Cheap Events: Division III Basketball Near You

Best seats in the house!

Basketball is my jam (pun absolutely intended).

I played in high school. I was a huge fan during my college days (face paint and all). I still think March Madness is the greatest event in sports. So when I moved to New York, I was a little disappointed in my basketball exposure. It’s difficult to find an open court to play on and getting tickets to a Knicks game is expensive – certainly not something I would do more than once in a blue moon.

In small towns across the country, people support their local high school basketball team. It can be a big, fun community event. But somehow, going to a NYC high school basketball game would just seem like a creepy thing for me to do.

Fortunately, there is another option. I’m not sure why it took me a few years of living in the city to realize it, but there is a pretty significant college that has a basketball program located right in the middle of Manhattan: NYU.

The NYU athletics website takes some navigating, but I figured out that games were $5. And for me, they are actually $2 because technically I am a student in their continuing education program (paid for by my 9-5 job)! So last month, I gathered up a few friends and forced them to join me at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center*.

The stadium is easy to get to. The arrow shows the entrance on Mercer and nearby subway stops are underlined
The stadium is easy to get to. The arrow shows the entrance on Mercer and nearby subway stops are underlined.

Sure, this was wasn’t Lebron vs. Kobe, but the kids played with a ton of heart. Some of the highlights included:

  • High fives from Bobcat, the mascot (I felt honored)
  • Scrappy play from the NYU guards
  • A pretty decent band featuring an electric guitar and bass in addition to the large horn section.
  • Cheerleading and Dancing squads (the girlfriend who used to dance in high school and college was interested in their routines).
  • Suprisingly good footwork from the big men (granted “big” means only 6’8” here)
  • A close, back and forth game, that NYU unfortunately lost to Emory.
  • Plenty of seating as apparently NYU basketball games aren’t the most popular event to attend (I have been to two games so far, more than most NYU students, I would wager).

Even after only 2 games, I now have favorite players and benchwarmers that I cheer for whenever they get into the game. It’s been a lot of fun and for $5 (or $2), it’s absolutely worth a try.

So if you are in NYC, check out an NYU game (they only have 2 more home games this season!) and if you live elsewhere, think about grabbing tickets to a college game nearby.

Oh, and if basketball isn’t your sport, all other NYU athletic events are 100% free! Of course, they don’t have football, but they do have baseball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and others!

*I always seem to be the one suggesting off-beat activities to my group of friends. I’m sure they all think I am weird, but they tend to enjoy themselves whenever they join me!

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13 thoughts on “Cheap Events: Division III Basketball Near You

  1. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Schools are a great place for cheap entertainment- athletics, music, etc. Check out Columbia’s concerts!
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: Social Media: Balancing Your Personal and Professional ReputationMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget February 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

      That’s an awesome idea – I will definitely check out a Columbia concert!

  2. Leslie Beslie February 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Division 1 games are expensive at MSG but cheap at Barclays center! I was able to see MSU play a few months ago for $15, bought the tickets day of.
    Leslie Beslie recently posted: Stop Throwing Food Away and Eat Your VeggiesMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget February 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Very cool – one or two big games like that at Barclays plus my NYU basketball season of games and I think I’ll be good to go!

  3. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply February 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Are the Knicks a Division III team? They sure play like it =)
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: Are You (Financially) Better Off Than Your Parents?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget February 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Haha – great point. I remember when I first moved to New York, I really did try to become a Knicks fan. That was when Isiah Thomas was the coach and Marbury was the point guard. Not only were they bad, they weren’t likeable as people. I just couldn’t do it.

  4. Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I love college sports in general. There is so much more passion than in the pros (at least in my opinion), and I think it is awesome that you are supporting these future non-NBA players. 🙂
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted: Are You Financially Sexy?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget February 14, 2014 at 8:57 am

      I feel the same way (I do like the NFL though). The fans are better to because there are fewer businessmen/clients at the games – it is mostly rowdy college kids and the alumni.

  5. Phil February 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Great entertainment tip here! Yes, it’s a cheap night out to catch a local game when seeing local college athletics.
    Phil recently posted: A Manly Man’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Romance in NYC.My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget February 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Phil! And in NYC, not many people think of the smaller sports teams in the area!

  6. Brian February 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Why not high school basketball? Maybe I am spoiled because I live in a state where high school basketball is the glue that hold most communities togeather (heck they made a movie about our state tourney before we screwed it up) but I would much rather watch top notch high school ball than less athletic D3 ball.

    • Mr NYBudget February 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      High school ball is a great option if you live somewhere that supports it in a big, community way. In NYC though, it is a little strange and often times only students and families are allowed to go watch the games.

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