About Brandon Zippe

Brandon is able to apply his obsession with sporting events & live music as part of TicketCIty's Site Content & Development team. Brandon joined the blog last year as the sole Red Raider and proud of it.

NCAA Tournament: Final Four Seating Chart and Guide

We’ll be seeing who makes the final four in just a few days time, and while we still don’t know if it will be Louisville, Michigan or even underdog Dayton, now’s the time to start talking about where it’ll take place.

Only one venue left, and the final destination of the 2014 NCAA Tournament is none other than the world-renowned AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Unlike the Midwest Regionals at Lucas Oil Stadium, AT&T Stadium is planning to use the entire stadium. To do so the will drop a court in the middle of the field and extend the Hall of Fame Club sections out to the court. These seats are the priciest of all, but if you can land some you’re in for a great show. In addition to extending the Hall of Fame Club sections there will also be additional risers added to both baselines of the court. If you’re looking to just get in the door for the experience a couple hundred will get you into some mezzanine sections and most of the upper concourse. Remember AT&T Stadium houses one of the largest screens in the entire world…you won’t need to be right next to the court.

There you have it, a complete guide to obtaining the seat that is perfect for you during the NCAA Tournament. To make the process of finding tickets to see your team play even easier we came up with some brackets to help narrow your search down. The NCAA Tournament Bracket will help you get down to the region your team is playing in as well as link to the specific sessions you will need to purchase to see their games.

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2014 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Venues and Seating Charts

Last year, Florida Gulf Coast were the talk of the Regionals

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2014 NCAA Tournament: 2nd and 3rd Round Venues and Seating Charts

The journey to the Final Four begins in just a few weeks

March is closing in fast and with it resides a kind of madness we all invite with open arms. Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, the excitement of March Madness reaches out and demands our attention unlike any sporting event in the world. From the First Four to the Final Four, our eyes remain drawn to the court as the NCAA’s top 68 teams are dwindled down to 2 in the final game of the year. My job in all of this madness; make sure you’ve got the best seat in the house.

First thing’s first: First Four

The madness ensues on March 18 with the first four — a team’s last shot at obtaining a bid to the most prestigious tournament of its kind. Four at-large teams and the last four teams with automatic bids will rally around each other in either their last game of the season or their first win of the tournament. Touted as underdogs from the get go, the First Four is where Cinderella teams are born. VCU in 2011, South Florida in 2012, and who can forget LaSalle’s run last year, all of which started at the Dayton Arena. The University of Dayton Arena was built with one thing in mind, basketball. As such, you really can’t go wrong in any section of the arena. Tickets to the First Four are already at the lower cost end of the tournament as a whole so getting up close and personal with the games may not be as out of reach as you think. Either route you take, basketball at Dayton Arena is a priceless experience.

2ND & 3RD ROUNDS

Now that our Cinderella teams are in the making, the true madness begins in 8 cities across the country. On March 20 the 2nd  & 3rd rounds of the tournament will eliminate half of the field twice in just four days. Ask anyone who has attended this portion of the tournament about it and you’re likely to get a one word response; madness. But not the type of madness that leaves you defeated never to return, it’s a more manageable madness that leaves you crawling back for more. Tickets to the 2nd & 3rd Rounds are broken up into 3 sessions. The first two sessions will be to the 2nd round, session 1 to the afternoon games and session 2 to the evening games. Session 3 tickets will get you to the 3rd round which is the final game of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at Spokane Arena

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Spokane Arena is in Spokane, Washington, near the Idaho border. We get underway in Eastern Washington on March 20 and will finish up on March 22. Though one of the smaller venues of the tournament with a capacity just over 12,000, the Spokane Arenas size is what makes it such a great venue for basketball. With just one level change, your typical “nose-bleed” seats are actually great seats at half the price. The remaining venues on the 2nd & 3rd Rounds docket for March 20 & 22 are a bit larger and offer a wider range of seating options.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at Amway Center

