Here are ten most expensive sports and games in the world, according to aficionados.

What’s your favorite sport or game? We love learning. Whatever your favorite sport or game, is it costly to practice? Learning is free, (but not in school). As fun as sports and games are, the cost associated with doing them as a profession, hinders most people from pursuing it as a career. Dear friends, here are the world’s top ten most expensive sports and games — not how much you’ll earn for doing the sport, but how much it costs just to practice it.

Spoiler alert: Association football — the most popular sports in the world — didn’t make this list.



#10. Golf

Origin: Scotland;

Mode of play: Single player competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $100,000+ for training per year.

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This sport is mostly thought of as a recreational sport for the elite. However, several individuals play it professionally (do you see a tiger in the woods?). But whether you wish to play pro or leisure, you better have some deep pockets just to train for it. Most prestigious golf club membership fees will cost you roughly thousands of dollars just to train, and not even factoring your essential golfing gear and equipments, and not to mention all the caddy fees, too. So expect to pay roughly $134,079 each year just to be a golfer for fun.

Golf ranks as the 10th most expensive sport in the world.


#9. Hot Air Balloon Racing

Origin: France;

Mode of play: Teamwork competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $20,000 per ballon.

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Yes, this is actually a racing sport; and of course, flying one doesn’t come cheap, either. You’ll need to spend a fortune just to buy a balloon, and eventually more balloons, than to think of the cost involved to train, and the years needed to become a pro. In addition to all that, the median cost for a second-hand used balloon could cost you a mere $21,077, than to think of a spare balloon, too, just in case it bursts. And prepare to spend even more on helium gas to fuel your flights and to organize friendly competitions as well.

Hot Air Balloon Racing ranks as the 9th most expensive sport in the world.



#8. Bobsledding

Origin: Switzerland;

Mode of play: Team-player competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $25,000 per bobsled.

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This sport was played in the movie ‘Cool Runnings’ — which is actually based on a true story. In the movie, one of the main challenges the team had was not only having no ice or track to sled on, but to also buy a bobsled. The cost for buying a bobsled could be roughly $26,346, without additional equipment and essential gear, and even not talking of insurance cost, too. Oh yes, you need insurance, and the better the bobsled, the higher the insurance. Just like Formula 1 (also in this list), most teams rely on sponsorships to participate in events.

Bobsledding ranks as the 8th most expensive sport in the world.


#7. Ski Jumping

Origin: Norway;

Mode of play: Single-player competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $100,000 to participate.

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This sport is not only risky, but costly as well; and to be a professional ski jumper, your cost is coupled with all sorts of things. From the skiing equipment to essential gear to hiring a professional coach to a ski jumping slope, well… expect to pay a fortune. This could cost you around $105,304 to get your hands on everything you will need to participate at the pro level. Oh, least you don’t forget travel and insurance costs, too. However, most professional ski jumpers often seek out sponsorship to participate in programs and events.

Ski Jumping ranks as the 7th most expensive sport in the world.



#6. Tennis

Origin: France;

Mode of play: Two-player competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. … per player, and … for court fee.

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This sport has always been dubbed expensive. And over the decades, the sport that was well-known as a country club sport has now become an iconic feature among the elite class. Keeping with the demands of the sport is really costly, and only few manage to play professional, or even play for leisure. The expenses for playing could be roughly …, considering all the different kinds of equipment tennis players need — this include essential gear, racquets, balls, strings, and not to mention court fees. So you better have a deep pocket as well.

Tennis ranks as the 6th most expensive sport in the world.


#5. Equestrian

Origin: probably Greece;

Mode of play: Multiplayer competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $300,000 per year.

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Equestrian sports means any sport that involves horses, and you don’t need a financial lesson on the price of horses to understand that it doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to buy, train, saddle, and maintain a thoroughbred horse costing roughly $341,434 each year. And this requires riding, driving, and a coach to train you on steeplechasing. Additional costs includes ranch membership fees, insurance, horse feed, and who knows what else. This is a dream for most people, but the cost involved could reach staggering figures.

Equestrian ranks as the 5th most expensive sport in the world.



#4. Polo

Origin: Persia;

Mode of play: Team competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. $150,000 per polo match.

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

No wonder polo is next in this list. Any sports that requires a horse is expensive, and these were generally for the elite. First, you’ll need at least four horses to play polo in the event of a horse injury. Take a second and imagine the cost! You’ll need a healthy running horse to continue playing. The average cost to run a polo match is roughly $157,955, however, most polo tournaments are sponsored by leading companies. The Royal Family even has a polo club in which Prince William and Prince Henry are best known players.

Polo ranks as the 4th most expensive sport in the world.

(Fun fact: Did you know that lefties are completely banned from playing Polo?)


#3. Sailing

Origin: Austronesian (present day Taiwan);

Mode of play: Teamwork competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. close to a million dollars per year.

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Do you own a yacht? If not, then forget playing this sport. Playing sports on land isn’t expensive as it is at sea. Of course, a yacht surely cost a fortune, and this could cost roughly $26,815 as deposit for a sailing vessel as well as a monthly fee of $1,500 — this is just the purchase. Now think of maintenance, fuel, your crew, insurance, and tournament appearance fee you’ll pay to participate in events such as the Vice Admiral’s Cup and the Emirates America’s Cup World Series. So if you’re not a millionaire, don’t cruise the ocean just for fun.

Sailing ranks as the 3rd most expensive sport in the world.



#2. Formula 1

Origin: Modern Europe;

Mode of play: Multiplayer competition;

Estimated cost involved: approx. millions of dollars per grand prix.

Image: Bryn Lennon / iStock / Getty Images Plus

This is actually the most expensive sport in the world. The infamous motorsport is extremely expensive for the following reasons. The cost of cars could be as high as $2.5 million for a single team. Participation in a tournament requires massive sponsorship, roughly $200,000 just for endorsement. And if you’ve seen a Formula 1 race, you’ve seen how quickly and frequent drivers need to swap their tires? Well, that aren’t cheap, either. Additionally, these cars are fragile, so insurance premium on them are ridiculously high, too.

Formula 1 ranks as the 2nd most expensive sport in the world.


#1. Whitanga Festival

Origin: New Zealand; 

Mode of play: Polyarathon;

Estimated cost involved: approx. a fortune you wish to spend just to have fun.

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

This isn’t a sport but a festival that showcases a range of sporting activities that involves car racing, powerboats, jet ski racing, and helicopters which include skydiving with parachutes. Crazy sports, huh? Annually held in New Zealand, the Whitanga Festival of Sports is undoubtedly the most expensive sporting event in the world. To those of you who are just reading about it, well…, this isn’t for the broke ones among you. All that machinery involved comes at a huge price to purchase, and its maintenance. What’s even the price of a jet ski like?

Whitanga Festival ranks as the 1st most expensive sport in the world.

Have you ever played in any of these sports before?


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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Fri, Nov 05, 2021.

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