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« An actual development priority | Main | Public and private sectors »

Mar 15, 2010


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Andrew Brod

Wait, you're disagreeing with someone who was quoted as saying he doesn't know?

FWIW, I based my comments on precisely zero actual information. However, major sporting events rarely charge market-clearing prices for tickets. There's almost always an excess demand, even taking into account additional expenses for travel and lodging. I'd be more inclined to believe that it's the economy if prices in the past were close to the razor's edge of equilibrium: a little higher and you have lots of empty seats.

On the other hand, this was a doozy of a recession and unemployment is historically high, hence my uncertainty.


My Ga Tech buds says their fans have been staying home in droves all year. Not happy with Hewitt. I couldn't justify the cost of an enire ticket book this year, Tar Holes not withstanding. The added sessions on Thursday add $150 per book, that's 1/3 of entire cost.

Jim Caserta

The economy was arguably in worse shape last year - how was attendance then? In my experience buying some scalped & season tickets for SEC football, crazy is crazy no matter what the economy, and if fans aren't excited, small changes in ticket prices don't make much of a difference. Tickets to the BCS championship game were pretty steep weren't they? The SEC championship game (football) prices were high, even though neither Tuscaloosa nor Gainesville are any closer to Atlanta than ATL is to GSO.

There are also GT fans in the vicinity of GSO - probably lots in the Triangle area. There weren't enough psyched Duke fans around to buy up the leftover tickets? Scalpers do go to market-clearing levels after kickoff or tipoff, if there are tickets left, prices go way down. If there are people there to buy, people get in the seats. I would guess not enough excited people around to pick up the last few seats.

Ed Cone

Perhaps it's the set-up to your quote that's at issue, AB: "Andrew Brod, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNCG, said he's skeptical that the economy is the culprit."

I'm not skeptical that the economy is one of several factors involved.

FWIW, I turned down free tix on Saturday, and I know where to park for free, too.

Andrew Brod

I am indeed skeptical that the economy is the culprit.

But of course I could be wrong. Like Jim, I'd love to see some data. Give me enough years of sales data and I'll bet I could come up with a breakdown of the various causes.

Don Moore

Other conferences have had the empty seat issues as well. The problem is how is redistribute the unwanted/unused tickets efficiently. My recommendation ( in a letter submitted to the News & Record yesterday ) is to set up a charity ticket exchange. Unused tickets go to charities for use or resale. Cost of administration would be part of hosting the tournament.

Jim Caserta

Ahh, the 'the culprit' vs 'a culprit'. If you turned down free tix, then the economy was not 'the' culprit. Were there empty seats for last year's Duke-FSU final? And that was the GA-dome which has to be a crappier place to watch bball, in addition to being a lot bigger.

Ed Cone

My post makes it clear that there were non-economic factors involved ("Carolina's absence was a big factor, and it didn't help to have semifinalists from Georgia, Florida, and New Jersey joining the one from Raleigh.")

Andrew Brod

The economy wasn't the culprit for Ed. Neither was it for me. That's N=2. If we keep going we'll eventually have a statistical sample.

(A sociologist once told--I believe jokingly--that if you're really good, N=1 is all you need.)

Anyway, Don's post is interesting. If other conference tournaments around the country had the same problem, that suggests more weight on an economic explanation. They couldn't all have had an excitement deficit.

Tony Wilkins

AB: "this was a doozy of a recession...".


Ed, you should of hung wtih me. I had free biscuits, bloody's,beer,tix,ride, and could have had a free steak at Ruth's Chris if mamma hadn't given me the hook.

I love it when Tech makes a showing in GSO.

Andrew Brod

Tony, I'm just sticking to the technical definition. Technically, the recession's over, hence "was." But the economy still kinda sucks, hence this discussion. The end of a recession doesn't mean that things are good, just that they're getting better (and believe it or not, they are... slowly).

Andrew Brod

I should amend "technically." Technically, the recession's over when the National Bureau of Economic Research says it ended. However, every mainstream economist I've seen opine on this believes that when the NBER gets around to announcing the end of the recession, it'll put the date sometime in the summer or fall of 2009.

(Weak recoveries tend to lengthen the NBER's time lag. It wasn't until mid-2003 when the NBER announced that the 2001 recession ended in November 2001.)


I turned down free tix Sunday. Is that N=3?

I just decided I'd rather watch it on teevee.


i gave my tix to a guy who wouldn't pay $2 to triple park longways at the Pearly Gates. He parked a half mile down Hardie St. while I worked on ways to put what capital I have to flight. That's gotta be a coefficient in some model.


Layman's guess..... Carolina absent and bad, Wake absent and mediocre, down year for ACC in general, economy compounds the issues at hand. Just not worth it to some.

I am glad some folks who usually do not get a chance ... got a chance. My son and I passed as lacrosse was postponed from Saturday to Sunday.

Didnt go see Guilford College bball Friday or Saturday as planned either. Good ticket prices, good basketball but bad weekend. Congrats and good luck to The Quakers in the DIII final four!

Go Carolina at Carmichael. woo

Doom Day Dude

it didn't help to have semifinalists from Georgia, Florida, and New Jersey joining the one from Raleigh*Ed

I had no idea that New Jersey had a team in the ACC? No wonder nobody show up from New Jersey?


That would be University of NJ South AKA Dook.

Also aka my ACC Champs (yuk). Good luck to them.I would like for the ACC to win a few ganes and shut some folks up. The last five years with a notable exception have been rough. Would also like for any number of Big East teams to get beat.

Just a guess

I'd guess there were a number of factors involved.

The economy certainly would be a factor. Attendance for just about every sport is down - baseball, NBA, NASCAR, even the NFL. However, TV ratings for most sports are way up during the past year or so. That leads me to believe the economy is a big factor.

However, there are other key factors. Carolina being down is a big one, as they are the league's biggest draw.

Another factor is that the ACC just isn't what it used to be popularity-wise. Expansion has watered down many of the traditional rivalries. North Carolina now has much more competition for the sports fan's dollar than 25-30 years ago.

Plus, I don't think you can discount demographics changes. Transplants now make up a much bigger percentage of the state's population than they did in the ACC heyday of the 1970s and '80s. Those folks don't have the same cradle-to-grave interest in ACC basketball that North Carolinians of a previous generation had.

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