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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11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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