A few weeks ago, I wrote about the MLS team, Inter Miami, and their owners not wanting to follow through on their contractual agreement with the city of Fort Lauderdale. Even though the city fulfilled their part of the deal, Inter Miami would not do the same. In short, Inter Miami was given millions in public money to build a new soccer stadium. When it came time for Inter Miami to build the “sprawling park with a playground, dog park, walking trail, fitness area, yoga lawn, sports field, kickball zone and open green space” that they contractually agreed to build (by 2022 I might add), they decided they would rather not build anything since it would be too expensive for them. To rub salt in the wound, Inter Miami used this land for extra parking on game days. In fact, they still do this even today.
Basically, Inter Miami is helping themselves make more money and doing absolutely nothing for the city. When the city pushed back, Inter Miami claimed that some agreements that they were given by former city officials didn’t make it into the written contract…yet they expected these super-secret agreements to be kept. The last thing I had heard was that both sides were going to mediation to figure this out.
However, this week, the city commission decided that they were tired of Inter Miami breaking promises. Not only did the team break the stadium contract, but now we find out that the team also owes the city $1.4 million in “building permit fees”. Therefore, the city commission told Inter Miami that unless they pay the fees by this weekend, the team will not be able to use the land-at-issue for game day parking. But Inter Miami has an answer as to why they haven’t paid the building permit fees.
Another super-secret agreement with former city officials!
“A former city manager agreed on a hand shake that Fort Lauderdale would reimburse them $6 million in demolition costs, Beckham United says. But that very important detail never made it into the comprehensive agreement and never got commission approval” – Sun-Sentinel, 05/05/23
When the Mayor and others told other city commissioners to be patient with Inter Miami, I love Commissioner John Herbst response:
“My community has been very patient for over four years. They have lost patience. They believe they have been dealt with in bad faith and that the city has abandoned them” – Commissioner John Herbst, Sun-Sentinel, 05/05/23
As Herbst reminded everyone, Inter Miami took quite a long time to even agree to a mediator. This was done intentionally so that the team could continue using the land for parking and money. So, why would they give them even more patience?
Maybe patience is the way to go. Inter Miami seems like a truthful organization. Even though they are a new MLS team, it isn’t like this ownership group has already been involved in a major cheating scandal. Except two years ago, when they tried signing several world-class players and lied about their salaries. MLS would eventually penalize the owner of Inter Miami and other executives with million dollar fines.