Author Topic: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?  (Read 5406 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« on: July 20, 2015, 10:20:31 PM »
I am pretty frugal in most of my life, but the one thing I am willing to splurge on is tickets for sporting events (namely Ohio State football tickets). I've been to probably more than 100 OSU home games and traveled the country following Ohio State--been to Michigan (six times), Penn State (twice), Texas (Austin), USC (LA), Northwestern (Chicago), New Orleans (three times), Phoenix, Wisconsin (Madison), and probably a couple others that I'm forgetting at this late hour. It's been a blast and I don't regret any of it. I was at last year's Sugar Bowl win against Alabama and it was honestly one of the most fun weekends of my life.

However, while I've always been pretty frugal, reading this website and others (like ERE) have made me stop and think much more about attending sporting events. I debated long and hard over this past spring and summer about whether going to OSU's big games was worth it and ultimately decided that yes, it was. I just bought two tickets for this year's season opener at Virginia Tech (Monday night game on Labor Day). My girlfriend and I are turning it into a trip--we are going to Richmond, VA to see some history stuff, go to the game, then go to Charleston, WV for some nature-related activities to wind down before getting back to work. Fortunately, because we both do a decent job of racking up reward points, all of our hotel costs are free, so we are only paying for tickets, food, and gas.

I admittedly feel weird now that I bought the tickets. I think I'm rationalizing it because (a) we are a DINK couple but not for too much longer, (b) we budget well and spend responsibly throughout the vast majority of the year, and (c) it's been an amazing hobby that has brought a lot of joy and memories to me in my short life and I love it.

For me, all that outweighs the cost.

So, anybody else feel the same about attending sporting events?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 10:22:13 PM by ReadySetMillionaire »

lukebuz

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 02:47:57 AM »
If you can afford it, spend your money on what makes you happy.  That is MMM in a nutshell.  You are doing it right.

Jouer

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 06:53:08 AM »
I also love attending sporting events both in my home city or elsewhere. I tend to go to one local NHL game a year and enjoy out-of-town sporting events - Lambeau Field, Yankee Stadium, US Open (Tennis), NHL Winter Classic, MLB Spring Training, etc.

But I've found there are ways to do it on the cheap-ish.

- careful of lifestyle inflation: sit in the cheap seats. Modern stadiums do not have bad seat in the house.
- for local teams, join a group that buys season tickets. Prices per game are much lower this way. Note: must have enough people in the group so you don't have to go more often than you had planned.
- Don't drink in the stadium. This is huge - it's easy to outspend the price of the ticket in beer.

wtjbatman

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 07:50:08 AM »
You can pry my Packer's tickets* from my cold, dead hands.

*Not season tickets or anything, god I wish. I'd FIRE to Green Bay if I thought I could get those.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 07:55:31 AM »
Heck yeah.  I've shared season tickets for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2006.  Bleacher seats, 5th row.

This year my tickets were $19 per seat per game.  My allotment is 40 tickets for the season, but I resell half or more on StubHub for premium weekend games.  So it actually costs me less than $10 per each regular season game I go to.  Playoffs are a different matter.  But the seats are worth it for me.

I don't pay for parking, I have somewhere I can park for free.  I don't eat/drink at the game either. 

I was a season ticket holder for several years to the St. Louis Blues as well.  But, after I bought my house and started getting serious about retirement plans, I realized that the hockey tickets did not align with my goals.  Our seats, if I were still in the group, would be about $60 or so for each game and they were too hard to resell on StubHub.

But, with baseball only I am able to add more money to my investments.  I had been budgeting $100/month for sporting events.  That amount would cover all 40 regular season games and the playoffs.   But I get a lot of that back when reselling tix and if they do not go deep in the playoffs or if series do not go all 7 games.

humbleMouse

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 08:00:17 AM »
I love going to pro hockey games.  That's really the only sporting event I like going to, but I almost like watching the games in bars more than actual being there.  The beer is much cheaper.  A

Trudie

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 07:18:44 AM »
If it makes you happy, do it.  Life is not intended to be joyless.  Over the years my husband and I have paid for tickets to lots of college sporting events, gone to the conference basketball tournament, and upgraded our Dish package so we could see all the games at home.  Yet - in most other areas of our life we economize and save $50-60K per year.  We're not wracking up debt to do it.

I love this site, and I love getting ideas.  But sometimes I think we (myself included in this criticism) can have a tendency to overthink these things.

