There are few guarantees in sports, especially when it comes to college basketball, but one thing you can count on is the entertaining unpredictability of the annual NCAA Tournament. The wild regular season helped make March Madness even more anticipated than usual, which resulted in a slight increase in average ticket price for 2013 ($217.74) compared to 2012 ($201.82). As of March 25, the average ticket price for 2013 regional rounds was $308.93, compared to $285.87 for the same time last year (Monday after final third-round game).
Looking ahead to the upcoming NCAA Regional rounds, Florida Gulf Coast has already done a number on people’s brackets, as well as sales, and that trend appears to be continuing. Through March 25, the top seller was Session 1 for the NCAA South Regional, which includes matchups at Cowboys Stadium between Florida Gulf Coast and Florida, and Michigan and Kansas.
The South Regional may own the top session, but the NCAA West Regional at the Staples Center has been the top site thus far, while its Session 1 matchups of Arizona vs. Ohio State and Wichita State vs. La Salle ranked fifth for individual sessions as of March 25.
The NCAA Midwest Regional at Lucas Oil Stadium ranked third for site, but its sales for Session 1(Louisville vs. Oregon, Michigan State vs. Duke) and All Sessions occupied two of the top three spots for individual session sales. Lastly, the NCAA East Regional ranked fourth, and location may be a contributing factor for sales at this site. The fan bases of the four competing teams (Marquette vs. Miami, Syracuse vs. Indiana) will have some distance to cover to get to Washington, D.C. Syracuse is the closest at about 370 miles, while Miami is over 1,000 miles away, but has reached just its second-ever Sweet 16 and first since 2000.
The last major piece to examine is average ticket price. As of March 25, the East Regional was the highest at $341.55, followed by the West ($308.93), Midwest ($302.61), and South ($203.11). Despite its second-highest average ticket price and relatively limited seating capacity, the West has been the hottest seller, suggesting perhaps that the teams/matchups alone are the core drivers of sales.
Arizona and Ohio State will be facing each other for just the second time ever and first since 1972. That game, incidentally, was played in Los Angeles as well and featured a 90-47 rout in favor of the Buckeyes. However, Arizona holds a 15-14 edge in Sweet 16 appearances over Ohio State. As for the other matchup, La Salle is in its first Sweet 16 since 1955 and joins fellow Atlantic 10 member, VCU, as the only two “First Four” teams to advance that far. Meanwhile, Wichita State toppled Gonzaga to eliminate the first No. 1 seed and earned a trip to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
If you’ve started shopping for 2013 Final Four tickets, the average ticket price for all sessions is running a bit lower than this time last year at $1,075.55 compared to $1,209.85 in 2012.
Check out all the stats in the infographic below.
March Madness 2013 By the Numbers - An Infographic By the Team at Vivid Seats