SPORTS DIVA’S GUIDE TO GETTING CHEAP SPORTS TICKETS

Many thanks to blogger Itinerary Planner for suggesting a post like this.

(Check out her blog, Travel Itinerary for tips even if you aren’t doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour . )

You’re going to either Dallas, Houston , Los Angeles , Miami, or even Tampa – St. Pete for a little rest and relaxation , right?

ABSOLUTELY!

But this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour , remember, so you’ll be going to a sporting event whether it be a baseball , hockey, football or basketball game .

It might be your favorite team that you’re going to see, or a team that you really don’t like, but you want to see a game anyway .

Or it could be a team or sport that you know nothing about , but you want to take in everything in the city.

Besides, all the travel guidebooks about the United States and Canada all say that this is something you should do when visiting both countries, so why not?

Set some money aside and join in the fun at a game.

This is where the Sports Diva comes in.

I’m going to give you some tips for getting to a game on “the cheap”.

I should tell you that as much as I love to watch football and some of the stadiums are on my bucket list , attending an American football game, aka the NFL , can be VERY expensive , depending on the team.

A lot of fans either get their tickets from other fans who don’t go to the game or the majority of them are seasons ticket holders and there’s no way in hell they’re giving up those seats, unless the team is really bad or moves to another city, which seems to happen a lot in the National Football League.

I rarely go to the football games, because as much as I love football, the Sports Diva isn’t mortgaging the house for the most popular sport in the United States .

Instead, I’m going to tell you about the three sports whose games I attend the most, baseball, basketball and hockey.

Let’s say you’re in New York City , and you want to attend a New York Knicks basketball game.

Sounds good, but don’t even think that you’re going to get a cheap seat right on the basketball court so that you can yell and scream at Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, along with the rest of the Golden State Warriors .

That’s not going to happen in any basketball arena no matter if you’re in New York City to see the Knicks or if you’re in Memphis to watch the Grizzlies .

We’re talking cheap tickets, not blow your budget on your trip.

You have other things to do while on your 30 Plus Teams Tour .

You want tickets at a reasonable price .

Depending on the team, you can get tickets from the team’s own website, from NBA tickets.com, or a third seller .

I happen to use a site called VividSeats.com, but there are others.

I use VividSeats.com for hockey and baseball tickets also.

Don’t worry if you think these tickets are fake, they’re very legitimate and they’re the seats that ticket holders don’t want .

If you’re from another country, keep in mind that you might not be able to use some of the websites that I mention, so your best bet is to just go onto the team’s own website.

You want to attend a hockey game while you’re in town?

Depending on the city or team, tickets are fairly inexpensive.

If you happen to be in a city like Toronto , Montreal , or New York City , hockey tickets are some of the most expensive due to corporations buying up tickets and giving them to clients, who spend most of the game on their phones and not watching the game.

They hardly have a clue who any of the players are.

If you happen to go to a game, you can spot these “fugazy fans” a mile away .

They’re the ones in the suits or the team apparel that they just bought from the team’s store a few hours before the game started and they and the person they brought to the game with them , are taking selfies like they’re the newest hot model.

But I digress , and I’ll talk more about these posers passing as fans in another blog post.

When I go to a hockey game, I get my tickets in a couple of different ways.

You can go on the NHL ticket exchange, the team’s own website or have a friend that’s a season ticket holder.

That last option only works if you know someone in the city that you’re going to visit.

As with basketball , don’t get it twisted.

For some unknown reason, people who go to a hockey game either want to sit directly behind the glass or next to or behind the benches of either team.

These aren’t cheap seats, no matter how good or bad the team is.

The whole purpose of going to a game is to do it as cheaply as possible .

Sitting right behind the glass just isn’t it.

While I’m throwing out tips, let me give you a real important tip on seeing a hockey game on the cheap.

The higher up you sit, the more action you’ll be able to see, and believe me, this is a sport where you don’t want to miss ANY action.

If it’s too expensive to see a NewYork Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden , you’re in luck.

The New York and New Jersey area have two other hockey teams.

One plays in Brooklyn at the Barclay’s Center and the other one plays at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey .

Tickets for both of these teams are very inexpensive and the good news is that you can get to both of these arenas by public transportation if you happen to be anywhere in the New York City area.

