MIAMI — After years of rejection of finding a stadium in the city, Miami has been granted a Major League Soccer expansion team, commissioner Don Garber announced Monday afternoon.
The club will be owned by a local and global group of entrepreneurs: global soccer and cultural icon and former MLS player David Beckham; Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO, SoftBank board member and long-time Miami-resident and entrepreneur; Jorge and José Mas, the Miami-based leaders of telecommunications and construction giant MasTec; Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank; and entertainment entrepreneur and manager, Simon Fuller.
After the press conference, Garber confirmed that the team will begin play in 2020 at a temporary venue.
“It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer,” Garber said in a statement. “With David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, Jorge and José Mas, Masayoshi Son and Simon Fuller leading the way, we know the right people are in place and the time is right for Miami to become a great Major League Soccer city. This ownership is committed to bringing Miami the elite-level soccer team, stadium and fan experience it richly deserves. We look forward to working with the entire organization on a strategic and successful launch for Miami’s MLS club.”
The path to the announcement began more than a decade ago when Beckham joined the LA Galaxy in 2007 after his career in Europe with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Beckham came to MLS as the league’s first Designated Player with the goal of elevating the sport in the U.S. In his time with the Galaxy, MLS experienced great growth, adding seven expansion teams and nine soccer stadiums. Under his contract, Beckham and Simon Fuller secured the opportunity to own an MLS club following Beckham’s playing career. Beckham has become the first former MLS player to own a team in the league.
“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited,” Beckham said in a press release. “Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep.”
The Miami team will play in a privately developed, 25,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium in the city’s urban core.
The stadium will be designed by Populous, the global firm that has created MLS stadiums in Orlando, Houston, Kansas City and Colorado, along with Audi Field (opening this year in Washington, D.C.), and Allianz Field (opening in Minnesota in 2019). Populous also has worked on many of the top soccer venues around the world, including the new stadium for Tottenham Hotspur, opening this year, and the expansion of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in 2015.
Additional news and information on the club – including its debut season in MLS, team name, logo and staff – will be announced in the future.