One of the most fascinating experiences you can have in the United States is going to an MLB game. Whether you love baseball or you just want to enjoy the great atmosphere that this sport brings to New York, it is definitely something you have to experience during your trip.
1. MLB teams in New York
New York Yankees
It is the most legendary team in New York with the most titles won in the four major professional leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL). The New York Yankees were founded in 1901 and have won 27 World Series out of the 40 they have played. They belong to the Eastern Division of the American League and play in the legendary Yankee Stadium located in the Bronx.
- Where: One E 161st Street. One E 161st Street.
- How to get there? By bus taking the Bx13 line (161st Street/River Avenue stop) and by subway taking the B and D lines (161st Street Yanke Stadium stop).
New York Mets
The other great team of the city is the New York Mets. They were founded in 1962 and to date have won 2 World Series, although they almost won another one in 2015. They are also part of the Eastern Division albeit of the National League and play at Citi Field stadium in Queens.
- Where: 41 Seaver Way. 41 Seaver Way.
- How to get there. By subway taking line 7 (Mets/Willets Point station).
2. What is the MLB season like?
MLB (Major League Baseball) is made up of 30 teams playing in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), with 15 teams in each league. The curious thing is that, although they compete in the same league, the Yankees and the Mets belong to different divisions of the MLB as the former play in the American League (AL) and the latter in the National League (NL).
Each season the teams play 162 games and five teams from each league qualify for a four-team postseason championship, which ends with the World Series, a seven-game championship series between the winner of each league that has been held since 1903.
Preseason (February - March)
During the preseason, friendly series tours are held between February and March to prepare the teams and encourage the fans for the start of the new season.
Buying baseball tickets for preseason games is usually cheaper, although the quality of the games is lower, since teams often reserve their stars and they are in the middle of their training camp.
Regular Season (April - early October)
The preseason is played from April to early October with a 162-game schedule. During those months you can watch the Yankees or the Mets play in their respective stadiums.
In the Regular Season there are two dates of great importance:
Traditional Open Day: Held in early April. All 30 MLB teams play on this day to open the season.
MLB All Star: Takes place in mid-July. It is an annual baseball game between the best players of the National League and the American League.
The Playoffs or playoffs begin in October. The winners of each division qualify for this stage: east, central and west. These teams are defined as the teams with the most wins during the season. The champions of each division win their direct pass to the Divisional Series and the two wild card teams that qualify face each other in the Wild Card Game.
The winners of the Divisional Series then qualify for the Championship Series. In these semifinals, the top two teams from each league, the American League and the National League, face each other.
At this stageof the competition, only the best teams are left standing and they play each other in the playoffs. The games become even more exciting and the price of baseball tickets for the Playoffs goes up, although the spectacle is absolutely worth it.
MLB World Series (late October - early November)
Once the winners of each league are known comes one of the most anticipated moments for MLB fans, the World Series. The whole country comes to a standstill to watch one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
In the World Series, the champion of the American League and the champion of the National League face each other in a best-of-seven game. This championship takes place between late October and early November.
Naturally, baseball tickets for the World Series are the most expensive of the entire MLB season, but this is the game of games - the grand finale!
- What are the six baseball teams with the most World Series titles? NY Yankees with 27, St. Louis with 11, Oakland with 9, Boston with 9, San Francisco with 8 and LA Dodgers with 6.
What happens the rest of the year?
At the end of the World Series, for the next six months until the end of March, there are no baseball games in New York. However, if you want to attend a sporting event during your vacation in the city I recommend other options such as:
The NBA: The season runs from early October through June with the NBA Finals. In New York you can watch the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. In this post I tell you in detail how to buy tickets to watch NBA games in New York.
3. How to buy MLB tickets in New York?
In MLB there are a lot of games, in fact teams play every few days and even daily some weeks. So baseball tickets are usually easy to get, especially when compared to NBA tickets.
To buy baseball tickets you have two options:
On the Internet
If you want to include a baseball game in your New York getaway, I recommend buying tickets online before you travel.
The demand to go to a baseball game in New York is high so it is normal for tickets to sell out quickly. The key is to buy them as soon as possible to get the best seat at the cheapest price.
The American ticket market is dynamic, which means that prices go up as the date of the game approaches and the supply decreases (just like flights, for example). If you wait too long you run the risk of running out of tickets or having few tickets at a high price and in sectors with less spectacular visibility.
In addition, when you book online you can choose yourself the place you like best in the stadium. In my opinion, this is the easiest, safest and fastest option.
At the stadium ticket offices
In my experience, it does not seem to me to be the most advisable option. There are several reasons, I will explain why:
Buying tickets at the ticket office means that you will have to buy them when you arrive in New York, so you will have to adapt to the opening hours of the ticket window, travel to the stadium and wait in a long line to buy them.
Getting your baseball tickets at the box office will be months later than when you could have bought them at home. So there will be far fewer options left and perhaps at an exorbitant price. Or they will be sold out due to the high demand that MLB has.
