David Beckham is looking for investment help in getting his Miami MLS franchise off the ground, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
The report says the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star has spent the last half year looking for investors to help cover a $300 million projected cost for stadium construction, and team-building, which includes hiring a front office and bringing in star-quality players for the Miami Beckham United franchise.
Among the big names the report names as interested are Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and Qatar Sports Investments, which owns Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, where Beckham suited up in 2013.
The Herald’s report also says Beckham may have to surrender majority ownership to land that investor, and that ownership and funding must be in place for a stadium land deal to be closed.
“We’re performing our due diligence on our stadium site as we move toward the acquisition of privately-held property and a third county-owned parcel over the coming weeks,’’ said Tadd Schwartz, the Miami-based spokesman for Miami Beckham United.
Beckham partner Tim Leiweke, who has been involved with the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC ownership groups in the past, is meeting with city and county officials Wednesday to hammer out details of the proposed deal. The group's reported aim is to have something in place by the end of February.
The Miami franchise has had multiple starts and stops, largely over stadium issues. However, the current plan for a 25,000-seat stadium in the Overtown section of Miami has been met with more optimism.
The Herald’s report says Beckham is exercising diligence in his search for an equity group and hoping for a partner who understands soccer, which will help provide the franchise with “international marketing reach” and construct a state-of-the-art academy.
Beckham remains hopeful MLS will approve his franchise and allow it to begin play in the 2018 season.