The potential signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami has already had a massive impact on MLS ticket sales, even before the Argentinian has officially signed with the club. Teams set to host Miami this season have seen huge demand for tickets, with prices for Inter Miami's game against D.C. United in July reaching as high as $186. D.C. United has reportedly sold over 3,000 tickets since news of Messi's potential arrival, despite uncertainty over whether he will play in the game. Many believe that Messi will not debut in MLS until later in July at the earliest. Overall, Messi's signing could have a significant impact on Inter Miami, MLS, and American soccer.
According to TickPick, prices for Inter Miami's July 21 game against Cruz Azul, which could be Messi's debut for the club, rose from $29 to over $300. The Aug. 26 game against New York Red Bulls, which would be his first MLS game, saw prices rise from $30 to $401, while a Sept. 3 matchup against LAFC went from $81 to $422. Forbes reported a 1000% increase in Inter Miami ticket prices overall in the hours after the Messi news broke, with the club's average home game ticket price jumping from $152 at the start of the season to $935.
TickPick predicts that a ticket to see Messi in 2023 will cost at least $176. The club has also seen a surge in popularity, gaining over 1.4 million followers on Instagram since the rumors of Messi joining began. Inter Miami CF's capacity is 19,100, and the most expensive game to see Messi is currently predicted to be on Sept. 3, against Los Angeles FC, with tickets starting at $575.
The lowest price for a ticket to Inter Miami's Leagues Cup opener on July 21 was $29, but after Messi's announcement, the price jumped to $329 - a 1,034% increase. The average ticket price for the game also rose 205% on Vivid Seats. Messi's first game in an Inter Miami jersey is likely to be the most expensive MLS game on record, according to Kyle Zorn, brand manager at TickPick.
While tickets for the next two matches start at around $40-$55, the price just to get in the door for Messi's expected first home game with the team has jumped to $495. Nearly 2,000 Inter Miami tickets were sold on TicketSmarter the day of Messi's announcement, compared to under 50 tickets being sold on the platform over the weekend. Inter Miami still has several games left in the 2023 season, with games scheduled against New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Austin FC, Columbus Crew, and D.C. United.
Overall, Messi's potential signing with Inter Miami CF has caused a surge in ticket prices for the MLS team's upcoming matches. This move is a huge acquisition for Inter Miami CF and for MLS as a whole, as it elevates the league and the international interest in it across the globe.