While baseball remains the nation’s favorite pastime, it can be expensive if you simply head to the stadium money in hand without a plan. But if you want to get the most out of the experience without draining your wallet, try these four tips.
Know The Stadium’s Layout
As tempting as it may be to go for the ‘nose-bleed’ section at your local stadium, often quality seats only cost a few bucks more. Watch a game or two on TV or visit the team’s website and look at the seats and their prices to get a feel for where you prefer to sit.
How to Get a Good Deal
Most MLB teams offer plenty of deals throughout the season because they want to keep their stadiums full. Use this to your advantage. Do a web search for current deals and get in the team’s email list so you can be alerted to any and all deals. Other effective methods of getting inexpensive seats include buying ‘entertainment’ type coupon books which often include MLB ticket discounts. Sometimes, you can even get a good deal right before the game from on-street ticket vendors.
Don’t Overpay For Food
One of the most expensive parts of the game is food. You can reduce this cost at least two ways. First, eat before you go, this way you have complete control over the cost of your meal. If, like my daughter, you feel part of the experience is eating at the stadium, buy game tickets that include concession money. I have purchased ball tickets that gave me concessions at a 50 percent discount. With that discount, the cost is comparable to fast food. However, tickets with concession money often do not work with vendors walking in the stands.
Don’t Skimp on Parking
Parking is the one area where I refuse to cut costs for two reasons: distance and safety. Parking is obviously cheaper the further away you are from a stadium. In the case of the Reds, you can find $5 parking, but it is at least 2-3 blocks further away than the $10 and $12 parking lots. I go with the $10 parking because it is relatively close, is well-lit and I am familiar enough with the parking lot that I can always find my vehicle.
When you plan ahead, baseball can be relatively inexpensive. Two people should be able to get decent seats and have enough to eat for $50-$100.