David Beckham to bring MLS team to Miami
Soccer star's investors need to score a new stadium
Major League Soccer made it official Wednesday: David Beckham will get an expansion franchise, and its home will be Miami — if Beckham's investors score a new stadium.
"This is the first time in the modern era that an ex-athlete is joining the ranks of ownership," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said at a news conference.
To politicians, he promised: "If we can get this project over the goal line, we will be great, great partners."
A new team would begin to play in 2017, or possibly 2016. Beckham, who retired from the LA Galaxy, exercised an option in his contract to purchase a franchise for a below-market $25 million.
His investors include his manager and business partner, Simon Fuller, and Miami-based billionaire Marcelo Claure of the global wireless distribution firm Brightstar Corp.
Beckham said he thinks soccer can succeed here. "I wanted to create a team that we could start from scratch," he said. "I know this city is ready for football —soccer —this time around."
His announcement, as well as an invitation-only reception Tuesday night, drew politicians, movers and shakers, and serious MLS fans who have been campaigning for a professional team since the demise of the Miami Fusion in 2002.
On Our Radar
- Talking to Ana Maria in Novela Land star
- Chazz Palminteri tells his 'Bronx Tale'
- Athletes seen partying in Miami
- Is Miami Heat star Chris Bosh OK?
- Latin stars come together for Premios Lo Nuestro
- William Levy front and center at rum event
- Diana Nyad to re-create famous swim on stage
- Report: Rapper Vanilla Ice arrested
- Emeril Lagasse talks food, milestones and Florida
- Wyclef Jean, Barry Gibb among performers at Miami Beach centennial concert