Whether undefeated Gonzaga or any other bulldogs make or break your NCAA men’s basketball tournament brackets this year remains to be seen. But this is clear: With matchups due to be sketched out sooner than ever, fans have caught an early case of March Madness, according to ticket-pricing sources.
“We’re seeing a lot of early interest from fans for the NCAA tournament with organic search traffic up 49% year-over-year for Final Four ticket-related keywords,” said Marita Hudson Thomas, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Vivid Seats.
The pricing and volume snapshot hits one day before the NCAA Selection Committee takes its first ever in-season look at the country’s Top 16 teams. CBS Sports CBS, +0.03% and Turner Sports will present the NCAA March Madness bracket preview Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.
Over the past four years, the cost for fans to attend every game played by the championship-winning team—it was Villanova in 2016—throughout the tournament averaged $ 1,405.
The average sold price on NCAA championship tickets from 2012-16 was $ 290, the lowest of all major sporting events included in a Vivid Seats study.
And so far for 2017, fans using the site have paid an average of $ 295 for tickets to just first- and second-round games. Salt Lake City is the most popular first- and second-round site. According to early bracket handicapping, Salt Lake City would host Gonzaga—the team projected to be the No. 1 seed in the West region.
An early look at the average ticket prices and most popular NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.
BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., is the cheapest first- and second-round site at $ 195, based on the minimum price of tickets currently listed.
Deeper into the tournament, fans have been willing to pay an average of $ 434 for tickets to regional-round games, with Madison Square Garden in New York the most popular site for this round, representing 43% of tickets sold to regional games. FedEx Forum in Memphis is the cheapest regional site at $ 260, based on the minimum price of tickets currently listed.
The average cost to attend two Final Four games and a national championship game is $ 800. The average cost for fans to attend both semifinal games is $ 475, and the average cost for fans to attend the national championship game only is $ 425.