By Jessica Mendoza
Photos by Gabriella Gamboa
It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning. The skies are crystal clear. The sun rays shine over the empty Oakland Coliseum.
There are still a few hours until the first pitch and only a few cars in the parking lot. A large group of people dressed in green and yellow shirts with “Galleo” written on the back gather around a table, laughing and engaging in casual chit-chat. The table is set with salad, chips and other snacks. Coolers overflow with ice-cold beverages, under the table. The majority of them is wearing green and yellow shirts. The Galleo Winery is having a company party, getting pumped up for the big game.
Several feet away is a couple, Fred and Kristin, sitting in the back of a black pickup truck with their friend Melissa, eating street tacos and drinking beer from a small cooler. Another couple, Salvatore and Lindsay, sit on lawn chairs, waiting for hot dogs to finish cooking on a small, portable barbeque.
Tailgating is a common “pre-game” pass-time for sports fans all over the world who are eager to cheer on their favorite team and enjoy some good grub.
“Tailgating with a group of friends is best way to save money,” says Ritchie.
Bay Area sports teams have been getting more attention this year than ever before, with the Giants winning two World Series’ in the past three years. The A’s defeating a drought and winning last year’s AL West division title, and the 49ers stealing a spot in the Super Bowl. The Raider’s roster may be under construction still, but they even have die-hard fans who will always have their back.
As for basketball, the Golden Gate Warriors are leaving their mark on the NBA, with rising young players like Stephen Curry, and by making an appearance in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. In the hockey world, the Sharks still continue to fight for the Stanley Cup.
As the popularity of these teams continues to rise, so do ticket and food prices, and sporting fans end up spending more money at the game than they did on entrance into the stadium. The average price of a beer is $10, nachos are $8 and even a water bottle costs $5. Are you a diehard Bay Area sports fan who refuses to spend extra cash on snacks? Here are a few pre-gaming tips that are sure to help you save some money.
Tailgate with fellow fans
For those who don’t know who don’t know, a tailgate party is when a group of fans gather together behind a truck or SUV and enjoy potluck style food and drinks before the big game.
“You can tell your friends to buy foods,” says Ritchie as he describes about dividing the food and drinks at the tailgate parties. “You don’t have to worry about buying food for a group of 12 people or more. You can ask people to bring their own food or drinks.”
“Tailgating before Raider games, you can bring a twelve pack of beer for $12 bucks instead of buying a one beer in the stadium,” says Jamey, a regular the SF State Pub, referring to when it comes to attending Raider games.
Bring your own food!
Before you go to the game, stop by your local grocery store and buy your own snacks. This is one of the best ways to save money, but what happens if you go to sporting venue and they don’t allow outside food into the stadium? The best solution is grubbing before the game.
Celebrating before the game
A lot of fans meet up at local eateries around the stadium, before the game. It doesn’t matter if its fast food, a cafe, or a sit-down restaurant- the chances of it still being less expensive than buying food at the game are great.
“When I go to Warriors games, I’ll go eat somewhere before” says Bryn, SFSU student, “I usually go to In-N-Out by the stadium.”
What about the booze? Sports venues make a profit on alcohol. It’s how they make the money. But it’s too expensive. The key is simple purchase a case of beer and split among your friends before the game. A great way to save money instead of buying drinks in the stadium.
“I usually buy six packs before I go to the games,” says Jamey about drinking before going to Giants games.
If you still think you might spend more money than you think you want to at the game, the best advice I can give you is to bring a set amount of cash with you. Take $40 with you and leave your credit card behind, that way you can’t just keep spending.
Take the train
It’s no surprise that parking in San Francisco or any other Bay Area city is a bitch. In San Francisco, the streets in the city are small and narrow, and jam-packed with pedestrians and other drivers. Paying for parking is another whole pain in the you-know-what. Before the new season of the Giants, the meters have gone up to $7 per hour and the cut off period went from 6p.m. to 10p.m.
The solution to saving money is to take Bart or Muni. The price for a Muni pass will cost $2 for adults, and Bart varies depending on where you are going, but is rarely over $8.
“I live in the Sunset (district) and I hop on the N line”, say Vinnie, when he goes to the Giants games.
Some Giants fans like, Bryn, take the ferry to the Giants. The ferry boats stop in front of the port walk. Bryn prefer to use the ferry then drive to the city. If you do, however, need to drive to a game, make sure you bring a group of friends with you who can split the parking fee. Ritchie and his friends carpool to Raider’s games and say it is a lot cheaper to split the cost of a spot.
“Carpool and pitch in for parking,” says Ritchie, “it saves us money.”
Go for the Nosebleed Section
It’s always nice to get tickets with a great view, or to have the chance to sit closer to your favorite team when you want to get a closer look at the players, however, these tickets can be very pricey. Most of the good seats, like lower box seats, can cost $60 or more. If you’re just desperate to get to the game, but don’t have a lot of money, try out the nosebleed section! All of the seats are designed for the audience to be able to see the game. Just because you don’t have the “top” seat, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the action.