Beckham granted licence for MLS franchise in Miami

Allan Goodman
January 30, 2018

All that can wait.

"It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer", said Garber in a league release.

"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". "That dream started all the way back in 2007, and four or five years ago he said, "Miami is the city I want to make my city of choice".

Garber, recalling his first meeting with Beckham before he had joined the league, said: "He said, "I want to come to the league and grow the sport but one day I want to become an owner".

"They say that great things come to those who wait", Garber said as he thanked supporters for their patience during the long process the franchise has gone through to get off the ground. In the beginning of this Beckham-Miami plan, some people involved in the talks predicted that the team would begin play in 2017. But it is coming.

While MLS has not formally revealed the reason for the gathering, the Miami Herald reported earlier this week that Beckham's ownership group had been given final approval as the league's next expansion side. His group originally wanted a waterfront site, then settled on a plot of land in Miami's Overtown neighborhood - a deal that has faced legal challenges, even after he spent $9 million to purchase a needed piece of land from the county.

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It took a few more months, and there's still plenty of questions.

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said he hoped to see the team launch before the stadium is finished, if possible.

In 2006, there were 12 MLS clubs and the expansion fee to enter the league was $10 million. MLS' average attendance at matches has also risen almost 43 percent over that 12-year span.

The group of investors that supports the former player has changed significantly since February 5, 2014, when the MLS announced that the former player exercised his option to buy an expansion spot in the championship.

The site is not far from downtown but the plan did not include any available parking, instead relying on the nearby Metrorail shuttle, buses, water taxis on the Miami River, and fans wanting to march en masse toward the stadium.

Beckham, 42, retired in 2013 after a 20-year career that saw him win league crowns with Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain, the Galaxy in North America and Paris Saint-Germain in his farewell matches.

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