MLS Commissioner Don Garber: Announcement on Miami expansion will come in early February
PHILADELPHIA – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said Thursday that the league expects to make an announcement concerning David Beckham and a potential expansion franchise in Miami within the next 30 days, potentially inching the league closer to its 22nd franchise.
“I was down there this past weekend, and I’ve been down there a lot, working with potential ownership and trying to finalize a stadium plan,” Garber told media at the MLS SuperDraft. ”Right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll announce something in early February.”
Beckham (above) is the spearhead of a movement to bring MLS back to Miami for the fist time since the Fusion were contracted in 2001. Originally given a discount rate to buy an expansion franchise as part of his original contract with the league as a LA Galaxy player in 2007, Beckham has zeroed in on South Florida as his destination with a powerful ownership group in tow.
Garber said last month that he was optimistic about an expansion franchise in Miami, insisting that if Beckham and his group – including longtime business partner Simon Fuller and Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure – can come up with proper financial support and stadium plan, that “we could have a formula for success."
Although no stadium locations have been determined yet, Miami-Dade County unanimously approved a resolution last month to negotiate with Beckham’s group about a 100-percent privately financed stadium plan.
"There’s a lot of work that needs to happen," Garber said in December. "We can’t go to Miami without the right stadium solution. David understands that. The city understands that. That’s an indisputable fact. We can’t have different rules in Miami than we have in any other city.
"We want to do as much as we can to work with David and Simon Fuller to get something done as quickly as we can."