SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com January 2018 7 Industry Groundwork Unveils Most- and Least-Expensive U.S. Travel Sports What is the average cost to participate on a travel team in the United States? Groundwork, a Los Angeles- based online payment and notification solution designed for youth sports teams, con- ducted a survey of 16 popular travel sports in the U.S. to find the average season fees charged by teams. According to the survey, the average cost to participate on a travel baseball team is approximately $1,900, not including the actual travel costs for players and parents to attend tournaments, according to Groundwork co-founder and CEO Bill Lennon who said many parents spend $10,000 or more each year for their child to participate in travel sports. Volleyball tops the list with an average of $3,159 while gymnastics comes in a close second. But other sports, such rugby and football, can cost less than $500 per season, Lennon said. The true price tag that par- ents have to pay can end up being quite a bit higher than the numbers on the graph when factoring expenses for travel, equipment and associated costs, Lennon said. Travel teams represent the highest level of ambition in youth sports. To find the desired level of competition and attract the attention of college recruiters, teams travel regionally and nationally to attend tournaments and show- cases. Travel sports can be a feeder into high school varsity teams and a pathway to col- lege scholarships. This com- petitive dynamic, combined with parents' willingness to do anything to help their children succeed, has driven up spend- ing, Lennon said. Not to mention the cost of travel itself is expensive, even with group rates and discounts. Plus, the team has to eat while they're on the road, so food factors in as well. For some sports, one of the highest costs is the facility where the team practices. For an ice hockey team, renting an ice rink is very expensive. Plus, not many areas have more than one or two rinks. When all the teams have to compete for practice time, that drives rink rental prices even higher. Equipment also plays a major role in the overall cost to play some sports. Football, lacrosse and ice hockey all require a lot of protective equipment in order to prevent injuries. Often, the helmet is the most expensive piece of a player's uniform. Hockey sticks and baseball bats can get pretty pricey as well. Another reason for the dif- ference in fees is team culture. Some sports pay their coaches more and others pay a lot for high-quality uniforms. Some teams have a player's parent coaching rather than paying a coach, which decreases costs significantly. Some sports participate in only a few tour- naments each season, while others compete in many more, which drives up travel costs. Some sports, such as volley- ball, can include some or all of the travel costs in their team ► t SPORTS Talk WEIRSDALE, Fla. — The Grand Oaks Resort near Lady Lake in Weirsdale, Fla., is expanding its resort amenities, including adding four indoor pickleball courts. Additional courts and a larger tournament space is expected to be constructed in the future. Eight-week leagues will start in February for men's, women's and mixed pickleball leagues. Pickleball pro John Sperling is on staff to teach classes or answer questions. Grand Oaks will host lessons, clinics, leagues and tourna- ments, and the resort will provide "Stay and Play" vacation pack- ages, according to Laureen Oliver, managing partner and CFO of the resort. The Grand Oaks Resort is situated 15 minutes from The Villages, Fla., and an hour northwest of Orlando. The 340-acre property is known as America's Equestrian Resort and is a major center for equestrian events, personal training and board- ing facilities. In addition to pickleball, a new lighted, covered, year-round equestrian arena was also added. The arena measures 170' x 300' and is available to rent or use in conjunction with hosted events at the resort. Grand Oaks Resort includes a lodge, cottages, barns, a museum, an RV park and other amenities. For more information, visit www.thegrandoaks.com. n The Grand Oaks Resort Expands Pickleball Courts Average Season Fees Per Player To Participate On A Team By Sport

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