After Lionel Messi’s substitution during Inter Miami’s significant victory over Atlanta United, thousands of fans were observed leaving the stadium.
Messi, who had previously showcased a moment of brilliance with a stunning last-minute free-kick on his debut against Cruz Azul, made his first start for his new club on Tuesday.
During the Leagues Cup match against Atlanta United, the 36-year-old wore the captain’s armband as he walked out onto the pitch alongside DJ Khaled’s son, adding to the excitement surrounding the match.
However, some fans apparently opted to leave the stadium after Messi’s substitution, missing out on the rest of the game and potentially more captivating moments from the football superstar.
Lionel Messi continued to impress as he delivered another outstanding performance, scoring two goals in the first half and providing an assist in the second half before being substituted.
In the 78th minute, Messi was replaced by Robbie Robinson, and his exit from the field seemed to trigger a significant number of fans leaving the DRV PNK Stadium.
Footage reveals what appears to be thousands of Inter Miami fans leaving the stadium after the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s substitution, causing a mass exodus.
A time-lapse video captures the moment when a large number of supporters depart from the stadium, highlighting the significant impact of Messi’s presence on the attendance and fan excitement.
— Douglas Hernández (@DouglasHz) July 26, 2023
Fans leaving in masses after Messi was subbed off in the 75th minute 🤯pic.twitter.com/7PwJ2QYClJ
— MC (@CrewsMat10) July 26, 2023
Despite Lionel Messi making his first start for Inter Miami, the Athletic reported that the stadium appeared to be around 80 percent full at kickoff.
Visible empty seats and unsold official tickets were noticeable right up until the start of the match. Tickets were priced between $220-280, and even some of the stadium’s most expensive tickets went unsold.
The report also mentioned that weekday matches are generally a tougher sell for MLS fans, and the temperature for the game, which approached a heat index of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, may have also played a role in the attendance.
However, as Messi continues to dazzle with his performances for Inter Miami, it’s likely that more and more fans will be drawn to the DRV PNK Stadium to witness the superstar talent in action, leading to increased attendance and excitement around the team.