Today is the day the NCAA Tournament's Eastern and Midwest Regionals begin, and one thing is clear: The East Regionals have risen to a prominent position. For the previous two years, the South Regionals have dominated sales for tickets listed at TicketNetwork.com, or were at least about even with the Midwest, as was the case last year.
This year, the South Regionals have been left behind and in its place are the East Regionals, due at least in part to the addition of Madison Square Garden to the tournament. Currently, the games at MSG account for 26% of ticket sales for the Regionals, only beaten out by the Midwest Regionals at Lucas Oil Stadium, which account for 52%*.
Even before we knew who would be in the first games of the Regionals, the East Regional games were already already receiving a lot of press, and for good reason. This is the first time in 63 years that tournament games will be played in New York City. A combination of typically high ticket prices at MSG plus seller anticipation led these games to have the highest average selling price out of all the regions; this price is currently at $414*. These games are also popular thanks to the advancement of the UConn Huskies to today's game against Iowa State Cyclones.
That isn't the only story of the Regionals. As noted above, the Midwest Regionals are proving even more popular than the East. This isn't so surprising, as 2013 national champion Louisville has made the round once again.
So between the return of the Huskies and the possibility of last year's title game teams doing a replay in the Midwest regional, it's easy to see why fans are flocking to the Midwest and East Regionals, and ticket sales are reflecting this excitement.
* Data as of 3/28/2014 1:30 p.m. EDT. Pricing data for each round includes all games, including finals and championships, 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.