Ticket Prices Soaring as Lionel Messi MLS Debut with Inter Miami Draws Near : Lionel Messi, the legendary soccer superstar, is all set to dazzle fans in his debut game with Inter Miami this week, and ticket prices have skyrocketed in response. For Friday’s Leagues Cup clash against Cruz Azul, tickets are fetching a staggering $56,901, according to Vivid Seats, a prominent ticket retailer.
The Leagues Cup, a highly anticipated annual competition between MLS and Mexico’s LIGA MX, announced Messi’s momentous debut, adding to the frenzy. The Argentine icon expressed his excitement about this new chapter in his career and his eagerness to contribute to Inter Miami’s ambitious project in the United States.
One ticket in row one of section 112, near the goal, has been listed at a jaw-dropping $56,901, while prices start at $260 for other seats on the same site. Ticketmaster offers the highest-priced ticket at $10,000.
The team’s upcoming regular-season match in Fort Lauderdale against Charlotte FC on August 20 has ticket prices ranging from $220 to $9,356 on Vivid Seats. To put it into perspective, tickets for Charlotte FC’s game against FC Dallas on July 21 cost between $27 and $188 on the same site.
With Messi joining the ranks, ticket prices for all of Inter Miami’s upcoming games have seen a significant boost. The club’s match against Los Angeles FC in September, for instance, has ticket prices ranging from $400 to $10,000 on Ticketmaster. In contrast, Los Angeles FC’s game against the Colorado Rapids on August 20 has ticket prices ranging from $35 to $555 on the same site.
The addition of Messi, who played a pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup victory last year and enjoyed a successful stint at Barcelona, where he secured four UEFA championship titles, is a game-changer for Major League Soccer. Before Messi, soccer icon David Beckham joined LA Galaxy in 2007 and now co-owns Inter Miami.
Messi’s deal with Inter Miami includes an ownership stake after his retirement, free from the constraints of MLS’s salary regulations. Moreover, MLS recently inked a streaming deal with Apple, and Messi will receive a share of the revenue generated from that and Adidas, two brands he already has a long-standing relationship with.
Forbes estimates Messi’s annual earnings at an impressive $130 million, making him the second-highest-paid athlete globally, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns $136 million annually.
Over the years, MLS has experienced remarkable growth in popularity and earnings. The average team valuation stands at $579 million, soaring by 85% since 2019, with Los Angeles FC topping the charts at a value of $1 billion. Inter Miami’s current valuation of $600 million positions it above the average, but Messi’s arrival is expected to elevate the team’s value even further, adding to the already electrifying anticipation surrounding his MLS debut.