David Beckham dreams of an iconic stadium on the shores of Biscayne Bay. Tens of thousands of ardent fans walk over from the mainland to watch some of the world’s best players compete for Miami’s own Major League Soccer team.
That vision is still far from becoming a reality. But on Wednesday, Beckham took a significant step toward his goal.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that Beckham, a retired English footballer, will get an expansion franchise, and its home will be Miami — if Beckham and his investors score a new stadium.
Nothing will be finalized until that takes place, likely not for months, if at all. The team wouldn’t start playing probably until 2017.
Yet, in starstruck Miami, those caveats did little to dampen the frenzy that surrounded Beckham’s visit.
“This is an exciting time,” Beckham said at a crowded news conference. “It’s something that we’re really looking forward to bringing to Miami.”
He was welcomed by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who pointed to five county commissioners in attendance as evidence that there is some political support for a new stadium.
“The world’s most popular sport is coming to the world’s hottest city,” Gimenez said.