David Beckham and his partnership group have set up a media event to formally announce the details of their new Miami-based MLS team, with the plan being to unveil its name and logo. We’ve had to wait four years for this announcement to come through, after Beckham confirmed that Miami would be the location of the expansion franchise that he purchased in 2013. The option to start this franchise for a mere $25 million was negotiated into his contract with the LA Galaxy back in 2007. In comparison to the $150 million price-tag on the two expansion teams to follow, what Beckham paid is a steal.
This will not be the first MLS team in the Miami area, with one of the first two MLS expansion teams being the Miami Fusion who played in Fort Lauderdale, which isn’t all too far from Miami. The Fusion began play with the 1998 season but folded in 2002 due to poor attendance and lacklustre revenues. During their final season in 2001, the Fusion managed to pull it together and win the Supporters’ Shield, their best performance yet, but the rise in attendance during this successful period was not enough to stay the financial bleeding that the club was feeling.
It has been said that Beckham’s new team will begin play with the 2020 season, which is also when the MLS has stated that the 25th and 26th expansion teams will begin play. The addition of this Miami-based team will also likely bring the Eastern Conference up to twelve teams, level with the twelve teams that will be participating in the Western Conference starting with the 2018 season. The totals will presumably rise to thirteen teams in each conference when the 2020 season rolls around with the 25th and 26th teams.
With the announcement imminent at the media event starting at Noon (GMT -5), we will look forward to more specific details about this new Miami MLS team. The hope is that with the quality of play in the MLS rapidly growing, that these new expansion teams will be able to step out and follow the example of the 2017 newcomers, Atlanta United, and make a positive step towards competing in the MLS with teams that have been around far longer. With Beckham’s team being recently shrouded in doubt about whether it will even come to fruition, surely this will be the turning point that marks the beginning of the future of the club.