David Beckham has been one of the most marketable soccer players in the history of the game. As a player he was a star in three different leagues and his famous set piece has a name Bend it like Beckham. But now the success of the pitch has moved to owning his own Major League Soccer team in Miami.
At a packed news conference this week in Miami “Becks,” was looking good in his GQ suit as he stood next to MLS commissioner Don Garber who confirmed that Beckham will be the owner of the league’s 22nd franchise. Standing in front of an international throng of reporters he spoke about his dream coming true.
“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,” Beckham said. “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 [Los Angeles] 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 dreams of an iconic stadium on the shore of Biscayne Bay. A building were thousands of soccer fans walk over from the mainland to watch some of the world’s best players take the field as members of his own Miami team in Major League Soccer.
But for now that simply won’t happen. However, Beckham is clear that his ownership group will indeed build the stadium with private funds. His investors have also hired Tallahassee lobbyist Brian Ballard to ask for a state subsidy. Beckham told the Miami Herald that the team wants a Florida sales-tax rebate “to be treated exactly like every other sports franchise.”
Orlando will enter the MLS in 2015 along with the New York FC with Miami hoping to be ready to enter the league in 2017. The MLS would love to see a franchise return to the Tampa Bay area where the Mutiny that was contracted by the league in 2002.