Five Tips for Scoring Cheap March Madness Tickets This Year

The 2020 NCAA Tournament promises to be one of the best in recent years. In fairness, you could say that just about every year because March Madness is one of the premier events of the annual sports calendar. However, with this year’s field lacking one truly dominant team or overwhelming favorite, the tournament is wide open. Well over half the field probably feels like they have a realistic shot at getting to the Final Four and competing for a national championship. If there’s a venue nearby where you can watch the tournament in person, do yourself a favor and make it happen – this year is bound to be a big one. To give you a little head start, here are some great tips for scoring cheap NCAA Tournament tickets

Shop the Secondary Market

If you’re a sports fan who doesn’t use the secondary market to buy tickets to games, it’s time that you join the 21st century. Unless you’re a famous alum of one of the schools and can use your connections to sit in the first row behind the team benches (we doubt it…), the best deals for the NCAA Tournament are going to be found on the secondary market. All the way up until the time of the game there will be a wide selection of tickets available on the secondary market in every corner of the arena and at various price points. All you have to do is decide your budget and visit sites like Gametime to get NCAA Tournament tickets to any of the 14 venues hosting the tournament.

Play Hooky

Obviously, you’ll want to make sure you have sick days available and maybe throw in a few coughs the day before you take off – just to plant the seeds, obviously. But if you can afford to take a day off from work, you’ll be able to score cheap NCAA Tournament tickets. During the first two days of the tournament on Thursday and Friday, the night session at arenas is usually more crowded than the daytime session. To put it another way, tickets to the early games will be a lot cheaper because there’s not as much demand. The early games promise to be just as compelling as the late games, but at a much more affordable price.

Stay Away from Local Teams

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee tries to keep the better teams in the tournament close to home. Usually, the top seeds play in the venue that’s closest to their campus so it’s easier for fans to fill the arena. However, if you’re a neutral observer, you’ll want to avoid sessions when one of the teams is located within a couple of hours of the venue. This causes a huge demand for tickets and drives up the price on the secondary market. Instead, look for a part of the bracket where each team has at least a few hundred miles to travel. This will discourage some fans from attending the game, leading to a drop in prices. To be honest, this strategy isn’t always an easy one given the way the tournament is scheduled. But if you can find a spot where all of the teams are playing far from home, this is usually where you’ll find the cheapest tickets.

Choose the Right City

While the teams at a particular venue can influence ticket prices, some venues will naturally have cheaper tickets than others. NCAA Tournament venues in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Cleveland will have more expensive tickets because demand will be higher due to the large populations in those cities. Meanwhile, other venues will be more reliant on out-of-town visitors to buy tickets. It’s these venues that are more likely to have cheaper tickets available. Instead of going to games in New York, attend tournament games in Albany. Rather than go to LA, head to Sacramento. If you’re within a reasonable distance, attend games in Spokane, WA or Greensboro, NC, where ticket prices are likely to be a little more reasonable than in larger cities.

Buy on the Venue’s Off Day

If you’re unfamiliar with the NCAA Tournament, the first thing you need to know is that every venue hosts games on two different days. It’s usually either Thursday and Saturday or Friday and Sunday. One way to score cheap March Madness tickets is to look for tickets on the day in between games. For Thursday-Saturday host sites, that day is Friday, while for Friday-Sunday sites, Saturday is the key day. The market is usually flooded with tickets on this day, causing prices to drop. Most fans will buy tickets for games on both days. But if their team loses on the first day, they usually look to sell their tickets to the second day of action. This is why so many extra tickets become available the day after the first set of games, and this is when you can swoop in and get tickets at a cheap price.

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