Cheap Entertainment: Family Sporting Events on a Dime

by on November 3rd, 2010
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An easy thing to cut out of the budget in a tough economy is entertainment. Justifying going to movies, professional sporting events or concerts is hard to do when you are struggling to pay the bills. Many families are having a tough time going to games to support local professional sports teams. Ticket prices are rising along with unemployment rates, but the love for sports doesn’t just stop. How can you watch the sports you and your family love, while not breaking the bank? There are a few easy answers to this question that may not have previously been considered.


America’s pastime has been a favorite since it became a professional sport in the 1800s. Many people have fond memories of growing up watching their favorite players play in historic stadiums. The rise of television and internet has made seeing these games easier than ever, but it doesn’t have the same feel as being at the ballpark. Do you really want to spend hundreds of dollars to bring your family to a major league game? Ticket prices are on the rise:

· In 2011, the average ticket price was $26.91. This is a 1.2% increase from 2010. · The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees average $53.38 and $51.83 per ticket, respectively · San Francisco Giants tickets increased 14.1% after winning the world series

The prices only increase because people are willing to fill the seats at these prices, but there are a few alternatives for you to consider.

College Baseball

College baseball is full of high quality play at a great price. Most colleges have tickets for less than $10 per person. In many places these are general admission tickets, meaning you can sit as close as you want to the action. For less than the price of one Red Sox ticket, a family of four can watch some excellent baseball.

Minor League Baseball

If you live in an area where there is minor league baseball, you may know what it is like. These games are very fan friendly, while carrying similar price tags to college baseball games. Better yet, these are the players that feed into the major leagues. You are watching future MLB superstars in minor league games. Again, you will most likely have access to great seats at great prices.


If you have been to an NFL game, you know what it costs, $20 to park, $4 for a hotdog and $3.50 for your drink. These costs can add up quickly if you bring your family to a game, but what about ticket prices? In 2011, the average ticket price across the league was $77.36. This means for a family of four it will cost over $300, just for tickets. Are you willing to pay that price?

High School

High school football is community based and exciting. Many people go to games to see the most talented athletes from their city compete. With prices between $5 and $10, these are cheap alternatives to NFL games. It gives you a chance to support your local community for around 10% of the price tag.

What to Do

If you love sports, but can’t handle the prices, why not try one of these options? They may not offer the top level athletes, but they all can offer something unique. Minor league baseball has a long history of offering a family friendly environment with good entertainment. High school football is great for brining communities together. Look closely and you should be able to find a cheaper way to enjoy the sports you love.

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