6 Ways to Save Money at a Sporting Event

The crowds are cheering and your team is scoring, but as the time on the clock dwindles, so may the cash in your wallet. Next time you're hoping to catch a major sporting event in person, spare your wallet with these six money-saving ideas.

1. Pick the weaker opponents on the weekday games.

Don't choose the game against the reigning champions when tickets will be sold and resold at inflated prices, and avoid weekend games if possible. To save even more money, look for less desirable seats that are farther away from the field. You'll save money but still be part of the excitement.

2. Buy at the last minute.

Some teams release unsold seats or seats reserved for opposing players, referees, and league holds to the general public hours before the game starts. And third-party sellers like StubHub® or SeatGeek® may drop their prices the closer it gets to game time because they would rather sell the seats cheap than have them go unsold. Be cautious of scalpers and scammers, and only buy tickets from reputable resellers.

3. Consider tailgating before the game.

Depending on your menu, you'll likely save money on food and beverages by eating before you enter the stadium. You'll pay the highest average prices for food and drinks at National Football League games — the average hot dog price is $5.29, and the average soft drink price is $4.79. And plan to arrive early. Tailgating at professional and college games often happens in venue parking lots, so spots may be limited.

4. Don't splurge on parking.

The average cost to park at an NFL game was around $30 last year. So if you're not tailgating in a venue lot, you'll want to search for cheaper parking options. Try parking a good distance from the venue or stadium and walking, or take public transportation.

5. Dress for the weather.

You don't want to be the person having to buy a sweatshirt, hat, and gloves at stadium prices just because you didn't realize how chilly it would be. Even if you do want souvenirs, it's likely cheaper to buy them elsewhere than at the game.

6. Catch the game elsewhere.

If discount tickets to the game are still out of your price range, consider alternatives that let you feel like you're there. Nearby venues may offer rooftop tickets or host viewing parties so you can see the game live, still surrounded by fans and excitement, but without walking through the turnstiles.

Whether you're heading to a baseball park or the football stadium, the cost of attendance adds up quickly. Make sure you're doing your due diligence before you buy your tickets.

Looking for more ways to save? Consider these money-saving tips for your next vacation.


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