T-shirts at 184 dollars, accreditations record, celebrities… The madness in Messi’s debut

After the “Messimania” was declared in Miami and Fort Lauderdale after the presentation last Sunday, this Friday has served to confirm, on the day of his debut with Inter Miami, that the fever for the Argentine star is only increasing.

Thousands of people gathered around the DRV PNK Stadium hours before, adding to the fervent growth of Inter Miami fans as well as those displaced from Mexico to cheer on Cruz Azul.

And both locals and foreigners had a clear objective: to get Leo Messi’s pink shirt, forming long queues around the official store without caring about the price of $184.99 for each one.

“Each person who goes through the box takes one or two. It’s the best seller today along with the Leagues Cup commemorative scarf, which is also selling at a good pace,” one of the shop assistants told Efe.

The “no tickets” sign was posted days ago; everything is sold and at gold prices. The cheapest tickets were registered at $291, but the average that each fan has paid is $712 for being in the stands at Messi’s debut.

If it is about special stadium locations, the amount shoots up to almost 7,000 dollars, special seats for millionaires or celebrities who have attended the game like Kim Kardashian, Tom Brady or LeBron James.

The club itself has moved quickly this week and has set up two additional stands in the corners that increase the capacity of the stadium by 2,000 more seats. More fans, more support for the team and also more money for the club’s coffers in these first matches of the Leagues Cup.

ARGENTINA, VERY PENDING

The passion that Argentina lives for Messi was also reflected in the coverage of the match, with the main television channels present in Fort Lauderdale not only this Friday, but also in the previous days.

TYC Sports, ESPN, TN and Fox traveled to Florida and did so with their main talents to do special programming around Messi’s debut against Cruz Azul. Coverage at the height of any match of the Argentine team.

Federico Román, a Miami-based journalist for Infobae, has seen his workload overflow this week.

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“These days were quite busy. Everything changed since it was announced that Messi would be an Inter Miami player and even more so when he arrived in the city. It’s the ‘Messimania’. Media have come from all over Argentina, graphic, television, radio media… It’s lived almost like World Cup coverage, I equate it to what I experienced in Brazil and Russia,” he assured Efe.

THE MAS BROTHERS AND BECKHAM ENJOYING

If Messi’s arrival at Inter Miami is a dream come true for many fans, for the Mas brothers, owners of the team along with David Beckham, it also means the materialization of a promise made when they founded the club and which sounded like a bluff: “The best footballers in the world will play here.”

Both Jorge and José Mas did not miss the opportunity to greet the animation group an hour before the start of the game, in a much more “natural” environment than the madness experienced last Sunday at the presentation. Both were bathed in crowds and received a standing ovation from their followers.

In a more private space, Beckham waited for the start of the match from his private box. He looked nervous, anxious to see the first star of his club debut at the end. He took off his jacket and let off steam by chatting with those present inside his “VIP box”.

THE PRESS DEPARTMENT, OVERFLOWED

The Inter Miami press officers detailed to Efe that they received more than 500 requests to be present at the DRV PNK Stadium for Messi’s debut, of which they were only able to approve almost 200.

Local media, also Mexican to follow Cruz Azul, but above all a lot of international representation with journalists from Argentina, Spain, Canada, Belgium… Some of them are not usual in the day-to-day coverage of the pink team.

The press box, which has 50 seats, became too small and many communication professionals had to be relocated to other areas of the stadium.

A whole record of accreditations with a figure that from now on they will have to get used to handling in the ‘Messi Era’.

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