Inter Miami CF is one of the hottest tickets out there right now, with international superstar Lionel Messi set to make his debut with the MLS club Friday as it takes on Cruz Azul in Leagues Cup play. Very few tickets are available for Friday’s contest through the team – and what is available are going for drastically surged prices. And a rule change from the offseason is supercharging what the club will see from those ticket sales.
This past offseason, long before Inter Miami lured the Argentinian soccer star to the U.S., MLS owners voted to change the way the league shares ticket revenue. Ever since the league’s inaugural season in 1996, MLS owners had distributed 33% of their non-suite ticket sales into a national bucket that was shared among every team. This offseason, that was lowered to 10%, according to multiple people familiar with the details.
With Messi on the roster, ticket sales are expected to be solid (to quite solid) for the forseeable future for Inter Miami CF – which the Argentine star will see a piece of as part of the deal that brought him to MLS from Paris-SG. The 7-time Ballon d’Or winner is being paid an estimated $150 million in cash and team equity for the 2+ year deal that brought him to Miami, with the increased ticket revenue share likely to directly bring him a higher income cut.
The rules were changed in part to incentivize teams to sell more tickets, similar to other changes made by leagues in recent years. The NBA, for example, knocked its shared revenue pool for playoff tickets from 40% to 25%, meaning regular deep runs in the playoffs by teams like Golden State or the Boston Celtics will bring with them better financial rewards.
Tickets to upcoming Inter Miami CF games are all trading at far above what was standard for the club in its immediate past history, which saw the organization average close to the bottom of the league with 16,483 fans per home contest. The least expensive “Official ICMF ticket” available through the team box office site as of Friday morning was surged to $610 per seat before fees, which is actually a $723.05 price tag after fees are calculated. Other upcoming games for the club don’t show any “primary” tickets at all available, only resale.
Resale tickets are actually available for substantially less to see Lionel Messi in action, both at Ticketmaster and other marketplaces. Ticket Club has tickets for Friday’s Messi debut contest for prices starting as low as $185 for members, inclusive of fees. with seats in midfield sections available for $244 and up. Seats at StubHub start at closer to $225 as of Friday afternoon, with midfield seats ranging above $300.
It is likely that the market will cool off once Messi has gotten going with his new club, which has nowhere to go but up in the league standings, currently dead last, having lost 14 of the 22 matches it has played in the 2022 campaign. But at least for now, fans are paying top dollar for a chance to see the superstar in person, and both his club and the league are going to reap the financial benefit for that.
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Last Updated on July 21, 2023