What baseball signifies: Cheaper tickets and family atmosphere

By Erik Prado

Baseball is back everyone. Sure, the weather might still be iffy, but better days are ahead.

I can’t say that for the Cubs and their fans, however.

I’m not here to bash on the Cubs, as much as I despise them — with me being a White Sox fan after all.

No, baseball to me means much more than ridiculing a friend for their team allegiance. 

Baseball is the one sport that, because it is a 162-game season, can truly bring people together for months on end. 

I went to the Sox’s Opening Day on Monday with my brother, sister and recently retired father. This was the first time all four of us had been to a game together in years. 

Unfortunately, my mom isn’t a baseball fan. We can’t do anything about that. At least we got her a Sox shirt.

Anyways, not only was I with my family, but so were hundreds of others at “The Cell.” Seeing an entire row filled with young and old is what baseball brings is all about.

That cannot be said for football, despite it being the most popular sport in America.

I am fortunate enough to have been to more than my fair share of Bears games. Only three times have I gone with my siblings and father. We’ve never been to a Blackhawks game together either.

Seeing a family at Soldier Field is a rarity and the one time I did, I couldn’t help but wonder how much money was spent.

This doesn’t necessarily signify a declining interest, rather, it shows football’s game-day experience is less family friendly. According to a study conducted by the Team Marketing Report, average Bears ticket costs about $103.60. Factor in food and transportation, and a family’s wallet is going to take a hit.

Football is also a sport made for television, and this has been further enhanced by high definition televisions.

Baseball caters more to the family. The entire fan experience is generally cheaper, judging by ticket prices. I say generally because teams such as the Cubs have the third highest average ticket price.

However, a Cubs ticket that costs $44.16 or a Sox ticket that costs $26.05 is still more appealing than the Bears high ticket prices.

Yes, football is more exciting. But no other sport is as inexpensive based on the report.  

I know, baseball games are played at a much slower pace. Chelsea Dagger isn’t blared over the sound system and stadiums are smaller.

Yet, there’s just something great about having the ability to hop on the CTA to go to a game at the last minute, walk up to the ticket booth and not have to worry about the price.

If young adults need further incentive to attend baseball games, beer is cheaper too.

And families have all the incentive possible. I know my dad does. When we were walking out of “The Cell,” he said he plans to go to the most Sox games this summer than he ever has. His excitement echoed that of a small child leaving his first baseball game.

I can’t wait to be home from school, sitting right alongside him in our seats that cost less than $30.

You know why? Because I’ll be sitting back, relaxing and strapping it down to watch some baseball with my family.

Erik is a senior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @e_prada.