Sunday, February 24, 2008

Economics of Fandom

Back in Chicago, we were White Sox fans. And, we went to what I consider a fair number of games in a season in spite of the fact that we never indulged in season tickets.

This was an easy way to be a fan, largely due to the hospitality of our friend Job. Not only did we have free parking at his place just a few blocks from Comiskey, but we'd generally barbeque before the games and save on food, too. An added bonus was that we had someplace to wait out rain delays, and we could use a clean restroom while waiting for traffic to clear. And, once Elise came along we had fantastic babysitters who offered their services for less than an arm and a leg.

When we got to San Jose, we were faced with the reality of the long trip to either SF or Oakland to see a major league game. Tickets are much more expensive, we have to pay for parking, the public transit stinks, we get hungry since it's about a 6 hour outing, and babysitting is consistently around $20/hour. We've been to two games in Oakland and none in SF. Major League Baseball is just not our thing here. It's even hard to follow the Sox since they're not regularly broadcast on TV out here. I'm not paying extra for a special baseball watching privilege. So long, Sox. We still love you, but you're too expensive here.

One option we have yet to pursue is the San Jose Giants. Elise is big enough to go to games this year, I think, so we'll head out to the thrill of minor league ball and probably have a lot of fun. For a lot less money.

Of course, watching Sharks on TV today reminded us that with our basic satellite service we can watch any game we want. We can walk up the street to games of a predetermined length if we want to shell out for tickets. This means we don't have to pony up for extra sitting just for travel time. We don't ever seem to have our act together enough to get the cheapest tickets available, but we're working on it. My goal (hahahaha) is to someday have friends who also like hockey enough to split season tickets. And if they also have kids we could split kid-sitting, too! One can dream...

Who knew sports fandom could be so complicated? Apparently, it's not all about just shouting at the television.


Anonymous said...

RozzieThe very best thing about minor league sports, is that they cater to families with children. They create family outing packages, making it very affordable. They provide special entertainment to appeal to families, with lots of kid participation that creates great memories. Often there is a play area with a safely fenced (top covered) sand box, swings, slides, where children can play and parents can bring their lawn chairs and still follow the game with a good view--and so much more. The St. Paul Saints (whose co-owner is Bill Murray) deserve kudos for their family-friendly antics and entertainment. We failed to attend a game where we were not greeted like long-lost friends, and asked at least half a dozen times by staff throughout the park, "Are you having fun today?!!"

Joe said...

The SJ Giants do a good job with putting on an enjoyable time. Though I hate the Giants, being an A's fan, I've gone to Muni more than once to watch teams play the Giants.
The park is 70+ years old, but you sit close and reasonably high so the sightlines are good. You've gotta pay to park, the on street parking has been changed to no parking around the park for the most part.
I don't know what kid friendly things they have there. But, it makes for an inexpensive date night for Mom and Dad. Since you like baseball, I think you'll enjoy the Giants.