CHICAGO — The biggest news of the year in Major League Soccer has already had an impact on Chicago Fire FC.
That concerns the first time that soccer’s greatest player is expected to take the pitch at Soldier Field.
Per a spokesperson for the Fire on Thursday, they’ve sold over 12,000 tickets for their match against Inter Miami CF on Wednesday, October 4 since the news of Lionel Messi joining that club broke on Wednesday morning. Before that, there were just under 10,000 total tickets sold from the contest.
At the moment, according to a spokesperson, seats for the upper deck are not being sold yet, but they will monitor the ticket sales over the next few months. If need, it could be opened up, which would be a first for the club since returning to Soldier Field in 2020.
As part of the demand, which has been consistent with the rest of MLS since the announcement, the ticket prices set by the club for the October 4 match have significantly increased. Per Ticketmaster, which is the official broker for the club, the cheapest individual ticket being sold by Chicago Fire FC for the Inter Miami CF match is $285 and is located in the 200 section of Soldier Field.
Seats that are still available from the club are starting at $500, with brokers pushing some of the seats in that section even higher.
For comparison, the Fire’s home match on Saturday against Columbus has tickets on sale from the club starting at $27 starting in the 100 sections. The spokesperson for the Fire says they use a “dynamic pricing” model for certain matches, which is something common in many professional sports.
As Inter Miami CF, the last place team in the Eastern Conference, gets ready for the addition of Messi, the Fire are still trying to find their footing in a rough first half. After firing manager Ezra Hendrickson in May, Frank Klopas is now leading the club that’s currently in 14th place in the East with 17 points.
Their four points below the playoff line, sporting a 3-5-8 record heading into Saturday’s match with Columbus. The Fire were just eliminated from the US Open Cup in the quarterfinals on Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to Houston at SeatGeek Stadium.