Miami MLS team

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Miami
Founded 2014
Stadium Miami MLS stadium
Ground Capacity 25,000
Owner David Beckham
Simon Fuller
Marcelo Claure
Tim Leiweke
Todd Boehly
League Major League Soccer

The Miami MLS team is a proposed professional soccer team to be based in Miami, Florida. The year the team is scheduled to join Major League Soccer (MLS) is pending negotiations over stadium financing and location. The ownership group, known as Miami Beckham United, is led by David Beckham, his business partner Simon Fuller, Miami-based Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure, American sports executive Tim Leiweke and CEO of Eldridge Industries and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly.[1][2][3][4]

The Miami team is part of a MLS expansion plan that will increase the number of teams from 20 to 24 teams by 2020 and to 28 teams beyond. The other locations already granted teams are Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Atlanta. MLS and the team's ownership group announced in December 2015 that a new stadium will be built in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.[5][6]

Beckham had received an option to own an expansion team at a discounted franchise fee as part of the contract he signed with Major League Soccer when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.

The name of the team has not yet been announced, although the "Miami Vice" and "Miami Current" were used by the ownership group in a presentation for the city officials and potential investors.[7]

Expansion bid[edit]

In November 2012, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed the league's renewed interest in placing an expansion franchise in Miami,[8] after the Miami Fusion folded following the 2001 season and an expansion bid led by Claure and F.C. Barcelona failed in 2009.[9]

When Beckham, who had received an option to purchase an expansion team at a price of $25 million when he joined the league in 2007,[10] ended his playing career in April 2013, the league held preliminary discussions with Beckham's advisers about several expansion targets, including Miami.[11] That same year, other investors, including Italian financier Alessandro Butini[12] and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross expressed interest in owning a Miami franchise as well.[13]

In his December 2013 state of the League address, Garber identified Beckham and Simon Fuller as potential owners in Miami.[14] Later that month, on December 17, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously to allow Mayor Carlos A. Giménez to negotiate with the Beckham-led group on a new stadium in downtown Miami.[15]

The league announced that Beckham exercised his option on February 5, 2014,[16] and that Miami Beckham United,[17] the investment group led by Beckham, Fuller and Claure, would own an expansion franchise in Miami, assuming that financing for a stadium could be agreed upon.[18]

After its initial stadium proposals fell through, Commissioner Garber reiterated in August 2014 that the expansion would not be approved until a downtown stadium plan was secured.[19]

Stadium[edit]

The team initially proposed a site on Dodge Island at PortMiami, but the plan was scrapped after facing opposition from existing seaport businesses. In May 2014, the team ownership group presented a plan for a largely privately financed 20,000-seat stadium on the waterfront in Downtown Miami at Museum Park,[20] but the new plan also fell through after facing opposition from local residents.[21]

Although the team initially expressed a desire for a stadium on the waterfront, other locations, including sites near Miami International Airport, Marlins Park and Florida International University have been mentioned as fallback plans.[22]

In March 2014, the ownership group declared the new stadium would not be ready until 2018 at the earliest, and that the team would thusly need to play in a temporary stadium, possibly Marlins Park or FIU Stadium, for its inaugural season.[23] The latter was endorsed as a temporary option in a February 2015 vote by the Miami-Dade County commissioners.[24]

After a proposal to build next to Marlins Park fell through, the ownership group announced that it had tentatively agreed to acquire a nine-acre site in the Overtown neighborhood west of Downtown Miami.[25][26] MLS ownership convened on December 5, 2015 to evaluate the proposed Overtown site, and announced their approval the same day.[26] The proposed site consisted of approximately 6 acres (2.4 ha) of privately-owned land, which MBU formally purchased on March 24, 2016,[27] and 3 acres (1.2 ha) of publicly-owned land. Delays in negotiations between MBU and Miami Dade County for the acquisition of the publicly-owned parcel of land[28] persisted into November 2016, leading to internal conjecture within MLS that in addition to a delay in the groundbreaking and completion of the stadium, the team itself would not begin play until the 2019 season.[29][30] Major League Soccer, however, has not revised its public statement regarding the team's inaugural season.

