David Beckham’s long-delayed Miami MLS expansion franchise might be back on track and start play in 2020, according to the Miami Herald.
The Herald reported that Beckham and his business partners met late last week in Kansas City to iron out details of the new franchise. A team-launch news conference is expected by the end of January, two sources told the Herald, when the team name and preliminary kit designs will be unveiled.
“We had super, super productive meetings in KC. I’m very excited for what we can bring the Miami soccer fan, and we’ll have some big news to announce in Miami in the near future,” Beckham business partner Jose Mas told the Herald. “Being a native, I’m a Miami guy 1,000 percent, and I want to make this a really special team with a really special fan experience.”
Jorge and Jose Mas from Miami-based telecommunications company MasTech, as well as Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, are Beckham’s partners in the launch of the Miami MLS franchise. The addition of the Mas brothers was approved in late December by the MLS Board of Governors.
As part of his deal to join the L.A. Galaxy, Beckham received the right to purchase a MLS expansion franchise for $25 million once he ended his Major League Soccer career. Beckham exercised that right on Feb. 5, 2014, but the team has been in limbo since due to various South Florida stadium proposals falling apart.
Orlando City SC, NYCFC, Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC have all been added to the league for much higher expansion prices. Nashville, the latest MLS expansion franchise announced, will pay a $150 million fee.
The Beckham team’s latest stadium plan calls for a facility to be built in Miami’s Overtown area. However, it may not be ready in time for the team’s launch in 2020, and a temporary playing site may be needed.