Coach Muffet McGraw on women’s March Madness

Coach Muffet McGraw talks women’s March Madness


College hoops fans who want to watch the last four women’s teams battle it out in this year’s edition of the March Madness tournament in person may want to brace for sticker shock. 

On SeatGeek, the cheapest tickets for the women’s Final Four matchups on April 5 was $674, compared with $611 for the men’s bracket. At Ticketmaster, as of Monday the lowest-priced seats for the women’s and men’s Final Four games were $746 and $693, respectively. 

The prices have shot up amid surging demand for tickets in recent days, buoyed by the sparkling on-court performances of Louisiana State University’s Angel Reese and the University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, online ticket brokers said. At some ticket dealers, the price for a women’s tournament seat is now more expensive than for the men’s games. 

Clark and Reese squared off for last year’s national championship, which LSU captured, and the two are matched up again in an eagerly anticipated Elite Eight contest Monday night

“We’re seeing a seismic shift in the world of sports, thanks to athletes like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and others who are captivating audiences with their talent and star power,” Chris Leyden, SeatGeek’s growth marketing director, told CBS MoneyWatch. “This shift is largely driven by the potent brand power these athletes wield, fueling unprecedented demand for this year’s March Madness tournament.”

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Clark and Reese are showcasing their talents on the court, but they “are also inspiring a new era of fandom and engagement,” Leyden said.

Viewership in college basketball has climbed in recent years, bolstered mostly by college-educated men who watch on online streaming services. About 22% of internet-using Americans watch NCAA basketball, according to a survey from S&P Global Market Intelligence Kagan. The survey also found that 7% of respondents watch women’s college basketball, a figure that increased to 9% this month. 

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