April 2, 2007

Scalpers Hurting at Final Four

Chuck Klosterman provided some man-on-the-street proof of what I already suspected. NCAA Championship Games tix are going for below face value.

Think about it. Of the four teams there on Saturday, two are disappointed and want to recoup some money after the depressing drubbings their teams took. I suspect the Georgia Dome is configured to seat about 35,000 this weekend. Of those, I estimate about 20,000 are allotted to schools with the remaining 15,000 falling into what I affectionately call the "corporate bucket".

The 5,000 Georgetown and 5,000 UCLA fans felt guilty about how much money they spent to attend Saturday's game about 10 seconds after the buzzer. They immediately flooded the market with tickets, thinking they could recoup some of their investment. I can tell you from my experience at the ACC Tournament in 2001 that the Georgia Dome has an enormous number of horrible basketball seats. All football venues do.

To make matters worse, I doubt many people are coming tonight and tomorrow from Columbus and Gainesville. From an OSU point of view, the last thing you could stomach is seeing a bunch of Gators fans cheering the second national championship defeat of your team in the short span of three months. Further, OSU fans are tapped out from the trip to Tempe to see the BCS Championship Game, where they were heavily favored to win. Florida fans are tapped out from last year's Final Four and this year's BCS Championship win. Both are football schools.

Plus, had Georgetown or UCLA won they would not have sent a large contingent to Atlanta either. Georgetown has a tiny alumni base and UCLA fans are also tapped out from their appearance in the title game last year. In addition, UCLA had the furthest to travel. It's not like they could have hopped in their cars Saturday night and make the pilgrimage to Atlanta.

Anyone who bought a "book" of all three games prior to Saturday should not be making stock picks. You don't have to be Kasparov to see enough moves ahead to know that this will be the cheapest NCAA basketball championship game ever.

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