UNC-Duke basketball ticket prices approach Super Bowl levels: Here's why

The University of North Carolina and Duke’s storied rivalry is always a major storyline during the college basketball season, but the presence of freshman phenom Zion Williamson has turned this year’s first game between the two schools into one of the hottest tickets on the market.

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Tickets to Wednesday night’s game at Cameron Indoor Stadium have an average resale price of $3,296 on secondary market reseller SeatGeek, according to SeatGeek communications manager Chris Leyden. The cost is approaching that of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, which had an average resale price of $4,656.

"We typically don't see individual players drive ticket demand in college sports like many do at the pro level, but the demand to see Zion and Duke this year is up significantly,” Leyden said. “Of course keep in mind that this Duke team is not all Zion, they have three of the top five projected picks in most mock drafts."

The Duke-UNC game now has an average resale price higher than four of the last nine Super Bowls. Leyden said the limited seating capacity of Cameron Indoor Stadium, which, with just 9,314 seats ranks as one of the smaller venues among major college basketball programs, has played a major role in boosting prices.

However, the buzz around Williamson, who is widely considered a lock to be the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has generated significant interest in this year’s matchup.

Williamson, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 285 pounds, has wowed crowds with unparalleled athleticism while averaging more than 22 points and 9 rebounds per game. Led by their freshman star, Duke is currently the top-ranked men’s college basketball team in the country.

"Zion is a different bird. No question about that," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said, according to ESPN. "We tried to recruit him very, very hard. He's got a combination of skill set that I've never seen before. There is a lot of attention but he deserves it. He's backed it up.”

On TickPick, another secondary market platform, the game has a “get-in” price, or cheapest available ticket, of $2,500 as of Wednesday morning, ESPN reported.

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The Tar Heels and Blue Devils will tip off tonight at 9 p.m. ET.