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Women's March Madness ticket prices jump as Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese rise to stardom

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College hoops fans who want to watch the last four women's teams battle it out in this year's edition of the March Madness tournament in person may want to brace for sticker shock. 

On SeatGeek, the cheapest ticket for the women's Final Four matchups on Tuesday was $418, compared with $347
for the men's bracket. At Ticketmaster, as of Monday the lowest-priced seats for the women's and men's Final Four games were $483 and $370, respectively. 

The prices have shot up amid surging demand for tickets in recent days, buoyed by the sparkling on-court performances of Louisiana State University's Angel Reese and the University of Iowa's Caitlin Clark, online ticket brokers said. At some ticket dealers, the price for a women's tournament seat is now more expensive than for the men's games. 

Clark and Reese squared off for last year's national championship, which LSU captured, and the two met again Monday. Clark and Iowa emerged victorious, earning the team a spot in the Final Four. 

Clark and Reese's "high visibility," especially on social media is helping fuel the nation's interest in women's collegiate and professional basketball, Chris Leyden, SeatGeek's growth marketing director, told CBS MoneyWatch.

"We're seeing a seismic shift in the world of sports, thanks to athletes like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and others who are captivating audiences with their talent and star power," Leyden said. "This shift is largely driven by the potent brand power these athletes wield, fueling unprecedented demand for this year's March Madness tournament."

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The average resale ticket price for this week's Final Four semifinals in the women's tournament is $592 compared with $537 for the men's games, SeatGeek said. That's an increase of $316, or 87%, from the same period during last year's tournament and a 192% increase from 2022 when resale tickets were only $203. 

Clark and Reese are showcasing their talents on the court, but they "are also inspiring a new era of fandom and engagement," Leyden said.

Viewership in college basketball has climbed in recent years, bolstered mostly by college-educated men who watch on online streaming services. About 22% of internet-using Americans watch NCAA basketball, according to a survey from S&P Global Market Intelligence Kagan. The survey also found that 7% of respondents watch women's college basketball, a figure that increased to 9% this month.  

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