New York (CNN) — There’s no sign of “Messi mania” abating anytime soon.
Ticket prices for this Sunday’s match between Inter Miami and Los Angeles FC are the most expensive for a Major League Soccer game ever, according to TickPick, an online marketplace.
Average prices are around $690 — a 527% increase over the average ticket price of an MLS game, which used to cost $110 before soccer superstar Leo Messi joined the league.
Currently, just days from the game, the cheapest ticket to see Messi take on last year’s MLS Cup winners will cost $785. Without Messi, prices fall sharply, with the cheapest ticket for the following LAFC game being 80% less expensive at $151 for seat, according to TickPick.
However, this could be the ceiling for ticket prices. TickPick co-CEO Brett Goldberg told CNN that the market is “likely to stabilize prices at their current level, although there’s potential for an upward shift in price due to the heightened demand.”
Plus, LAFC is one the most popular MLS teams in the league, so demand is always high, Goldberg said, adding that “in this case you have one of the biggest athletes in the world coming to town.”
Messi’s appearances have regularly juiced ticket prices ever since he joined the MLS. For last week’s game, in which Messi made his regular season debut, prices were nearly 1,000% higher than usual for a New York Red Bulls ticket.
“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 last week that the top eight best-selling jerseys on its website are Messi related, including his Argentina kit and the Inter Miami shirt. The Florida team is now the top-selling MLS club kit in all US states except Vermont. Previously, the Inter Miami jersey was the top-selling jersey only in Florida.
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.