- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 5, 2014
- 0 Comments
- David Beckham, Miami Expansion, MLS Expansion
It was a move that we all saw coming a mile away. David Beckham exercised his option to purchase a MLS franchise for $25 million, bringing MLS back to Miami. MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez were on hand as well today during the announcement.
Miami won’t necessarily be the 22nd club in MLS, as they could end up being the 23rd or even the 24th. But the promise has been made in some sense that they will be in MLS.
Beckham’s ownership group will now work with MLS and local officials to finalize a deal for a world-class soccer stadium.
“We don’t want public funding,” said Beckham. “We will fund the stadium ourselves.”
[quote align=’right’]Because of the importance of the stadium, an agreement for a new stadium must be finalized in order for MLS to come to Miami.[/quote]”We have worked very hard to get to the stage where we can fund the stadium ourselves. We want to create a club that is the people’s football club.”
Beckham and his representatives plan to build a stadium for the new team, and they continue to have productive conversations with the Mayor Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission regarding a world-class stadium for the community of Miami. Because of the importance of the stadium, an agreement for a new stadium must be finalized in order for MLS to come to Miami.
That last line is important to consider as this wasn’t a full on expansion announcement today. No stadium, no club.
Beckham is joined by Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure and Simon Fuller, his business manager and the founder of 19 Entertainment, as principle owners of the club.
Beckham also talked about making clubs more influential in their local communities, saying that he wants “to set up an academy that brings in kids from all over Miami. We want local talent.” While that may not be big news to some folks, hearing that Beckham wants to not only bring in world class players but develop them in Miami is a good thing.
A lot of work still has to be done. The stadium has to come together but I would imagine it will happen for this group sooner rather than later. One thing that was stressed today was that this isn’t going to be a reboot of the Miami Fusion. They’re going to take what didn’t work and make sure that they don’t repeat those failures. This is a good group of people that will make that happen too. I’ve always said that Miami would work if the right situation happens for them, meaning the right owners and stadium. They got one of those things going today and now if number two can happen, then only good things will follow.