If you're hoping to get to New York for the Sweet 16 doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, it's going to cost you. A lot.
Over the last few days, ticket prices have soared, going from expensive, to outrageous, to pretty much unheard of. As of Wednesday night, 48 hours before UConn and Iowa State tip off in the first game, the cheapest ticket to get in the door was $609, according to SeatGeek.com, which pools available tickets from around the secondary market. The cheapest pair of tickets in the lower bowl was approaching $800.
To understand just how high that is, realize that a full-session strip for the Final Four (tickets to both the National Semifinals and National Championship Game) was starting at $264, with lower bowl pairs available for less than $700.
That's right -- one night at the Garden is more expensive than tickets for all three Final Four games. Combined.
Compare that to Friday night's other Sweet 16 venue in Indianapolis, which has tickets available for only $86, though it should be noted that Lucas Oil Stadium can hold about twice as many spectators as MSG in its basketball configuration.
Seventh-seeded UConn is believed to be the main reason for the prices at MSG. When the NCAA Tournament field was announced, the average cost for Friday night was a mere $342. But between last Saturday, when UConn clinched its spot in the Sweet 16, and Tuesday morning, Forbes reports that prices increased by around 60 percent.
Metro North even added an extra train to its schedule on Friday to accommodate Husky fans going to the game.
UConn and Iowa State will square off at 7:27 p.m. on Friday, with No. 4 Michigan State and No. 1 Virginia following about 30 minutes later. So if either, or both, of those matchups appeal to you, grab your tickets before the prices spiral further out of control. And hey -- if you're going to drain your bank account on basketball, why not go all out? Stubhub has a suite available for $58,683.20.