A trip to the ballpark can put a huge dent in your wallet, especially if the whole family is going. But there are always tips and tricks to save a little cash.
- TIP: If skipping seats seems unethical to you, consider going to a minor league game -- the tickets are cheaper and the game is more accessible.
- Step 1: Buy tickets for the cheap seats, then, if you can get past the usher, sneak into better ones. The best seats are usually owned by companies who give them to clients -- in smaller markets, many of those seats will be empty.
- Step 2: Time is money -- don't spend half of the game waiting in line for the bathroom. Go before you arrive and during any timeouts or other delays in game play.
- Step 3: Buy souvenirs at a retail outlet. The markup for a shirt, hat, or ball is going to be much higher at the souvenir shops inside the park. Now enjoy the game!
- FACT: In 2007, Alex Rodriguez signed a $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, setting a record for baseball's highest contract.
- Step 4: Buy peanuts from street vendors. Outside most ballparks, you'll find street vendors selling bags of peanuts for as little as a buck -- which beats paying $3.50 or more inside.
- Step 5: Bring food from home. Most ballparks allow you to bring all the snacks you want, but you probably won't be able to bring something to drink unless it's an unopened bottle of water.
- Step 6: Tailgate before the game. Eat something and have a couple of drinks so you won't be tempted to blow money on overpriced food and beverages inside the stadium.
- TIP: If you must have a drink inside, stick to beer. Some ballparks sell 24-ounce cans of beer for $8. Just don't expect to find cheap imported beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
- Step 7: If you opt to go to a bar before the game, find one that offers shuttle service. Parking near the park can cost an arm and a leg, but some bars in the vicinity offer free shuttle service to and from the game.
- TIP: No shuttle? Use public transportation to get to the park from the bar.
- : Don't drink unless you're of legal age. Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.