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Thread: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Heisenberg posted this on the Minny post-game thread but I thought it deserved its own.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ba...1217--nba.html

    Take your kids to see an NBA game in person; it is affordable and very much worth the price
    By Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie

    Up until this week, the biggest NBA fan you know had never bought an NBA ticket.

    Iíve had League Pass since 2000, and have watched endless amounts of games through the years. Iíve written about the NBA since 1997 online, during off hours in high school and college, and then on to working double shifts in my early 20s bartending and then rising at the crack of donít-even-ask to write for various sites you probably donít remember. Since the year 2000, from those fledgling sites to SI.com to Ball Donít Lie in 2007, Iíve had the distinct privilege of being afforded a press pass to see and write about games whenever I ask. Iíve been to games before in the seats ó a couple of parent-purchased excursions in my youth, and Roto Arcadeís Andy Behrens was kind enough to gift me a ticket a few years back ó but never on my own dime.

    Mainly because, living with a wife and two kids for the last seven years on a sportswriterís salary, every dime counts. Other factors go into this ó I donít want to spend my off hours living a busmanís holiday at an NBA game. My two daughters and wife are not sports fans (to say nothing of the fact that they see Kelly in front of a laptop all day writing about basketball, with the living room rarely tuned away from basketball games each weeknight), plus we live two hours away from where my beloved Chicago Bulls play, and an hour away from where the Indiana Pacers play.

    The Pacers are one of the best teams in the NBA this season, and though the teamís attendance has improved along with their play, it has only jumped up from 29th out of 30 teams to 27th. Were I not an NBA freak who is afforded free press passes by the team, I would fall into the sort of typical category that is ignoring the Pacers to stay home and watch games for free on TV ó local guy, fan of all sports, father of two. So how much of an investment is it, for this dad who freezes homemade soup and clips coupons while turning down the thermostat when the kids and wife leave the house, to go see a game live with the whole fam-damnly?

    It wasnít all that bad, as it turns out.

    As mentioned, Iíve never clicked on a ticket brokerís website or used StubHub before. Iíve taken my kids to many other sporting events ó high school football games, motorsports, minor league baseball and hockey contests ó but those tickets are so cheap that I just go straight through the various official websites or buy at the box office.

    After perhaps 10 minutes worth of clicking on Sunday, though, I was able to find four seats for Wednesdayís Pacers/Minnesota Timberwolves (ďRicky Rubio!,Ē says Dad the League Pass Dork) for less than $18. In the highest section, to be sure, but I was also mindful of the fact that the Pacers recently installed a massive high-definition scoreboard. Just in case the 10-year old-wanted to see if Derrick Williams closed out properly on the replay.

    From there, the planning. Wednesday night is a school night (that phrase, as an ex-kid, still gives me the creeps) so Tuesday night meant a far earlier bedtime. Thereís no way in hell Iím feeding my kids concession fare for dinner, much less spending huge gobs of money on it, so stir-fry chicken was made the day before ó ready to quickly reheat after I got off from work and before we got on the road. And because youíve accurately guessed that this pedantic jerk is a hypermiler in his four-banger, the cruise control was aggressively utilized in order to save gas money.

    Once we got to Indianapolisí Bankers Life Fieldhouse? Bliss. Iím not a Pacers fan and the team doesnít know Iím writing this column, but the ďwhoa!Ē you get from each kid as they make their way toward the court is worth every penny. Itís not just the massive scoreboard, but the lights and speaker setup and gleam of the court and the whole bloody spectacle. And again, this is a ďwhoaĒ from two kids that see nothing but basketball games on in the living room from October until June.

    (They have their own TV in their room. Iím not a jerk dad.)

