The Kentucky Wildcats’ run toward perfection has helped boost Final Four ticket prices to record levels.
The University of Kentucky is 38-0 and needs two more wins to become the first undefeated team in men’s college basketball in 39 years. With the Final Four in nearby Indianapolis, the Wildcats will be joined by three other basketball power schools: Duke, Michigan State and Wisconsin. That’s yielded resale ticket prices that are the highest since the market was first tracked in 2011.
The average resale price for an all-session strip of tickets to the April 4 semifinals and April 6 title game is $1,893, according to secondary market ticket aggregator TiqIQ. The price is 25 percent higher than the previous record a year ago, when the field included Kentucky, Wisconsin, Florida and eventual champion Connecticut. The last team to go undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76.
“Everybody wants to be a part of history,” Chris Matcovich, a spokesman for New York-based TiqIQ, said in a phone interview. “And you don’t have the Cinderellas coming into play in the Final Four this year. You have the big dogs.”
All four remaining teams in the three-week tournament were among the top 10 in basketball revenue during fiscal 2014, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics. Duke ranked fourth with $27 million; Kentucky was fifth with $23.7 million; Wisconsin was ninth with $19.4 million, and Michigan State was 10th with $18.4 million.
Kentucky, in Lexington, is about 180 miles, or a three-hour drive, from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the closest of the four schools. Lansing, Mich., is 250 miles away; Madison, Wis., is 327 miles away, and Durham, N.C, Duke’s home, is 600 miles away.