Where is a retired soccer all-star to go? How about Miami?
Now that his own playing days are over, David Beckham has decided to start a Major League Soccer team in Miami. Beckham had been debating where to start a team since retiring in May after five years on the Los Angeles Galaxy (with two years on loan to Milan), followed by a five-month stint at Paris Saint-Germain. He decided to pay a discounted rate of $25 million to start an expansion team in Florida, according to the Associated Press.
When Beckham signed with the MLS in 2007, he was offered the option to become a team owner. “We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America,” MLS Executive Vice President Dan Courtemanche told the AP. “We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber hopes to expand the league from 19 to 24 teams by 2020. Another team owned by the Premier League club in Manchester City and its partner, the New York Yankees, that will play in New York City is already on board as the 20th team. The MLS still has to okay Beckham’s decision to make Miami the location of this 21st franchise.
Beckham hopes to raise several hundred million dollars of investments for the team. His business partner, Simon Fuller—the American Idol creator—will be a significant shareholder.