Copa América fever hits Atlanta: Tickets soar as fans gear up for kickoff

The Copa América kicks off in Atlanta on Thursday and ticket demand is skyrocketing for some of the games. 

According to Vivid Seats, there is a significant interest in the tournament, particularly for the Canada vs. Argentina match. The game is the second hottest in the tournament, with an average ticket price of $435. 

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What is the ‘Messi Effect?’

This surge in demand can be attributed to the "Messi Effect," as defending champion Argentina remains the most sought-after team with an average ticket price of $462. 

Canada, too, is drawing considerable attention as the fourth most in-demand team, with tickets for their games averaging $307. According to Vivid Seats' Fan Forecast, Argentine fans are projected to dominate the crowd, making up 66% of attendees for the game against Canada on Thursday. Fans are traveling 452 miles to witness the Copa América debut in Atlanta. 

The overall popularity of Copa América has soared, with this year's average ticket price at $283, a 98% increase compared to the 2016 tournament when it was last hosted in the U.S. 

SEE ALSO: How to watch Copa América 2024

What is Copa America?

Copa América is the oldest international continental football competition, having begun in 1916. It stands as a significant event in the football world, drawing teams from across South America to compete for regional supremacy. Originally known as the South American Championship, the tournament was rebranded as Copa América in 1975, and occasionally includes guest teams from outside the continent to enhance competition. 

Governed by the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), Copa América's format typically features a group stage followed by knockout rounds. With a varying number of teams over the years, the tournament celebrates the skill and cultural diversity of South American football, with giants like Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil frequently contending for the title. 

Copa América's role in football history is immense, with legendary participant players like Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messi contributing to its storied legacy. Victories in the tournament often lead to national jubilation, encapsulating the significant cultural and emotional investment of the fans. 

The cultural impact of Copa América extends beyond football, influencing music, art, and literature, and acts as a unifying force that transcends national boundaries. It promotes a shared heritage and passion for the game amongst diverse South American cultures.