The Show

How Much Do Sports Cost? (And how to play for less!)

Sports are deeply rooted in American Culture

Ever since the first sports leagues were formed in the late 1800’s America has been at the forefront, both in terms of performance and enthusiasm. The Baseball’s National League was founded in 1876, the Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893, and the NCAA was formed in 1906 - thirty years after colleges began competing in organized football. Today those roots have spread to nearly every town in America, where on any visit you’ll be sure to find a local field, basketball court, or baseball diamond. We start young and stay engaged as athletes and fans throughout our lives. In fact, 42% of the population from age 6 and up is physically active on a weekly basis.

More than 90 million Americans (45 million of which are youth athletes) play organized sports in the U.S. annually. Aside from the benefits of regular exercise and socializing, organized sports encourage higher grades by encouraging active problem solving, team building and overcoming setbacks. It’s not a coincidence that almost all Fortune 500 executives played organized sports as children, after all!

Because of these amazing benefits, it should be common sense to encourage everyone to play sports whenever possible - but it’s not that simple. The main reason why many abstain from joining teams, or allowing their children to join teams, is almost always the cost. Athletes must pay registration fees, travel, and of course, purchase the gear.

How much is this gear, exactly? It varies by sport, but on average an athlete will spend $600 a year on equipment with the potential for thousands more depending on how serious they are about their sport.

We founded SidelineSwap to make sports more accessible by making equipment more affordable. In order to do so effectively, we needed to know exactly how much new equipment costs in each of the major sports. This whitepaper details what we found, and the savings you can expect by shopping for new and used gear on SidelineSwap.

Lacrosse

Given how contact-heavy this sport is, you might think that lacrosse would be incredibly expensive, but it’s actually one of the least expensive of our top served sports! The lack of equipment is actually the cause for many of the bragging rights that lacrosse players hold so dear - you have to be ready for pain and injuries to play this sport at elite levels.

Required Equipment

We compared the cost of each piece of required equipment on Lax.com, arguably the most popular site for new gear, to the average cost on SidelineSwap.

If you or a family member is getting ready to start playing this sport, the equipment you’ll need to invest in is:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Arm Pads
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Strung Head
  • Shaft
  • Cleats

Helmet

Price comparisons are for the Cascade R Lacrosse Hemlet.

Lax.com: $249
SidelineSwap: $105
Total Savings: 58%

Gloves

Price comparisons are for Maverik M3 Gloves.

Lax.com: $129
SidelineSwap: $60
Total Savings: 53%

Arm Pads

Price comparisons are for STX Cell III Arm Guards.

Lax.com: $70
SidelineSwap: $40
Total Savings: 43%

Shoulder Pads

Price comparisons are for STX Cell 3 Shoulder Pads.

Lax.com: $120
SidelineSwap: $70
Total Savings: 42%

Strung Head

Price comparisons are for STX Stallion U 550.

Lax.com: $75
SidelineSwap: $45
Total Savings: 40%

Shaft

Price comparisons are for the Maverik A1 Shaft.

Lax.com: $95
SidelineSwap: $45
Total Savings: 53%

Cleats

Price comparisons are for Under Armour Highlights.

Lax.com: $120
SidelineSwap: $60
Total Savings: 50%

Total Retail Cost of New Gear: $858
Lightly Used Gear on SidelineSwap: $425
(savings 50% or $443)

According to our research, if you pay for a new set of lacrosse equipment, you should be ready to set down $858, on average. However, if you decide to invest in gently used equipment from SidelineSwap, you’ll save 50% - and only have to put down $425, a total savings of $433.

Hockey

As one of the most physical sports, it’s a given that there are plenty of pieces of safety equipment you’ll need to participate in hockey. Players are covered head to toe in equipment while they’re on the ice, comfortable skates are a must, and you should always have a backup stick ready. While it’s easily one of our favorite sports and incredibly fun, don’t skimp on quality when you’re buying your equipment here!