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The Amway Center resides in Orlando, Florida and houses the Orlando Magic. So while a much bigger venue, capacity of 20,000, the Amway Center is still outfitted for basketball. From Presidents Suites to Courtside if you’re looking to spend the big bucks the Amway Center has the view to match it. If frugality is your main concern the promenade and terrace levels are great options for under $100.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at BMO Harris Bradley Center

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Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center is slightly smaller with a capacity of 2,000 less than the Amway Center, but once again outfitted for basketball (home of the Bucks). There is less glamour at the BMO Harris Bradley Center as far as club level presidential VIP private boxed seats… (See what I did there), but they do have some great courtside sections that will be well worth the $300+. More seats means more options and the Bradley Center breaks down their upper and lower levels into sidelines, baselines, and corners. For the most part your sideline sections will be the most expensive, then the baselines with your cheapest seats in the corners.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at First Niagara Center

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Western New York will house another portion of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. While the first on our list not outfitted for basketball, there’s not much change in seating views from hockey to basketball. The First Niagara Center keeps it simple with 3 levels (100, 200, and 300) and a ring of suites between the 200 and 300. $100 or less will get you some descent seats in the 300 level with a sky-view of the court. Anything closer to the court will be anywhere from $100-$300+.

With two days in the books the madness continues to blanket the country bombarding four more cities with another 24 games. March 21 & 23 will take the 2nd & 3rd Rounds to North Carolina, Texas, California, and Missouri to finish out the round of 62.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at PNC Arena

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PNC Arena is yet another great venue on the NCAA Tournament route. Purpose built for hockey and basketball, the arena mastered sectioning to cater to both sports. The layout is very similar to the First Niagara Center, actually it’s pretty identical. The PNC Arena does have something different though, a 300 seat restaurant with a variety of food options. The pricing at PNC Arena varies some as you can find some 200 & 100 level seats for just under $100, but for the most part will be limited to the 300 level. Baseline 100 & 200 level sections are your best deal at the PNC Arena as you can usually get really close for a lot less.

2nd & 3rd Rounds at AT&T Center

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Move over Spurs fans and make way because the 2nd & 3rd Rounds are headed straight to San Antonio’s AT&T Center. This is one of my favorite venues to watch basketball at and rightfully so as it was built for one of the NBA’s top dynasty’s. With room for 18,000+ the AT&T Center contains 2,018 club seats, 50 luxury seats, and 32 bathrooms, which you will see comes in handy when you’re talking about an entire day of basketball. While the balcony level seats are high the, AT&T Center utilizes its vertical space well keeping all the seats as close to the court as possible, but when the tickets are as low as $40, does it really matter? Some of your best seats for the price are going to come from the plaza level baseline and corner sections, if the tickets are not under $100 they’re not too much over. You can also get some great deals on the plaza level sidelines if you don’t mind sitting on the end sections (119, 124, and 105).

2nd and 3rd Rounds at Viejas Arena

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If the Rose Bowl were a basketball stadium it might look similar to the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California. With one level of sections to hold the 12,000+ fans that fill up the arena, the Viejas Arena is an away team’s worst nightmare. The good news for you, every seat in the house is the best seat in the house. Most everything is under $200 and gets you right in front of all the action.

2nd and 3rd Rounds at Scottrade Center

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Gaining the pun-full nickname of “Arch Madness”, St. Louis, Missouri will be our final stop of the 2nd & 3rd Rounds. The Scottrade Center is most often used as a hockey rink for the St. Louis Blues but as we have seen in previous venues not too much changes when you replace the ice with wood. With a capacity of 22,000 for basketball, the Scottrade Center is on the larger end of the scale but remains quite simple. The venue has 8 floor baseline sections and 6 floor sideline sections all of which are phenomenal seats if you can afford them. The 100 level shares sections with the club and can cost anywhere from $100 to $400+. While getting into the Scottrade Center for the 2nd & 3rd Rounds under $100 is a bit trickier, especially in the later sessions, the 300 level is going to be your best opportunity to do so.

