Better pay up: Duke-Virginia game the Triangle's hottest ticket

Virginia Duke Basketball-1

Virginia's Kyle Guy celebrates during Virginia's 65-63 win over Duke in Durham last January. The two teams will play this Saturday in a matchup creating a lot of hype.


Sports Writer

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The stage is set this Saturday for a classic regular season matchup between ACC powerhouses Duke and Virginia, who will play at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 6 p.m.

The Blue Devils (14-2), who lost to unranked Syracuse earlier this week, will still enter the game as the No. 1 team in the AP poll. The Cavaliers, now 16-0 after blowing out rival Virginia Tech on Tuesday, are No. 1 in the USA TODAY coaches’ poll.

It’s a who’s-who of college basketball matchups — Duke is the young and exciting team; Virginia is experienced with a stingy defense — and a rematch of last year’s game in Durham, which the Cavaliers stole, 65-63, on a last-minute 3-pointer by Ty Jerome.

It even has some pregame hijinks attached: University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s KJ Maura, the 5-foot-7 point guard who helped upset No. 1 seed Virginia in the NCAA tournament last March, will reportedly be in attendance, thanks to a GoFundMe set up by a Duke fan Twitter account.

It will be quite the scene.

It will also cost you to see it live. By nature, Cameron Indoor Stadium, the cathedral of a basketball stadium that holds only 9,314, is an expensive draw, but this game has created a spike in the secondary ticket resale market that doesn’t appear present for home matchups throughout the rest of the season.

As of Wednesday night, the cheapest option on SeatGeek was for one ticket — in Section 11, behind the visitor’s hoop — listed at $929 after fees, a price the website labeled an “Amazing Deal.”

While on the higher side of the cheapest grabs, SeatGeek’s options aren’t outliers.

At StubHub, two tickets in the stadium’s upper level were listed at $709 a piece, after fees, on Wednesday night. At Ticketmaster, the cheapest option — two tickets in Section 8 — were going for $2,154.52 on Wednesday, after (estimated) fees.

At face value, the lowest on the reselling market on Wednesday were listed at Vivid Seats, where a one-ticket deal was $598, though the website doesn’t offer a ‘with fees’ tab, and this reporter wasn’t going to test his luck by clicking on the ‘buy’ button.

And, of course, those are the most economically friendly seats still available.

Looking for something closer to the action, where a Zion Williamson dunk or a Mike Krzyzewski scolding would resonate more?

SeatGeek’s most expensive tickets, in Row A — the closest seats to the action other than the student section directly in front — are a pair going for $4,200 each. Ticketmaster’s crowning number is $3,586, and StubHub’s is right around $4,200 as well.

If those numbers don’t deter you, and you’re still in the market to watch the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers live on Saturday, and you do decide to indulge and buy one or a few of the tickets from the listings mentioned, then there’s something else you need to buy, too.

Don’t miss out: StubHub is selling parking passes for another $14.