The last sport, baseball, is the cheapest of all, no matter what stadium you watch it in.

You can sit in the bleachers, behind home plate, behind the dugouts, where the teams come out of, and the nosebleed seats.

You can even do standing room, which isn’t as bad as its sounds, and you’ll be able to see EVERYTHING.

For baseball, there are several different ways to get cheap seats if you want to see a game.

You can go to the team’s own website of course, a third party, and MLB.com.

(That stands for Major League Baseball . )

There’s another way as well.

Depending on the team, you can walk right up to the window at the stadium either the day of the game, or on a “do nothing in town” day and buy your tickets.

It’s hard to do this with any other sport but baseball, and who knows, you might be at a game where it’s “giveaway day”.

You might leave the game with a team scarf, hat, jacket or a bobblehead of the team mascot or a current or former player .

One word of warning though, and this applies to all three sports.

Beware of people approaching you and asking if you either need or are selling tickets.

Just say no and keep it moving.

These people are scalpers and by and large the tickets they’re trying to sell you are bogus.

You want cheap but don’t take it to the point where you’ll get embarrassed or in jail.

Scalping is illegal in most of the United States .

Do your homework before you leave.

Check the team’s schedule to make sure that they’re going to be in town.

If you have friends that live in the city that you’re going to, ask them if they want to go to the game too.

If so, send the money or give it to them at the game.

I dont need to tell you how many times I’ve done this.

Another thing you could do if you happen to have friends in the city is get a big group together and get a suite at the arena or stadium.

That might sound great, but do you really want to see the game in a place where you have unlimited food and drinks or do you want to be where the action is , near the other fans?

I can see many of you saying , “I’ll take unlimited food and drink for 1,000, Alex.”

Also in some of these cases, you won’t get a paper ticket.

It’s all mobile now so have your phone ready because it’s going to be scanned by ushers as you enter the building .

Don’t worry if the name on the ticket isn’t yours.

It’s the name of the person who sold the ticket.

Here are some of the websites to use:

MLB.Com

Ticketmaster.com

VividSeats.com

NBA tickets.com

SeatGeek.com

NFL.com – Good luck finding an inexpensive football ticket. If you find a seat for less than $100, depending on the team, go for it.

NHL Ticket Exchange is part of Ticketmaster, so let’s say you’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Vancouver , Canada and you want to see a game up there .

Go on your mobile device and plug in NHL Ticket Exchange Vancouver Canucks and it will bring you right there.

Whew!

Sorry that this post was so long and I want to thank Itinerary Planner for suggesting it.

Leave me a comment in the comment section if you want more ideas about seeing a game cheaply.

As usual , thank you so much for liking and supporting my blog .

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SPORTS FANS ARE THE SAME IN THE UNITED  STATES  AND  CANADA , RIGHT?

If you  happen  to  live outside of the United  States  or  Canada ,  you’re  probably  saying to yourself, “why do these Americans especially ,  care so much about this thing called ‘The Super Bowl  “?

The rest of the world  gets excited about  soccer’s  World Cup ,  but people  in the United States  and Canada, by and large, really could care less.

Some of us and our good neighbors to the North, actually are interested  in the World Cup.

But not really.

The  Super Bowl ,  which features the two best American  football teams, is quite another story.

It’s  not just about the commercials  that some companies  pay an arm and  a  leg gor, nor is it to see the big name entertainers  that do their thing at intermission ,  which football fans call “halftime  “.

Some of us have placed bets not only who’s  going to win, but by how many points  one team is going to LOSE by.

Many of us like to watch  just for bragging  rights . 

We can’t  wait to tell our friends or coworkers that hate our team that we are the champions (pardon the pun.)of the National  Football  League for the wwhole  year.

Many people  who aren’t  Canadian  or American  want to know just  what  it is about sports that get us all worked up and do really stupid things.

What does it mean to be a fan and aren’t  fans of all the four major sports the same?

Nope, and the Sports Diva is here to tell you the difference  between  the baseball, football ,  hockey and basketball  fans in the United States  and  Canada . 

Some of them might be  familiar  even if you don’t  live in either the United  States  or  Canada .

I could start by telling  you about the  baseball fans who attend and watch, “The Subway  Series” games between  the  Yankees  and the Mets for bragging  rights  in New York  City . 

