How much does it cost to attend a baseball game with you?
It's $1,000 plus travel expenses.
One thousand dollars?! Are you crazy?!
Okay, before you say anything else, watch this video from a Watch With Zack game that I did in Atlanta in May 2017. Here's another video from a game in Chicago in June 2017. Here's another from Citi Field in July 2017 and yet another from Yankee Stadium that I did two weeks later. Do you still think I'm crazy? Here's one from Cleveland in August 2017, another from Detroit the day after that, and another from Toronto the day after THAT. Also, consider this: the average Major League Baseball game lasts
three hours, and if we go early for batting practice, we'll
meet outside the stadium and spend a minimum of six hours together. If the game is slow or
goes into extra innings, it'll be more like seven or eight hours, and there's a lot of planning that goes into setting this up in the first place. That said, it's not just about the time. I'm an expert. Remember? And I'm pretty much the most fun person ever. (Seriously, though, try hiring a plumber or wedding photographer or personal trainer for six hours and see what they charge you. Or a tutor or psychologist or lawyer. Go get a six-hour massage and email me a copy of the receipt.)
Is it $1,000 per person?
No. I charge a flat fee per game, so if you invite a bunch of people to join you, it'll still cost $1,000 total . . . plus travel.
Where do you live? How much does the travel cost?
I live in New York City, so if we attend a game at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium, I'll ride the subway and it won't cost you anything extra to get me there. If I'm home and you want me to join you for a game in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., or Boston, I'll have to rent a car, so in addition to that, I'll ask you to cover gas, tolls, and parking. That's an extra $150. (Note: I'm not charging extra for the many hours of my time that it will take to travel there and back.) If I'm anywhere else on the road and driving to meet you at a stadium, it will cost $50 per day for a rental car and $100 per night for a hotel room. The farthest I'm willing to drive in one direction is 250 miles, so for any trip longer than that, I will need you to cover my flights along with a hotel room.
Are most of your games in New York or do you travel all over?
I've done dozens of games with people over the years, approximately half of which have been in New York.
Back in 2007, I
flew to San Francisco to snag baseballs for a woman and her 12-year-old
son at the
Home Run Derby. Later that season, I drove to Baltimore to meet
a family of four at Camden
Yards, and in 2008 I took people to two games at Fenway
Park in Boston. In 2009 I took a kid to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and in 2011 I joined a father and his two young kids for games in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. More recently, in 2016 I flew to Kansas City for a game with a dude in his 40s, and in July 2017 I met up with a family at Target Field in Minnesota. Anything is possible.
Can you guarantee that I'll get a ball?
As a matter of fact, yes, as long as we get there for the start of batting
practice. I can't make any promises about snagging one during the game itself,
but if we're there early and you (or your kid) don't catch at least
one ball, I'll catch one for you, and if I somehow fail to do that and
we all go home empty-handed, I'll give you a full refund. Since I started this business in 2007, my clients and I have averaged more than 10 balls per game. Click here for some detailed stats.
What if batting practice gets rained out?
As you hopefully saw in the Atlanta video that I linked to above, the
players will still come out early to stretch and run and throw, so we'll
still have plenty of chances to catch balls and get autographs. (Even
when the weather's nice, teams sometimes skip batting practice before
day games and doubleheaders, especially if they've played the night
before. In addition, special events like Fan Photo Day and Old Timers
Day take place in lieu of batting practice, so let's chose a date accordingly.)
What if the game gets rained out?
You won't lose your money. If an official game is not played, we'll just pick another date and hope for
better weather. If you just want a refund, that's fine too.
How do we pick a game in the first place?
Throw some dates at me, and I'll tell you if I'm free.
How do I pay for this?
You can mail me a check or use Venmo or PayPal.
We'll discuss the details when you're ready to book a game. I'll ask for half the money up front and the rest in person.
What if something comes up at the last second and I have to
Just let me know as soon as possible, and we'll work it out. If we can
schedule another game, great. If not, I'll refund your money. Just don't leave me on the hook for travel expenses.
What should I bring?
