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FXE Futbol files lawsuit against Inter Miami over Lockhart Stadium site

Inter Miami’s launch continues to be an unstable one after a lawsuit against the future Major League Soccer franchise was filed in Broward County court Monday. 

David Beckham’s ownership group has been battling another emerging professional soccer club in an attempt to lockdown Lockhart Stadium for its inaugural season. FXE Futbol and Inter Miami submitted competing proposals to renovate and utilize Fort Lauderdale’s historic Lockhart Stadium. FXE Futbol, which wants to use the stadium to field a future Division 2 USL Championship franchise, is claiming its proposal wasn’t given fair consideration and that Inter Miami received preferential treatment throughout the process.

FXE Futbol is suing Beckham’s ownership group and the city of Fort Lauderdale, according to the Miami Herald, alleging state laws were violated with regard to ranking and evaluating competing bids for Lockhart Stadium between Inter Miami and FXE Futbol.

FXE Futbol placed a bid for the stadium after Inter Miami, which made an official announcement of its intended plans days before it was approved by the city.

The complaint from FXE Futbol states that after the club filed a competing proposal to renovate Lockhart Stadium, Inter Miami “repeatedly, and on numerous occasions, falsely” told Fort Lauderdale city officials the USL club’s proposal was not valid or viable because there was a “tremendous amount” of asbestos in the stadium. The lawsuit claims there is “almost no asbestos in the stadium.”

The city of Fort Lauderdale held a meeting April 2 to discuss entering an interim agreement with Inter Miami, which would allow the demolition of Lockhart Stadium while both sides settled on terms. The alleged falsehood regarding FXE Futbol’s proposal was repeated by a lobbyist for Inter Miami, and the interim agreement was approved.

FXE Futbol’s proposed inaugural USL Championship season would be 2020, the same year Inter Miami will make its MLS debut. FXE Futbol’s goal to renovate Lockhart Stadium is featured prominently on the team’s website:

“FXE Futbol is aiming to develop the 65-acre site known as Lockhart Stadium with the intention of making it Fort Lauderdale’s premier community sports and entertainment destination.”

Inter Miami and MLS are also in a legal battle with Italian Football Club Internazionale Milano — or Inter Milan — over a trademark dispute regarding the use of the term “Inter” in the team’s name.

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