With the announcement of longtime Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski before the upcoming college basketball season, the already hot market for tickets to games at Cameron Indoor Stadium got turned up a few degrees. Recently, a fundraising event saw one fan pay $1 million for a set of four courtside tickets to Coach K’s final game at the Blue Devils’ home court – named in his honor for several years already – against arch-rival North Carolina.
For comparison’s sake, that price could have purchased one fewer house (three) at the current median market price for Durham, North Carolina, according to Zillow.
The outlandish ticket purchase price took place at an August auction benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The V Foundation was launched by the late North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, against whom Coach K battled for several years in the intense ACC rivalry between neighbor schools. Valvano became head coach of the Wolfpack in 1980, the same year Krzyzewski took over at Duke. They both coached in the league for a decade before Valvano’s departure and subsequent cancer diagnosis before his passing in 1993.
“I’ve been fortunate to be on the V Foundation since (late N.C. State coach) Jimmy (Valvano) and I were brothers. And so I host, with my family, the wine festival in Napa. We’ve done it for 14 years,” Krzyzewski said. “And this past year we raised $12 million. It’s a big event. And the first auction item was four tickets to that game, and it went for one million dollars.”
The winning bid “took my breath away,” Krzyzewski said. “The honor I felt for my team, my family and my legacy was overwhelming. This inspirational moment set the tone for the entire evening.”
While the tickets purchased were donated for the V Foundation fundraiser, those looking to purchase Duke men’s basketball tickets will find tremendously high prices throughout the year – particularly for games at tiny Cameron on the Duke campus. That final home game on March 5th against the Tar Heels currently has a get-in price on TicketClub.com of $7,020 for two tickets in the upper level behind a basket. Tickets to the February 19 game at Cameron against Florida State are slightly less aggressive, but still very high at a get-in of $1,566. Currently, the least expensive option for any ACC game at Cameron during Coach K’s farewell season is $663 for the December 22 game against Virginia Tech. The lowest get-in for the entire upcoming season is $307 for the November 16 contest against Gardner-Webb. Even a preseason exhibition against Winston-Salem State is demanding a premium, with a minimum of $162 per ticket as of this morning.
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 12, 2021
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