Yukihito Taguchi | USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Messi is coming to MLS. And while no one knows for sure when the world’s greatest soccer player will suit up for Inter Miami, educated guesses indicate he’ll arrive in August.

And look at that: Red Bull New York is scheduled to host Inter Miami on Aug. 26 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. Let’s go to StubHub!

The cheapest ticket to get in right now: $405.

If you want too go see RBNY host D.C. United six days earlier? $22.

OK, this guy is the big deal everyone says he is. We’ll let Crossing Broad compadre and aficionado of the beautiful game Kevin Kinkead explain further:

Bringing in a guy like Messi is a no brainer. He’s the best player in the world and probably the best of all time, depending on how you feel about Cristiano Ronaldo. Pulling someone like Messi, who is 35 and has quality years remaining, gives MLS a boost that we haven’t seen since David Beckham signed for the LA Galaxy in 2007.


This all might seem crazy if you’re a four-for-four (Philly) fan, but MLS always has to get creative when doing big things like this. For instance, when Beckham came here, there was no mechanism to pay him what he was worth. The salary cap wasn’t high enough. So MLS created something called the “Designated Player” rule, which allowed each team to pay up to three players any amount of money beyond the cap. LA had some players back then making less than $100k while Beckham raked in millions. They also offered him an ownership stake in a future expansion team, which became… Miami.

Consider, too, that when Messi comes here, Apple is going to bag millions of new subscriptions around the globe. So while casual Philly sports fans can’t watch the Union on PHL 17 anymore, and didn’t want to pay for Apple TV+, Major League Soccer is now offsetting that loss with global subs from Argentina, Europe, and pretty much everywhere else. This is what they envisioned when they launched this strategy. They’re losing 47 year old Bobby from South Philly, but gaining 27 year old Rodrigo from Argentina. They’re putting global eyeballs on the product and forfeiting local casuals.

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.