David Beckham’s Inter Miami could be a great team. But it has to win first
David Beckham stepped out of Cadillac SUV and into the dust of a construction site. It was Dec 2019. In front of him was the shell of a new 18,000-seat stadium in deepest Broward County, where Inter Miami would play its first two seasons before moving, if everything fell into place, to a $1 billion venue near Miami Airport. Behind him, a training complex and team offices were beginning to emerge.
After nearly seven years of battling to get an MLS expansion franchise on the field somewhere in South Florida, Beckham was eager to implement his vision for a club that would start big and get bigger.
“I don’t think there’s another club anywhere that has the opportunity we have globally,”
Since then, almost nothing has gone as planned. One afternoon not long ago, Beckham and Jorge Mas, one of his co-owners, stood on a second-floor terrace of the office building and surveyed the scene.
Across the street, the stadium parking lot had been transformed into a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site; cars were queued up into the distance.
The stadium had been rented for the day to the local Boys & Girls Club, income that helps pay for running an MLS team during a pandemic.
So did the showcase that Brandon Marshall, the former Miami Dolphins wide receiver, was staging on a practice field for potential NFL draft picks, and the decision to lease the stadium to Club de Foot Montreal for its 2021 MLS home games.
“You have to adapt to the situation,” said Mas, whose title is managing owner. (Former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and tech entrepreneur Masayoshi Son also have ownership shares.) “With the short season, with the lack of fans, with the restrictions we faced, last year was a challenge.”
On the field, Inter Miami became the first team in the history of the league to lose its first five games. It ended with seven wins, three draws and 13 losses, good for 10th place in the 14-team Eastern Conference Prediksi Sepakbola and the worst record Beckham has been associated with as a professional.
Miami finished three places behind last year’s other MLS expansion team, Nashville SC, which came into the league with minimal expectations and an owner whose distinctly unromantic business interests include transport barges and print-on-demand books. Nashville won more games than it lost in the regular season, then eliminated Inter Miami from the playoffs 3-0.