Minor League Baseball Games Are Fun And Cheap

Last week, my dad and a couple of his friends organized an annual get-together where they go to a baseball game. This time, they chose to go to a minor league game about an hour and a half away (the Lansing Lugnuts).  They invited me as well as the son of one of the other guys, so it ended up being the five of us.

In all my years, I have never been to a minor league game before.  And, I have to admit it was pretty cool.

We went on a Monday night so it was pretty lightly attended.  There was maybe 1,000 people in attendance.  Our tickets were in the front row along the first base line.  The field was pretty close to the seats so we had to be pretty watchful for foul balls (and the two teams seemed to hit a lot that night).

That was pretty light attendance, though the other guy around my age, who lives in the city, said that Thursday nights are pretty popular, because they have $2 beers.

Which leads me to my other point.  It can be pretty cheap.

The tickets were much cheaper.  One of my dads friends ended up getting the tickets and wouldn’t accept money, but they were $10 apiece.  The ‘regular’ price of a beer was $6.  These are much cheaper prices than at Comerica Park, which is where our major league Detroit Tigers pay.  Comparable seats would run at least $30 and the beers there, I believe are at least $8.

(And, they don’t have $2 beer nights…probably not since the 1980’s!)

We found a spot on the street to park about two blocks from the stadium, and the meters weren’t enforced after 6pm, so parking was free.  Tell me the last time that ever happened attending a major league game?

The drive is a little long, as I said, about an hour and a half.  Otherwise, I think it would be great fun for Little Boy Beagle.  A major league park is almost too overwhelming, and let’s face it, at his age, his attention span isn’t all that great, so he’d get just as much out of a minor league game as he would out of seeing the ‘Lansing Lugnuts’ play.

The game itself was entertaining.  They were playing single-A ball, which if you follow baseball, you know is about the lowest tier of the minor leagues that there is.  Loosely translated, it means that it’s full of guys who are either just getting started or who definitely aren’t talented enough to make it to the major leagues.  There were a combined five or six errors, not very good pitching, but this led to a pretty good amount of hitting (sixteen runs in total), and hits always spark excitement.

It’s a pretty laid back atmosphere, and the people there seem to enjoy themselves.  The weather was (as is probably the theme of the summer) hot but not really that bad.  The stadium is 16 years old, but honestly, looks almost brand new.

Unfortunately, because we have a major league team, this (as well as Toledo, the AAA affiliate for the Tigers) is the closest we can get as far as going to see a minor league game.  The owners of the major league teams don’t want minor league teams to draw ticket sales and such away.

If it were a bit closer, I’d probably go a little more regularly.  If you’re in an area where you have a local minor league team, I would definitely advise checking it out.  Chances are you can walk up and get tickets (avoiding service fees), but if you do, the games can be entertaining, the crowds lighter, and the concessions cheaper.

It’s definitely worth checking out!

Have you been to a minor league baseball game?  What’d you think?

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13 thoughts on “Minor League Baseball Games Are Fun And Cheap

    • True, and the concessions seem to be a little cheaper too, not to mention what you save in parking costs.

  1. Not a baseball fan, but we have a minor league hockey team, and I love going to see them play. Their stadium was purposely built right next to a major park and ride center, so it’s always free parking. The venue is small and was built with ice hockey in mind, so there’s not a bad seat in the house.
    We’ve also been to indoor football there- which I found to be a lot more fun than gong to a Seahawks game.
    shanendoah@the dog ate my wallet recently posted..Sunday Evening Post #53My Profile

    • Sounds like good fun. As long as you’re not tied to one particular team, you can still have a great time.

  2. I’ve been to several minor league games. The St. Paul Saints were by far the best. They have an emcee who never leaves the mic. He heckles the opposing hitters in between pitches, says “TRAIN” whenever the train just beyond the outfield goes by and does gimmicks/giveaways in between innings.

    Minor league games often lack pitching, as you mentioned. But for casual baseball fans, there probably a better fit. I’m taking a bachelor party to a game in September. Same price you (would have) paid, $10 tickets for front row box seats. I also find that the concessions are better: bigger burgers, funnel cakes and even gyros at one ballpark. Lots of fun for a few bucks.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money
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  3. I went to one many, many (O.K. many, many, many) years ago. It was entertaining, and a lot of fun. That team is well over a thousand miles away now, but we’ve got another one that’s only 100 miles away. One of these days, we’ll have to get out there and watch them play. Don’t forget the local high school and amateur leagues if you have them. Admission is usually either free or very low, and while there probably isn’t going to be beer, refreshments will still be very reasonable. Plus, you can support the local youth while your at it!
    Shane @ Beating Broke recently posted..Protect Your Business with Hiscox Insurance UKMy Profile

    • That’s true, I took my son to a high school football game right near the house last year, and he loved it.

    • I think I’ll definitely try to get my son out next season! The only issue is that the nearest minor league stadiums are each over an hour away.

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