We just received a small windfall (about $5K) from my grandpa's estate when he died.  I could fund my Roth for the year, but I'm not.  We're going to go to Ireland instead.

forummm

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 07:31:46 AM »
I generally dislike them. It's a lot easier to see what's going on when it's on TV, and you have the best seat in the house, convenient access to inexpensive foods of your choice, free parking, etc. Sporting events are so expensive and loud and take sooo much time. I get that other people like them a lot more than I do.

dandarc

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 07:39:13 AM »
I also like going to the games.  Last 2 games I've been to were B1G Championship games.  What I really want to do is get to a Michigan State home game one of these years.  I've been to a couple games at the Big House more recently than Spartan Stadium.  Bowl games, and to a lesser-extent Championship games are just not the same experience as on-campus.  Did love the "fan experience" at the B1G Championship game though.

Jouer

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 08:45:30 AM »
You want to talk time consuming: last March we went to the opening weekend of March Madness basketball. Back-to-back games on the Thursday afternoon, pop out for dinner from a gourmet food truck, back-to-back games again that night. 4 in all that day. Then watch the Friday games on TV in the hotel, then two games in-person that Saturday. I loved every second of it.....but it felt like a bit of a marathon.

The whole trip was pretty inexpensive because we got the tickets direct from NCAA (and weren't that expensive), and we booked our hotel well in advance so we got a decent price.

Bonus: we bought upper bowl tickets but went down to the lower bowl for the final game of the Thursday after half the crowd left.

Workingmomsaves

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2015, 08:50:57 AM »
My hubby and i love sporting events too.  We are debating about a cowboys game this season, but our hair is on fire so its probably not going to happen.  Last he checked lower level tix were $400 each.  Ouch, i think our couch and tv sound like a pretty good seat.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2015, 09:24:03 AM »
I'm a pretty big cricket fan. Last summer I went to (all at the MCG):

- Two days of the Melbourne Test match
- One of the Australia v India ODIs
- At least two Big Bash League games
- The Australia v England pool match in the Cricket World Cup
- The World Cup final

What I'd like to do down the track is go and watch the Australian cricket team playing an overseas Test match against every other Test-playing side. I'm already thinking I'll head to India in early 2017 to line up with Australia's next tour there. It might be a bit too early in the year to catch an IPL match as well :)

I don't mind going to a footy (Aussie rules) match every now and then. Maybe once or twice a season.

I'm intrigued as to why college sports are so popular in the States. What's the appeal of college football over the NFL? Although universities here don't seem to have sport teams in the same way as the US.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 09:26:01 AM by alsoknownasDean »

stlbrah

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2015, 09:33:50 AM »
Absolutely dispise watching strangers play sports. Its an activity that I cannot understand no matter how I look at it. Its like how can I benefit from watching someone else play ball? I do powerlifting meets so sometimes I go watch friends compete, but its a little different since I actually participate in the sport myself.

Unfortunately, I am the only male I know that feels this way, so I find myself watching sports at least a few times per year.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 09:37:54 AM by stlbrah »

dandarc

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 09:38:15 AM »
I'm intrigued as to why college sports are so popular in the States. What's the appeal of college football over the NFL? Although universities here don't seem to have sport teams in the same way as the US.
For me anyway, it is the connection to the team.  I was in classes with football and basketball players.  The starting point guard on our basketball team was in my honors-accounting section - maybe 30 people in there, and this guy was one of them.  There is a sense of ownership / community that just isn't there with the pro-teams for me. 

Then there is the tradition and pageantry.  The game being played is almost secondary.  Tailgating with 80,000 of your closest friends before the game.  The cheers you've been doing your whole adult life (for some even longer).  The marching bands.  The cheerleaders, the mascot.  Zeke the wonder dog.  The drum-line show between the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Honoring random teams from year's gone by during TV timeouts. 

I don't know, the whole experience is just better in so many ways compared to most pro games I've been to.

Janie

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 10:42:19 AM »
Nope. I just like playing

hodedofome

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 10:59:39 AM »
I love going to football games but I don't like spending money on it, so I only go when I have free tickets (which was 3 or 4 home games list year).


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magnuminator

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 01:31:46 PM »
I'll add another voice in support of "if you value it, do it".

One very cost-efficient compromise (provided that you live close to the stadium and avoid overindulgence in fancy booster donations) is to just go to home games.  I, too, love college football and given the relatively short season I think it can actually be a reasonably inexpensive choice.  I don't attend many away games but I keep season tickets for home and tailgate with a group of friends before most home games .  While that means sharing the cost of a parking space and filling the cooler, I get damn near a whole day's fun out of each game.  Since the home games only happen 5-7 times a year, the total cost can be reasonable.

