David Beckham, along with his ownership group, founded the Miami MLS team back in 2014. The ownership group also known as Miami Beckham consists of David Beckham, his business partner Simon Fuller, Miami-based businessman Marcelo Claure, sports exec Time Leiweke and the Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly.
The group has been waiting for the green light from the MLS for a number of years, whilst being busy putting in work in the background to ensure success.
Beckham and Co are hoping that their Miami based team will soon receive the required approval to join the MLS as an expansion team. There have been plans in place for a while that will see the league go from 20 teams to 24 teams by the year 2020, and then an additional 4 teams to be added in the future; taking the total to 28. As well as the proposed expansion plans in Miami, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Atlanta have all been granted teams in the revamp.
This all came about after Beckham joined LA Galaxy back in 2007. As part of his contract with Major League Soccer, he was offered the option to own an expansion team at a discounted rate due to what he brought to the MLS in terms of popularity etc. It is believed he was offered the chance to own an expansion team at the price of $25 million. Don Garber, the MLS commissioner, has always been eager to see Beckham as a franchise owner. According to pundits, this move should bring the MLS more to the fore, and lead to an increase in world viewership, betting and sponsorship opportunities.
It seems now that the waiting could soon be over for Miami Beckham. Don Garber has spoken in the media about the whole situation and said that he believes Beckham’s wish will be rubber stamped sooner rather than later. He went on to explain that it has been a frustrating process but that it was important to get it done right rather than quickly. He, like many others, also feels that Beckham and his team will be a huge success once they have the green light, as they understand fully what will be required of them.
One talking point and source of a lot of frustration has always been the stadium. It seemed that Miami Beckham was dead set on securing a water front site but plans continued to fall through due to residents complaining. After considering various locations they felt that they would have to adopt a temporary home as they did not expect their own stadium, wherever it was to be, to be ready until 2018.
Finally, Miami Beckham secured a Downtown Miami site and after lots of discussions and hiccups along the way, they had the sale of the last parcel of land needed for the new stadium approved in June this year.
So it seems that with everything finally falling into place, the MLS approval is all that’s left for Beckham and Co to press ahead and according to the MLS commissioner that seal of approval is just around the corner.