Friday, June 28, 2013

Looks like Beckham & Claure's MLS Miami team is taking shape.

It's been almost a month since a certain David Beckham was seen at a Miami Heat game with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure.
We first heard the rumor of a Miami MLS team between Claure & Beckham a few years back. But, not many took notice until a small mention on May 1, 2013 on the Washington Post by Steven Goff:
*Getting word a David Beckham-backed effort to bring MLS to Miami is about to pick up a steam and could go public in about a month. The league has prioritized a second club in New York for the 20th team and is intrigued by Orlando’s aggressive expansion campaign, but with Miami featuring Beckham and Dolphins management, Miami has quietly re-emerged. South Florida had an MLS team from 1998 to 2001, the Miami Fusion, which played at Lockhart Stadium in north Fort Lauderdale (30 miles from downtown Miami) but lacked the investment muscle and public will to survive. Commissioner Don Garber has said repeatedly MLS needs to expand into the South; currently, there are no teams south of Washington on the East Coast.
You can read the rest of the piece HERE.

Fast Forward to Tuesday May 28 when Simon Evans breaks out the news that Beckham is indeed on his way to Miami to meet with Marcelo Claure at a Heat game no less!
 Simon Evans wrote:
Former England captain David Beckham will visit Miami this week as he steps up his interest in owning a new Major League Soccer (MLS) team.
 Beckham, who played for L.A. Galaxy in the MLS, has an option to create a new franchise in the North American league.

 While the exact location is still to be decided, he will be in the Florida city to explore possibilities, according to former Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

 "Yes, he is coming. My understanding is that it's very exploratory at this stage," said Diaz, who took part in the last time a Miami-based MLS team was under discussion in 2009.
Read the rest of the article HERE.

A few days later on Thursday May 30th, anyone that watched the Miami Heat game could see Simon Evans was on the money about the meeting.

Having had a couple of days to work with, a few fans decided to have a Beckham rally to show support. Michelle Kaufman from the Miami Herald covered it HERE.

 Beckham ended up staying almost a week touring stadiums and taking in everything Miami had to offer. South Florida was a buzz with Beckham sightings across town. A couple of local news sites were able to get an exclusive interview with him.
“I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be exciting,” Beckham told Miami's CBS4 News. “I think Miami fans are very passionate about the sport and about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it’s definitely exciting.”
 David eventually attended a second Miami Heat game and for the next few days the media continued to cover his visit, as fans also began to light up twitter and facebook with pictures and mentions of sightings.

A month later and as talk of Orlando's stadium project began to get attention. Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure tweets a picture of David Beckham holding a Club Bolivar jersey (Bolivian Champions also owned by Claure) which indicates talks are still on going and mentioning Beckham as Claure's MLS partner on his Twitter account.
 It's an exciting time to be a South Florida resident and soccer fan. Hopefully we'll soon know if our Miami MLS dream will come true!

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