David Beckham's Miami group expecting MLS announcement soon
The ownership group of David Beckham's proposed MLS expansion team in Miami expects the league to formally announce its addition this month.
Beckham's quest to acquire a team has been beset by delays since it was first announced in February 2014, but Jorge Mas told the Miami Herald that the prolonged saga would be completed by the end of January.
"We had super, super productive meetings in [Kansas City]," said Mas, who joined Miami Beckham United last month. "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.
"Being a native, I'm a Miami guy 1,000 percent, and I want to make this a really special team with a really special fan experience."
The Herald also cited two other sources close to negotiations as saying an announcement -- complete with a team name and preliminary uniforms -- would come at the end of the month.
Most of Miami's delays have centered around finding a suitable stadium site, but the group last year secured a site in Miami's Overtown neighborhood. Only a lawsuit appeal from a local landowner is still pending, but the litigation is not expected to be a deal-breaker.
And in December, the MLS Board of Governors voted to approve the composition of the club's ownership group, clearing the way for the league's official addition in the coming weeks. Mas, his brother Jose, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will be majority owners, with Beckham holding a minority stake.
The Miami project has always been separate from MLS's other ongoing expansion plans, which plans to add four teams. Nashville was confirmed as the first expansion team last month, and an announcement on a second -- one of Sacramento, Cincinnati or Detroit -- is expected before the season begins in March.
Those teams will pay an expansion fee in the range of $150 million, but Beckham's group will pay significantly less as part of the deal he signed with the league when he agreed to play for the LA Galaxy in 2007.
Miami's fee was originally said to be $25 million, but the Herald reported that the Miami franchise will now pay more.