Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Beckham to return to MLS as owner of Miami team

David Beckham is set to return to Major League Soccer on Wednesday, this time as an owner of a Miami team that will become the league's 22nd club.

Beckham and Don Garber, the commissioner of MLS, will announce the awarding of the new team at a news conference in Miami on Wednesday, two people familiar with the deal said. The team will not begin play in MLS until at least 2016.

The league values its association with Beckham. As part of his original contract when he joined MLS as a player in 2007, he was granted the right to buy a team - with some limits on its location - for what would be the below-market rate of $25 million.

Beckham narrowed his sights to South Florida last year after retiring as a player, and the league has held off on the awarding of the team only because it requires new clubs to have a stadium plan in place. Beckham's ownership group does not yet have a completed stadium deal, but Wednesday's announcement will be a sign that the league is confident one is close.

The league has let the requirement slide in the past. New York City FC was announced as the league's 20th team last year, after paying a reported fee of close to $100 million, but still does not even have a temporary home for its first season, in 2015. Orlando City, which was named MLS's 21st team in November, has a stadium deal in place and will also begin play in 2015.

MLS is sure to welcome Beckham as an owner, but getting a stadium for the team in Miami will not be easy because of political pressures and a vibrant real estate market that has driven up prices.

Discussions have centered around a piece of county-owned land near the city's seaport, PortMiami, where cruise lines and cargo ships dock. But that property was slated for commercial development, and putting a stadium there instead could represent a loss of revenue for the county. To win county approval, the owners of the stadium might have to make market rate payments, said one person with knowledge of the thinking of county officials.

Even then, it is unclear how soon a stadium might be built, though the team could presumably play a year or two at a temporary home like the Miami Dolphins' stadium in Miami Gardens or at Florida International University in Miami. New York City FC has said that it plans to take that approach and that it expects to announce a temporary home in the next few weeks.

Beckham to return to MLS as owner of Miami team 02/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 1:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …