With America in a tough economic situation, and the Rust Belt states faring even worse, citizens of this country are spending less and less each day. Among the things that they are cutting back on are sports. There is no pressing need for tickets to hockey, soccer, or even football games when you need to worry about car and house payments. Yet, somehow, in all of this, attendance at baseball parks has soared. Even the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park, who were the first team eliminated from the playoffs, are still selling out. It can not be because the games are more compelling (they are not) or because there are better stories – it must be for some other reason.
Normally, I get into Columbus Clippers games for free, as I am a member of the press. I pay for parking, but then get a free seat with a good view, free food, and free drinks. Except when I was writing my article about Huntington Park, I never really thought about the cost of going to a game. Last night, however, my father and I headed out for a night on the town, and I realized exactly how great Minor League Baseball really is.
My dad and I pulled up to the park, and paid to leave our car on some pavement - $3. We then got some decent seats in the reserved sections - $12. Next, we grabbed a hot dog each - $6. Finally, as my dad doesn't drink, I grabbed an icy-cold beer to quench my thirst - $6.50. All together, we spent $27.50 for the night. That's right, in a large city, a father and son can have a great time out for less than $30.
Then it hit me: this is why people come to the ballpark, even with the economy in the dumps. While tickets cost a lot more at bigger parks, the small parks around this country are easily affordable, and they offer great entertainment. Where else can you got for just $9 (assuming you bring in your own food) and watch some amazing plays and games? The parks are one of the best values for your dollar in today's America.