Is baseball a great way for families to connect or too expensive for most?

Last baseball season I thoroughly enjoyed seeing photos of our friends in Pittsburgh attending almost every Pirates home game with their two kids. I loved that they had carved that time out without iPads or ear buds to get in their way of sharing an experience as a family. They had three to four hours to sit together, talk and enjoy each others’ company during the game. (To me it’s almost like camping.)

Michael used to take me to tons of Braves games in college. I always loved going because unlike college basketball or even football, there was lots of time to talk in between actual things happening.

Now sitting through a baseball game just seems downright luxurious. Do I really have three to four hours to sit in seats with my family or friends and watch a game and not multitask? I cannot even imagine.

But the next question is: Are MLB games too expensive for most families to afford?

Here is a sample of prices from the 2013 season. From a 2013 Scripps Howard report that I shortened:

“The Fan Cost Index comprises the prices of four adult average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least expensive, adult-size adjustable caps. Costs were determined by telephone calls with representatives of the teams, venues and concessionaires. Identical questions were asked in all interviews.

MLB AVG           $27.73   $210.46

Boston            $53.38 $336.99
N.Y. Yankees      $51.55  $324.30
Chicago Cubs      $44.55  $298.20
L.A. Dodgers      $22.37  $204.95
Seattle           $28.45   $203.78
Colorado          $23.65   $196.60
Tampa Bay         $20.39  $155.54
San Diego         $15.99   $151.94
Arizona           $16.89   $151.55

SOURCE: Team Marketing Report”

So my questions are:

Do kids today find baseball to be too slow or boring?

Do you find it’s a lovely quiet way to connect with your kids?

Is it too expansive to go to games as a family? Or do you just budget for a spring at the ballpark almost like a vacation?

26 comments Add your comment


April 2nd, 2014
4:52 am

Having taken my kids to many baseball games, I find the slow pace of baseball works better for them, especially when they were younger.

Brother John Goose

April 2nd, 2014
5:34 am

Lighting them up today, Theresa. Google search…. cut & paste… write a few sentences…. Are you kidding me? Is this what you teach as a self proclaimed college professor???!!!

Pure garbage. Are you proud of your work? Its crap.


April 2nd, 2014
5:44 am

You either love a sport or you hate it. I hate Golf. I have seen more divorces over men that live to play golf, an beer expensive sport where men will spend an entire day away from home then return drunk. The family budget is often destroyed by the game.

The Braves are fun and affordable now, but they won’t be when the stadium moves to Cobb county. Our family has been season ticket holders for years and never once had an issue with crime going to the Ted, so those that say otherwise a rarity.

The so called rule abou sports is the smaller the ball, the bigger the bucks for the athletes. So baseball is not a cheap sport because of salaries and the fan demand to be surrounded by entertainment and luxury … Then they complain about having to pay for it. Just wait, the Cobb Braves will be a disaster all the way around. The luster will wear off and it will prices will continue to go off because the bills and players must be payed.


April 2nd, 2014
5:46 am

Spelling and grammar errors galore. Apologies. Should have coffee and fully awaken before posting.

Michael Giarrusso

April 2nd, 2014
6:19 am

Theresa honey, I know you will ban me but please take a serious look at the quality of your blogs. You like to state you produced a higher GPA than your husband but the quality – or lack of – with cut, past, write a few sentences at 10:00pm at night (or forgetting to post) is just plain poor quality without effort.

Remember when you had Michael write about going to UGA games? Or having Andy write in your place? Years ago you were producing but as Michael’s income went up the quality of this blog went down…. yet you post about having a higher GPA as if that even matters in the real world.

My advice: hang it up or put some effort into doing your job.

Now email the AJC and seek to ban me, like you always do honey buns.

Ward Gailey

April 2nd, 2014
7:17 am

What I like about live baseball is that it sort of slows down the frenetic pace of life. That’s a good thing. It reminds me of the old days. I become rather nostalgic. We need the grounding.


April 2nd, 2014
7:17 am

Most stadiums have some cheap seats, so I think it’s about as affordable as going to a movie. And MLB isn’t the only baseball out there — I know a lot of families that enjoy minor league games. T, you guys didn’t hit any spring training games in AZ? Seems like those tickets would be cheaper.


April 2nd, 2014
7:29 am

My solution, minor league games. Great fun, the ability to pass along the love of the game for 10% of the cost. Also there are many more attractions for the younger ones at the parks, at least the ones that I have been to.


April 2nd, 2014
7:37 am

We live near the GBraves stadium . It is SO much easier to go to a game there…no hassle with parking and downtown traffic. They have lots of family oriented activities. I enjoy a game in their stadium. We do head to the Braves stadium once or twice a year and that is enough for me.

Family Time?

April 2nd, 2014
8:19 am

Whatever happened to being a family at home? I fail to see how shelling out lots of money to go have someone else entertain you brings a family closer together. And if it does, what does that say about your family that this is the only way you can connect? Whatever happened to an outing in the outdoors? A backyard picnic? A big family dinner? Something that involved you DOING something as a family rather than just sitting on your butts while others are doing something? I mean a baseball game is fine, but if that is the only place you can “bond” as a family, you should really think about that.


April 2nd, 2014
9:02 am

I can only speak for my 5-year-old nephew. I took him to a Gwinnett Braves game last season and he was completely bored with the baseball game. However, he loved the rides in the kid’s playground section of the park.
It was a great way to connect and spend quality time with him. But actually, an Atlanta Braves game would have been a lot cheaper because if you arrive to Turner Field early, then you can get a ticket for $1. Also, you’re allowed to bring food and drink into Turner Field.


