The recruitment of soccer superstar Lionel Messi by David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF sent a frenzied wave through South Florida as realtors, restaurants, and landlords anticipate hordes of visitors to see the Argentine maestro in action.
Messi turned down lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia (purported to be ($1.6 billion over three years) in return for a lesser fee of $60M a year, and minority ownership stake in the Miami team, and a profit-sharing arrangement from two of MLS’s biggest partners, Apple and Adidas. However, the legend’s presence is sure to generate many times that in revenue for the city, with Miami’s heavy South American/Latin population buoyed by the prospect of seeing him play in their city.
Messi and Miami Real Estate
The question of where the 2022 World Cup winner and seven time Ballon D’Or winner will choose to live in the city has caused much speculation in Miami’s real estate circles. He won’t be in a rush, however. In 2019 he snapped up a luxury condo in Sunny Isles Beach for $5 million in the Porsche Design Tower. The Porsche Tower features a private elevator to each apartment from residents and their cars, meaning Messi can sidestep paparazzi and fans in the lobby.
In 2021 Messi bought a larger condo nearby for $7.3 million, taking up the entire ninth floor of the Regalia Tower, located at 19575 Collins Ave. The building has just 39 residents and features six pools, a spa, fitness center, yoga studio, children’s playhouse, chef’s kitchen, and a champagne bar and wine cellar. Messi also paid just over $1 million each for two units on the 40th and 43rd floors of the Trump Royale Tower in the same neighborhood.
Those were savvy investments and great places to hang out when the Messis were in town. However, when they decamp to reside permanently in Miami, it’s likely that family man Messi, who has three children with his wife and high school sweetheart, Antonela, will buy a house. Two years ago, during the 2021 Copa America Championships in Miami, Messi rented a waterfront mansion on Key Biscayne at 440 S Mashta Drive that was listed for $200,000 per month. Wherever the Messi clan choose to live, there’s no doubt that the realtor who sells them their home will be in for a bumper payday.
Where to Stay if You’re Planning to Watch Messi in Miami
Messi will play his home games at the 18,000 seat Inter Miami CF’s stadium at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, 35 miles north of the airport. This, however, is only a temporary home for the team. Inter Miami’s ultimate venue will be the recently approved $ 1 billion Miami Freedom Park located at a now-closed golf course near Miami International Airport, which will open in 2025. The stadium will house restaurants, shops, and a tech hub.
Visitors heading to Fort Lauderdale to see Messi play would likely stay at the abundance of hotels and short-term rentals in the Miami area and take the hour’s drive to the stadium for the game. A Messi home game will attract a global audience, with visitors from Europe and South America making a weekend of it, enjoying the restaurants, shopping, and attractions in and around Miami. If you’re coming to town to Messi in action, allow MAK Realty’s concierge service to arrange an ideal soccer weekend for you with accommodation, restaurant reservations, and transport to and from the stadium, along with shopping and sightseeing tours. And unlike other hotels and STR, our proprietary agreements with our investors mean we can discount our rates compared to much of our competition.
Messi and Miami Tourism
Messi attracts the media wherever he goes. The world’s press will converge to follow his every move. That means more publicity for Miami and more tourism. The restaurants that Messi patronizes, the neighborhood in which he lives, and the school his children, attend will all get an immediate boost. However, the sheer volume of visitors to watch him play or attracted to the city by the wave of publicity he will generate will benefit all Miami businesses, including stores, hotels and short-term rentals, restaurants, attractions such as boat rides, neighborhood tours, marine centers, zoos, concerts, clubs and more.
Messi’s Miami Welcome
The Messi Miami welcome party has already started. Hard Rock’s giant guitar-shaped hotel lit up with a “Welcome Messi” message in English and Spanish when the soccer magician’s move was first announced in early June. His first game is scheduled for July 21 against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. Tickets for that game are selling for ten times the price of a standard Inter Miami home game. Expect Miami to come out in full force to welcome Messi to Miami, with each home game becoming a soccer celebration attracting a global audience. For South Americans, in particular, the chance to watch Messi on the same continent after years of playing in Europe will see demand for plane and game tickets and accommodation at an all-time high.
If you plan to visit Miami to watch Messi play, let MAK Realty be your one-stop shop for your trip. Our concierge team will gladly arrange your entire itinerary according to your preferences. Whether you’re into sports, sightseeing, shopping, Michelin restaurants, or prefer something more low-key and cultural — we’ve got you covered.