2014 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Venues and Seating Charts
48 games, 4 days, and 46 teams later the NCAA Tournament Bracket has been chiseled down to 16 teams. This phase of the tournament has become recognizable in more ways than one and whether you call it the Regionals or the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, one thing is undeniable, this is the most exciting part of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2014 West Regionals will head to Anaheim, California on March 27 where the Honda Center awaits the arrival of the 4 best of the west. Normally home to the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL, the Honda Center provides a great 360 view of the entire arena from nearly every seat. The levels of the Honda Center include the floor, Plaza (200’s), Premium (300’s), and the Terrace (400’s). Due to the ticket demand of the Regionals the window of getting into these games under $100 closes pretty fast. $100-$200 will get you into the Terrace level which is not a bad seat by any means, especially at the Honda Center. Beyond that you’re looking at a couple hundred per ticket.
Memphis, Tennessee’s FedEx Forum will bring some southern hospitality to the tournament with the South Regionals. The FedEx Forum is another one of those ideal basketball venues, as its home to the Memphis Grizzlies. While the basketball team has seen better years, few have seen better venues. The circular video screen above center court gives every seas a look at replays, contests, and game footage. The surplus of seats also drives some of the ticket prices down getting you in the Terrace level for around $100 (plus or minus) depending on the section area. The corners are you’re cheapest option on every level and if you’re really looking to get up close the plaza sideline sections 103-107 will get you right behind the players’ bench at $400+ a pop.
As it does for most things “Midwest” related, Indianapolis, Indiana will host the Midwest Regionals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Perhaps one of the most unique setups of the tournament, Lucas Oil Stadium is so massive it only has to utilize half of its capacity to accommodate for the tournament. The transformation will take over an end zone and provide several floor sections surrounding the court. These floor sections will be the only seating changes to the venue, the remaining sections will continue on as the 100 – 600 level sections. For a football game the 600 level is high but reasonable when looking at a 100 yard field. This metric doesn’t quite transfer over to basketball, which is probably why seats in the 600’s are so cheap. Along with the 600 level, the 500 level seats, though cheap, are really high up for a basketball game. You can still find some good seats in the 300 – 400 levels from anywhere to $100 to $180, and these are a bit more reasonable when it comes to viewing the games. I would guess that the 300 – 400 level is approximately where anyone of the other basketball specific arenas would measure up to at their highest section. The 100 and 200 levels are not outrageously priced as you can get into some high row 100 seats for just under $200. These seats would probably give you the best value to seat ratio for this particular stadium.
There are few venues I would say are a must attend when the NCAA Tournament strolls through but one that for sure makes that list is MSG, and that’s just where the East Regionals are headed. What better way to watch the most prestigious basketball tournament than in a venue that carries the same stature. The Madison Square Garden has been a stage for some of the most exciting and historic basketball games of all time. With a capacity just under 20,000 MSG has a lot of room and knows how to get the most out of every seat, including the money out of the occupant’s wallet. The NCAA Tournament at MSG is not for the frugal minded because they are some pricy tickets, and well worth the money to experience an event like this. At the tip top of MSG is the Bridges, Balconies, and Lounges, the 300’s sections. For the most part this is going to be your cheapest way into the venue for the games and that price starts at close to $200. The price continues on from there as you get closer to the court with the 400 sections, 100 – 200 corners, baselines, and sidelines, and then there’s the floor or where Spike Lee sits. The price comes with the territory, but one thing is for sure if you’re attending the East Regionals at the Madison Square Garden it will be an experience you won’t soon forget, I guarantee it.