Beckham set on Miami MLS franchise

ESPN staff
October 30, 2013
ESPN FC: Beckham closer to Miami move

David Beckham has chosen Miami as the destination for his Major League Soccer franchise, according to widespread reports.

Former Los Angeles Galaxy star Beckham has been weighing his options as he looks to launch a new MLS team since his retirement from the game this past summer and it seems as though Florida is his preferred location - if he is successful in acquiring a franchise.

The Sunshine State is seen as an untapped market in the United States with no top-flight team having operated out of the southern state since 2001, when the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny last operated.

The reports suggest Beckham will "will pay a discounted rate of $25 million to start an MLS expansion team in Miami", yet a final agreement on the deal had yet to be ratified.

Beckham's business partner Simon Fuller, the brainchild behind the hugely successful "American Idol" TV show, is believed to be heavily involved in the bid, but it seems as though the high-profile duo face competition to land the franchise.

Further reports suggest 12 major investors have expressed an interest in starting a new MLS side, yet Beckham is said to have an advantage over his rivals after he secured the right to purchase a cut-price franchise as part of his final Galaxy contract.

It has been suggested that Beckham might eventually look to sell the franchise for an inflated fee as a potential $25 million deal with MLS organizers would represent a huge reduction on the price that is normally demanded by US soccer chiefs to establish a new franchise.

The Abu-Dhabi owners of Premier League side Manchester City paid about four times that amount to get involved in the New York City FC team, which is set to launch next year.

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