Seeing superstar soccer player Leo Messi’s debut in the New York area could cost you as much as a steak dinner at Peter Luger.
Saturday’s Inter Miami CF match marks Messi’s first regular season Major League Soccer game, and demand to see it is sending ticket prices nearly 1,000% higher than they usually are for the New York Red Bulls.
Ticket reseller VividSeats told CNN that the average price for this weekend’s game is averaging $483. That’s well above the usual $46 it costs to snag a ticket to the MLS team, which plays in Harrison, New Jersey (a half hour away from Manhattan).
A search on VividSeats reveals that some seats are costing as much as $3,600 for the first-row, but you have to buy all four, totaling nearly $15,000. Of course, there are plenty of cheaper seats, with some as “low” as $345.
For the New York Red Bulls, Messi’s appearance is “trending as the Red Bull’s hottest ticket in over a decade,” a VividSeats spokesperson told CNN. The second costliest game for a ticket was a friendly with FC Barcelona in July 2022, when a ticket cost about $270.
Prices for MLS games where Messi is playing have surged since the 36-year-old entered American competition. He’s also been on a hot streak since his American arrival last month. Last weekend, he helped Inter Miami capture the Leagues Cup title and scored the club’s first trophy. The Leagues Cup is an annual tournament between MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX.
The pressure is only intensified for Messi this weekend, when Inter Miami tries to climb out of last place in the MLS standings and possibly into playoff contention as the season nears its ending in October.
“Messi mania” extends beyond the pitch, too. Apple said that subscriptions to its soccer streaming package have soared since Messi joined in July. And Adidas said that demand for Messi’s jersey has been “truly unprecedented,” sparking an order backlog until October.
Retailer Soccer.com told CNN on Tuesday that top eight-selling jerseys on its website are Messi related, including his Argentina kit and Inter Miami shirt. The Florida team is now the top-selling MLS club kit in all US states, except Vermont. Previous to him joining, the Inter Miami jersey was the only top-selling jersey in Florida.