The NCAA throws a few ducats to the minions


A little investigative reporting might reveal some disturbing deals involving the ticket business.  Any journalists interested in taking this on?


Case in point:  the NCAA 1st & 2nd Round Men's BB Tournament in Portland. 


The UW Ticket Office reports that they received only 200 (that's two zeroes) tickets for their (non-student) fans to attend these games.  So much for it being a "home" game for the Huskies.  To their credit, the UW is trying to rally support amongst the fans by encouraging them to gather together in a Portland watering hole for the event, though somehow I doubt that the cheers from there will be deafening inside the Rose Garden.


But wait, we're told that there will be plenty of seats available to the UW faithful if the team makes it to the Regional venue in Glendale.  Pretty generous, given 70,000+ seats to utilize there.  How close do you suppose they'll put us in a football stadium?  Maybe we should just get together again in that Portland sports bar.


So where are all the tickets going for the 20,000 seat Rose Garden?


Going beyond the host school allotments, etc., it seems strange that some 1st & 2nd Round sites (even smaller arenas) still have tickets available.   Meanwhile, Portland was sold out long ago, and nose-bleed seats on the "broker" sites were already fetching $200 and up a month before anyone could predict who would be playing there.  


Is the NCAA dedicated to the schools and their supporters, or to the ticket scalping (excuse me, broker) industry?


The NCAA says that they are fighting scalping by trying to control the reselling of tickets through contractual arrangements (details unknown) with RazorGator and Ticketmaster.  Now, if you try to buy tickets for (sold-out) Portland on the NCAA website, you're automatically redirected to the RazorGator website.  Isn't that convenient?


Part of this problem does have to do with internet sales, and the diminishing ability of individual states to restrict third-party markets therein.  And, the problem is not unique to NCAA basketball; ticket scalping is a multi-billion dollar, organized business that spans the entire sports and entertainment industry.


It just seems to me that if the NCAA were really the champions of academic-sponsored athletics, they could signal their interests by making the Tournament more for the schools, and accessible to their loyal fans.  A good start would be to allot them a few more tickets.


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