Now that the First Four games have been played, the 2014 NCAA Tournament can truly get underway. We can also start making some comparisons with previous years, and see how things stack up. At this point in the tournament, the average selling price for all NCAA Tournament tickets listed at TicketNetwork.com is $263, about 22% higher than the price at the same point in time for last year's tournament, which was $215. In fact, the price is the highest it's been three years running, up 40% since 2012.
Although tournament ticket prices as whole are higher this year, the same cannot be said for the upcoming second and third rounds. The average selling price for these tickets is almost exactly the same as it was last year at this point in time, $189 versus $187. Both years are about 20% higher than 2012, but this is probably less due to increased excitement for these rounds than it is the combination of tickets purchased. Some venues fetch a higher price than others, so in a certain year prices might be higher.
Average Selling Prices Per Round*
|Round ||Avg. Selling Price
|Second and Third
Additionally, the average price does change on a daily basis as more tickets are purchased. As an example of how this happens, yesterday the per-venue average selling price for second and third round games at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY, was $260, a price far higher than every other venue for these rounds. Today the selling price is $240, which is not much different than two other venues: Spokane Arena at $235 and AT&T Center at $230.Prices will constantly shift as the tournament continues.
As we enter the Regionals, we will begin to see if this tournament is going to generate a lot of excitement or be more ho-hum. There is a catch, though. Right now the average selling price for all regional games, including the Regional Championships, is $352. That's almost 50% higher than last year at this point in time. But this year is a little different as the Eastern Regional games will be hosted at Madison Square Garden, which tends to be among the venues with higher-priced tickets.
Right now the average price for the MSG games at TicketNetwork.com is $471. The next highest is $314 for the games Lucas Oil Stadium, which will host the Midwest Regionals, so a little perspective is needed when making these kinds of comparisons. Tickets for the MSG games have higher prices, which drives the overall round price up, too.
That said, the regional championships truly will give us our first look at how fans perceive this tournament. Will they get close, buzzer-beating final games between two great teams, or will it be one team completely blowing another one out of the water? We'll have a better idea as those games get closer.
* Data as of 3/20/2014 10:30 a.m. EDT. Pricing data for each round includes all games, including championship games, if applicable. Trademarked terms are the property of their respective owners and are used strictly for descriptive purposes and do not imply an endorsement or partnership. TicketNetwork is an online ticket marketplace and is in no way associated with the trademark owners or venues mentioned.