Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Beckham excited at prospect of owning team

02 June 2013, 07:42

Miami - David Beckham said the prospect of owning an Major League Soccer team in Miami was "exciting" after he was urged to help bring a new franchise to Miami at a meeting with key political leaders on Saturday.

Beckham, accompanied by Bolivian born billionaire Marcelo Claure, who wants to team-up with him in owning a new franchise, visited two potential stadiums and met with the mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos Gimenez, who handed him the keys to the county.


The former England captain, who retired from football last month, played in MLS with L.A. Galaxy and his contract included an option to create a new team for $25 million and he is understood to have other locations in mind as well.

But Beckham sounded positive about the chances of taking his step into club ownership in Miami.

"I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be... it's exciting," Beckham told CBS4 News television.

"I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it's definitely exciting," he said.

Miami Dade County commissioner Jose ‘Pepe' Diaz said there was real backing for a team in Miami.

"There is huge political support. It is not only from the county, it's 100 percent support from the municipalities, the mayors and the commissioner, the counselors from the different cities, they are also extremely supportive," he told Reuters.

Beckham visited Sun Life stadium, home to the NFL's Miami Dolphins, whose owner Stephen Ross recently set up a soccer division, and met with the Dolphins chief executive Mike Dee.

Sun Life holds around 75,000 fans and has hosted several international friendlies in recent years but may be considered overly large for an MLS team.

Together with British entrepreneur Simon Fuller, whose management company 19 Entertainment, handles Beckham's business affairs, Beckham later visited a 20 000 stadium at Florida International University (FIU).

Claure, owner of Bolivian club Bolivar, is a member of the board of trustees of FIU and has previously promoted the idea of an MLS team playing at the venue.

The FIU stadium underwent major renovations in 2007 and is home to the University's American football team.

Jose Sotolongo, the executive director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, was among those who met with Beckham and said he had no doubt the city was ready for a top flight soccer team.

"We know that our community can support not only the international soccer (friendlies) that have been coming to Miami for a while now, but that it would support an MLS franchise," he told Reuters.

"The city of Miami has a very international fan base and a very soccer savvy fan base. This is the kind of ownership group that would electrify the community and hopefully we will get good news," he said.

Beckham also met with representatives of a fan group which has been campaigning for a team to come to the city.

Julio Caballero, spokesman for the group, who call themselves MLS Miami Bid, said there was a positive mood among the fans.

"I feel really good about it, it looks really positive. It is pretty much down to Beckham now, I have heard he will make his decision inside 90 days," he said.

"Beckham will bring something spectacular here - not just his name, but a class organization to Miami. Claure knows how to run a club. The two together is just what Miami needs for soccer."

The city briefly had an MLS team, the Miami Fusion, who played in neighboring Fort Lauderdale and joined MLS in 1998 but were closed by the, then, struggling league after four seasons.

The only professional team in the area is the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who play in the second tier North American Soccer League, and owner Aaron Davidson said that while he would be open to meeting with Beckham they would take on the challenge of another team if one emerged.

"It is great that people showing interest in South Florida soccer. We would be happy to talk to him, but ultimately if he decides to do something in South Florida without us, we look forward to the rivalry," he said.

- Reuters

Tags u.s. football

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...