Polo for Pennies (Not Just for the Rich & Famous)

by  Kimberly Button | Jan 22, 2015
Playing polo
Playing polo / Siharat Sangkomol/iStock

Polo is considered the sport of kings, but that doesn't mean the rest of us can't indulge in this spectacle steeped in tradition at everyday prices. One of the oldest team sports in history -- and one of the most dangerous in the world -- polo combines the skillful mastery of eight horses galloping down the field at 30 miles per hour, along with an excuse to drink copious amounts of champagne and wear frilly hats.

There is no better place to attend your first polo match than the International Polo Club (IPC) Palm Beach. One of the finest facilities in the world, it's tucked into the small town of Wellington, Florida, known as horse country -- just a short drive from the glitz and glamour of Palm Beach. Though you might think that the sport of polo is only for the rich and famous, you'll be surprised at how affordable -- and fun -- a match at the IPC can be.

Tickets start at just $10 for general admission bleacher seating (kids 12 and under are free). And while the stands are at the far end of the polo field that measures the length of more than nine football fields, you'll still get a feel for the game and have a chance to roam the sidelines to scope out the upscale tailgaters. Better yet? The $20 and $30 lawn seating tickets (even though the seats are actually wooden benches) are towards the center of the field and in the heart of the action.

A splurge-worthy choice, though, is the Champagne brunch (starting at $100). A lavish gourmet buffet (think homemade gelato, a burrata station, carved beef, and even a candy bar) is just one of the perks of the covered veranda dining on the edge of the field. A glass of Champagne and two cocktails are included in the price, along with an indoor dance party with live music after the game.

Regardless of what ticket you're holding or what you're wearing (wardrobes range from shorts and sneakers to fancy dresses with lots of frills), everyone races onto the field at halftime to clamor for a free plastic Champagne flute. If you score one, you'll get a free glass of Champagne. Add to that the opportunity to meet the players and get autographed pictures after the match, and perhaps walk away with a handful of free roses that are given to spectators from the award ceremony decor, and you've got quite the civilized sporting event that can be enjoyed on any travel budget.

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