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MLS

How many MLS attendance records have Lionel Messi and Inter Miami broken?

More than 65,000 fans packed into the New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium on Saturday, the latest record crowd to watch the Herons.

Another MLS attendance record for Messi and Miami
JOSEPH PREZIOSOAFP

Inter Miami retained top spot in the Eastern Conference with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday, Lionel Messi adding another two goals to his MLS tally.

The Argentine has now contributed 16 goal involvements (nine goals, seven assists) in just seven MLS appearances this season. He continues to dazzle on the field and packs out stadiums across the country, with supporters willing to pay vastly-inflated ticket prices to get a glimpse of the Argentinian superstar.

The Revs’ Gillette Stadium, shared with NFL side the New England Patriots, recorded its largest-ever MLS attendance on Saturday evening with Messi and Miami in town. The official count of 65,612 supporters was the biggest crowd to ever see a New England Revolution game, surpassing the 61,316 that turned out for the 2002 MLS Cup final.

“People come to every stadium to see Leo, that’s true, but they also want their team to win,” Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino said after the game. “We’re motivated by the atmosphere we always find where we play – and this also incentivises the opponents a lot.”

How many MLS attendance records has Messi broken?

Fans in New Jersey packed Gillette Stadium on Saturday, becoming the third MLS team to break their attendance record in games against Inter Miami. All three were played at vast NFL stadiums, venues that MLS clubs typically struggle to fill for regular season games.

Earlier this month Inter Miami travelled to Arrowhead Stadium for a game against Sporting Kansas City. Normally the home of the Kansas City Chiefs, Sporting KC returned to the Arrowhead for the first time since 2010 to host Inter Miami. Lionel Messi scored a stunning long-range goal in a 3-2 victory in front of a record crowd of 72,610 supporters.

“We lost the ball three times and they just have the quality that, when you do, they can punish you,” KC head coach Peter Vermes said after the match. “I think you all would agree that you don’t see that regularly in MLS and you do when you play against them. They can punish you and that’s what they did.”

Last year a regular season game against the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field drew a crowd of 62,214 supporters, more than three times Chicago’s average attendance across 2023. That time, however, there was no starring performance from Messi as the Miami captain was ruled out due to injury shortly before gameday.

Messi’s arrival in MLS, and his incredible on-field form, has been a boon for attendances across the league. Earlier this year tickets for LA Galaxy’s home game against Inter Miami sold out in just six minutes. Ahead of kick-off tickets for Dignity Health Sports Park were changing hands for around $1,500 on resale sites, a testament to the huge pulling power of Lionel Messi and this superstar Inter Miami squad.

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