Whether it is the Olympics, MLB All-Star Game, NFL Superbowl, NBA All-Star game, or any other major sporting event, everyone wants to go. But tickets to these games are not only hard to get but expensive, making it hard for a family to attend together. Fortunately, when the events come to a city, they often have other activities geared for children and families that are free or less expensive. These can be a great alternative for a family that wants to experience the excitement of the game but tickets may not be in their budget.
This summer, the MLB All-Star game was in San Diego and Family Entourage didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to experience it! Like so many other hopeful fans, we scoured websites to try and find affordable tickets for our family entourage to attend. But when we saw how much tickets were going for, we decided to just check out the activities that were held throughout the city. Also, having a little one, we didn’t know how long he would last at a baseball game since we haven’t brought him to one yet. There were lots of festivities including PLAY Ball Park with coaching stations for fans of all ages, Soul Pose MLB All-Star Yoga, Budweiser MLB All-Star Concerts, MLB All-Star Fanfest, Nike Color Run MLB All-Star 5K and MLB All-Star Pepsi Block Party. We decided to check out the MLB All-Star Pepsi Block Party.
(San Diego Petco Park for MLB All-Star Game 2016)
Here’s how our family did AT BAT that day:
Ball 1 –We scored a FREE Parking Spot! Yes, it was a Sunday, but with a major event going on downtown, parking was scarce. We circled several times past lots with spaces for $20 and $40. We almost gave up but then we found a street spot! Even though we had to hike a few blocks, we still couldn’t pass up the free spot.
Ball 2-Once we got to the MLB All-Star Pepsi Block Party, there were lots of fun booths to check out. You could make a t-shirt with your favorite team, swing for the fences in a batting cage, clock your fastball and more. There were lots of fun photo opportunities too.
Strike 1-About 30 minutes in, the heat started getting to everyone. We wanted to cool down and sit down. But with lots of people, there weren’t many places to find shade or rest. Everyone was getting grumpy and irritable.
Strike 2-I suggested going into one of the booths that had a fan blowing on it. But that turned into an argument. Being grumpy, hungry and hot only made the argument worse. At this point, no one wanted to do anything. I even suggested going back home. We had 2 balls and 2 strikes, our at-bat could have gone either way, but it wasn’t looking too hopeful for us at that point.
Ball 3 – And just like that our at bat changed! Just then, I heard a guy say, “The first five people who come to me and show me a picture from the Pepsi photo booth will have a chance to win tickets to the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.” I dashed up to him. Thankfully, we had taken a family photo at the Pepsi spot minutes before our meltdown argument. I was one of the five chosen to play the game!
FULLCOUNT-Every fan and person that has played baseball or softball knows that the batter wants to get a hit and get on base. At this point, they are fighting for their pitch and do not want to strike out. The man said, “These five contestants are going to be playing for tickets to tonight’s game. We will be playing the Pepsi-version of Simon Says.” My entire body was shaking as I played. I wanted to win the tickets so badly for our family. And one by one the first two contestants were eliminated. Then I stood side-by-side two other women and we went through several rounds. No one was breaking. And then, just like that both of them were eliminated in the same round. HOMERUN!!!
We not only got a hit, we hit a homerun! We couldn’t believe it. I was jumping up and down. It was surreal. Our family enjoyed watching the Futures Game and Legends & Celebrity Softball game. From Drew Brees’ homerun to Jamie Foxx cracking up the audience with his antics, we enjoyed taking it all in. Our son got to experience his first baseball game and had a blast. He loved dancing to the music and even got on the Jumbotron.
When we got in the car, we still couldn’t believe we had won tickets to the MLB All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. My husband asked, “So how did we even win those tickets?” I said, “I heard the guy make the announcement, ran over and showed him the photo that we took.” My husband then asked, “So if we had been in the booth with the fan we probably wouldn’t have heard him and we wouldn’t have had the chance to win tickets?” I said, “You’re right. It was a wise decision not to go to that booth.” We just started laughing. What started as a family argument, became a memorable day for our family.
Whether or not your family entourage makes it to the ballpark this summer, our day out was a good reminder that:
- There are lots of free or less expensive activities for your family to enjoy surrounding large sporting events.
- When the family is hot and hungry, conflict is bound to happen. Try to resolve it if possible or table it for a discussion when everyone has calmed down.
- Be flexible! While we loved winning the tickets, we would have been content with all the fun things we got to experience at the MLB Pepsi Block Party. When our son got tired, we decided to head home even though we didn’t get to watch the entire game.
(The Nazars enjoying MLB All-Star Futures and Celebrity Softball Game)