A day out at a sports game is a great option for family fun, although in recent years the rising cost of tickets has made many people question whether it is becoming prohibitively expensive for average households.
So is attending the big game with your spouse and kids in tow becoming an unaffordable luxury, or is this issue being blown out of proportion?
Game choice matters
While there is no doubt that buying tickets for sporting events has increased in pure dollar terms over time due to inflation and demand levels, there are actually quite significant differences in cost depending on the sport you choose and which team you see.
In 2019, the NFL was a great example of this; an average ticket to an LA Chargers game came in at just over $165, while at the other end of the spectrum you could see the Buffalo Bills play at home for an average of only $71.
The popularity of NFL means that it is still the most expensive sport to see, whether you go solo or as a family group. NHL is in second place, with an average ticket price of around $62, and the NBA is a close 3rd place at $55. If you are looking for the cheapest family day out at a sports game, then buying tickets to an MLB event will be your best bet, as average ticket prices hover at just over $30.
Whichever way you look at it, if you are planning to take your family to see a game played by top level professional teams, you will be hard pressed to get cheap tickets for everyone for under $100, and in many cases will need to fork out several hundred bucks for the privilege of attending.
Of course the good news for families that are on a budget is that you do not have to limit your sporting event visits to special one-off treats, because there are plenty of other games taking place in most parts of the country that have much lower ticket costs. You just need to be willing to steer clear of the high tier national leagues and instead seek out games of a local variety like contact sports.
Minor League Baseball is the best example of this, with average costs for a family of four to attend a game sitting at around $64, factoring in not only ticket prices but also food and drinks for every member of the party.
It is worth noting that just because you are seeing minor league teams take on one another, the standard of play will still be pretty high, because these are professional sides with up and coming rookies as well as experienced veterans.
The fact is that major league sports costs have more than doubled in the past two decades, so families will need to pay more to attend, while the best value for money and a whole heap of fun can be had at minor league equivalents.