6 Ways to Save Money at Sporting Events
by Carol Parsons
Recreation Budget on the Skinny
Summer Fun without the Price
Being one of the biggest sports fans there is, I am often looking for cheap ways to take my family to sporting events. My entire family loves nearly ever sport there is; yet, we have many favorites that we try to go to several times a year.
Since we aren't rich and must live on a strict budget, we have to find ways to fit our outings into that budget. When times are tough for us financially, we search for ways to go to these events and have fun without going into debt to do so.
Here are some ways we discovered to save money when making our way to our favorite sporting events.
- Look for discounts. Either through the Internet or the places were the sporting event takes place, you can usually find some sort of discount. Many times for events like Major League Baseball, the stadiums have special days that you can purchase your tickets at a discount. For example, since I live in Michigan, I attend Detroit Tigers games. Comerica Park has bleacher seats for $8, or for a family of four, the cost is $25, which includes a soft drink and choice of hot dog or pizza. You can get other discounts if you purchase your tickets ahead of time or from using your credit card depending on the place.
- Take a look at eBay and other auction websites. Most people who use the Internet already know about these websites, the biggest being www.eBay.com, although there are several others like www.ubid.com. A lot of people use these sites to purchase merchandise but may not know that they can also get sporting event tickets. Remember to only bid as high as your budget will allow.
- Friends are always handy to have, and even better yet, friends in high places are good to have. You may want to ask family and co-workers if anyone has season tickets. Often people with these tickets do not use them for every event. They are sometimes willing to either let you go in their place or willing to let you pay a small amount for them.
- When wanting to attend a major racing event, remember that the lower the division of racing, the cheaper the seats. Many tracks sell package tickets for the weekend, which include qualifying, the Nationwide Series race, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. These tickets may even include the Truck Series and International Race of Champions (IROC), if those events are there that weekend. If the upper level events are too much for your budget, you might be just as happy with seeing qualifying. Sometimes qualifying is free and other times it's around $10 a ticket, but it does get you into the track for all the excitement. The Truck and Nationwide Series are fairly cheap events and very exciting. So call your closest major racetrack or check out what is available on www.nascar.com.
- Many baseball stadiums and other sporting events have special days when they give away products, let you get autographs, and let you meet some of the athletes. Some of these events are free and take place away from main facility so you should keep your eyes and ears open. Last year, I was able to go to a Ford's Racing Appreciation Day, which included meeting many NASCAR drivers, getting their autographs, seeing a lot of race cars, and even trying our hand at being a part of a pit crew. At the ballpark, almost every day is some sort of special day from giving products away to autograph days to letting the kids run the bases.
- So many times, food and snacks cost even more than the sporting event tickets. I make sure that we are fed before we go or pack things in a backpack or my purse for the kids to have while we are there. Some places let you take in coolers but call ahead. After the 9-11 event, some will not allow this anymore.
Since sports are such a huge part of the American culture and a wonderful way to do things with your family, it is good to find ways to cut the cost of these expensive outings.
So, do what you love and spend time with your family at a sporting event that you all enjoy, but don't let it break your bank account to do so.
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We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!
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