David Beckham may have competition for his MLS-in-Miami expansion bid

Peter Macdiarmid

It's hardly news that Beckham has his sights set on Miami, but now a second bid has emerged that actually looks a lot more promising.

By now we all know that David Beckham is trying to drum up some real money to make his bid to put a MLS expansion team in Miami work. Beckham, of course, has a $25 million option, which is a pretty massive bargain for a MLS team these days. The only problem is that as rich as the former LA Galaxy star may be, he's not the kind of rich that would allow him to fund a soccer-specific stadium or probably even afford the day-to-day operation of a professional sports team. That's why he's been trying to enlist the help of mega-yacht rich people like Marcelo Claure.

As of now, though, there's apparently no agreement. And apparently, there's a bit of a ticking clock, as Beckham's MLS option expires in December.

And this is where it gets a little interesting. According to a report in the Miami Herald, a second expansion bid has emerged and it actually sounds a lot more interesting than Beckham's.

A London-based invest group fronted by an Italian financier named Alessandro Butini has already built a website, begun talks with MLS, come up with some potential names, created some kit and crest mockups and has apparently enlisted the University of Miami's architecture school to design its stadium that they plan to put in Miami Beach or downtown. It's all pretty cool, if a bit too-good-to-be-true-ish.

Skepticism aside, it still seems much more promising than what we know about Beckham's so far. All the reports suggest that he's trying to work something out with Florida International or the Miami Dolphins to use one of their stadiums. Neither stadium seems particularly well suited to be the full-time home of a MLS team, as they aren't very close to where people live or congregate. Basically, it suggests they are going with more of a MLS 1.0 model, otherwise known as the model that failed spectacularly the last time around.

At the very least, it would be nice if Beckham's group feels a bit of pressure to put together a more creative plan. Simply having big names in the ownership group is not going to be enough to bring people to the stadium. They'll need a great facility, in a accessible area, have a creative marketing plan and, probably, need to hire some good people to put together a decent soccer team. MLS simply can't afford another Miami failure.

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