Tickets for the upcoming NCAA Men’s Final Four in Detroit, MI are selling at some of the cheapest prices in the past few seasons and like any other business that is heavily reliant on the market of supply and demand, there are multiple factors that have played a role in the lowering of the prices.
In a day and age in which the struggles of the U.S. economy make headlines everyday, tickets for sporting events have begun to take a back seat for some people. That lack of demand has caused the lowest average ticket prices for the Final Four, according to numbers released by StubHub. For all events during the Final Four, the average ticket price was $420 as of March 19. Compare that to last year’s average of $655 for the Final Four in San Antonio.
The highest ticket sold thus far was $4,412 for both the Final Four and championship rounds, last season had a high of $6,471. Excluding available suites, TicketNetwork ticket listings currently have tickets ranging from $107 for the championship game to $6,551 for both the semi-final and final round. TicketsNow has tickets available for both rounds for as much as $7,490, while RazorGator has tickets for up to $5,000.
Another main reason for the prices being cheaper than in previous years has plenty to do with the venue, Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The stadium will be able to pack in more than 70,000 fans, a number that would be a record for attendance for the Final Four.
Due to the stadium being originally constructed for football, when a basketball event is held at venues like it there are instantly thousands of seats with lackluster sight lines, and even the best seats are more than 30 yards away from the action. Ticket prices have reflected that some people don’t want to pay to not be able to see the game.
“It will continue to trend downward, especially with the amount of tickets we have and the fact that there are some less than desirable seats for Final Fours,” StubHub spokesman Sean Pate told CNBC. “That said, should Michigan State or Michigan somehow make it to Detroit, I could see that spiking prices some, but if there is any lack of star power whatsoever it will drop off considerably. Detroit is not going to spawn much ancillary tourism. That’s why this should be the least expensive Final Four ticket in the online secondary ticket era.”
The combination of lower prices and the large amount of seats available, however, has led to an increase in the amount of tickets that have been purchased. According to StubHub’s data, fans have purchased nearly double the amount of tickets sold for this year compared to years past.
Upcoming years may also see lower ticket prices as the trend of using football stadiums as the venue will continue. In 2011, the Final Four will take place at Reliant Stadium in Houston, home of the Houston Texans. Next season the NBA will hold their All Star festivities at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is expected to use this as a spring board to land the Final Four in future years.