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Cashing in on the top teams

With the NCAA tournament holding mostly to form, prices for secondary tickets increase with name teams in Final Four.

March 29, 2007|Greg Johnson | Times Staff Writer

The many March Madness fans who predicted this weekend's Final Four matchups weren't alone in benefiting from a tournament where no Cinderella team emerged.

The secondary market for NCAA men's basketball tournament tickets also profited because only Nos. 1- and 2-seeded teams, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown and Florida, are heading to Atlanta for Final Four games.

Upsets do spice up the annual tournament, but secondary ticket sales generally increase when regional, semifinal and championship games feature big institutions with an army of travel-ready students and alumni. "We have exceeded all of our expectations as far as demand," said David Lord, president of Los Angeles-based RazorGator Experiences, the NCAA's official ticket reseller.

The range of prices Wednesday on Stubhub.com for a ticket strip (good for Saturday's two semifinal games and Monday's championship) ranged from $195 for an upper level seat to $12,000 for a floor-level seat in the Georgia Dome. All-session tickets advertised on RazorGator.com ranged from $319 to $7,255.

UCLA, which plays Florida on Saturday, proved to be a fairly solid draw in early-round games played in San Jose and Sacramento. The average resale price for a game ticket in San Jose was $228, compared to a national average of $185, according to Stubhub.com. But the average ticket price for regional games played in Sacramento was $345, or well below the $414 average for games played in East Rutherford, N.J.

If basketball isn't your game, online brokerages on Wednesday also were offering tickets for the NCAA's Frozen Four hockey championship to be played at St. Louis' Scottrade Center on April 7. RazorGator.com's highest-priced ticket was $1,175.

And fans with a penchant for advance planning have until May 31 to enter an NCAA drawing for 5,000 tickets to be sold to the general public for the 2008 Final Four basketball contests in San Antonio. Strips of tickets for the semifinal and championship games top out at $170, plus a $5 service charge.

Fans must pay upfront and wait until August to find out if they've won tickets. The NCAA will refund money to fans who don't win the lottery -- but not until later this summer.

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greg.johnson@latimes.com

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