Let’s face it. Baseball games are expensive. It costs a lot of money to take your family to see professional baseball games. But, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you’re smart. There are tips for baseball games and ways to save money.
In the good ol’ days of baseball, families could easily afford a stadium’s admission prices, enjoy crackerjacks during the game, and sometimes even run onto the field afterwards to celebrate their team’s victory.
Nowadays, ticket prices are more expensive than ever. Overpriced fast food franchises have replaced traditional baseball food fare, and security has an ever-growing presence in stadiums.
However, affording a family day of fun at the ballpark is still perfectly manageable if you approach it with a money-saving mindset. If you’re ready to root for your favorite teams and players without burning holes in your wallet in the process, then check out these tips for baseball games and saving money at the Major League Baseball game.
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Save Money Going To a Baseball Game – Tips For Baseball Games
Find the Latest Deals on Tickets
According to the Team Marketing Report, the MLB average ticket price in 2015 was $28.94. Considering that adds up to over $115 just for a family of four’s tickets to a single game, this is a little outrageous.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save on admission tickets. Going on a weekday or week night is generally cheaper, or you can buy seats high up in the stadium and perhaps sneak lower as people leave towards the middle or end of the game.
If you’re a savvy Groupon or LivingSocial fan, then you might be able to score a deal on tickets during slower seasons when teams try to boost their attendance numbers.
Some teams also offer Family Fun Days, where you can buy ticket packages with a hot dog and soda included for each person. If these money-saving tricks don’t work for you, then you can at least save money on souvenirs by buying tickets on promotional giveaway days (free hats, free toys for attendees under 12 years old, etc.).
Avoid Paying for Parking
With the average parking price of $15 per stadium (or $35+ if you’re a Boston Red Sox or Yankees fan), saving money on parking is a priority for many frugal families attending baseball games. There are many cheaper options available, such as carpooling or parking for free in a nearby neighborhood and walking or riding the bus in.
If these options aren’t available, then parking for free on the streets and taking an Uber (yes, this is a little unorthodox) can be cheaper than paying full price for parking.
Do Not Actually Buy Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
You’re already paying to take your family out to the ball game, but you don’t have to take them out with the crowd to the peanuts and crackerjack stand. Not only are baseball’s snack items massively overpriced, but there is a simple alternative to forgoing snacks altogether: just bring your own!
Some ballparks allow outside food and nonalcoholic drinks in – including water bottles, which can run for $3.50+ inside the stadium – so why not pack some sandwiches and generic store-bought peanuts for the family and avoid the $4+ hot dog instead? Obviously you should check with your local stadium’s food policies before you go, but sneaking in small snacks shouldn’t be too problematic.
The idea that ballpark food is crucial to a fun day at the game is just a good marketing ploy used to boost concession stand sales, so focus on the game and enjoy your own food without having to wait in long lines for greasy food.
Check out the team’s website to find out exactly what you can bring into the stadium. Some teams will let you bring food and drink inside. You should just check ahead of time to avoid having to throw anything away before you enter.
Go Sober at the Baseball Game
Many folks think beer is integral to a fun sporting event experience, but with an MLB average of $5.98 for one beer according to the aforementioned Team Marketing Report from 2015, is it really worth it?
Alcohol is forbidden in some baseball parking lots. So, check the rules before drinking a beer during a tailgate party before you go into the stadium.
Going to the game sober won’t diminish your entertainment of the game with your family, and it’ll save you quite a bit of money (perhaps to put towards more quality beer you can enjoy while watching future games in your living room).
Buy Fan Gear Outside of the Park
Yikes, have you seen the prices of baseball caps, jerseys, stuffed animals, and other gear sold in stadium merchandise shops? As tempting as it is to buy that vibrant new, $20 cap when you arrive, it’s better to get your shopping done beforehand at a local sporting goods store or online. You’ll pay between 30-50% less off the stated retail value from sites like Amazon or eBay.
What about you, baseball fans? Are there any money-saving tricks you’ve picked up while going to see your favorite teams play? Let us know in the comment section!