Miami poses problems for Beckham's franchise idea

David Beckham now appears ready to purchase an MLS franchise in Miami, but the nature of the residents could cause issues

David Beckham is now in the process of purchasing an MLS franchise, and has reportedly chosen Miami as the city to play host.

Beckham, now 38, spent four and a half years in America with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and it's speculated that as part of his contract there, Beckham had an option to eventually buy a franchise, and the $25m deal is set to go through.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder spoke of his interest in forming a team in Miami during the summer, and now it seems his plans are coming to fruition.

"I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning," he said. "It's definitely exciting."

Beckham's assertion that people in Miami are passionate about sport is partly correct in that they support a number of teams across different sports, but also have a tendency to withdraw support when times get tough.

Here are a number of teams based in Miami, and how their fans have been attending in recent times.

Miami Heat

Having won the NBA Championships for the last two years, the Miami Heat are the leading team in basketball. Spearheaded by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat draw in the third highest crowds in the NBA, behind only the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls. With a third title challenge on the horizon, fans in Miami will be flocking to see the Heat win it all – yet again.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins struggled with attendances last season, attracting the fourth lowest amount of fans in the NFL, and nearby Tampa Bay ranked 31st out of the 32 teams. They have seen an increase this season though, after a period of heavy spending in free agency, and whilst the Dolphins have only had two winning seasons in the past ten years, their attendances appear to be back on the rise.

Miami Marlins

The resident baseball team, the Marlins reside in their new 37,000 seater stadium, but have also experienced attendance problems in recent times as a result of a losing record. The Miami natives seemingly have a fairly fickle attitude to sports, and this has to be a concern for Beckham if he is to establish an MLS team there, and whilst the college football team, the Miami Hurricanes, experienced steady increase in attendances once they moved to Sun Life Stadium, their 2012 attendances showed an 8,500 decrease.

There is potential for Beckham's franchise to be a great success in Miami, who have been without an MLS team since the Fusion folded in 2001, but in an area of America where most people have moved there, Beckham may find that fans don't necessarily identify with his team.

image: © NathanF

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