Friday, November 11, 2011

5 Steps to Saving Money at a Major Sporting Event

The following is a guest post.

Sporting events are huge in our family. We spend many dollars traveling to sporting events each year. Here are five tips to help you save money when attending a major sporting event. After all, tickets for the recent World Series went for over $500 when purchased ahead of time. Who knows how expensive scalpers will be able to sell them for?

1. Pick Your Game
The first step to finding great sporting event tickets is to pick the games you want to see carefully. The best tickets will be those for teams with a losing record. Often, these tickets can be brought at very reasonable prices at the gate. After all, the event wants to fill the venue. Avoid the scalpers who peddle the tickets at the gate. Buying your tickets early often makes the most sense. Furthermore, look for discounts offered by major grocery chains or your employer.

2. Pick Your Section
The second step to finding great sporting event tickets is to pick the section that you want to sit in. The further from the field or court you are, the cheaper the tickets. Many plays are in fact easier to watch develop when you sit higher. Quite frankly, the lower seats are often filled by people who could care less about the game. They are interested in being seen to promote their image. Sitting further from the court or field puts you among true fans and your whole experience will be better.

3. Buy Before You Go
Buy your favorite team shirt before you go to the event. These shirts can be found at online retailers for great prices. Make sure and check for coupons! Never be willing to pay full price ahead of time. Do not buy souvenirs at the game. The markup will be tremendous and they have bought them from the same vendors that the online companies use. If you simply must buy a souvenir at the game, think very small. If the event is a one-time event, wait to the event is over. The vendors will want to unload any left-over merchandise.

4. Take the Bus
Many sporting events offer parking away from the actual venue at a reduced cost. Furthermore, many public transit systems offer transportation to these venues. Take full advantage of these two facts. Parking near the venue will triple when an event is held there. You may have to walk a little further, but after all that is better for your health. Put the extra money aside for the next event that you want to attend.

5. Eat Before You Go
One way that sporting events get into your pocketbook is with the cost of the food. Make sure and eat well before you go. Do not go to the event hungry. A hamburger may cost $2.50 at the golden arches. That hamburger will cost $10.00 at the event. Big pockets are great for taking snacks into the game with you. Most major sporting events allow tailgating, which is also a great alternative.

Attending major sporting events can be great fun. By following these easy steps, you will be able to go more often and have a great time.

Liz Chambers enjoys writing about travel, sports & Coupons.

Do you go to sporting events? What tips do you have for saving money at major sporting events?

Editor's Note: Another way to save money is to go to the minor league games. Locally, we have minor league baseball and hockey teams. The games don't cost as much, they have community atmosphere, and are usually family friendly. Also, these tips can be applied to concerts. This past summer we went to a major concert in Philadelphia. We bought the tickets almost a year in advance and we were really excited about the concert. We spent the afternoon tailgating, so we didn't need to buy any food once inside the stadium. My husband REALLY wanted a concert t-shirt. We ran into a vendor who was unloading his t-shirts for $5 after the concert. It was a good thing we waited, because they were about $30 in the stadium.

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This post is lined to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.

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