David Beckham's ownership consortium is celebrating the Major League Soccer's decision to green-light Miami's inclusion in the top-flight competition.
David Beckham has achieved his goal of bringing a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Miami.
The former England captain — who was a marquee signing with the league from 2007-2012 — vowed four years ago to bring professional football to the south Florida city that has been without a top-flight team since 2001.
And on Monday, MLS commissioner Don Garber’s expansion announcement made Beckham’s “dream come true”, with the team likely to enter the US competition in 2020.
Beckham told the crowd at the public rally: “People say this is a city that is built on dreams… Today you made my dream come true.”
People say this is a city that is built on dreams… Today you made my dream come true.
On top of his reported $50 million in earnings during his MLS career, part of his LA Galaxy deal was the right to a discounted franchise, and he said “the diversity, the culture, the people, the weather, the beaches” made it an easy choice to set up shop in Miami.
It is understood the franchise rights will cost Beckham $US25 million, a figure well below market rate as the owners of Los Angeles FC and Nashville are reportedly paying between $100-150 million.
And while he faced a number of challenges, including finding investors and a suitable venue, they have since been addressed.
The club will be owned by the Miami Beckham United Group, which includes Marcelo Claure, CEO of telecommunications company Sprint; Jorge and Jose Mas, Miami-based leaders of telecommunications and construction company MasTec; Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank; and entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller.
The home ground will be built on a six-acre site in the Overtown area, after two different plans for waterside stadium venues were denied and he was unable to secure a deal for a third location close to the Miami Marlins baseball arena.
He is hopeful the planned 25,000 capacity venue will be ready by 2021.
Other highly-anticipated details such as the team’s name, colours, logo and staff have been held back, with Beckham saying he wanted the fans to be involved in the decision-making.
“We want to involve the fans from day one. So they have the opportunity to name their team to pick their colours and that’s what’s important to us and that’s why we haven’t announced everything today,” he said at the launch.
“Now (in a) couple of week’s time we’ll announce the colours, couple of week’s time we’ll announce the name but the people will be part of that.”
Eric Braz, founding member of the Miami MLS Southern Legion Supporters Group said: “My life is complete again. This is going to bring the community together around soccer. We set this group up in a bar 10 years ago. There were times we thought this wasn’t going to happen, but today we finally get to celebrate.”