College basketball will descend upon Texas this weekend, with the men’s Final Four being held in Houston and the women tipping off in Dallas. Both tournaments have seen plenty of upsets, surprises and madness on the way to the Lone Star State—making for a compelling end to the Big Dance. For fans looking to take in the final games of March Madness, there are still tickets available, and the market is revealing some interesting truths about this year’s men’s and women’s tournaments.
The average price tag for a seat to the men’s Final Four—which features Saturday matchups between No. 9 Florida Atlantic and No. 5 San Diego State and No. 5 Miami and No. 4 UConn— is $234, according to SI Tickets. That ticket price is nearly $97 less than the women’s average Final Four seat, which sits at $331. It’s important to note the men’s contest is taking place in a much larger venue at NPG Stadium, which seats more than 70,000, while the women will play in the American Airlines Center, which has a capacity of 20,000. However, the surging ticket price for the women’s competition is backed by a jump in viewership numbers, with Iowa’s Elite Eight contest against Louisville drawing a record audience of 2.49 million. National Championship tickets have already exceeded $3,000, with the average seat posted at $365 on SI Tickets. Stacked with talent, with a Caitlin Clark–led No. 2 Iowa, an Aliyah Boston–led No. 1 South Carolina, No.1 Virginia Tech and No. 3 LSU still in the mix, the women are attracting an unprecedented number of eyeballs to the Big Dance.
Not only are the men’s ticket prices less than the women’s, this year’s average seat cost is also significantly less than last year’s. The 2022 tournament, which featured big names in the Final Four in Villanova, Kansas, Duke and UNC, had an average semifinal ticket price of $2,885, per SI Tickets. That amounts to a 91% decrease in price from last year to this year, with ’22’s contest taking place in a comparable venue in New Orleans’s Caesars Superdome. While the Cinderella runs of teams like Florida Atlantic and San Diego State have been thrilling to watch, the programs have significantly smaller fan bases than that of college basketball giants Duke and UNC. Devotees, however, now have a rare—and affordable—opportunity to catch their teams in action in their improbable charge to the finals.