David Beckham has retired from playing soccer, but he intends to remain very involved with the sport. So involved, in fact, that the former English national team captain is reportedly looking to start his own Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
The MLS has been looking to expand to 24 teams by 2020, and Beckham has reportedly considered locations including Montreal, Orlando and San Diego. He had the option of becoming an MLS owner written into his massive contract that he signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, meaning he would pay less to start an expansion team than other owners would have to pay. According to The Telegraph, Beckham has settled on Miami.
“We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America,” MLS executive vice president Dan Courtemanche told The Telegraph. “We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion franchise, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”
Beckham is said to be looking for investors to help cover the costs of starting the franchise and building a stadium, though the team could begin playing its home games in an existing venue as early as 2016. Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins, has been mentioned as a possibility.
“I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning,” Beckham said over the summer while visiting Sun Life Stadium. “It’s definitely exciting.”
Miami briefly played home to an MLS team from 1997 through 2001, but the franchise ultimately failed because of poor attendance. The MLS has yet to approve Beckham’s plans, though it would be tough to imagine the league blocking one of the world’s most recognizable sports icons from owning a team. If Beckham can’t make it work, no one can.