David Beckham is set to launch a Major League Soccer team in Miami, and the former England captain will spend $25 million to start the expansion side.
Beckham has spent the last few months considering where to locate his franchise, and before picking Miami, he thought about San Diego, Orlando and Montreal. The 38-year-old left LA Galaxy in December 2012 after five years at the club, and then he ultimately retired after playing 10 final games at Paris Saint-Germain between January and May 2013.
A source told the Associated Press about Beckham’s decision on Tuesday, however they refused to reveal their name as Beckham’s Miami team isn’t being discussed in public just yet.
Dan Courtemanche, MLS Executive’s Vice President, told the AP, “We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America. We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”
Beckham’s interest in starting his own Major League Soccer team stems from the contract that he signed with Los Angeles Galaxy back in 2007. In this agreement, Beckham was given the option to become a team owner once he had retired.
Don Garber, MLS’ league commissioner, is hoping to expand the current 19 teams in the league to 24 by the 2020 season. New York City will take their place as the 20th team in 2015, after Manchester City and the New York Yankees paid an expansion fee of $100 million last summer.
However, despite David Beckham’s decision to make Miami the home of his team, the MLS is still yet to approve his choice.
Beckham is working in conjunction with Simon Fuller, his business partner and the creator of American Idol, to create the Miami soccer side. Fuller is expected to be a major shareholder, and Beckham is now looking for several more investors, and wants the side to be playing in the league in three years.
In order for this to happen though, Beckham will need to acquire several hundred million dollars in investment money. This will allow him to setup a squad of players, build a stadium, and hire coaches, however the team will be allowed to play in an existing arena if they are ready before their own venue is constructed.
Beckham visited Florida in June 2013, and he toured the Sun Life and Florida International University stadiums, before meeting various officials who explained why setting up a side in Miami would be advantageous to the English soccer legend.
Miami’s previous MLS team, The Miami Fusion, existed between 1998 and 2001, but played in Fort Lauderdale and shut down due to poor attendance figures.
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