Raleigh, N.C. — Come March, it's one of the most coveted tickets in the country: a seat at the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball tournament.
Usually, a regular fan needs a well-placed fan or well-stocked scalper to get a ticket. But this year, ACC officials are considering offering some tickets directly to the general public for the first time in 43 years.
In most years, all the tickets get snapped up when they are distributed by the conference and member schools. But a number of schools say they are still holding onto unsold tickets for the 2009 tournament, which runs March 12-15 at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
The Georgia Dome is an NFL stadium much larger than most venues where the ACC tournament is played. Sources close to the ACC say that based on the number of tickets already sold, any other venue would have been sold out.
ACC officials believe that the down economy also has some fans less likely to spend and travel than in past years.
Conference officials were talking with members schools about the possibility of selling tickets publicly. So far, Virginia Tech is the only ACC school that has made tickets available to the public online.
If the ACC does follow suit, it'll be the conference's first public sale since the 1966 tournament, played in North Carolina State University's Reynolds Coliseum.