The sports industry makes an estimated $1.3 trillion worldwide, as reported in statistics by Plunkett Research. Chances are that a large portion of that money comes from sports that few people can afford to play.
Yes, there are definitely barriers in the world of sports. Some games you can play with a cheap ball and other sports require cost more than what many people make in a year. Those costs come from the equipment as well as from the venues you need to play them in.
Sports are beneficial and contribute to physical well-being as well as emotional and mental health. So it doesn’t matter if you’re playing a ‘cheap’ sport versus an expensive one. But let’s look at some of the most expensive sports in the world so we know what we’re missing out on (or not).
Cost of Sports
There are various sports you can choose from. However, some sports can be difficult to access by the general public. These sports have more demanding requirements than others in terms of cost. Buying a horse to become an equestrian is no easy feat.
The financial investment given to such sports is big. It is possible that you can through patronage, external sponsorships, or even loans. But for the most part, these expensive sports and for those that have thousands to spare. Let’s get into them.
10. Wingsuit Flying
Wingsuiting is an extreme sport used in BASE jumping and skydiving. The sport defies gravity by wearing a suit that looks similar to a flying squirrel and also, glides like it.
Wingsuiting is listed as one of the most expensive sports because the suit in itself is worth $3,000. Moreover, the training needed will be hours of jumping off aircraft, so you will include the rental fees of the aircraft you will be using. You must consider applying for insurance premiums as well.
The sport bobsleigh was invented in the late 1860s by the Swiss. Bobsleigh is a team winter sport in which players ride a sled to slide down long, narrow, and twisting iced tracks. The sled is called a bobsled, bobsleigh, or bob that carries either two or four persons.
Bobsleigh comes at a high expense because the bobsled itself costs around $25,000 up to $100,000. While having a personal bobsled track might reach millions of dollars. Moreover, a few bobsleds run in the world so travel and accommodation will add to the cost.
The training for this sport is also expensive as there is a limited number of trainers only. So, trainers charge a high service fee. And remember, bobsleigh is a team sport so it will cost twice as much and even four times.
For those who are interested in joining this Winter Olympic Sport, you will be required to get corporate sponsorship to accommodate the total cost.
8. Formula 1
A new formula was initiated in motor racing after World War II in 1950. It was originally called Formula A and is now commonly known as Formula 1. The racing technology experiences revolutionary changes in the early years of F1.
Formula 1 is a motorsport that requires a large sum of money. An F1 car costs over a million dollars. Not mentioning the additional costs for fuel, tires, maintenance, racing track rentals, crew fees, and practice hours, among others.
This sport can only be afforded by a few privileged people on their own as costs go into the hundreds of thousands. That’s why it is usually supported by sponsors or patronage. Although this is among the most expensive sports in the world, Formula 1 ignites participants and spectators a great deal of excitement.
Studies say that early forms of golf were first played in the Netherlands and Scotland. Through the years, golf has paved its way to popularity. A lot of people play golf as a recreational sport.
Golf is a cross country sport using a small ball and a golf club. The player will strike the ball with different clubs from a series of points, also called teeing grounds.
Then, the player aims to put the ball into the holes on a course. Golf is considered one of the most expensive sports, which will cost you tens of thousands of dollars if you want to play with the best equipment on the best course.
Whether you are a professional player or a sports enthusiast, you will have to pay a certain amount of membership fees at prestigious country clubs. You will also allot some money for golf equipment and the caddy fees.
6. Hot Air Balloon Racing
The history of hot air balloons began in 1783. Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, a French scientist, launched the first hot air balloon, which carries a duck, a cockerel, and a sheep. This first-ever flight lasted for 15 minutes.
Hot air balloon racing is an actual sport that is included in the list of most expensive sports in the world. A hot air balloon costs around $20,000, and the inflation of the balloon is about $9,000. Additionally, the pilot’s license costs $3,000.
5. Ski Jumping
Ski jumping has evolved over the past years. Professional ski jumping is a very expensive sport. The expenses include skiing equipment, a ski jumping slope, and a training coach.
In terms of participation, a professional ski jumping competition will cost you around $100,000, not including the travel and insurance costs. You might consider relying on sponsors rather than doing it on your own.
The pentathlon during ancient Greece consisted of jumping, discus, running, and wrestling. On the other hand, in modern times, the pentathlon was introduced in 1912 at the Stockholm Games. Pentathlon consists of running, swimming, fencing, pistol shooting, and show jumping.
Since Pentathlon is a combination of five different sports, it makes the sport an expensive one. These five sports are unique from each other. Therefore, you will invest in different kinds of equipment, and you need to train under different coaches.
The priciest among the five sports is show jumping, as it requires a horse. Besides, the costs for all other events, such as maintenance will also add up to the total expenses. This sport might be good for those who like to do multiple activities in one.
Polo is a sport of Central Asian origin. The first game played is in Persia during the 6th century B.C. to the 1st Century A.D. Polo is the oldest of equestrian sports and is known to be a royalty sport. Polo is a game between two teams with four players each.
Each player rides on a horse and holds mallets with long, flexible handles. Teams players need to hit a wooden ball towards their respective goalposts to get a score. Polo requires a large amount of money because of the purchase of an elite horse.
The horse must also be trained, maintained, and traveled. Furthermore, polo players have to own more than one horse to have reserved substitutes when necessary. Horse grooming is needed as well, which costs $2,500 a month.
To participate in tournaments, you need to pay for $3,500 up to $150,000 while sponsors and patrons spend between $300,000 and $1,000,000. Lastly, Polo brings a lot of risks. The rate of getting an injury is high, so you must keep in mind possible medical expenses as well.
The origins of equestrian sports can be traced back to ancient Greece. During this period, dressage was developed as a strategy to train horses for war. While in the early 680 BCE, there were Olympic competitions involving horses when chariot horses were introduced to the Ancient Olympic Games.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, jumping was developed for fox hunt and steeplechase. On the other hand, eventing was developed to prepare and test cavalry horses. Eventing is composed of all aspects of horsemanship testing which are dressage, jumping, and cross-country riding.
The main skills of doing equestrian sport are riding, driving, and steeplechasing. Training and maintenance of a thoroughbred horse are important in this sport. The costs of training, maintenance, plus traveling to events can be extremely huge, which is over $300,000.
Purchasing a horse also costs a lot ranging from more than a hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Riding a horse might be a dream activity of many. However, participating in equestrian sports are only accessible for those privileged ones.
Sailing requires intense knowledge of the elements to move your boat to the win. It requires skills and experience to master sailing during ever-changing conditions. Historically, international yacht racing started in 1851.
The sport of sailing is expensive due to the enormous cost of a sailing boat and its assortment of equipment. The price of a sailing vessel is over $100 million. The competitions happen over a few months.
For the rest of the year with no tournament, the boat is stored in a dry land. This period is when additional expenses take place. The boat will undergo extra expensive tasks to prepare it to sail in the water again.
Getting involved in a sport can bring many benefits such as developing your motor skills and an improved immune system. Participating in sports is also a productive way of spending your time and energy and it doesn’t matter what kind of sport it is.
If you are interested in the sports above and you have the money and time, go ahead and challenge yourself. But getting the benefit of sports does not require those sports. So feel good about what you can afford and if you really want to get into the above sports, you’ll find a way.