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By Brad Tuttle
March 18, 2016
Michigan State plays Middle Tennessee in St. Louis on Friday, and ticket prices are cheap.
Michigan State plays Middle Tennessee in St. Louis on Friday, and ticket prices are cheap.
Joe Robbins—Getty Images

Earlier this week, the secondary market sales and research site TiqIQ laid out the options for opening round NCAA March Madness basketball ticket prices around the country. Prices were highest for games being played in Providence, Denver, and Des Moines, where the cheapest seats were going for roughly $100 or above on the resale market. Friday’s games at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, on the other hand, were starting under $50.

But there’s no need to pay anywhere near $50 to get into the games in St. Louis. Now that it’s actually Friday, last-minute ticket prices have dipped further south as sellers have grown more eager to unload seats rather than be stuck with them. At secondary resale sites like Vivid Seats, the cheapest seats for session #1—Dayton vs. Syracuse, followed by Michigan State vs. Middle Tennessee—were under $30. At StubHub, some seats were listed for just $10.

Fees will generally add a few bucks to listed prices. Even so, many of these seats are bargains, especially compared to what fans paid a few days ago for tickets.

Best college education image

Granted, it’s not easy for people to be able to go to these games, especially at the last minute. It’s not unusual for ticket prices to many sporting events to drop just before the event takes place. For NCAA basketball tournament tickets, the last-minute price dip is often particularly sharp, in particular when it comes to midweek, midday games like the session in St. Louis mentioned above. Only people who live nearby, who already have the day off work, or who are willing to call in sick, can attend.

But it’s not just folks in the St. Louis area who might be tempted to ditch work on Friday to catch some college basketball in person. Prices for midday tickets for a pair of games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, featuring Villanova vs. UNC-Asheville, followed by Iowa vs. Temple, have also dropped below $20 apiece. A few were even listed at a mere $10 as of Friday morning, compared to starting prices of $57 a few days ago. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:40 p.m.

Read next: How to Watch the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament Live for Free

If you were more interested in the nighttime session games—which most people could attend after a normal workday—well, you’re not alone. Prices on the secondary market for Friday night’s games in Brooklyn (West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin, Notre Dame vs. Michigan) were starting at $120 as of Friday morning.

 

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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