Required Equipment

We compared each piece to a new item from TotalHockey.

  • Skates
  • Stick
  • Helmet
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Gloves
  • Pants
  • Shin Guards
  • Socks

Skates

Price comparisons are for Bauer Nexus 1N Ice Skates.

Total Hockey: $949
SidelineSwap: $450
Total Savings: 53%

Stick

Price comparisons are for Bauer Nexus 1N Composite Stick.

Total Hockey: $300
SidelineSwap: $135
Total Savings: 55%

Helmet

Price comparisons are for Bauer Re-Akt 100 Helmet.

Total Hockey: $75
SidelineSwap: $45
Total Savings: 40%

Shoulder Pads

Price comparisons are for Bauer Vapor 1x Shoulder Pads.

Total Hockey: $189
SidelineSwap: $120
Total Savings: 37%

Elbow Pads

Price comparisons are for CCM Tacks 6052 Elbow Pads.

Total Hockey: $70
SidelineSwap: $55
Total Savings: 21%

Gloves

Comparisons are for CCM Tacks 6052 Gloves.

Total Hockey: $85
SidelineSwap: $40
Total Savings: 53%

Pants

Comparisons are for Bauer S17 Supreme S190.

Total Hockey: $140
SidelineSwap: $70
Total Savings: 50%

Shin Guards

Comparisons are for Bauer Supreme S150 Shin Guards.

Total Hockey: $60
SidelineSwap: $15
Total Savings: 75%

Socks

Comparisons are for Bauer 1000 Adult Socks.

Total Hockey: $20
SidelineSwap: $5
Total Savings: 75%

Total Retail Cost of New Gear: $2,082
Gently Used Gear on SidelineSwap: $940 (savings 55% or $1,142)

Hockey, according to our research, is the sport where buying used will save you the most money. If you pay for a new set of hockey equipment, you should be ready to set down $2,082, on average. However, if you decide to invest in gently used equipment from SidelineSwap, you’ll save 55% - and only have to put down $940, a total savings of $1,142.

Baseball

Ah, the great American pastime. Baseball may not be as physical as some of the other sports in our study, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need gear! Not convinced you need protection for a quick pickup team? Consider that the average pitch speed is between 50 to 70 miles per hour. The average. Still don’t want to shell out for a proper helmet and glove?

Required Equipment

We compared each piece to a new item from BaseballMonkey.

  • Bat
  • Glove
  • Helmet
  • Cleats

Bat

Comparisons are for Easton S2 Hybrid Baseball Bat.

BaseballMonkey: $259
SidelineSwap: $198
Total Savings: 24%

Glove

Comparisons are for Mizuno Global Elite Infield Glove.

BaseballMonkey: $239
SidelineSwap: $160
Total Savings: 33%

Batting Gloves

Comparisons are for Nike Vapor Elite Batting Gloves.
BaseballMonkey: $50
SidelineSwap: $20
Total Savings: 60%

Helmet

Comparisons are for Easton Z7 Batting Helmet.

BaseballMonkey: $70
SidelineSwap: $20
Total Savings: 71%

Cleats

Comparisons are for New Balance M3000 Mid Metal Cleats.

BaseballMonkey: $95
SidelineSwap: $65
Total Savings: 32%

Total Retail Cost of New Gear: $903
Gently Used Gear on SidelineSwap: $463 (savings 51% or $440)

Baseball is relatively affordable compared to some of the other sports we covered here. If you pay for a new set of high-end baseball equipment, you should be ready to set down $903, on average. However, if you decide to invest in gently used equipment from SidelineSwap, you’ll save 51% - and only have to put down $463, a total savings of $440.

Golf

As one of the most dignified sports that Americans play, golf is known as not only a great way to get some exercise and enjoy good weather, but also the setting where many great business deals and partnerships are made. However, in order to play, you need to invest in quality equipment - it’s just par for the course.

Required Equipment

We compared each piece to a new item from GolfGalaxy.

