Opportunity Knocks at the NCAA tourney

As you know, college football is my thing. In truth though, I can pretty much watch any level of athletic competition in any sport and still find it entertaining. Maybe not auto racing, but too be fair, I really haven’t given it much of a chance because, well, there always seems to be something better on. I really don’t follow college basketball until the conference tournaments start.  I always liked playing hoops, but since I was built more like a fire hydrant than a bean pole, wrestling was my winter sport of choice. With grappling in my blood, my buddies and I were planning on going to the NCAA’s this year until life and work got in the way.

However, that opened the door to hitting the Final Four in basketball instead as San Antonio was a relatively short drive away for me. At Somanystadiums.com, we are here to educate as well as entertain. Accordingly, I thought I would share what is easily one of the best chances to see a signature sports event at rock bottom prices. The championship game of the Final Four is a prime opportunity to cash in on another fan’s misfortune. To the best of my knowledge, all the ticket packages are for two games, not one. So after Saturday, the losers are often dumping their tickets and heading home and that’s where I (or you) step in. Additionally, the games are often in massive stadiums, not really suited for hoops but it does create a ton tickets. I had heard of this great deal for a few years, but had never tested it out. When Houston hosted the Final Four a couple of years ago, I checked for myself. I headed to NRG stadium in late afternoon, meeting my cousin at a Jamaican bar that was a stone’s throw from the stadium. This had two benefits, one – being a Monday afternoon, the Red Stripes were deeply discounted. The other was that they threw in free parking to boot. The way I looked at it, I was already ahead.

After a few cold ones, I wandered over to the stadium. Now I had several things playing in my favor beyond the already tilted field. One, I was a single which is always an advantage. Two, it was close to tip off.  Three, I had no emotional investment in the game so setting and sticking to a price limit during negotiation was going to be simple. Four, the Red Stripes had made me confident enough to be aggressive but not inebriated enough to make a bad investment. The scalpers had no chance, but I was not even going to mess with them. My target was out of town fan desperate to unload a ticket.

I calmly strode by all the professional scalpers, not raising my one finger until I saw the metal detectors of the gate.  It took all of two minutes for me to lock eyes with an older gentleman in a powder blue UNC basketball jersey.  I walked right up, knowing it was ten minutes from tip and calmly asked what he had. “One seat, lower level”, he said noting he was with his wife and their sophomore daughter from UNC. (Bonus! I thought. And don’t think I am creepy, it is because her demographic suggest someone who is smart, won’t take the arm rest and isn’t likely to spill her beer on me. It has nothing to do with the fact that she might be a charming, attractive young woman.) “$45” I replied and ten minutes later I am standing next to his daughter, with souvenir seat cushion in my hand. It wasn’t exactly as I planned, but a near perfect result nonetheless. You know the rest, a classic last minute shot to wins the game and I created a lasting memory for $45. My cousin even picked up the bar tab so I was a winner all around.

Alas, instead of preparing to skip out of work at lunch time on Monday, I was on a plane headed to Singapore for work. Yes, not only did I have to get up at 4:45am on Easter Sunday, which admittedly may have happened to some you who have kids that are chocolate freaks that couldn’t wait to see what the Easter Bunny brought them. I, however, was well beyond that bleary-eyed madness and should have been happily collecting zzz’s. Instead, I was staring at twenty plus hours of flight time. To be fair, it was business class on Singapore Airlines which is the second best thing about going to Singapore. The first being the chili and black pepper crabs, (for you degenerates who might have thought I was referring to a certain high rise of ill repute). I would love to give some more commentary on long distance business travel, but the off season is long and I need to save the topic for another post. Instead, take my helpful hint about the Final Four and make the championship game a destination the next time it is in or near your town. Until then, take Villanova and the over.