David Beckham Plans To Create MLS Team In Miami
David Beckham is in the final stages of starting up a Major League Soccer (MLS) team based in Miami.
Beckham will pay a discounted rate of $25 million to build the expansion team, and will likely seek outside investment to for the addition millions it will cost to create this team from scratch. Simon Fuller, a business associate of Beckham, will likely be a shareholder.
Beckham joined the LA Galaxy soccer team in 2007, and the option of becoming a team owner and receiving a 25-percent discount was included in the contract. He left the team in December and announced his retirement this past May.
There are currently 19 MLS teams in the United States. League Commissioner Don Garber hopes to expand that number to 24 by the 2020 season. There is a 20th team that will begin playing in 2015 after the Premier League club Manchester City and their partners, the New York Yankees, paid a $100 million expansion fee to launch the New York FC.
Beckham is up against 12 other people looking to open MLS franchises, though chances are Beckham will not be one of the disappointed few who fail to break into the soccer scene in America. Beckham's representatives have been looking for sites in Miami to erect a purpose-built stadium. If they fail to find a suitable location or complete the stadium in time for the team's debut, the team will likely play at the 20,000-seater ground at Florida International University or at the 75,000-seater Sun Life Stadium.
Other options for the team's location were Montreal, San Diego and Montreal, but Miami was reportedly always the favorite. Beckham visited earlier this summer to discuss the viability of starting up in Miami, and hopes to have the team running by 2016.
Previously there was an MLS team in Miami, the Miami Fusion, that was shut down in 2001 after three years due to poor attendance. The hope is that Beckham's iconic name will give his team the ability to succeed where the Fusion failed, in ways like enticing big-name players to the team.
The chance of Beckham moving back to the United States is reportedly low. He will likely stay based in London with his family — wife Victoria Beckham and children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper — and travel to Miami for business.