Messi Mania: How One Player Transformed American Soccer

MLS experienced several times more popularity than before the great Argentine arrived

by Sededin Dedovic
Messi Mania: How One Player Transformed American Soccer
© Megan Briggs / Getty Images

Lionel Messi's long-awaited move to Inter Miami CF this summer has sparked an unprecedented surge in interest in European soccer among American sports enthusiasts. The Florida-based club has witnessed a significant increase in demand for season tickets, with all seats for the upcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) 2024 season already sold out.

This rise in popularity is a testament to Messi's global popularity. The arrival of the Argentine maestro has not only caught the attention of passionate soccer fans, but also attracted a new wave of fans who are introduced to soccer just for Messi.

Inter Miami's decision to double the price of season tickets for the 2024 season reflects the club's confidence in the popularity of Messi and the increased interest of American audiences in soccer. Despite the increased costs, fans have shown a willingness to pay much higher ticket prices just to watch Messi play.

While season tickets for the entire MLS season are sold out, fans will still have the opportunity to purchase tickets for individual games. These tickets will go on sale once the MLS schedule is officially announced, which is expected by the end of the year.

Messi popularized MLS and soccer in the USA

Messi's arrival at Inter Miami undoubtedly transformed the club's trajectory and brought a new sense of excitement to MLS. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's impact was immediate, leading the team to their first MLS Cup trophy in his debut season.

His presence in MLS is a significant milestone for the league, further cementing its position as a rising force in global soccer. His star power attracted new fans and sponsors, expanding the league's reach and raising its profile on the international stage.

We will see when Messi leaves, whether the interest of the Americans will be the same for soccer. Many watched a live soccer match for the first time to see Messi. His impact on the sport is already evident, and his influence is poised to inspire a new generation of American soccer players.