The world's most expensive sports tickets

By Bunker Mentality, Yahoo! Sports

Golf's first Major championship of the season tees off at Augusta next week - but if you want to get out there and watch the action, you'd better take your wallet.

And your other wallet. And your piggy bank, and the contents of those savings accounts you set up for your kids, because a day at Augusta is officially the most expensive ticket in world sport.

A survey in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper reports that the going rate for a four-day pass for the tournament at Augusta National currently stands at $4,279. An individual day pass runs from as low as $1,159 for Friday's round to as expensive as $1,703 for Thursday's opening round.

By contrast, the cheapest seats for the last Super Bowl went for $814. And yes, that is the face value.

By comparison, tickets to watch Andy Murray play in the Wimbledon final last year were $173 face value - though they sold on the black market for as much as $46,339 a pair, or 150 times that. No wonder 4,000 fans camped out in Wimbledon Park for two days last summer to get the publicly released ones.

Tickets for this year's FA Cup final start at shockingly low $50 face value (though there are precious few available at that price), while Champions League final tickets will start at $86 this year.

Tickets to the first day of the Ashes at Trent Bridge will set you back $101, while tickets to see golf's Open Championship at Muirfield this summer will cost $94.

These figures are slightly flattering to Augusta National, however.

Masters tickets don't have a comparable face value, but they do have a nominal face value.

That value is a paltry $72; so why are we saying that they cost more than that? Simply because it's literally impossible to buy them at that price, and has been for decades.

Augusta National Golf Club started selling tickets on a subscription basis decades ago, with golf fans and local residents able to put their names on a register to be offered tickets every year on a first-come-first-served basis.

The problem is that those lists filled up well over 40 years ago - and even the waiting lists were closed over 30 years ago. Not that anybody ever comes off the waiting list: spots on the ticket list can be transferred, and are handed down in families like precious heirlooms.

The net result is that the face value printed on Masters tickets is as meaningless as the 'cash value=0.000001p' you see printed on supermarket vouchers.

Fans who want to watch the golf are therefore forced to go into the black market, which - in contrast to Australian sport - is openly tolerated in America. Those lucky enough to get their tickets simply sell them on as soon as they get them - and considering that a $289 week-long season ticket fetches over $3900 on the street.

It's not all bad news, however: last year the club started a ballot to sell a handful of practice day tickets (which normally fetch between $362 and $1158) at face value, so even the less well-heeled might still get a chance to walk the hallowed fairways without spending a fortune.

And once you're inside the grounds, it's as cheap as any sports event you could wish for: a beer in a Masters-branded plastic cup costs less than $3, while you can get a sandwich in green Masters-branded wrapping for $1.50.