British soccer icon David Beckham said his new Major League Soccer team could not have been anywhere other than Miami.
“We have a hotbed of young talents in this city, and that’s what we want,” Beckham told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Monday after MLS formally announced the granting of an expansion franchise to the Beckham-owned group.
Co-owner Jorge Mas, a well-known businessman from Miami, was in “Power Lunch” with Beckham and agreed that the team is excellent for the city.
“We deserve a soccer franchise,” Mas said. “The cultural mosaic that is Miami, with the Latino community and its composition: football runs in its blood.
A $ 225 million stadium with 25,000 seats will be erect in the Beckham ownership group in Overtown, a Miami neighborhood. Details such as the team name, colors, logo and start date have not yet been disclosed. The owners said they anticipate the team competing globally, but first, they must allow the league to grow locally.
“The spectators, the fans, love this game, and they will come,” said Beckham.
“[But] these things take time,” Beckham said. “We have to let [MLS] grow in a very organic way, at the end of the day, it’s a very young league.”
This will be the first MLS team in Florida from Miami Fusion of Fort Lauderdale, which collapsed in 2001 after a few years.
“That was on the day when the league was not so stable,” Beckham said. He credits his co-owners, including Mas y Mas’s brother, José, who “lives and breathes this city,” as an essential force that will ensure the team’s success.
The location of the team, along with Beckham’s reputation in the industry, will also help the team flourish, Mas said.
“I think we can do great exploits in Miami that we cannot do in any other city,” he said.
Beckham, who resigned from the sport in 2013 after a 20-year career, announced that he would form his team later that year. He is the first MLS player to own a team in the league.
However, the road to a new team was not easy. Residents in South Florida rejected multiple proposals for the location of the stadium. Beckham and his investors finally gained a spot in December 2015 after three failed attempts.