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February 18, 2014

Michigan vs. MSU tickets in huge demand

"You wanted a rivalry - you got it."

So said Michigan State head coach after Michigan beat the Spartans 80-75 in East Lansing last month, the fifth U-M win in seven tries agains its rival, and ticket prices are starting to reflect the enormity of Sunday's game between the two in Ann Arbor.

At an average ticket price of $269, the Feb. 23 game is the most in-demand Michigan basketball home game ever on the secondary ticket market. It's four times expensive as an average UM home game this season ($61 average ticket price).

The MSU-UM game is also an even hotter ticket than the Ohio State-Michigan football game at the Big House this past November, which drew an average ticket price of $228. In fact, tickets to this weekend's game at the Crisler Center are more expensive than for any 2013 UM football game aside from Sept. 7 against Notre Dame ($330 average ticket price).

Upper-level tickets for Sunday's game were originally sold at a face value of $40 per ticket by the UM ticket office, but now with the game sold out, the least expensive seat available on the secondary market is listed at $176 - more than four times face value. That $176 ticket is just a single, though; pairs start at $191 per ticket in the upper level, and it'll cost you at least $304 per ticket for seats in the lower level, which had a face value of $60.

At the high end of the spectrum, some fans have already paid more than $1,000 per ticket for seats in the first few rows from the court, Seatgeek.com representatives tell us.

The average ticket price for this weekend's game is more than double that of the next-most expensive Michigan home game this year, which was the Arizona game back on Dec. 14. Tickets for that game went for an average of $114 each, with upper-level tickets bottoming out around $40 and the best seats in the house going for $500 apiece. Interestingly enough, the U-M ticket office actually charged a $60 face value for upper-level tickets to the Arizona game, a 50 percent increase over the face value of upper-level MSU tickets ($40).

There is still hope for fans still looking for tickets to the game, however. While there are only about 500 tickets available on the secondary market ( around 3.5 percent of capacity at the Crisler Center), prices have fallen slightly with both the Spartans and Wolverines coming off losses over the weekend, and prices will likely continue to dip as we inch closer to tip-off.

Still, ticket prices for Sunday's game jumped 65 percent in the course of three weeks from $185 the day before U-M's upset win at then-No. 3 MSU on Jan. 25 to a peak of $307 per ticket on Feb. 12, but they've since come down 12 percent to an average of $269.

All the latest info on pricing and availability can be found on SeatGeek's event page for the game: SeatGeek.com.

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