March Madness: Why women's Final Four tickets cost more than men's tickets
It will cost more money to attend the women's Final Four this year than the men's, according to ticket broker StubHub.
As of this writing, the lowest ticket price to attend both women's matches on Friday is $428 before fees. The lowest price to go to the men's games on Saturday is $40. A year ago, this was essentially reversed: The cheapest tickets for the 2022 women's Final Four cost between $97-$130 depending on the supplier, while the cheapest 2022 men's Final Four tickets cost $368, per TickPick.
Final Four stadium capacity
More people watched the women's tournament this year than ever before.
"I think the most exciting part about it is being a part of history," LSU guard Alexis Morris said Thursday. "We're literally watching the game grow and change right in front of our faces, and we're playing a huge part in it. It's an honor, and I'm just super excited to be a part of it."
The Dallas Mavericks' home arena at American Airlines Center will host the women's Final Four with a capacity of almost 20,000 seats, whereas the men will play at NRG Stadium, where the NFL's Houston Texans play. NRG also hosted the men's 2016 Final Four, where 74,340 people attended.
That's a massive difference in the number of tickets available. So while there seems to be more interest in the women's games, there are also far fewer opportunities to attend, thus helping drive the price up.
One drawback to the expensive women's tickets is the cost for players' families to attend. LSU's Angel Reese said Thursday that the high prices are "exciting" because of the interest level, but noted it's tough to get more tickets for loved ones to watch. LSU head coach Kim Mulkey expanded on that.
"Angel [Reese] is right: These young ladies and their families have to sit up high," Mulkey said. "I would like to see their families be able to sit down low and buy those tickets or save a section for the families where they can go hug their families afterwards."
Women's Final Four loaded with talent
The star power of each Final Four could also play a role in the prices.
The women's side features the best teams and most high-profile players, headlined by a matchup between No. 2 seed Iowa and No. 1 seed South Carolina. The Hawkeyes are led by Naismith Player of the Year Caitlin Clark, while 2022 winner and presumptive No. 1 WNBA draft pick Aliyah Boston plays for the Gamecocks. The other game should also be as exciting with Reese and No. 3 seed LSU vs. No. 1 seed Virginia Tech.
The men's side is a chaotic and unprecedented blend of first-time finalists and one former juggernaut. The matchups aren't nearly as enticing.
In 2022, the men's Final Four included Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova — all four of which are powerhouse programs with huge fan bases and a history of championships. It also featured what ended up being legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski's final game with Duke and Jay Wright's final game with Villanova.
This year, there's a matchup between No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic and No. 5 seed San Diego State, two teams who'd either never won an NCAA tournament game or never advanced past the Sweet 16 before this year. Then, there's No. 4 seed UConn, who looks like the favorite to win it all, and No. 5 seed Miami, who also reached its first Final Four.
Another way to look at it: Five former McDonald's All-Americans will play in the women's Final Four, while the men's games won't feature a single former McDonald's All-American for the first time since 1979, per ESPN.