David Beckham Says Prospect of Owning Miami MLS Team is Exciting: The Daily EPL

Former England captain David Beckham has put Miami in pole position to possibly become the 21st team in Major League Soccer after constructive meetings and tours of stadiums in South Florida yesterday.

Beckham, who was courtside at a Miami Heat game on Thursday night with Miami billionaire Marcelo Claure, toured Sun Life Stadium and FIU Stadium in Miami on Saturday, where he met the county’s mayor and local soccer fans. Beckham was positive with what he saw:

“I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be… it’s exciting.

“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.”

The fact that Beckham chose Miami as the site for his first serious exploration into finding a location for a future MLS team is very positive. The southeastern region of the United States, which represents 25% of the entire US population, hasn’t had a MLS team in 12 years, so there’s certainly a hunger and demand for a top-quality team in the region.

Whether Miami, the city, is a prime location for a team in the southeast is debatable. While Miami is sexy internationally, the city already has three competing professional teams (Dolphins, Heat and Marlins). A better move for Beckham would be to consider Fort Lauderdale as the site for a new MLS team in South Florida, where the location would attract soccer fans from a wider area instead of just Miami.

Beckham is in the area until Tuesday, so let’s hope he makes time to tour Lockhart Stadium in Broward County as a potential venue for a MLS team, too.

What do you think about former England captain David Beckham’s desire to bring a MLS team to Miami? Other than Miami, what other US cities should he consider for a MLS franchise? Will a MLS team in South Florida work? Give us your opinions in the comments section below.

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25 thoughts on “David Beckham Says Prospect of Owning Miami MLS Team is Exciting: The Daily EPL”

  1. Just because the entire region hasn’t had a team in 12 years does not mean that there is a hunger for it. Miami is a terrible location. Ft. Lauderdale would work better. Orlando would be great. Personally, I prefer Atlanta. Charlotte and Nashville would be good possibilities.

    1. There’s a hunger for a team in the southeastern United States, including Miami (but not only Miami).

      The Gaffer

      1. I wish we could have all. :)

        I’m just a *little* anti-MLS, so I get hives anytime expansion comes up. I appreciate what they did to get soccer established in the US, but I really don’t like the single-entity, re-entry player allocations, salary caps, expansion, DP rules, etc. I understand that those were like training wheels on a bike, but I’m not sure how much longer we need such rules….only nobody at MLS is even considering taking off the training wheels because they’ve built a cozy club that they are members of and as long as they keep “the bubble” intact they can be kings of their own small world.

        My honest hope is that one of the “lower” leagues blows the MLS’s doors off in the next 10-15 years. How hard can it be? If you are an owner who can afford more than $3MM is salaries, you can do better than most MLS clubs. I’m a much bigger supporter of NASL than MLS because I see ambition in that league.

        Anyway…..Still excited to see Beckham involved in American soccer. He seems like a mostly swell guy and doesn’t seem to get involved in anything half-assed. If he owns a Miami team, his club would be in the group that pushes MLS to be more ambitious.

        1. There are actually quite a few people in MLS who want a lot of the “training wheels” taken off. It’s going to be interesting when the next CBA comes up for a vote. You’re going to see a bunch of have teams who want a much higher cap, a relax of the DP rule, and other things that let them flex their financial muscle. Portland, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, LA, Red Bulls, and NYCFC all could benefit from that. But you are going to have the have not teams that want to keep things as cheap as possible: Dallas, Columbus, DC, Chivas, NE, Colorado, Chicago. The teams that are going to decide things are the middle class teams: KC, San Jose (with a new stadium), Houston, Philly, and RSL. If enough of those teams vote to join the big clubs, you’ll see salaries grow at a much faster rate.

        2. Although NASL won’t admit it, I think that is there long term plan. I am a Silverbacks season ticket holder as well.

      2. Of course there is a hunger. Atlanta has a well organized group working on raising awareness. The lack of a team for 12 years is not really a factor to those of us outside of Florida.

    2. Orlando easily the best choice. Not even debatable at this point. Atlanta fans need to support the Silverbacks then we can talk.

      1. The Silverbacks are averaging about 90% capacity this season. There is a lot of support for the club. Don’t let Atlanta’s reputation for sports fool you. We have a lot of transplants here in metro Atlanta who retain their loyalties to their previous teams. We are also the largest media market in the country without a MLS club. Arthur Blank, Home Depot founder and owner of the Falcons, has put offices in the new stadium for a club. We do have support.

        1. Having worked for the NASL until two weeks ago I know the Silverbacks are doing better but that many of the tickets are comps. More than any other team in our league. However, it’s getting there. Another year or two of 4k plus at Silverbacks Park and MLS will take notice.

  2. Very cool news. I’d love to see Beckham involved in a team in Miami.

    But…..can we stop all this talk about “the southeast”. Nobody in the southeast is going to start viewing a team in Miami as “The Southeast’s Soccer Team”. The southeast is too large for just one team to be anything from a regional standpoint. I live in NC. Miami is a whole other world. It’s a 12 hour car ride.

    What we really need in American soccer is a better foundation for the lower leagues and then some kinda promotion/relegation system so everyone can just support their local team. I’m dubious that MLS will ever adopt this model though because right now, they’re making more money from their expansion fees than their television contract. :)

    1. No one will see Miami as “The Southeast’s Soccer Team,” but the point is that the entire region has been underserved by MLS for 12 years. Whether it’s Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta or Charlotte, it’s time for a team in the region.

