A Cheat Sheet to the Cheap Seats: Guidelines for Sports Fans at Games

A Cheat Sheet to the Cheap Seats: Guidelines for Sports Fans at Games

After you buy some great, cheap sports tickets and head out for a day at the ballpark, there is nothing worse than finding yourself sitting next to an obnoxious, deadbeat sports fan. Whether you are sitting in the cheap seats or in a luxury box, the obnoxious fans can rear their ugly heads. Sadly, many people don't realize they are this terrible fan. Here are some tips and guidelines for being a model, fun-loving fan at any game.

Wait for a Stoppage in the Game to Leave and Enter Your Seat

During the first quarter of a game, there should be a free pass to all arriving at their seats. This means regardless of the action on the court or field, you should allow people to get to their seats. This doesn't mean that those arriving at their seats should abuse this right. A classic way this occurs is with the drop and dash. Fans will arrive late to a game, drop off their jackets at their seats and the leave to go get concessions. If you are arriving late to a game, get your concessions in order before you arrive at your seats.

After the first quarter of play, you should wait until a stoppage in play to leave or return to your seat. At a football game, this can be between downs if you hurry; at a hockey game, it can be before a face-off; and at a basketball game, it can be during free throws. Yet, you should be nice enough to all the other fans you need to crawl in front of to get to your seat even when nothing is going on.

You should be considerate regardless of whether you bought cheap sports tickets or you spent a fortune. If you notice someone on your row has trouble standing or is elderly, then try to find a different way out   there are usually two ways to exit. When others are coming in and out of the row, stand up. Don't be the person that sits there like a European monarch and forces others to crawl over the top of you to get to their seats.

Pass Along Giveaways to Kids

Freebies seem to be part of the game day experience now. This can include foul balls in baseball, T-shirts coming from mascot operated cannons, Frisbees, stickers and mini-Nerf balls. There is some type of herd mentality that occurs at games that many people forget themselves and will stop and nothing to get one of these free prizes. How much do you think these giveaway items cost? Think how much you spent on your football or hockey ticket to watch the game; is it worth a $2 T-shirt to make a fool of yourself to get it instead of enjoying what you came to see   the game?

One of the best thing you can do whether you're in the cheap seats or a luxury box is to pass along freebies to kids. If you were lucky enough to get something tossed at you, make a real impact and give it to a young sports fan. A cheap plush football will most likely find its way to your trash can, but it will be a cherished memento to most kids and help build their fandom.

Language

Just because you bought a sports ticket doesn't give you the right to drop foul language, regardless of what your team, favorite player, referee, know-nothing coach, lost father figure, crazy mascot, angry opposing team fan, commissioner of the league or ex-wife did or is about to do. In case you don't know, the people your salty rant is intended for won't hear it unless you are sitting courtside. The only people that will hear it are the people sitting next to you. And to burst a bubble, those sitting next to you don't want to hear it. Be courteous and don't use foul language. There is nothing against being loud, but being offensive will get you kicked out of most modern sports arenas.

Know When to Say When

Speaking of something that will get you kicked out of modern sports arenas, it used to be that you would be sold alcohol until you were no longer conscious enough to find the beer vendor. Yet, after many complaints and potential liability by sports teams, the modern stadium has a harsher view on those that buy cheap sports tickets to get loaded. Most stadiums now have alcohol enforcement units dedicated to cutting off fans before they get too hammered and kicking out fans that have gone over the line. If you plan to drink at a game, drink responsibly; everyone around you will be pleased you made this decision.

It seems that the bottom-line for sports fans is to realize that when you go to a game, there will be other people there. I know, shock! Being part of a fan base is a great thing, and cheering your team to victory is wonderful. Just be aware so that you are helping to build a better atmosphere at the ballpark and so that you're not part of the problem of being an obnoxious, deadbeat sports fan.

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