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Miami MLS team

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Title: Miami MLS team  
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Subject: David Beckham, Major League Soccer, 2008 Major League Soccer season, MLS Combine, Central Division (MLS)
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Miami MLS team

Miami
Founded 2014
Stadium Miami MLS Stadium
Miami, Florida
Owner David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, Simon Fuller
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 is led by David Beckham, his business partner Simon Fuller, and Miami-based Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure.[1][2]

Claure said in February 2014 that he hoped to have the team ready by 2017,[3] and that PortMiami was the preferred location for a stadium due to its proximity to American Airlines Arena, parking facilities and its "view of the ocean that few teams in the world have"[3] (a different site on the Miami waterfront, in what will become Museum Park, was chosen after the port site faced opposition from existing tenants, although that proposal too was rejected).

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.[4]

Expansion bid

In November 2012, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed the league's renewed interest in placing an expansion franchise in Miami,[5] after the Miami Fusion folded following the 2001 season and an expansion bid led by Claure and F.C. Barcelona failed in 2009.[6]

When Beckham, who had received an option to purchase an expansion team at a price of $25 million when he joined the league 2007,[7] ended his playing career in April 2013, the league held preliminary discussions with Beckham's advisers about several expansion targets, including Miami.[8] That same year, other investors, including Italian financier Alessandro Butini[9] and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross expressed interest in owning a Miami franchise as well.[10]

In his December 2013 state of the League address, Garber identified Beckham and Simon Fuller as potential owners in Miami.[11] 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.[12]

The league announced that Beckham exercised his option on February 5, 2014,[13] and that an 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.[14] This investment group is named "Miami Beckham United".[15]

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.[16]

Stadium

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, [17] but the new plan also fell through after facing opposition from local residents.[18]

Although the team has 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.[19]

The team has said the new stadium would not be ready until 2018 at the earliest, and it would need to play in a temporary stadium, possibly Marlins Park or FIU Stadium,[20] and the latter was endorsed as a temporary option in a February 2015 vote by the Miami-Dade County commissioners.[21]

Supporters

A 200-member supporters group named Southern Legion was formed after the Fusion folded.[22] Members of the Southern Legion were on-hand for the announcement that Beckham was exercising his option, presenting him with a scarf.[23]

References

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