      The Gaffer

  3. I agree with the promotion aspect of MLS. Perhaps a 30 team league, with expansion teams starting in tier two. Starting with 10 teams expanding to 20. If MLS expands to the number of teams in other major sports, 30, it is just too big for football in one league.

    About the location of a Florida team… You have to look at where and how expansion and other MLS clubs pick locations. The Philadelphia Union was originally going to located in Trenton, NJ. But the Then Metro stars used their 75 mile ban, as they’d be located in the same state. The Union then looked in South Jersey, and finally Chester, Pa. Chester is hardly Philadelphia, closer to Delaware. And perhaps one of the most economically depressed areas in the area. MLS chose the location because of state give backs to build the stadium. Same reason the RedBull are located on top of an old hazardous waste location in no where Harrison. So if Miami fork up the cash, they get e team..

  4. I’d think it would make the most sense to put the team in Lauderdale since it’s half way between Miami and Palm Beach County and has strong local support dating back to the 70’s itself. Also Lauderdale is easier to get to for fans in Tampa and Orlando than Miami.

    I just want a team to follow in MLS so I have a rooting interest in the league. I want to be able to tune into Fox Sports Florida or Sun Network to watch my MLS side play and would maybe get me to order the Direct Kick package for all the out of market games too.

    It would be great if South Florida is granted the only MLS team in the state if they would offer bus service for supporters in Tampa/Orlando/Jacksonville at a fair price for the weekend games.

      1. I would agree, but Miami’s large Cuban population supposedly had a hunger for baseball and they’re left with an empty, expensive stadium. Can’t imagine it being any different for the beautiful game.

        1. +1 for this comment.

          But maybe Becks is the celebrity factor needed to overcome the general apathy the market presents.

          Also it should be noted the vast majority of football (soccer) fans in the area are north in Broward and Palm Beach counties, so the wrong venue could doom the project before it begins.

          1. But maybe Becks is the celebrity factor needed to overcome the general apathy the market presents.

            Maybe if he was playing, but I can’t imagine the buzz of having a celebrity part owner/chairman/figurehead would have much effect for long.

  5. If MLS and the NASL could figure their crap out they could have a very compelling offering. Just merge the two companies, create 3 divisions and have relegation and promotion.

    This would create the excitement and unpredictability that all other sports in the USA lack. Can you imagine every game actually meaning something, the atmosphere at the Stadia would be stunning and i for one would follow the league and even chose a team. Right now i don’t follow MLS because a team can take games at a time off and still be “champions” at the end of the year with this playoff nonsense.

    1. As someone who recently stopped working at the NASL, the league has MILES TO GO from a professional organization and team standpoint before reaching a level where we can talk about promotion and relegation.

      The differences on the pitch between NASL and MLS teams are minimal with MLS obviously being stronger but not overwhelmingly better BUT NASL does not have the infrastructure at the team or league level to sustain anything remotely at MLS level. Really from that vantage point NASL is much closer to USLPRO than to MLS.

    2. This would create the excitement and unpredictability that all other sports in the USA lack.

      I like the idea of pro-rel in principal, but I don’t think it’s suitable for the USA right now, and I don’t think your argument for it is particularly strong…has pro/rel created “unpredictability” in Spain or England (or Italy or Germany for that matter), where the same 2-3 teams duke it out every year?

  6. I think Becks is more excited about the city of Miami than the prospect of having a team there. If he does locate one there, then it will be interesting how long the “Beckham effect” will draw people to the stadium. Then he’ll have to actually start worrying about the money.

  7. A better move for Beckham would be to consider Fort Lauderdale as the site for a new MLS team in South Florida, where the location would attract soccer fans from a wider area instead of just Miami.

    I don’t really see the logic behind this. I visited Miami & Ft Lauderdale a few weeks ago – the two cities are only about 20 mins apart.

    I’m not sure why the additional driving distance would really be much of a deterrent to fans, nor why a Miami soccer team would be somehow competing for fans with the Marlins/Dolphins/Heat while a Ft Lauderdale team would not be.

    1. A large percentage of the season ticket holders to the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and, before they moved to downtown Miami, the Florida Marlins are from Palm Beach County. PB County has a massive soccer-loving population with zero professional sports teams in the area (other than FAU college football team). The population of Palm Beach County is 1.3 million.

      If Beckham decides to have the Miami MLS team play at Marlins Park or FIU Stadium, the drive and traffic congestion for soccer fans from Palm Beach County will mean that most of them won’t go to the games. The one-way commute from West Palm Beach to FIU Stadium, for example, is one hour and 30 minutes (on a good day, with very little traffic congestion).

      By having the stadium in north Miami or Broward County, Beckham will be more likely to get soccer fans from all three counties going to the games.

      The Gaffer

      1. Fair enough, if Palm Beach is where a bulk of football fans are, then maybe it makes sense. I didn’t realize the area was so significant (I’m not from round there, so I hope I didn’t come across like one of those idiots who says “NY doesn’t need a second team because Red Bulls are only a few miles outside of Manhattan” with no actual knowledge of the demographics or transport infrastructure in the area).

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