SBD/March 25, 2014/Events and Attractions

Ticket Prices For NCAA Men's Regional Games At MSG Reaching Record Levels

Friday could be the most expensive college basketball event ever at MSG
The secondary ticket market is "sizzling hot" for the three NCAA men's basketball regional games at Madison Square Garden this weekend, as the venue has not hosted a tourney game in 53 years, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. SeatGeek Communications Analyst Connor Gregoire said that prices at MSG have been "the highest the site has observed for an NCAA regional" since the company began monitoring the market in '09. He called Friday night’s Sweet 16 doubleheader "by far the most expensive college basketball event the Garden has ever hosted." As of yesterday morning, the "average price paid for a full weekend strip was $570, nearly double the $288 average for the Midwest Regional." SeatGeek said that the $355 average price for Friday night’s doubleheader featuring UConn-Iowa State and Virginia-Michigan State "tops the previous single-session record for the building of $266 for last year’s Big East semifinals, which included the final conference meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown." Much of the demand "is being driven by UConn" (NEWSDAY.com, 3/24). In New Jersey, John Brennan cited TiqIQ data as showing the average resale price "had climbed to $969.57" for a three-game ticket strip -- "with a 'get in the door' price for nosebleed seats of $386." The $969.57 "dwarfs the other regions -- $589.83 for the West, $510.55 for Midwest and $280.01 for the South" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 3/24). 

KENTUCKY SHOWDOWN: In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted when Kentucky beat Wichita State on Sunday, it "set up a showdown pitting" UK against Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday. Visit Indy VP/Marketing & Communications Chris Gahl said, "From a tourism perspective, it’s nearly a perfect storm." Ticket brokers said that UK’s upset victory "is having the biggest impact on this weekend." Indiana-based Fanfare Tickets Principal Renny Harrison said, "When Louisville won, we saw an uptick. When Kentucky won, it went crazy." Schoettle noted demand is "so high for the Indianapolis regional that NCAA officials were working Monday morning with the Indiana Sports Corp. to make a few hundred more seats available." Indiana Sports Corp. VP/Communications John Dedman said that it is not clear at this time "how many seats will be added." Harrison said that ticket demand is "at least 15 percent to 25 percent higher than it was at last year’s NCAA regional at Lucas Oil Stadium" (IBJ.com, 3/24). In Louisville, Jonathan Lintner noted Lucas Oil Stadium "seated more than 70,000 fans" for the Final Four in '10 by "setting the court at the middle of the facility." This time the court is tucked "into an end zone." Because of "logistical concerns, moving the court back to its center location isn't a consideration" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 3/25).
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