MLS Expected to Award David Beckham Miami Expansion Franchise at Last
Jan 30, 2018, 01:16
"Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited", Beckham said in a statement released by the MLS. He was a fixture in worldwide matches for England for years, and won four championships in four different leagues around the globe.
"When I was awarded the team there was only one city for me and it was here".
Several failed stadium sites delayed his consortium's efforts, with Beckham's team unable to find an agreeable place for a specially built venue.
The as yet unnamed team is set to play at a 25,000-seat stadium in the city's Overton neighbourhood.
Former England football star David Beckham has launched his long-awaited Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Miami.
It's not yet known when the new team will start playing, or what its logo might be.
"I was drawn to this city for the same reasons millions of people are - the diversity, the culture, the people, the weather, the beaches".
"Welcome, Miami", MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. MLS, which will stream the event live on its website, said they were participating in what will be "a special announcement".
It took a few more months, and there's still plenty of questions.
Monday's announcement will mark the culmination of that drawn-out process, which saw Beckham's group endure a slew of stops and starts in pursuit of a stadium plan.The franchise gained momentum past year, with Garber telling reporters in August that Beckham's group was nearing the finish line. But for one day, there was also plenty of celebrating.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez attended Monday's ceremony, in addition to Beckham's ownership group, Garber and hundreds of media members and fans. "This announcement has been a long time coming".
In 2006, there were 12 MLS clubs and the expansion fee to enter the league was $10 million. The new teams are now paying about $150 million to participate in the championship.
Beckham's group didn't pay anywhere near what Nashville did.
Beckham had the option of purchasing an MLS expansion franchise at a reduced price of $25m written into his contract when he opted to play his football across the Atlantic and signed for LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007.
The site is not far from downtown but the plan did not include any available parking, instead relying on the nearby Metrorail shuttle, buses, water taxis on the Miami River, and fans wanting to march en masse toward the stadium.
"Our town. Our city", said Miami businessman Jorge Mas, another of Beckham's partners.
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