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David Beckham Faces Rival For Stadium Land

Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

David Beckham and partners want to build a soccer stadium in Miami and a training academy in Fort Lauderdale. But nothing about their six-year-long-and-counting quest has been easy, and the Fort Lauderdale piece is no exception.

A rival bidder wants to build a mixed-use facility on the land Beckham's group is eyeing, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Both groups want to take over the city's long-defunct, 64-acre Lockhart Stadium.

Beckham's group — Miami Beckham United — wants to build offices and a youth development facility for its Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami, which is slated to begin playing in Miami in 2020. Beckham's group proposes that a United Soccer League One team would play at the Fort Lauderdale site.

“It’s not a refurbishment of Lockhart. It will be a new stadium for a (second-tier) USL team and a soccer-centric academy," Beckham's partner, Jorge Mas, told the Miami Herald. "We’ll be able to host tournaments and other games there."

The group's rival, FXE Futbol, had been involved with recently scrapped plans to develop the site as a water park and recreation center. It is proposing fields for a United Soccer League Championship team (one level higher than a USL One team), plus a a Topgolf attraction, restaurants and more. 

“Right now, the [Fort Lauderdale] city commission has been star-struck by the name Beckham," FXE Managing Partner John P. Reynal said, according to "And I don’t blame them! He’s a very good looking guy, used to be a great player, and he really revitalized the MLS. He deserves the recognition.

"But they’re offering to come in, take 30 acres of city land, pay $1 a year rent to build a private, enclosed facility with zero community involvement. We’re offering a project that’s open to the public, that will generate jobs for the city.” 

Friday was a deadline for proposals for the site, and the City Commission will consider both proposals soon.