MLS Plans February Announcement for Miami Expansion

MLS is planning to make an announcement this February in regards to a franchise in Miami

By Larry Walansky
|  Friday, Jan 17, 2014  |  Updated 5:12 PM EDT
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Major League Soccer could be moving one step closer to returning to Miami, according to the official website of MLS.

Don Garber who is the commissioner of MLS expects to make an announcement next month in regards to the planned franchise. David Beckham is leading the charge and would serve as the owner of the new team should it come into existence. Beckham was given the option to seek ownership of a future expansion franchise at a lower rate than normal. The incentive was part of his player contract while with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

On Thursday, Garber had this to say about Miami: “I was down there this past weekend, and I’ve been down there a lot, working with potential ownership and trying to finalize a stadium plan. Right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll announce something in early February.”

Garber was sure to imply that this announcement of an announcement should not be read into as confirmation of a future Miami franchise. Instead, he will be updating the status of the situation but the popular working theory is that the franchise only needs a reliable stadium plan at this point.

Finding a stadium is something Beckham and his group of investors has been actively working on. The group has checked out Sun Life Stadium and Marlins Park along the way. They would prefer to build a privately funded stadium of their own if possible instead of renting out an existing building.

Miami has housed an MLS team in the past as the Miami Fusion played from 1998-2001 at Lockhart Stadium. Due to tremendous losses by MLS that were reported by USA Today, the league opted to scale back on their base with Miami being one of the casualties. Interest in soccer does exist in South Florida and now it’s just a matter of a new franchise being born.

In recent years, there have been friendly international soccer matches in Miami and the English national team has plans to have tune-up matches in June at Sun Life Stadium, according to the Miami Herald.

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