I’m a huge sports fan, increasingly so as I get older. Maybe I just love the thrill of competition, maybe I enjoy watching humans do unbelievable physical acts, or maybe it just makes me feel younger.
It’s probably a little of all of them, but I love sports. Like most guys, I enjoy sitting in my favorite armchair and watching a great game unfold on my big screen high definition TV, but there’s nothing like seeing a game live.
Some of my best childhood memories are from sporting events. I remember my parents taking me to an afternoon double header at the old Met Stadium watching the Minnesota Twins, and I was one of the lucky ones who got a free souvenir helmet!
With ticket prices skyrocketing, combined with parking and the insane cost of concessions and souvenirs, making similar memories with my son is cost prohibitive.
The good news is, there are ways to enjoy great live sporting events without breaking your budget.
Side note: I live in the mid-sized city of Rochester, Minnesota, which has a population of about 100,000 and no suburbs. Here are some examples of how my family is able to enjoy semi-professional sports teams at a fraction of the cost.
Rochester Honkers: a $7 ticket will get you any seat in the house. Parking is free, and they have entertainment in between innings. There are also promotions such as the “beer batter” which results in a reduction in beer prices for an inning if that batter strikes out.
Check with your local baseball team and see if they have any special promotions, or if you can park a few blocks away to save money on things like parking.
Minnesota Twins: I have to drive 90 minutes to get to the stadium, parking costs me $15, and the average ticket price for a Major League Baseball game is just over $33.
It may be a far drive, but if the ticket price is worth it, you can make a fun Saturday trip to the ballpark with your family. All without spending a lot of money.
Rochester Community and Technical College Yellow Jackets: RCTC has been a community college football powerhouse for years. They’re fun to watch, and tickets are $7.
Check with your local university or community college for their game schedule. A live event is always more fun than watching a professional game on your TV at home. Plus, you’ll get outside and be able to feel that game energy.
Minnesota Vikings: The average NFL ticket is over $110. Start doing the math of the cost of an NFL outing for a family of four and you’ll feel like you need to get a second job.
If you do choose to indulge in an NFL game, make it a once-a-year type of thing. Or even every couple of years. That way you can save up money to put directly towards this event.
Rochester Ice Hawks: Local athletes and college kids playing tough nosed hockey for a ticket price of $9.
Find out where your local teams hang out, and what other kinds of sports are available — outside the mainstream ones. Sometimes the best games are the ones where players put their heart and souls into the game.
Minnesota Wild: The average ticket price of $65 could leave your budget a bit slim, so check out other events that may be outside the regular circle of sports.
Ticket prices to local college or semi-pro teams are a fraction of the price of going to their big league counter parts. Obviously we’re not talking about the same level of athletic potential, so are they worth the price of admission?
I definitely say yes, but you should find out for yourself. You just might make one of those lifelong memories.
Do you go to live sporting events in your area? What’s one way you get discounts and find ways to save money?