New York Red Bulls put fine print on home-opener ticket promo: No Lionel Messi

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The New York Red Bulls’ holiday ticket promotion involving next season’s home opener has a catch written in the small print: A game against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami isn’t included.

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The Red Bulls distributed an email to consumers on Tuesday offering a two-game “Holiday Pack” that includes next season’s home opener and the derby against rival New York City FC.

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Price per ticket pack ranges from $98 US for upper corners/endline, $125 for corner endline/upper sideline, $174 for sideline A/upper center midfield and $495 for club seats. A travel mug and collectible figure is included in each pack.

But there is an asterisk next to the home opener, and at the bottom of the email the asterisk is explained in small type: “If RBNY plays Inter Miami CF in the home opener, each home opener ticket will be replaced with a ticket to RBNY’s 2nd home match.”

Since Messi’s arrival in MLS, ticket prices have soared for games featuring his Inter Miami side, with secondary markets driving up prices by hundreds of dollars per seat.

MLS last year announced its schedule on Dec. 20.

The Red Bulls declined to comment on the promotion, spokesman Zachary Lahey said Wednesday.

Messi, captain of World Cup champion Argentina, joined Miami in July. The 36-year-old attacker scored at the Red Bulls in his MLS debut on Aug. 26, his only goal in six league matches. He was in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, playing as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

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