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If there was ever a year to attend the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four at a fairly reasonable price, this would be the year to do so. The cost of tickets on resale sites continue to drop as the weekend nears closer.
Meanwhile, the cost of tickets for the Women’s Final Four only continue to rise.
Now, there is one major component to the ticket price equation that needs to be addressed right off of the bat. There is a large discrepancy in the amount of tickets available for the two tournaments.
The Women’s March Madness semifinals and finals are being played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It is home to the Mavericks and Stars and seats about 20,000.
The Men’s March Madness semifinals and finals are being played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. It is home to the Texans and seats just over 75,000. (Which is probably too big for a basketball game to begin with.)
55,000 seats is a very big difference. There is a much greater change of getting into a game at NRG Stadium than at American Airlines Center. That’s just simple math.
March Madness Final Four tickets are on different trajectories.
Demand for the Men’s Final Four is dropping while demand for the Women’s Final Four is on a slight upswing. It is a testament to the product on the court, as well as the location.
Nearly 2.49 million people tuned into ESPN for Sunday’s Women’s Elite Eight game between Iowa and Louisville. It drew a larger audience than any NBA game aired that on ESPN this season, which is also a testament to NBA ratings.
No. 1 South Carolina will play No. 2 Iowa on one side of the women’s bracket, as No. 1 Virginia Tech faces No. 3 LSU on the other. All four schools draw huge crowds to their women’s basketball games, and the Final Four is being played in a very visitor-friendly city.
The least-expensive ticket package for both women’s semifinals and the finals (all sessions) aren’t cheap. As of 7:30 p.m. ET on March 28, ticket prices were up from the day prior as seats get scooped up—
- Vivid Seats: $461
- Ticketmaster: $288
- SeatGeek: $559
- StubHub: $536
Meanwhile, in the men’s bracket, No. 9 FAU plays No. 5 San Diego State and No. 4 UConn plays No. 5 Miami. It isn’t a massive crowd-drawing, Blue Blood matchup and it’s being played in a venue that is terrible for basketball in a city that is very spread out and not as conducive for tourists.
The least-expensive ticket package for both men’s semifinals and the finals (all sessions) aren’t that bad. As of 7:30 p.m. ET on March 28, ticket prices were down from the day prior as seats sit empty—
- Vivid Seats: $100
- Ticketmaster: $71
- SeatGeek: $102
- StubHub: $112
Again, there is a large jump from 20,000 to 75,000 tickets. Minimal supply increases demand.
With that said, the difference in ticket prices between the men and women is also a testament to the caliber of teams playing, the size of their fanbases, and the location. If there was ever a time to attend the Men’s Final Four without breaking the bank— this is the year!