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Ticket Demand for Memphis – Louisville Basketball Game

The latest chapter in a 65-year-old college basketball rivalry will be written this weekend in Memphis when the Tigers host the Louisville Cardinals at the FedEx Forum. This rivalry, forged in Kentucky bluegrass and the Mississippi River valley of Tennessee, has divided houses for years, and this season has offered a unique spark to the recently-renewed battle on the hardwood. Because of the reorganization of the former Big East, Memphis and Louisville have landed in the same conference – the American Athletic Conference – for just one season (Louisville leaves for the ACC next season).

This has created a home-and-home double feature this season on the heels of Louisville’s remarkable NCAA Tournament run last year. Memphis struck first last month on Louisville’s own floor, and the Cardinals are looking for revenge and a continued stake in the league’s regular season title race. Because of this unique situation and Memphis’s win in Kentucky this season, ticket demand for this weekend’s matchup is on the rise. At an average ticket price of $125, Saturday’s game is the most in-demand Tigers home game since at least 2009 when we began monitoring the secondary ticket market. Tickets to Memphis-Louisville are also more than twice as expensive as an average Memphis home game ($61).

Memphis Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Tickets

Tickets for this weekend’s game are 34% more expensive on average than they were for the first meeting between the two teams this season ($93). Last season, fans paid an average of $113 per ticket to attend the Louisville game at FedEx Forum.

Memphis-Louisville is actually a hotter ticket than any Grizzlies home game this season, including the team’s April 9 matchup against the Miami Heat, which so far has drawn an average ticket price of $121. The cheapest ticket available on the secondary market for Grizzlies-Heat right now is $48, while it will take at least $67 to get in the door for Memphis-Louisville on Saturday. That $67 will get you a seat in the last row of the upper deck at FedEx Forum and is nearly twice the face value of $35. Right now, there are only about 150 tickets available on the secondary market for Saturday’s game, less than 1% of FedEx Forum’s capacity.

Memphis – Louisville Basketball Rivalry

Despite not playing for a number of years, this historic rivalry burned bright the moment it was rekindled in 2011. Louisville won the first two non-conference meetings, but Memphis struck back this season on Louisville’s court. Memphis can use their home court advantage to strike a heavy blow to their rivals’ chances to start an NCAA postseason title defense with a conference crown added to their trophy case.

Date Winner & Score City State Venue
3/1/2014 TBD Memphis TN FedEx Forum
1/9/2014 Memphis, 73-67 Louisville KY KFC Yum! Center
12/15/2012 Louisville, 87-78 Memphis TN FedEx Forum
12/17/2011 Louisville, 95-87 Louisville KY KFC Yum! Center

American Athletic Conference Race

Despite being a first-year conference formed after the shake-up of the former Big East, the American Athletic Conference has established, competitive teams in a heated battle for the inaugural American title. Saturday’s game is the second-most expensive AAC game of the season behind only Louisville’s visit to UConn on January 18 ($143). It’s important to note the UConn-Louisville game was played in a much smaller venue at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, which has a capacity of just over 10,000 compared to FedEx Forum’s capacity of over 18,000. For the season, Memphis has the fourth-most expensive tickets in the AAC at an average of $61 per ticket behind UConn ($65), Cincinnati ($66) and Louisville ($77).

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