One of the most fascinating experiences you can have in New York is attending an MLB game. Whether it's because you love baseball or because you want to enjoy the great atmosphere that this sport brings to the city, it's definitely something you have to experience during your trip.
1. MLB teams in New York
New York Yankees
New York's most legendary team 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 of the 40 they have played. They belong to the American League's Eastern Division and play at the legendary Yankee Stadium located in the Bronx.
- Where: 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 Yankee Stadium stop).
New York Mets
The city's other major team is the New York Mets. They were founded in 1962 and to date have won 2 World Series, although they almost pulled off another 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.
- How to get there?: By subway taking the 7 line (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 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 MLB divisions 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, consisting of a seven-game championship series between the winner of each league that has been held since 1903.
Pre-season (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 are in the middle of their training camp.
Regular Season (April - beginning of October)
This is played from April to early October with a 162-game schedule. During these months you can see 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 when the season opens.
MLB All-Star Game: Held in mid-July. It is an annual baseball game between the best players in the National League and the American League.
The Playoffs (October)
In October, the Playoffs or playoffs begin. For this stage, the winners of each division - East, Central and West - qualify. These teams are defined by being the teams that had the most wins throughout the season. The champions of each division earn their direct pass to the Divisional Series and the two wild card teams that qualify meet 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 stage of 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 but 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 American League champion and the National League champion 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 play. In this post, I give you all the details on how to buy tickets to watch NBA games in New York.
3. How to buy MLB tickets in New York?
There are a lot of games played in MLB, 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 getaway to New York, I recommend that you buy 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 sooner rather than later 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 that there will be few tickets at a high price and in sectors with less spectacular visibility.
In addition, when you book online you can choose the seats you like best in the stadium. In my opinion, this is the easiest, safest and fastest option.
At the stadium box office
In my experience, it does not seem the most advisable option. There are several reasons, I'll explain why:
Buying baseball tickets at the box office means that you will have to do it when you arrive in New York, so you will have to adapt to the schedules of the ticket window, travel to the stadium, and make a very long queue 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 have sold out outright because of the high demand MLB has.
Beware of resale
The most important piece of advice I can give you when it comes to buying your baseball tickets, it's to be cautious of the scalpers that swarm the stadium. You are likely to end up paying an inflated 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. Which place to choose in the stadium?
The price of baseball tickets for the Yankees or Mets 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 a reasonable price. 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 see the plays from afar.
If, on the other hand, you are really 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 will be able to see the views from every seat
Anyway, when it comes to buy baseball tickets online you'll see a picture 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 a bigger 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 visit the team store, find the seats or buy a snack. You will see how the stadium fills up little by little and how it roars when the players take the field.
Is it possible to 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 can bring snacks to Yankee Stadium for their own consumption. Whole fruit pieces such as apples or oranges must be sliced or cut into sections. Plastic water bottles of one liter or less are also permitted as long as they are factory sealed.
The 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.
Is it possible to access with backpacks or cameras?
Per Yankee Stadium policy, large backpacks or bags are not permitted 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 may be carried. Fully transparent backpacks without hidden interior pockets are also permitted.
6. Information of interest for viewing MLB
How long is an MLB game?
Baseball games are long. They can last anywhere from 3 to 4 hours and most of the game goes by quietly, although suddenly there are thrilling plays that get the fans pumped up.
With this length, do 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 surely enjoy it as well since the atmosphere is lively and it is easy to get into the dynamics.
You can take selfies, make videos of the event, and comment on the plays while eating tacos or hot dogs. In my experience, watching baseball is entertaining and you'll spend a day doing something different during your trip. It's worth it!
Do kids pay admission?
MLB is a very family-friendly show, so it's common to see parents go with their kids to games. To the question of whether kids pay admission to baseball, the truth is that it depends on each 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″ 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" or taller will need their own ticket. If children are under 32" they can get in for free but will need to 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 are to be displayed on your cell phone and do not need to be printed. Your phone is your ticket!
Is the Yankee Stadium area safe?
The answer is yes. The area where Yankee Stadium is located is safe and the atmosphere is very festive in the surrounding area, so you can enjoy the event without any worries.