With the conference tournaments in full swing, some pieces of the NCAA tournament puzzle are beginning to come together. After some upsets in the early rounds, there could be some unexpected teams sneaking their way into a tournament spot. Everything will really remain a mystery until Selection Sunday, but that hasn’t stopped the purchase of NCAA tournament tickets on the secondary market. The current average price for tickets across the entire tournament are $292.36, up 22% over 2013 and 36% over 2012.
A big reason for the increase in price is ticket prices for the East Region this year. The average secondary market price for those games is $690.71, up 113% from last year’s average price. The East Regional games will be played at Madison Square Garden, the first NCAA tournament games in MSG since 1961. The NCAA tournament prices are also well above the price of the Big East Tournament currently going on at the Garden, with an average price of $195.74.
The South Regional has also seen an increase in ticket price this year. This year’s average at the FedEx Forum in Memphis is $225.70, up $59% from the $141.57 average price from last year’s regional held at AT&T STadium in Arlington, Texas. Prices for the AAC Tournament in Memphis remain low relative to the other conference tournaments and the South Regional in the same arena is currently the cheapest regional for the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Prices for the West and Midwest regions are both down this year compared to last, but both have average prices higher than the South region. The West Regional will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim with an average price of $286.99. Last year’s West Regional was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and had an average price of $341.96. The Midwest Regional hosted the eventual NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals last year and the regional will stay in the same building it was in during the 2013 tournament, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with a slightly lower price. This year’s average price of $262.79 is 6.78% below the average price of $281.90 in 2013. Both regions are up from 2012 prices.
AT&T Stadium will be the host of this year’s Final Four. Prices for Final Four tickets last year at the Georgia Dome were $887.90. This year in Arlington tickets are only $641.35, a 27.77% decrease. Ticket prices for the championship game are up almost 35% from last year, though, from $468.16 to $631.03. The championship game is also well above the 2012 price at the Superdome, which had a $362.60 average. For those wanting to attend all games during the Final Four, including the title game, an all-session strip is currently $1,099.58 on the secondary market, up 22.76% over 2013.
There’s plenty to still be determined about the seeding of the NCAA Tournament and which schools will end up in which bracket. Ticket prices could continue to shift as the actual brackets are announced and fans can see where they need to travel to follow their favorite teams. With the popularity of March Madness, it’s likely those shifts will only be going up by the time the tournament starts.