Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ballgames Are Expensive?

For some reason, one of my pet peeves is news stories about how expensive MLB games are. The AP published such an article today. The author quotes a Florida woman whose two boys are fans of the Rays:

"You go to the ballpark and get a hot dog and a Coke and the tickets and maybe a little souvenir and it’s prohibitively expensive,” she said. “Taking the kids to an old-fashioned ballgame is a major vacation.”

Look, I don't know what this woman's monthly budget is and it's probably none of my business, but the author of the article is implying that it is in fact expensive to take your family to a Rays game. Why couldn't the author follow up this quote with the actual cost for a budget-conscious family to attend a game?

A quick glance at the Rays website reveals that tickets for this Sunday's game are available for $11.50, including service charge. Kids will receive a Carl Crawford bobblehead doll and will be able to run the bases after the game, which is a pretty awesome double promotion. According to the Rays website, the team allows fans to bring their own food and water. Parking for Rays games is $15, but the fee is waived if the car holds 4 or more people. So, a family of 4 can attend a Sunday afternoon Rays game for $46 plus the cost of making some bologna sandwiches at home and bringing some bottles of water. A single parent and lone child wouldn't be able to take advantage of the parking deal and would have to pay a total of $38 for tickets and parking. This whole thing took my about 15 minutes to research. Surely, the AP has some interns who could conduct similar research for the other 29 ballparks.

I should probably end there, but the article also has a truly ridiculous quote from Reds fan Clarence Eckstein: “Tickets, gas, food, it’s a few hundred dollars.” I don't know how many miles Mr. Eckstein is driving in a gas guzzler and I don't know how many hot dogs he consumes, so I guess it's possible that it actually costs him that much to attend a game. But, I can easily check how much it costs to attend a Reds game. There are $5 tickets available for next Friday's game. With service charge, they're $6.51. There will be a free fireworks show after the game. Baseball & fireworks for $6.51 sounds like a great deal to me. The Reds allow fans to bring their own food and soft drinks. Parking is $10.


coachie said...

Word. Baseball games are by far the cheapest out of the five major sports. Tickets are usually cheaper than the movies even.

Brought a pretty effeminate bag of bread, cheese and hummus to the SF Giants game last weekend. Cost about 7 bucks for the whole bag.

Fred Coupon said...

I'm disappointed the market hasn't bottomed out for Mets tickets on stubhub, because the team sure has. I'm not going to pay more than $12 (after fees) to go to a game.

cannatar said...

Coupon - Unless the game is highly in demand, the best strategy on stubhub seems to be to wait until right before they stop selling tickets (2 hours before gametime). I think weekday games (that don't feature Manny) will be cheap going forward. The next weekday series is against the Rockies at the end of the month. There are almost 5,000 tickets available for each game. The prices have to come down.

coachie said...

12 with fees is pretty cheap. Can't see them approaching the $1 level of the NJ Nets.