Patrick Sauer, writer, stay-at-home dad, and die hard Mets fan gives us the wisdom of the ages, or at least this age, about which he is most definitely an expert.
If there’s one thing a family can’t afford in this great gilded city of ours, it’s a professional sporting event. A baseball game costs a small fortune what with the tickets, grub, novelty foam fingers and whatnot. Better to just root-root-root for the home team from the friendly confines of the family couch, right? Except that there is no better place to be on Sundays than Citi Field, and this may come as a surprise, but Mets games are one of the most affordable family outings in town. So long as you plunk down $33 – $53 for a Membership in the Kid’s Club
I know, I know, you’re thinking it’s just another gimmick, right? A free soft pretzel and a Mrs. Met stuffed animal or something. Nope, here is what a mere $33 buys you:
- Four (4) Promenade Outfield Tickets (upgrade to the $53 MVP membership and the tickets are field level)
- A lanyard, which for every Sunday you attend, gets stickered. The fourth game gets your kid an autographed player photo card and the eighth, a cap. If you make it to 12 of the 13 Sunday games, the kid gets a Mr. Met’s Kids Club t-shirt.
- One (1) complimentary scoreboard message (We did it earlier this season, and of course, I was too excited—way more than Molly, natch—to take a photo.)
- Four complimentary tickets to a Brooklyn Cyclones game. MCU Park is even more family-oriented with games, multiple bird mascots, a view of the ocean, the Coney Island boardwalk, and a playground in the outfield.
- Several other items kids love (and parents hate), such as a drawstring bag, Thunder sticks, bookmark, door tag, mini squishy baseball and a silicone wristband.
- And here’s the best perk: Kids with a Membership get an express line to the post-game “run the bases” on Sunday afternoons. This. Is. Huge. People start lining up in the seventh inning and it stretches forever.
Even if $33 is too steep, the Mets offer a Rookie Membership that includes two tickets and a lanyard for the price of… Nothing. It’s free.
If you’ve never been to Citi, know that it is nothing like the staid corporate awfulness of Yankee Stadium. Sundays are for families, so before the game, the parking lot becomes a carnival with a bouncy house, pitching games, ball toss, photo ops, and a live band where my daughter and wife cut a rug with Mrs. Met. Inside the park, there’s a mini-field where kids can hit off a tee and run the mini-bases, a dunk tank, a separate kid’s food window, and a Mister Softee stand, the only one in New York City that doesn’t come on four wheels.
If that’s not enticing enough, for Mom and Pop, there are endless food options including Mama’s of Corona, Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Two Boots, El Verano Taco, a grilled cheese stand, and of course, hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. And beer. Sweet, sweet beer. Choices include Brooklyn Summer, Six Point Sweet Action, and Bronx Rye Pale Ale.
That’s right, beer of A-Rod’s home borough is for the drinking, in Queens. And they’re $9.50. Try finding a craft brew at all at Yankee Stadium, let alone one for under ten bucks. And if you really want to do it on the cheap, pack a lunch, just make sure to bring juice boxes, no cans or bottles. Citi Field is happy to have your homemade peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.
If it sounds like I’m a shill, well, I am. Family Sundays are a hell of a lot of fun, and are helping teach my daughter valuable lessons such as:
Life is a Never-ending Struggle with Disappointment: Call it child abuse if you want, but Molly will be a Mets fan if it’s the last thing I do. Nothing comes easy, Tootsie.
Except, sometimes Life is Good: The past couple of seasons have been good to us Mets fans. This year things have gone a bit south, but we’ve suffered much worse, for a much longer period of time in years’ past.
There is Actual Value to A Dollar: Besides being a good deal (see, above), Molly has brought money from her piggy bank to buy treats and trinkets, or two-in-one with the helmet sundae.
Singing Out Loud With a Big—Err, Medium-Sized—Crowd is Super Cool:
Molly knows all the words to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and well, none of us actually knows the Italian lyrics to Lou Monte’s “Lazy Mary.”
But who cares? Mambo away, kids.
Behind-the-Velvet-Rope Access is to Die For: Admittedly, I had a pang of parental angst as Molly flashed her lanyard past the VIP entrance—I don’t even know where she picked up that move—but I’m not going to lie. Skipping out on an hour wait in the sun makes waltzing past the commoners palatable. Besides, it’s New York City, dog-eat-dog, right? Not right? Well, it’s $33 remember, not exactly hedge-funder coin.
It’s a steal. Do it up. Lets Go Mets.
Patrick Sauer frequently writes about Sports and culture for Vice Sports, The Classical, Deadspin, Narratively, and Biographile. He has written for such publications as NSFWCorp, ESPN, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and SB Nation. His essays have appeared in “The Moment,” “Lost & Found,” and the “Six-Word Memoir” series. Originally from Billings Mont., he now stays-at-home-dads in Fort Greene. For more check out patrickjsauer or follow him @pjsauer.