MLS sets ceremony to announce Beckham's Miami franchise

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Juan Naharro Gimenez
The league will name its 25th club Monday, with the English star and MLS commissioner Don Garber scheduled to attend the news conference

David Beckham and MLS commissioner Don Garber will be on hand for an "important announcement" on Monday in South Florida, with the league set to confirm Miami as its 25th franchise.

MLS sent a news release Friday setting an "important announcement on the future of soccer in Miami" for 12 p.m. ET at the the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

In addition to Beckham and Garber, the event will be attended by Beckham partners Marcelo Claure, Jorge Mas, Jose Mas, Masayoshi Son and Simon Fuller, as well as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

While MLS has not formally revealed the reason for the gathering, the Miami Herald reported earlier this week that Beckham's ownership group had been given final approval as the league's next expansion side.

MLS announced in February 2014 that Beckham had exercised an option from his LA Galaxy contract to launch a club for a discounted expansion fee, but the franchise's confirmation was put on hold amid negotiations to build a soccer-specific stadium in South Florida. The franchise is now poised to play at a privately financed stadium after Beckham's group purchased three acres in Miami's Overtown neighborhood.

Monday's announcement will mark the culmination of that drawn-out process, which saw Beckham's group endure a slew of stops and starts in pursuit of a stadium plan. The franchise gained momentum last year, with Garber telling reporters in August that Beckham's group was nearing the finish line. MLS announced in December that Son and the Miami-based Mas brothers had joined Beckham, Claure and Fuller to round out the proposed club's ownership group.

Jorge Mas told the Herald that the investors gathered in Kansas City earlier this month to meet with architectural firm Populous to discuss design ideas for the new stadium and tour the facilities of MLS side Sporting Kansas City.

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"We had super, super productive meetings in KC," he said. "I'm very excited for what we can bring the Miami soccer fan, and we’ll have some big news to announce in Miami in the near future.

"Being a native, I’m a Miami guy 1,000 percent, and I want to make this a really special team with a really special fan experience."

Los Angeles FC will kick off as the league's 23rd franchise this season, with Nashville confirmed as the 24th club last month. With Miami set as team No. 25, MLS plans to choose Cincinnati, Sacramento or Detroit as its 26th club in the coming months.

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