Inter Miami CF

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Inter Miami refutes report claiming Beckham selling MLS club shares

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After all the delays, obstacles, and promise, David Beckham may not wind up overseeing a minute of Inter Miami CF.

Yes, really.

A report from Cristian Rivas of AS says the Manchester United legend is selling his shares of his expansion club, which is set to begin play in 2020 (from US.AS.com).

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Inter Miami CF has denied the report to several outlets, including intrepid MLS reporter Paul Tenorio.

Beckham’s MLS contract allowed him the option of starting a club at the end of his playing career, and he opted for South Beach.

But the English midfielder watched as stadium sites, lawsuits, and myriad issues got in the way of his project, which led to questions of “Will this ever happen?” and multiple public announcements.

It wasn’t all negative, as speculators salivated over the megastars expected to play for “Beckham United.”

According to the report, current IMCF partners Jorge and Jose Mas Santos will purchase Beckham’s shares. Nutty. If true, this report would be a face palm for the executives of Major League Soccer, who backed Becks at every turn (though maybe they knew, too).

And if it happens, maybe this was always Beckham’s plan. It would’ve been foolish for the entrepreneur to turn down the rights to his own team, and staying behind the brand this long certainly aided in the group’s growth.

But how will players and fans react in a market which has certainly had its problems growing, and has been rivaled by a number of upstart teams?

Perhaps it’s all foolhardly speculation, and a reporter was given bad information. Let’s hope so, for the good of Miami having a successful team.

Report: Inter Miami makes huge offer to Luis Suarez

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A Catalan radio station has David Beckham swinging for the fences with one of his first Designated Player signings at Inter Miami.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has been offered a rich 4-year deal by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker, whose club is set to debut in 2020.

[ RECAP: France 2-3 U.S. U-20s ]

Suarez will turn 33 during next season, prior to the start of Major League Soccer’s campaign. He has scored 25 or more goals in each of his last seven seasons, the last five spent with Barcelona after a 30- and 31-goal campaigns with Liverpool.

Seeing what Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doing with the LA Galaxy shows that aging elite strikers can still terrorize MLS (and many other leagues). The Uruguayan has been durable, too, making 40-plus appearances in each of his seasons with Barca.

Fort Lauderdale says Beckham can demolish Lockhart Stadium, build anew

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) David Beckham’s planned Major League Soccer stadium in South Florida is another step closer to reality.

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The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted Tuesday night to enter into an interim agreement with Beckham’s group, one that will allow the MLS club to demolish Lockhart Stadium as a precursor to building a stadium of its own on that plot of land.

Mayor Dean Trantalis suggested to the commission that the agreement should come with financial assurances that the Beckham group will not simply demolish the existing stadium and then walk away from the project without building something in its place. Other commissioners argued that given the extremely tight timeline – Beckham’s group wants to begin play there in less than a year – the project must be permitted to start as soon as possible.

The vote was unanimous, 5-0. Beckham’s group will have 180 days to complete the demolition.

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Beckham’s group – his team is called Inter Miami – plans to have a stadium in place on the Lockhart site in time to begin an inaugural MLS season in March 2020. Beckham has unsuccessfully tried for years to find a place to put a stadium in Miami, which is why his group announced plans last month to play its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale.

Beckham’s team also plans to use the Lockhart site as its training center, a home for its team in the lower-tier United Soccer League and its academy programs.

The current Lockhart Stadium opened in 1959 and was the home of more than a half-dozen soccer teams, including the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977-83 and MLS’s Miami Fusion from its launch in 1998 until the team was eliminated by the league after the 2001 season.

Beckham’s Inter Miami reveal temporary stadium plan

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David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF have announced that they plan to play in Fort Lauderdale for their first two seasons as a franchise.

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Inter Miami want to play at the now abandoned Lockhart Stadium and spend a combined $60 million to make it happen, bolstering previous plans from the club who had announced they wanted to build a training facility, youth academy and other community facilities on the site.

Announced via a press conference at the dilapidated venue, Beckham and fellow owner Jorge Mas said they plan to build a new 18,000 capacity stadium on the site and the team will play there for their first two seasons as an MLS franchise, in 2020 and 2021.

“We’re going to build a new stadium there,” Mas said. “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.”

Beckham and his wealthy ownership group have been searching for many years for a suitable stadium site in Miami but so far their numerous plans have failed to be approved across downtown Miami and surrounding neighborhoods.

Miami Freedom Park is their preferred choice of location for a permanent 25,000 capacity home, and although that process is moving along nicely, they still need a key city council vote to make the stadium close to Miami International Airport a reality.

The Lockhart Stadium plan will need backing from Fort Lauderdale City Council early next week, with a rival bid from FXE Futbol also in the running as they want to build a sports and entertainment complex.

Lockhart Stadium was of course home to the only previous MLS franchise in the area, Miami Fusion, which folded in 2001 after four seasons in the league.

Anybody who has seen Lockhart Stadium over the past few years knows that it is overgrown and the general shell of the venue has been left as it was in 2001.

With more than a little TLC, Becks and Co. won’t have to spend too much to develop the site, which sits 35 miles north of Downtown Miami. In the future it will act as a training facility, home stadium for their USL side, academy and will also have various facilities which will benefit the community. So, this is a smart play as they were looking for a training facility and home for a new USL affiliate club anyway.

That said, it is also a pretty decent fallback option if Inter Miami do not get approval to build their permanent new stadium in Freedom Park.

With the location of Lockhart Stadium blamed by many for the Miami Fusion not getting large crowds in MLS from 1998-01, and their eventual liquidation in MLS, this is a risky move for Beckham’s franchise as they aim to get big crowds and generate a real buzz around the franchise in South Florida.

Then again, with the clock ticking to their MLS entry, time is running out.

This option is probably a lot better than playing at Florida Atlantic University football stadium or Hard Rock Stadium, which are both far too large for a small, but growing, fanbase of Miami’s new MLS franchise.

Inter Miami proposes Fort Lauderdale training center

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Like New York City FC and most teams based in an urban center, Inter Miami CF is looking at centering their day-to-day facilities in the suburbs.

David Beckham’s MLS club, while still working on a downtown stadium deal, has proposed to the city of Fort Lauderdale to host their training facility on the grounds of Lockhart Stadium. The nearly-60-year-old stadium has hosted plenty of soccer matches in the past, including serving as the home of the Miami Fusion and the many iterations of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

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Inter Miami’s proposal includes a “multi-sport” stadium, a 30,000 square foot building that would include lockers, offices, weight rooms, dining facilities and more, and numerous grass fields for Inter Miami and its academy teams to play on. In addition, the proposal states the multi-sport stadium would be intended to host a future potential USL-based reserve team.

The site would also include “community facilities,” such as a running/walking trail, a public park, a dog park, and potentially a community meeting center.

Inter Miami in the proposal offered to pay for the design and construction of each of the site’s features, with the exception of the community center. It’s not clear whether the team would have to pay rent to use the space, as it is on Fort Lauderdale property.

According to local reports, a $70 million water park was proposed for the site, but the deal fell through. If it goes ahead, it would be a huge win for Inter Miami and perhaps give the club some backing in its continued pursuit for a stadium site close to downtown Miami.