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The Lie we Share About Attending Sports Events

Posted by on March 21, 2014

Admittedly, attending each and every Green Bay Packers game for an entire season will not be cheap. To quote a line from Fletch: “it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes …Larry Holmes could figure that out.”

Yes, we know the drill: Game tickets, gas, plane tickets, Hotel rooms….the list goes on and on.

You hear the same argument for attending NBA games: “It’s just too expensive to attend an NBA game…and there isn’t any parking downtown.”

Here’s the truth: If your NBA team were winning, you would pay for it. You would take your son or daughter. You would buy logo’d gear and take them out to dinner before the game. You would even turn on the radio to listen to the post-game show on your drive home.

And there is plenty of parking by the way. NBA cities don’t build 18,000 seat boxes and neglect the concept of parking. The truth is there might be a lack of FREE parking; or perhaps the walk from the free parking is a challenge during winter.

The only true reason not to show up is because it’s almost unwatchable – which, to some, explains the 2014 Milwaukee Bucks, But that’s a monster argument for a different day.

The Alternatives

Newsflash: Affordable sports options exist for families. It doesn’t matter where you live — Milwaukee to Manhattan.

There is always a lesser-known, high quality entertainment option waiting for your dollar. You don’t have to repeat the lie we all tell ourselves from time to time:

 “It’s too expensive.”

Here are 3 reasonable options:

College Basketball

Milwaukee Panther Basketball!

Milwaukee Panther Basketball!

I recently took my son to both a Men’s and Women’s college basketball game at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

The Men’s team played Oakland University on Super Bowl Sunday. It was a noon start in the central time zone so we had plenty of time to check out some D-1 hoops  and get back home for a Super Bowl party. (We went to the women’s game a week or two prior.)

The crowds for both games were not large to say the least, but the play on the court was Division I college basketball – a nice first taste for my son, then age 6, who is beginning to play the sport himself. We caught free t-shirts at both games and the women’s team hit 10 shots from the 3 point stripe which meant free Queso and chips from Qdoba.

During the men’s game we witnessed history:Oakland University Guard Travis Bader passed J. J. Redick for the career NCAA Division I record for three point FGs made.  That was a pretty nice footnote to my sons’ first live college basketball game.

 Cost: $10 for Adult $6 for kids. $8 concessions snack. (Minus free t-shirt and Queso.)

Minor League Hockey

It’s a bit more costly than Horizon League college hoops but it’s a long way from the pricing of the NHL. Again, and I know it’s the sound of broken record here, but kids don’t know Patrick Roy from Peter Pan. The puck moves fast. Big bodies hit boards causing thunderous crashes and fists get thrown. It’s hockey at its most pure and if your minor league team is decent you may see some kid who’s a Milwaukee Admiral one week and a Nashville Predator the next. The other great thing is minor league sports teams often have very creative marketing departments. We’ve seen: Bring-your-dog-to –the-arena-night and headliner concerts as a post-game value-add. Dierks Bentley to Vanilla Ice…Music for all tastes.

Cost: $60 including concessions. (for 2.)

Indoor Soccer

I sort of have the “Jim Rome” view of soccer. If memory serves Mr. Rome is not a huge fan of the sport. Nor am I or dare I say: was I…

Funny things happen when you have kids who play soccer — as I do.

 A kid who plays soccer, and is good at it, usually likes it. Shocker I know, we tend to like the things that we are good at.

Fostering strengths as the motivator, my son and I went to a Milwaukee wave game during the 2013 MLS season. Pricing was affordable and our seats were near the field, which brings up another point about minor league sports.

With seating being more affordable, you can usually get the good seats, which gives young viewers a whole different perspective. I know I said kids don’t care where their seats are and I stand by this, but they also obviously get a gleam in their eye when they are close to the action – duh.

 Are adults any different? If you had Rock-star floor seats to any NBA game, you would go every time. It’s a different game when you can hear the player conversations and actually hear the snap of the net after a swish. And let’s be honest here, adults can be bigger posers then most teens. We all like to “be seen” once in awhile.

Minor league sporting events allow you to be Jack Nicholson, just don’t forget your sunglasses.

Cost: $60 including concessions (for 2.)


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