Keeping Score: Going to a Game Vs. Watching It at Home

KeepingScore

If you’re a big sports person, you know how pricey it can be to head out to a game. When it comes to major sporting events, the average cost of a football ticket is around $85, while the average cost of a hockey ticket hovers around $60. And the average cost of a mega game like the Super Bowl? A cool $3,950. Here are the pros and cons of going to the game versus watching it at home or at a sports bar, and ways to save on each:

Going to the Game

Pros

From tailgating to cheering and jeering in the stands among fellow fans, there’s nothing quite like heading out to a game to watch your favorite sports team play. You can enjoy camaraderie from the crowd and get an unmatched high from the group energy.

Cons

Catching a game in person can be expensive. Besides the actual cost of the ticket, there’s parking, pricey food at the concessions, and the hassle of getting there.

How to Save

When scouring online for cheap game tickets, check out reseller websites for the best deals. “If your team isn’t doing well, and the game is unlikely to sell out, you can find some great bargains on reseller websites with season ticket holders looking to unload their tickets for less than face value,” explains travel hacker and sports enthusiast Lee Huffman of Bald Thoughts.

If you’re traveling to see a game, Huffman recommends using hotel or airline points accrued on your travel card to save some money. Using the same card when paying for any expenses during the game will in turn help you rack up reward points.

Instead of driving and having to shell out dough for parking, take a bus or shuttle to save some money. Plus you get the added benefit of being with a bunch of pumped up fans to get you hyped about the game. You can also skip the expensive concessions and tailgate beforehand. Look for easy tailgating recipes that will save you time and money.

Heading Out to the Sports Bar

Pros

“There’s something cool about giving a high-five to a stranger in the bar when your team does an awesome play,” says Huffman. While you may not be in the actual stands watching the game, at a local sports bar you can still enjoy a good chest pump with fellow sport aficionados while enjoying a brewski on tap. Plus you don’t have to brave the elements if you’re in an outdoor arena.

Cons
Make sure you go to a bar with fans who are rooting for the same team as you. Otherwise some fighting words may be exchanged and potential sparring might ensue.

How to Save

Most sports bars offer game day food and drink specials. You can also check your Yelp and Foursquare apps for check-in deals. If you’re hanging out with pals, you can split the costs of a bucket of beers and a bunch of appetizers.

Staying Home to Watch It

Pros

Besides being a major time and money saver, you can easily pause the game to grab more food and beverages or to take a bathroom break and not miss out on any of the action. If you don’t have cable, you can always watch it via live streaming on the Internet for free.

Cons

If you’re watching at home, you might not have the best audio-visual setup (i.e., a gigantic TV, surround sound) to have the ultimate home-watching experience.

How to Save
Watching the game at home will be the most budget-friendly option. If you want to enjoy the game with some friends, throw a potluck or pool together your money to order some delicious eats and beer.

So whether you plan on heading out to watch the game in person or enjoying it in the comfort of your home, finding ways to save money will keep you in the green. You don’t have to dish out major coin to have a great time. What’s important is creating the ultimate experience within your budget.

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