MLS Miami team plans to play 2 years in Fort Lauderdale

MIAMI — The Major League Soccer team awarded to Miami says it will start play in 2020 at the site of Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Inter Miami said Thursday it will privately fund the design, development and construction of a complex there that includes an 18,000-seat stadium and training facility.

The team says it will spend its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale until its planned Freedom Park opens in Miami. The 25,000-seat venue has been proposed for the site of city-owned Melreese Country Club, near Miami International Airport.

The Lockhart site will be used for training, Miami's team in the lower-tier United Soccer League and academy teams. 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.

Former England captain David Beckham and Jorge Mas are among Inter Miami's owners.

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