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The Price Tag on Magic and Dreams: Comparing the Cost of a Disneyland Visit with Other Family Fun - Part 3 of 5
Part 1 of this series asked how families on limited entertainment budgets choose amusements that please each individual member of the family, while creating memorable fun for the family as a unit and getting the most out of each dollar spent in the process. Part 2 starred the breakdown of costs for taking the family to the movies. Now running onto the field is Part 3, with a look at what it costs to trot the family out to the baseball stadium.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
How about a day at the ol' ball park? The great American pastime, complete with peanuts, popcorn and sis-boom-bah. Hours of fun! (As long as you all enjoy baseball.) What's the price tag for this outing?
Major league game tickets can range from $12 to $120; more on weekends. Mid-range seats will run about $65 apiece. Add in the inevitable peanuts and Cracker Jack (and popcorn, hot dogs, sandwiches and beverages) to tack on another $20 to $30.
Souvenirs are not cheap at the major league ball park, either. Youth T-shirts run $20 to $35 apiece, and team jackets will set you back around $90 each. A team ball cap averages $15. Even Silly Bandz (those colorful, stretchy bracelets girls like to collect and wear, which are typically available in dollar stores) are ten bucks for a package of bands in baseball-themed shapes. $40 would be a mid-range price for a major league ball park souvenir.
$65 (ticket) plus $25 (snacks) + $45 (souvenir) = $145
Supposing the game lasts three hours:
$145 divided by 3 = $48.33
Hourly cost for the Major League Ball Park Experience: $48.33.
Add on to that the parking fee, which varies quite a bit, but $12 to $20 is not uncommon.
If you're lucky enough to have a minor league team near you, prices come down quite a bit: mid-range ticket prices hover around $9.00 each, burgers and sandwiches can be had for around $6.00, treats for $4.00 and beverages for $3.00, and you can bring home a mid-priced souvenir for around $18, making the total for a minor league game just a fraction of the major league prices at $40.00 for about three hours of entertainment.
$40.00 divided by 3 = $13.33
Hourly cost for the Minor League Ball Park Experience: $13.33
Again, parking is extra, and varies across locations, but $5 - $10 is typical.
The grand total can be reduced by purchasing special promotion tickets or buying family pack ticket-and-meal bundles, which are far more plentiful at minor league parks than at the major league parks.
A ball park outing is a great option if you have little ones who are big baseball fans. However, if your three-year-old daughter isn't keen on being seated for that length of time in a hard chair, watching guys toss a ball around and scratch themselves, this bargain may not be the value it seems at first glance. Remember, the goal is to find a family outing that all members of the family will thoroughly enjoy.
After reviewing the figures above, it's probably no surprise that the rising prices of tickets, concessions, souvenirs and parking at ball parks is taking its toll on ball park ticket sales.
Part 4 in this series will break down the costs of a Disneyland visit. Theme park expenditures range greatly from family to family, so to get a middle of the road feel for what an average family might expect to pay for such a trip, expenses will include regularly-priced park tickets, moderate meals and popularly priced souvenirs.
© M.S. Ross - All Rights Reserved
When's the last time you took your family to the baseball stadium? Was it a major league or minor league game? Did all members of your family enjoy it? Would you spend money on such an outing again? What might you do differently? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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