    The seats were way up. Way, way up. To the kids, though, this doesnít matter. And to my wife, who could watch the game on the screen, this doesnít matter. And to the NBA nerd, always in love with watching the action from above (when given press passes I prefer the second tier to courtside), I was back at my work station. Even though I had to ignore emails and Twitter so as to (very) happily answer 2 1/2 hoursí worth of questions from the kids about what that was and what that meant and ďis it OK if I dance?Ē

    We canít get our (very well-behaved) children to sit through a 3-D movie in a theatre without getting bored and asking what weíre having for dinner. Theyíre kids, and theyíll get restless; and yet at no point did the stimulation and entertainment at this game cease. All the things (contests, fan interaction) I roll my eyes at while attempting to write during timeouts at press row kept their attention. Trips out to the concourse between quarters and halves felt like cool trips to dadís personal basketball mall, as my youngest daughter gawked at a vintage shoe display stuck up in the top concourse. All the songs that dad has no idea about ó your Ganghams and your Brunos and your whatevers ó were grooved to.

    It was so, so worth it ó and especially (possibly preferably, though the t-shirt cannon didnít have enough juice to make it our way) from that vantage point. We had to squint harder at a gymnastics meet earlier in the week to see the younger daughter perform. These seats were cheaper, seriously, and better.

    The total price, and this is without exaggeration, came in a few cents under $110. Thatís a chunk of change ó thatís something we have to plan around, and something we have to account for as a year-long expense. Mom and dad wonít be seeing Steely Dan this summer, but thatís fine.

    Just under $18 for the four tickets. The gas, parking ($15; and I probably could have found cheaper parking had we not been rushing to the game) and two foam fingers for the kids went into that final tally. Concessions included two beers apiece for mom and dad (a beer at a live NBA game; that was a new and very fun experience), two sodas apiece, and one giant tub of popcorn that came with free refills. My oldest daughter got to put a dollar in a tenor saxophone playerís busker bucket as we left the stadium.

    And if mom and dad had cut back on those $7.25 beers, maybe just one per game instead of one per half, it would have been even cheaper. In the end, though, we were covered in salt and butter, with sugary pop and malted hops in our various systems, and more than happy at a (oh, yeah, the game) Pacer win over the Timberwolves that saw two of Kellyís favorite players in Roy Hibbert and Ricky Rubio play excellent ball. And I got to yell at Violet Palmer, without press row scorn!

    The kids were already up past their bedtime, so we let them linger and take pictures for a half-hour after the game ended. Even with that, and the hour-long ride home, everyone was still in bed a little after 11 at night. They did just fine waking up the next morning. For $110, I canít think of a better way to make my crew happier. Pony rides donít even come this cheap.

    Which takes me back to the original point. Itís worth it, as a parent or individual or fair-weather fan, to take in the live NBA experience. Iím not a shill, I donít work for the league, I donít care for its owners, and Iím not even a Pacers fan. Iím also mindful of the fact that, after $110, the whole crew wonít be going out to dinner for a while.

    I got my hoops fix in, watching one of the NBAís better teams take down one of the NBAís more entertaining crews. For the three members of my family that donít know who Orlando Johnson is, though? It was an absolute blast. You can go to Pacer games, Indiana, and come out of the stadium without having to wear a barrel and suspenders. Give it a shot.
    BillS

    "Every time I pitched it was like throwing gasoline on a fire. Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw!"
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Very uplifting read
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Member Since86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Not to be a stickler, but his math doesn't add up right. $110 is cheaper than what he actually paid. He goes over that with tix($72), beer ($29), and parking ($15). That gets you to $116.

    I'm glad he enjoyed it though. Seems a little weird that a guy who's been writing about it for so long, wouldn't ever actually buy a ticket on his own.


    I'm taking my dad to the game tonight. He hasn't been to a Pacers game, since probably the mid-90's after we gave up our season tix. He got into coaching girls basketball, and has spent his energy on focusing on that side of the game. Hopefully the Pacers will convert him back over.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    I think thats the definition of a stickler
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    MVP kielbeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    See if he was a Pacer fan he would know he overpaid. It was a Lucas Oil family night. 4 tix, Tshirts, and meals 52 bucks! Never opposed to taking a Bulls fans money though! Great read BTW.
    Last edited by kielbeze; 03-15-2013 at 10:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Not to be a stickler, but his math doesn't add up right. $110 is cheaper than what he actually paid. He goes over that with tix($72), beer ($29), and parking ($15). That gets you to $116.

