Following up on Tuesday’s post about the fourth consecutive decline in ACC basketball’s regular-season attendance: After surveying sites such as StubHub and TicketsNow, the folks at SeatGeek.com say the average online price for an all-sessions ticket to the ACC tournament, the pioneer and gold standard of conference tournaments, is 20 percent less than last season.
That decline, from $713 to $581, is hardly surprising given the event’s one-year move from its traditional Greensboro, N.C. home to Atlanta.
No matter how much the ACC expands its footprint, which now extends from Boston to Miami, the conference’s hub remains North Carolina, especially for basketball, where North Carolina and Duke show no signs of falling from national prominence.
Indeed, according to SeatGeek data analyst Myles Kaufman, 30 percent of online buyers of ACC tournament tickets hail from North Carolina, 22 percent from Georgia. (Thanks to Cavs Corner's Brad Franklin for hipping me to Kaufman's findings.)
The ACC anticipated this, witness its choice of Atlanta venues. Rather than return to the Georgia Dome, site of the conference’s 2001 and ’09 tournaments, league officials opted for the much smaller Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
The 2001 event at the Georgia Dome was the most-attended conference tournament in NCAA history, drawing a per-session average of 36,505, total attendance of 182,525 and a single-session record of 40,083.
Another discouraging note: The $583 average price for an ACC ticket ranks fifth among the six major conferences, ahead of only the Big Ten in Indianapolis, where the going rate is $490.
Some seats in the stands will be empty, but not mine on press row. This was, is and, I hope, always will be, my favorite weekend of the year.
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