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Businesses around Kansas City area cash-out on 'Messi Effect' ahead of big soccer match

Local business around the Kansas City area are seeing the 'Messi Effect' ahead of the big soccer match
Posted at 6:21 AM, Apr 12, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ahead of the highly-anticipated soccer match between Sporting KC and Inter Miami, featuring soccer superstar Lionel Messi, businesses around the Kansas City area are seeing an influx of soccer fans gearing up.

“I think soccer is growing dramatically here in Kansas City. All the way from the little kids to the pros," said Aaron Lewis, store manager at Rally House.

The match was announced months ago that Kansas City would be welcoming Messi. Since that announcement, soccer fans in Kansas City have been gearing up.

"Leading up to this weekend, we have seen an influx of customers coming through the door looking strictly for sporting," Lewis said.

The biggest seller, the No. 10, Messi jersey. El Padrino in KCK has also been seeing soccer fans purchase their gear.

“Right now the hottest item is the Messi shirt," said Raul Villegas, owner of El Padrino.

El Padrino has been a staple Sporting store in the KCK area for many years. They have a variety of hats, jerseys, and scarves from all teams, including Messi piñatas.

“We're very happy and excited and it brings extra revenue for our business," Villegas said.

Ahead of the big soccer weekend, Rally House and El Padrino will be busy helping customers. Villegas said having Messi in Kansas City is great for small businesses like his.

“It's a good question. I think it's going to be half and half. I think this is the only team in the MLS that will have this type of impact. You know, you kind of go, you want Messi to win, but you want also your home club to win," he said.

You can check out El Padrino's website to find what they have available.