Major League Baseball tickets can sometimes be really tough to get, especially for the biggest games and the biggest teams. Our guide to buying MLB tickets is designed to help you simplify the process and save some money at the same time. Here, you will find all of the information you need to get the best seats at the best prices, and we’ll help guide you through some of the lesser-known points of getting to the game in the easiest and cheapest way possible.
The best way to purchase tickets for a baseball game is to buy them before the season begins directly from the team. This way you have the largest selection of seats and dates to choose from. And because you are going through the source, you are going to pay less when it comes to service fees.
But let’s face, rarely are we ever able to plan that far ahead. Let’s say you just found out that your boss is sending you out to Chicago for a business trip, and you’ll have time to catch a Cubs game. The game is sold out. Do you just give up? No way. You buy tickets from a third party. Gone are the days of needing to hang out outside the stadium and talk a scalper into giving you a decent price, though.
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The Best Time to Buy
When’s the best time to buy tickets? Obviously there are times where the price isn’t important and you will just take whatever tickets you can find. But if you have your choice of when to buy,
What’s the best time?
We’ve found that it really depends on the team and the type of game. For your average game in the middle of the season, the best time to buy is two to four weeks before the game. This is when ticket sellers begin getting nervous that their tickets won’t sell and cut their asking price. And because there are not yet enough buyers to drive the demand—and the price—up yet, prices are low. We encourage you to look at a few different ticket sites before you finalize your decision so that you can get the best deal possible. For our money, we’ve found that SeatGeek has the best prices and the lowest fees during this timeframe. But if you want to save as much as possible, be sure to bargain shop.
Can you save money waiting until the last minute to buy tickets? Yes, but only once in a while. Most of the time, prices start going up again at this point. This is especially true of the big games, such as you will find during the playoff hunt during the last couple weeks of the season. Also, with big-name teams, like the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, prices often jump up at the last moment because these are huge tourist cities. We know that you can’t always plan that far ahead, but it is the best way to save cash.
Have You Thought About Parking?
Parking is perhaps the most overlooked part of going to a baseball game. Overlooking this part of the game will not only cost you money, but it also has the potential to jeopardize your ability to actually see some of the game. So, long before you leave for the game you need to think about this.
First, we encourage you to use public transportation as much as possible. It’s cheap and it will help you to avoid a lot of the congestion that occurs in the parking lot and around the stadium. If you can park offsite and take the shuttle in and out of the stadium, your life will be a lot easier. These typically only cost a few bucks, if anything and they spare you the trouble of needing to navigate the crowds.
But if you are going to drive yourself, your best option is to plan ahead. A lot of stadiums charge for parking, and the best way to plan is to just buy your parking pass ahead of time. Sites like SeatGeek often have parking passes up for sale, and a lot of the time they are even cheaper than if you are to buy a pass on the day of the game. What’s even better than this is that you are now guaranteed a parking spot. There are only a certain number of parking spots at each stadium, and once the passes are gone, you’re going to need to find another place to leave your vehicle. This can cost you time at the stadium. By purchasing a parking pass ahead of time, you can save your spot and not worry about this.
Beating the Crowds
How many games have you gone to where the huge crowds of people have ruined your experience? Waiting in lines to get in, driving for a couple of hours trying to find a parking spot, unable to get a beer and hotdog because of the impossibly long line at the vendor—all of these things add to the chaos of a game and can make it a lot less fun. For some, this is part of the experience. For others, it is a huge hassle.
If you fall into that second category, we have some advice. First of all, leave early for the game. Arrive at the stadium before the gates open up. This will help you beat the crowds as you arrive. Be sure to eat well on the way to the game or just before you leave. You can still eat at the game, but the need won’t be nearly as strong. Have a drink or snack when the vendor walks by—this way you won’t need to leave your seat. And when it’s time to go, don’t try to fight the crowds. Hopefully, you’ve taken public transportation, but if you haven’t, wait a few minutes to let the crowds subside so you’re not fighting to get to your care.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to have more fun at the game!