Many of us share wonderful memories of going to the ballpark as a kid. Unfortunately, a trip to a Major League Baseball game these days can cost a lot of money if you’re not careful. Here are the best ways to save during this summer family favorite.
Buy On, Or Close To, Game Day
Unlike buying airplane tickets, purchasing baseball tickets in advance rarely saves you money. In fact, waiting up until even the day of the game can be a great strategy to save money on tickets.
Obviously, there are scenarios where this may not be the best strategy, such as if its a rival game at held at a peak time (but you shouldn’t aim to go to those games anyway, as we will discuss more later).
Wait until the week of the game to see if you can cop some last minute tickets or resells. If you know tickets are available, simply head to the ballpark for the game and purchase tickets at the box office. This will save you on outrageous processing and handling fees that major ticket providers stack onto online purchases.
Check Resellers And Local Boards
People who frequent ballgames often buy tickets well in advance or buy multi-game packages. It is inevitable that people can’t make it to some of these games, especially over the summer months.
Check out online ticket resellers close to the date of the game for available tickets. Sites like SeatGeek show the price for the tickets, including fees, right up front so you know exactly how much you’re going to spend.
Make sure to also check your local community boards. If you’re a part of any social groups, religious organizations, or town organizations, they may have an online community board where people offer things up to community members. A lot of times people will try and sell tickets to people they know or their community first at a reasonable price.
It Pays To Sit In The Cheap Seats
Sure, everyone ideally wants to sit above the dugout, but few want to pay for it. The fact is, you’ll enjoy a day at the ballpark with your family and friends no matter where you sit. Don’t be fooled into paying more money just to sit a few rows closer, even if it seems like a nominal amount (the additional costs add up).
Most ballpark stadiums are well designed to be able to see the action from anywhere. A seat in the nosebleeds can even give you a better aerial view of the field of play, and it will certainly get you the best price on tickets!
Major League games are priced “dynamically.” This means that ticket prices change depending on the importance of the matchup and the time and day of the match. The best ticket prices will be available during the week. Avoid games that are against top rival teams, cause those will be priced the highest.
Your best bet is to look at games against teams outside of your team’s division and conference. These games are often just as fun!
Don’t Drive To The Ballpark
When game day comes around, plan out how you’re getting to the ballpark. Nevermind the fact that traffic gets crazy around the stadium, parking also becomes crazy expensive.
Ideally, there is some form of public transportation you can take to and from the ballpark. Even if there’s none immediately around your home, it’s better to drive to a metro, subway, or bus station where you can park for a reasonable amount of money and then take public transportation from there.
Bring Your Own Snacks (Or Eat Before)
Believe it or not, some Major League stadiums allow you to bring in certain snacks and food. Given the ridiculously high concession stand prices inside the ballpark, it’s worth checking your team’s website for its policy on bringing your own food,
If it’s allowed, pack a snack bag that meets their guidelines to avoid buying overpriced snacks when you’re there. If your team doesn’t allow attendees to bring their own stuff, then grab a bite before the game to keep you from spending a lot there.
Even if you eat out around the ballpark, the bill will be much cheaper.
Buy Fan Gear In Advance
It can be a lot of fun buying stuff from the pro-shop at the ballpark. Unfortunately, fan gear from sellers in and around the park is sold at a premium price that’s more than anywhere else.
Do yourself a favor and buy your swag in advance. If you’re buying from the official online store, look for promotions and sales. Your most economical bet is to go to your local TJMaxx and Marshall’s stores. They often have a good selection of gear from your area’s pro sports teams, including apparel, hats, and more, at a fraction of the price.
Look For Promotions
Many clubs offer ticket promotions throughout the season. Sign-up for your team’s email list to get notifications on ticket promotions and specials. It’s not unusual to see special offers for children, families, and things centered around special events.
Even if the tickets are not discounted, there may be games where the ballpark is offering freebies or deep discounts on food. Often times these are games when they want to encourage attendance, so ticket prices are probably also cheaper.
Root For The Minors
Honestly, there are many reasons why you should strongly consider going to Minor League games instead of Major League ones. Most importantly, the experience is much cheaper.
Minor League games are also a whole lot of fun. They are super family-friendly, so it’s a great experience for the kids. Not only are ticket prices very affordable, but they also typically don’t gouge you with high concession prices. Most Minor League games feature fun events and competitions between innings, giveaways, performances, and even fireworks.