X-Games Austin Guide – What to Expect

It’s only natural to combine the X-Games with the Austin vibe.

 

Austin may not have a professional sports team yet, but that’s not stopping them from hosting some of the largest sporting events in the country. Just two years into the state of the art Formula One tracks history, Austin is bringing the X Games to its grounds. From the best action sport athletes to the biggest musical acts around, the Circuit of the Americas will be the place to be in June.

Day 1 – June 5, 2014

The first day of the X Games is going to take over downtown with the Skateboard and BMX Vert competitions. The best part about these events is that they are FREE! Don’t worry that’s not a typo it really is a free event. The day will start with the BMX Vert Final at 7:00 PM with the Skateboard Vert Final to follow at 8:30 PM. In each final the athletes will get 4, 30 second runs each and will get to keep their best score of the 4 runs. Vert is one of the most exciting events of the X Games and is well worth the trip downtown to see.

Day 2 – June 6, 2014

On the second day of X Games Austin, Texas gave to me…BMX Street Finals, Skateboard Street Men’s Elimination, Enduro X Men’s & Women’s Finals, Moto X Best Whip & Step Up Finals, and Skateboarding Big Air Finals. Day 2 of the X Games will be the first day at COTA and is jam packed with some stellar events. The BMX Street Final starts at 12:00 PM and will give each rider as many attempts on the course as they can get during the 15 minute heat sending the top 3 from each heat to the final. From there attention will shift over to the Men’s Skateboard Street Elimination at 2:00 PM as the top 10 scores overall will advance to the final. At 4:00 PM get ready for some hybrid motorcycle competition as the Men’s and Women’s Enduro X gets underway. Moto X will take the spotlight at 7:00 PM leading off with the Best Whip competition Finals. At 7:15 PM Moto X riders will begin the Step Up Final hitting a near 14 foot lip that will propel them to insane heights crowning the highest jump as victor. Cap day 2 off at the big air ramp near turn 19 of COTA’s track at 8:30 PM as some of the world’s best riders take flight in the Skateboard Big Air Final.

Day 3 – June 7, 2014

Another big day at the Circuit of the Americas starts off with the BMX Dirt Final at 11:00 AM where the 8 competitors will take a first run through the dirt course and continue in a ranked order for 4 runs. Grab some grub on your way over to the Global RallyCross course as drivers prepare to hit hairpin turns and insane jumps at maximum horse-power during the RallyCross at 12:30 (includes round 1, Last Chance Qualifiers LCQ, and Finals). At 2:30 PM the Skateboarders will head to the park course for the finals where the two best scores of each rider will count towards their final rank of 1-6. Moto X will take over the next few hours with the Speed & Style Final at 4:00 PM and the Freestyle Final at 7:00 PM. The Speed & Style competition consists of one head to head race that is based on style with the first rider to cross the finish line gaining the speed margin of victory bonus points to be added to their score. All 10 competitors will then take two runs in the same start order for the Freestyle Final. Once again cap the day off with some big air at 8:30 PM, only this time it’s the BMX riders taking to the air.

Final Day – June 8, 2014

The last day of X Games at COTA will get started at 11:00 AM with the BMX Park final as competitors get in as many runs as they can in the 2, 15 minute heats to rank in the top 6. The day continues with the Stadium Super Trucks Final at 12:30 PM in one exciting race between the 10 drivers. Head back to the Main Grandstand at 1:00 PM and prepare for the Women’s & Men’s Skateboard Street Finals. The Skateboard Street Finals will consist of an 18 minute heat giving the skaters as many runs as they can put down to get their best score. End your Austin X Games experience at 5:15 PM with the Moto X Demo as some of the best riders put on the grand finale show by busting out the biggest and baddest tricks in the book.

