Living with credit, Rewards

How to get your baseball fix (on the cheap)

Dawn Papandrea

Baseball season is here, but ticket prices in New York (and probably where you are, too) are sky high (not to mention parking, concessions, etc.). I really want to get to a Mets game, but the cost involved isn’t fitting into my budget anytime soon.

So here are ways I plan to enjoy the national pastime this season without going broke:

Show our minor league teams some love.

I’m fortunate I have the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones close by, and their seasons will be starting in June.

These outings are just as fun as a big league game and very family-friendly with between-inning games and entertainment. Plus, you get to see up-and-comers who sometimes end up becoming all-star players.

The best part? For around $15 per person, you get a ticket to the game, plus a sandwich of choice and beverage.

Host a baseball viewing party for friends/family.

It helps if your crew shares the same team affiliation as you, but even if they don’t, a little fan rivalry can be fun, too.

Ask everyone to wear fan attire and serve up some inexpensive stadium-inspired food (think hot dogs, hero sandwiches, popcorn and more). Incorporate a contest to see who guesses the final score, or how many total runs and strikeouts there will be.

Hit the local watering hole for the big game.

Love to watch with a crowd but can’t make it to the stadium? Check online and ask around to see if any local sports pubs are running drink and appetizer specials for fans, and go root for your home team.

Sometimes, if you show up with a team jersey or shirt, you’ll even get a free item or bigger discount.

Look for deals, and consider seats in the picnic/bleacher section.

I will get to a ballgame this year at some point and when I do, I’m totally fine with not sitting right behind home plate.

In fact, sitting with The 7 Line Army (a popular NY Mets’ fan group) in the outfield is probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a game.

Some teams have tier pricing for different series, so look for bargains by following your team’s social media pages. You also can sometimes find two-for-one promotion vouchers at places like Dunkin’ Donuts or other retail or restaurant chains.

Find out what you can bring in to save on concessions.

Citifield allows one 20-ounce water bottle per person, and you can pack snacks if they are in clear plastic bags.

Bringing in what you can helps cut down on the cost of staying hydrated and fed. If you can’t resist stadium delicacies, allow yourself a concession budget and use it wisely.

Look into credit card promotions.

At Citifield, you can cash in on Citi Perks if you have a Citi credit card, which includes buy one, get one ticket deals, save $10 on Sunday game tickets, and more.

If you decide to attend a game at your home stadium, see if any of your rewards credit cards offer bonus points for entertainment/sports ticket purchases or preferred seating.

As for getting an MLB-branded credit card (yes, it does exist!), you actually won’t get any baseball-specific perks other than getting to show your fan pride when you show off the team logo on your card.

So, what am I going to do to root, root for the home team? For now, I’ll have to be content with watching the Mets on the small screen and enjoying other fan experiences.

If I can swing a game later in the year, hopefully it will be during the midst of a pennant race (a girl can dream, right?).

See related: Baseball fans, swipe your credit card for ‘Ice cold beer here!’, Video: Baseball fan redeems card rewards to get within brushback distance of Cardinals players

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