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Cost of Final Four tickets surge on secondary market

Unless you already have a ticket, getting into the NCAA men's basketball Final Four tournament later this week in Indiana will cost you.

With the events technically sold out, tickets on the secondary market to watch the semifinals and final game surged 31 percent since the weekend to an average of $1,625, according to SeatGeek.com, which says it's the priciest market it's seen since it starting tracking prices in 2011.

Tickets had netted an average of $1,239 before the teams playing were set, the ticket aggregator said.

The action starts Saturday in Indianapolis, and will have Michigan State playing Duke and Kentucky facing Wisconsin. The championship game follows on Monday, April 6.

With the final two teams yet to be determined for the championship game, it is cheaper to buy tickets to the final game than the semifinals. The cheapest seat to get into both the semifinals and final game rose from $476 to $611 from Friday to Monday, while a semi-final-only ticket went up 56 percent to $434 and a championship ticket remained at $292 during that period.

The fact that three of the four schools are within driving distance of Indianapolis is a contributing factor to the surging ticket prices, given Duke fans have a longstanding tradition of following the team regardless where it takes them, SeatGeek said.

Twenty-six percent of the tickets sold on the secondary market for the final game were purchased by residents of Kentucky, indicating a strong belief their team will remain undefeated going into the last game, followed by 12 percent of buyers residing in Wisconsin.

Average ticket resale prices in recent years for a combination semifinal and final ticket (and a finals only ticket), according by SeatGeek were:

  • 2014: $1,141 ($405)
  • 2013: $1,021 ($538)
  • 2011: $621 ($357)
  • 2012: $486 ($236)
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