Inter Miami confirm that Lionel Messi’s debut in the League Cup clash against Cruz Azul is officially SOLD OUT
- All the seats for this Friday’s duel in the Leagues Cup will be occupied
- But earlier this week speculation suggested that Messi might not be playing.
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Inter Miami has officially sold the DRV PNK stadium for Lionel Messi’s debut on Friday, the club announced.
The MLS outfit faces Liga MX side Cruz Azul in their League Cup opener in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, in what is expected to be the Argentine superstar’s first appearance for the club.
However, there has been some speculation that the World Cup winner might not be fully ready in time for the match.
However, ticket prices for the clash were increased immediately after Messi confirmed he would be moving to the United States and Inter Miami confirmed the day before the game that the stadium was officially sold out.
Messi’s arrival had been highly anticipated for months since the striker fell out at Paris Saint-Germain.
Inter Miami have confirmed that tickets for Lionel Messi’s possible debut on Friday have been sold out
All seats at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK stadium in Fort Lauderdale will be filled tomorrow
Tickets for the event have risen sharply in price since months before Messi’s transfer to South Florida. Some scalpers have been offering ridiculous prices for the chance to see the Argentine in person, up to $110,000.
Even politicians have been trying to capitalize on ‘Messi Mania’ with Miami mayor and presidential candidate Francis Suárez offering a raffle for a chance to win tickets if people donate to his campaign.
All the media attention that has been given to the club is a blow to Inter Miami co-owners David Beckham and Jorge and José Mas.
Inter Miami is now the most followed American sports team on social media, surpassing all franchises in the MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL.
That’s all before Messi has appeared on the DRV PNK field in Ft. Lauderdale.
But earlier this week, David Beckham dumped some cold water on the previously assumed idea that Messi would play in this Cruz Azul game.
speaking to ESPN ArgentinaBeckham said: “We don’t know if Leo is going to play the game or if he’ll get minutes, because I think he needs to be ready after all.”
But even that risk of Messi not showing up isn’t enough to stop people from buying tickets and trying to get a chance to see the Argentine maestro.
The attention paid to Inter is a stroke of luck for the club and its owners, including David Beckham.
It’s a glimpse of what could happen to the club, and the city, in the coming months, as sports tourism could boost Miami’s already high number of travelers.
That’s according to Dr Rob Wilson, a professor at Sheffield Hallam University and an expert on football finance.
“Lionel Messi could 100% inspire Miami to rival New York and Los Angeles as leaders in tourism in the United States,” Wilson said.
‘The infrastructure is there, excellent transport links and a great climate. Absolutely somewhere people will go to see the competition.