Why Support Local Sports?
People who do not enjoy sports are few and far between. Who could resist the thrill of a buzzer beater, a Hail Mary pass to the endzone, or the tension of a bases-loaded-full-count payoff pitch? While the big highlights are always going to come from professional sports, there are still ample reasons to go to local sporting events. These could be semi-professional level teams, such as Danbury Hat Tricks, high school athletics, or even town league baseball games (where do you think all the teams in the Little League World Series come from?). Here are a few reasons to get out and cheer on the homegrown talent- I'll be using the Danbury Westerners as a standard of comparison in my examples.
- Cheap Entertainment. The average cost of a single MLB ticket in 2018 was $77.75. For that same price, you could attend fifteen Danbury Westerners games (or unlimited games if you're fifteen years old or younger). This doesn't include parking/transportation, food, apparel, and any other expenses. The cost jumps dramatically if you're at a professional game. A Yankee cap will run you about $40.00 while Westerner headgear is $15.00 less.
- Fun for All: How many times have you seen at a professional game someone like this or fans that may not be fully invested in the game? Sports on a local level have done their best to work around that. The Westerners have small events between innings such as a 50/50 raffle, mascot race, and dizzy bat races.
- See the Talent Before They're Stars. A major appeal of local sports means that you can see the next "Great" before they reach stardom. You get a hot dog and have a chat with a Westerner just days before they go pro, or follow the next Heisman winner from a high school homecoming game.
- The Community. Sporting events have always been meant to compete and bring people together. The Olympics have been used to put wars on hold, and the local T-Ball game can help shake off a bad day at work. But it's also the teams who give back to the community as much as the community will put into the team. The Hat Tricks have already planned to hold a community night, high school athletics will hold community-based fundraisers, and the Westerners take great pride in how they give back to the Danbury area.
This isn't to say you won't see these sorts of things at the professional level, but it's much more prominent when it's local teams. If you don't believe me, ask any one of the hundreds- if not thousands- of friends, family, volunteers, and fans that will attend game after game and always cheer on their hometown heroes.