David Beckham awarded soccer franchise

30 January, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • We will be there for this announcement. Miami Herald archive

MLS and David Beckham started talking about putting an expansion team in Miami all the way back in 2013, when Beckham retired from soccer.

After years of wrangling and complications over potential stadium sites, David Beckham has finally been awarded a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, Florida.

Along with Beckham, the club will be owned by Marcelo Claure, CEO of telecommunications company Sprint, Jorge and Jose Mas, Miami-based leaders of telecommunications and construction company MasTec; Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank; and entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said last month the Miami franchise project was "the most complicated situation in any market that we've experienced" because of the Miami area political structure and fast-changing real estate environment.

"Everyone knows that we did the announcement for Miami four years ago, and then we've had a lot of bumps along the road and that's been frustrating", Beckham told Good Morning America on Monday.

When Beckham signed for the LA Galaxy in 2007, he negotiated a brilliant deal - the option to purchase an MLS expansion franchise for $25 million. "I was drawn to this city for the same reasons millions of people are - the diversity, the culture, the people, the weather, the beaches", he said.

A press release from promoters read that "an important announcement on the future of soccer in Miami will be made".

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"I rolled my sleeves up and never gave up - and that's what I did with this".

Beckham was congratulated in a video featuring his four children, wife and former Spice Girl Victoria, tennis star Serena Williams, eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and other celebsincluding Will Smith, Jay Z and Jennifer Lopez. "This is something that has been a dream for many, many years", he said. That's when we'll be proud of our team.

The arrival of the Mas brothers came amid reports MLS had been pushing for stronger local representation in Beckham's group, while some league executives were said to have had reservations about Boehly's apparent attempts to assume control of a team that would join MLS for a hugely discounted fee.

No fewer than 13 clubs have joined the league since 2007, while MLS has added teams in New York, Orlando, Atlanta, Minnesota, Los Angeles and, most recently, Nashville in the time since Beckham picked Miami as the home of his team in early 2014. "I'm a persistent person".

The launch follows four years of disputes over the site for a stadium in southern Florida, with residents having opposed multiple locations.

The mayor also pointed out that the ownership group is awaiting the result of a lawsuit appeal for the final parcel of land that will complete the Overtown site.

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