Saturday, February 10, 2007

ACC Tournament Tickets Tough this year?

I had mistakenly assumed when I heard the ACC tournament was going to Tampa/St. Pete, that the tournament was going to be played inthe Thunderdome. I assume that building is still there and capable of hosting basketball. It has been a long time since Brent and I drove down there to see Grant Hill and the Dukies play an NCAA game there. But it is a huge building and with a fair basketball setup would hold a ton of people. But, apparently it is being played in the St. Pete Times Forum, a much more modest hockey and basketball arena.

That could change things a bit as far as the ticket situation. In the dome, it was for sure going to be the easiest ticket in the history of the ACC, at least for the early round games.

An article from Tallahassee Democrat talks about the ticket situation from an FSU standpoint.

It will take at least silver to support the garnet and gold at the ACC men's basketball tournament in Tampa next month.

Florida State's allotment of about 1,700 tickets was divvied up to the top three levels of the Seminole Boosters. Silver Chiefs were the last to make the cut, earning the right to buy a pair of tickets thanks to their annual contribution of at least $3,000.

The league's 54th annual tournament runs March 8-11.

Demand has long outpaced supply for ACC tournament tickets, which have not been sold to the general public since 1966. Expansion - Virginia Tech and Miami receive full allotments for the first time this season - has made it an even tougher ticket at the St. Pete Times Forum, which will seat about 19,800 for the tournament.

Each school determines its own guidelines for ticket distribution.

FSU mailed out ticket request forms to boosters in December. Platinum Golden Chiefs ($12,000 annual contribution) were given the opportunity to purchase six tickets apiece. Golden Chiefs ($6,000) were able to buy four ticket booklets to the first ACC tournament in the Sunshine State. Tomahawks ($1,200) were squeezed out this season.

"It was more demand than there's been in the past, but I wouldn't say it was overwhelming," said Patrick Martin, FSU's ticket manager.

Martin said seven students requested ticket packages.

Fans shut out in the process can still obtain tickets if they're willing to pay steep prices. Online ticket brokers are advertising ticket packages from about $500 to $3,500. Tickets for two-game sessions early in the tournament can be had for about $100.

The Seminole Boosters will hold a reception open to all fans at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina on March 7.

I'll follow up with some speculation on what the real ticket situation may be like soon, and hopfully get someone else to chime in.