Lockhart Stadium

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Lockhart Stadium
2008-0424-FL-LockhartStadium.jpg
Location 5201 NW 12th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Coordinates 26°11′35″N 80°9′40″W / 26.19306°N 80.16111°W / 26.19306; -80.16111Coordinates: 26°11′35″N 80°9′40″W / 26.19306°N 80.16111°W / 26.19306; -80.16111
Opened 1959
Owner City of Fort Lauderdale
Surface Grass
Construction cost $5 million USD renovation in 1998
Renovations: ($7.23 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Capacity 20,450
Tenants
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83) (NASL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1988–94) (ASL; APSL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1994–97) (USISL)
Miami Fusion F.C. (MLS) (1998–2001)
Florida Atlantic Owls football (NCAA) (2003–10)
Miami FC (USL First Division) (2009–10)
Fort Lauderdale Barracudas (SFL) (2011)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) (2011–present)

Lockhart Stadium is a stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. It is currently home Fort Lauderdale Strikers of North American Soccer League. It has seen use in a variety of sports, particularly soccer and American football.

Originally designed in 1959 for high school sports, the stadium's long-standing connection to soccer began in 1977 when it became the home venue for the original Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the original NASL. In 1998 it was refitted specifically for soccer as the home of the Miami Fusion F.C. in Major League Soccer; the team folded in 2002. It was also the home stadium of the Florida Atlantic Owls football team from 2002 to 2010.

History[edit]

The stadium was built in 1959 as part of a new sports complex that also included the Fort Lauderdale Stadium baseball park. It was originally designed to host American football and track and field competitions for four local high schools: Fort Lauderdale High School, Stranahan High School, Northeast High School, and Dillard High School. The stadium was named for former city commissioner H. Y. "Doug" Lockhart and was dedicated at a football game on September 18, 1959.[2]

For nearly twenty years, Lockhart Stadium was primarily used for high school football and track, but occasionally saw use for state football as well as soccer. A more substantial role as a soccer venue came in 1977, when the Miami Toros of the original North American Soccer League relocated to the stadium, renaming themselves the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. This began began Lockhart's long association with the sport. The Strikers played there until 1983, when they moved to Minnesota.[2] On November 23, 1980, the United States men's national soccer team defeated Mexico 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier at Lockhart, the first U.S. win over Mexico in over 46 years.

After the departure of the Strikers, the stadium largely returned to its original use for high school sports for several years. A new Strikers team that played from 1988 to 1994 in the American Soccer League and the APSL was denied access to the stadium for their 1990 season by the Broward School Board. Those Strikers spent the year at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium but returned to Lockhart the following season.[3][4][5] In 1998, the stadium was renovated for use by the Miami Fusion F.C. of Major League Soccer (MLS). The renovation increased capacity to 20,000 and redesigned the field expressly for soccer. This was an unusual move at the time, as all other MLS teams played in football stadiums, and started the league's eventual trend toward soccer-specific stadiums.[2][6]

The stadium continued to host high-profile soccer games through this period, including D.C. United's 1998 victory over Vasco da Gama in the Interamerican Cup. However, the Fusion were contracted by the league in 2002.[2] In 2003 Lockhart was refitted once again for use by the Florida Atlantic University Owls college football team.[7] In 2011, the Owls began playing at the on-campus FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.

Lockhart Stadium was host to the 2007 Caribbean Carnival for Broward County, after Miramar turned their request down.[1] Lockhart Stadium also hosted the 2008 and 2009 MLS Combines. Billy Graham's final South Florida crusade took place at the Stadium in 1985. In 2009, Miami FC moved to Lockhart Stadium from Miami. They changed their name to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Thuma, Cynthia (2007). Sport Lauderdale. The History Press. p. Thuma, p. 11. ISBN 1596291451. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-05-12/sports/9001070896_1_bill-veeck-mike-veeck-strikers-new-pitch
  4. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-07-07/sports/9002020755_1_strikers-mike-masters-albany-capitals
  5. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-07-22/sports/9002050273_1_strikers-miljce-donev-tampa-bay
  6. ^ Sun Sentinel, Fusion's Lockhart Stadium stint paved way for new MLS venues, Oct. 8, 2012, http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2008-10-12/sports/0810110129_1_mls-miami-fusion-rio-tinto-stadium
  7. ^ Thuma, Cynthia (2007). Sport Lauderdale. The History Press. p. Thuma, p. 12. ISBN 1596291451. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tropical Park Stadium
Home of Fort Lauderdale Strikers
2009-
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of Miami Fusion F.C.
1998 — 2001
Succeeded by
last stadium
Preceded by
Stanford Stadium
Host of the College Cup
1982–1983
Succeeded by
Kingdome