Tiger Woods won't be at Augusta National for the Masters next week, so the toughest ticket in sports got a little easier.
According to Chris Matcovich of TiqIQ, one of the largest online aggregators of event tickets, the "get-in" price (the lowest price to get on the grounds) has dropped significantly for each of the four individual-day badges since Woods' announcement that he will miss the tournament for the first time in his career to recover from surgery on a pinched nerve in his back.
|Badge via TiqIQ||Get-in Price (4/1)||Get-in Price (4/2)|
(*Wednesday practice-round tickets include the Par-3 Contest, in which former champions compete. In recent years, Woods has elected not to play in the Par-3 Contest.)
"They took a dive, but it's still a strong ticket, still demand," said a representative for Westside Tickets, another private ticket broker. "People like going to the Masters no matter what just cause it's the Masters."
According to Bloomberg, resale prices rose 276 percent in 2013 because Woods had just won three events and entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time since 2010.
"Prices started out so high this year because prices went through the roof last year, but they are back to what they were before the market blew up," said Ram Silverman, co-owner of Texas-based ticket reseller Golden Tickets, which specializes in Masters-related travel. "It's just like the stock market. The price goes down, so more people can afford to buy, so the price moves back up."
As of Monday, there were eight licensed Masters ticket brokers, though there have been as many as 18 in the past, according to the City of Augusta's licensing manager Larry Harris. Those Masters fans who would try their luck at bargain-hunting on Washington Road, be warned: Harris' division will work with Richmond County sheriff's deputies to enforce strict city ordinances regulating the ticket resale market. Licensed vendors must be at least 2,700 feet from the club, and anyone caught scalping faces possible arrest and fines.
"Scalping is against the law, and we do everything within our power to make sure it doesn't happen," said Harris. "But where there's a will, there's a way, every year."
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