The Miami MLS plan has flickered and died over the years, but Beckham wants to try again.
Miami wants to aspire to competitive football, and David Beckham wants to take them there, as he is about to bring a “winning” team to the city.
Since “The Big Three” in Miami Heat, one of the tourist capitals of the U.S. has struggled to build championship teams. Now, the former Manchester United star wants to turn that around after 4 tough years of negotiation.
“There were times we sat back and said ‘this is not going to happen. It’s too difficult. There are too many bumps in the road.’ But I don’t give up,” said an emotional Beckham on Monday during the confirm entry announcement of the Miami Inter into the Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2020.
Now, after the excitement comes the hard work, as ‘Becks‘ is diving into a league with enormous financial challenges, as it still loses against the most established sports in the U.S. like the NBA and the NFL.
The MLS obstacles
Like if it were a video game, the MLS has tougher obstacles than its peers across the world, but if you manage them correctly, there is a way to succeed. Just ask the LA Galaxy or Toronto.
According to Jordan Kobritz, a professor in the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland, as stated by The Independant, the MLS is an unsustainable business model because it’s a single entity league, the franchises are not individually owned. Beckham owns shares in MLS, just like everyone else who owns a franchise (…) Even though Beckham’s operation in Miami may be successful, that isn’t going to help him if the league overall doesn’t start becoming profitable.”
More than 70% of the leagues revenue comes from ticket sales, and that just does not suffice. The U.S. league has to go after greater shares of the TV revenue.
Kobritz continues to explain that the MLS needs to gain a genuine and lasting foothold in the USA’s sporting calendar. “Teams in the NFL could play in front of empty stadiums in Conference games, Play-off games and the Super Bowl and they would still be profitable”, he explains.
“Although attendances in the league has risen by 43% in the last 12 years, you need to have significant broadcast revenues, otherwise you’re not going to make it financially. Teams could sell out every game at every facility and still not be financially sound.”
Will Beckham achieve where others have failed?
In the early 1980s, Florida had major league teams in only the NFL.
Since then, two teams of the NBA were founded in the late 1980s. Two NHL teams were added in the 1990s as part of the leagues expansion into the south. The MLB then added two teams in the 1990s.
As for the MLS, Florida’s most recent major-league team is Orlando City, which began playing in the league in 2015, putting Kaka as the leader, however, they have failed to transcend.
Will Florida finally reach football success with sposh-spice as the new state-champion? We will have to wait and see.