David Beckham Will Start An MLS Expansion Team In Miami, Says Report
The Miami Spice Boys?
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber wants to expand to 24 teams by 2020 (there are currently 19), and the second expansion city is looking to be Miami. And the owner will be David Beckham.
Anyway that’s the plan, pending approval of the MLS, according to a report today by the Associated Press.
New York City FC will begin play in 2015, brought to you by ownership partners Manchester City of the Premier League and the New York Yankees. That would make Miami the 21st MLS team.
Beckham has now made up his mind and he will pay a discounted rate of $25 million to start an MLS expansion team in Miami, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because plans for the team aren’t being publicly discussed yet.
The option of becoming a team owner was included in the MLS contract Beckham signed when joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.
”We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America,” MLS Executive Vice President Dan Courtemanche told the AP. ”We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”
The Yankees are probably wondering why Beckham’s franchise fee is $25 million, while theirs was $100 million.
Beckham, who retired from competitive soccer in June (last teams: LA Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain), is currently searching for investors, and venues. AP reports that the team would launch in 2016, meaning they would likely use an existing stadium at first. “American Idol” ceator Simon Fuller (no, not Simon Cowell … that was my first thought, too) is a major investor in the new team.
So, we need a name. Any thoughts? Of course they could just re-use Miami Fusion, which was an MLS team based in Ft. Lauderdale from 1998-2001.