David Beckham has launched his long-planned Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise team in Miami.
The former England captain selected Miami as the preferred site of his team after he exercised an option in his contract with former side LA Galaxy to buy an expansion franchise four years ago.
No name has been given to Beckham’s new team, but it is believed they will play at a 25,000-seater stadium in the city’s Overtown neighbourhood, at a cost of more than $150m.
Miami was officially granted an expansion by MLS commissioner Don Garber and it makes Beckham the first former MLS player to own a team in the league.
The announcement came after years of disputes and setbacks including stadium location plans, which saw residents oppose plans for various locations. Investors also purchased the land to build the stadium in 2015 following three failed attempts to buy a suitable site.
Investors involved include Miami-based Jorge and Jose Mas, agent Simon Fuller, Bolivian-American businessman Marcelo Claure, and Japanese entrepreneur Masayoshi Son.
“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited," Beckham said in a statement.
"Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep."
Jorge Mas added: “Today is a proud day for Miami, and for our family. This is the first step in our quest to build one of the top clubs in MLS and the Americas. Our club will be innovative, and our stadium will deliver a world-class experience from the time fans leave home until the conclusion of the match.
"We will be relentless in our goal to win MLS Cup and other trophies. Our club will have a global vision but our fans in South Florida will always be our first priority reflecting the best of our community.”
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