Miami City Commission Set To Vote On Melreese Country Club As Inter Miami CF's New Home
MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A potential new stadium and land deal between Inter Miami CF and the City of Miami could be closed on Thursday.
District 2 Miami Commissioner Ken Russell tells CBS4 that it could be the best deal the city has ever done if everything works out.
In our exclusive conversation, Russell outlines the terms. If met, it's a goal scored for a new soccer stadium.
"The only way you could do it is if it's the best deal the country's ever seen," says Russell. "If it's not that, we vote no."
Russell seeks a home run deal for the city. Unlike the Marlins stadium package, which he referred to as a disaster.
"This community still has PTSD from the Marlins deal," added Russell.
David Beckham's Inter Miami CF soccer club hopes to score goals on the current Melreese Country Club. 131 acres up the grab by the airport. Coach Phil Neville hopes Miami City Commissioners vote yes to their new home.
"Big day tomorrow," said coach Neville. "I think everyone's excited. You see the plan for the stadium. We hope we get that final vote to build one of the best stadiums in the MLS."
Years have been spent fine-tuning a massive land deal for the Melreese Country Club to bring a permanent 25-thousand seat stadium.
"Political will of our residents is to move forward," added Russell. "But we are the gatekeepers of what's a good deal or a bad deal. If there's one dollar of subsidy, we should say no, because we don't want a subsidized stadium."
Russell outlines the city's parameters. Let's share a few. The franchise foots the entire project. Provide 58 acres of public parks and green space on the property purchased.
That's not all.
"If we're not getting fair market rent on the land, we should say no," said Russell.
Residents that live right across the street from the golf course already say no deal.
Resident Will Redwolf has lived in the area since 1966. His house sits between the Marlins park and the airport. Adding another stadium, he says, will make the area unsafe.
"You see people taking stop signs and everything because they're all rushing to get to where they're going," said Redwolf. "We've seen people die from accidents from people rushing down the road."
Russell adds part of the deal should include the club paying to decontaminate the land. That will cost the club 30 million dollars.
So, will the deal get done?
"It's the city of Miami commission," said Russell. "You can guarantee it will be exciting with a lot of fireworks."
Whether a vote takes place is anybody's guess.
Russell shares he wants guaranteed liveable wages for those working on-site, among other things. And additional millions funded for other green spaces within the city.
CBS 4 News has obtained a draft of the Miami-Dade aviation department's report on the stadium and any potential impacts it might have on Miami International Airport.
Click here to read the draft in its entirety.
The draft report indicates the aviation department does not see a reason to stand in the way of the stadium being built as long as some major issues are fully addressed.
They want greater assurances that the use of lasers and pyrotechnics at the stadium won't interfere with airport operations.
Also, they want to be certain radio, and satellite transmissions from the stadium won't interfere with the faa's communications and navigation facilities.
The team says they will address both issues.
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