Now that you know what to see you’re going to want to know where to see it from. The Main Grandstand will put you in front of all the action during the Moto X, Street, and Park events. Just down the stretch at the Turn 1 Grandstand is where you will be able to catch the BMX Dirt Finals. Along the main stretch you will also be able to enjoy attractions from the festival portion of the X Games. Be a part of the action at the Next X Park where you can bring your own bike, board, or skates. The Gaming Shack will house some of the best gamers around in a battle for the X Games gold in the Major League Gaming’s national showdown. Adjacent to the Gaming Shack is the Playground, a place to challenge all your friends in dodge ball, mini golf, zip-lining, king of the hill, and the rock wall or just a place to cool down in the water zone.

In between Turns 12 and 16 us where you will want to be for the RallyCross and Stadium Super Trucks. There are Grandstands, Bleachers and trackside suites surrounding the course getting you up close and personal for the whole race. Just behind the Global RallyCross course you’ll find The Garage, an all things that are fast area that features kart racing, RC cars and racing simulators.

Just before Turn 19 lies a massive general admission lawn where you will be able to witness riders catch some of the biggest air of the X Games during the Big Air Finals. Get here early and stake your claim to a patch of grass in the perfect spot before the event gets under way.

The Austin 360 Amphitheater will house the music portion of the X Games or X Music as it is being referred to. With high octane acts to include Kanye West, Pretty Lights, The Flaming Lips, Mac Miller, Slightly Stoopid, Gary Clark Jr., Bad Religion, Dillon Francis, Mayer Hawthorne, FMLYBND, Wavves, Cash Cash, and CandyLand this state of the art amphitheater is the perfect place to catch some tunes. In between acts be sure to check out the ESPN Clubhouse for all things sports. From sports bars to sports games the ESPN Clubhouse will have you covered. The amphitheater will also include the Galleria, a hub for fashion, art, and other vendors & shops and the Texas Ranch where you can get local while riding a mechanical bull. That’s not all though because it wouldn’t be Austin without going green and that’s just what the Green Planet area is for. From a life-size hamster wheel to the newest ways of recycling and green initiatives, the Green Planet is all about preserving the environment.

The X Games choose to keep it weird with Austin, Texas and it’s looking like that’s just what their planning to do as the 2014 X Games get set to take over the Circuit of the Americas and Downtown. This is one weekend you’re not going to want to miss in June so get your tickets now and start planning your trip to the “Music Capital of the World”!

It’s So American — the Newest Texas Rodeo

The American features the largest one-day payout in rodeo history

It’s only fitting for the stadium with the world’s largest video screen, one of the biggest capacities, and most cheered on teams in America to also host the largest event in rodeo history. The American is upping the ante and bringing a $2 Million pay out to the table, the largest one-day payout in rodeo history. The world’s greatest cowboys and cowgirls will head down to Arlington, Texas on March 2, 2014 and takeover the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium for The American, what many are considering to be the next big thing for rodeo. Check out the rodeo seating chart for AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium):

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While one-day rodeo championships are far and few between, The American has built its foundation on being just that; One Big Rodeo. The rodeo will feature the top 10 riders from each of the following sanctioned events, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Pro Roughstock Series, United States Team Roping Championships, Better Barrel Racers, and the Ultimate Calf Roping Series. Outside of the top ten and think you can compete with the best of the best? The American has you covered with five qualifying events leading up to the rodeo extravaganza in Arlington that will culminate in Mesquite, Texas. The qualifiers will be from all over the country and have their shot to compete for a share of that $2 Million prize.

The two million dollar payout is one of the richest in rodeo history and will be broken down into each event with first place earning $100 thousand and second place getting $25 thousand. The other million dollars will make up a side pot set aside for the qualifiers. To get their hands on the side pot, the qualifiers must beat the best and win their sanctioned event.

In a state that features three of the biggest rodeo’s already in Austin, San Antonio and Houston, The American will be sharing the spotlight with some heavy contenders, but a cash prize at that amount is sure to help sway the light a bit.