March Madness is upon us. And with it, the scramble to fill out brackets and, if you’re near a game site, secure tickets. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny. According to data from TicketIQ.com, the average asking price for a ticket on the secondary market for the First and Second Rounds is the highest in a decade, at $250 across all sites. And the current average asking price for the Regionals is $433, making it the second most expensive in history, behind $465 for last year. Final Four and Championship tickets, currently asking $730 and $573 respectively, will likely rise once the fields are set. The priciest Final Four ticket of the decade, according to TicketIQ.com, was last year’s. Fans paid an average of $1,343 when top seeds Gonzaga and North Carolina advanced to the national championship in Glendale, Ariz. That championship game was the third most expensive of the decade at $695, behind 2015 ($761) and 2016 ($746). North Carolina won. As of Monday some primary inventory for the tournament is also available via Ticketmaster, we laid out the get-in price on the primary market in all the below charts, broken down by round.
The below infographic shows the trend over the last nine years between Selection Sunday and the and it it shows, in most cases, prices for the Final Four Drop before drop over the course of the three week tournament. There, are however, exceptions to that rule, as last year and 2013 show.
The First Four may not be the sexiest of all the rounds of March Madness, but it’s got some big names this year – Arizona State, UCLA and Syracuse will all travel to Dayton for a shot at getting into the field of 64. It’s not the first time marquee programs have made appearances in Dayton and it is a reason that tickets for this mini tournament aren’t cheap. According to data from TicketIQ.com, the current average asking price for a First Four ticket on the secondary market at of Monday was $119, marking the third time this decade that the price has been more than $100.
The most expensive First Four in history was in 2014, when NC State and Tennessee were among the participants. Tickets on the secondary market were $196. The second most expensive First Four ticket was $120 for the 2016 event, and the cheapest this decade was $79 in 2015.
For the 2018 version, the secondary market get-in price is $69 while the get-in for remaining primary inventory available on Ticketmaster is starting at $50. The First Four, branded as “The Big Hoopla,” will be played March 13-14.
Rounds 1 & 2
Definitely the most exciting rounds of the NCAA tournament, often with upsets and buzzer beaters, and fans are always willing to pay good money to get a seat to see it live. This year is no exception. The price on the secondary market for a First- and Second-Round tickets on the secondary market will be over $400. According to TicketIQ.com, fans will pay an average of $433 to see the first two rounds of March Madness in Boise. The basket includes perennial powerhouses Kentucky, Arizona and Gonzaga (2017 runner-up).
The most expensive ticket to this round on the secondary market was $597 in Seattle in 2015 and the second priciest was $549 last year in Greenville.
For the upcoming tournament, the cheapest First- and Second-Round event, according to TicketIQ.com, will be in San Diego, where fans are currently paying $152 per seat. The next cheapest is $197 in Pittsburgh, which features Villanova, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Duke, Iona and the LIU Brooklyn-Radford winner.
Primary market tickets for the 1st and 2nd rounds have get in prices ranging from $50-$95 on Ticketmaster.
Regionals: Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight
Predictably, as the tournament progresses, ticket prices rise. As of March 12, the most expensive Regional Round on the secondary market, according to TicketIQ.com, was the Boston get-together, which was trending on $477, making it the fourth-most expensive of the decade. The most expensive Regional was in Kansas City last year, when the hometown favorite Jayhawks played, and tickets shot up to $652. The third most expensive ticket of the decade was $533 in Cleveland in 2015.
There is no truly cheap ticket to a Regional, but the least expensive this year will be for the event in Atlanta, where the current asking price for a ticket is $325. The least expensive since 2011, was $141 in Dallas in 2013. On the primary side, tickets were available on Ticketmaster starting at $137 for the West Regional, $220 for the Midwest Regional, $249 for the South Regional, and $296 for the East Regional.
Historically, the Final Four has been the most expensive ticket of March Madness – even pricier than the Championship. This year will be no exception. While the price of Final Four and Championship tickets tend to rise once the field is set, 2018 prices are still following the trend. According to TicketIQ.com, the current asking price for a Final Four ticket at the Alamodome in San Antonio, is running $730 on the secondary market. Championship tickets are trending at $493.
For the last three years, the price for a Final Four ticket on the secondary market has been more than $1,000 — $1,343 last year, $,1025 in 2016 and $1,108 in 2015. The least expensive Final Four ticket was in 2011, when for $552, fans got to see Butler beat VCU and Connecticut slip past Kentucky in the first Final Four in history that did not feature a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. The field was considered the weakest in March Madness history.
The get-in price for the 2018 Final Four is $199 on the secondary market. The highest get-in price in history was in 2013 in Atlanta, when fans paid $309 just to get in the door.
While the price of a ticket to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game has traditionally been cheaper than the Final Four, it’s hasn’t been cheap. Like the Final Four, ticket prices rise (or fall) based on which teams make the championship, and where it’s located. This time around, championship tickets are trending at $530 with a get-in price of $180 on the secondary market, according to TicketIQ.com. The game will be played at the Alamodome on April 2.
The most expensive championship game of the decade was $796 in 2016, when Villanova beat UNC by three points in a tight game in Houston. The title was the second in Villanova’s history. A close second, in terms of ticket prices, was $761 in 2015 while the cheapest title game cost fans an average of $60 on the secondary market in Dallas in 2011.
This year, the current get-in price for the national championship is $164.