MIAMI: David Beckham is finally back in Major League Soccer after confirmation that the former England captain’s long-awaited franchise is now alive and (almost) kicking after four years’ in the waiting.
The team name, logo and a kickoff date remain unknown but the club will play in a 25,000-seat, privately funded stadium in the city’s Overtown neighbourhood, designed by a firm that has worked on several MLS venues in recent years.
Beckham’s group will also build a training centre and youth academy.
He said: “We’ll be the best team,” Beckham said. “When I was awarded the team, there was only one city for me. Only one city, and it was here.
“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.”
Beckham, who played his elite-level European club football for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain also wound down his career in MLS at LA Galaxy.
The return of the Miami market to MLS is the latest chapter in the league’s steady expansion .
In 2006, there were 12 MLS clubs and the expansion fee to enter the league was $10 million. Miami becomes the 25th franchise after the addition last month of expansion Nashville — which paid a $150m entry fee. MLS’ average attendance at matches has also risen nearly 43pc over that 12-year span.