The crack of the bat on a well struck baseball is a sound to behold in person. The roar of the crowd, the anticipation of a home run, and the collective excitement of tens of thousands of people all enjoying a singular event is really something. The view of the game might be better at home on a television, but nothing can beat that sense of team and celebration you get attending a game.
Watching the game at home is cheap, watching the game at the ballpark can be expensive if you don’t watch yourself.
Fortunately, you can enjoy the game live and in person without spending a fortune.
Buy the cheap seats
Baseball stadiums are huge. The smallest professional stadium still holds over 35,000 fans (Dodger Stadium holds the most at 56,000 seats!) and when each team plays nearly over 70 games at home, that’s a lot of seats to sell.
That’s good news for you if you want to save money – just buy a few tickets in the cheap seats or during promotions. For example, every Friday is student night at the Baltimore Orioles stadium, Oriole Park, and any student with a valid school ID can buy a cheap seat for just $7 (normally around $15).
Even if there aren’t promotions, the cheap seats are often not terribly expensive for an event that lasts around three hours and baseball is a game where you don’t need to be right up on the action to enjoy it.
When you do buy them, check to see what fees are added if you purchase online. You may be able to save money by purchasing tickets directly from the ticket window when you show up.
Pick mid-week games
Games during the week are not as popular as weekend games so you can often score a good deal on tickets. If you go when the team is playing a less popular opponent, you will also find that the tickets are easy to find.
Another side benefit of less popular and less crowded games is that you might be able to move down to better open seats.
Skip the stadium parking
Stadium parking can be very expensive, and a pain to get out of when it’s time to leave, so skip stadium parking at all costs. You can usually find plenty of parking nearby for a fraction of the cost or you can take mass transit.
When you park off-site, make sure the location is well-lit and the attendant collecting your money will be there for the duration of the game. If they’re relatively close to the stadium, this is their business and they’ll be motivated to take care of your car. If it’s far and it looks suspect, park somewhere else because a car with a driver who will be gone for three hours is a very inviting target.
Don’t eat in the ballpark
Ballpark prices are absurd!
If you’ve ever been to a game, prepare for some of the biggest sticker shock if you peek up at concession stand prices. 12 oz. beers clocking in at $6 minimum. $3 hot dogs. $10 hamburgers.
If you want to save money, don’t eat at the ballpark.
Instead, eat before the game. If you want to save the most amount, eat at home. If you don’t mind spending some money but just want to avoid getting gouged, tailgate or hold a potluck beforehand with your friends. Tailgating with friends is a great way to extend the fun of the game, have some food and drink ahead of time, and not sacrifice a bit on fun in the name of savings.
If you must eat at the games, try to go on days where there are food promotions. For example, the Kansas City Royals have Buck Night every Friday where hot dogs and peanuts are just $1 each.
Buy any souvenirs or team apparel away from the park
Much like food, team gear and souvenirs in the park are going to be very expensive. It’s far better to purchase them online or on eBay, where you will pay a fraction of ballpark prices. If you’re truly a professional fan, wait until the end of the season when sports apparel stores clear out inventory with clearance sales.
Or go on a day where they’re giving away a bobble head, hat or t-shirt and you won’t need to buy anything!