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Why Did Messi Move to Miami?

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

It’s official: Lionel Messi is in Miami. Inter Miami - the team that amazingly beat out Saudi Arabia to land the athlete - is strategizing to make this their magic moment for Miami and for the world's best player to help transform the US into a top player in the world’s most popular sport.

Club Inter Miami logo

Rumours of his $400m move to Saudi Arabia were, it's now certain, wide of the mark. And Inter Miami is hoping that Messi can turn the city into the soccer capital of the US. And it's putting it's money where the mouth is.

It's also most definitely caught the attention of people on Instagram, as Inter's numbers have jumped from 900,000 to 10 million. No wonder the team is confident enough to now be selling tickets for a minimum of $350 a pop… and will likely sell out.

In a further demonstration of confidence in its new superstar, and all the dreams that his signing encompasses, Inter are building a $1 billion stadium in Miami’s Freedom Park.

As Sheffield Business School football finance expert Rob Wilson told the investment platform Saxo, “Messi’s impact is all about profile - that individual personality, at the pinnacle of his playing career, was a massive coup for the MLS. Sponsors and partners want to be associated and that’s what he brings.”

And for his part, Messi is getting $150 million over two and a half years, a share of the revenue from Major League Soccer’s deals with AppleTV+ and adidas. If money is all that the move is about for Lionel Messi, some experts predict that his deal could be the most lucrative in sports history. But, let's not forget Miami's huge Spanish speaking population (Messi's mother tongue), great party scene and, to top off the additional ingredients that may have tipped his signing in Miami's favour, fabulous beaches and year-round sunshine.

Oh, let's not forget that Miami is serving as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, and can prepare for fans worldwide to flock to its shores for the chance to see Messi on his new home turf.


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