David Beckham's goal of bringing an MLS expansion franchise to Miami is inching closer to the finish line, with banker Todd Boehly being added to his investment group, sources confirmed to ESPN FC.
The Daily Mail was the first to report Boehly's involvement in the project.
The MLS Board of Governors met earlier this week in Colorado Springs, and a source confirmed that the terms of the deal adding Boehly to Beckham's group, known as Miami Beckham United, were discussed.
One source added that MLS is currently reviewing the proposal, and has yet to sign off on the deal, and may come back with recommendations. The source confirmed The Daily Mail's reporting in that some current owners are pushing back over Beckham's discounted expansion fee of $25 million, which was agreed upon back when Beckham was a player in the league.
Beckham exercised that option amid much fanfare back in February of 2014. Currently, MLS is asking expansion candidates for upwards of $150 million, and there is a sense among some owners that additional investors shouldn't be able to piggyback on Beckham's arrangement.
MLS has spent three years trying to aid Beckham's expansion quest, and his desire to bring in additional investors has been widely known, so the pushback from MLS owners is somewhat surprising. MBU has already spent $19 million on a six-acre parcel of land in Miami's Overtown neighborhood.
A remaining three-acre parcel is yet to be acquired, but the holdup there was that MBU wanted to round out its investment group first. Now that has been accomplished, and with the added credibility that Boehly would bring, it is believed that there would be little standing in the way of MBU acquiring the needed land.
An MBU spokesperson declined to comment when reached by telephone.
Boehly is the chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries. Boehly previously served as the head of Guggenheim Investments at Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC, where he was responsible for the firm's asset management business. Prior to that, he also served as the President at Guggenheim Partners, where he was responsible for launching the firm's credit investing business. He remains part of the ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2012.
Boehly joins Beckham, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, CEO of Oak View Group Tim Leiweke and Beckham's business partner Simon Fuller on MBU's investment team.