David Beckham’s long-cherished dream of establishing a Major League Soccer franchisee in Miami has finally come true. The former star footballer has been formally granted the franchisee of the Miami MLS team.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has reportedly confirmed that Beckham’s Miami expansion team will begin to play in 2020 in a temporary venue.
The franchisee is likely to move into their own privately funded stadium a year later, MLS official website mlssoccer.com has reported.
The former England captain Beckham’s franchise has not yet been named though. However, its long-awaited confirmation came during a media event at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center on Monday.
“They’ve got work to do to find a temporary location,” Garber has told media at a ceremony. “Three years ago, four years ago, we never would have even considered it. We were very hesitant to play in temporary venues. But we saw what happened in Orlando and Atlanta. Now with this group, we’ve got confidence in them. I think this team could launch temporarily, have that momentum and then move into a smaller stadium. Four years ago, it was one of the things that slowed us down.”
The event, according to reports, was attended by Garber, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, and Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami.
Members of Beckham’s investment group Miami Beckham United were also present at the event along with Cuban-American billionaires Jorge and Jose Mas, the chairman and chief executive of Mas Tec respectively; Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure; SoftBank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son; and entertainment mogul Simon Fuller.
“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited,” Beckham, who becomes the first former MLS player to own a team in the league, said in a statement.
“Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep.”