Although Major League Baseball is generally more recession-proof than most other industries, the slowdown is already impacting ticket sales. The Oakland A's have seen their sales plunge 10% over the past few years and even the Boston Red Sox have seen interest decline by a few percentage points. As a result, many teams are taking steps to lure in more budget-conscious fans in the 2009 season.

Bloomberg reports that "Baseball clubs are taking unprecedented measures to preserve revenue to combat an economy that has contracted the most since 1982. They're cutting prices on tickets and concessions including beer and offering interest-free extended payment plans."

While promotions and discounting may attract some fans, the run-up in ticket prices that's been building for decades still makes MLB games a tough call for many families. Cheaper hot dogs are nice but not exactly material in the face of $50 grandstand seats at Red Sox games. Here's another tip: If you need to take out a loan to buy season tickets, that probably means you can't afford them.

Minor League Baseball games are a great alternative -- You can get closer to the action and if you have young kids, they might not even notice the difference. College baseball games are often free as well.

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