Few things in life gave me more pleasure than listening to Harry Carey sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame. WGN was pretty much a cable staple in the 1980′s, so I watched more than my share of Cubs games. Carey would start yelling and slobbering in the middle of the seventh as several video shots of the crowd are panned through the air. The Chicago people went nuts everytime I ever watched, singing along with Harry.
To analyze a bit, being taken out to the ballgame is going to require a stop at the nearest ATM machine. Parking around most stadiums usually runs between $15-$20. Tickets, depending on a seating preference, are widely varied. $35 is a fair average for a ticket before all of those taxes and fees make it a $45 expense. So if a man takes his wife out to the ballgame, he is looking at a $100 bill before he can even watch batting practice.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks… a few bucks for these snacks. Figure on a hot dog and a couple of beers each. Another $35, easily pitched away. Food and beverage prices at live sporting events is totally outrageous. The markup is usually about three times of what a decent restaurant would charge.
Root Root Root for the home team… as the owners count up what we are throwing at them. Don’t forget that the average commute to a major league stadium is about 45 minutes. Gas is definitely not cheap. Figure on using at least three-quarters of a tank to get there and back.
Now comes the worst part. Major League Baseball can’t seem to decode the secret combination. If you have a couple of kids with the wife, it turns into about a $300 day. Airfare from Youngstown to Florida is cheaper. The stadiums that draw sellouts could care less. The small market teams who draw an average of 20,000 could do a better job marketing packages for families. So you sell four seats for $10 apiece. Wouldn’t that make more sense than seeing the bright paint of all those empty upper deck seats?
So, if you are planning to go to a game this season, plan on spending some serious cash, or its One! Two! Three! $trikes You’re Out At The Old Ball Game!