Ticket prices for the NCAA Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden continue to defy gravity, remaining higher than had been expected despite a less-than-marquee field.
Even with Wisconsin, the presumed biggest draw of the four teams in New York, losing early Saturday morning, secondary market prices for the regional final on Sunday rose along with the sun.
According to TicketIQ.com, the least expensive price for Sunday’s South Carolina-Florida game was $171 as of Saturday morning, the highest level seen to date and a 92 percent increase over Friday afternoon.
There continued to be a big disparity between the average asking price ($539) and actual sales price ($284).
As with many big events, patience often is a wise approach for buyers. For example, TicketIQ said the last time the Garden hosted a regional, in 2014, the least expensive ticket shot up to $284 after the regional semifinals but fell to as low at $120 on game day.
That year there was heavy demand because of Connecticut fans eager to see their team in nearby New York. The assumption had been that this year’s regional would lose appeal because of second-round losses by Villanova and Duke.
But it appears that a combination of New York’s massive population (and wealth), enough alumni of the teams involved living in the area and the appeal of the tournament and Garden themselves have kept demand strong.