CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — “Is it true?”
That’s the question many soccer fans were asking as Inter Miami tried to score on of the best soccer players in the world.
With the official announcement that Lionel Messi is coming to the league, many fans have circled Oct. 21 on the calendar.
That’s the night Inter Miami plays at Bank of America stadium.
“It’s going to bring a massive amount of fans,” said Charlotte Football Club Lucha from the Carolina Hooliganz. “People who probably never would have given MLS a second chance, now they are going to want to come see it because someone like Messi is here.”
We caught up with other Hooliganz members as they were getting a tifo prepared for Hispanic Heritage Month in September.
“I don’t ever see myself going overseas to actually watch him play,” said Hoolaginz member Zeily Melendez. “So, him coming to us, I really can’t describe it. He will be here, he will be here, and I will see him.”
It’s good for the crown and for MLS.
Charlotte FC won’t make any formal announcements until Inter Miami and MLS announce Messi will be signing. He’ll be eligible to play in the U.S. after June 30, and a source close to Charlotte FC says every team has seen a spike in ticket sales for Inter Miami games.
For the Charlotte FC match, prices went from around $40 to nearly $300 for a single ticket within hours. Tickets on third-party sites are already over $600.
Fans say adding Messi to the mix could break an attendance record.
“It’s going to be similar to our inaugural match from what I can think of,” added CLTFC Lucha. “There’s going to be so many fans. Just for that alone.”
The source also says the upper portion of Bank of America Stadium was already going to be open because it’s the last match of the season and fan appreciation day.
“I love this for us,” said Melendez. “Having him here, just seeing him in person, if everything goes well, it’s going to be so good.”