The 'boom' of the MLS 2023

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Chicago (USA), Oct 20 (EFE).- 45 minutes on the sales platform were enough for Messi's shirt to become the best-selling of 2023. Three days later, it was already the most always sold in the American league. More than 10 million fans in the stadiums, 5.4 million new followers on networks. This is the 'boom' of the MLS 2023.

Numbers already in notable growth in the first half of the season had a vertical boost after Messi's arrival at Inter Miami last July. The Argentine's debut in the Leagues Cup duel was the most watched television broadcast of all time by an MLS club in Spanish, with a total of 1.75 million viewers, according to data to which EFE had access.

The MLS, which gave San Diego a new expansion franchise this year, achieved a new attendance record in a season with a total of 10,432,703 fans in the stadiums, numbers that, in the absence of the last day this Saturday , they will end up touching 11 million.

The increase in spectators in stadiums is constant. In recent seasons, an annual growth of 9% was recorded and in this campaign the MLS also sealed the absolute record of fans in a game, with 82,110 who attended the Los Angeles derby between Galaxy and LAFC in July at the Rose Bowl.

In addition, the launch of the Leagues Cup, a new tournament recognized by CONCACAF that measures MLS clubs against those of Liga MX, brought a total of 1.275 million more fans to stadiums in the United States.

The final in Nashville, won by Messi's Inter Miami in the penalty shootout, was a football party in a coliseum that will open in 2022, with capacity for 30,000 fans.

The arrival of Messi skyrocketed the weight of the MLS on social networks, with 5.4 million new followers, almost six times more than those registered in 2022.

This growth stood out on Instagram, with an increase of two million followers, and on TikTok, with an increase of 2.2 million.

It should be noted that this trend began already at the beginning of the 2023 season, when Messi was still playing for Paris Saint Germain. In the first six months of the year, the MLS increased the number of its followers on TikTok by 26%, and its publications on Instagram generated 50% more interactions compared to 2022, as EFE learned.

The investment in expansion franchises also worked for the MLS. The last to join, waiting for San Diego to do so in 2025, was Saint Louis, which in its first season won the Western Conference.

Saint Louis itself was one of four MLS franchises to sell out every game of the regular season, along with the Philadelphia Union, Austin FC and LAFC.

In particular, Austin, a team that debuted in the MLS in 2021, has a streak of 51 consecutive sell-outs in its stadium.

Inter Miami was not accompanied by sporting results, as it was left out of the postseason, but its business numbers are on the rise thanks to the signing of Messi.

The owners of the franchise, brothers Jorge and José Mas and the British David Beckham, saw attendance at the DRV PNK Stadium increase by 30% compared to last year, before Messi's arrival. After the signing of the Argentine, the team registered growth of more than 38%.

The MLS is experiencing a moment of 'boom', which will celebrate its last day this Saturday, on the so-called 'Decision Day' before kicking off the 'playoffs'.

Andrea Montolivo

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