Miami's MLS bid gets good news, expansion candidates wait

While four cities seeking two MLS expansion spots awaited the decision of the league's board of governors, the MLS Miami effort received good news when the board at its meeting on Thursday in New York approved new owners for Miami Beckham United:

-- Jorge Mas, co-founder and chairman of MasTec;
-- Jose Mas, CEO of MasTec; and
-- Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Masayoshi Son.

They join the group headed by David Beckham, who in 2014 exercised the option to purchase an MLS franchise for $25 million he received as part of his agreement to join the LA Galaxy in 2007. Also part of Miami Beckham United are Sprint CEO and Brightstar founder Marcelo Claure and Simon Fuller, the entertainment entrepreneur and Beckham's manager.

The Miami Herald reported that majority partner Todd Boehly, who joined Miami Beckham United in April, is out, and the role of Tim Leiweke, who had helped with the effort to finally secure a stadium site in in the Overtown neighborhood, is expected to be reduced.

MLS's Miami entrance has already been delayed almost four years as Miami Beckham United struggled to find a suitable venue at which to build a stadium. At his state of the league address a week ago, MLS commissioner Don Garber termed Beckham's pursuit of a stadium "the most complicated situation in any market that we've experienced."

Garber said for the first time that even if the stadium picture was clearer -- a 25,000-seat stadium on a nine-acre site in Overtown -- the Beckham group had to find a local owner for the deal to go forward.

The Miami-based Mas brothers satisfy that condition. Their family is a prominent Cuban-American family in South Florida, and MasTec is a major infrastructure engineering and construction company with more than 20,000 employees.

MLS released a statement on Thursday night that a further announcement on the Miami team is expected to be made prior to the start of the 2018 MLS regular season in March.

The Miami Herald's Michelle Kaufman reported the Miami team planned to begin play in MLS in 2020. That is significant as the two expansion teams the league is expected to announce shortly were also supposed to begin play in 2020.

It would be highly surprising for the league to launch three teams in the same year. That could mean the board of governors might want to have one of the three teams begin play in 2019 to give the league 24 teams in 2019 and 26 teams in 2020.

Regarding the expansion decision, MLS issued a statement that “league officials and the MLS expansion committee will continue to work with the four finalists and plan to have more details shortly."
5 comments about "Miami's MLS bid gets good news, expansion candidates wait".
  1. John Soares, December 15, 2017 at 1:05 p.m.

    ...and the 4 year drama continues...

  2. beautiful game, December 15, 2017 at 1:46 p.m.

    MasTec CEO has a terrific business track record...this ownweship is a boom to MLS. 

  3. John Soares, December 15, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

    I have nothing against Miami and would be fine with it getting a team...BUT this Beckham, Miami saga has been going on for far too long.

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, December 15, 2017 at 5:11 p.m.

    I assume Beckham agrees with you. I admire his tenacity.

  5. Ric Fonseca, December 27, 2017 at 9:48 p.m.

    Hey fellows, whenever a private corp comes along, it is the politicians "elected" by the people that stick a needle in the expansion balloon, and although "not said openly," the politicos will expect to have their greasy paws greased even more. So four years, so what, as long as the team does expects to begin competition soon, very soon!!! Hey, maybe they should take a lesson from the LAFC?  .... ok. ok. ok. just sayin'!

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