Inter Miami owner reveals when Lionel Messi will make his debut | OneFootball

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Dan Burke·20 June 2023

Inter Miami owner reveals when Lionel Messi will make his debut

Article image:Inter Miami owner reveals when Lionel Messi will make his debut

Lionel Messi will make his debut Inter Miami on 21 July, the club’s managing owner Jorge Mas has confirmed.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, Mas revealed that Messi’s first outing will come in a Leagues Cup meeting with Liga MX’s Cruz Azul at the DRV PNK Stadium – Inter Miami’s temporary home in Fort Lauderdale.

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Mas says demand for tickets has been so high that the club will be upgrading the DRV PNK Stadium, with their search for a permanent home in Miami ongoing.

“We have already contracted to fill in the corners of the stadium that should increase capacity by approximately 3,000 to 3,200 seats [to a capacity of around 22,000],” he said.

“We are gearing up to do that work in the next four weeks. Every game will be sold out. The demand for tickets has been 10 times what we can handle on a season ticket basis.”

Messi’s move to MLS was confirmed last month after he reportedly turned down the chance to return to Barcelona along with a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia. The Herald report that the 35-year-old’s Inter Miami contract is worth between $50m and $60m a year and will include salary, bonuses and equity in the club once he retires.

Mas believes the Argentine World Cup winner will boost the profile of MLS and help it become one of the top leagues in the world.

“I think there will always be a before and after Messi when we talk about the sport in the United States,” he said.

“I have a very, very strong held belief that we can create in North America and the United States, if not the greatest league, one of the top two leagues in the world. I cannot over emphasize the magnitude of this announcement.”