Other | Apr 14, 2023

The Top 5 Most Expensive Sports

By Ezra

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Certain sports are more expensive to participate in than others because of the high costs associated with equipment, transport, training, coaching, and maintenance. The most expensive sports in the world are equestrianism, ski jumping, the Pentathlon, ice hockey, and Formula One.

1. Formula 1 (F1)

Formula 1 racing is an open-wheel, high-speed motorsport that involves specialised cars being driven around a circuit. These cars can reach speeds of 230 mph (370 km/h) and are some of the most technologically advanced in the world.

F1 is considered one of the most expensive sports in the world because of the high costs associated with the research and development, manufacturing, maintenance, testing, and racing of the high-performance cars. It is alleged that some F1 teams spend upwards of $400 million a year, with drivers earning millions of dollars annually.

The sport requires cars to be built with the latest technology and materials, with money being invested in material science, computer simulations, and wind tunnel testing. Specialist teams are hired to design and create the fastest, most aerodynamically efficient vehicles possible. F1 cars need to be tested on tracks all around the world which involves the high expense of transporting the cars and equipment, as well as lodging the team.

Formula 1 expenses:

  • Car - Between $12 million and $15 million

  • Driver suit - Between $3,000 and $4,000

  • Helmet - Between $15,000 and $20,000

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2. Pentathlon

The Pentathlon consists of five different events: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, and a combined pistol shooting and running event. The multi-discipline event is one of the original Olympic sports, aiming to determine which athlete is the best overall by testing a range of mental and physical skills.

The Pentathlon is one of the most expensive sports to play because athletes have to pay for the equipment, travel, coaching, and facility maintenance of five different sports. Show jumping is considered the most expensive sport in the Pentathlon, but athletes also need to invest in high quality, specialised fencing, swimming, and running gear as well as a pistol.

Joining a Pentathlon club can be expensive as the sport involves hiring five different coaches and using five different training facilities, which all need to be maintained. This includes an equestrian facility, a fencing hall, a swimming pool, and a shooting range. As the Pentathlon is an international sport, athletes will need to travel worldwide for competitions and the cost of lodging, airfare, and meals can be significant.

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3. Equestrianism

Equestrianism, also known as horseback riding, is a competitive sport involving horses. There are many disciplines within the sport, such as show jumping, dressage, endurance riding, vaulting, and eventing. Equestrianism is a broad term that includes the breeding, owning, maintenance, and riding of horses.

Equestrianism is one of the most expensive sporting events as it requires specialist training and high quality pieces of equipment. These costs are high even before owning a horse, as the best horses are specifically bred for certain disciplines and often need to be imported from other countries.

Veterinary care, supplements, bedding, and protective gears are all costly expenses in equestrianism as well as the regular training, coaching, and exercising of horses. Participating in competitions also comes with the high cost of entry fees, lodging, meals, and transportation. It can cost more than $200,000 annually to exhibit a horse on the international circuit.

Equestrianism expenses:

  • Riding lessons - Between $45 and $80 an hour or $4,000 a year

  • Riding pants and breeches - $25 per pair

  • Shirts - $20

  • Riding boots - $100

  • Horse - Between $100,000 and $300,000

  • Tack and saddlery - Between $100 and $300 each

  • Blinders - Between $100 and $150

  • Grooming and feed - Between $200 to $325 a month

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4. Ice hockey

Ice hockey is played on an ice rink with two opposing teams. The aim of the game is to score the most goals by hitting a puck into the opponents net.

The cost of specialised equipment, ice time, coaching, training, travel, and league fees all contribute to ice hockey being one of the most expensive sports. This can make it an expensive sport for kids to participate in as they may outgrow their kit quickly. An advanced ice hockey player can expect to pay nearly $300,000 a year in expenses.

An ice rink needs constant maintenance and ice hockey clubs and leagues are expected to cover the cost of ice time. Teams often need to travel abroad for games and tournaments, so the cost of lodging, airfare, lodging, and meals can be high.

Ice hockey expenses:

  • Skates - $200

  • Shin guards and pants - $170

  • Shoulder pads and elbow pads - $160

  • Gloves - $130

  • Helmet - $200

  • Stick - $100

  • Hockey tape, laces, wax, mouthguard, jerseys, jocks - $159

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5. Ski jumping

Ski jumping is a highly technical sport that involves jumping off a ski ramp, flying as far as possible, and landing on a steep hill. Athletes are judged on how far they can jump as well as their balance, body position, and landing technique.

Ski jumping is an expensive sport to participate in due to the costs of high quality, specialised equipment and regular facility maintenance and travel. Athletes need to pay for access to ski jumping facilities and clubs, coaching, and training as well as airfare, lodging, and meals when travelling to competitions all around the world.

The cost of skis, boots, and bindings is expensive as athletes may need to replace it frequently and have multiple sets of gear for competitions and training. As ski jumping is a high risk sport, specialised safety equipment such as back protectors, helmets, and pads need to be bought to prevent injuries.

Ski jumping expenses:

  • Skis, boots, bindings, and poles - $700

  • Ski jackets and pants - $200

  • Waterproof gloves - $20

  • Hat - $5

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