SBD/July 12, 2013/Franchises

MLS Fire Owner Offers Free Tickets To Fans Who Missed Messi At Exhibition Match

MLS Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman issued an invitation to fans who did not meet FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi at the Messi & Friends exhibition soccer match last Saturday "for a complementary evening of soccer" when the Fire play DC United on July 20, according to Jack McCarthy of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. A Fire spokesperson said that Hauptman "wanted to counter last weekend's disappointment at Soldier Field with a positive soccer experience." Hauptman will "host a pre-game gathering at Toyota Park's Second Star Club" and conduct a tour of Toyota Park. The club already has reached out to a "group of 47 fans who purchased VIP tickets" to the Messi exhibition match. The Fire also announced that any fan "who can show proof of attendance at the Messi game is eligible for half price admission to the July 20 match or an Aug. 7 U.S.Open Cup semifinal" also against DC United at Toyota Park (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/12). The Fire did not have any involvement with the Messi & Friends match (THE DAILY).

PROMOTER TO REFUND TICKET COSTS: The AP reported fans who paid $2,500 for tickets to the Messi game "will be eligible for refunds after the star soccer player failed to show for a promised meet-and-greet after the game. Miami-based promoter Numero 5 Producciones said that Messi's early departure from the game "wasn't Messi's fault, blaming Soldier Field security personnel." But the company Thursday in a statement said that it will "reach out to any VIP package holders who didn't meet Messi 'in order to begin the process for making an appropriate refund'" (AP, 7/11).
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