Report: Beckham back in Miami to scout stadium sites for potential expansion club

David Beckham Marcelo Clauro Miami Heat (Reuters)

By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham seemingly cannot get enough of Miami.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, Beckham is back in Miami and will scout stadium sites for his potential MLS expansion club with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure on Wednesday.

Beckham and his long-time associate Simon Fuller were in town having dinner at the South Florida home of Claure on Tuesday night, something which Claure confirmed via his personal social network accounts. Another attendee reportedly at the dinner was Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Several reports over the past year have linked Beckham with using his discounted expansion fee, worth a reported $25 million, on a team in Miami. Beckham and MLS have yet to make an official announcement, but it seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, especially with Beckham reportedly eyeing 2016 as the start date for his franchise.

Beckham was in Miami earlier this year with Claure touring stadiums that could potentially house an MLS team. Reports have said that MLS is not into the idea of a Miami team beginning play at either FIU Stadium or Sun Life Stadium.

Recent stories have mentioned the possibility of Beckham’s club beginning play at Marlins Park, the snazzy new home of MLB’s Miami Marlins, before constructing a soccer-specific stadium.

If Miami is granted an expansion team, it would surely serve as a rival to Orlando City. The USL PRO club is expected to be announced as an MLS expansion club in the coming weeks.

Miami and Florida have been without an MLS team since the league decided to get rid of the Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny back in 2001.

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What do you think of Beckham being back in Miami with Claure? Not opposed to the idea of a potential Miami franchise beginning to play at Marlins Park before a soccer-specific stadium is built? Think we will hear an expansion announcement from Beckham soon?

Share your thoughts below.

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45 Responses to Report: Beckham back in Miami to scout stadium sites for potential expansion club

  1. Dominican Lou says:

    Good luck, Becks!

    I hope they do this right. Beckham is an asset to MLS and if they find the right location it will be another win for MLS.

    Any press is good press and nobody gets press like Becks.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Can be an asset. I didn’t think running off to PSG to retire was asset behavior.

      I’m also not sold in light of Fusion and minor league history that Miami is where we need a franchise.

      I wish Beckham luck getting a stadium done with any public money in Miami, after the Marlins debacle.

  2. Andre Mariner says:

    A Beckham franchise will be a ratings bonanza.

    You know he’s getting friends from Europe to come play in South Beach. Every game he’ll be shown relentlessly on the broadcast.

    The guy knows how to brand.

  3. BIG MO says:

    O.M.G. !!!!!!
    God, please male this happen!!!! Beckham is the greatest figure in the history of football!!!!
    I’m sure every league in the world wishes they had Becks as an owner. Sorry fellows, he’s all ours.

  4. AC says:

    Beckham might be one of the few who could make soccer work in Miami, a town that has limited dedication to sports’ franchises. His celebrity presence alone would bring in people, fans and players. Hopefully the team can be consistent at winning.

    • Phil says:

      It’s not the city that has trouble with franchises it’s the entire state. Nobody is “from” Florida. They’re either from another country or up north. The best move MLS has made in the past 12 years is staying out of Florida. For the leagues sake I hope it works out for beckham but man will it be a miserable place to play in the summer.

      • dcpohl says:

        This. Florida will only be a good place to play/watch games if MLS switches to the “European” schedule. But then what happens to Canada? Moose pitch invasions and snow forts.

  5. Neruda says:

    MLS franchise discount? Check. Support of Miami celebrities and politicians? Check. Stadium site for first few years. Looks like he’s got that. Grass roots support from soccer starved fanbase? Hmm well, let’s not worry too much about that because it’s David Beckham were talking about.

    If you build they will come or they may just hangout at south beach instead.

    • SilverRey says:

      I’m kinda feeling that everyone in the world but the citizens of Miami are excited about this. They will get incredible TV deals, bring in some big name euro players, get replays on Sky Sports, ESPN & Al Jazeera , and still have 7000 in the seats.

