Why so expensive?

Why so expensive?

To be the best of the best takes a substantial amount of dedication. Dedication requires athletes to never miss a practice or a game no matter how far they drive, along with putting in extra work on their own time. While that might seem like a dream to some athletes, it still comes with an enormous price to pay. 

Winning a state championship, being on an all-star team, or even just winning one tournament are all goals that countless athletes set their minds to, but those goals aren’t only for their school team. Participating in club sports has become significantly more popular throughout the years. It seems as if it is a requirement to advance and continue playing further on. While participation and progress are what the athletes focus on, parents are stuck with one question: How much will it cost?

The initial player fees are a given as any kid enters a sports season. These fees help with the cost of many things including uniforms, equipment, and help pay for practice space along with tournament or meet fees. All of these costs make sense and are given upfront to parents before their child begins training. Unfortunately, there are many more costs hidden behind the scenes that sometimes new club families aren’t aware of.

One of the most outrageous fees that is extremely popular in club sports is parking and entrance payment. Although the participating athlete usually gets into their own event for free, the parents and all other supportive spectators are stuck paying anywhere between $5 and $20 per person just to park and watch their kids play. Sometimes, you might get lucky and be able to buy a weekend pass to get you into every game of the weekend at an overall cheaper price, but why is that necessary? While $20 may not seem like a crazy amount of money to spend for the entire weekend of enjoyment, you need to look at the big picture. Many summer club sports spend anywhere from five to eight weekends at tournaments. By buying that “weekend pass” for your kid’s five summer ball tournaments, you are already spending an extra $100, and it only goes up from there. When you are already paying thousands of dollars just for your kid to be able to play, the least that can be done is let the parents be able to watch them for free. 

Another thing to consider as you move higher up as an athlete is the travel costs. The higher up you play, the fewer teams there are around for you to play on, and that might mean traveling an hour both ways to practice every day. As a kid, it might not seem so bad but to your parents, all they see is the continuous stops at gas stations. Along with this, the higher level you are competing at means teams will be looking for the highest competition whether that be in their own state or not. Travel tournaments and meets are some of the most fun experiences of an athlete’s life but making sure parents know what they are getting into is also important. Gas, flights, and hotels are not cheap and are not easy to afford for five weeks straight.

Club sports are an amazing experience for many athletes. They help create bonds like no other and help everyone improve by playing the sport the athlete loves. With this being said, don’t deny your kid this experience if they are interested in playing, but just make sure you know the ins and outs of the costs before it is too late.