Tournament trip could cost less than you think

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Hometown teams may have missed the chance to play in Indianapolis, but planning a trip to the tournament could be within reach for some fans.

The Hoosiers start their bid in nearby Dayton, Ohio, where tickets currently cost around $225. If you make the afternoon game just a day trip, you’ll pay about $49 in gas for a total trip cost under $300.

As for Butler, the trip to early games runs even less because they’re a lower seed. Tickets were running at a low of $90 Monday, with gas to Lexington about $56 round trip. That totals out to a day trip cost of less than $200.

“That’s definitely the time to go if you’re just a general fan that just wants to see some action,” said Mike Horton of local ticket seller Sport Events.

As you get further in the tournament, though, things get less predictable and significantly more expensive. Horton compared ticket prices to the lottery or stock market. Depending on demand and the teams playing, prices could fluctuate closer to tip off.

“The ticket market could go either way,” Horton said.

As for the Final Four, Horton estimated a full trip cost to stay in Atlanta in the heat of the action at $4,000 to $5,000 for two people. Plus, you’ll have to hedge your bets on a tournament that’s nothing if not unpredictable.

Still, Horton said IU fans especially travel well, so he wouldn’t be surprised if some take the bet and spend the money.

“Everybody gets behind the Indiana teams once they are in the tournament,” Horton said.