That depends on what you want. Are you interested in getting autographs? Do you
want to snag baseballs? Do you want to explore the ballpark and take
photos from the best spots? Do you want to stay in one place and
focus on watching the game? Let me know and we'll plan the whole day
based on what's important to you. (Do you want to play catch with me? Bring a ball and we'll throw outside the stadium before it opens.)
What about tickets?
If you already have tickets, yes, bring them (including one for me,
please, so we'll be guaranteed to sit together). If you don't have tickets,
I suggest you include extra money with your payment and let
me be in charge of buying them. We will, of course, discuss the options and the cost.
Why do I have to pay for your ticket?
If you're getting cheap tickets, I don't mind paying
for myself, but if you plan on splurging for good seats, it's not
fair if I have to splurge too. Does that make sense?
What about food?
I will never turn down free food, but I don't require people to feed me. I'll probably bring a protein bar or grab something unhealthy at the stadium.
When and where will we meet?
It's easiest to meet at the stadium (unless we're road-tripping together). I usually arrive about an hour before the gates open.
How early do the gates open?
It's different for every stadium. Some places have one or two gates that open early. Some places open earlier on the weekends. Some places open earlier for season ticket holders. I'll plan everything once we figure out which stadium we're going to.
you post blog entries and videos about all the games you do with people?
Almost always . . . yes. Most of my clients have looked forward to being featured on
my blog and/or my YouTube channel. Click here and here and here to see a few of my favorite blog entries from Watch With Zack games. I used to blog a lot more; now I'm focusing on videos. I will film everything myself with a GoPro and iPhone, and the video will likely get at least 50,000 views, possibly within the first day or week. This is all part of the Watch With Zack experience. The cost to have me join you for an entire day and do a video is less than I charge sponsors to mention them for 30 seconds in a video. Let that sink in.
Are you able to bring a videographer? How much extra would you charge to have someone else join us and film?
Perhaps. I don't actually have a videographer at the moment, but I plan to find someone by the start of the 2019 season. For now I would just ask you to cover his (or her!) travel expenses and provide him with a ticket for the game. (We will share a hotel room and a rental car. The only extra thing you'd need to pay for is his airfare, if necessary.) Get in touch and we'll figure it out. I realize that hiring me for a day and potentially paying for travel expenses is quite expensive. At this point, assuming I do find a videographer soon, I'm willing to pay him myself to have him film us, but at some point in the near-ish future, I might ask for a little extra to help offset the cost.
How do we book a hotel room? Should I find a place close to the stadium, make the reservation under your name, and pay for it?
The easiest thing to do would be to include extra money with your payment and let me handle this part of the planning. We don't need fancy accommodations, but we don't want to stay at a cheap/tacky place that has bulletproof glass in the lobby and has rooms that smell like cigarettes. (Been there/done that; we stay in nice-but-modest hotels like Holiday Inn or Courtyard by Marriott.)
Can I have a discount? This costs a lot of money! Can we work something out?
No. Planning and attending games with people takes a TON of time and effort, and it's part of how I support myself. At any given moment, l could be in touch with a dozen different people who are interested in booking games with me. I don't know how to say this nicely, so I'll just say it directly and hope you understand: my fee is non-negotiable.
What made you think of starting this business?
The one piece of career advice I've heard the most is: "Do what
you love." I love baseball, I love people, and I love teaching
so this seemed like a great way to combine all three. Also, I'm not
exactly the 9-to-5 type.
How do I know my kid won't get hit by a ball or knocked over
by a crazy hot dog vendor?
Honestly, you don't, but I can tell you that the odds of your kid getting
injured are VERY slim. Of course some kids are accident-prone wherever
they are, so you need to accept the fact that minor scrapes and bruises
are possible. That said, I will do everything possible to ensure your
child's safety, including staying by his/her side at all times. As a
necessary legal measure (which will hopefully help everyone feel safer),
I have liability/medical forms that you'll need to fill out and sign.
How do I know I can trust you?
Funny, I was gonna ask you the same thing. After all, you know a lot
about me, and I know nothing about you. Send
me an email. Tell me what you have in mind and please let me know in your first message that you've seen these FAQs -- otherwise I'm just going to direct you here. Hopefully we can work something out and book a trip to the ballpark.