ACC tournament is far from a hot ticket so far

Courtesy of the Washington Post:

The ACC tournament at Verizon Center does not appear to be a hot ticket.

“Terrible,” said one scalper who was plying his trade at the corner of 6th and F streets, just outside the venue in downtown Washington, and declined to give his name. “The building’s half-full and I can’t give tickets away.”

Verizon Center was more full for Wednesday afternoon’s opening session — Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh and Duke vs. North Carolina State — than Tuesday afternoon’s first-round games between the tournament’s lowest-seeded teams. About three-quarters of seats appeared occupied for the Duke-N.C. State game that tipped off at about 2:30 Eastern time. All of the sections of the upper deck were open Wednesday. On Tuesday, a black curtain shrouded the nosebleed seats behind the basket.

One would think that the presence of Syracuse and Duke would give the scalpers some hope Wednesday. Syracuse has 15,000 alumni living in the Washington area, according to the school, and always draws well when playing Georgetown at Verizon Center. Duke is, well, Duke. But that’s apparently not the case.

“Duke is like the Cowboys: America’s team,” the scalper said, clutching a handful of tickets he hoped to unload and cornering every dejected-looking person wearing Orange after Syracuse’s loss to Pittsburgh. “But none of their fans are alumni who actually go to the games.

“Might as well be Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s,” he added, referring to Tuesday night’s West Coast Conference final between the schools in Las Vegas.

SeatGeek, a secondary-ticket seller, said in a news release Tuesday that the get-in price for Wednesday’s afternoon session was just $12, “by far the cheapest chance to see Duke this year.”

A quick check of StubHub showed a get-in price of $18 for Wednesday night’s second session (Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech vs. Florida State). You can catch Thursday’s afternoon session — featuring North Carolina and Notre Dame, two reliable draws — for $27. It’s not until Thursday’s night session, featuring a somewhat local draw in Virginia, when things start getting at least a little expensive: $60. Friday’s semifinals, featuring a possible Duke-North Carolina matchup, are going for $97 and up.