This year, the NCAA tournament's East regional is holding Sweet 16 games at The World's Most Famous Home Of Bad Basketball Teams, historic(ish) Madison Square Garden. The price for one of the good seats? On average, $1,100. And that isn't even getting into the floor seats.
According to Vivid Seats, which supplied us this data, this year's two Sweet 16 games and one Elite Eight game at MSG are 20 percent more expensive on the secondary market than last year's when they were in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. This is due to both the traditionally insane prices at MSG and the UConn-Iowa State game giving Connecticut residents and fans the chance to hike down I-95 and overload the building, like they used to for the Big East Tournament or St. John's games.
So how much does it cost to get down on the floor? Only two venues have floor seats listed, MSG and the Midwest's Lucas Oil Stadium. MSG is sitting at $1493, which is unsurprising give the other levels, but Lucas Oil jumps out to $1995, on average, for a single seat. This is due to the stadium being jerry-rigged to house college basketball, but you could have taken a family of four to see UCLA-Florida or Stanford-Dayton, and sat in the lower level, for that much.
This isn't news, obviously. Good seats are expensive, more so at big games, often totally outpacing the price of other seats in the building—doubly so in large markets. Still, the cheapest seats at MSG are going for more than the most expensive seats at FedEx Forum went for. You could get a flight and a hotel room and go out and get better seats and still come out ahead. That is definitionally a ripoff.
Chart by Reuben Fischer-Baum