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NCAA Men’s Final Four Prices Rise Significantly Over Past Few Seasons

The following is a sponsor-supported article by our ticket exchange partner, TiqIq.com.


Since preseason number one Indiana went down in week six of the NCAA Men’s Basketball season, the AP Top 25 has seen four teams lay claim to the top billing in just an eight week span. To put that in perspective, last season saw just four teams sit in the one spot throughout the entire season. This type of parity has bred a good deal of excitement for this year’s NCAA tournament. With classic teams such as IndianaDukeMichiganLouisvilleFloridaKansasSyracuse, and Arizona all serious contenders, Final Four tickets at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta have skyrocketed as the optimism within these widespread fan bases drives up demand.

According to TiqIQ, the average secondary market ticket price for this year’s National Championship Game has risen a whopping 203% over last season, from $302 dollars to $916. In fact, this year’s cheapest ticket is currently listed at $249 dollars, barely below last season’s average, and virtually identical to 2011’s average price of $252 dollars. The savvy consumer will notice that ticket quantities are currently quite limited, and prices vary greatly among different sections of the arena. As the tournament progresses and some clarity on the potential Final Four matchups is achieved, more tickets will hit the market, and pricing will become more efficient across sections while also trending downward slightly. Regardless, this figures to be one of the more expensive NCAA Men’s Final Fours in recent years.

Prices for Semifinals tickets have also risen substantially, though not as much as those for the Finals. Interestingly enough, tickets for the Semifinals have actually significantly out-priced those of the Finals in each of the past two tournaments. Last year, Semifinals tickets commanded a 63% premium over the Finals, at an average price of $493 dollars. In 2011, the gap was slightly smaller albeit still substantial, as Semifinals tickets checked in at an average of $337 dollars. This suggests rather clearly that fans enjoy the two games for one ticket that a Semifinals pass offers.

Out of the other rounds in the tournament, the two biggest draws are the East regional tournament tickets and West regional tournament ticketsGeorgetown University will host the East Regional at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., while Pepperdine hosts the West Regional at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. With average ticket prices of $582 and $585 dollars, the East and West Regionals appear to be significantly larger draws than the South regional tournament tickets and Midwest regional tournament tickets, which take place in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The South and Midwest Regionals are hosted by IUPUI and the Big 12 Conference, and are currently priced at $258 and $225 dollars respectively. These price discrepancies between the four regions can largely be chalked up to the socioeconomic demographics of the four host cities. Major coastal cities such as Los Angeles and Washington D.C. often command premiums over Middle-America locations for annual destination events such as the NCAATournament, Super Bowl, and All-Star games.

Indianapolis in particular is such an inferior draw for the tournament that tickets for the 2nd and 3rd round games command a small premium over the Midwest Regional, at an average price of $235 dollars. The locations for the 2nd and 3rd round are:

For those who want to get into a March Madness game for as inexpensive as possible, your best bet is naturally the First Four round. While pundits debate incessantly over whether or not the First Four is truly a “March Madness” round, one thing is for certain—it’s still quite a bit more expensive than a regular season college basketball game. Currently priced at an average of $194 dollars, the First Four round takes place on March 19 and 20 at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

TiqIQ has teamed up with Primesport, the official exchange of the NCAA tournament, click here for tickets.