By Chris Dato • September 10, 2014
When it comes to watching a football games, it is hard to beat the comfort and convenience of your own couch. Especially when you consider that the average price of a ticket to an NFL game is $82, the thought of having to pay for a ticket AND put on pants to watch the game can seem downright silly. Still, every sports fan understands the intangible value of actually being in the stadium to support your team. When I was just a young, budding sports fan, this conundrum led me to some useful tips on how to take in the electric atmosphere of an NFL stadium on game day without turning my pockets inside out.
Purchasing your tickets is the first step on your journey to the stadium, so it is critical that you get off to a good start. There are many extenuating factors what will affect ticket prices, so the key to a good deal is to strategize.
Where you buy your tickets will have the greatest impact on how much you pay. Stick to the internet. Ticket Liquidator is a fantastic source for affordable event tickets, especially football games. All you have to do is go to TicketLiquidator.com and search the name of your team, and they will provide you with a list of upcoming games and ticket options. Not surprisingly, Craigslist can also be a great place to score seats for cheap. Season ticket holders will often sell the tickets to games they are unable to attend, which can mean big discounts.
Contrary to what you might think, buying early isn’t necessarily the most cost effective tactic. As kickoff draws closer, sellers will be more motivated to get rid of their tickets. So the closer you can get to the tickets ‘expiration date,’ the more likely you are to get the best price. On average, buying tickets within 48 hours of the game will cost you 30% less than buying 2-3 weeks in advance according to an article in Time Magazine.
Games that have a more crucial impact on the team’s season are always going to draw in bigger ticket prices, as will rivalry games, so avoid them if you can. Pick a week when your team is hosting a low ranked opponent, as this will mean cheaper tickets. As a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, I know this fact all too well.
Don’t worry about trying to get the closest seats you can. Let’s be honest: no budget ticket is going to give you a better view of the game than you would have on your television. Keep in mind that it is the atmosphere and experience that you are paying for, and there is plenty of that in the nosebleeds. So save the extra money by taking the cheap seats, and catch the highlights on SportsCenter.
As someone who grew up in around Los Angeles, I know what it’s like to get gouged for parking. A great way to avoid outrageous parking fees at the stadium is to use public transportation to get to and from the game. Nearly all sports stadiums have bus stops and/or train stations on-site. On top of saving on parking and not having to fight the traffic on the way home, you will be free to enjoy the festivities without worrying who will drive after the game!
If you do choose to drive, there are still ways you can avoid paying top dollar for parking. Websites like Parkwhiz.com make it easy to find discounts on parking. Go to the website and enter the date and time of your event, as well as its location. In addition to showing you all of the available parking in the area, Parkwhiz offers you exclusive discounts and even allows you to purchase a pass and reserve a spot.
The final tip is to get there early. Sure, the game will be exciting, but that is only a small part of the experience. Be sure you show up with enough time to enjoy the uniquely football tradition of tailgating. The smoke coming off the open grills, footballs being tossed chaotically through the parking lot… that is the experience you just won’t get at home. All you need is your team hat from Lids and a case of beer as an ice breaker and you will have no trouble fitting it! Make sure to check out promocodes.com for exclusive Lids discounts.
Just like in football, the key to a successful evening is a solid game plan. With these tips in your playbook, you will be all set to kick this NFL season off right!
Chris Dato A Southern California kid born and raised, Chris is happiest with sunglasses on his face and sand under his back. Although a self-proclaimed master money saver, he prefers the term 'responsibly frugal' to 'cheap.'