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Arlington, Indy Regionals Enjoy Greatest Demand Yet Lowest Secondary Ticket Prices

Arlington, Indy Regionals Enjoy Greatest Demand Yet Lowest Secondary Ticket Prices

Arlington, Indy Regionals Enjoy Greatest Demand Yet Lowest Secondary Ticket Prices
Patrick Rishe
Forbes
March 26, 2013

A review of secondary ticket prices for the men’s basketball regionals taking place this weekend (Los Angeles, Arlington, Indianapolis, Washington DC) offers interesting insight into how supply and demand impact secondary pricing for college basketball’s big show.

Namely, larger demand does not necessarily translate into higher secondary prices when facility capacity is comparatively spacious.

Based on data provided to me by TicketCity.com, the preliminary indication is that the South Regional in Arlington at Cowboys Stadium has the strongest ticket demand of all four regions to date. This is largely being driven by the demand for Session 1 (Michigan vs. Kansas, Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coat), where there have been more than eight times as many tickets sold for Session 1 relative to Session 2. For the other regionals, tickets sold to the Regional Semi-final sessions are only 2-3 times higher than the Regional Finals session.

Additionally, TicketCity reps shared that:
- The only other region with demand nearly as strong as Arlington is Indianapolis (Midwest Regional), where demand for individual sessions is weaker but demand for the All Sessions pass is stronger; - The Staples Center (West Regional) has the weakest demand of all 4 regions.

These trends are not surprising when you consider the following:

- Kansas, Michigan, and Florida will all be in Arlington. Kansas fans travel extremely well, Florida and Michigan will bring their share of fans as well. Additionally, the tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast University will also be in town. Thus, the attractiveness of the Kansas-Michigan match-up combined with the FGCU Cinderella factor are powerful demand drivers.

- Proximity of fan base is a big demand driver for the Indianapolis regional. Louisville is 110 miles from Indy, Lansing MI is 220 miles from Indy, and a fair number of Michigan State, Louisville and Duke graduates may commute from Chicago which is only 163 miles from Indy. Additionally, Duke rivals Kansas and North Carolina in terms of fan avidity…so expect Blue Devil fans to come in droves from all points East.

- Though Arizona fans should have a decided home-court advantage given their relative proximity to Los Angeles and larger percentage of graduates or supporters that may already reside in Southern California, none of the other 3 regional participants (Wichita State, LaSalle, Ohio State) are overly popular or proximate to Southern Cal. As such, demand is considerably weaker at that regional.

Though the demand for games in Arlington and Indy are much higher than for games in Los Angeles and DC, the secondary ticket prices are considerably cheaper in Arlington and Indy because of the vast differences in seating capacities.

The games in Arlington and Indy will be held in football stadiums. Cowboys Stadium seats 80,000 but can accommodate over 100,000 with standing room, while Lucas Oil Stadium seats 67,000. Comparatively, the StaplesCenter (L.A.) and Verizon Center (D.C.) each seat approximately 18,200.

The current median ticket prices of tickets that have already been sold on the secondary ticket market for ‘All Sessions’ passes are:
- $432 at the Verizon Center (East) - $350 at the Staples Center (West) - $240 at Lucas Oil Stadium (Midwest) - $188 at Cowboys Stadium (South)

This data would appear to suggest that supply-side factors (i.e. considerable differences in facility capacity across stadiums and arenas) trump the afore-mentioned demand considerations in dictating the relative secondary ticket prices for this year’s regionals.

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12/18/2014 2:05:20 AM on TCWEB2