Former Galaxy legend, David Beckham, launched his long-awaited MLS expansion soccer franchise on Monday, in Miami.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that Miami had officially been granted an expansion side, which Beckham and his consortium own the rights to, and they will debut for the 2020 season. The team plan to move into a new 25’000 all-seater stadium, to be built in the Overtown neighbourhood.
Beckham has long dreamed of owning a MLS franchise, and famously demanded an option to buy an expansion in in his LA Galaxy contract, when he joined from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2007. He has been working to bring an expansion franchise to MLS for a number of years, after exercising the clause in his LA Galaxy contract in 2014.
The deal has been, at times, controversial, with several disputes over the site of the new stadium, and a legal challenge from local businessman Bruce Matheson, concerning the bidding process for the land. This challenge was thrown out in October 2017, setting the stage for today’s announcement.
Beckham, one of the most glamorous and iconic players of the last two decades, was delighted that a deal had finally been done
"I'm excited to bring this great team to this great city - it has been a hell of a journey," said the former Manchester United player.
"Commissioner Garber came to me and sat down and explained the plan of this league and where he wanted to take it - I was in from day one"
This is an exciting time for Miami Soccer, who haven’t had a MLS franchise since the Miami Fusion folded in 2001.
It’s hoped that Beckham’s global connections and star-power, combined with the cities low taxes, four major metros, climate and beaches, could quickly turn the franchise into one of the most attractive in the country, and an attractive proposition for European players.
More expansion teams are also on the way. Los Angeles FC will join the LA Galaxy for the 2018 season, and a Nashville franchise will debut in 2020. Bringing the number of franchises up to 28 by the 2020 season.