If you want to see the end rounds of what is arguably soccer's toughest tournament, you'd better be ready to pay big bucks.
The second leg of the round of 16 for the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League tournament will begin March 8. The annual tournament featuring Europe's best club teams is in the knockout stage. That heightens the drama of matches involving historic clubs such as Spain's FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, England's Arsenal and Germany's Bayern Munich.
The teams with the best goal differential after home and away games advance to the quarterfinals, which begin April 5. Defending champion Barcelona starring Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar are still in the running, as is Barcelona's main rival Real Madrid and defending English Premier League champion Chelsea. Tickets to watch teams of this caliber are typically expensive.
It's no surprise that a big demand for UEFA Champions League tickets exists on the resale market.
According to international reseller Ticketbis, the cheapest round of 16 match will be between Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven on March 15 at Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid. That game currently owns a "get-in" price, or cheapest ticket price, of $57.99. Atletico Madrid has given Barcelona and Real Madrid fits in recent years, but is a less well-known team. Eindhoven is annually one of Holland's best teams but the Dutch league doesn't draw as much interest as other European leagues.
The March 16 match between Bayern Munich and Juventus at Allianz Arena in München has the highest ticket prices, with the get-in price starting at $386.16. Bayern Munich has some of Europe's biggest stars, including Dutch winger Arne Robben and a number of players from Germany's 2014 world championship team.
Prices will balloon as the tournament continues, including tickets for the final at the San Siro in Milan on May 28. The cheapest ticket to this game is a hefty $1,636.26, which honors a "Category 4" seat in the 300 level of the stadium. Seats at this level are in the upper reaches of the historic San Siro, which seats more than 80,000 people.
Category 3 seating in 100 and 200 levels lower down behind each goal post starts from $1,956.50.
Category 2 seating for the Champions League final on Ticketbis honors the 200 corner sections and begins at $2,314 per ticket. Category 1 seating (all center field seating between sections starts from $3,617.32 per ticket.
The other match-ups feature Paris Saint-Germain-Chelsea, Barcelona-Arsenal, FC Wolfsburg (Germany)-Gent (Belgium), Real Madrid-Roma (Italy), Zenit (Russia)-Benfica (Portugal), and Manchester City-Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine).
The UEFA Champions League started as the European Cup in 1955. Real Madrid has won the title a record ten times, followed by AC Milan with seven and Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool all tied with five.
Real Madrid has been the most impressive team during this year's event. It has has won five of six games and allowed just three goals. It defeated Roma 2-0 at the latter's home stadium, Stadio Olimpico, in the first leg of the round of 16. Real Madrid stars Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona defeated Arsenal 2-0 in the first leg of those teams' series. That victory came on the road.
Should both Real Madrid and Barcelona advance to play one another through the final three stages of play, it would be the ninth time the fierce rivals will play what is called an El Clásico in the Champions League tournament. Real Madrid owns a 3-2-3 record against Barcelona.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.