The global impact of Inter Miami’s upcoming Lionel Messi signing has boosted the demand and price of tickets for the team’s matches in the North American League (MLS) in the past few hours, as well as its traction on social networks.
David Beckham’s co-owned franchise has seen a five-fold increase in followers on its Instagram account since the Argentine star revealed his desire to move to Miami on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning, Inter’s account had around 900,000 followers and is growing amid reports that Miami is one of the destinations Messi is considering when leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
The number surpassed 5.7 million followers within 24 hours of Messi choosing to publicly join Inter after only three and a half years in MLS.
This number is more than double that of the reigning champions of the American Football League (NFL), the Kansas City Chiefs, and surpasses the 4.5 million followers of the Dallas Cowboys, considered the most popular team in the sport.
At the level of American professional leagues, Inter’s fan base is greater than that of all NFL and Major League Baseball teams and 75% of NBA franchises.
Across all its social platforms, Inter now has over 7.5 million followers, up from over five million on the day of the announcement.
However, Beckham’s team is not as popular among networks in the city of Miami as the Heat, who are currently playing in the NBA Finals, have 27 million followers across all their platforms.
With 469 million followers on Instagram, it’s not hard to expect Inter’s fascination with Messi will continue to grow once he dons the team’s pink kit.
The former Barcelona star, winner of seven Ballon d’Ors, is the second most popular athlete on Instagram, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 588 million followers.
– Tickets through the Clouds –
Messi’s decision also had a huge impact on the ticket market for MLS matches.
Logitix, a technology company that specializes in ticketing, said ticket demand for their home and away Inter tickets quadrupled in the 24 hours after Messi’s announcement compared to the previous 169 days.
The average purchase price for Inter’s matches at its 19,100-capacity DRV PNK Stadium rose from $31 to $152, while away games rose from $94 to $207.
The average price for the team’s debut in the League Cup against Mexican Cruz Azul on July 21, the day of Messi’s potential debut in Miami, was $24 to $521.
As of that day, the club’s official site only offered tickets for Inter’s home game on Thursday before the end of the MLS regular season on October 21.
That clash was against his teammate Thiago Almada’s Atlanta United on July 25 and available tickets ranged from $3,000 to $6,000.
Given this level of demand, MLS teams could move games involving Messi to bigger stadiums.
Many teams in the league compete in home stadiums that seat 20,000 to 25,000, while giant NFL stadiums located in most cities triple the available capacity.