  • Driver
  • Putter
  • Iron Set
  • Fairway Wood
  • Footwear
  • Bag

Driver
Comparisons are for Titleist 915 D3 Driver.

GolfGalaxy: $279
SidelineSwap: $200
Total Savings: 28%

Putter

Comparisons are for TaylorMade OS Daytona Putter.

GolfGalaxy: $199
SidelineSwap: $109
Total Savings: 45%

Iron Set

Comparisons are for Titleist 716 MB Irons.

GolfGalaxy: $1099
SidelineSwap: $420
Total Savings: 62%

Fairway Wood

Comparisons are for TaylorMade M2 Fairway Wood.

GolfGalaxy: $199
SidelineSwap: $109
Total Savings: 45%

Footwear

Comparisons are for Nike Lunar Control 4 Golf Shoes.

GolfGalaxy: $169
SidelineSwap: $60
Total Savings: 64%

Bag

Comparisons are for Ping Hoofer Golf Bag.

GolfGalaxy: $209
SidelineSwap: $45
Total Savings: 78%

  • Total Retail Cost of New Gear: $2,154
  • Gently Used Gear on SidelineSwap: $943 (savings 56% or $1,211)

Golf equipment is all about quality over quantity - which mean to get the most putt for your buck, you’ll want to find higher quality gently used equipment, instead of buying lower quality gear for the same price. If you pay for a new set of golf equipment, you should be ready to set down $2,154, on average. However, if you decide to invest in gently used equipment from SidelineSwap, you’ll save 56% - and only have to put down $943, a total savings of $1,211.

Skiing

There’s nothing quite like flying down a perfectly powdered ski slope, and feeling confident and in control. That control, however, only comes from having the right equipment on - an ill-fitting boot or scratched up goggles can ruin what could be a great day. If you live near snow, or frequently travel to places that do, investing in great ski equipment is likely a top priority for you and your family, but make sure it doesn’t set you back financially!

Required Equipment

We compared each piece to a new item from Skis.com.

  • Skis
  • Boots
  • Bindings
  • Poles
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Jackets
  • Pants

Skis

Comparisons are for Salomon X-Drive 8.0 FS Skis.

Skis.com: $950
SidelineSwap: $349
Total Savings: 63%

Boots

Comparisons are for Lange RS 90 SC Ski Boots.

Skis.com: $319
SidelineSwap: $179
Total Savings: 44%

Bindings

Comparisons are for Marker XCell 16 Bindings.

Skis.com: $269
SidelineSwap: $175
Total Savings: 35%

Poles

Comparisons are for Scott WC SL Poles.

Skis.com: $115
SidelineSwap: $50
Total Savings: 57%

Helmet

Comparisons are for Shred Mega Brain Bucket.

Skis.com: $159
SidelineSwap: $75
Total Savings: 53%

Goggles

Comparisons are for Poc Retina Big NXT Goggles.

Skis.com: $129
SidelineSwap: $90
Total Savings: 30%

Jackets

Comparisons are for Armada Atka Jacket.

Skis.com: $349
SidelineSwap: $215
Total Savings: 38%

Pants

Comparisons are for Armada Vision Ski Pants.

Skis.com: $199
SidelineSwap: $125
Total Savings: 37%

  • Total Retail Cost of New Gear: $2,489
  • Gently Used Gear on SidelineSwap: $1,258 (savings 49% or $1,231)

Skiing is a sport that lets you mix in a vacation at the same time - but is also extremely reliant on great equipment not only for your enjoyment but also your safety. If you pay for a new set of ski equipment, you should be ready to set down $2,489, on average. However, if you decide to invest in gently used equipment from SidelineSwap, you’ll save 49% - and only have to put down $1,258, a total savings of $1,231.

All prices as of 4/21/17.

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About Brendan Candon

Brendan is the co-founder and CEO of SidelineSwap. He's a former college lacrosse player and coach, mediocre golfer, and sometimes snowboarder / surfer.
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