David Beckham has officially confirmed that he will own a Major League Soccer franchise located in Miami by 2015.
Becks made the announcement with MLS commissioner Don Garber and Miami Dede-County mayor Carlos Gimenez in the Florida city.
“From the beginning of my career in England to today in Miami, my journey has always been driven by my incredible passion for the game,” said Beckham.
“Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer.
My experience with the Galaxy is what convinced me that I wanted to one day own an MLS team and it is thrilling to now see that dream coming true.”
Beckham was given an option to acquire an MLS franchise at a discounted rate of 25million US dollars, as part of his deal when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “We are thrilled that he will be an owner, and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world.”
“Miami is a unique melting pot of cultures that is brought together by one common thread, soccer,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “During the last several months there has been palpable excitement in our city when people talk about the possibility of a Beckham-owned team. Today’s announcement is celebrated across Miami.”
Beckham and his representatives plan to build a stadium for the new team, and they continue to have productive conversations with the Mayor Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission regarding a world-class stadium for the community of Miami.
Because of the importance of the stadium, an agreement for a new stadium must be finalized in order for MLS to come to Miami. Beckham has pledged that he will not seek County or City funds for the construction of the stadium.
Beckham’s ownership group includes David’s business partner and long-time friend Simon Fuller. The remainder of the ownership group will be finalized over the next several months.
“I can remember so well my discussions with David back in 2007,” said Fuller. “The vision was for David to play in America and to help the sport that he loves to grow in popularity. It was central to our plans that one day David would own his own team. Here we are, February 2014 in Miami, the dream is now a reality and the commitment to grow the sport that he loves continues.” [Source: I Sport Connect]