English football legend David Beckham has big plans for the state of Florida, as he reportedly prepares to become an owner of an MLS expansion team in the city of Miami. Beckham, 38, is a retired football (or soccer in the U.S.) player with a long list of accomplishments, including previously playing for the football clubs Manchester United, Real Madrid, Preston North End, Paris Saint-Germain, and Milan, as well as the England National Team and the American professional soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy. He has had such success in the soccer world in the past couple of decades that his career has propelled him to global megastardom; however, he may still be setting himself up for a big challenge with this endeavor.
Historically, Major League Soccer has been unsuccessful in South Florida, with its last attempt ending up a huge disappointment. The Miami Fusion, a former football club previously located in Miami as well, made an attempt at Major League Soccer from 1998-2001, but were faced with huge financial problems, problems with corporate support, and poor game attendance, causing the team to be withdrawn from the major league and to fold in early 2002.
When Beckham signed on with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, part of his contract stated that he could exercise his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion team for $25 million, actually an extremely good deal for him. Beckham made the announcement last Wednesday that he would like to become an MLS expansion team owner in the city of Miami. It looks as if the English superstar has been spending some time in the U.S. already, having been spotted recently sightseeing with his sons in New York City. However, according to a report by the New York Daily News, when asked by the press why he had chosen Miami over any other city in the United States, Beckham responded, “I mean, why not?”
When he signed a contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, Beckham caused a swarm of attention in the American media – and the football star draws attention everywhere he goes. If ever there were a person to attempt to expand the presence of soccer in the United States, David Beckham would be that person. Beckham’s worldwide fame, popularity, and success in his former soccer career make him an iconic figure that many will respect in his plans for the MLS expansion team in Florida. Beckham, who, according to sources, has always had his mind set on becoming an owner one day, will also be making a solid business venture, purchasing a team at a reasonable rate (for a multi-millionaire football star), and attempting to grow the Major League Soccer industry in Florida.
If all goes accordingly for David Beckham’s plans for a MLS expansion team in Florida, Beckham’s new team will begin playing in 2016 or 2017 after a stadium is built for them. With a world class soccer star like Beckham building up this new MLS team, it looks like a Miami soccer team might have a good shot at success this time around.
By Laura Clark