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There is perhaps no event more culturally pervasive in the state of North Carolina than the annual renewal of the Tobacco Road rivalry, when the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils square off in the most storied rivalry in college basketball. This year, the atmosphere around the game is being accentuated by its serving as the final home game in the career of legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
That has lead to astronomically high ticket prices for the event and certain people are willing to pay any price — no matter how steep — to see it in person. Speaking to Packer and Durham on the ACC Network Tuesday, Krzyzewski revealed that four seats to this year’s Duke-UNC game have sold for $1 million dollars, with a mystery bidder having purchased the quartet at a V Foundation auction earlier this year.
Krzyzewski, who is in his 47th season as a college basketball head coach and 42nd at Duke, is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 season. According to a report by Meredith Cash of Insider, tickets for his last home game against UNC on March 5 are currently going for steep prices on StubHub, with tickets as low as $6,500 and as high as $50,500.
“I’ve been fortune to be on the V Foundation since (the late Jimmy Valvano) and I were brothers. And so I host, with my family, the wine festival in Napa,” Krzyzewski said. “We’ve done it 14 years, and this past year we raised $12 million. It’s a big event. And the first auction item was four tickets to that game, and it went for $1 million dollars.”
Krzyzewski’s interview elicited some of his sense of humor, as he responded to a question about where Packer and Durham‘s tickets were with “Where’s your million?”
Krzyzewski’s swan song as Duke head coach marks the end of an era both for the Blue Devils and for basketball in the state of North Carolina as a whole. As Duke head coach, Krzyzewski has won five National Championships, 15 ACC Tournaments and 12 ACC regular season titles to go with countless other accolades.