Montreal Gazette

CFM fan groups take issue with Messi-led price hikes


Two CF Montréal supporters' groups are taking issue with the rise in ticket prices with Messi Mania coming to the city this spring.

Inter Miami and Lionel Messi — the global icon who took North American soccer by storm with his Florida arrival last summer — are scheduled to visit Montreal's Saputo Stadium for a Major League Soccer game May 11.

Supporters' group 1642MTL released a statement Wednesday morning on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating the club intends to charge $449 plus taxes in the designated supporters' section in the stadium's east end — more than 10 times the price of any other match, they say.

Collectif Impact Montréal, another group that occupies the supporters' section in the stadium's west end, added its voice to the cause and said the hike in price will make it impossible for several committed members to attend the match.

CF Montréal announced Jan. 18 that season tickets — starting at $444 — had sold out for the first time since the club joined MLS in 2012, making up 15,000 of Stade Saputo's 20,801 capacity. The club then released a six-game bundle — which included Inter Miami's visit — starting at $750. That package sold out Feb. 14.

Single-match tickets go on presale Friday before being released to the general public Saturday.

“We understand that the situation is special and that the high demand for tickets justifies an increase in price. However, we are disappoint­ed that the club did not make a gesture of goodwill to offer tickets at a reasonable price to the groups of supporters who accompanie­d the team when the stadium was sometimes half full,” Simon Carignan, coordinato­r of 1642MTL, said in a statement.

“It would have been a nice gesture of recognitio­n allowing the supporters already present in the section to be able to bring additional supporters to encourage CFMTL. The club made the choice to put dollars before loyalty, and that's regrettabl­e.”

CF Montréal did not wish to comment on the supporters' clubs' statements.

Montreal isn't the only city experienci­ng an increase in ticket prices amid the possibilit­y of Messi visiting town.

General admission tickets for Inter Miami's match against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Oct. 5 come out to $292.80, including fees and taxes, on Ticketmast­er. The cheapest seat for Miami's meeting with the Vancouver Whitecaps at B.C. Place Stadium on May 25 is $249. Meanwhile, tickets for Vancouver's ensuing match against Colorado start at $24.

There is also no guarantee Messi will play in any of the games.

The 2022 World Cup winner and eight-time Ballon d'or recipient drew heavy criticism after Hong Kong soccer fans and government expressed their disappoint­ment when he stayed on the bench for an exhibition match during Miami's pre-season global tour on Feb. 4.

Messi also missed six league games last season after joining Miami on a free transfer in July.

CF Montréal opens the 2024 season Saturday in Orlando. Its first home game is set for April 13 against Cincinnati.

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