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Hit A Savings Home Run

March 31, 2011 | Alliant Credit Union

We've waited all winter for it and it's finally here - Opening Day of the 2011 baseball season! To celebrate, we've compiled some ideas on how to reduce the cost of your next baseball game.

Did you know that the average cost of a baseball game went up 1.7% in 2010? The average baseball game ticket costs $26.79. If you include parking, concessions and souvenirs, the total cost is upwards of $200 per game for a family of four.1

TICKETS

  • The cost of tickets varies based on the day of the week, the opponent and the time of the year. Before you commit to purchasing tickets, review your favorite team's schedule in its entirety to see if there is a game that is classified as regular or value, instead of a prime or premier game. The team schedule should be color-coded based on the price range of the game, so you can find the price range that fits your budget.
  • Don't rule out the cheap seats for games either. In some stadiums, there is no such thing as a bad seat or they offer an area to stand and get a better view of the game. There may even be a possibility that the game isn't sold out and the ushers will move you to a better seat.
  • Buy tickets in bulk. Many teams offer discounted rates for tickets purchased in bulk and it includes same game tickets or a group of tickets throughout the season. Visit the team site to learn more details on buying tickets in bulk.
  • Search online for ticket promotions to reduce ticket costs. Check your team's website for exclusive programs or promotions.
  • Season ticket holders often try to resell unwanted seats and often at discounts prices, especially when it is closer to the actual game day and how the team is playing. Check out online reseller sites, such as StubHub, closer to the day of the game for a chance to get tickets at a fraction of the price.

PARKING

  • Driving to the game and parking is expensive, in addition to being stressful due to the traffic. Investigate whether public transportation is an option. It could include parking off site and taking a shuttle to the game or other public transportation options in the area.
  • If you have to drive to the game, research if the team offers ticket packages that include parking to help reduce costs.

CONSESSIONS

  • Some stadiums have policies that allow fans to take in food and non-alcoholic drinks. Before or after purchasing your tickets, visit the team's website or call the stadium to learn what the rules are regarding food.
  • Look into whether the team offers bundle tickets that include food and drinks. Some teams offer unlimited food for the entire game while others offer it for a specific time period before the game. Depending on the price of the tickets, it could save you money on food and beverages - especially if you are going to the game as a family or in a large group.

SOUVENIRS

  • This one is especially hard if you are a super fan and it's the first game, or any game for that matter, of the season. Avoid impulsive purchases of things that you don't need when passing or visiting the souvenirs shops and stands, includes hats, shirts and all other sports memorabilia.
  • Think ahead and decide if you want to purchase some new gear to wear to the game and buy it before you go. For the best price, research it online. But if you decide to buy it online, remember to order it in enough time to receive it before game day.

We hope these ideas can help you hit a savings home run. You can put those savings towards lowering your debt, or better yet towards going to another baseball game!

How much do you typically spend on tickets, food and beverages at a baseball game? Do you have any baseball season rituals, such as tailgating or attending the season opener? Like us on Facebook and join the conversation.

1 moneywatch.bnet.com

SOURCE: Moneywatch.com


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