David Beckham, one of the most celebrated British athletes in the 21st century, is not giving up on his intentions to launch a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
According to a report recently published by a major South Florida newspaper, Beckham announced that a new investor would join his group for the purpose of adding liquidity to the project. Todd Boehly, a wealthy financier who previously managed Guggenheim Investments, has agreed to be part of Miami Beckham United. Aside from Boehly and Beckham, the group also includes the likes of Marcelo Claure, CEO of Sprint, hedge fund manager Tim Leiweke and showbiz impresario Simon Fuller.
As a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boehly brings professional sports experience to the group. Beckham started his bid to bring MLS action to Miami back in 2014. Since then, the legendary footballer and tabloid mainstay has experienced difficulties related to stadium proposals. At this time, Beckham and his business partners have acquired quite a bit of land from private developers in the Overtown neighborhood near Downtown Miami; however, the investors may still need to buy three acres owned by the county.
Should the MLS franchise bid be approved, the new club will be the 24th in a league that has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years. South Florida is a major market for soccer; tickets routinely sell out for exhibition matches between foreign clubs or national teams, and many fans are known to travel north to Orlando for the chance of enjoying a match at the stadium instead of on television.
Miami is facing tough competition from other cities even as the MLS plans to expand to 28 franchises and increase the number of matches per season. Tampa, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego are also interested in hosting a club.