It’s looking more and more likely that David Beckham will try and start an MLS franchise in Miami. An unnamed person with knowledge of the situation tells the Associated Press that the former LA Galaxy midfielder has decided to exercise the clause in his 2007 MLS contract that would allow him to purchase a franchise for the discounted price of $25 million.
The source says that Beckham has been reaching out to potential investors as well as touring temporary home stadium venues in Miami hoping that the club could begin playing in the American soccer league in as little as three years. He or she adds that Beckham’s business partner, “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller, has been a driving force behind the franchise negotiations, and that Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure is also interested in the project.
MLS, meanwhile, has confirmed that Beckham is interested in becoming an MLS club owner, but would not confirm the location. “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 currently has 19 teams, and league commissioner Dan Garber has said that he hopes to expand the league to 24 by 2020. The league would still have to give Beckham the go-ahead to make Miami the location of his franchise.