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Beckham MLS group adds Dodgers part-owner: reports

Miami (AFP) – David Beckham has added Todd Boehly, a part-owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, to his investment group seeking a Major League Soccer club in Miami, newspapers reported Thursday.

The Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald reported that Beckham’s long-delayed project, facing new pressure to become a new club soon or risk termination, will be boosted by a US investment banker whose holding include Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Dick Clark Productions.

Beckham, an iconic England international star midfielder, played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy before retiring after a final stint in 2013 with Paris Saint-Germain.

As part of his MLS deal, he was given the chance to buy an expansion team for a significant savings, reportedly paying only $25 million compared to $150 million for other new owners.

But Beckham, who turns 42 on Tuesday, has been unable to finalize his coveted Miami MLS project for lack of a site to build a new stadium for the proposed club, leaving the project in limbo for more than three years.

The team has bought land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood but must purchase three more acres for the projected venue after failed tries at finding a home by the waterfront, next to the NBA Miami Heat arena and the home ballpark of baseball’s Miami Marlins.

Boehly joins an investor lineup that features Beckham, Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure and Simon Fuller, Beckham’s agent and creator of the Pop Idol-American Idol shows.

MLS owners met this week and the Beckham Miami team was among the topics, with MLS commissioner Don Garber saying last week a decision on the team must be made this year, having earlier said it’s time to move forward or not with Miami as what would be the league’s 24th team.

MLS expansion clubs in Atlanta and Minnesota began play last month. A Los Angeles team is set to join the league next season as its 23rd club.

In January, groups from 12 US cities were announced by MLS as applicants for expansion teams as the league seeks to grow to 28 teams. A Beckham Miami failure would open another spot to that collection of hopeful markets.

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