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'I'm livid': Fans outraged Messi won't play in Vancouver after paying steep ticket prices

Tickets on the resale market for the highly-anticipated match sold for upwards of $10,000.
Lionel Messi was expected to play at BC Place when his club, Inter Miami FC, plays the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 25, 2024.

Scores of Metro Vancouver soccer fans are frustrated that Lionel Messi won't play a match as planned in Vancouver this weekend. 

The global soccer phenom was expected to play in front of a sold-out crowd at BC Place when his club, Inter Miami FC, plays the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, May 25. 

Tickets on the resale market for the highly-anticipated match sold for upwards of $10,000 a pair. Typically, Whitecaps tickets start around $40 or less, depending on where the seats are located. 

But news broke late Thursday, May 23 that the Argentinian player wouldn't travel to Vancouver with the rest of his team. 

A Whitecaps club record MLS-era crowd was expected to attend Saturday's game and feature "the biggest street party in the team’s history," according to a news release. 

The Vancouver franchise hasn't stated whether it will offer further help to fans expecting to see Messi who purchased tickets but it will offer some discounts.

Fans can purchase all in-stadium food and beverages at 50 per cent off and youth 18 and under will be provided one free kid's meal combo.

Vancouver fans react to Messi news 

Numerous fans are outraged that the soccer superstar won't attend Saturday's match, with several speculating that the team already knew he wouldn't attend.

Some people also say BC Place's artificial turf has made multiple players reluctant to play at the Vancouver stadium. 

A woman launched a campaign directed at the Vancouver Whitecaps Management, urging them to consider issuing refunds to frustrated fans. 

Rachel R says "world-renowned players' faces have been used in promotions since the schedule announcement, leading to increased ticket demand and premium pricing." She also says promotions on food and beverages do not offer "sufficient compensation."

Greg Belanger writes in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the situation is "sad," adding that the details should have been "announced months ago given Inter Miami knew the schedule. And I also find it suspicious that they rest all [three]. Sounds like they don't want to play on artificial turf."

A man writes on Instagram's Threads: "I'm livid. We surprised our Messi-obsessed son with tickets for his birthday and now he doesn't even want to go." 

Another person says his friend booked flights to see Messi and believes the star "simply just can't play on artificial turf." 

Rob Hodkinson highlights how offering 50 per cent off food will not make any fans feel better about purchasing expensive tickets.

One person commented: "Who cares about the food… while the tickets are 10x more than usual…"

Some fans trying to resell tickets 

Mike Martignago joked Thursday evening that he just purchased tickets for the "Messi game at BC Place on Saturday for a steal! - $899.99 a ticket - and I couldn’t be more excited!" 

In response to his quip, one person replied: "Worth more now...50 per cent off concessions!!" 

Other fans expect the stadium will be empty, with most people who were originally planning to see Messi choosing to skip the match instead.

One fan asks how the owners will know when they will "need to rest their players months in advance" and feels fans are being unreasonable. 

Another man also said there was no guarantee Messi would play in Vancouver because it has artificial turf.

"This was always likely. I don’t really have a lot of sympathy for anyone who bought Whitecaps season tickets just to watch one game. Buyer beware. It’s sports," he wrote in a post on Threads.