Baseball has and always will be America’s past time. Although it has lost much of its appeal over the last decade thanks to the rising popularity of the three other major sports, it is still one of the best live sporting events one can attend. Before you pay $100 for nosebleed seats and give corrupt super-villain Roger Goodell any more money, go to a baseball game for $10. Regardless of if you think the national pastime is boring, I highly suggest getting the gang together for a game. There is no live sporting event quite like a baseball game on a comfortable summer night. Get a group of your buds together to attempt “The Challenge.” That is nine dogs and nine beers in nine innings. Whoever doesn’t spew or slowly die as a result of a lengthy food coma wins. This is more of less for bragging rights because if completed you will feel like a New York City dumpster littered with used condoms and liquor bottles from the city’s homeless population.
Here’s how to do it without breaking the bank, though.
Attend Any And All Promotional Games
Every Major League Baseball team in this great nation hosts numerous promotional games throughout the season. Attending these is a good way to impress your friends with your local know-how and to save some serious cash. Many teams also hand out free items such as bobbleheads, cups, hats towels, shirts, chia pets and even yoga mats, so make sure to keep up with the promotional nights for your respective team. You can find all promotional nights and ticket deals via MLB’s handy guide, the Fan Value Corner.
Weekday Games Are Your Best Friend
Nothing beats ending your workday with a game. Walk out of work feeling accomplished (despite being on Netflix for a solid two hours) and head to the stadium. Depending on your commute and mode of transportation, some may have to skip out a bit early. Many of your bosses will already be gone and with most MLB games starting at 7:05 or 7:35 on weekdays, you should be fine. Do not bother buying tickets beforehand. The game will not sell out and you will be able to purchase tickets at the box office for cheap, depending on the matchup. Feeling lucky? Take your chances with the aggressive scalpers who attempt to hustle you like this is your first rodeo. The closer to first pitch the better chance you have of negotiating a favorable price. “Two tickets for $40? I’ll give you $20 for both.”
The box office will more than likely have $5 to $10 tickets in the bleeds. Do you have poor vision or a deadly fear of heights? No worries, bro. You can always find a good seat during a weekday game. Simply scout a section with rows of empty seats and make your move. There is generally a staff member there to “assist” patrons, but they rarely ask to see your ticket. Confidence is key for this move. Look like you belong and have a beer or something in your hand to appear like you know exactly where you need to be. It’s a near flawless technique to have optimal viewing for cheap. If you are asked for your tickets and turned away, head to the next section and proceed accordingly. If you look the part you will succeed. There have been numerous times when I have purchased a $5 ticket in the 400 sections and effortlessly made my way down to the third base line.
Bring Your Own Booze
Drink prices at sporting events are insane, but especially at baseball games. Baseball is currently catered to an older more wealthy audience and does not necessarily care about us bros. Most of us are not quite making six figures per year yet and some of us are still interns or struggling college students who buy their produce from Walmart. Bring in a flask, water bottle, or glass bottle of your favorite cheap booze. I had a buddy bring in a 750 of Fireball with no problem. This will make the game that much more enjoyable and significantly cheaper. Buy a large $5 soda and make a stiff mixed drink or take some swigs right from your container versus having five $9 light beers. This move is a game changer, and it will have you heckling a random outfielder, to the delight of all the families around you. “Ey Puig.. nice shwing ya gump.” Just make sure you bring a plastic flask because of MLB’s new policy of metal detectors at every park across the country. They say this is in the name of safety but it is more than likely just stops drunkards from bringing in their cheap booze.
Avoid Stadium Food At All Costs
Not only is it not all that good, but stadium food is also outrageously overpriced. Ballparks understand that they have you held hostage and if you are a layman you will be purchasing overpriced food and drinks the entire night. If you aren’t raking in six figures per year I would suggest avoiding the stadium food at all costs. You do not need those $11 nachos or that $5 hot dog, despite what your drunken self may believe. Eat at one of the many restaurant options that more than likely flank your hometown stadium. This is a good opportunity to not only satisfy your hunger prior the first pitch but you can also down a few beers for half the cost as well.
If you are lucky enough to regularly attend Arizona Diamondbacks games, where you can get three 14oz beers and five hot dogs for $20, then by all means gorge on that greasy nostalgic stadium cuisine. I would assume most of us are not lucky enough to have these dirt-cheap prices, which is why you should eat prior to the game. Do not be held hostage by stadium prices and regretfully check your lousy bank statement in the morning. I know at a Washington Nationals’ game it will run you $9 for a perfectly crafted Miller Lite and $11 for nachos. At that rate you won’t even be drunk (if you don’t pregame) or satisfied with your food for at least $50.
Bring Your Own Food
Surprisingly most Major League stadiums throughout the country allow you to bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic unfortunately), so long as they are in a “clear (see-through) plastic bag.” Check your respective team’s website if you are curious what their policy on outside food and drink is. This seems to be a policy more catered to families, but this is a power move that separates the rookies from the veterans. Taking your girlfriend to a game? Bring a nice little snack pack consisting of sandwiches and some ballpark essentials (peanuts, cracker jacks, chips, pretzels, etc) and two (sealed) waters. She will not only be impressed with how thoughtful you are, but you will be saving a significant amount of money on food, which means more money for $10 vodka sodas or gin and tonics. Who doesn’t love a delicious expensive G&T on a nice hot summer afternoon?
Purchase Tickets Last Minute
Baseball is entirely too expensive. It is a sport that is still being catered to previous generations. There are few bros I know looking to pay $50 for a regular season baseball game. Teams do not realize this or simply do not care. If you want to sit anywhere decent it’s going to cost you at least $40 on the team’s official website, which is why we never purchase from here. They not only want your arm, but they want your leg with their beer prices.
Sometimes it is beneficial to wait to the last minute and this is one of them. I have found Vivid Seats to be one of the best options among third-party ticket distributors. They generally have cheaper seats than the more popular vendors, such as Stubhub, and are far more reliable than heading to Google for “cheap baseball tickets.” Another helpful resource for finding cheap tickets is Seat Geek, which is a ticket search engine that collects thousands of ticket options from 12 of the biggest third-party vendors. This site provides a plethora of choices, which allows you to browse leading up to the game to find that perfect price and seat. Finding the best available seat will take some patience but will be well worth it in the end.
Never forget to browse Craigslist the night before or the day of the game. This tried and true method can help score some great last minute seats for far below market value. More often than not, several season ticket holders will not be able to attend and cannot find a friend to take the tickets off their hands. Maybe the kids are sick or the wife cannot miss this week’s episode of The Bachelorette. Whatever the reason may be they will be willing to part with their seats for cheap and they are generally better seats than you will find on the team site and many third party options. Whatever you decide do not go to the official team site and do not attend games against premium teams. Unless you’re a diehard Yankees or Red Sox fan I would recommend not attempting to see them play when they’re in your hometown. These two behemoths of franchises have “diehard” fans everywhere who will pay nearly anything to see their old money clubs play.
Not to mention these are some of the most obnoxious and entitled fans in all of sports and make for a less than stellar experience.
But that’s a whole different article.