Big East Basketball Tournament Most Expensive

Last Updated on December 2, 2020

If you read this site regularly or follow me on Twitter, you know that I am in Ireland from May 17-25th. While I’m away, I’m sharing with you the work of Patrick Rishe, my collegue at SportsMoney on This is the fifth of a series of pieces Patrick did for SportsMoney on college basketball finance. You can find all of my pieces on football finance here.

By: Patrick Rishe

If we can surmise anything from secondary ticket price data in sports, it’s the ebb and flow of real-time demand and value that consumers place on various sporting events.

That said, it seems that fans of the Big East Men’s Basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City place a greater premium and significance on that tourney than fans of all other BCS post-season basketball tourneys.

My source from StubHub furnished the following average secondary ticket price data for each round of each of the 6 BCS conferences in an effort to gauge the relative significance and importance that fans assign to each tournament respectively.

The results:

RoundBig EastBig 12ACCPac 10Big TenSEC
Early Rounds$70$62$48$69$54$29
AGGREGATE PRICE$934$676$663$478$441$356

Focusing on “aggregate prices” (i.e. the sum of the 4 rounds for each tourney), the Big East tourney is the most expensive BY FAR.  Its average “aggregate price” for all sessions on the secondary market is $934, over $250 more expensive than the “aggregate price” for either the Big 12 or ACC tourneys.

The Big East tournament is likely the most expensive because of location.  Being in New York drives the value of those tickets.

It’s also not surprising to see these 3 conferences lead the way in “secondary market ticket prices” because they are the most popular conference tournaments, according to 2010 NCAA attendance data. Specifically, in 2010 these 3 conferences had the highest attendance per session (ACC – 23,371; Big East – 19,375; Big 12 – 18,900).

So in the context of valuing a sports entity, the Big East tournament is the most prized, valued, and popular of the BCS men’s basketball tournaments.  And the fact that the games are played amidst the glitz and glamour of New York City in the historic Madison Square Garden are reasons that drive these facts.


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  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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