Sports on the cheap: The 25 best summer sports bargains
Sports are a great place to find some of the best bargains of the summer
The Cape Cod Baseball League offers a glimpse at future major-league stars
Who needs Baywatch when you can watch lifeguards live in Ft. Lauderdale
Sure, life's expensive. But attending sporting events doesn't have to be. Below, SI.com offers its list of the top summer sports deals across the country.
1. Monmouth Park Racetrack -- Oceanport, N.J.
2. Fifth-Annual Reef/ Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest -- Wrightsville Beach, N.C., July 10-12
3. Northbrook Velodrome -- Northbrook, Ill.
Cycling's answer to speed skating can be found at this track in Chicago's suburbs. Rider development clinics cost $9 and watching the races is even cheaper: $2 for adults and free for children younger than 12.
4. Cape Cod Baseball League-- Cape Cod, Mass.
Recognized as the best amateur summer league, the Cape Cod Baseball League offers a great setting to pack a picnic and rub shoulders with major-league scouts. The league features the top amateur players from around the country.
5. The Newport Polo Club -- Portsmouth, R.I.
Think polo is just a sport for the kids on Gossip Girl? Not so, says the Newport Polo Club, which has space for tailgate picnics and field-side general admission or grandstand seating. Admission is $10 for adults, children are free.
6. North American Football League -- Various locations, dates
Can't afford an NFL game? Fans can get their summer football fix with this semi-pro football league. Tickets are $10 or less for adults and children are usually free.
7. Minor-league baseball -- Various locations, dates
You'll need to take a loan out to attend a game at Yankee Stadium, but minor-league baseball offers the best summer bargains around. Our favorite: Kraft Singles is hosting a "buy one ticket, get one free" promotion when you bring a Kraft Singles wrapper to any minor-league box office.
8. USLA National Lifeguard Competition -- Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., August 6-8
Spend a day at the beach while watching the fittest lifeguards in the country compete against one another. Admission is free, but don't forget your sunscreen.
9. Kenner League, Georgetown University -- Washington, D.C.
The Kenner League features some of the Big East's top stars, as well as ballers from the past (George Mason point guard Tony Skinn is a frequent player-coach), competing against the area's best talent. Look for the legendary Hoya's coach John Thompson, as well as current Georgetown coach John Thompson III hanging out before game time.
10. U.S. Sailing Championships -- St. Louis, September 25-27
Would-be boaters can catch the country's top sailors tack and jibe their way to the prestigious Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Cup and Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.
11. Futures at Fenway -- Boston, August 8
12. Great International William Atwood Lobster Crate Race -- Rockland, Maine, August 2
12. The 63rd Little League Baseball World Series -- Williamsport, Pa., August 21-30
It's just like the real thing, minus the bench-clearing brawls, ticket scalpers and steroids. The LLWS highlights the best 12 and 13-year-olds in the country, playing for the right to represent the U.S. in the world-championship game. Admission is free, and how's this for a deal: a hot dog, soda and Cracker Jacks will run you $3.
13. Entertainer's Basketball Classic -- Rucker Park, New York City, June 15 to mid-August, Mon. -Thurs. evenings
It's summer streetball on one of the most historic courts in the country. Although Rucker is no longer the automatic best streetball in the city, there's hardly a more storied location. Admission is free, but you better get there early to get a bleacher seat. The best men's games tip-off at 6:30 or 8 p.m.
14. St. Paul Saints -- St. Paul, Minn.
The non-affiliated Saints (actor Bill Murray is one of the owners) are not only a great place to catch some baseball, the between-innings stunts make the ticket costs (as low as $5 a pop) one of the best deals of the summer. A pig delivers baseballs to the umpire between innings (among other duties), and upcoming promotion nights include Twitter-my-face (July 23) and pocket-protector giveaway night (July 24) which features The Nerd Pride Parade.
15. Major League Soccer -- Various locations, dates
One benefit of the world's most-popular sport not catching fire in the U.S.? Cheap tickets. Check out stars like Landon Donovan (L.A. Galaxy) and Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire) for $20 a ticket.
16. Second-Annual Sky Bounce Handball Championship -- New York, July 18-19
17. NBA Summer League -- Las Vegas, July 10-19
18. WNBA Games -- Various locations, dates
20. Oakland Athletics BART Double-Play Wednesdays -- Oakland, Calif.
For all of the team's Wednesday home games (July 22, August 5, Sept. 2), the A's are offering $2 tickets and $1 hot dogs.
21. NFL Training Camp -- Various locations, Camps open by August 3
22. Fast Plastic Whiffle Ball -- Various locations, dates
Fast Plastic is a national whiffle ball league that runs in 18 locations over the course of the summer, culminating in a championship game played in Austin in October.
23. Vigilucci's World Beach Bocce Ball Championship --Del Mar, Calif., July 18
24. AAU Senior Boys' Basketball National Championship -- Lake Buena Vista, Fla., July 28-August 1
Here's your chance to see the country's top basketball talent before they become household names. It should be the best AAU tournament of the summer.
25. Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game -- July 16, Denver
It's "Old School" against the "Young Guns" in what promises to be a high-scoring, frenetically-paced game (last year the two teams combined for 46 points). The game's halftime will feature the skills competition, including the entertaining freestyle event. Tickets start as low as $10.
Did we miss one? Suggest your favorite sports deal here.