Save more, worry less: Save on youth sports this spring

Mar 7, 2023, 12:42 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Playing sports comes at a steep price. From new gear to drive times, the cost of your kids’ sports could take a toll this spring.

On average, sports families spend nearly $700 per child, per sport annually, according to the Aspen Institute and Utah State University’s Family in Sports Lab. 

“That’s been tough on a lot of families especially our friends in the middle and lower-middle-income levels that want to have their kids out there and want to be engaged,” Travis Dorsch, ph.d, associate professor, USU Family in Sports Lab said. 

Here are five ways you can score a win for your financial goals:

Register as soon as possible

Organizations such as AYSO, Little League, and Friday Night Lights offer an early bird discount if you register before a specific date.

Not only will you save a few bucks, but it also helps ensure that your kid gets a spot on the team instead of being put on a waitlist. 

Gear up for less

If your kid is starting out, buying brand-new equipment is unnecessary.

Facebook marketplace, Craiglist or retailers like, Play It Again Sports are good places to get cheaper sports equipment.

 Look for discounts

Most sports teams partner with major retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods to offer a discount to families right before the start of the season.

You could also ask for a discount in exchange for donating your time by being a coach or working concessions.

 “Scholarship opportunities or allowing waivers of payments for families so they can get their kids out there,” are other options Dorsch said.

 Some club teams will offer you a discount for paying fees upfront.

 Look for inexpensive sports in town

Check with city recreation leagues that are usually after school and during the summer. There are programs like Jr. Jazz. YMCA and Every Kid Sports also offer free or low-cost activities.

 If you’re a rookie at all of this, do your research. Get advice from veteran sports parents. They’ve gone through the process and can share some of their secrets to help you save more and worry less.

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Save more, worry less: Save on youth sports this spring