I have season tickets to soccer, too, and the price per ticket is not too bad as long as you avoid the concessions.  But if the time comes to tighten my belt (*knock on wood*) my Husky football tickets are the ones I'll keep.  I say hold on to your tickets!

slugline

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2015, 02:32:05 PM »
I'm intrigued as to why college sports are so popular in the States. What's the appeal of college football over the NFL? Although universities here don't seem to have sport teams in the same way as the US.

The very large public universities that have the biggest fan bases (1) tend to have a lot of alumni that identify with the schools and (2) are located in smaller towns and cities that do not have NFL teams. Also, it's not an either/or matter. Conveniently, most college football games happen on Saturdays and most NFL games happen on Sundays.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 02:33:50 PM by slugline »

MoneyStubble25

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2015, 02:32:31 PM »
I'm going to back you here, especially as a fellow college football fan. I'm a Wisconsin season ticket holder, and also tend to travel for big games (including that shlubbing you guys gave us last year in the B1G Championship.) It's something I enjoy doing, and often attend games with friends and family, so there's a big social component as well.

That being said, attending these games can add up. You don't want to know how much I paid for floor seats for the NCAA Basketball Championship this year. I try to pick and choose which events to attend in order to limit my spending. For example, I'm passing on the season opener against Alabama because of the basket ball final.

To me it's all just part of living a rich life, and I can make up for this in other ways. If it means working a few more years, than so be it. I wouldn't want to be FIRE if I couldn't have my Badgers.

lbmustache

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 03:02:06 PM »
Absolutely dispise watching strangers play sports. Its an activity that I cannot understand no matter how I look at it. Its like how can I benefit from watching someone else play ball? I do powerlifting meets so sometimes I go watch friends compete, but its a little different since I actually participate in the sport myself.

Unfortunately, I am the only male I know that feels this way, so I find myself watching sports at least a few times per year.

I don't "despise" it, but to me it's more about the camaraderie and the fun you get to have with your friends, the energy of the stadium, etc. I don't care too much about the sport itself, especially if it's baseball. And cheap tickets tend to be in the area with the most "fun" fans who are also trying to save money.

infogoon

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2015, 10:35:51 AM »
Depends on the sport, really. I go to most of my alma mater's hockey games, but I generally watch football on television.

Daddyfatsax

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2015, 11:21:16 AM »
I've struggled with this too, but dream life involves Mizzou football and Cardinals baseball season tickets. It makes my FIRE number higher, but I love being in the stadium, especially big wins.

Since I'm still accumulating I compensate by going to much fewer games and get the cheapest tickets I can find. And I don't buy concessions of course.

mtn

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2015, 11:45:55 AM »
Hockey and Baseball.

I spent $800 on playoff tickets for the Blackhawks this year (Fiance and I) and then I spent $2,500 on tickets for me and my groomsmen to go to the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa. Worth. Every. Penny.

mtn

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 11:46:55 AM »
Hockey and Baseball.

I spent $800 on playoff tickets for the Blackhawks this year (Fiance and I, 2 games) and then I spent $2,500 on tickets for me and my groomsmen to go to the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa. Worth. Every. Penny.

Oh, I'll also be going to the BMW Championship (Golf)--although it may just be a practice round. But I caddied at that course for 10 years, so it is somewhat of a homecoming for me.

Trudie

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Re: Anybody Else Love Attending Sporting Events?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2015, 01:56:24 PM »

I'm intrigued as to why college sports are so popular in the States. What's the appeal of college football over the NFL? Although universities here don't seem to have sport teams in the same way as the US.

Because the US is so geographically sprawled we have far more college teams than professional teams in any sport.  People tend to ally with the colleges they went to, or the colleges near where they grew up.  It's fun, and it brings people together.  There are tailgates (picnics) before big football games and people socialize with other people.  It brings people together. 

Football especially is a spectacle.  There are all kinds of cheer squads and mascots.  The marching band plays a big halftime show.  The rivalries are often very deeply felt.

Personally, I am more of a college basketball fan.  I realize that the speed and offensive showmanship of a college game is less exciting than that of an NBA game.  But it's scrappy.  For me there's also an element of rooting for a "kid" -- it's a little easier than rooting for someone who makes millions of bucks.  I also live in the wintry midwest.  Watching my favorite college team play basketball gets me through the long winter, and then when spring comes (March) we have the big national tournament which we call "March Madness."  That's about right.  People form office pools, games are televised all day long.  It's crazy and it's fun.