MLS fans willing to pay more to see Messi

The New York Red Bulls soccer team is offering a holiday deal that includes items including a travel mug and tickets to two games, including the home opener.

But there is one detail written in small print. The MLS schedule won’t be released until the end of the year, and if the first home game is against Inter Miami, fans who purchase the package will receive tickets to the second home game. The reason is Lionel Messi. ‌Miami is the team of world superstar Lionel Messi, and the chance to see him is more attractive than a random game against Toronto FC. Every time Messi visits a city it’s a big deal, and teams don’t want to waste such an important ticket on a package deal. Some Red Bull fans were unhappy after noticing the fine print and expressed it on social media: “Scams” are common. But at least some others seem to have resigned themselves to it and think it’s a smart business move. “It would be naive to expect that the league won’t take advantage of this at all costs,” said Dan Rodriguez, a Red Bulls fan from Westchester County, N.Y. The Red Bulls did not respond to questions about ticket sales. Even if fans miss Messi’s game, the deal still includes games against the team’s regional rival New York FC. And since Major League Soccer has 29 teams, the chances of opening games against Miami and Messi are slim. ‌‌Across the league, however, teams are seeing a gold mine in Messi. Not all teams have set full prices yet, especially with the schedule yet to be announced. But the Columbus Crew will charge at least $382 for a home game against Miami, with better seats going for $421 and $679 respectively. By comparison, tickets to regular Crew games this year are only $40 or less as part of a season ticket package.

Dynamic pricing is not uncommon in Major League Soccer or other sports. A big game against an opponent might cost a little more, but not a few hundred dollars more. Inter Miami’s own standard season ticket prices are 46% to 82% higher than when Messi joined just a few months ago. . Currently, the cheapest package costs around $800 (17 games), with other season tickets priced at $4,000, $7,000 or even $10,000 (with club access). This makes Miami one of the most expensive season ticket clubs in the world. Tottenham Hotspur’s most expensive season tickets in the Premier League cost $2,498, while Barcelona’s season tickets in La Liga cost $1,021, according to World Football Talk. Messi signed with Miami in July, by which time many season tickets had been sold. . This means fans who already have tickets to a game can profit from reselling them without additional money going to the team. Next year, the team will have time to plan and take some of the profits. Buying a season ticket to watch another team scheduled to play Miami is one way to watch Messi. Fans who do this will enjoy seeing Messi when he’s in town, or sell their tickets on the secondary market for huge profits. Of course, that’s assuming Messi plays. The superstar will turn 37 during the MLS season but has missed some games this year due to a scar tissue condition. Many fans (some of whom spent a lot of money) complained when he didn’t play. The Chicago Fire offered fans a $250 credit after missing an October game in Chicago, which had 61,000 tickets sold. As a bonus. $50 for season ticket holders, and those purchasing tickets for that game only. By 2024, MLS teams across the country will see stadiums packed with fans sitting in expensive seats instead of refunds.

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