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LeBron talking to David Beckham about bringing MLS team to Miami

Nov 21, 2013, 4:54 PM EST

Not shown: hair on LeBron's forehead. AP

David Beckham wants to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami. All he needs is a place for the team to play, a bunch of investors who think bringing a soccer team to Miami is a good idea, and then it’s just a simple matter of building an entire professionals sports franchise from the ground up. What could possibly go wrong?

LeBron James — who already owns part of one of the world’s most famed soccer clubs, Liverpool of the Barclay’s Premiere League — could be one of those investors.

He has the cash and he confirmed to the AP he has spoken to Beckham about it a few times.

“We’re working on it,” James said.

Beckham scouted some Miami locations last week. Beckham, who played for the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS, has the right to pay $25 million to start an expansion franchise, and is seeking investors to assist with the overall startup costs such as stadium construction and player acquisitions.

“I wish it was easy,” James said. “We’re working on it. We’ll see what happens.”

The star power of Beckham and LeBron could get this off the ground, if they can find a place to build a stadium and find ways to do all this at reasonable costs. The MLS is not exactly a cash cow — a few teams draw well (the L.A. Galaxy where Beckham played, for one) but it is not universal — but a well run team in the right stadium (which can be used for concerts and other events as well) could.

It might be a smart investment. But it’s not Liverpool.

  1. antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    This story is about 3 days old now. But his wife is opening up a shop in Miami… LeBron wants to own an MLS team in Miami… could make Heat fans feel a little more secure should it happen.

  2. mackcarrington - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    It’s really amazing there isn’t already a soccer team in Miami, considering the heavy Latin population. Even if they sucked they would be 10 times more popular than the Marlins.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      There was a soccer team there, they couldn’t draw enough fans to stay afloat and folded the same year they won the Supporters Shield.

      • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        There’s more facts to the Fusion folding than attendance and that was to blame the team’s owner (Horowitz) and not their fans.

      • redbaronx - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        @asimonetti88 – I didn’t realize there had already been a team there. What were they called? I couldn’t find them on Google.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        redbaron, they were the Miami Fusion.

    • redbaronx - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      @mackcarrington – I think a Miami team would be extremely popular with the locals there. you’re right. I’m surprised there isn’t a team there already! Of all places not to have a team!

  3. asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Oh yeah, because the last MLS team to play in Miami was such a rousing success. Seriously… they won the Supporters Shield and still couldn’t even draw enough fans to stay afloat. Florida is just not a good place for soccer. Tampa Bay folded too, and they had Valderama. Orlando will be the next one to fold, maybe then they will realize they need to look to other areas.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Sometimes it’s just about timing and circumstance. A franchise can flourish under certain conditions in an area, and then flounder in the same area under different conditions – and visa versa.

      Right now might be the right time for Miami. That’s what they’re in the process of evaluating.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        What is there to evaluate?

        Miami Fusion- couldn’t draw fans, folded
        Tampa Bay Mutiny – couldn’t draw fans, folded
        Miami Marlins – average less than 20,000 fans in each of the last 5 seasons except when they moved to a new park in 2012
        Tampa Bay Rays – average less than 20,000 fans in 7 of last 10 seasons including last 3
        Florida (Miami) Panthers – among bottom of NHL in attendance
        Tampa Bay Lightening – among bottom of NHL in attendance

        If it’s not football or basketball, Florida isn’t going to go. Even baseball struggles.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Baseball is irrelevant. Hockey is irrelevant. Divegrass is getting more and more popular. The timing might be right.

        And with stars like Becks and LeBron on board – that will definitely have locals interested.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        “And with stars like Becks and LeBron on board – that will definitely have locals interested.”

        The Fusion had Carlos Valderama, Preki, Welton and Diego Serna.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        “Who?”

        -Everyone

      • footballer4ever - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        @asimonetti88

        The Fusion had good players who eventually went to other MLS football clubs after the club folded and those players developed into better players.

        Kyle Beckerman (Currently at Real Salt Lake and National Team footballer)
        Jay Heaps (ex duke basketball player, Revolution player and current coach)
        Chris Henderson
        Roy Lassiter
        Carlos Llamosa
        Tyrone Marshall
        Saul Martinez
        Pablo Mastroeni
        Alex Pineda Chacon
        Preki (Predrag Radosavljevic)
        Nick Rimando
        Eric Wynalda

  4. detectivejimmymcnulty - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Miami fans can’t even stick around to watch their basketball team with Wade and Lebron. Miami has more Cubans I believe, and they’re into baseball more than soccer.

    • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      You sure have an old Miami tape in your mind because even though there was more cubans in Miami than Cuba, that’s not the case nowadays. Even if that was the case, how come they are not filling that baseball stadium which is located in Havana Central?

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        Because the Marlins are terrible and no one wants to support their loser owner.

