That’s the headline I’m contractually obligated to write in order to suck you in like the suckers you all are, but the reality is that using simple guidelines for success is a fool’s errand and it should be avoided at all costs. Even so, it’s important to remember that we literally know absolutely nothing about Beckham’s plans for a Miami club whatsoever. This was in part a failure of the assembled press:
Reporting rule I learned as an intern (in Miami, no less): Ask questions you don't know the answer to (team name, start date, stadium land).
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 5, 2014
But one thing I do want to speak to is the idea that a Miami MLS team will “fail” because other Florida teams aren’t exactly powerhouses, save for the Miami Heat. For more on that subject, I recommend reading Elliot Turner’s take on the subject from last November.
The thing to remember about MLS is that, despite the recent flash signings over at Toronto FC, it’s pretty financially diverse. Soccer specific stadia costs range from anywhere from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Considering the precedent and the lovely Southern Florida locale, it’s not hard to imagine Beckham building something relatively affordable for money which he could partly bankroll in addition to sponsorship money. The more difficult bit will be politicking his way into land acquisition, but MLS will probably be there each and every step in the way as they were when NYCFC first started sniffing around Flushing Meadows in Queens. Garber’s done it before.
I’m also not certain that using other struggling Florida franchises as a sign all is unwell is a good idea. The Dolphins do okay considering they’re kind of not very good. The Marlins are terrible and so, understandably, is their attendance. But on the other hand, the Miami Heat do great and their team is pretty kick great and has a star player leading the charge. It’s a pretty simple formula.
Several MLS clubs, particularly last season, have done quite well on relatively middling total salary costs. The two MLS Cup finalists last season, RSL and Sporting Kansas City, were 10th and 11th in league salaries last year respectively. Moreover, Beckham has many things working in his favour. Connection to agents, investors, sponsors, etc. A face made for corporate money. A recognizable celebrity in mainstream US media. It’s not hard to see he comes to Miami with some major market advantages that other owners would kill for, and pay for themselves as far as the discount franchise fee he’s received from MLS.
We basically know zilch at the specifics at this point, save for Beckham’s involvement. The potential there though should give doubters pause.