Miami in overdrive
Fans of football in the United States have gone into a frenzy since the announcement that Lionel Messi would be taking his talents to Inter Miami. The euphoria is something that has not been witnessed previously and is expected to usher in a new era of interest in the sport that is still growing in the nation.
Inter Miami gained over one million followers in the 10 minutes since announcing Messi's deal. Before the signing, the club had close to one million followers. In the time that has elapsed since, that number has climbed to seven million. From being a sideshow in Major League Soccer (MLS), the team now has more followers than any other team in the MLS and other American sports leagues such as the NFL, MLB and NHL.
An analysis of ticket demand across the league in the 24 hours since Messi's announcement found that there were four times the number of tickets sold on the secondary market for Inter Miami matches compared with the entire on-sale period of 169 days previous to that.
The average price for Inter Miami home matches increased from $31 to $152 while for away games they increased from $94 to $207, but some reports indicated that all tickets for Inter Miami's matches, home and away, were already sold out.
It was also reported that Messi would be paid close to 55 million dollars per year as a salary. He will also earn additional income from deals with Apple TV+ and Adidas.