David Beckham's Miami-based MLS franchise is set to finally get the go-ahead next week, with an announcement set for Monday or Tuesday, according to reports from the USA.
The Miami Herald claims that Beckham's associates and the MLS have finalised a deal approving the new franchise. Beckham first announced his intention to launch a team in Miami in 2014, but attempts to find a site for the stadium have been long-winded.
Looks like Miami will officially become an MLS City on Monday. I have had my doubts, still will keep a few, however hats off to Beckham for never taking eye of final goal.— Maximiliano Bretos (@mbretosESPN) January 24, 2018
Carlos Gimenez, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, has a meeting scheduled on Monday. A spokesperson was coy on the subject matter of the meeting, but sources close to the project indicate that a public announcement is set for the Monday, or Tuesday depending on scheduling issues. The Associated Press has reported the same.
Gimenez's administration struck a deal last year for the new franchise to build a stadium on land in the Overtown neighbourhood of Miami. A 25,000-capacity arena is planned - bigger than most existing teams in the MLS.
Beckham spent most of his playing career in Europe, with Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and PSG. But he did spend five years in the USA with LA Galaxy between 2007 and 2012.
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Speaking in 2014, Beckham described the idea of building his own team as a childhood dream.
"At 11 or 12 years old, I used to sit around with my mates and say 'ok, if we were to build a team and build a stadium, where would it be, who would play for us, what colours would we wear, what would we call the team?'" said the former England captain.
"I'm actually doing that in reality now, so that's a lot of fun."
Apparently there are still some hurdles to clear before Beckham's dream can become a reality though. Bruce Matheson, a landowner near the Overtown site, is suing to overturn the no-bid stadium deal. And other neighbours are hoping to block the zoning approvals needed for the stadium to be built.