Soccer could return to Lockhart Stadium

Miami's MLS team proposes plan to turn dilapidated venue into training facility

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

A view from Sky 10 of Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium in January 2019 shows it has become dilapidated and overgrown with shrubs since its last tenant moved out.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Soccer could be returning to Lockhart Stadium.

David Beckham's long-awaited Major League Soccer team in Miami announced a proposal Monday for a new training facility, complex and stadium at the site of the antiquated Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

According to a news release from the team, "the training facilities will serve as the training grounds for Inter Miami's MLS team and will serve as the home to both its youth academy and anticipated (United Soccer League) team. The training site will feature several regulation soccer fields and a training complex with state-of-the-art amenities."

Lockhart Stadium, which opened in 1959, was once home to another MLS team -- the defunct Miami Fusion -- from 1998 to 2001. It was also the longtime home of the North American Soccer League's Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Florida Atlantic's football team.

"The vast history of soccer in South Florida has deep roots in Fort Lauderdale dating back to the original Strikers of the '70s and '80s, the Miami Fusion of the '90s and early 2000s, as well as the recent clubs that have called Lockhart Stadium their home," Inter Miami CF sporting director Paul McDonough said in a team statement. "It is a privilege to be able to present a sustainable proposal that honors that history and revitalizes the area. Our training facility will serve all of South Florida's soccer community and provide amateur and professional athletes the opportunity to achieve their goals both on and off the field."

Lockhart Stadium has been without a tenant since 2016 and has become an unkempt, dilapidated venue.

The city must still sign off on the deal.

Miami's MLS team is scheduled to begin play next year while a new stadium is being built.

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