I could even try to describe  the nastiness  between  hockey fans in Canada, that is  “The Battle  of  Alberta” between  the Calgary  Flames  and Edmonton  Oilers  hockey teams . 

This rivalry got so nasty that at one pojnt, two politicians from Edmonton  and Calgary actually  got into a fistfight  over their teams . 

One may wonder just what is this nonsense all about?

You may think to yourself ,  people shouldn’t  get worked up over other people bouncing  a ball, hitting a ball, throwing  a  ball, or slapping a hard black disc over the ice.

But some of us do, and yeah we paint our faces in the team colors and wear funny looking wigs in the team colors as well.

You might think all of us sports fans are crazy but you don’t  see the difference between  fans of the four sports.

It’s  a lot of screaming and yelling, you say.

It’s  not really that serious.

As  a  sports fan myself, I can tell you that fans of baseball, hockey, football  and baseball are very different . 

I’m  going to tell you how different they are.

Baseball  is the sport that most Americans  grew up watching, and many of us were first introduced  to the game by our grandfathers  and father’s  or in my case, my aunt.

Baseball  isn’t  the most  popular  sport in this country, because  a lot of fans find it very boring.

As a result,if you go to a baseball  game ,  most of the fans of baseball are older and more traditional . 

They don’t  want any changes to  their sport at all.

A lot of them are by and large ,  over the age of 40.

It’s  also one of the cheapest  priced sports tickets to buy . 

Baseball  fans by and large do support their teams, but fans of both New York teams, Boston Red Sox,  Chicago  Cubs, St.Louis Cardinals  and Philadelphia  Philies take it to the extreme.

These  cities   live and die by their teams.

Even Canada has gotten  into the act.

In hockey mad Canada ,  it’s  the Toronto  Blue  Jays  baseball  team  that’s  known  as  “Canada’s  Team.”

Basketball  is the sport that many young people  gravitate  towards.

To say that they’re  excited about  it  would  be  an understatement . 

It might be due to the flash and glamour of the  sport, not to mention many of it’s  stars . 

In many cities though the average  basketball  fan is being priced out of his arena, even if you’ve  been  a fan when the team was pretty bad.

If you happen  to  attend  a basketball  game  in  either the  United  States  or  Canada ,  don’t  be surprised  if most of the “fans” sitting in those seats are either actors, actresses ,  politicians ,  other sports stars  or rap singers.

Madison Square  Garden in New York  City  and Staples Center  in Los Angeles  are famous for their “celebrity  row  ”

Basketball  fans do love their teams  and will spend  a lot of money on team apparel ,  but attending  a basketball  game  now has become  less fan friendly  and more like an event that one goes to be seen at.

The last two  sports fans  are very similar  and they have some of the most passionate fans in any of the major sports.

It’s  Hockey  and Football . 

Hockey is popular in Canada where most of the fans actually played hockey themselves . 

It’s  not so popular  in the United States ,  but in the places where it is popular ,  you have some of the most rabid fans ever.

Hockey fans, no matter if they’re  in Canada or the United States ,  aren’t  only passionate  about their sport ,  but their favorite team and players.

(I should know, I’m  one of  those  passionate hockey fans!)

Male and female  hockey fans love  talking about hockey not on  to other hockey fans but to non hockey fans who don’t  seem to get it.

Hockey fans will be buy every hockey apparel  that they can, whether it’s  the team they support  or even a player they like who plays for another team.

Hockey fans will ride and die for their team and they will even tell you why their team is better than yours.

Depending  on where you  are, hockey tickets  are fairly easy to get.

This might be because  a lot of  Americans  don’t  follow  the sport . 

Unless you’re  in Canada then tickets are fairly expensive ,  even if you do go on a website like NHL  Ticket Exchange ,  in which season ticket  holders give away their seats because  they can’t  use them.

Lastly we’ve  got Football ,  which is the most popular  sport in the United States . 

Most of us in the country know someone  who played football  and if you happen to be from the Southern  part  of the United States ,  especially, Louisiana ,  Georgia ,  Florida, Alabama ,  Texas or Mississippi ,  not only did you play football in elementary ,  high school  and colkege, there’s  a good chance that   your grandaddy and daddy also played . 