      • footballer4ever - Nov 29, 2013 at 8:43 PM

        Those are simply excuses. The main thing is that baseball and hockey definitely does not belong in Miami. Football, aka soccer, can have a better chance if dealt professionally speaking as other big league teams.

  5. ajarrell8 - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    If they can’t get people to Marlins or Dolphins games what makes them believe they could get people at soccer games?

    • antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Winning. Joe Robbie stadium was packed when they were 3-0.

  6. footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    @ Kurt

    From a football fan or as you might refer to as “soccer”, your reporting on this possible venture was neither overly positive, but are giving benefit of the doubt and neither negative considering the Fusion FC which failed and folded. Most people only know the team folded eventually, but don’t really know the main reasons it did and attendance was not the main or only issue. Horowitz wanted to bank on owning a team, but was not willing or did not have enough deep pockets to run, promote and invest on a team. The fact the club was not able to get the support from local officials to play at the orange bowl and had to play at a high school stadium (45mins-1hr) from miami was not the best way to start a franchise and hope it would stand a chance comsidering MLS was on a shaky ground to the point of the whole league folding. MLS is in better solid ground and a comeback to Miami with the proper ownership might just be the recipe to have football aficionados hooked up on club football than just exhibition football when they play in Sunlife Stadium which continues to be a success.

  7. mackcarrington - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    OK. I get the drift that South Florida just sucks for any sport that’s not college football!

    • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      LOL, you talking about UM? FIU? FAU? you sure don’t know what you are talking LOL

      • mackcarrington - Nov 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        You’re right. I don’t know squat about sport in south Florida. So I guess it sucks for ALL sports then.
        Why do they even try to have sports teams in that sewer of a state?

      • footballer4ever - Nov 29, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Exactly. It’s best to speak on topics you know about firsthand and not because you’ve heard or someone told you about it. Double checking outdated stats can only help too.

        As far as sewer state, well, talk crap about your own state you live in, but keep away from states that don’t pertain to you.

  8. hildezero - Nov 21, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    “…a few teams draw well (the L.A. Galaxy where Beckham played, for one) but it is not universal…”

    Uh… Yes it is. XD It’s just that the quality is not as high as top European leagues. Does this journalist even follow the sport?

    • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Hildezero,

      Behave kid. You are enough of a pain at PST that now you are questioning a basketball author. Don’t mind him, Kurt.

      I am sure you are not a football (soccer) fan, but thanks for neutrally reporting in a way that it’s neither mocking of our sport unlike others and yet you managed to give a bit of the benefit of the doubt. For that, good job in your reporting ways.!

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      The MLS actually averages higher attendance numbers than the NBA. The NBA obviously draws infinitely far more viewers on television, and the MLS tends to have largers stadiums than the NBA does arenas, but it is still worth noting.

      • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        Great Point. The fact of the matter is there are people that no matter the improvements the sport (football) makes in the U.S. it will either be not enough or discredit it, but if it’s the opposite, then it’s made a big deal about it.

  9. cranespy - Nov 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    They already have a brand new modern stadium that’s scarcely being used by the Marlins….they could make it work as a short term home until they see if Becks and LBJ can make this venture a successful one.

    • footballer4ever - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      That’s Marlins problem….We don’t want or need their baggage. If Beckham and Co. are going to do this football club in Miami, they will do it right and a specific football stadium is a must. Neither Sunlife stadium/Marlins as temporary or permanent homes. In the meantime, i say have most games in FIU stadium and then some split between Sunlife and Marlins.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      MLS is moving away from multi-purpose shared stadiums to soccer-specific stadiums.

  10. tomtravis76 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    If you can’t find a way to put a stadium at the end of Ocean Drive, downtown Lauderdale, downtown Hollywood or even find some land connected to the Hard Rock, don’t put a team in South Florida, it wont survive. None of the stadiums in South Florida are built around nightlife for pre and post game entertainment. Sporting events are just something to do in between going out.

  11. gor3hound - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    asimonetti88, the TB lightning has one of the best attendance records in the league FYI.

  12. vinst3r - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Are they going to do a live show where they reveal the decision on whether an MLS team will be in Miami or not?

  13. footballer4ever - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    @ antistratfordian

    “Who?”, said the Owl.

    Fusion also had Roy Lassiter at one point, Jay Heaps, Chris Henderson, Kyle Beckerman, Tyrone Marshall, Eric Wynalda, Nick Rimando. Too bad the Fusion came at a fragile time in which the league needed all the support from each football club’s owners and deep pockets, but at that time there were only 3 deep pocketed investors which carried the burden and made MLS into what it has become today including the visionary Lamar Hunt. Thank you Mr Hunt and may the football Gods be taking care of you as you did for our sport in the US.

  14. belleby123 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    The picture at the top of the page said “Lebron talking to David Beckham about bringing…” and I thought it was going to say “…about bringing fake glasses to soccer.”

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