I don’t watch many sporting events on television. No need to plan my Sundays around football games. Rarely tape any sports on my TiVo. Wait, I don’t have that special device anymore, boo! But when I did, it was only set to record the BIG games/events. Superbowl, World Series, check. U.S. Open Final, Stanley Cup, Indianapolis 500, you get the idea. The big ones.
But I love going to any sporting event. I like the action on the field, court, course, again, you know the drill. I also really enjoy the people watching. That’s often worth the price of admission. Seeing the fans’ love of the sport. Hearing & seeing adults revert back to their childhoods. Jumping up from their seats. High-fives. Throwing their popcorn at the field, thinking that might make the umpires change their calls.
That’s an event all by itself. Foam fingers pointing, terrible towels waving, people banging their feet on the ground because they’re prompted by jumbo screens saying, ‘GET LOUD.’
Last Sunday my husband and I had a great opportunity to go to our second NFL game to see our home team the Denver Broncos play the team I’ve cheered for most of my life because I’m a Ohio girl, the Cincinnati Bengals. Yes, I’m aware of the Cleveland Browns. I grew up closer to Cincinnati. Plus, I got to work with Boomer Esiason.
It was actually my third NFL game. My first was in 1981, I was senior in high school and my band and drill team performed pre game and half time at a Bengals game. A playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. It was cold, most especially because of the short skirt & boots I wore as a member of the drill team. It was a sell out crowd. And it was memorable.
Having the chance to attend a major sporting event is special. Seeing the Broncos beat the Bengals was thanks to my new association with Colorado Chevy Dealers. My first assignment after being selected a Chevy Socialite was to go have fun at the Broncos game. Tough gig. Three cheers for that assignment!
I’m no pro at attending professional sporting events, but I’ve been fortunate to attend a pretty good variety so far. I’m sharing a few tips in case seeing an event live is on your list of things to do. I highly recommend the experience. I still have a few sports I’ve yet to see played live, but hopefully I’ll get there.
Tickets to a big game/sporting event? Now what?
- Consider your travel time to the venue in normal traffic. Now add at least an hour, two is probably best. Don’t have a parking pass that will get you within blocks of the event? Add at least another hour.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Ladies, I adore cute shoes, sexy heels. Walking a few miles to get into the venue and then walking at least a mile once inside, up and down steps and ramps? You’ll thank me.
- Take cash. If you don’t have a parking pass, expect to part with some dough for parking. In Denver, we saw parking off grounds starting at $45. We drove nearly two miles out for a $10 spot. Remember I suggested you wear comfortable shoes. I passed a lot of stylish ladies walking really slowly. The grimaces on their faces negated the cute shoes they were wearing.
- Go to the bathroom before you leave for the event. The hunt for a parking space, the walking to your seat? Yeah, that.
- Eat a decent meal before the game. The food inside is not super friendly to your wallet. Some is better than others. But $6 hot dogs and $7 burritos, plus $4/$6 drinks add up. Like fast.
- Consider buying water, snacks, other drinks and memorabilia outside the gates. Again, another reason for cash. My husband bought a Broncos hat a mile away from entrance for $18. The same hat inside would have been near $30. We passed on the $1 water or $2 nuts. Inside they were $4. We would have had time to consume them before entering on our long walk.
- Check the venue website before leaving. We saw a couple seated next to us with a tiny cooler. They got out my favorite Vitamin waters & juice boxes for the kids. That saved them at least $20. We bought a commemorative cup with a drink for $5.75 and then left it behind in the seat cup holder. Dang it.
- Unless the event is indoors, take sunscreen. We were lucky this time as we sat on the shaded side of the stadium. But whoa. The folks seated on the ends and opposite of us looked like lobsters as they walked to their cars. For outdoor late season and playoff baseball & football games invest in hand warmer packs and long underwear.
- Pack light. Most security and volunteers will now do a general pat-down upon entrance and they’ll look inside your purse/tote bags, etc. They did allow my camera with zoom lens, my husband wasn’t sure they would. I wanted better photos than my smart phone would provide. Another reason to read the rules on their website prior to going. See what they’ll allow.
- Throw napkins or wipes into whatever bag you take into the venue. A fan behind me dropped a drink. Yes, it splashed up on my backside. No, he didn’t mean to do it. I was prepared. It would have been a bummer to have to walk down to the restroom to get towels.
- Sometimes the best action and fun are not actually in the game. Scan the seats around you and the sidelines for fun photo opportunities.