Lionel Messi to Miami, boosting ticket gross sales for Main League Soccer
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his second goal in the match between Honduras and Argentina at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, September 23, 2022.
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It’s been three days since soccer legend Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world by announcing his move to MLS club Inter Miami FC after parting ways with Paris Saint-Germain, and ticket prices are already soaring across the league .
According to StubHub, the secondary ticket marketplace, sales for Inter Miami’s games beginning in July have increased almost 28-fold since the announcement.
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For the games from July 2023, as many tickets have already been sold compared to this time last year as for the entire 2022 season, the ticket company said.
The chance to see Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and winner of last year’s World Cup, won’t come cheap.
Average ticket prices on StubHub for David Beckham’s own team have increased 4.5 times, jumping from $24.52 to $124.51 since the news broke.
Another secondary ticketing site, Vivid Seats, reported that the average price to attend a Mexican League League Cup match between Cruz Azul and Inter Miami increased by 1,021%. On June 4, a ticket was $122, and six days later, the same ticket was $1,413.
In just a few days, Inter Miami went from being the 7th highest selling team of the 2023 season to the 4th highest selling team for seasonal sales on StubHub.
“Supply is limited,” sports business analyst Joe Pompliano said on CNBC’s Last Call.
“If you look at Miami Stadium, they only have 18,000 seats. If you look all over Europe, especially in Barcelona.” [where Messi spent most of his career], they have 100,000 seats. “We see a fundamental imbalance in the supply and demand equation,” he added.
This is all true for a team who are bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference and are now on the hunt for a new manager, having recently sacked third-year manager Phil Neville.
Not only Miami is experiencing the rebound, Messi’s future rivals are also seeing a resurgence.
“Messi will be a magnet for football fans across the country, drawing fans to away games in a similar way to what we see with big stars in the NFL and NBA,” said Adam Budelli, a spokesman for StubHub.
Messi and Inter Miami will visit LAFC on September 3 at SoFi Stadium. Sales for the game surged from the 15th-biggest event of the season to the second-biggest – and it’s on track to easily become the #1 event of the LAFC season, StubHub data shows.
Ticket sales aren’t the only thing experiencing a nice upswing in Miami. The merchandise area is also booming.
Fanatics won’t start printing Inter Miami FC’s Messi shirts until the deal is official, but fans are already snapping up kits in large numbers.
More Inter Miami merchandise has been sold since Wednesday than in the previous two months combined, according to the digital sports platform.
As of Wednesday, Inter Miami ranks among the top five selling teams across all sports across the Fanatics network.
Meanwhile, Inter Miami prepares to capitalize on its future global audience.
According to Josh Gerben, trademark attorney at Gerben Law, on June 5, the team filed an application to trademark the phrase “LIBERTAD PARA SOÑAR,” the Spanish translation of the team’s slogan, “Freedom to Dream.”