.

“We find ourselves in a scenario where years after the facilities have been construction the building permit fees have still not been paid and so that was part of the condition we established with Miami Beckham,” he said.

In a scathing May letter to the City of Fort Lauderdale, Inter Miami CF Vice President and General Counsel Pablo Alvarez wrote, “We will not be blackmailed, bullied, or intimidated by Commissioner Herbst.”

“The parties are at an impasse through the mediation process and the building permit fee payment remains outstanding,” said City Attorney D’Wayne Spence.

“The next step in that process is up to them. In the meantime, we are moving forward the city commission approved the design for the park at the last meeting and hopefully, we will be moving forward now to complete the designs and get it to the stage where we can put that out to bid so we can bring in a constructor to construct the park,” said Herbst.

Local 10 News has also learned that back in 2019, Inter Miami CF requested a parking variance for more than 2500 spaces, saying it had event management parking plans in place to include providing shuttle service from off-site public parking at the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail station and park-and-ride lots.

“So we approved the parking reduction that they requested as the entire site went through its development process,” said Herbst. “I don’t know if any of that has actually been done by the team since then, I think they found it simply easier to utilize the city’s available space rather than executive agreements with local business owners for after-hours parking.”

Inter Miami’s next home game is scheduled for Saturday and the season doesn’t end until Oct. 21.

Fort Lauderdale commissioners gave the direction to move forward with the next steps Friday afternoon for parking at Lockhart Park, which includes a site evaluation and a 30 percent design completion.

Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Pamela Beasley-Pittman was not at that meeting but everyone else agreed to move forward with the plans, according to a city spokesperson.

Local 10 News reached out to Inter Miami CF about the current parking situation but has yet to receive a response.

Inter Miami CF released the parking plans for Saturday’s match and the rest of the season which you can read by clicking here.

Season ticket members can also click here to purchase Orange and Brown Lot parking.

The team encouraged attendees to use Brightline and ride-sharing services for Saturday’s game.

Inter Miami CF announced in a tweet Friday that the team has “expressed concerns to the city about the inconvenience to our fans and the safety issues that could arise from this decision and have made alternative plans to provide convenient, safe parking as close to the stadium as possible.”

According to the team, there will be free shuttles running continuously from the Brown and Purple parking lots. The shuttles will drop attendees at the Fan Zone at DRV PNK Stadium.

Non-season ticket members will have the opportunity to pre-purchase a parking pass for the Orange and Brown Lots. The cost for non-season ticket member parking for Orange, and Brown Lots is $29 in advance and $35 on matchday. Click here to purchase.

View the concept plan for parking at Lockhart Park below.

(City of Fort Lauderdale)

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.