Learn how to find the best deals on baseball tickets.
At a time when most Americans are looking to spend less money, the average cost of baseball tickets to see a Major League Baseball game increased 11 percent in 2008 to $25.40. The cost of attending a game for a family of four, including tickets, parking, two programs, four hot dogs, four soft drinks, two beers and two caps was $192. Rising baseball ticket prices and a slumping economy might inspire many fans to seek bargains. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money at the ballpark.
According to Major League Baseball, every Major League Baseball team offers discount tickets. Many teams offer bleacher seats for $15 or less and some teams, such as the Atlanta Braves, offer special seats for as little as $1. Because these tickets are limited and can go quickly, ordering well in advance of game day is recommended. Discount tickets are sometimes offered once per week, once per month or intermittently throughout the season on fan appreciation nights. Details of special promotions are found on the individual team Web sites.
Another way to save is to take advantage of walk-up tickets. Many teams offer inexpensive tickets to walk-up customers on game day. While these tickets do require waiting in line, they are often available for less than $10.
If fans have a hard time finding inexpensive tickets in their hometown, travelling to another city might actually be a good way to save money. Ticket prices vary greatly from team to team. The average ticket to a Kansas City Royals game costs about half as much as the average ticket to a New York Yankees game and that is before parking and concessions are taken into account. In fact, according to USA Today if a fan was able to secure cheap airline tickets, it could be cheaper for a family to fly from New York to Kansas City to watch a Royals/Yankees series than to watch a Royals/Yankees series at Yankee stadium.
There are inexpensive ticket markets available in all regions of the country, so it is not always necessary to fly to take in a cheap baseball series. Among the cheapest baseball tickets include tickets to see the Arizona Diamond Backs, Los Angeles Angels, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles.
A fan does not have to purchase baseball tickets directly from a Major League Baseball team. Many tickets, called secondary tickets, are available from resellers and are often offered at a significant discount. The online marketplace StubHub is endorsed by Major League Baseball and offers tickets sold to fans from fans. Ticketmaster also offers a fan-to-fan resale marketplace for baseball tickets.
One of the best ways to save money is by purchasing season tickets. Baseball season tickets are sold at a lower rate per game than single game tickets. While a full season ticket package costs thousands of dollars, teams offer smaller packages, such as weekend packages or 25-game packages that allow purchasers to choose from select games. If a fan does not want to attend that many games, the tickets are transferable so a group of people can split the price of the package and share the tickets. As with individual tickets, it is best to order season tickets as soon as they go on sale in January or February.
The cost of concessions at a Major League Baseball game can quickly add up, especially when paying $4 per bottle of water and $6 per hot dog. Besides eating right before entering the ballpark, there are some strategies for spending less on food and drinks.
Most teams offer discounted concessions at select games throughout the season, such as dollar hot dog nights. Fans can monitor team Web sites for details of upcoming concession promotions, and then use a money-saving strategy on tickets, such as purchasing walk-up tickets or secondary tickets.
Most stadiums prohibit bringing coolers in, but do allow fans to enter with food and drinks in a bag. Fans should consult their team's Web site for details on the size of bag as well as what type of food and drink items are permitted. Of course, alcohol and cold drinks can add to the overall cost of the event even when bringing in food.
A great way for fans to see Major League Baseball games for a fraction of the price is to attend spring training games. Sure, the games don't count, but fans get to see real Major League action. And fans can usually see that action from a much closer vantage point than at typical Major League Baseball stadiums.
For example, the average ticket to a Boston Red Sox game in 2008 was $48 and good seats cost hundreds. However, baseball tickets to a Red Sox spring training game range from $7.50 for a bleacher ticket to $23 for tickets behind home plate. Teams play spring training games in Arizona and Florida from late February through early April.