As a vote approaches to decide the fate of a planned new soccer stadium and park project, Inter Miami CF is looking to highlight the potential benefits of the construction project.
Inter Miami CF is looking to lease city land, which houses the Melreese Golf Course, and convert it into a sprawling stadium, park and commercial setup. Inter Miami CF recently released a fact sheet defending the proposal, arguing the deal will pay 57% over fair market value rent to the city, pay $2.6 billion in rent to the city over the 99-year lease, and contribute $6.3 billion in tax revenue over that span.
However, the Miami City Commission will need to sign off on the lease agreement. Four members out of the five-person body must vote “yes” on the deal for it to go through. And Commissioner Manolo Reyes has already said he opposes the move.
That means the club must secure support from the four remaining members of the Commission. That’s a narrow window for the vote, now scheduled for April 28.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez supports the deal, but the arrangement has faced several obstacles. The City Commission has postponed a vote on the project four separate times in just the past two months, most recently in late March.
Still, Inter Miami CF is confident in the terms of the deal, which the organization says will create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute an additional $25 million to public parks.
The soccer club has faced criticism from some in recent days, however, with detractors saying the proposed Miami Freedom Park lease terms don’t provide enough benefits to the city of Miami.
“This is a billion-dollar heist happening in broad daylight,” argued ex-Marlins Marlins President David Samson in a video pushed by filmmaker Billy Corben, a vocal opponent of the current deal.
That video prompted swift pushback from Inter Miami CF, as well as owners David Beckham and Jorge and Jose Mas.
“The team is aware of a social media campaign aiming to misinform and confuse the public about the impact the Miami Freedom Park will have (on) the city and its residents,” read a statement from the organization.
“We believe that everyone has the undeniable right to expect timely, truthful, and accurate information.”
According to the club, the project is privately funded and would “create the largest park in the city.”
The lease would allow the team to construct a $1 billion complex alongside the 25,000-seat stadium for the soccer team. The land would also contain shopping outlets and a 58-acre public park, as well as other amenities.
“Miami Freedom Park went through the best type of bidding process, the voter process,” the statement continued. “The majority of the city’s voters sent their Commissioners a clear message to advance with this project: a 25,000-seat stadium, 750 hotel rooms, commercial and office space, community fields, and the largest public park in the city, generating jobs and tax revenue.”