Beware of resale
If I have to give you one last piece of advice when buying your baseball tickets, it is to be cautious with the scalpers that swarm the stadium. You will probably end up paying an exaggerated price for tickets that have poor visibility or, in the worst case scenario, are not authentic and will not allow you access to the game.
4. Where to choose in the stadium?
The price of Yankees or Mets baseball tickets depends on the opposing team and the day of the week the game is played as well as how close you are to the field and the pitcher (pitcher).
When choosing a stadium location, the idea is to strike a balance between a good seat and your budget. The cheapest tickets correspond to the highest and farthest bleachers, while the lower the bleachers, the higher the price.
Is it worth buying the most expensive tickets? It depends on how much of a baseball fan you are. If you are just going to a game to experience the atmosphere and have a good time, perhaps a ticket in any section of the stadium, more or less close to the pitcher, will make you enjoy the experience just as much even if you are watching the plays from afar.
If, on the other hand, you are very interested in baseball and want to see the plays and the players up close, then my advice is to invest a little more money in getting good seats. The experience is worth it!
You'll be able to see the view from every seat
Anyway, when you buy baseball tickets online you will see a photo with the exact views from each seat so you know what to expect from each location.
In short, the price of MLB tickets depends on how close you are to the field. As you get further away from the field, the price goes down.
5. Game day is here!
When to go to the stadium?
In New York, MLB days are special. You can feel it in the atmosphere and there is more hustle and bustle in the streets than usual in the Big Apple. My advice is not to arrive too early, but at least an hour in advance to go to the team store, find the seats or buy some snacks. You will see how the stadium fills up little by little and how it roars when the players take the field.
Can you eat inside the stadium?
Inside the stadium there are many food and drink stands where you can buy something to snack on while watching the game (hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, chips, fries...) although prices may be a little higher than outside.
However, fans may bring snacks into Yankee Stadium for their own consumption. Whole pieces of fruit such as apples or oranges must be sliced or cut into sections. Plastic water bottles of one liter or less are also allowed inside the stadium as long as they are factory sealed.
Citi Field is accessible with factory-sealed plastic water bottles of 0.59 liters or less. Fans may also bring a juice box for children that is closed and has soft sides. Both products must not be frozen.
Can backpacks or cameras be brought in?
According to Yankee Stadium policy, backpacks or bags larger than 40.64 cm x 40.64 cm x 20.32 cm are not allowed into the stadium. Hard bags are not allowed in the stadium. Neither are video cameras or other equipment designed for the sole purpose of recording video and/or audio, selfie sticks, tripods or other professional camera equipment.
Regarding Citi Field, its policy states that for security reasons backpacks are prohibited inside the venue. However, handbags, tote bags, diaper bags or small coolers that do not exceed 40.64 cm x 40.64 cm x 20.32 cm may be carried. Fully transparent backpacks without hidden interior pockets are also permitted.
6. Useful information for watching MLB
How long is an MLB game?
Baseball games are long. They can last from 3 to 4 hours and most of the game takes place calmly, although suddenly there are plays full of emotion that make the fans vibrate.
With this length, do the matches become boring? It depends on how much of a baseball fan you are. If you like it a lot you will enjoy it because you will understand the plays, and if you are not a baseball expert, you will enjoy it too, since the atmosphere is lively and it is easy to get into the dynamic.
You can take selfies, make videos of the event and comment on the plays while eating tacos or hot dogs. In my experience, going to the baseball game is entertaining and you will spend a day doing something different during your trip. It's worth it!
Do children pay admission?
MLB is a very family friendly show, so it is common to see parents going with their kids to the games. To the question of whether children pay admission to baseball, the truth is that it depends on the team.
For example, the New York Yankees ' access policy regarding children says that any child who is 3 years old or younger and under 30″ (76 cm) tall, does not need a ticket but must sit on an adult's lap during the game so as not to obstruct the view of other spectators.
For their part, the New York Mets note in their access policy that children who are 32" (81 cm) or taller will need their own ticket. Children under 32" can enter for free but must sit on an adult's lap during the event.
In what format will I receive my tickets?
Yankees and Mets tickets are mobile tickets so to access the event they must be shown on your cell phone and do not need to be printed. Your phone is your ticket!
I don't have an Internet connection in New York! How do I access the tickets?
In the event that you don't have an Internet connection during your trip to New York, you can always use the Internet connection at the apartment or hotel where you are staying and open your tickets there so that they are ready on your phone when you arrive at the stadium. You can also go to any public establishment such as a restaurant or coffee shop near the venue as they have free WiFi for customers.
Is the Yankee Stadium area safe?
The answer is yes. The area in which Yankee Stadium is located is safe and the atmosphere is very festive in the surrounding area, so you can enjoy the event without worries.
Can I visit Yankee Stadium even if there is no game?
Indeed! Yankee Stadium is an institution in New York City and that's why there are different ways to visit it even if you're traveling to the city during the MLB off-season. Here are some tips on how to visit Yankee Stadium, but let me tell you that there are several tours that will take you to see the stands and museum and the facility also has a Hard Rock Café where you can go to enjoy an all-American experience.