My weekend, spent in New York with my girlfriend, was a little expensive. No, we didn’t crash in a Manhattan hotel, nor did we see a Broadway show. All of our time was spent in Queens. On Satuday morning, without any plans for the weekend yet, we decided to be spontaneous. Here’s what we decided to do at the last minute.
She and I decided since the Los Angeles Dodgers, the leaders in the National League West, were in town we should see them play our favorite team, the leaders of the National League East, the New York Mets.
We purchased tickets online and decided that rather saving money and getting “cheap” seats like we normally do, we’d go for the “best available.” Surprisingly, on the morning of a significant game, a pair of great seats by first base were available. They were $60 a piece, but we both had money saved up for “fun.”
We printed the tickets from her apartment and noticed something I had never seen before on a ticket. In a box, partially obstructed by some other information, was a line stating that each ticket was valid for one admission to the Diamond Club.
I had never been to the Diamond Club before, so it sounded like something we would have to try once. (It also sounded like something that would have us spending even more money.) As we were waiting for the train to take us to the stadium — we’d be crazy to drive with the U.S. Open going on in the same vicinity and construction for the new stadium taking place in the parking lot — I noticed some fine print on the ticket stating appropriate casual attire (no t-shirs, etc.) is required for admission to the Diamond Club.
We decided, despite our being underdressed, we would check out the scene to see if we could get in. Once we arrived, getting into the Diamond Club was no problem. We found some seats in the Grill Room, ordered some food from the slow waitress (who at one point informed us that she was having a bad day because they keep giving her more tables and she hadn’t had a chance to pee), and waited for the start of the game.
The servings were a bit larger than we expected, but that worked out in our favor. We had the leftovers wrapped up and we brought them to our seats in the stadium. At least there was no need to buy junk food throughout the game; we just ate the remaining chicken fingers and French fries.
The Diamond Club experience was fun, but probably something I won’t do again (unless someone else is paying). Also, we had the good fortune of choosing the only Mets vs. Dodgers game in the four-game series that was enjoyable, unless you’re a fan of slaughters.
I’m happy that I’m in a financial position where I don’t need to pinch every penny and extract all the fun out of my life. A few years ago, when I was struggling with a $28,000 salary and living, working and tax expenses adding up to a number higher than that amount, there’s no way I could have included a major league baseball game in my “budget.”
By the way, I enjoy minor league games as well. All the seats are great, and you’re up close to the players. The tickets cost much less, the food costs somewhat less, and the games are still enjoyable. The disadvantages are that you don’t get to see superfans, you’ve never heard of the players, and occasionally, you feel like your high school team — or even Little League team in some cases — can beat them.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published September 11, 2006.