Hey Messi fans, you want more seats? Inter Miami owners working to get them built asap

Good news for Lionel Messi fans: More stadium seating is on the way and might be in place in time for his arrival in mid-July.

Fort Lauderdale has agreed to expedite the permit that’s needed for work to begin adding 3,200 more seats to DRV PNK Stadium.

The agreement was made Friday after the team’s owners paid the $1.4 million they owed in building permit fees.

Fort Lauderdale has also agreed to start letting fans park in the lot south of the stadium through the end of the year.

Messi is expected to play at DRV PNK Stadium on July 21, wearing his Inter Miami jersey.

Mayor Dean Trantalis says he plans to be there to welcome the soccer superstar to Fort Lauderdale.

“We’re excited that Fort Lauderdale and Inter Miami have reached an agreement,” Trantalis said of the recent deal to expedite permitting and open up the closed lot. “We will now open up for plenty of on-site parking and be able to move forward on building the park site that has long been promised to the community.”

The overflow lot has been closed since June 1, and will eventually be a park, paid for in part by Miami Beckham United.

Commissioner John Herbst, who has been representing the city in behind-the-scenes negotiations with Miami Beckham United, insisted the overflow parking lot be closed until the city’s building permit fees were paid.

Had the lot stayed open, Herbst says he doubts the team’s owners would have forked over the permit fees.

“The only reason they paid is because we canceled their parking,” he said. “Now they understand that we’re serious. Now they’re negotiating.”

Herbst says he hopes to address other issues in the city’s upcoming mediation with Beckham United, including the long-delayed park that is slated to be built south of the stadium.

“Hopefully this will give us a path toward resolving the other issues in dispute,” Herbst said. “Quite a few of my constituents have reached out and are fully supportive of the stance I have taken. They are waiting on their park and are pleased that I am holding the line with regard to getting that done.”

Susannah Bryan can be reached at sbryan@sunsentinel.com or @Susannah_Bryan

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