Top 5 Frugal Tips for Taking Your Family Out to Baseball Games

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 afterward 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.

Save money on baseball games

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 weeknight 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.).

I’m a sucker for the free bobblehead giveaways. In fact, I have been known to flip bobbleheads on eBay, which equates to watching the baseball game for free.

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. Many cheaper options are 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 stadiums’ merchandise shops? As tempting as it is to buy that vibrant new, $35 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 of the stated retail value from sites like Amazon or eBay. Or, maybe you can find a souvenir that you like outside of the stadium with a local vendor.

As you pick what you want, consider that most stadiums are in entertainment districts or have close proximity to shops and restaurants. However, what they don’t do is give out coupons with anything bought in the stadium. So, if you make a purchase elsewhere in the area for between $10-$20 before your game, it’s likely you’ll be able to save this money off what you spend at the stadium.

If you are attending a game in New York, Philly or Boston, for instance, go to FanFest before the games at the Javits Center where all kinds of memorabilia and other items can be found that won’t be sold in stadiums. You’ll also find discounts on team merchandise when shopping elsewhere in the city.

For instance, if you go to New York, head to Chinatown where you can find what you need cheaper than what is offered inside of Yankee Stadium. If you want a jersey or ball cap of what your favorite team wears on game day, get what you like here for less before heading up to the game.

Why Are Baseball Tickets So Expensive?

Why are baseball tickets so expensive? It’s a question countless fans ask any time they try to buy season tickets or why they feel like they’re getting gouged on secondary market ticketing sites. The reality is that it all comes back to supply and demand with the supply of MLB teams and the number of fans in the seats.

By any measure, MLB teams are more popular than they ever have been. Despite the economic downturn of 2009-2010, the average attendance per game was just under 32,000 according to Baseball Reference. That’s why there appear to be so many empty seats at games sometimes; stadiums that can fit 50,000 or more fans now might only be at 80% capacity at any given moment, but that doesn’t mean the stadiums aren’t busy.

There’s a lot more than just buying tickets and going to the game. There are parking prices, food, drinks, and souvenirs that all contribute to why baseball ticket costs are so high. Most MLB stadiums have introduced new amenities to retain season ticket holders and create reasons to renew their tickets every season.

So why are baseball tickets so expensive? They are pricey because the demand is so high. MLB teams have to meet that level of ticket purchasing by charging prices that reflect supply and demand dynamics. And with teams relying more on secondary market ticket sales – which can be marked up even further – prices will continue to rise.

What to Bring to a Baseball Game

There are many rules to what you can and cannot bring into a professional baseball stadium. Some let you bring water and other items in a clear bag. Others do not let you bring in anything. If you want to save money, you should try to bring in water and other snacks if possible. Bringing in your own food and drinks will help you save on the cost of attending an MLB baseball game.

When attending a baseball game, there are typically many rules and regulations on bringing into the stadium. It is important to read each stadium’s rules and regulations if yours do not allow the same items. However, water and other snacks will help save money in the long run rather than spending your money at concession stands or restaurants.

Don’t forget to bring your ticket, which will be needed at the gate. Make sure that it is not damaged and readable by the scanner! Most of the stadiums now are cashless and only use digital tickets instead of the old paper ones.

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!

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1 thought on “Top 5 Frugal Tips for Taking Your Family Out to Baseball Games”

  1. It’s gotten so ridiculous lately that we’ve taken to going to minor league games even if they’re 1-2 hours further away!


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