2013 NCAA Final Four Championship: Ticket prices at 3-year high

USA TODAY Sports

Ticket prices for the NCAA Tournament championship game are averaging more than $600 per seat.

Twenty graduating classes after Chris Webber's infamous NCAA finals blunder, the Wolverines have finally made a return to the NCAA championship game. Deprivation breeds demand and that demand is clearly reflected in the prices for the 2013 NCAA Men's Finals Game.

The Final Four Championship game currently has an average ticket price of $720, which is over 140 percent above last years price of $301 for Kansas vs. Kentucky. While you might expect Kansas and Kentucky fans to deliver a better showing at the box office, Kansas had been to the Final Four just four years earlier and Kentucky the year before. As for Butler and UConn in 2011, while Cinderella stories certainly build interest in the tournament overall, their smaller alumni bases typically lower the prices of tickets. As a result, the 2011 finals had an average of just $252 and a day-of-game get in price under $50. The economy was also in worse share in 2011 and 2012, and as the very definition of a disposable purchase, tickets prices are very susceptible to lower consumer confidence.

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For Michigan fans, however, the time is now, and they are driving up prices. To breakdown the impact of each team's movement into the finals, we looked at the change in price after Louisville beat Wichita State and after Michigan beat Syracuse. After Louisville's closer-than-expected win in the early Saturday game, prices moved up a meager 1.8 percent. Michigan's win, on the other hand, sent prices soaring 20.7 percent to an average price of $549. Since then, prices have continued to rise and are currently going for an average of $720/each. The get-in will cost $275.

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The good news for deal hunters this year is that Final Four tickets are more electronic than they've ever been, as Darren Rovell detailed on his blog last week. Through a partnership between Primesport, the Official Ticket Exchange, and Veritix, FlashSeats paperless technology will be used on over 40 percent of seats to get into the Georgia Dome today. With FlashSeats, you can make the purchase on your credit card and use that same credit card as your ticket. Unfortunately, that means no souvenir lanyard, but it might mean that you can get a "deal" if you track the market closely. The best game-day approach is to monitor not only price but also quantity. With a 9:23 pm tip, there's a full day for the market to move. If quantity is moving consistently down each hour -- by 50 to 100 tickets -- don't wait. However, if quantity is holding as the day progresses, prices will likely start to drop around 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.

As always, our partners at TiqIQ will keep you up to date. For deals, visit their Championship game page here.

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