David Beckham and the city of Miami have some exciting news to share with the world.
Beckham, MLS commissioner Don Garber and local officials held a press conference at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on Wednesday morning to make long-rumored plans for Beckham’s Miami MLS team official.
Beckham has exercised his option to purchase an MLS expansion team for a reported $25 million (a steep discount from the market rate of $100 million), and he will put the franchise in the South Florida city. Beckham’s Miami MLS team will be the league’s 22nd club when it begins play, which is expected to be in 2016 or 2017.
“This is an exciting time for myself, my family, my friends and partners, and it is something we are really looking forward to bringing to Miami,” Beckham said. “I wanted to create a team that we can start from scratch. There was a team here 10 years ago, but unfortunately they folded. I want to make this my own team.
“I have always said throughout my career that, to be successful, you have to work hard. I am going to work hard for this city to make this team very successful. It is an exciting time.”
Another purpose of Wednesday’s press conference was to drive up support for the team and help facilitate construction of a new, 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium.
Beckham and his investment group, which reportedly might include LeBron James, have vowed to pay for the stadium themselves, and they want to build it in or around the downtown area.
Beckham has lofty goals for his Miami MLS franchise.
“There’s going to be a few bumps along the way, but we’re going to make the team in Miami not just the best team in America,” Beckham said. “We’re going to take the team global.”
Beckham joins select company in making the transition from athlete to owner. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan proved that it can be done in the United States.