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Lionel Messi fever grows as Copa America descends on MetLife Stadium. Here's how to get tickets.

Lionel Messi fever grows as Copa America descends on MetLife Stadium
Lionel Messi fever grows as Copa America descends on MetLife Stadium 01:51

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It's a big week for soccer fans in the Tri-State Area.

Copa America is holding three matches at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey over the next few weeks. In one, Lionel Messi and Argentina will take on Chile at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night. Tickets are still available, but they are not cheap. They'll set you back anywhere from about $300 to about $5,000.

Messi fever has already started

Messi's jerseys have been spotted around East Rutherford, as fans from all over the world descend on the Garden State.

"And so he got to pick where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do. He's a big Lionel Messi, Argentina, Miami fan. so we're here for the big game," Kate Andrew Van Horn said of her nephew, Gus Zawasky, who came all the way from Minnesota as part of his 10th birthday present.

"I think it's going to be really cool to see one of the best soccer players, in my opinion, ever, to actually see him in a live stadium," Zawasky said.

Fans said they are excited to see Messi play in the twilight of his incredible career.

"We're from Chile, so we're supporting Chile, but seeing Messi in one of his last matches, too. It's pretty exciting," fan Sebastion Del Gado Bolduc said.

Messi's presence is also good for local business

Jeff Zielinski is bartender at the New Park Tavern in East Rutherford, which is practically in the shadows of MetLife Stadium. Soccer fans will be filling bars starting Tuesday, in part thanks to Messi.

"It should be good. Messi is a huge draw, big name. A lot of people get excited for that," Zielinski said. "It's like having Taylor Swift show up."

Officials are urging fans to take public transit to and from MetLife. NJ Transit will be offering special rail service from Secaucus Junction on Tuesday and Thursday. Trains will run after 1 a.m., if needed.

The Copa America isn't the only major soccer tournament coming to East Rutherford. The 2026 World Cup final will also be held at MetLife.

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