MIAMI – Former Manchester United star and England captain David Beckham and his investor group said on Monday that they had been officially awarded a Major League Soccer (MSL) franchise for Miami.
“I’m excited to bring this great team to this great city – it has been a hell of a journey,” Beckham said during a press conference in downtown Miami.
The 42-year-old Beckham and his business partners, however, did not provide much in the way of details about the team’s name, colors or possible roster.
“I promise you the team that we bring into this league will be one of the best teams,” Beckham said during the official announcement of the awarding of the franchise at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.
Although team officials will not be providing additional details on the franchise for a few days, the new club already has a following.
A group of soccer fans, calling themselves the Southern Legion, cheered and waved signs and banners, thanking Beckham for bringing an MLS team to Miami.
“This is your club, this is your city and the world is going to be watching what you do to make this one of the great teams in the world,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
Miami Beckham United, the investment group headed by Beckham, plans to build a $200 million 25,000-seat stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.
Beckham, who retired in May 2013 after a brief stint with Paris Saint-Germain, played in the MLS for five seasons until November 2012.
Beckham left Real Madrid in 2007 for the MLS’s LA Galaxy and vowed to help make soccer more popular in the US.
When he joined the Galaxy, Beckham’s contract included a provision under which the MLS agreed to sell him an expansion franchise at a discounted price of $25 million. MLS franchises are now going for $150 million.
The MLS’s Miami club is expected to begin playing in the 2020 season.