Messi mania is coming to the New York City area. But if you want to catch it in person, it's going to cost you.
Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami team are playing the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey, on Aug. 26. The cheapest price for a single ticket on Ticketmaster Friday morning was $496, with some listed as high as $10,000.
By contrast, tickets for the Red Bulls match against D.C. United on Sunday were selling for as low as $10.
Tickets for Messi's New York-area appearance are higher even than in his new home state of Florida. A single ticket for Miami's home game against Nashville SC on August 30 ranged from $172 to $2,000.
The surge in prices underscores the appeal of Messi, the 36-year-old Argentine superstar who led his national team to a World Cup victory last year. Dan Hunt, co-owner of the FC Dallas team, said the spillover effect of Messi moving to the U.S. from Europe will spread across Major League Soccer, lifting club valuations and helping draw in talent. Inter Miami's away match against FC Dallas earlier this month sold out in 10 minutes.
Followers of the Red Bulls are already girding for Messi fans to show up. The Viking Army, one of the team's groups of vociferous supporters, on Thursday warned that "no Messi jerseys" will be allowed in the South Ward, the standing-only section behind the goal reserved for fans.