Have you been to a major league baseball game recently? Or any professional sporting event actually? Talk about sticker shock in the middle of a spending challenge. We took the kiddos to a Mariner’s game here in Seattle on Sunday – and while it was great to see a win, it was also a reminder of the pressures that families face on their personal finance when taking in a ball game.
We got a good deal on some great seats courtesy of the six-year old’s little league organization. You really couldn’t beat the price, so we considered that a win on relatively reasonable family entertainment! But the food costs were truly ridiculous and basically blew our budget out of the water.
If everyone would have had totally their own thing, we’d have been looking at food costs pushing $100 for four of us. Ridiculous! We tried to “keep the costs down” but still spent a bit north of $50… which does wonders to start the week out on the Trevi Spending Challenge.
Here are some Trevi Tips to keep costs down next time you take your family to a sporting event:
- Find free parking. We parked south of the stadium on a somewhat sketchy side street. We weren't sure if our car would be in one piece, or even there, when we returned. Probably wouldn't park there after dark!
- Share drinks. The two kids shared a large root beer while the wife and I shared a beer. The beer cost $10. We left the stadium thirsty for a little more beer, but at least we didn’t blow $20.
- Share food. Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to share. We got two hot dogs for them. $16 for two hot dogs. Talk about a big profit margin for the team. Thankfully they both ate the entire meal! On the adult side, we shared food. We got sushi. It was $15. No need to buy a second one. Although we were both hungry by the time we got home!
- Another option - Don’t eat at the stadium. Take snacks. This will definitely save you money.
- Tickets. We got a good deal on the tickets. Look for group events that offer discounted tickets to these types of events – it can save you several dollars per ticket.
It’s not all about money – we got to take in a good game (doesn't hurt that the Mariner's won) with the kiddos and friends. Seeing the kids having fun and spending time with friends makes it worth it.
Just be cognizant of the money you are spending. These events can hit your spending plan pretty hard. Make it a point to stick within your budget – your future self will thank you! And even in saving a few dollars and remembering your budget, sporting events are still fun. It’s not about what you spend, it’s about spending time with people!