    I'm glad he enjoyed it though. Seems a little weird that a guy who's been writing about it for so long, wouldn't ever actually buy a ticket on his own.


    I'm taking my dad to the game tonight. He hasn't been to a Pacers game, since probably the mid-90's after we gave up our season tix. He got into coaching girls basketball, and has spent his energy on focusing on that side of the game. Hopefully the Pacers will convert him back over.
    The tickets were just under 18 dollars total for the 4 seats combined. So 18 for the tickets, 29 for beer, 15 for parking, the dollar for the saxophone player. That's 63 there, which leaves 47 for 2 sodas, a giant tub of popcorn, and two foam fingers. I don't know how expensive the foam fingers are so I don't know if it exactly adds up, but it's close.

    Edit: I didn't realize the money for gas was also included. That solves the question of why foam fingers would be so expensive and make the numbers make perfect sense.

    I'm not surprised he hadn't ever bought tickets. He kind of alludes to the reasons why: he isn't sure his family would enjoy it because they don't enjoy the game itself, and it's too much of a financial investment for them if they don't have a great time. Then he adds in the distance which means it is something his family has to plan for and adjust other days to account for, and its hard to take the plunge.

    This is a great article to encapsulate the whole debate. He gives several legitimate reasons for why people don't attend games, even for people who are more than casual fans of the sport.

    But on the other side, he decided to take the plunge, and his family loved it! So there are also reasons in the article why even though it's an investment, it's cheap enough to be worth trying, and that it is worth it for a wider audience than just dedicated NBA fans.
    Last edited by Cubs231721; 03-15-2013 at 11:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    I don't think it was meant to be read as $18 for all four. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. In the end it's not really a big deal, it just popped out at me.

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Anyone wanna adopt me?
    Quote Originally Posted by Piston Prince
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    Bobcat fans telling us to cheer up = epic fail season
    "Josh Smith Re-building the city of Detroit one brick at a time"

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    My brother inlaw buys game day tickets on stub hub for $1.49 all the time. So $18 is possible. BTW I know people keep repeating it, but DAMN Pacer tix are CHEAP!
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by yoadknux View Post
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    Anyone wanna adopt me?
    You do dishes, and yard work?
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    If he paid $15 for parking he really over paid. Isn't there a $5 parking lot around the corner from BLF opposite the Hardees?

    I'm still glad he went, took his family, had a great time, and then wrote about the experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    My brother inlaw buys game day tickets on stub hub for $1.49 all the time. So $18 is possible. BTW I know people keep repeating it, but DAMN Pacer tix are CHEAP!
    Not for tonight's game. Upper balcony seats are going for $50+. It should be a packed house tonight even though Kobe won't be playing.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    I didn't mean every game. But you can still find seats to "sold out" games for under $30. With Craigslist, eBay, Stub Hub, etc. It too easy to get cheap tickets.
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Hell for $150 you can get club level for every remaining game. Area55 buy in opportunity.
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Member owl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    My son and I bought two college night tickets for a total of $22. The tickets come with a gift. This night is was some sun glasses and guess what else? A special seat up grade to the club level. Woooohooooo....
    Against Minnesota. No beers and no pop. I did buy some cookie dough ice cream. So with parking and tickets and one treat we spent $31.50.
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    First off, if you actually click on the link to the article you will see this picture



    captioned with "This seat cost 4 bucks"...$16 for 4 of those $4 seats....

