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.