David Beckham seeks investors in Miami MLS 'people's club'

 

David Beckham has already scouted possible stadium sites and is seeking investors to fund the building of it after confirming his plan to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.

The former England captain unveiled his proposal in Florida and said the deal will be finalised when he can secure a financing plan and a location for a stadium.

His assertion that he will seek to pay for the arena, rather than using public money, drew a warm round of applause from the 300 attendees at his news conference with MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Beckham has held talks with his friend and NBA basketball star LeBron James about investing in the franchise, which is yet to be named.

"We don't want public funding," Beckham said. "We will fund the stadium ourselves. We have worked very hard to get to this stage... we want to create a football club that is the people's football club."

With Los Angeles and New York unavailable, Miami had long been the obvious location for Beckham to take up his option on running an MLS franchise. Not only is it the largest United States metropolitan area not to have an MLS team, it is one of America's trendiest cities.

The problem is that football, or soccer as the locals call it, has stiff competition in south Florida. Miami is one of the dozen US conurbations which has a major league team in each of the four big sports: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey.

There was a football team called Miami Fusion, who played in Fort Lauderdale between 1998 and 2001, but they folded because of poor attendances. The lowest average attendance in MLS history was recorded by the Fusion, who pulled in 7,460 in 2000.

Beckham clearly has his work cut out.

PA

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