What to Know
- In April, the Fort Lauderdale city commission approved a plan that gave officials with Inter Miami to begin the renovation process.
After six decades of everything from top high school football talent to soccer matches from across the world, an iconic Fort Lauderdale stadium has started the process of being torn down Wednesday.
Crews at the site of Lockhart Stadium began the demolition of the stadium at an event that started just after 9 a.m.
After several officials, including new Major League Soccer team Inter Miami majority owner and businessman Jorge Mas, spoke to the crowd of supporters and others from across the area, a group of officials from the city and team pressed a ceremonial button and the destruction of the stadium started.
The site will be used by the new MLS team coming to the area - a club partially owned by soccer superstar David Beckham –to build several training facilities as well as a new stadium that will host the group’s minor league teams as well as the first seasons for the MLS franchise.
Originally opening in 1959, the stadium was built on the south side of Fort Lauderdale Stadium – which has been mentioned as being part of the demolition process – and held some of the top sporting events in South Florida over the next 60 years.
Lockhart Stadium came into the national spotlight when it was the home for both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 1970s and 1980s – as well as a second version from 2011 to 2016 – while serving as the home field for South Florida’s first MLS team as the Miami Fusion played their four seasons inside the stadium before folding after the 2001 season.
The stadium has also been the site of some of the top high school football games in Broward County and spent nine seasons as the home for the Florida Atlantic University Owls football team starting with the school’s first season in 2002.
In April, the Fort Lauderdale city commission approved a plan that gave officials with Inter Miami to begin the process of revitalizing the area with the requirement that demolition would begin within 180 days.
Team officials hope to have the new facilities completed it time for the 2020 season opener.