David Beckham stirs excitement in Miami over possible MLS bid
Beckham sat courtside with Marcelo Claure during Game 5 of Eastern Conference Finals
"Let's go Miami" is exactly the message diehard soccer fans want the recently retired David Beckham to get, and for "Becks" to bring MLS back to South Florida, following the Miami Fusions' final season in Fort Lauderdale back in 2001.
"Miami has the best, most knowledgable soccer fans and we have a huge fan base," said Brian Corey of MLSMiamiBid.com. "We're the only city that has put 70K people in the stands for a soccer game."
The 38-year-old soccer legend sat courtside Thursday night a guest of Miami-based soccer loving Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure at the AmericanAirlines Arena, as the Heat took on the Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Beckham, who retired from the LA Galaxy and the game itself this month is allowed now, per his MLS contract, to purchase an expansion franchise for up to $25 million, considered a bargain basement price in the pro soccer world.
"I give it a 110 percent chance of happening," said Corey.
Local 10's Baron James reports soccer fans rallied outside the AAA, hoping Becks would have come out to greet them, so they could do their best to sell him on Miami versus the other cities. Orlando, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Diego are all said to be in the running.
"We're definitely the sexiest of the cities after LA, New York," said Ed Serrando of MLSMiamiBid.com. "All the players want to come to Miami."
"He has to bring some top players here to make it work," said Julio Caballero.
These diehards, using social media, have launched a campaign called MLS Miami Bid to get a hometown team.
"We've got 3,000 followers on Facebook."
They believe Beckham's public appearance in Miami, while hanging out with Claure, whose own bid to bring MLS to the magic city fizzled out in 2009 because of adverse market conditions, is now a good sign that MLS could be in MIA.
"It's in the early stages but it's gonna happen," said Corey. "I do think it will be the best team in America."
A crowd of about 50 soccer fans with group MLS Miami Bid wait outside AAA for David Beckham, to encourage him to bankroll a team in Miami as he shows up for Game 5 between the Heat and Pacers.