Rockets New Year's Eve deal is so good, you're losing money if you stay home

Here's the perfect way to ring in the new year! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

If you’re planning to attend a Houston Rockets game and buy tickets like a normal fan, it’s always smart to jump on Toyota Center online and click on “events” first. You might find a special ticket price or bonus deal, like a free hot dog or whatever that night’s giveaway is.

I can’t remember a Houston Rockets deal like the upcoming New Year’s Eve offer, when the Rockets play the Miami Heat and they’re offering one ticket and two free drinks (beer, soda or water) for the crazy low, low price of $21. (Why am I using Mattress Mack's gimmick?)

A beer at Rockets games costs $9. Crunch the numbers and you’re getting a ticket to a regular season NBA game with an attractive, most likely playoff-bound opponent in town, from an official, reliable ticket source, for $3. You’re losing money by staying home!

The New Year's Eve game will start at 6 pm. Be smart, wear a mask over your nose and mouth.

The only Houston sports deal that tops the Rockets beer-soaked offer took place in May 1995, when then Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane — as an apology to fans for one of baseball’s beloved work stoppages — gave away all 54,350 tickets (four per person) to a game against the visiting Phillies.

How angry were fans at baseball coming off the strike? Even though all 54,350 free tickets were claimed, only 30,828 people showed up at the Astrodome for the game. Trivia buffs know that the Phils beat the Astros that night, 5-2, with pitcher Curt Schilling besting Doug Drabek.

Of course fans who buy the Rockets’ one ticket/two drinks deal shouldn’t expect to sit courtside. But you’ll be in the building and the Rockets are playing pretty decent ball since their horrendous 1-16 start. They’re sitting at 10-20 heading into the December 20 game against the Bulls in Chicago. Upper deck tickets at Rockets home games can run $60 to $80 and up depending on seat location and the opponent. And that’s without free anything.

Of course, there’s the option of buying tickets on the secondary market or from those friendly sidewalk vendors shouting “Who needs two tickets?” Those prices fluctuate with demand and how close to the opening tap.

However, if you don’t missing the first quarter of games and you catch a desperate scalper downtown heading home, there are rock-bottom prices to be had: I have a friend who once bought a ticket for Paul McCartney at Toyota Center for $5. He missed the first few songs, but he saw Macca do “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Sgt. Pepper,” “Get Back,” and the medley from Abbey Road live in-person — for less than he could buy those songs on iTunes.

The Rockets aren’t dumb (not counting certain trades we don’t need to bring up here). While they’re practically giving away the New Year’s Eve game, they’ll still make money off you for parking, jerseys, food, and your second (and please no more) beer.

As every opening act at Giggles comedy club would say, that’s how they getcha.

Continue on CultureMap to see how this deal compares to other ballparks and stadiums.

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