Like hockey, football  has many female fans and you’d  better believe  that a lot of us know the sport  and really aren’t  shy about yelling at  the referee for calling a penalty on our  team.

We will also swear and curse at players on our own team if one of them drops the ball, just like we see male fans do.

Football  games are the most expensive  sporting  events  to attend ,  but the stadiums  are ALWAYS sold out, no matter how bad your team is.

Many fans are season’s  ticket holders and they really don’t  want to sell their seats unless the team really is doing bad.

Football fans, like their hockey  counterparts ,  take being a fan to a whole  another level . 

Let’s  call it one step below cray cray, shall we?

Only a football fan would tell you proudly that their team is special because they’re  known  as  “America’s  Team”.

(That’s  the Dallas Cowboys ,  by the way and yes, they are known as “America’s  Team”)

Like hockey fans, football  fans will not only support their team at home, but they’ll  make that trip to another stadium and well, act the fool.

At a hockey game, depending  on the team, you might see one or two fans wearing the jersey of opposing teams.

Football  fans, being the step above crazy that they are, you’ll  won’t  be able to count how many fans you’ll  see wearing the other teams jersey.

There’s  THAT many of them.

Also unlike the other sports ,  you will NEVER see a football fan wearing the jersey of a team that isn’t  playing.

Going to  a football  game  is like going to  a Halloween  party ,  even though it’s  not.

You’ll  see fans wearing “Cheesehead” hats at a Green  Bay Packers  game.

(Wisconsin  is the leading producer of cheese in the United  States  in case you weren’t  aware.)

If you go to an Oakland Raiders  game, you’ll  see fans wearing  every sort of scary attire, not just the Raiders football jersey.

(Being in the midst of the Raiders fans isn’t  known as “The Black Hole  ” for nothing.

Unfortunately ,  like hockey ,  football  is known not only for the nastiness on the field, but in the stands as well . 

It might be because  of  the  amount of  alcohol  served at both games, but it’s  more of  a case of, you know , people  not acting like they’ve  been  there before.

So the next time you see a game in the United States  or  Canada ,  whether it be on TV or in oerson, and you’re  under the  impression  that  fans are all the same, no matter what the sport is, think again.

HELLO CHARM CITY – BALTIMORE , MARYLAND – HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS – DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE

FB_IMG_1502721265895FB_IMG_1502721258067FB_IMG_1502721371156FB_IMG_1502721272176FB_IMG_1502721356176FB_IMG_1502721287858In an earlier  post ,  I  mentioned  the Hampton  Inn  Downtown  Convention  Center  as a hotel  option  if you’re  visiting  the  city  of  Baltimore .

(See sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/08-09-Hello-Charm-City-Baltimore-Hampton-Inn-Downtown-Convention-Center  )

There’s  another  hotel  that I  would  recommend  if you  happen  to  be  staying  in  town .

It’s  located  on North  Gay Street  and it’s  not really  that far from the  Hampton  Inn .

It’s  the  Holiday  Inn  Express  Downtown .

When  you  walk  into  the  lobby ,  you look  around  and  you  get  the  feeling  that  you’re  in your  local  bank.

You aren’t  that  far  from  the  truth .

This used to  be  the  Old Town  Bank of  Baltimore  and the  hotel  has  kept  many  of  the bank’s  features ,  like the interior .

As with  many  hotels ,  check in time  is 3pm and check out  time is Noon.

The hotel  isn’t  only  close  to  the  major  Baltimore  attractions  like  the  Inner  Harbor  and  the  Convention  Center ,  but it’s  also  close  to  one  of  the  major  hospitals  in  the  country ,  John Hopkins  Medical  Center .

You could  walk  to  the  Inner  Harbor  from  the  hotel ,  but they  make  it  so easy for  you  not to  do  that .

There’s  a  complimentary  hotel  shuttle  that  not only  brings you  to  the  Inner  Harbor ,  but John  Hopkins  as well  as  the  Convention  Center .

Are you  going  to  Orioles  Park  at  Camden  Yards  to  see a game?

(Of course  you are .  This  is  a  30 Plus  Teams  Tour, after all . )

They’ll drop you off  as close to  the  stadium  as possible  as well as  the  Baltimore  Basilica and the restaurants  in Little  Italy  as well .

The  shuttle  runs until  midnight .

