David Beckham to Launch MLS Team in Miami

October 30, 2013

David Beckham has chosen to exercise his option to become an MLS team owner and plans to establish a new franchise in Miami. 

Beckham has been  considering potential locations for a new MLS side since retiring from football earlier this year. Before settling on Miami, he explored the possibility of several other cities, including Montreal, San Diego and Orlando. 

The former England captain was given the franchise option as part of the MLS contract he signed when joining LA Galaxy in 2007. A source close to the situation told AP that he will pay a discounted rate of $25 million to start the new team.

MLS Executive Vice President Dan Courtemanche told the AP: “We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America.

“We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”

There are currently 19 MLS teams and commissioner Don Garber hopes this number will rise to 24 by the 2020 season. A 20th team will begin playing in 2015 after Manchester City and the New York Yankees paid a $100 million expansion fee to launch New York City FC. 

The MLS still needs to approve Miami as a location for the new team, which Beckham hopes can be playing in three years.

The global star plans to raise several hundred million dollars to fund the set-up costs, such as assembling a playing squad and constructing a stadium, though there is the possibility of a Miami team initially playing in an existing venue.

Simon Fuller, Beckham’s business partner and creator of ‘Pop Idol’, will be a significant shareholder and is reported to be a driving force in negotiations.

Miami has had an MLS team in the past, the Miami Fusion, which had to close as a result of poor attendance. It is hoped that Beckham’s influence will ensure that the new team will not share the same fate.