MIAMI — For almost two decades, Miami has dreamed and fantasized about once again having an MLS team.
On Monday, those dreams and fantasies finally became a reality.
MLS announced on Monday morning that it has officially approved David Beckham’s expansion franchise. The announcement came four years after Beckham initially shared his plans for a team in the city, and marked the league’s return to the market, which has been without an MLS club since the league contracted the Miami Fusion in 2002.
“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited,” said Beckham. “Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep.”
Plans for the franchise include building a privately financed soccer-specific stadium. The 25,000-seat stadium will be designed by Populous, a company which has designed a number of MLS venues.
According to a report by the Miami Herald, the club will start play in 2020, most likely at a temporary site before a soccer stadium is ready in 2021.
Additional information surrounding the club, including the team name and logo, will be announced at a later date.
The Miami ownership group consists of several people, including Beckham, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, local business moguls Jorge and Jose R. Mas, SoftBank founder ad CEO Masayoshi Son, and entertainment entrepreneur and long-time Beckham associate Simon Fuller.
“It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber. “With David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas, Masayoshi Son and Simon Fuller leading the way, we know the right people are in place and the time is right for Miami to become a great Major League Soccer city.
“This ownership is committed to bringing Miami the elite-level soccer team, stadium and fan experience it richly deserves. We look forward to working with the entire organization on a strategic and successful launch for Miami’s MLS club.”
With Miami’s long-anticipated arrival, MLS now officially has 25 clubs. Another expansion team from one of Cincinnati, Detroit, and Sacramento is expected to be chosen in the near future, and then two more from a larger pool of hopeful markets will be selected at a later date to give the league 28 franchises.