David Beckham's Miami MLS Club Preparing For Official Launch In Late January
David Beckham and his business partners are preparing for a "late-January official launch of Miami’s long-awaited" MLS team, according to a front-page piece by Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. The team is scheduled to begin play in the '20 season, although it "may have to play in a temporary site the first season if the Overtown stadium is not completed in time." Jorge Mas, who is partnering with Beckham along with his brother, Jose, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, said, "I’m very excited for what we can bring the Miami soccer fan, and we’ll have some big news to announce in Miami in the near future." The team name and preliminary uniform designs would be unveiled at the formal launch, which is "expected to be attended by Beckham, his partners, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber." The Mas brothers spent two days last week "going over team structure, philosophy, branding and stadium plans with Beckham and Claure." They also met with K.C.-based Populous about the design of the stadium. Mas: "We went very detailed into fan demographic needs, sound level, canopies that retain sound, how to angle the stadium, sight lines, everything you can imagine." Mas said that there are "plans to have a fan plaza outside the stadium, and a March to the Match along the Miami River, similar to the pre-match march Sounders fans do in Seattle." Kaufman notes the current MLS entry fee is $100-150M. A source said that Beckham's group is "not paying that much," but is paying more than $25M. The Mas brothers and Claure together will be the majority owners, with Beckham and his longtime business partner Simon Fuller and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son "holding minority stakes" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/15).