On Oct. 18, the Ohio State women’s basketball team tickets went live for all to purchase. The slate of conference and non-conference games brings in the likes of the UCLA Bruins and Indiana Hoosiers, all for criminally low prices. Before most could even get online to secure their tickets, one game was already out of university-released tickets. To get into the Jan. 21 game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, fans will have to pay at least $144.
Normally, the Buckeyes’ ticket prices make a night of family entertainment less expensive than most other events in the city. Ohio State sells women’s basketball tickets to the public for $11 on non-conference games, $15 for in-conference, and $19 for premier matchups against teams like the Hoosiers, Bruins, Maryland Terrapins, and Michigan Wolverines.
The slimiest of internet trolls will make fun of the draw of women’s basketball as the reason prices are so low, but there’s ample proof to the contrary. Ohio State broke multiple records in attendance and viewership during the 22/23 season.
At the Sweet Sixteen in Seattle, Washington, a shocking Buckeyes win over the UConn Huskies drew 2.5 million viewers on ABC. Closer to home, home games for Ohio State averaged the largest increase in attendance in the nation, increasing by 2,674 per game. Part of that is increased emphasis on promotions like meeting the team and giveaways but increased notoriety of opponents and the outstanding play of the Buckeyes made games a can’t-miss.
Now, many will miss the 2024 edition of the Buckeyes going up against superstar guard Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes. Iowa is part of that premier group, but already the tickets for the game were gone, with only resale tickets available. Those tickets range from $144 to $2,000, that’s a 657% to over 10,426% increase in price over the $19 per ticket premier level general sale amount.
There’s no breakdown of who sells that high from the team’s ticket office, likely a combination of season ticketholders and scalpers capitalizing on Clark’s visit.
Last season, Ohio State hosted Clark and it was the lone sellout of the season. The Buckeyes only sell tickets in the lower bowl, a decision made prior to the season due to the logistics and additional requirements to host a game in the entire arena like paying employees and having enough security.
Overall, the lack of affordable tickets is a good and bad thing. The obvious negative is the price. Nobody truly had a chance to purchase a ticket to the Iowa game at the $19 advertised price, which isn’t a problem for the remaining premier contests.
On the positive end, it shows the growth of women’s basketball, even if fueled by the stardom of one person in this case. With the growth in popularity comes the annoyances that come along with it, like dealing with people who make Ticketmaster a frustrating place to lose hundreds of dollars.
However, a positive about the $144 lowest ticket price is that it's less than what you’d pay to see the same game in Iowa City, Iowa on March 3. The final regular season game of the season, pitting the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes against each other for potentially a conference championship, has tickets available starting at $277.
Iowa’s already sold out their supply of season tickets and set a record for highest attended NCAA women’s basketball game in history, a cool event if you were one of the few thousand who could see the game up close.
The good thing about all of this is the extra eyes watching the Buckeyes this season, and women’s basketball overall. There are plenty of tickets available to see the No. 4 preseason-ranked UCLA Bruins or in-conference rivals from Indiana.