Miami is the new hub for sports investments: This is how the US MLS is reshaping the global map of sport’s business
Messi’s arrival in the US MLS (Major League Soccer) happened at a tipping point for Miami. The US city is already experiencing a “seismic” growth both nationally and internationally in terms of sports, fashion, food and finance investments. It so happens that Miami has also become a world reference for the top sports including basketball, football, baseball, tennis, golf and now even soccer.
Despite MLS’ reputation as a secondary market where players from Europe and Latin America’s top leagues come to retire, over the last decade the league has made extraordinary progress, in terms of viewership, sponsorship, media rights and player acquisitions. Messi’s arrival is no doubt going to propel the leagues’ growth both in terms of profitability and notoriety. According to a recent report by Parks Associates, revenue from sports streaming subscription alone is expected to increase 73% to $22.6 billion in 2027 after generating $13.1 billion in revenues last year. MLS will receive at least $250 million per season from Apple. The MLS league averaged $100 million per season under its previous eight-year agreements with Fox, ESPN and Univision.
What is more, as of recently FIFA, the football governing body is securing a location in the upscale Miami neighborhood of Coral Gables to make Miami its long-term North American base. This is well timed, as the US, together with Mexico and Canada prepares to host the World Cup in 2026. This is a great move as FIFA prepares to expand its format to 48 teams by 2026.
Inter-Miami Valuation and Revenues
In the minutes after it was reported that Messi would be moving to the US, ticket prices for Inter Miami matches soared by more than 1,000%. Once Messi arrived in Miami in late July, Inter Miami’s ticket price grew by 550%. At that time the team still ranked last in the Easter-Conference. Miami underperformed the league losing the last 5 matches. Messi’a arrival changed all that, affecting also Inter’s asset value. The team has won all the six matches played since Messi joined, and the team could be on a path to win this year’s main trophies. What is more, as of the first week of August, Ares Management confirmed investing an extra…