    • MiamiAl says:

      I disagree. There are many fans in South Florida excited for the opportunity to show their prowess of fandom. The many recent international soccer tours and exhibition games and international qualifiers have shows that fans in South Florida crave the opportunity to see quality games live. It is an extremely knowledgeable fanbase with many who are transplants from Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. The time is ripe! Carpe Diem!

  6. Comet85 says:

    I give it 6 years after it starts until the Miami franchise is contracted again to make room for the Cosmos or divested by Beckham and moved to Tampa. As a Floridian, even we know and acknowledge that Miami is a horrible sports town. I wish them success but unless a miracle occurs (ie they buy the entire Real Madrid roster), this thing is going to crash and burn.

    • Oculus says:

      Cosmos are a second division team, and will stay that way. The ownership couldn’t even afford MLS expansion fee. A Miami team with Beckham name to it will sell.

      • NotOculus says:

        Cosmos ownership was fully capable of paying MLS’s fee.
        They were just too stupid and arrogant to agree to MLS single-entity structure

      • Comet85 says:

        A Miami team with Beckham on the field would have sold, for a while. One with him in the owners box every few weeks is a totally different and vastly less fan-enticing prospect.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Dare I be skeptical? As long as Beckham was not forbid to sell his stake, or could serve out any required tenure, he might be able to convert a low-dollar buy-in option into a full-franchise return if he sold the team, including to have it moved. A franchise is probably inherently worth more than his $25 million option, even in Miami. Buy low sell high. All he has to do is keep the franchise alive for a few years and it would be something to dangle in front of others in Miami, San Antonio, Phoenix, Atlanta, Cosmos, etc.

      At least in theory. He should know from LA and his own experience that it takes some salary cash to win in the league these days.

  7. Kyle #2 says:

    Why will he not give up on Miami? Chivas USA is one thing for the MLS but to have a venture like this flounder with empty stands could be a big PR blow to the league.

  8. Boyd says:

    Beckham as an owner is the kind of thing that gives MLS that fake feeling

  9. Andrew says:

    I wish him the best of luck. I hope that he has instant success and both teams in Florida gain immediate traction and a large fanbase. I just want soccer to be successful in the US, period. How and who don’t really matter. Although I am a Becks fan.

  10. rocky says:

    The Marlins should just move out of town and the new MLS team should take its place. The stadium is perfect for soccer. Baseball will never catch on here in Miami

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      My experience with soccer in Minute Maid was baseball seats are aligned for baseball watching and are not angled to parallel a field going up a foul line. Your seat can end up 45 degrees to the field. But going up a foul line puts 2-3 stands near the field.

      You go up the middle of the field and you go through a lot of infield every game, and you are removed from the stands, but the seats are at least better angled. it boils down to, a baseball park is designed for people to watch baseball, not soccer. Baseball stadia are cashing in on one-off friendlies because they are cash cows but it’s not a full season solution.

      A football stadium is actually preferable because the seats are configured to surround a similar type and size field, and angled accordingly.

  11. Good Jeremy says:

    Sorry, I can’t see it going well.
    I want to, I just can’t.
    Miami’s indifference to anything not the Marlins is stunning. The Marlins couldn’t draw fans during seasons that they won the world series. The Hurricanes football team has about as much tradition as anyone else but couldn’t sell tickets during their recent lean years. Ditto the Heat, before James and Bosh.
    If football, baseball, and basketball can’t stick, I can’t imagine a soccer team with no local roots or tradition sticking.

    • Oculus says:

      The Marlins have poor ownership, not to mention the ticket prices in Miami doesn’t represent the reality. Miami has a lot of poor areas in the city. Not to mention most people that move to Miami are from the NY area, and follow their NY team instead of their Florida team. MLS wont have this problem, ticket prices are a lot lower then these other sports.

