CHICAGO — Die-hard soccer fans hoping to get a glimpse of Argentinean mega star Lionel Messi and other top soccer players when they play at Soldier Field in July can now buy hotel packages that include a stay at the same spots as the athletes.
The event generated some buzz when it was announced that Messi and other players from around the world had reached an informal agreement to play the "Messi & Friends vs. the World" charity match at Soldier Field on July 6. The match will benefit the Leo Messi Foundation, a children's charity organization led by the FC Barcelona star.
Tickets for the event, organized by Florida-based marketing company Numero 5 Producciones, recently went on sale starting at $55 for nosebleed seats and up to about $400 for front-row spots.
In addition to Messi, international players Jose Manuel Pinto, Jonathan dos Santos, Marco Fabian, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and others plan to participate in the friendly match, according to Numero 5.
Hyatt Hotels announced Monday that it signed on as a sponsor and is offering special packages that include tickets to see the match and stay at one of the hotel chain's three Chicago locations. In addition to having a place to stay in the city, fans get a chance to sleep at the same hotels that plan to put up the star players, Numero 5 said.
“With Lionel Messi on the field, the eyes of the entire world will be on Chicago," said Patrick Donelly, general manager of Hyatt Regency Chicago, in a statement.
"We look forward to supporting and being associated with this great event.”
Those who shell out money for the packages, which are offered from about $200 to $600 on the Messi & Friends site, get a ticket and a stay at Hyatt Regency Chicago, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place or Park Hyatt Chicago.
A limited number of VIP tickets went on sale in February for a whopping $2,500 before organizers even reached a formal agreement with Soldier Field to host the event. Those tickets, which offer seats alongside the players, a meet-and-greet with players and signed memorabilia, are still for sale on the Messi & Friends website.