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Saturday, June 1, 2013
David Beckham tours facilities in Miami news services

David Beckham called the possibility of investing in a new Major League Soccer team in Miami "exciting" after touring sports facilities in the area Saturday.

The 38-year-old former England captain met with representatives of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission as part of his trip as he weighs his options following his retirement from professional soccer in May.

"I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be exciting," Beckham told WFOR-TV in Miami on Saturday. "I think Miami fans are very passionate about the sport and about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it’s definitely exciting."

Beckham visited Sun Life Stadium and the football stadium at Florida International University on Saturday.

Beckham toured the facilities with billionaire Marcelo Claure, who has unsuccessfully tried in the past to return the MLS to South Florida. Beckham attended the Miami Heat's NBA Eastern Conference finals Game 5 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night as a guest of Claure.

Beckham also was given a key to Miami-Dade County on Saturday by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose Diaz told Reuters that "there is huge political support" to put an MLS team in South Florida.

No firm agreements reportedly are in place for Beckham to buy an expansion franchise, and that other cities are also being considered. Beckham announced on May 16 that he would retire, and featured in his last professional game as Paris St Germain beat Brest two days later at the Parc des Princes.

Beckham retains a strong affinity for the game in the United States, having joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007. He won back-to-back MLS Cups with the team in 2011 and 2012 before moving on to PSG in January of this year.

Beckham had a clause in his Galaxy contract that allowed him to create an MLS team at the discounted price of $25 million after his retirement.

The state of Florida does not currently have a team in MLS, after both the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Miami Fusion were cut from the league in 2001 as part of a restructuring by the league. The Fusion played their games in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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