    • Mwing09 says:

      Agreed, I’ve been worried all along about the type of support a team would get in Miami. The Heat are the best team in the NBA and are lucky if their fans show up before the 2nd quarter. Marlins have a ridiculous new stadium that has some of the worst attendance in the league. The U is in the top 10 and can barely get a half-full stadium. Hopefully, soccer brings about a different kind of Miami supporter…

  12. Creige says:

    Could be good. Willing to bet that MLS gives Beckham an exemption to the domestic player rule and salary cap. It will feel like NASL all over again. Call it Inter Miami.

  13. Nick says:

    Here’s to Miami Spice FC!

  14. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Beckham will need a team full “real DPs” to attract fans, in South Florida.

    • Love it or leave it says:

      Robinho, kaka, pato

      • bryan says:

        Kaka will be playing for Orlando. Ronaldinho, however, is an option despite him being 36 by 2016. and of course Robinho. i doubt Pato comes by 2016. but you can bet an English player will be in the running. Becks has already been rumored to be talking with Ferdinand and Lampard. he’ll need to do better than that though (e.g. Rooney).

  15. bryan says:

    he also was hanging out with Neymar who is in Miami for their game against Honduras. so he was/is certainly in Miami.

  16. Boyd says:

    I see the league is still catering to the 16-23 female demographics.
    This kind of gimmicks is why nobody watches MLS on TV.

    • Andre Mariner says:

      The opposite of that is true. It’s truly the opposite. The male athlete sex symbol is bar none the most powerful marketing tool in all of sports.

      Women are the future of TV demographics for sports. It’s why the NFL is pushing women’s apparel so hard. Data shows that women control purchasing decisions in most families. You sell them. You win.

      And if you think only woman 16-23 are in love with David Beckham you’re sadly mistaken. That guy is just an icon.

      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been watching a Cowboys game and heard some woman remark about how attractive Tony Romo is.

      Welcome to life.

      Just for fun–Google Cristiano Ronaldo + women. Enjoy.

  17. Eugene says:

    So, if they’re looking to start playing in 2016, why can’t they find a location and build their own home instead of leasing a stadium from another sports team? Is all of 2014 and 2015, up until March 2016, not enough time to get that done in the Miami market?

  18. AlexH says:

    Orlando, Miami and that new plan for Atlanta……I think MLS is going to a European style calendar.

    • El Paso tx says:

      Exactly, we need that and maybe Sacramento or San Antonio.
      So what name for Orlando, Orlando city lions, don’t put fc or sc.
      What about Miami , I would love inter Miami or inter Miami city
      Can’t wait for these Florida games, girls in bikini tops and girl models in the stands.google Ashley sky

  19. Joamiq says:

    I’ve lived in Miami. I can see MLS succeeding there. Miami sports fans are generally bad, yes. But it was very obvious to me that they care about soccer more than other sports. You can’t deny the heavy Latin American presence, and you can’t deny that they’re more inclined to be into soccer than other sports – immigrants and their children alike. Now, sure, it’s largely a “let me show off my Madrid or Barca jersey” kind of fandom. But the point is, enough Miamian casual fans will come out if something is a thing. And an MLS team owned by Beckham, with a marquee international star or two, would be a thing. You’ve got all those colleges in the area in the U and FIU and others, so if they can work out transport to and from those campuses, you can guarantee plenty of student fans. And as for hardcore support, there is a small but dedicated group of soccer fans there (AO Miami and such) that would definitely spearhead a supporters group. I honestly see no reason why Miami wouldn’t draw a sort of averageish 15-16k per game.

    Also, I really would not use the Marlins as a reason why MLS Miami wouldn’t work. Loria has done everything in his power to alienate those fans. They HATE him and basically refuse to go to the ballpark in protest. And it’s hard to blame them.

  20. RB says:

    “his discounted expansion fee, worth a reported $25 million”

    I’m thinking his discounted fee of $25 million is worth $100 million. That’s the idea of the discount: he only has to pay $25 million to get what costs other people $100 million.