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By: Samantha Skolnick
Soccer has become Atlanta’s new craze. In 2017, Atlanta’s soccer team Atlanta United broke the Major League Soccer (“MLS”) attendance record in its final regular-season game exceeding the 800,000 mark in its first year in the league. They finished the season with 819,404 tickets sold, soaring above the league’s single-season record of 752,199.
Down south in our neighboring state of Florida, the world-renown David Beckham received a real kick in the shin. David Beckham, who is bringing an MLS team to Miami (Inter Miami CF), had some legal issues punted at him. Inter Miami CF is attempting to build an arena on the site of Lockhart Stadium. An interim agreement was signed, and a demolition scheduled to begin on May 6. This took a game stopping halt when the rival bidder FXE Futbol decided to sideline Beckham and hail him into Court.
FXE Futbol sued to block Beckham from beginning demolition work under a city deal that FXE had attempted to win as well. In April, the unanimous city commission picked Beckham’s proposal over the FXE plan for a minor league soccer team in a renovated Lockhart, surrounded by entertainment options. Beckham initiated the competition by submitting an “unsolicited” proposal for its MLS team and demolition of the stadium, and FXE responded with its rival plan.
After being hailed in to Court on Friday, the Court rejected the FXE request to freeze demolition plans. Broward Circuit Court Judge Raag Singhal said there was nothing suggesting the city overstepped its authority in picking the Beckham proposal. This “court does not have unfettered control over a power properly vested in another branch of government,” Singhal wrote. David Winker, the lawyer representing FXE, said his client plans to appeal.
This is just another example of how construction law impacts city infrastructure and in the long term our economy. It will be interesting to see how the appeal plays out. But even more interesting to see how the new MLS team stirs up Miami’s economy. In 2018, Atlanta United was the most valuable MLS team with a team value of $330 million, doing wonders for the Atlanta economy and bringing excitement to the residents of the city as well.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Samantha Skolnick at [email protected].