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Whitecaps offer frustrated Messi fans freebies for attending Vancouver game

"We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi will not play the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 25, 2024, at BC Place but fans who attend the game can get some free things.

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi will not play in Vancouver on Saturday, May 25 at BC Place but fans who attend the game can get discounted or free meals and beverages. 

Tickets for the match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Inter Miami sold at prices as high as a whopping $10,000 on the resale market. Tickets reached sky-high costs solely because of the expected appearance of the global icon. 

At a virtual media conference on Friday afternoon, Inter Miami's head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino will discuss why the club's key players, including Messi, won't travel to Vancouver this weekend.

Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster said Thursday that the team didn't have "an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets" but understood they wouldn't make the trip. 

"Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible,“ he said in a press release.

“We always want our best players going up against our opponent's best players, and facing players of the highest pedigree was especially exciting for our team. We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans. We remain committed to making this a special experience for everyone. It is still going to be an incredible atmosphere and celebration of soccer for our city.

"We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday's match is a very important home game for us."

BC Place offers discounts to disappointed fans

BC Place has deferred further questions about Saturday's game and tickets to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

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.

Frustrated fans can also get complimentary tickets to the Vancouver FC derby match against Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC. They can show their Whitecaps – Inter Miami ticket at the North West gate of Willoughby Community Park in the Langley Event Centre on Saturday to get them.

The match starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday with pre-match activities at 1 p.m. 

"With an unprecedented amount of eyes on football in our city and community there’s no better chance to support and help grow a local football derby with over 15 professional B.C. players fighting for bragging rights over our province," explains a news release.


A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)