Final Four Tickets
Tickets to the Final Four are among the toughest in sports. The general public must enter a lottery to get tickets (see below), and scalpers and brokers command top dollar for the event.
Tickets are actually very reasonably priced if you can get them at face value. Tickets are sold in booklets that get you into both the semifinals on Saturday night and the championship game on Monday night. Ticket booklets to the 2020 Final Four in San Antonio are $110 and $130; not bad considering that Super Bowl tickets are a minimum of $300. Getting the tickets at face value, however, is not easy and requires some luck.
The view from the lottery seats in Atlanta The NCAA holds a ticket lottery each year to sell those tickets that are not given to the host school and the four participants. For the 2020 Final Four, about 9,000 tickets were made available. Most of these tickets are in the upper deck, and may be on the far side of the stadium. Since the Final Four is always held in a dome, many of these seats are ridiculously far away; see the picture above for a view from the far side at the 2020 Final Four in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
The lottery works as follows:
- Applications are limited to one per address;
- Each application may request one or two tickets;
- Each application can be entered into the drawing up to ten times; your odds of winning increase with each entry;
- Each entry must pay a $4 service fee;
- You must pre-pay all tickets for each entry (so, if you enter ten times for two tickets each, you must pay $130 per ticket x 2 tickets x 10 entries = $2,600, plus service fees for each entry of $4 each);
- Each application may win only two tickets; so you may enter ten times to increase your odds of being selected, but you will still be limited to two tickets;
- Winners will be notified in late summer. Entries that are not selected will be refunded the ticket price; service fees are non-refundable.
Entering the lottery as many times as possible is advisable in order to increase your odds of winning. This will require more money up front, but you will get all of it back a few months later, minus the service fees of $4 per entry.
The deadline for applications for the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio was May 9, 2003. The application deadline for the 2005 Final Four will most likely be in May, 2004. Check back with TourneyTravel.com during the 2004 NCAA tournament for more information.
If you don’t win the lottery, the only way to get tickets in advance (outside of your school reaching for the Final Four) is to buy from a broker or an auction site (check BigLeagueTix.com). You can always buy from a scalper or fan outside the dome on the day of the game, but of course there is no guarantee you’ll get tickets. For the semifinals, expect to pay top dollar. For the title game, if you’re lucky you might find a fan of a semifinal loser who will part with a ticket at face value.
Future Final Four Sites
2004 – April 3 & 5, Alamodome, San Antonio (San Antonio Hotels)
2005 – April 2 & 4, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis (St. Louis hotels)
2006 – April 1 & 3, RCA Dome, Indianapolis
2007 – March 31 & April 2, Georgia Dome, Atlanta
2008 – April 5 &7, Alamodome, San Antonio
2009 – April 4 & 6, Ford Field, Detroit
2010 – April 3 & 5, RCA Dome, Indianapolis
2011 – April 2 & 4, Reliant Stadium, Houston