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After Four Years, David Beckham Launches Miami Soccer Team

Melissa Rodriguez | February 21, 2018
David Beckham Launches Miami Soccer Team

David Beckham, one of Major League Soccer’s former English star players, recently announced that his four-year-long effort to establish an MLS team in Miami has finally come to fruition. At an event held at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center, MLS discussed its decision to officially award an expansion team to Miami along with the construction of a world-class soccer stadium.

“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited," Beckham, who is the first former MLS player to own a team in the league, said in a statement. "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."

The global soccer icon retired in 2013 after a 20-year run and announced plans to pursue ownership of his own team in the league that same year. What followed was a lengthy approval process after several rejected proposals for the stadium’s location.

Why bring Major League Soccer to Miami?

The melting pot of Miami holds a strong viewership for the FIFA World Cup, consistently ranking among the highest in the market. The location of the team in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country is expected to draw large crowds and foster its growth into one of the top clubs in the league.

Beckham, along with co-owners Marcelo Claure, Simon Fuller, Masayoshi Son, and Jorge and Jose Mas, finally settled on purchasing nine acres in Miami’s Overtown district. The team will begin playing in 2020 at a temporary venue while it awaits the construction of the privately-funded $225 million, 25,000-seat facility, set to be completed in 2021.

“Today is a proud day for Miami, and for our family,” Jorge Mas said in a statement. “Our club will be innovative, and our stadium will deliver a world-class experience from the time fans leave home until the conclusion of the match. We will be relentless in our goal to win the MLS Cup and other trophies. Our club will have a global vision but our fans in South Florida will always be our first priority reflecting the best of our community.”

Beckham and the league also intend to build a private training facility and an academy aimed at supporting the development of local players. Details such as the team’s name, colors and logo have not yet been revealed.

The franchise is the first to be established in South Florida since Fort Lauderdale’s Miami Fusion, which ended its run in 2001 after just three years. The only other soccer club in Florida is the Orlando City SC, recently established in 2015 as an expansion franchise. The team plays its home games at the Orlando City Stadium located in the downtown area, where they will be playing their first game of the season on Mar 3 against D.C. United.

The Growth of U.S. Soccer and MLS

The addition of Miami’s expansion team to the U.S. soccer franchise indicates that the growth of the sport in America is not fading anytime soon. After hosting the World Cup in 1994, it was clear that soccer was in the U.S. to stay. This growth in popularity is largely attributed to the American youth, with youth soccer participation doubling football and including over a million more kids than baseball. This number only falls behind basketball as most popular. This year, there are over 60 professional soccer teams in the U.S., with an economy-driven demand for competitive clubs in cities across the country. Increased advertising, new state-of-the-art soccer facilities, and large audiences on game days are other factors that account for this steady growth in one of history’s oldest sports.

david beckham soccer infographic

While you're waiting for the new Miami team to begin play, you can purchase great seats to the Orlando City SC below:

Mar 15, 2023
8:15 PM
CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16: Orlando City SC vs. Tigres UANL
Exploria Stadium - Orlando, FL
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