    Second, I couldn't agree more....I've mentioned before that I live and work 2 hours, and a time zone change, from Indy. For those mathematically challenged, that translates into a 3 hour trip in Eastern Time. In order to get to weeknight games, it requires me to leave work early, utilizing vacation time, pick my family up on the way, head to an eatery that is fast enough to get in and out of, and then head to the game. My family and I were in attendance for this same game, Pacers/Wolves, but we sat in better seats....I stalked stubhub to get the best deal I could find on tickets, which netted me 9 (yes 9, I even took the in-laws and relatives too) tickets in section 20, Row 34, right next to Area 55, for $10.95 a seat...My son is in the Pacers Kids Club, and I literally bought 3 seats from stubhub for $15 CHEAPER than the 2 discounted tickets adults get to sit beside their child, who gets 1 free ticket, in the lower balcony as being a member of the Kids Club.

    My son will be 8 in May, and my daughter will be 1 in 11 days (this was her first NBA game), had a BLAST. My son is a HUGE Pacers fan, and spent his night intensely watching the game, and yelling at Violet as well (that may be my fault as I started harping on some of her calls). There were several times when Rubio would do something only Rubio could do, and my son would yell out "DID YOU SEE THAT??" My daughter spent the night just looking around in awe at all the bright lights, dancing to the music, clapping, and flirting with the 2 TimberWolves fans sitting behind us.

    To go to the games is a huge commitment for us, but it is SOOOOO worth it...The anticipation of going to the game, not only from me but from my son as well, the family bonding time while at the games, and the memories that we take home from them, FAR surpass the minute expense. We got some Bar-B-Que Chicken Nachos, some Ice Cream Nachos, and did those online surveys for free drinks, so we only ended up spending about $15 on concessions... I love going to the games, and truly wish we were closer so we could attend more....

    The reason that game was one of the ones we decided to attend was because it was also a Kids Club Photo-op night. My son didn't know it, but at the end of the game, we got escorted to the practice gym where we patiently awaited the arrival of Ben Hansbrough and Paul George to take pics with the kids....He still hasn't stopped talking about that game, nor do I expect him to for a long long while.....

    Here are a couple highlights from our night...


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  24. #17

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    The more you know...
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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  26. #18

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Would the Pacers do better in FortWayne? Away from IU/Butler/Colts/Indians/Ice/Future soccer team?
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    Would the Pacers do better in FortWayne? Away from IU/Butler/Colts/Indians/Ice/Future soccer team?
    No

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    I stand corrected. Thanks.

  30. #21

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    No
    Im not disagreeing with you, but why not. Pacers are a form of entertainment, and FortWayne has little. Indy has a ton.
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    Im not disagreeing with you, but why not. Pacers are a form of entertainment, and FortWayne has little. Indy has a ton.
    How much bigger is Indy than Fort Wayne.

    Indy area has approx 1.9 million residents. Fort Wayne is around 200,000.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-15-2013 at 02:01 PM.

  32. #23

    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    How much bigger is Indy than Fort Wayne.
    If Im being honest. I have no clue, lol. With one of the worst TV ratings, and one of the worst attendance. Something has to give. Right?
    If games are won and lost on a calculator and piece of paper, then why do we bother to play them?

    @LetsTalkPacers

  33. #24
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalkPacers84 View Post
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    If Im being honest. I have no clue, lol. With one of the worst TV ratings, and one of the worst attendance. Something has to give. Right?
    OK, but why Fort Wayne? Cincy, Louisville, St. Louis, Dayton, Columbus would all be much better. I haven't even gotten out of the midwest.

    You need a population and corporate base. Fort Wayne has neither

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    Default Re: Take your kids to see an NBA game (Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    OK, but why Fort Wayne? Cincy, Louisville, St. Louis, Dayton, Columbus would all be much better. I haven't even gotten out of the midwest.

    You need a population and corporate base. Fort Wayne has neither
    I'd welcome the Columbus Pacers with open arms. Hell, half this city is Anti-Heat, so I could see us doing well based in that market alone.

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