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David Beckham To Purchase Miami MLS Team

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 3: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat greets former MLS player David Beckham after playing against the Indiana Pacers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 3: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat greets former MLS player David Beckham after playing against the Indiana Pacers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

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MIAMI (AP) — David Beckham has exercised his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami, and the deal with the former English national team captain will be finalized when he can secure a financing plan and location for a new stadium.

The latest development in the pursuit of a Miami team was announced by MLS Commissioner Don Garber at a news conference Wednesday. Beckham and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also attended.

“Thank you for the warm welcome,” Beckham told a crowd of more than 300 people, who attended the news conference at a downtown museum plaza on a sunny, 80-degree morning. “This is an exciting time, and something were really looking forward to bringing to Miami.”

Beckham has scouted possible stadium sites and is seeking investors to assist with startup costs such as construction and player acquisitions. Among those who might become involved is Beckham’s friend LeBron James, who has had recent conversations with the retired soccer star about bringing a team to Miami.

“We don’t want public funding,” Beckham said to applause. “We will fund the stadium ourselves. We have worked very hard to get to this stage where we can fund the stadium ourselves. We want to create a football club that is the people’s football club.”

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy star has the right to an expansion team at a discount fee of $25 million. MLS’s Miami Fusion played in Fort Lauderdale from 1998-01 before folding because of poor attendance.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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