How to Save Money at Games and Sporting Events

Kimberly Ritter

Does your family love to watch sports? Want to support your favorite teams despite a limited budget? Here is how to save money at sporting events.

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Photo courtesy of zhukovsky via Deposit Photos.

Sporting events are starting up again in many areas. Is your family ready to go cheer on your favorite teams? Whether you’ll be attending alone, with friends or with your family, going to sporting events can be lots of fun, but can also add up.

Our family loves to cheer on our favorite teams and there are lots of ways to attend local games without spending a lot of cash. So how do you have a great time and attend different events without breaking the bank? If your family loves sports as well, here is how to save money at sporting events.

Follow Your Teams on Social Media
Nearly everyone is on social media these days, and your favorite team is no exception! To keep informed about hot promotions and free sports tickets opportunities, be sure to follow your favorite teams on social media. That way you can stay in the loop about discount ticket offers, ticket giveaways, and other free sporting event info. This is how our family spots opportunities to attend many games for free. Our local teams often offer free tickets with donations for the local food pantry or clothing closet and other offers. We also often win free sports tickets on Facebook giveaways and other social media contests.

Enter to Win
Feeling lucky? You might just be able to win tickets to upcoming ball games or sporting events. In addition to social media giveaways, there are other contests where you may have the opportunities to win event tickets, gift cards and more. My husband is a contest junkie and wins thousands of dollars a year in free event tickets, concert tickets and more. Wondering how to improve your odds to win? Tune into your local radio stations for giveaways, follow your team’s socials and keep an eye on your chamber of commerce website and social media pages as well.

Attend Special Events
Chances are your favorite teams are active in your local community and have events either at their stadium or make appearances at various locations around town. Watch for these opportunities and a chance to score free sports tickets for your favorite teams. Here in Iowa, our minor league baseball team (go Iowa Cubs!) hosts a free annual open house where attendees get free tickets and swag. We have also gotten free baseball tickets, free basketball tickets, and free hockey tickets by attending autograph signings and radio station radio remotes when the players make appearances around town.

Watch for Special Promotions
Many teams right now are offering special deals to convince fans to come back to the stands. Whether it’s group discounts to encourage families to seat together in pods, buy one get one free tickets to encourage you to come now and later in the season, there are some amazing deals to be had. Watch your team’s website and social media for upcoming offers.

Sign Your Children Up for the Kid’s Club
If you have young sports fans in your family, it can pay off to sign them up for the kid’s clubs for your favorite teams. Sports kids clubs are often free to join or available for a nominal charge ($10-15) per year and come with lots of perks like free tickets, free team t-shirts, opportunities to interact with their favorite players and more. There are also often special events and activities that only members and their families can participate in. Check your favorite sports team’s website about kid’s club options and savings for your area.

Watch for Ticket Deals Online
Tickets for your favorite sports teams don’t always have to be purchased at their ticket office. Watch for package deals online through discount partners like Groupon, StubHub and other discounters. If you plan to go to games often, see if a partial or full season ticket package might be cheaper than buying tickets for one game at a time. Be sure to also keep an eye on resale sites and community online groups like Facebook Marketplace and Craig’s List for last-minute ticket deals. We frequently score sweet seats at games when ticketholders can’t attend a game and sell them online for a fraction of their face value. You can often score VIP seats for less than the cheap seats and might even find some tickets for free.

Eat Before You Go
A big expense at sporting events can be food and drink. Grabbing a meal at the ballpark or stadium can add up, especially when you’re attending as a family. To save money while you’re at the game, consider eating before you go. That way you can get by with just an inexpensive snack like popcorn. Be sure to look for special promotions like $1 hot dog night and refillable cups to save even more. Some minor league parks do allow you to bring in your own snacks and even coolers, so be sure to check out their website on what can be brought in.

Watch on TV or Online
If going to a game in person just isn’t in your budget this year, then cheer on your team from home. Many sporting events including high school and college games are being broadcast locally to allow more fans to enjoy while they are social distancing at home. Tune in, make some great snacks and root for your favorite players.

Sporting events are a fun family activity and it’s great that our teams are starting to welcome fans. Some attendance procedures may have changed to reflect current health conditions and some stadiums may require masks, have limited attendance at events, or offer limited services. Be sure you’re informed about the details at your team’s arenas before you head out to a game. That way you can enjoy the event and cheer on your teams as safely as possible.

What are your favorite ways to save at sporting events?

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Two Kids and a Coupon is a frugal family website that shares news, ideas, entertainment, activities, recipes, and tips for today’s busy parents and family on a budget.

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