Breaking down the high costs of youth soccer

  • Money, Tuesday, September 29, 2015 4:26 PM
How much does it cost children to play competitive youth ball in the USA? MONEY's Paul Keegan and Kate Santichen used a California family with four soccer-playing boys as a case study. The parents dug out their receipts. They were fully aware of only about half of their out-of-pocket costs -- the club’s $8,100-per-year team-membership fees that show up on their bank statements ($675 a month) and the club’s $100-per-child annual tournament fees. The rest surprised them. In the past year they had paid $6,200 for travel to eight tournaments, including $2,400 for restaurants and the rest for hotels, car rentals, and gas. Cleats and other gear cost $1,200 a year, while the special ball-striking coach who gives all four boys private lessons runs $30 a week ($1,500 a year). Last year, the family paid $17,400 for soccer-related expenses, by far the biggest item in their budget after their mortgage.

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8 comments about "Breaking down the high costs of youth soccer".
  1. aaron dutch, September 29, 2015 at 5:36 p.m.

    This is the heart of the problem, a family of 4 shouldnt have to spend $10-20k a year to keep their kids in football. All these BS showcases, lame tourneys that add no value except to pay clubs fees & keep the engine going is the problem.

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, October 1, 2015 at 12:11 p.m.

    On the Boys Side; For Sure...Silly idea to "Hunt" for Scholarship Money...Better to invest in College Fund...

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, October 1, 2015 at 2:45 p.m.

    I will say, in Defense of Tournaments and Travel; I still run into Parents and Players that go Back 30 years, to great times "On the Road"...Spend the Money for the Memories, Not for the Trophies or Scholarships....Heck, the parent's were gonna Blow It on something else anyway. .

  4. Soccer Madness, September 30, 2015 at 11 a.m.

    Hey, but why compensate clubs that develop right?? This is exactly why you morons!! Creates a competition of actually developing players to be compensated for!!! The Big, fast or strongest will no longer be seen as the best as it will now be about investing in top talent for the clubs. What we see now as the best teams will disappear. Clubs will offer free play, free tourneys (that matter), free training, free uniforms, etc. to entrie teams. Because of the potential payout one of these players will bring. The big $$ pay to play parents will now understand where their kid stands as the club investment in top players will not go by your annual income but by how good you are. Therefore, pay to play clubs will have to charge less as they can no longer realistically offer their customers top team rankings.

  5. Bob Ashpole, October 1, 2015 at 1:40 a.m.

    The fairness in the current system is that the person holding the player's contract doesn't gain a complete windfall from the training provided by prior clubs. This is actually one area where FIFA does something good. Without FIFA there would be all kinds of dirty tricks and cutthroat competition to sign kids to pro contracts. Because of the money involved, it would potentially be much worse than the worst NCAA recruiting scandal.

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, October 1, 2015 at 12:09 p.m.

    Gonna be interesting to see what comes of the meeting between USSF and the Clubs...Hopefully the Training/Solidarity Payments will start to Trickle on down the Line. ..

  7. aaron dutch, October 2, 2015 at 10:26 a.m.

    Soccer Madness is 100% correct, the idea that 4 kids (at least 1 is prob really good). have to spend $4k a kid is why millions of kids from the sub $75k income level cant play US Club elite soccer. They can only play rec/ local travel/ cheap regional/ODP and thats it. they can only spend $2k max with club fees, travel, kit all in not $4-6k per kid. That difference which most of us prob dont have as an issue is the gap.

  8. Santiago 1314, October 3, 2015 at 10:22 a.m.

    And the "Stephen Curry" that is playing Street Basketball in Chicago...Developing all those Skills and Smarts is paying how Much??? -0-... That is where the Payment Compensation comes in

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