David Beckham has used the option in his MLS contract to buy a league franchise at the majorly discounted price of $25 million, the Miami Herald and other news outlets are reporting. ESPN reports that Beckham wants to put an expansion team in Miami, but his plan hinges on a deal for a privately funded 25,000-capacity stadium. Apparently, the former LA Galaxy midfielder is eyeing a piece of county-owned land in the Port of Miami, which is close to the Miami Heat’s basketball arena as well as the Miami Beach hotel district.
Beckham’s team of potential investors includes longtime business partner Simon Fuller, South American billionaire Marcelo Claure, and, possibly, NBA star LeBron James, who plays for the Heat.
MLS earlier this week reported that Beckham and league commissioner Don Garber will appear in a news conference on Wednesday, presumably to reveal the Englishman’s plans. "Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber and David Beckham will make a significant announcement impacting the Miami community. They will be joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez," read an MLS statement regarding the news conference.
However, the AP reports that the stadium remains the key issue, and Beckham and his team of investors have spent the last two days trying to drum up support for the project. Apparently, there is an invitation-only reception Tuesday night at a concert hall. If funding for the stadium can be agreed, Beckham's team would likely enter the league in 2017.