MLS commissioner Don Garber and David Beckham on Wednesday confirmed that the former LA Galaxy midfielder has exercised his option to purchase an MLS expansion team in Miami, and that the deal will be finalized when the former England captain secures a financing plan and location for a new stadium.
According to ESPN, Beckham has scouted possible stadium sites and is now seeking investors to assist with startup costs like construction and player acquisitions. Miami Heat star LeBron James is among those who might become involved. "We don't want public funding," Beckham said during a press conference in Miami alongside Garber. "We will fund the stadium ourselves. We have worked very hard to get to this stage where we can fund the stadium ourselves. We want to create a football club that is the people's football club."
During the press conference, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez promised there would be political support for a downtown stadium. One of the sites that Beckham and his investor group is eyeing, is land in the publicly owned seaport site, near the Miami Heat basketball arena. Miami-Dade officials have said that any deal involving public land would have to clear political hurdles. "We are willing partners,” Gimenez said. “We are very grateful that David Beckham and MLS have chosen Miami as the site for their franchise. We are going to do all in our power to get the stadium built in the right place."
Added Beckham: "People like to walk to football, I've seen what it is like in Seattle. We can't build a stadium in six months but once we have a site, once we work with the mayor and the commissioners of Miami we will be pretty quick."