They won’t  pick  you  up  at the  Baltimore  Thurgood  Marshall  Airport  or Greyhound  Terminal ,  but if you’re  coming on an Amtrak, the shuttle  will pick you up at Baltimore’s  Penn Station .

Just give them a call .

The  hotel  does offer  a breakfast  buffet  as well as  a  fitness  center .

Don’t  look for  a  pool  though .

There isn’t  one.

Like  the  Hampton  Inn ,  the rooms  are  spacious ,  with  a  microwave ,  refrigerator ,  coffee  makers ,  and big mirrors .

You don’t  have  any fantastic  views of the two  stadiums ,  but with the  shuttle ,  you’ll  be  watching  baseball  and football  in no time .

There aren’t  any  restaurants  next door or across  the  street  from  the  hotel ,  but there’s  a  24 hour 7-Eleven ,  which is okay in my book.

Perfect  for  those  late night  munchies .

The  hotel  isn’t  close to  public  transportation ,  but  the  shuttle is your best friend , just make sure to  check  the  times that  the shuttle  runs.

Holiday  Inn Express  Downtown  is another option for you if you happen  to  be  staying  in town .

 

Holiday  Inn Express

221 North Gay  Street

Baltimore ,  Maryland

410-400-8045

 

MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY

It seems  like  every  day  is  some  kind  of  holiday  in  the  United  States ,  whether  it  be  Memorial  Day ,  which is  considered  the  unofficial  first  day  of  Summer ,  Labor  Day ,  which  is  considered  the  unofficial  last  day  of  Summer ,  or even  President’s  Day ,  which  if  you’re  of  a certain  age, was really  two  holidays ,  Lincoln ‘ s  Birthday  and George  Washington’s  Birthday .

We even  have  Columbus  Day  and Martin  Luther  King ‘ s  Birthday  as holidays  also .

Need we even  mention  July 4th  with  all  those  fireworks  that seem  to  go on before  and  AFTER  July  4th ?

Some people  want to  carry  it a little  bit  too  far  and  make  Super  Bowl  Sunday  a holiday  here in the  country  also .

Don’t  get  me  wrong ,  I  love  watching  the  game  and not for all those  commercials  and  the  halftime  show  that seems  to  go on  forever ,  but let’s  not  get  carried  away  here, folks .

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t  nor should  it be  considered  a  holiday .

When I  was growing  up ,  I wasn’t  one of  those  children  who couldn’t  wait  for Christmas  just  to see what  I  would  get from  Santa  Claus .

Christmas  still  isn’t  my favorite  holiday .

Thanksgiving  also  isn’t  my favorite  holiday.

It was just another  day  to get with the  family ,  stuff our faces and watch  a  lot of  football .

That hasn’t  changed ,  although  instead of  giving thanks ,  stuffing  my face with a lot  of  food, and watching  football  with the  family ,  I go over to  a girlfriend’s  house to do the same  thing .

Then, as now, January  1st ,  New Year’s  Day  will ALWAYS  be my  favorite  holiday .

Forget about  the  fact  that  everybody  and their  mama  seems  to  have  celebrated  just  a  little  bit  too  much  the night  before ,  at the time ,  I  was too  young  to  understand  why folks would  do this  to themselves  on this one particular  day. FB_IMG_1501844169540FB_IMG_1501844180404FB_IMG_1501846375774FB_IMG_1501844320125

Now that I’m  older, I’ve  turned into  one of  those  people  who  I wondered about  when  I  was  younger .

January  1st  not only  meant  the  start  of  a  new year  and new cities  to  explore  on your own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  but on  a  personal  note ,  it’s  28  days away  from  my birthday !

( Yeah, it’s  all about  me, don’t  judge.)

There’s  still college  football  games to watch on TV ,  but not as many  now as there was when I  was growing  up .

Of course ,  besides  that Mimosa  that you  were having ,  you had to watch the Tournament  of Roses  Parade  and check out  all the  floats  decorated with ,  what else?

Lots  of  roses of every color .

But now, January  1st  means another  sporting  event for me to enjoy.

The National  Hockey  League  has  their annual  outdoor  game called  The Winter  Classic ,  which for the  past couple  of  years  has been  held  every January  1st .

Some  things  just haven’t  changed on my  favorite  holiday .