Take me out to the ballgame (for less money)

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Play ball!!!

The wait is over for baseball lovers as Major League Baseball celebrated their opening day on March 28. Many fans are already planning their summer schedule to find time to catch their favorite teams live at the ballpark. Going to a ball game is a great activity for friends and family, but the costs for tickets, food and souvenirs can add up quickly. In fact, according to a GOBankingRates study of MLB stadium prices the average cost of spending the day at the ballpark is nearly $78 for two people.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have to miss out on all the baseball fun this season. Here are several hacks to help you save money on your next ballpark outing.

Don’t let a trip to the ballpark bust your budget!

Cut ticket costs

While a prime seat behind home plate may provide optimal game viewing, these tickets come at a premium. Spend less so you can attend more games by opting for a lower-cost seat that may be a little further from the field. Otherwise, check out warehouse club stores like Costco to find discount e-vouchers for popular stadiums. For example, they are currently offering a home game eTicket for New York Yankees for just $24.99. Resale sites like Stubhub are another great place to look for less expensive ticket options. Considering searching for deals on same-day games as sellers may be willing to offer a discount on their passes to avoid losing out altogether.

Grab a family pack

More stadiums are trying to help parents out and make their games family friends by offering family pack ticket options for less than regular retail prices. These bundles often include four tickets to a series of different home games, along with concessions. For example, the Los Angeles Angels offers a Friends and Family Fun Pack with four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks for as little as $44, depending on where you choose to sit.

Enjoy a minor league game

Not all baseball fans are privy to living near the home stadium of a major league team, making it more expensive to attend a game in person. However, there are 247 minor league teams in smaller cities that provide an authentic ballpark experience at a much lower cost. Often times these teams host wacky promotions to get locals out to support their team with savings and freebies, so check your local listings for a rundown of these types of deals before planning your season outing.

Save on parking costs

Driving to the stadium isn’t just hectic with all the extra traffic in and out of the parking lot, but it can be expensive, too. Always carpool when possible or check out prices for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Between the cost of parking and gas, this may be a more reasonable option. Some stadiums located in big cities are easily accessible via train, so review public transit options. Otherwise, scope out alternative parking options through sites like SpotHero, which allows you to rent parking spots from community members often for a much lower fee than what the stadium charges.

Limit concession purchases

There’s nothing like a cold beer and a hot dog at the ballpark, but when you’re feeding a family of four and picking up additional snacks, the charges will ring up quickly. Try to fill up on a meal before heading to the game so you’re less tempted to splurge on concessions. Keep in mind, many stadiums also allow patrons to bring in outside food and drinks, so plan ahead and pack sandwiches and other snacks to keep your group satisfied for less. You may even want to bring along a reusable water bottle to refill at a water fountain, saving you big bucks on bottled water.

Skip the merchandise kiosks

It’s great to support your favorite team by wearing a hat or t-shirt with their logo, but buying these goods at the stadium is going to bust your budget. Plan ahead by shopping online at sites like FansEdge.com to find merchandise at significant savings. Not only are prices cheaper, but you can also find coupon codes to save even more. If you wait until the last minute and your kid is begging for a new cap to wear at the game, look for a vendor outside the stadium, where you will pay a lot less. You may even be able to negotiate if you pay with cash!

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