Soccer club leaving Lauderdale for Lauderhill

Lockhart Stadium
Lockhart Stadium

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers soccer team is moving out of Lockhart Stadium west of I-95 in Fort Lauderdale after playing home games there for almost 40 years.

The North American Soccer League (NASL) team is relocating to another Broward County venue in Lauderhill, called Central Broward Stadium, amid a legal fight over development of 64 acres of city- land that includes Lockhart Stadium.

The City of Fort Lauderdale has approved a deal to lease the land for development of a water theme park by Schlitterbahn, a Texas-based company. But the owner of Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach has held up the deal by challenging it in court.

The 57-year-old stadium near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport along west Commercial Boulevard needs multiple upgrades, according to the Strikers, including new locker rooms, a stadium roof, new seats and repairs to its concrete structure.

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Under a master plan of development for the 64-acre site, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers would sublease Lockhart Stadium from Schlitterbahn.

The team’s lease to use Lockhart Stadium expires December 31.

The Strikers will play their final home game at Lockhart Stadium against the Jacksonville Armada on July 30 and their first at Lauderhill’s Central Broward Stadium against Ottawa Fury FC on August 20. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth