The men’s basketball team has earned a top-25 ranking in the AP poll for the first time since 2011. After TJ Haws connected with Yoeli Childs in the dying seconds of last week’s game, BYU defeated San Diego 72-71 and the Cougars rose to No. 23.
The next two games are of great importance heading forward into the conference tournament and the stakes are high. BYU will face Santa Clara at home on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. before taking on long-time rival Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m.
All 18,987 seats of the Marriott Center will be occupied for Saturday’s game against Gonzaga. The Marriott Center is one of the largest arenas of its nature in the nation, with just under 600 seats less than the ninth biggest NCAA basketball venue, Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
The arena features typical upper and lower-bowl seating. The lower bowl features 10,100 backed chairs and the upper bowl makes up the difference with many bleacher-style seats. Associate Ticket Manager Elaine Jarvie said a reasonable portion of the lower-bowl seating goes to season ticket holders and various departments on campus that reserve seats. These tickets normally range from $58-$73 for regular-season games. Upper-bowl tickets are significantly less. For the Gonzaga game, these tickets started at $68-$88 in limited quantities. Premium games against highly ranked teams such as Gonzaga and rivalry games such as Utah will always drive ticket prices higher as the demand is higher.
“We have been sold out for months,” Jarvie said.
Since tickets through BYU go fast, people around Utah County turn to KSL and Stubhub to buy and sell tickets for various sporting events. The ticket inquiries and sales for these games, especially Gonzaga, have been high.
As of the morning of Feb. 19, ticket prices for lower-bowl seating on KSL ranged from $125-$400 a ticket, averaging out to around $249 per ticket. Stubhub offered tickets ranging from $100-$549 per ticket in the lower bowl, with upper-bowl tickets on the website ranging from $40-$115.
Compared to Thursday’s game against Santa Clara, tickets have significantly more value on Saturday. Tickets for Thursday’s game were sparse and significantly cheaper on KSL. Two postings offered tickets for $45 and $75 each. Stubhub also offered less lower-bowl tickets ranging from about $70-$200 and upper-bowl tickets ranging from $7-$17.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast on CBSS at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.