Given the hype, this was a game that never looked like happening from the outset.
There was virtually non-existent promotion, evasiveness from the promoters (according to a media colleague of mine who never could quite chat with them) and just generally weird reports (players were being flown in hours before the game)?
And it’s all Messi’s fault, according to the promoters:
“In all the years I’ve been doing live events, I have never encountered a situation like this,” said Ralina Shaw, vice president of public relations for El Padrino Spirits. “It’s unfortunate because the only losers in this scenario are the fans that were looking forward to the game and the City of Los Angeles.”
Said El Padrino Spirits CEO Todd Graham: “After hours of trying to convince Lionel Messi’s management team to fulfill their contractual agreement and come to Los Angeles, it is clear they have no respect for these fans and this market. We feel that this is a blatant attempt to defraud American citizens and businesses that sponsored this event.”
The most amazing thing: 45,000 suckers reportedly bought tickets to this game.
The game sponsors released a statement on Independence Day that read in part:
After hours of negotiation all parties involved in the Los Angeles, Battle of the Stars match are currently discussing potential dates on which to reschedule said match. Lionel Messi has expressed his deep regret at the cancellation as well as his repeated desire to reschedule the match for the sake of the fans, who are of the utmost importance to him.