The Final Four 2015
With less than a week to go until the Final Four and National Championship, the 2015 NCAA Final Four is shaping up to be the most expensive one since SeatGeek started tracking ticket price data. At the moment, the average price for a set of tickets to all three games (the two semi-finals and the championship) is currently reselling for $1564. On this date last year, tickets to the 2014 Final Four were averaging $1212 on the secondary market. In 2013, tickets average just under $1,000. The 2012 Final Four was the cheapest on record, where a full-strip ticket cost just $491 on average. The average ticket price to the 2011 Final Four in Houston was $630.
Three one-seeds have advanced to the Final Four, which has contributed to ticket prices skyrocketing. All four teams are perennial powerhouses, which also bolsters prices to the Final Four. The average ticket price to the National Championship before the Sweet 16 was just $534, and a ticket to both semi-finals was $681. Tickets to the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship now cost $836 on average, and tickets to the NCAA Men's Basketball Semi-finals shot up to $1075 on average, an increase of over 50% since the start of the tournament. A full-strip ticket to see the semifinals and finals will cost an average of $1564 on the resale market. This trend is relatively consistent with what we have observed in previous years: ticket prices tend to fall after the early rounds then rebound after the Sweet Sixteen if major teams progress.
Historical Ticket Prices
The culmination of weeks of March Madness begins on April 4 with the Final Four. The two national championship semifinal games will be played in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Which teams will get the chance to play is anyone's guess, so fans tend to wait until the Regional Championships have concluded before making the investment. A ticket to see both Final Four games last year cost an average of $608 on the secondary market. The 2013 Final Four was the most expensive since SeatGeek started collecting data on the tournament; that year fans paid an average of $743 to see Michigan beat Syracuse and Wichita State lose to Louisville. Three of the biggest programs in college basketball and an amazing Cinderella story in Wichita State contributed to making 2013 such an outlier. Conversely, the 2012 Final Four was the least expensive Final Four matchup in the past five years where fans paid just $358 on average to see both games. Because Kentucky and Louisville play each other every year, fans were not excited to see their matchup in the Final Four. As a general guideline, Final Four Tickets will be the most expensive when historically dominant teams make the semifinals while upsets by mid-tier competitors tend to deflate ticket prices.