Regional Championships 2015: Sweet Sixteen
This year, the regional championships will be in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Houston, and Syracuse. Sweet Sixteen games will be held on March 26 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the Midwest and West Regionals. The other four games will be played on March 27 at NRG Stadium in Houston and the Carrier Dome in Syracuse for the South and East Regionals.
Predicting Sweet Sixteen Ticket Prices
It's difficult to predict ticket prices for the NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Semifinals, better know as the Sweet Sixteen. Like other rounds in the tournament though it comes down to two main things: the teams playing and the venue. Since no one really knows who will qualify for the Sweet Sixteen, fans are often more willing to spend money on a sure thing to see their teams play in the first round. In 2013 for instance, Kansas (a 1 seed) faced the Western Kentucky (a 16 seed) in the first round, and tickets sold for an average of $497 on the secondary market. Despite the fact that Kansas fans had a good shot of going to the Sweet Sixteen and beyond, tickets for the full-strip of Regional Championship games were just $219--less than half the cost of that opening game. Because the first round game was nearby, Kansas City hosted, and because there was uncertainty around whether the Jayhawks would make it to the Elite Eight, fans ignored the later round games in favor of the sure thing.
Ticket Prices 2015
Because of Kentucky's undefeated streak, the Midwest Regional is hosting the most expensive Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games. Full strip tickets to the Midwest Regional in Cleveland run an average of $551 on the secondary market. Last year, the midwest regional in Indianapolis was the least expensive Regional: tickets sold for an average of just $319. Prior to the bracket announcement, the West Regional in Los Angeles was the most expensive regional city. The current price of full-strip tickets in Los Angeles remains high at about $500 due to the fact that LA is a huge sports market and the fact that it could be hosting a rematch of last year's Wisconsin vs Arizona Elite 8 matchup. Tickets to the South Regional currently average $385 on the secondary market. Surprisingly, the East Regional is currently the least expensive with tickets averaging just $331 on the secondary market. Historically, the East Regional commands the highest average ticket price of any region, but because Syracuse is relatively inaccessible (especially compared to Boston, DC, and Newark), ticket prices are suffering.