April 2nd, 2014
10:28 am



April 2nd, 2014
10:44 am

That index is a bit much. That’s a lot of stuff to buy at the ball park.

My boy and I take in 5 to 10ish games a year. I try to get me wife and daughter to at least 2 of those. It’s not cheap, but it is QT.


April 2nd, 2014
11:12 am

If you go to a game then WATCH the game. Endless chit-chatting with your kids is a distration for the people there who want to actually watch the game. Ball parks are no place for kids to be climbing around and playing while in the stands. If they can’t be attentive then the need to stay home.

If family time is “lacking” because of electronic devices then take them away from your kids and put yours down as well.


April 2nd, 2014
11:29 am

Looks like this post followed by yesterday’s is strike 2……what’s on tap for tomorrow?


April 2nd, 2014
11:56 am

If you write a blog for an Atlanta newspaper, why wouldn’t you include the cost index information for the Braves? It seems that might be information that someone in Atlanta may be interested in.


April 2nd, 2014
12:00 pm

Because TWG lives in Arizona and is soon to move to New York. Maybe now is the time for her to stop doing the blog since she hasn’t actually lived in the Atlanta area for several years and is probably out of touch with what’s going on here.


April 2nd, 2014
1:32 pm

Random question…I have no clue…do all journalists, who write for newspapers, have to live in the city where the paper is published? Anyone? Seems like there are MOMS all over the country and just because the AJC is where TWG started, does she have to live in ATL to be in the know about the topics? I really have no idea. Now if you were writing a column about say Atlanta and suburb school news, that would reasonable to expect that you have to live here in the ATL metro.


April 2nd, 2014
1:42 pm

I don’t think they all have to live in the city, but if it’s not a national paper (and the AJC really isn’t), then I think most of the bloggers should be familiar with and keep up with local bits of interest as they relate to their blog theme. Not every blog post will have a local focus (many here focus on broader parenting topics), and that’s fine – a mix is good. And I do think T has the knowledge needed to write for locals having lived so many years in Atlanta, but the posters above are correct to call out her failure to list Braves prices — the Braves are included in the article she linked to, so it was a bad omission to make when she shortened the list.


April 2nd, 2014
2:19 pm

If TWG were working for USA Today, then she could be anywhere, but the AJC is highly localized so I’m surprised she’s been able to continue the blog after moving. Yes, you can argue that mom/parenting issues are the same everywhere, but when you read an AJC blog, you expect local coverage..same for sports, you expect to read about the Braves and Falcons and not so much about teams in other cities.


April 2nd, 2014
3:01 pm

We find baseball to be fairly boring. However, we’re big futbol fans. However, we don’t have cable. So, we usually, as a family, walk down to the Brewhouse Cafe in L5P a couple times a month to catch a Premier league game. Go Liverpool!

K's mom

April 2nd, 2014
5:11 pm

We live in an SEC college town and we are finding that all of the sports outside of football are very affordable and very family friendly. Our almost 2yo is still too young to participate, but our 4yo enjoys them. We can go to basketball, baseball, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and even equestrian events. We go to one football game a year (we were season ticket holders until the little guys came along). I think it beats professional sports all the way.


April 2nd, 2014
6:51 pm

It seems to me, that since her blog is not specifically about being a GA mom, it doesn’t matter where she lives. This blog is just about being a mom. Some of the other blogs are more GA centric so I can see the writers having to live in GA but if it is just a general life blog I don’t see any reason why she would have to be in one state or another. I have seen quite a few blogs posted in papers where the writer didn’t live in that particular city. I mean think about it….do travel writers live in all the places they write about? I think some people are just picking just to pick. It always amazes me that people will actually take the time out of their day to read something that they KNOW they don’t or won’t like…then comment about how they don’t like it. It makes no sense. It kinda makes you look a bit silly. I mean why torture yourself? I don’t like reality T.V. so I don’t watch it and I generally don’t read articles on it even though almost EVERY news outlet has something on one show or another. That’s just me though.


April 2nd, 2014
6:52 pm

Don’t some college teams host kids’ parties? Seems like I heard a while back about the UGA baseball team doing parties as a fundraiser — they went to the game and got to meet the players and the birthday kid may have gotten an autographed ball or something. Do they still do that? Do any other teams?


April 2nd, 2014
7:52 pm

@ WitchyWoman ^^^^ LIKE.

I think TWG is kind of like someone who is initiating a chat and not everyone wants to chat about the same thing. Some bring very novel ideas to the chat and, in the end, we all learn something ( if we want to). Sometimes we learn things we really did not want to know…haha. I travel all the time and find it fascinating how some people are only interested in what is going on in their own back yard. Northerners who could care less about the south or southerners who have no idea what states are near enough to drive quickly to Boston. I love to learn all sorts of things. Last week, I was in Houston. I was sharing about things to do in the spring. It was hard for me not to say GO BRAVES when I mentioned baseball but I believe their team is ASTROS. I hope I was correct.

One thing I have learned, when we moved here almost 25 years ago sweet tea was a southern thing. NOW you can get it in almost any state that has Chick Fil A. Funny, to me.


April 7th, 2014
2:18 pm

Definitely not too expensive! This article really calls out the index on being unrealistic, illustrates just how inexpensive you can make it to go to a game with the family: