Monday, March 24, 2014

Tickets for UConn's Sweet 16 Game are Expensive -- And Going Fast

While Iowa State will be down one of its best players (Georges Niang) on Friday night, UConn may be joined by a very powerful sixth man.

According to Connor Gregoir from SeatGeek, fans from Connecticut (and the whole tri-state area) are snatching up tickets to this weekend's East Regional semifinals and finals in big numbers. And those tickets are expensive. VERY expensive:

Tickets to the East Regional at Madison Square Garden are the most expensive regional tickets we've ever recorded since we began monitoring the secondary market in 2009. The average ticket price for a full strip (including a ticket to both the Sweet 16/regional semifinal doubleheader on Friday and the Elite Eight/regional final on Sunday) is $570, topping the average cost of a full strip to the West Regional in Anaheim ($464) -- this year's second-most expensive regional -- by $106. 

Prior to this year's games at MSG, the most expensive regional we had recorded was the 2011 East Regional, which was also held in the NY/NJ area. A full strip to those games (Ohio State-Kentucky and UNC-Marquette in the semis followed by Kentucky-UNC in the final) at the Prudential Center in Newark went for an average of $480.

Based on early returns, it looks like the Huskies will benefit from a heavily UConn-friendly crowd this weekend. Since UConn defeated Villanova on Saturday, more than 40% of traffic to SeatGeek's event pages for the East Regional has come from Connecticut. New York and New Jersey have accounted for another 30% of ticket shoppers, with the remainder split up among several states.

Friday's doubleheader is the most expensive single-admission college basketball event MSG has ever hosted. Tickets for UVa-Michigan State and UConn-Iowa State are going for $355 each on average, coming in ahead of last year's Big East conference tournament semifinal doubleheader ($266 average ticket price), which featured the final Big East meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown as well as Notre Dame-Louisville.

To put Friday's games in a wider MSG context, ticket prices are on par with those for the Knicks-Heat game on the eve of this year's Super Bowl ($373 average ticket price) and the Rangers' Eastern Conference Semifinal games against the Bruins last season ($381 average ticket price).

The last time UConn advanced to the regional semifinals and final in 2011, a full strip for the games at the Honda Center in Anaheim went for an average of $436, but those high prices were driven mostly by the presence of local schools Arizona and San Diego State. Tickets for the semifinal session that year cost an average of $265, and seats for the UConn-Arizona regional final went for $234 apiece.

As it stands now, there are just under 3,000 full strips for the East Regional available on the resale market, and the cheapest strip is a $440 seat in Section 318. Sweet 16 tickets on Friday night start at $316, and tickets for the regional final on Sunday can be had starting at $172 apiece. All of the latest information on prices and availability can be found on SeatGeek's March Madness page:

Of course, UConn and Shabazz were kind of destined all along to get back to the Garden, no?

*** Meanwhile, I'm not a gambler, but Jimmy Shapiro of Bovada loves to send over his site's odds on things. UConn is a 33-to-1 bet to win it all (lower than only Stanford and Dayton, same as San Diego State), while Iowa State is 16-to-1. The Huskies have the worst odd (9-to-2) of coming out of the East Region, and Shabazz Napier is a 40-to-1 bet to win Most Outstanding Player of the whole NCAA tournament:

2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship - Odds to Win

Florida #1 7/2
Michigan State #4 9/2
Louisville #4 5/1
Arizona #1 6/1
Virginia #1 10/1
Michigan #2 16/1
Wisconsin #2 16/1
Iowa State #3 18/1
UCLA #4 18/1
Kentucky #8 20/1
Baylor #6 20/1
Tennessee #11 28/1
San Diego State #4 33/1
Connecticut #7 33/1
Stanford #10 50/1
Dayton #11 100/1

2014 East Region - Odds to Win

Michigan State #4 3/2
Virginia #1 2/1
Iowa State #3 4/1
Connecticut #7 9/2

2014 NCAA Tournament MOP - Odds to Win
Scottie Wilbekin (Florida) 7/1
Russ Smith (Louisville) 9/1
Gary Harris (MSU) 10/1
Adreian Payne (MSU) 10/1
Nick Johnson (Arizona) 12/1
Casey Prather (Florida) 15/1
Patric Young (Florida) 15/1
Luke Hancock (Louisville) 18/1
Aaron Gordon (Arizona) 20/1
Montrezl Harrell (Louisville) 20/1
Nik Stauskas (Michigan) 22/1
Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) 25/1
Joe Harris (Virginia) 25/1
T.J. McConnell (Arizona) 25/1
Jordan Adams (UCLA) 25/1
Ben Brust (Wisconsin) 33/1
Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) 33/1
DeAndre Kane (Iowa State) 33/1
Kyle Anderson (UCLA) 33/1
Julius Randle (UK) 33/1
Traevon Jackson (Wisconsin) 40/1
Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) 40/1
Sam Dekker (Wisconsin) 40/1
Glenn Robinson III (Michigan) 40/1
Shabazz Napier (UCONN) 40/1
Aaron Harrison (UK) 40/1
Andrew Harrison (UK) 40/1
James Young (UK) 40/1
Jordan McRae (Tennessee) 40/1
Xavier Thames (San Diego State) 50/1
Cory Jefferson (Baylor) 50/1
Brady Heslip (Baylor) 50/1
Isaiah Austin (Baylor) 50/1
Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee) 50/1
Chasson Randle (Stanford) 66/1
Dwight Powell (Stanford) 100/1
Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton) 200/1
Jordan Sibert (Dayton) 200/1

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Blogger Lisa Jones said...

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August 18, 2014 at 10:55 PM 

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