David Beckham backs Las Vegas NFL team
Golden Balls gets behind the Oakland Raiders' proposal to move to Sin City in the hopes of helping the MLS broker a deal to share a stadium with the NFL franchise in Nevada.
David Beckham said he hoped to see a Major League Soccer team launch in Las Vegas on Thursday but insisted he remained committed to setting up his own team in Miami, US media reports said.
In a surprise move, Beckham appeared alongside Mark Davis, the owner of the Oakland Raiders American football team who is hoping to win support to build a $1.4 billion domed stadium in the Nevada gambling haven.
Beckham joined Davis in an address to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee by stressing the benefits that building a sports stadium could have.
'I'm sure there's many people wondering why I'm here and questioning what my role is here,' Beckham was quoted as saying by Sports Illustrated's website.
'To bring a great organization like the Raiders to something like Vegas is incredible, but it's bigger than that,' Beckham said. 'It's about the MLS coming here, it's about bringing the biggest European teams here like Manchester United.'
Beckham's plans to launch an MLS team in Miami have been bogged down by protracted wrangling over where to build a new stadium, although investors last month announced they had purchased land for a venue.
Although final approval for a Miami stadium is far from a done deal, Beckham said in Las Vegas on Thursday he was determined to set up his team in Florida.
'My commitment is to the MLS, I was lucky enough to purchase a franchise and I picked Miami which I'm very proud of, very excited about,' Beckham told www.si.com.
'It's been a long process, I can't lie, but one that will continue.'
Meanwhile Davis said Thursday he would pledge $500 million towards the construction of the new stadium, suggesting he hoped to move the Raiders there to turn 'the Silver State into the silver and black state.'
The Raiders are on the lookout for a new home after a bid to relocate to Los Angeles foundered earlier this year when the NFL owners opted to send the St Louis Rams back to the California metropolis.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave a cautious response on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas.
'We don't have a proposal,' Goodell said.
'Ultimately that is a decision of the ownership. There are owners who will feel very strongly about continuing to support our position on gambling, there will be owners that will have the view of whether that's the best market for us to be in, whether there's truly the fan support there, they'll look at obviously the stadium alternatives, and I think that's what you do in any relocation.'