Apr 2 2014, 10:28pm CDT | by Forbes
In March Madness, history can change in an instant as a result of a shot missed or made. The same seems to be happening for Final Four tickets. After a price bump this weekend, prices for this weekend’s final four are down significantly over the last 48 hours. The current average price for tickets on the secondary market to the semi-final game is $487 while the average price for the finals is down to $425. That is historically cheap for the semi-final game, which had a previous low of $595 in 2011, when both Kentucky and UConn also made the final four. That year, however, two small-fan-base teams—VCU and Butler—were dancing, which meant less demand for tickets. At that point, the games which were held at Reliant Stadium also set a record for attendance for NCAA tournament game, at 75,421. That massive capacity helped drive down prices, and by tip-off for the Championship game tickets were available for as low as $60.
For the 2014 edition, capacity is ever greater, and it’s expected that the game will break the attendance record set at Reliant Stadium in 2012. Depending on how much standing room is released for the game, it could also eclipse the all-time record for a college basketball game, when 78,129 people attended ‘Basketbowl’ in 2003. Held at Ford Field between Michigan State and Kentucky, it is the second-highest attended basketball game ever, behind only the 2010 NBA All-Star game–also held at AT&T stadium. After Saturday’s semi-final game, AT&T stadium will likely hold the record for both a College and Pro basketball game. Under the weight of all that capacity, ticket prices wither, and the 2014 Final Four semi-final will likely be the first in the last five years to have a get-in price under $100. The current get-in price is $113, but with over 5,000 tickets still available and just over two days until tip, prices will likely continue to drop. The previous low for a get-in price was 2011 when $161 got you an upper-level nosebleed. This year that same nosebleed seat will get you a very distant view of the court, but a very good view of the massive video board that spans 25,000 square feet. That’s the equivalent of 4,920 52” flat screen TVs, and regardless of how high up you get, you won’t miss a drop of sweat.
Below is a chart that shows Final Four Attendance over the last 19 years, which provides an interesting view of how capacity has grown in two decades. The good news for fans is that the Final Four is the only single-game championship in any of the four major sports where $100 in enough to say that you saw it in person.
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