If you've ever watched a mid-season sports game on TV, you've seen a lot of empty seats up front. These prime seats are owned by fair-weather sports fans. (Petition to Mayor de Blasio: If a seat is still vacant a third of the way into the game, mandate that ushers move families down from the nosebleeds, à la seat fillers at the Oscars.) Here are where the real fans dwell and how you can get the most for your money:
These are certainly not Spike Lee–quality seats, but the Chase sky bridges grant an unparalleled look at the Knickerbockers. The 300 sections (from $95) comprise just two rows—with easy access to a bar—that offer a pigeon’s-eye view that’s only 21 degrees steeper than the vantage point of the upper bowl.
One of the few tickets in town tougher to score than entry into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: seating near the ice at Garden hockey games. Forget overpaying and sit in the upper sections (from $37) with the real fans, who have occupied the building since before helmets were mandatory. Pro tip: The Rangers shoot toward Sections 215 to 220 for two out of three periods.
People who have grown up playing the Madden NFL video games have been habituated to the quarterback’s or safety’s vantage point, and thus we prefer end-zone seating to broadcast TV’s sideline view and its pricier tickets (prices yet to be announced).
Look for a sideline ticket in the front row of the upper bowl, in the 200 sections (from $75). The view gives you a clear look at the action on the court. But if you’ve never been up close at a basketball game, walk down as far as the ushers will allow to marvel at the sheer stature of the athletes.
Admittedly, Barclays has more than a few obstructed views for hockey, but the Isles’ unique rinkside seating is three feet higher than that of other arenas. Spring for “Attack Zone” seating (from $223) to see visiting players get smushed up against the glass.
Join in a Bronx cheer with the world-famous Bleacher Creatures in section 203 (from $20). Their voices are so powerful that even the players acknowledge them during the game.
Sing along with the supporters in sections 235 to 238 (from $30). The so-called Third Rail fans (spread between sections 236 and 237) belt out their version of Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby” for 90-plus minutes.
Supporters’ clubs (and sections, from $23) include the Garden State Ultras (section 133), the self-proclaimed “Drinking Crew with a Football Problem”; the Empire Supporters Club (101), the oldest Major League Soccer club and the leader of the chants; and the Viking Army (102). Yes, you will see many a horned helmet.
Have a blast with the 7 Line Army, the hundreds of quirky Mets fans who occupy the 140 section (from $44, but your seat comes with a “shirsey”). The group’s Wikipedia page notes that, during an outing last year, a couple of their seats were “taken by a few Dodger fans that were wearing Orel Hershisher and Cody Bellinger shirts. The Mets then lost 8-0.”