I’ve purchased 8 tickets at the 50 yard line, in V7 Row 2. They were $345 a piece which is more than what I paid to attend this years tournament in Pittsburgh which were lower bowl but in the corner. I’ve sat in the same section of seats (lower bowl corner) for the past 7 years courtesy of UTC. The tickets went from $270 to $320 last year in Pittsburgh, which was a nominal amount for me personally & I understood that with less seating in PPG the criminal enterprise that is the NCAA had to make up the monetary difference.
That said my first thought when seeing the tickets for 2020 being sold around the entire stadium wasn’t how great it will be to have 45k+ fans attending. It was that the NCAA doesn’t ultimately care how good of a fan experience is had, they’re exploring whether or not they can make as much money as possible for this event. I actually don’t believe that there will be 45k or more in the stadium, I think boat loads of the seats were purchased by scalping entities which the NCAA would’ve also figured when they opened up all sections to the general public via Ticketmaster. The NCAA will make a boat load more profit than previous years & many of the seats purchased will be wide open during the sessions because there will be zero demand to scalp, not that I care if the scalpers and second hand sellers are SOL.
Undoubtedly this will not be a good viewing experience, even from the 50 yard line it will be further to see the action on the mats than ever before. The finals will be the least enjoyable for the majority of the fans in attendance. I will still be in attendance & I will still enjoy the tournament & fan experience. That said I hope that the NCAA will realize the intimacy of the tournament is what keeps the demand so high. Being able to see all of the action whether you’re in the corner or nose bleed seats is paramount to any other consideration. Otherwise you might as well watch at home on ESPN with a group of friends/fans and save a ton of money.
As for the talk about the food & beer & other activities that Minneapolis will have on show, please be serious, who gives a flying f. The majority of the fans in attendance are drinking bud light, bud heavy, miller, coors, etc. & eating burgers & wings. This isn’t the crowd for 5 star restaurants & scotch tastings. Any city that can accommodate a surge of 25k in population over the course of 4/5 days and not miss a beat is a perfect host city. The major US cities that have multiple airports, a plethora of hotel options, and public transit make the cut.
I live in NYC & have to say I didn’t love it at MSG, maybe that’s because I didn’t get to travel, but the overwhelming majority thought it was an amazing location for many of the reasons I stated. They could fly into 3 airports, there weren’t massive lines for food & drink between sessions because there is a million places to eat & drink, the hotel prices are high but they’re always high & don’t need to inflate them for a particular event.
For what it’s worth I hope the tournament is a massive success & we’re all massively surprised. But for this guy the priority is proximity to the action happening on the mat & this venue isn’t going to deliver on that end.