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Beckham makes pitch for Miami MLS franchise

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm •  Published: March 25, 2014
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) — David Beckham brought his international star power to the halls of the Florida Capitol on Tuesday, trying to rally support from the governor and legislators for the Major League Soccer franchise he plans to bring to Miami later this decade.

Beckham was mobbed by legislators and legislative aides during his visit as they took to social media to document his visit. Even Gov. Rick Scott took a "selfie" of himself with Beckham.

Beckham made no secret that he wants to tap into state subsidies like most of the state's other professional teams have done. The Florida Legislature is advancing a bill this year that would create a process that lets pro sports teams compete for a share of state tax dollars in the future.

"No one's promised me anything," Beckham said about his brief visit. "But they promised me that they support having the team in Miami and are excited about that. It's good that they haven't promised me anything, because then I know it's going to be fair and the decision will be down to what they think is best for the state."

The 38-year-old former England captain said he had never previously visited Tallahassee which has a much more Old South feel than cosmopolitan Miami.

"It's going to sound silly and people are probably going to laugh at me but I love the moss on the trees," Beckham. "I've only seen it in scary movies. I've never seen it close up."

Beckham's visit to the Capitol came a day after his architects and advisers recommended the Port of Miami as the stadium site for his team. The plan announced Monday would have an open-air stadium with views of the bay and the downtown skyline. The capacity could be as low as 21,000 or as high as 35,000.

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