David Beckham’s dream to create a soccer team in Miami was made public in 2014 when he founded the Miami Major League Soccer (MLS) team. The team is scheduled to start playing in the 2020 season, but the team could end up playing at a temporary site initially if the proposed stadium site near the Miami River in Overtown is not completed.
A huge issue for Beckham and the team since it’s initial proposal in 2014 falls on its attempts to acquire land on which to train; Overtown represents the fourth attempt at securing a location for the building of the stadium. According to the Miami Herald, Miami Dade County commissioners approved the sale of three acres of land to build the stadium, costing Beckham $9 million.
The Miami Herald also reported that in order for the team to secure the Overtown location, Beckham and his partners had to invest at least $175 million prior to its approval.
“Soccer isn’t a very popular sport in America,” sophomore soccer player David Lozano said. “I’m glad a team is being formed in Miami, where I live, so it can get more popular.”
Unlike some of the most popular stadiums in Miami, Beckham’s stadium will be privately owned and run without any public aid.
“I think the team is going to bring a lot of attention to both the city and the sport itself in Miami,” junior soccer player Vanessa Garcia said. “Depending on how good the team is, people may come from all over to watch them play and that could bring income to Miami and really benefit us.”
Beckham, and partners Jose and Jorge Mas, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure are expected to hold a team-launch news conference on January 29. The team’s name and uniforms will be revealed at the conference as well.
“As a player I think that it is going to open doors for all the people/ students that would like to go far in soccer.” junior soccer player Jose Sanchez said. “The level of soccer in Miami has been increasing throughout the years, there was no division 1 pro team in Miami so I really think it is going to have an effect on people.”
Populous, the firm in charge of designing the Overtown stadium, is responsible for 18 successful Major League Baseball parks. With that in mind, and including the years of anticipation surrounding the team, expectations about the team are high.
“If there is a pro team there is going to be a youth academy and some kids are talented enough but unfortunately they can’t leave [Miami] for some reason,” Sanchez said. “So it opens doors by giving them an opportunity to play without leaving.”