In a picturesque setting overlooking the southwest corner of the seaport from the new Pérez Art Museum Miami, David Beckham and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber finally announced that Beckham’s $25 million option to purchase a franchise has been exercised. Beckham hosted a party last night ahead of the announcement that we have all been waiting for since Garber mentioned the aspirations to expand the league to 24 teams. Miami will be the 22nd franchise aiming to begin play as early as 2016. The announcement seems premature as very little is known about the stadium, the team name or the true start date.
Beckham has great partnership and said they will not use public funding to build the stadium. However, many other answers today were vague as the failure of a prior franchise lingers. Beckham said the city is ready this time around, but only time will tell. The former footballer has shown that he makes thoughtful decisions and his business dealings have been done with polish. Still, there is a fair amount of skepticism surrounding this team especially as one of Beckham’s partners Marcelo Claure said there is no chance this team begins play in 2016.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez opened discussions with Beckham last month, but displayed no enthusiasm during today’s announcement. Beckham was told not to trust Gimenez by a banner flying overhead during the event. Other officials have questioned stadium placement at the seaport citing concerns over lessening what the county would receive in rent payments. A stadium would take up 10 to 12 acres of land. Nothing in the approved measure to begin talks mentions requiring a rent payment.
The name is a lesser concern and could be a tool to engage fans of the franchise. One can only hope that Vice City Spice FC is a possible option. So while today’s announcement was a nice public relations moment for the league and Beckham, it told us nothing about the franchise. For more information please check out these from RantSports: