Oct 18, 2023 - Sports

Messi will likely play in Charlotte this weekend

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - AUGUST 11: Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF celebrates after scoring a goal in the second half during the Leagues Cup 2023 quarterfinals match between Charlotte FC and Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on August 11, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Charlotte may get its Lionel Messi moment after all.

Driving the news: The Argentine soccer superstar says he isn’t done playing for Inter Miami this season, meaning he’ll likely play at Bank of America Stadium this weekend in Inter Miami’s season finale.

What he’s saying: “I’ll keep training, play the match that’s left and I’ll try to be the best I can be for November coming up,” Messi told reporters Tuesday night after Argentina beat Peru 2-0 (The FIFA World Cup winner scored both goals for Argentina).

Catch up quick: Inter Miami has been eliminated from Major League Soccer playoff contention, but its final two matches of the regular season are against Charlotte FC.

  • Today, Oct. 18: Charlotte plays at Inter Miami at 8pm. Given the tight turnaround from last night’s match, it’s unlikely he’ll play tonight.
  • Saturday, Oct. 21: Charlotte hosts Inter Miami at Bank of America Stadium at 6pm.
  • Both matches will be streamed on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass.

Why it matters: It’s Messi. He’s one of the greatest soccer players in the world. Fans are eager to see him play in their hometown.

  • But also, two wins for Charlotte FC means they’ll not only make the playoffs for the first time, they’ll also host a home playoff match.

By the numbers: Charlotte FC has sold around 60,000 tickets for the match, president Joe LaBue told reporters last Tuesday. The club has opened the upper deck for this match.

  • Tickets currently start at $43 for the upper deck. Someone also listed their ticket for $99,999 in section 534. To clarify, those are nosebleeds.
  • Standard admission tickets through the club start at $50. The club’s most expensive standard admission ticket is $750 for the lower bowl.

Between the lines: Ticket prices for the Oct. 21 match have fluctuated since Messi signed with Inter Miami over the summer, rising before he was even officially announced and falling when fans were concerned he wouldn’t play on turf in Charlotte, or that he wouldn’t be healthy.

  • Charlotte has one of the best attendance records in the league, with an average 34,477 fans through 16 regular season matches, but there’s nothing like the Messi effect, as Axios Miami reported.

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