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ECONOMY | 15-06-2023 14:02

Messi mania in Miami pushes ticket prices up to Taylor Swift levels

The cost to see Inter Miami play next month is approaching that of clinching a last-minute ticket for Swift on Friday, and that’s even before the Argentine superstar officially joins Major League Soccer.

Lionel Messi is already rivaling Taylor Swift’s box-office power in the United States.

The cost to see Inter Miami play next month is approaching that of clinching a last-minute ticket for Swift on Friday, and that’s even before the Argentine superstar officially joins Major League Soccer. Tickets for Messi’s potential debut in Miami are going for about US$2,600 on average before fees on resale platform SeatGeek Inc, while attending Swift’s Eras Tour costs about US$2,625.

There’s no official date for Messi’s debut — the multi-million dollar deal to make him the star of Inter Miami has yet to be finalized. But fans have flocked to the July 21 match-up between Inter Miami and Mexican club Cruz Azul as the most likely date. It’s the team’s first home match after the summer transfer window opens and Messi can switch clubs.

The cheapest ticket available for that match is going for over US$950 before fees. Meanwhile, tickets for Miami’s July 4 match against Columbus Crew are available for as little as US$29.

By one measure it’s also pricier than tickets to see last year’s World Cup final. Prices for the most expensive general sale tickets topped off at US$1,607, according to Statista.

The surge in prices is a testament to the appeal of Messi, 34. A living legend, the World Cup champion has moved Apple Inc, Adidas AG and David Beckham to come up with a transaction that might make Messi part-owner of the club and give him a share of the revenues he helps generate, all in an effort to bring “La Pulga” to the US.

Of course, there’s one key reason ticket prices to see Messi in Miami have skyrocketed: Limited supply. Inter Miami currently plays at the DRV PNK Stadium (pronounced “Drive Pink”) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It barely holds 18,000 people — compared to a capacity of over 68,000 in Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, where Taylor Swift performs Friday.

Some season ticket holders are considering cashing in.

Daniel Corzo bought a season pass late February as rumours swirled that Messi might come to South Florida. He paid about US$400 for standing-room tickets, he said. That now wouldn’t get him halfway to a single ticket in the same section for Messi’s potential debut.

“It’s absurd,” Corzo said. “The craziest part is that all these people are spending all this money for a game Messi might not even play in.”

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by Guillermo Molero, Bloomberg

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