As Beckham eyes MLS team, Miami and Orlando are options

The retired British soccer star has an option to purchase an MLS team and could choose a Florida city.

Build it like Beckham?

With David Beckham’s recent retirement from soccer, it appears one of the next phases of his life will include owning a Major League Soccer team. And Beckham’s MLS contract stated that he has the option to purchase an existing team or start an expansion team.

MLS would love to place a team in the Southeast — the closest teams right now are in Washington, D.C., and Texas. An Orlando group is trying to land an expansion team, and Beckham has been linked as a possible owner of a Miami expansion team.

“From what I understand, [Beckham] is visiting cities, including Miami, to explore the possibility of MLS expansion,” former Miami mayor Manny Diaz  told the Miami Herald. “At this point, it’s very early conversations. I don’t know what will happen, but it’s terrific that he is looking at our city as an option.”

Beckham watched Thursday night’s Heat-Pacers game courtside along with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure, the founder of wireless company Brightstar Corp. and a soccer fan who has attempted in the past to help Miami land an MLS team.

There are plenty of stadium options in South Florida, too. An MLS team could play at Marlins Park, Sun Life Stadium or Florida International’s football stadium. MLS, Beckham and others could also push for a new soccer-specific stadium, although the Florida Legislature did not pass a bill this spring that could have aided public funding for new stadiums or stadium repairs.

While Beckham is looking at Miami as an option, the Herald reports that he is also looking into Orlando, San Antonio and other cities.

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