Breaking down the high cost of playing hockey in Toronto

Watch the video above: Breaking down the high cost of playing hockey in Toronto. Cindy Pom reports. 

It’s expensive to play hockey, with a small chance of making it big.

Global News had a look at the price of playing A or AA level hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL).

In order to play in the GTHL, the biggest minor league in the world, it will cost the average player approximately $5,500 per season.

Here is the breakdown:

  • $3,500 season hockey fee
  • $220 game fee ($6 per game x 36 games)
  • $220 spectator fee ($6 per game x 36 games)
  • $1,000 approximate cost of hotels, gas, meals for away tournaments
  • $500 updating equipment every year
  • $50 skate sharpening

Contrast the fees of playing hockey with other sports.

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Without factoring in the cost of away tournaments, the price of playing rep-level soccer at the Oakville Soccer Club is approximately $1,500 per player, per season.

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Read More: GTHL launches survey on eliminating gate fees for player fees

It’s approximately $850 annually to play A or AA level baseball with the Toronto Baseball Association.

Paying close to $5,500 every year to play hockey in Toronto is a significantly higher investment but with every investment, there is the hope of a return.

Yet of the minor league players in Ontario, only one in 1,000 plays a single game in the NHL.

But that investment could bring significant returns if it were sunk into an RRSP or an RESP, according to one money blogger.

“If you put $5,000 in a tax-deferred savings plan such as an RRSP, you’re looking at saving $27,000 over five years,” said Kerry K. Taylor of The numbers are calculated based on four per cent interest.

“Over ten years, you’re looking at about $60,000,” she added. “There’s also the benefit of reducing your taxable income and qualifying for that juicy tax refund.”

Same goes for investing in the Registered Education Savings Plan, Taylor said.

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“It’s even more money because the government is going to hand you free money when you make a contribution into your RESP,” she said.

Under the RESP plan, for every $2,500 contributed, the government gives $500 each year, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.

Still, Taylor noted that getting children and youth involved in sports and activities that they love might offer a priceless return.

“Sports isn’t just about making it to the big league. It’s about making the friendships along the way, the enjoyment of play.”

She suggested the best idea is balance: save a bit and also play a bit.

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