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A Guide to Attending Sporting Events

By Jon Painter
On February 23, 2020

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The shot goes up, the crowd takes a collective inhale, time stands still and then the ball plummets through the bottom of the net. “Onions,” to quote the great college basketball color analyst Bill Raftery. The crowd, you among them, goes into a collective frenzy. Its beautiful, its pure pandemonium. The thrill of watching and experiencing sports in person is intoxicating and The Campus is here to guide you in your quest to quench the thirst. 

Going to a game at Ottawa University’s Wilson Field House is nearly always an exciting and raucous time. But what if you are looking to attend a game at a bucket list venue like Wrigley Field in Chicago or Madison Square Garden in New York City? There’s a lot more logistics to consider. 

Transportation and parking

If you are driving to the game, there are several important factors to consider. You’ll need to find somewhere to park. It definitely helps to carry cash, as it makes paying for parking easier. Generally parking will be cheaper the further away from the stadium you park. Planning can be helpful to park within a good walking distance of both a restaurant and the stadium if you are planning to eat before or after the event. 

If you do pay for parking with a credit card get a receipt and check your card statements to make sure you were not charged twice. In large cities such as New York City and Washington D.C., fans are encouraged to use public transportation to games. It is important to remember that some cities' metros shutdown after a certain time or run different schedules on weekends. With major events like international soccer games train schedules may be altered to accommodate the large crowds leaving the games. Traffic in and out of the game is also important to consider when timing your trip to the stadium. 

Choosing seats

Sometimes the seat closest to the playing surface is not always the best view. Sitting close and behind the bench at a hockey game, one's view could be obstructed by the team. Conversely, sitting behind the goal can provide excitement as hockey pucks whistle towards you and bang violently off the glass. Sitting further away from a football field can help give the viewer a landscape view of all the gridiron action. 

When attending a day baseball game, it is important to orient yourself away from the sun so you do not get roasted. Getting to a baseball game and hour early for batting practice is thrilling as walking around the outfield seats increases your odds of catching a baseball, although teams do not always take batting practice on the field, especially during the scorching hot days of summer. 

Many mid-major college basketball teams offer general admission tickets which means you sit anywhere in a specific area. This also means you are likely just sitting on a bleacher without back support. 

VividSeats, Stubhub, SeatGeek and Ticketmaster are some of the major online ticket marketplaces where tickets are available. One important thing to remember is that the initial price on the ticket listing is rarely the price you pay at checkout. Nowadays most tickets are able to stay on your phone and be scanned simply by presenting your phone at the gate. 


It’s not always all about the action in between the lines. There are many venues that are attractive because of quirks or delicious eateries that surround the stadium. Communities in the direct vicinity of the stadium can give the area a cozy feel and add to the gameday experience.

Some pubs will open early in the morning to accommodate large crowds and early kickoffs. Doing your research about the stadium, team and the town while keeping your ear plugged to social media can add a special surprise to your sporting roadtrip. Showing up to a baseball game early and on a specific giveaway day could reward you with a bobblehead.

Each different venue will have its own charm. Whether it's an aging minor league baseball stadium in the heart of Savannah, Georgia or the shiny new Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, there is something to be enjoyed by everyone. Fenway Park has a tradition of singing “Sweet Caroline” during the eighth inning whereas the roaring crowd during “The Star Spangled-Banner” for Chicago Blackhawks home games at the United Center is a must see. 

Competition and sports bring people together and it is beautiful to see, whether you are tucked in at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas or spread out at an empty Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.


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