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Smart Buying

Go to More Ballgames -- on the Cheap

Go on weekdays, pack a lunch (but, alas, no beer) and you'll save big.

Paul Katcher is a rabid Yankees fan. Not satisfied with attending only the 15 games in his partial-season Yankees package, he scours the secondary market for bargains. "Even for a sold-out game, there will be 500 tickets available," says Katcher. "It has never been easier to get to games." Katcher logs on to FanSnap.com, where he compares ticket offers from secondary-market ticket providers. Last season he scooped up $29 grandstand seats for $5 or $6.

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There are plenty of ways to save at game time. A weekday afternoon game is cheaper than nights or weekends, and games against less-popular teams cost less. For example, the Chicago White Sox sell premium upper box seats (rows 1 through 6) on Mondays for $15. The same seats jump to $30 on other weeknights, to $34 on the weekend and to $44 if the team is playing the Yankees or Red Sox.

Brown-bagging it also cuts costs. Some teams, including the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks, allow you to bring in your own food (but not alcohol). Or look for an all-in-one price for a seat and food. The Orioles Left Field Club Picnic Perch includes a pricey club-level seat and unlimited hot dogs, snacks and sodas for $45. The Los Angeles Dodgers offer half-price food and drinks at some games.

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Avoid parking fees by taking public transportation or riding your bike. Stadiums such as the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field offer bike racks and indoor bike cages at no charge.

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