On June 6, 2017, Miami Dade County approved the sale of the last parcel of land needed for the proposed stadium.[31]

Supporters[edit]

A 200-member supporters group named Southern Legion was formed after the Fusion folded.[32] Members of the Southern Legion were on-hand for the announcement that Beckham was exercising his option, presenting him with a scarf.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gaughan, Jack; Williamson, Laura (February 5, 2014). "This can be The People's Club... and yes, I want the very best to play here! Beckham announces 'exciting' MLS franchise in Miami (but will their kit be Man City blue?)". Daily Mail. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hurdles Ahead for Beckham and M.L.S. in Miami". The New York Times. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Miami Beckham United's Tim Leiweke provides update on stadium quest". MLSsoccer.com. November 6, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ Michelle, Kaufman (April 26, 2017). "Beckham’s Miami MLS group adds L.A. Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Bandell, Brian (December 7, 2015). "Major League Soccer approves David Beckham's expansion team in Miami, Overtown location". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ "MLS announces possible plans to expand league to 28 teams, 2016 scheduling updates". Major League Soccer. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Photos: possible logo, uniforms for David Beckham’s Miami MLS club?". Palm Beach Post. February 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ Goff, Steven (November 26, 2012). "MLS commissioner’s state of league". Soccer Insider. The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ "Miami Barcelona MLS Campaign Is Dead". Goal.com. March 3, 2009. 
  10. ^ Kennedy, Paul (May 20, 2013). "Beckham is MLS expansion story du jour". Soccer Business Insider. 
  11. ^ Evans, Simon (May 17, 2013). "Soccer-Beckham talking to MLS about owning a new team". sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo! Sports. Reuters. 
  12. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (October 2, 2013). "David Beckham group still working on Miami MLS bid; competing group emerges". Miami Herald. 
  13. ^ "Alessandro Butini is the latest suitor in MLS’ Miami expansion project". Planet Fútbol. SI.com. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ Borg, Simon (December 3, 2013). "MLS commissioner Don Garber discusses expansion, scheduling in latest State of the League address". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. 
  15. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (December 17, 2013). "Miami-Dade commissioners sound gung-ho about David Beckham’s potential Major League Soccer stadium". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  16. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (February 2, 2014). "Beckham-Miami deal one step closer; local visit plans revealed". Miami Herald. 
  17. ^ Smith, Chris (March 24, 2014). "David Beckham's grand plan for Port Miami stadium for new MLS team". theguardian.com. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (February 5, 2014). "Soccer star David Beckham to bring MLS team to Miami". Miami Herald. 
  19. ^ "David Beckham's Miami MLS plans on hold until stadium secured". Planet Futbol. SI.com. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (May 22, 2014). "David Beckham’s latest Miami stadium plans revealed after earlier site scratched". Miami Herald. 
  21. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (June 10, 2014). "David Beckham’s MLS Stadium Is a No-Go at Downtown Miami’s Museum Park, Boat Slip". The Miami Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "David Beckham unveils MLS stadium plans in Port of Miami". BBC Sport. BBC. March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Beckham group eyes Port of Miami for MLS home". Associated Press. March 24, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ "FIU Stadium Approved As Temp. Venue For Miami Soccer Club". CBS Miami. February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Beckham announces Overtown site for soccer stadium". Miami Herald. December 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "MLS owners support David Beckham’s proposed Overtown stadium site". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  27. ^ "David Beckham group buys private land needed for Miami soccer stadium". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Miami Stadium Land Deal A Not-So-Easy Score For Beckham - Law360". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  29. ^ Wahl, Grant. "1,000 days in, still no MLS in Miami for Beckham". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  30. ^ "David Beckham's Miami MLS team could be delayed until 2019 - report". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  31. ^ "David Beckham wins $9 million land deal for Miami soccer stadium". Retrieved June 28, 2017. 
  32. ^ Walfish, Josh (February 6, 2014). "Fans remain optimistic David Beckham will deliver MLS team to Miami". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  33. ^ Wine, Steven (February 5, 2014). "Beckham exercises option to buy MLS team in Miami". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 17, 2014.