The Final Four is set, and if you haven't purchased your tickets yet, it's going to cost you.
According to secondary ticket aggregator TiqIq, the average cost of seeing the Final Four live is at its highest level since 2011. With 16 percent less ticket inventory up for grabs on TiqIQ's site compared with last season, the average price for both the Final Four and Championship game is currently $1,893, with a "get-in"—or cheapest price—sitting at $643. "For the Final Four," said Jesse Lawrence, CEO of TiqIQ, "this is historically expensive."
Tickets are 25 percent more expensive than last year's tournament in Arlington, Texas, and 111 percent more expensive than they were four years ago in Houston. The most expensive ticket available is in section 140, row DD, of Lucas Oil Stadium for more than $9,300—which is not even a courtside seat, in a stadium typically used for football.
Lawrence attributed this year's high ticket prices to the "two P's": proximity and profile. Kentucky, Wisconsin and Duke are all high-profile, No. 1 seeds. They have huge fan bases and passionate alumni. Seventh-seeded Michigan State also has a very strong alumni base. With the exception of Duke, the schools are located within easy driving distance of Indianapolis. Seventy-thousand people expected to go to the Hoosier state this weekend, and TiqIQ reports that 31 percent of the ticket demand is coming from the Bluegrass State. Twenty percent of ticket purchases are coming out of Indiana.
Duke, located in Durham, North Carolina, more than 600 miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium, makes up only 5 percent of ticket sales.
-- Jessica Goldrn