SBD/May 2, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLS Reportedly Interested In Expanding To Miami; Dolphins, Beckham Involved In Effort

Beckham’s original MLS deal came with rights to purchase a team in the league
An effort backed by David Beckham to bring an MLS team to Miami is “about to pick up steam and could go public in about a month,” according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. The league has “prioritized a second club in New York for the 20th team and is intrigued by Orlando’s aggressive expansion campaign, but with Miami featuring Beckham and Dolphins management, Miami has quietly re-emerged.” The MLS Fusion played in South Florida from '98-'01 before it folded. MLS also is “taking a hard look at how early to start the season in future years.” The March 2 launch this season was “the earliest in league history, and aside from weather issues in several cities, the early start presented marketing and ticketing challenges.” However, pushing back the start with the same number of league matches “would require additional mid-week matches” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/1). NBCSPORTS.com's Steve Davis noted Beckham’s "original MLS deal came with rights to purchase an MLS team," and his "marketing muscle and the big Beckham machine can not only apply pressure in the right places, but it will look attractive to MLS in many ways, too." MLS "desperately needs an imprint in the American southeast," and "Brand Beckham could easily bully its way past Orlando’s more grass roots effort" (NBCSPORTS.com, 5/1).

LET'S NOT BE HASTY: N.Y. Comptroller John Liu said that the city “should not reject foreign money out of hand” to fund a proposed MLS stadium in Queens. Liu, referring to reports of a potential investment in the project by EPL club Manchester City Owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, said, “I always prefer New Yorkers, but on the other hand, these guys seem to be very deep pocketed. So hopefully taxpayers won’t have to subsidize a single penny of the project.” In N.Y., Annie Karni noted Liu, a candidate for mayor, “still opposes the entirety of the plan because the details of a proposed land swap are unclear.” But Liu “does not have a formal role in the uniform land use review procedure for the project” (CRAINSNEWYORK.com, 4/30).
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