NCAA Tournament East Regional ticket prices skyrocket

March 27, 2014 – 3:19 am by Ryan Phillips

Shabazz Napier

New York is going crazy for March Madness. Madison Square Garden will host the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Friday and Sunday, and as of Wednesday night ticket prices were going through the roof.

The median price paid on StubHub for a full set of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight tickets at MSG is currently $500. That price also includes tickets purchased before the matchups were set, which means the true current price is certainly much higher.

The price for the East Regional tickets were already high, especially because these will be the first NCAA tournament games held at the current Madison Square Garden, which was built in 1968. But prices have gone up more than 50 percent since No. 7 seed Connecticut toppled No. 2 seed Villanova.

UConn’s campus is located in Storrs, which is just 135 miles from New York City. There is also a strong alumni base for the school in the surrounding area.

According to TiqIQ, on Wednesday the average listed price for a full set of tickets to the regional was going for $1,483. That would top the previous record high by more than $500. That record was set during games at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey back in 2011, when the average list price was $905.

While UConn is certainly the biggest local draw, No. 1 seed Virginia, No. 4 seed Michigan State and No. 3 seed Iowa State will also be on hand, which should make for a very competitive regional.

After the East, the most expensive tickets are in the West Regional, with the median price for a full set of tickets going for $344 on StubHub. San Diego State is the big local draw there, as the campus is about a 90 minute drive from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, which will host the games.

Would you pay almost $1,500 to see college basketball games at Madison Square Garden? I’m not sure I could possibly justify that kind of an investment no matter how much I love college basketball.

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