Visiting Augusta to watch the Masters is always said to be one of the hardest tickets in sport. This year though, it's getting cheaper every hour to walk the hallowed fairways of Augusta.
Tickets to the event are sold out, and have largely been for decades. If you are one of the lucky few to have a 'patron's badge' then you renew it every year for a couple of hundred bucks but you can hawk them for much more on the secondary market for sales which thrives.
As long as you are not within 2,700 feet of the entrance to Augusta National you can sell your entry ticket for whatever you can get for it. There are active markets on the likes of Stubhub and the price of tickets (sorry badges) for fans (sorry patrons) is almost like a school project in the perfect market of supply and demand.
So, this year I have been watching the price of tickets on Stubhub. You can pick the badges up from their bespoke office just outside the exclusion zone and if there are any problems you will be fully recompensed and given another badge to get in. What's not to like (apart from the price).
The price of tickets on the Stubhub market had been building gradually but surely over the last couple of weeks. In the middle of last week Tiger was said to be doing everything he could to make it for the first tee and the prices of tickets kept going up. Last Friday morning a ticket for entrance on Thursday would set you back $2,200 before taxes which add another 20% on. And then Tiger told the world to forget it, and a bunch of Augusta residents' hearts sank.
Within hours the value of a ticket for Thursday had shrunk to $1,700 and they have only gone one way since. By Tuesday afternoon you could pick a Thursday ticket up on Stubhub for a mere $1,300. OK, it is still a ridiculous amount of money but if you are looking for evidence on how much Tiger moves the needle, look no further.
If your heart is bleeding for those trying to hawk their Thursday tickets then spare a thought for the Wednesday guys. Bizarrely, the Wednesday tickets were going for almost the same amount as any of the actual tournament days on Stubhub. And then the weather forecast came. The weather tomorrow looks hideous, if the par 3 does take place it will be against all odds.
On Friday morning, before Tiger broke the ticket-owners hearts, Wednesday tickets were up to $1,500 a pop. At time of writing, just after lunch Augusta time on Tuesday you can pick them up for $360 each.
Just remember, there's no money back if it's abandoned.......
I'll post later in the week on what happens to ticket prices right up to the day of play and how they compare on the exchanges to the hawkers on Washington Road. As you may have guessed, I'm looking for a Single on Sunday!
If you are thinking of going to August to watch the Masters one year then read my top ten tips here.