SBD/March 27, 2014/Events and Attractions

Ticket Prices For NCAA Tourney East Regional At MSG Could Break Record

Prices could break the previous record, set in '11 at Prudential Center
Prices to see teams in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional "are soaring, as the median price paid on StubHub for a full strip of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games at Madison Square Garden this Friday and Sunday, respectively, is $500," according to data cited by Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. That price "includes tickets purchased by fans before the matchups were set." TiqIQ data showed that as of yesterday afternoon, the average price "listed for a full strip of tickets to the regional," which includes three games featuring UConn, Virginia, Michigan State and Iowa State, "was $1,483." That "would beat the previous high for average list price in recent history, which belongs to games at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., in 2011 ($905)." After MSG, the "most coveted ticket" is the West Regional at Honda Center, "with a full strip costing a median price of $344 on StubHub" (ESPN.com, 3/26). Connecticut-based TicketNetwork VP Jay Mullarkey said of tickets for games at MSG, "Demand has been strong and prices continue to rise as inventory falls." Prices at TicketNetwork "increased seven times in three days and, as Mullarkey noted, continued to increase." He added of the East Regional, "The Final Four is less expensive right now. This is really big" (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/26).

NEWER IS BETTER: In Milwaukee, Rich Kirchen reported the leaders of BMO Harris Bradley Center "barely finished basking in the glow of a successful March Madness event in downtown Milwaukee when they started fretting about whether the 26-year-old facility will qualify to host future NCAA men’s basketball tourneys." Bradley Center BOD Chair Marc Marotta said, "I thought it was fantastic -- the atmosphere was as good as it gets." Still, Marotta said that Bradley Center "fails to meet several of the criteria for a modern basketball venue" and added that the NCAA "tends to award March Madness games to newer facilities or those that have undergone major renovations" like MSG. Marotta: "I worry that this is the last time we’re going to be able to host this unless we get a more modern facility." At least one NCAA official said that the organization "was happy with how the co-hosts, BMO Harris Bradley Center and Marquette University, handled the Milwaukee event this year." He "didn’t list any concerns" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/26).
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