Debating Between The Costs of Watching Hockey at a Bar or at Home

Photo by cmgoonie9

Photo by cmgoonie9

This weekend I found myself in the middle of a conundrum. I am a huge Buffalo Sabres fan (that’s hockey for those not in the know). Their season started this past weekend and I desperately wanted to watch the game. In order to watch the games this season I have two options (being that I am in DC and not Buffalo). Option 1) go out to a bar and hope the bartender will put the game on or go to a “Buffalo” bar that is 35 mins away to make sure I can watch it. Option 2) purchase the NHL Center Ice package on Comcast and watch the games at home.

I debated this out in my head. I am so busy that in all likelihood I won’t be able to watch more than 20 of 82 games this season.  So, for the price tag of $161 for the season, I am looking at missing almost 3/4ths of the value. Now, going to bars would be even harder to watch a game. I would say this would happen 4-5 times this year. If that is the case I know i will have at least 2-3 beers while out, maybe an appetizer, or maybe dinner. The cost of this is starting to add up and I can see spending close to $30-40 each time I go watch a game at a bar.  I like the idea of using Ramit Sethi’s a la carte method, but it is totally possible I will end up spending more money assuming I make the effort to go drink and watch my team play (something that is more likely and more fun than me headed to the gym).

I am really torn here, and I am trying to evaluate unintended costs of making this minor (but still significant) financial decisions. If going with the a la carte method there is gas to consider, there are tips for waiters/waitresses, and then the time cost of going to and from a bar. If I stay at home and order the package, there appears to just be the cost of the package, but I will likely buy beer to enjoy while watching the game, I may order pizza or Chinese on occasion (especially if it’s that rare night at home when I can actually watch the game and not have to do work during it).

I fear that the choices are so similar and I have become indecisive about the situation that I will do nothing and just listen to the games on the radio and maybe catch the playoffs in April. What is it you guys think? Are you faced with similar decisions when trying to watch your team play on NHL Center Ice or NFL Sunday Ticket.

Next year a couple of us bloggers should run experiments to see who spends more, the person buying the package or the person going to bars each week (In fact, I may make some rudimentary analysis in an upcoming post)

It should be noted that I abhor Comcast, which makes this decision more difficult. I really cannot stand giving that company money.

5 Responses to Debating Between The Costs of Watching Hockey at a Bar or at Home
  1. Angie
    October 7, 2009 | 8:18 am

    I would go for the package. First I would look into an online package similar to mlbtv. I had the similar debate when I tried to go without cable. Have no cable an miss the few games a month on espn and network tv. Or pay 60 a month for cable and get everything. Well when the first Yankees red sox game came sure enough we went to the bar to watch it and spen over 60 with food and drinks for 3/4 of the game. Needless to say we ended up ordering cable. Besides it’s nicer with your own beer on your own couch. In your comfy clothes!

  2. Craig
    October 7, 2009 | 9:04 am

    I do this all the time with football games. Sure there are a lot of people, maybe the chance you run into someone and you get out of the apt. but it can easily add up. I would rather watch in my apt and get my own food and drinks if I desire.

  3. Financial Samurai
    October 7, 2009 | 10:31 pm

    Yo Brian, what about visiting a friend’s place who has the cable package and bring your own bear? whoo hoo!

  4. SavingDiva
    October 11, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    I guess it would depend on if you have friends that are also fans…I’m not a big fan of going to a bar alone to watch sports…but that’s just me…

  5. Matt Jabs
    October 16, 2009 | 10:45 am

    You know… if you would have asked me this last year – I would have said to purchase the package, for a lot of different reasons.

    What do I say this year? Do neither. That’s right – neither.

    I used to watch at least 10 hours of football/week and another 10 hours on picking my fantasy team. This year I’m doing zero fantasy & watching maybe 3 hours of football.

    What I found was, as much as I love football – there are so many other, more important, things I could and should be doing with my time. What about you?

    I’m not calling anyone out – I know how it is… trust me! I’m just trying to come at it from another perspective. :-)

    Cheers!

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