Trading was fast and furious Sunday afternoon for NCAA tournament tickets in First Niagara Center, following the announcement of the eight teams that will tip off against each other Thursday.
The selection of Syracuse University, with its legion of rabid fans from across New York, to play in Buffalo as a No. 3 seed versus Western Michigan could drive up ticket prices on the secondary market.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, a smattering of tickets in the 300 Level were still available for all three sessions of the second and third round games in First Niagara Center through the NCAA at a cost of $198. Those tickets weren’t expected to last long after teams the NCAA announced its bracket selections, which also included Ohio State University as a No. 6 seed facing Dayton University, a No. 11 seed; Villanova as a No. 2 seed squaring off against Milwaukee, a No. 15 seed; and the University of Connecticut, a No. 7 seed, facing St. Joseph University, a No. 10 seed.
“We got a great draw,” said Pete Harvey, director of the Buffalo Sports Commission, who was watching the NCAA Selection Show intently.
As anticipated, the NCAA tabbed Syracuse University to play just three hours from its home Carrier Dome. None of the other teams will be more than an eight-hour drive away, including past NCAA champions the Villanova Wildcats and the University of Connecticut Huskies.
The relatively easy driving distance could drive up the passion of the games, as well as the price of tickets on secondary market online sites such as Stub Hub and the NCAA Ticket Exchange operated PrimeSport.
Tickets at those sites were changing hands quickly, as the NCAA revealed its highly anticipated selections.
At 5:30 p.m., for example, Stub Hub was selling 793 tickets for all-session tickets in First Niagara Center, starting at $246.
By 6:20 p.m., 747 all-session tickets remained, with a starting price of $283 per ticket. By 7:15 p.m. the numbers were 687 tickets left, at a starting price of $315.
Tickets for individual sessions also were trading briskly.
Stub Hub had 1,278 tickets for Session I games Thursday available at 5:30 p.m. That number went down to 1,208 tickets less than two hours later.