Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hot Ticket

Looks like I could make some money if I wanted to sell my Women's NCAA Basketball Final Four tickets. I entered the lottery last year and got my 4 tickets a month ago.

I attended the 1991 (New Orleans), 1992 (Los Angeles), 1993 (Atlanta), 1995 (Minneapolis), 1996 (Charlotte, NC), and 1997 (Cincinnati) women's final fours. Then my trial schedule heated up, I missed 1998 in St. Louis, and I never got back into the habit. In the early years you could walk up to the box office on the day of the game and buy a ticket. The last few years I attended the place was packed, but serious scalping wasn't going on yet. I guess the women's game has finally arrived. Thank you Patsy Mink, Birch Bayh, and Title IX.

Women's basketball proves a hot ticket

April brings Opening Day for the Red Sox. There is no denying that fundamental truth of life in Boston. But before this year's ritual, another major sports event will come to the Hub: the NCAA Women's Final Four.

The women's college basketball championship will be held this year at the TD Banknorth Garden, and the event is expected to bring upward of 30,000 visitors to Boston. The semifinal games are scheduled for Sunday, April 2, the day before the Red Sox begin their season in Texas, and the finals will take place on April 4.

Boston beat nearly two dozen other cities for the right to host the event, which is expected to pump at least $20 million into the local economy. But fans hoping to stroll up to the Garden's box office and purchase tickets in the coming weeks are out of luck: For the 13th straight year, all three games of the Women's Final Four are sold out. On eBay, tickets to the three games are being sold for as much as $342 apiece, which is nearly 2 1/2 times the $140 face value.

Nearly all of the Garden's 19,334 seats will be filled by students and others affiliated with the competing schools, other NCAA Division I universities, and corporate sponsors and muckety-mucks. About 6,000 tickets to the games were sold to the general public last August after a random computerized drawing. About 22 percent of them went to Massachusetts residents, second only to the 26 percent that went to Connecticut and its rabid UConn fans.

Where the tickets go

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