Despite departure of stars, IU ticket demand still sky high

December 2, 2013
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It would stand to reason that demand for IU men’s basketball tickets would be down this year.

After all, Hoosier stars Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are long gone for the National Basketball Association and IU isn’t nearly the national power it was a year ago. Right now, there are more questions than answers about this year’s team.

But to quote former IU football coach and current ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friends.”

This is Indiana. And even if IU isn’t rated among the highest teams in the land, the Hoosiers’ ticket prices on the secondary market are.

The average price for IU’s tickets on the secondary market are $140 and the median price is $100, according to a recent study released by Chicago-based secondary ticket broker Vivid Seats. That’s the fifth-highest in the country--behind Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Gonzaga.

IU is the only program in the top five in terms of ticket prices on the secondary market that is not ranked in the top 20 in either the AP or USA Today poll.

The demand and pricing for IU tickets is pretty impressive on two counts. First, IU’s Assembly Hall is fairly large by college standards, at 17,472 seats, and IU has more home games (18) than many schools. So the supply, by comparison, is pretty high.

Also, if you’re familiar with IU’s home venue, you know there are plenty of bad seats in the house, which would tend to drag down prices on the secondary market.

Yet, strong demand for IU hoops tickets continues to push up secondary prices , which are the best gauge—kind of like the stock market—of current supply and demand.

Kansas has the highest median price, at $265. Duke, because the best seats in the tiny (9,314-seat) Cameron Indoor Stadium are sky-high, has the highest average, at $442. IU ranks fifth in both categories.

There are only two other Big Ten schools within the top 20 in terms of (median) ticket prices on the secondary market, according to Vivid Seats. And college basketball fans might be surprised to find out who those schools are.

Minnesota comes in at 11th, with average prices at $107 and the median at $84. Iowa comes in at 18th, with an average price of $97 and a median of $74.

Michigan State, which is ranked No. 1 in the country in the latest AP poll, has an average ticket price on the secondary market of $78 and a median of $55, according to Vivid Seats. Ohio State, No. 8 in the AP poll, has an average price of $93 and a median of $63. Wisconsin, No. 12 in the AP poll, has an average price of $75 and median of $60. Michigan, No. 15, has an average secondary ticket price of $87 and a median of $55.

Memphis arguably has the most reasonably priced tickets on the secondary market. Despite ranking No. 11 in the most recent AP poll, Memphis has a median ticket price of $9. That’s cheaper than some high school games.

Duke’s ticket prices get a boost from its marquee match-up with Tobacco Road rival North Carolina. That match-up is stirring up the highest college basketball ticket prices on the secondary market, according to Vivid Seats, with a median price of $1,459.

Six of the top eight highest-priced college basketball game tickets on the secondary market are at Duke’s home venue, according to Vivid Seats, including match-ups against Syracuse, Maryland, North Carolina State, Florida State and Michigan.

  • Phantom demand?
    As a season ticket holder with tickets to sell, I'm seeing very little demand. Sure, I don't have the greatest seats, but last year people were begging for tickets and we made a lot of money. This year, we are begging people to buy them and have had several go unused. After reading this article, I went to a broker's site and tickets were selling below cost for decent seats to the next home game. Where is this so called demand?
  • No Way
    dude you are full of it. No one wants IU basketball Tickets right now. The going rate for tix on the street is the lowest its been in years.
  • And this is with what has to be the most unattractive home schedule I can recall IU having in the last 40 years!
    One thing the article doesn't mention is that IU also has a very unattractive home schedule this year. Every marquee oppponent prior to the Big Ten season is a game played somewhere other than Assembly Hall. IU isn't relying on a Kentucky, UNC, Duke, etc. coming in during the non-conference season to bump up ticket prices on the secondary market. Stony Brook may be the best team coming into Assembly Hall before the Big Ten and Evansville might be the biggest name locally. Plus, Purdue doesn't play at IU this year so the games that scalpers normally make their biggest money off of are limited vs. the normal schedule. Fred Glass has heard quite a bit of negative feedback from season ticket holders this year regarding the home games prior to the Big Ten season. Hopefully he doesn't look at this article as he may just continue scheduling games that aren't very attractive to fans since they sell out anyway. Next year should be an even better year for people scalping IU bball tickets as they will have a home game in the Big Ten/ACC (likely against one of the marquee teams in the ACC) and will have a team that is likely to be ranked in the top ten provided Yogi and Vonleh don't go pro this year.
  • As for S Best's comment...
    I'm not a scalper so I won't pretend to say that I'm following secondary prices all the time. However, I am an IU season ticket holder and my personal experience has been that I've had tons of friends, co-workers, etc. asking me if I have any tickets available this year. Now, if we do miss a game or two a season we sell at face value to someone we know. I'm not saying demand is on the same level as last year but I've personally seen plenty still there. As for the "lowest it's been in years" comment I just don't get that. It's one thing to say it was higher the last two years with Cody but there is flat out no way there was the same demand level in the Crean years prior to Cody's arrival as there is now. This is a team that has been ranked and has a chance to have a pretty good year vs. the early Crean teams that were awful.
  • IU tickets
    Let my 4 season tickets go, no more Hoosier Hundred. I now make over $55.00/hour watching it on my new 100 inch Sony with my lovely eye candy I met at IU.
  • Abject disappointment
    This IU team had promises of getting back into the big league again. Those dreams have obviously fallen apart with our Big Ten record. Big question is what happened? As an alumnus, we are asking why can't IU, who had winning teams, top recruiting, EVERY year until IU president fired Bob Knight. A state once known for being the basketball capitol of the country, is falling way behind. Until this changes, we're not going to buy tickets, and bookstore items to support a losing team.

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  1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

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