In light of the rising cost of tickets to major league baseball games, many families are wondering whether they can even afford going to one game this season, let alone multiple. And tickets are only part of the overall cost; there’s also parking, overpriced concessions stand food, and team apparel to account for. No worries, however: there’s still hope for baseball-loving families on a budget:
The struggling economy has weakened sales for so-called “luxury items” such as sporting event tickets and to keep up attendance, some franchises have begun offering their tickets on daily deals sites such as Groupon. They’re certainly not the best seats in the house, but if you don’t feel like paying $30+ per seat, then this can be a viable alternative to ticket prices you’d pay at the gate. CheapTickets and Stub Hub are also great resources for discounted tickets to MLB games.
Don’t Pay for Parking
Most stadiums charge between $10-25 for parking (more if the stadium is located in an urban area, such as Yankee Stadium). Instead of paying this, consider parking farther away from the stadium, such as in a shopping area or garage with much lower rates for parking than what you’ll pay for on stadium property. Public transportation is also increasingly popular for game attendees.
Bring Your Own Food & Drinks
Although some stadiums are cracking down on people who bring in outside food, you can still bring your own water and possibly a few snacks. Check your stadium’s rules prior to leaving; if you’re able to bring in outside food, then bring a meal and as many snacks as you think you’ll eat during the game. This way, you can completely avoid paying the stadium’s overinflated food prices ($7.50 hotdogs? Really?) without starving during the game.
Skip the Peanuts and Crackerjacks
If your stadium doesn’t allow outside food to be brought inside, then minimizing food costs is the way to go. Although peanuts and crackerjacks and hot dogs and beer all seem part of the integral baseball experience, you need to decide between preserving that experience or preserving your wallet. If dropping $60+ on food and drinks for a family of four might stretch your budget, then stick to the necessities during the game and get dessert on the way home. Some stadiums occasionally have special deals and discounts on food; check their website before the game to find more ways to save.
Last but not least, a genuine baseball experience wouldn’t be complete without fan apparel to show off your dedication to your favorite team. Unnecessary? Yes, but if you’re an avid baseball fan, it’s okay to spend a little on clothes and other gear. Unfortunately, stadiums charge a premium for jerseys, t-shirts, and other team-branded items, so if you’re looking to buy something, look outside the stadium for the best prices. Wal-Mart and Amazon have great prices on their MLB selections, and if you look for coupons distributed at the stadium, in your local newspapers, or online at sites like SumoCoupon, you might be able to get a steep discount on something you’d otherwise pay a pretty penny for at the stadium’s fan shop.
Disclosure: Monetary compensation was received for this post, however, all opinions are my own.