Three consecutive Eurythmics songs played over the live stream as the world awaited the appearance of David Beckham’s major Miami announcement on Wednesday morning, as South Florida’s “Sweet Dreams” came true.
“This is an exciting time for myself, my family, friends and partners and something that we’re looking forward to bringing to Miami,” Beckham said before Garber took the mic to make the announcement.
“What an incredibly historic day for Major League Soccer and soccer in North America and more importantly for soccer in our world because this is the first time in the modern era that an ex-athlete is joining the ranks of ownership and will become the managing partner of a professional soccer team,” Garber said.
Gimenez managed to avoid most of the gaffes that tend to accompany politicians talking sports, aside from a slip-up of “David Beckman” and put a great deal of emotional weight and significance into the arrival of Major League Soccer:
“Commissioner Garber, we welcome the MLS and we’re happy to be home to your 22nd franchise. David, we welcome you, your wife Victoria and your children to Miami. We share your vision of greatness. We are going to be willing partners in achieving that greatness.”
Some other important points:
STADIUM TALK: Beckham said he’s doing it himself, “We don’t want public funding. We will fund the stadium ourselves. It’s something that we’ve worked very hard to get to this stage.”
As for a timeline, Beckham said, “We can’t build a stadium in two weeks. This is obviously going to take time. The next major thing is getting the right partners and getting the right investors.”
He said it would not be six months, but “we’ll be quick.”
Gimenez mentioned that they wanted the stadium in “the right place” and “as quickly as possible.” He noted that there were five political commissioners from Miami Dade County in attendance as a “clear indication that there is political support for getting this done.”
Garber on the stadium: “If we’re successful, this facility will be an incredible showcase of what’s so beautiful about this city.”
YOUTH ACADEMY: Beckham stressed building a youth academy to provide the best in homegrown players to the club, and Gimenez played to his voting public.
“To see the true passion for soccer in Miami Dade County, you just have to visit any of the neighborhoods in our community. When you watch young people, boys and girls of all ages, playing soccer in our parks.”
He called the rebirth of MLS in Miami as “the culmination of the international city we’re becoming.”
BECKS ON WHY MIAMI? “Why not? For me, I wanted to create a team that we can start from scratch. There was a team here 10 years ago and unfortunately they folded but going forward, I wanted to create a team that can be very personal. I want to make it my own team. I have great partners.”
“Miami is a vibrant city with a lot of passion. I know this city is ready for football, soccer, this time around. I’ve always said throughout my career, whether there’s challenges or not, I need to work hard.”
BECKS ON HIS TEAM CONSTRUCTION: “We will want to bring some of the best players in football to Miami. I’ve seen what it means when you bring great players into a team. I’m talking about the Heat. That’s the fortunate thing about my career, the teams I played for and with. Players are already interested in Miami.”
SUMMATION: It was a bizarre press conference right off the hop, and didn’t find normalcy once questions were passed to an excited group of media members (“Would you like to call Sir Alex Ferguson as your coach?”). But overall, Beckham showed his experience handling big press conferences and distinguished himself well.