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Messi, Josef coming to Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens upper level tickets for September match

Atlanta United confirmed with 11Alive that they will be opening up the entirety of The Benz, which includes the upper 300 level.

ATLANTA — The game may still be over three months away, but preparations are already ramping up in a big way for when global soccer icon Lionel Messi and former Atlanta United star Josef Martinez come to The Benz in September.

Messi sent shockwaves through the soccer community Wednesday morning when international soccer writer Guillem Balague reported Messi -- arguably the greatest footballer of all time -- was heading to Inter Miami CF.

That move was confirmed by the 35-year-old Messi himself and Major League Soccer Wednesday afternoon, meaning that Messi and Martinez -- who won an MVP and MLS Championship with Atlanta United in 2018 -- will be playing together at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the five stripes on Sept. 16.

Atlanta United confirmed with 11Alive that they will be opening up the entirety of The Benz, which includes the upper 300 level, as demand for tickets is expected to be toward the highest of any Atlanta United regular season game ever.

Tickets have already skyrocketed for the Inter Miami-Atlanta United match following Messi's announcement.

One 11Alive employee who bought tickets for the match before the report Wednesday said he was able to get tickets for about $112 before taxes and fees.

On secondary sites, tickets have swelled up well over $200 per ticket with fees, and are only expected to rise as the match gets closer.

  • On StubHub, the cheapest seats as of Wednesday night are $226 with added fees for the upper 300s level.
  • On TickPick, a site that does not include fees, the cheapest tickets are going for $197 for section 347.
  • On Vivid Seats, the cheapest ticket is going for $233.14 with fees in section 347.

Messi's move comes after a two-season stay with Paris Saint-Germain and, before that, a decorated and legendary career at Barcelona. He had been rumored to be considering a return to Barcelona or a lucrative offer to go to Saudi Arabia, comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo's recent move.

Messi secured a legacy-defining World Cup victory with the Argentina national team in December as well. 

If the Inter Miami move does come to fruition, it could pit him in September against his Argentina teammate Thiago Almada, the dynamic young Atlanta United star.

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