One of the most popular sports in the US is baseball, and for fans the highlight is to watch a Major League Baseball game. Wherever you live, there’s going to be a stadium within driving distance and you’ll find a game being played almost any day between April and September. Tickets cost anything from a few bucks to several hundred, so it’s possible to watch a game without breaking the bank. However, for a special occasion or because you want to treat someone you love, an expensive seat is worth the expense as you’ll be right down next to the field. You never know, you might get to shake hands with a famous player, get a few autographs or even catch a stray ball. If you’ve never been to an MLB game before you might be wondering what to do. Here are some tips if you want to make the most of your experience.
Getting Your Tickets
There are a variety of ways you can acquire your tickets, but if you want to pay less than half full price (which is easier than you think), you’ll need to follow these tips. Most teams will issue tickets by way of an advanced sale before the start of the season. You would expect these to be a great deal, but they’re not. Many advance sale prices include a surcharge, which can be as much as 20%. Don’t think you’re going to miss out if you don’t buy your tickets in advance. There tends to be a set number of tickets available for walk-up purchases and a team’s online ticket center, and there’s always the resale market.
You’re more likely to get cheaper tickets when the weather is on the inclement side. Season ticket holders tend to prefer games when the weather is warmer. More tickets are going to be available, and the resale market will be offering some great bargains.
More people attend games at the weekend which means ticket prices tend to be higher. If you can afford to take a day off work, watch a mid-week game and save money.
It really depends on your budget whether you wait for a cheap seat. You always have the option of becoming a season ticket holder yourself and taking advantage of same day loans to help cover the cost. You can always recoup any expense by unloading tickets to games you can’t attend yourself.
How Are You Going to Get There?
Many baseball stadiums are located in downtown urban areas which makes it easy to make use of public transportation. However, it also makes parking more expensive and riskier. If you’re lucky enough to live within spitting distance, you can walk. Otherwise, you’re going to need to think about how you get to the game. Unless you live next to a subway stop, your options are a bus or light rail. Light rail services often run up close to stadiums, and some offer free parking lots. Parking, around the time of a game, is never easy and you need to know where you’re going and what’s available. It also pays to turn up early. If you’re going to a game on a Sunday, consider that most parking meters are free. The rules are less strict on Saturdays as well.
When You’re at the Game
There’s no special uniform or dress code you need to worry about. However, if you want to fit in with the rest of the fans, you’d better check out the various stores where you can buy hats, clothing and other team paraphernalia.
When it comes to food, there are some traditional snacks you have to try. One is the foot-long hot dog with a choice of trimmings. Throw your healthy eating plan out of the window for a day and load up your hot dog with ketchup, mustard, jalapenos, onions, tomato, sauerkraut, and maybe a side of cheese. The other baseball must-have is a package of cracker jack. It’s a very addictive combination of molasses-flavored popcorn and peanuts. Choose beer to wash it all down, water or a variety of soft drinks.
Before you get to your seat, it’s wise to check out where the nearest toilet is. If you don’t want to miss any of the action, this is going to be a useful thing to know. There is a 4-minute gap between innings, so you might want to try a few practice runs.
With your drinks and snacks in hand and a good idea of the location of the toilet facilities, it’s time to head to your seat. There are cup holders, so you don’t need to stress about kicking your beer over, and room under your seat to store your snacks. You want to have your hands free for cheering on the team after all.
If this is your first time in a baseball stadium, take a few minutes to look around and soak up the atmosphere. It really is a sight to behold. The first thing you notice is the huge screens which are where you can see the latest player statistics, read audience participation instructions and stay in touch with all the action.
A Few Golden Rules
There’s really no such thing as baseball game etiquette. However, there are some dos and don’ts you need to bear in mind if you don’t want to stand out as a baseball virgin. Trips to the bathroom should be limited to a maximum of two. Any more than that and you’re going to start annoying those around you. Personal attacks on the players are frowned upon so keep your opinions to yourself.
Baseball is considered to be a game of strategy. If you want fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, you need to find another sport to watch. Games can last upward of three hours, and you’ll spend your time watching a leisurely game. Scores aren’t what matters; it’s the nuances of the game that led to the points which are more important. One final word of advice is to be prepared for a long wait while you’re getting out of the parking lot. Save yourself the stress and watch the post-game activities and use the restroom before you leave.