Following the other big money in sports
Record-breaking team sales and player contracts get most of the headlines. Less discussed is all the money sloshing around the rest of the sports industry — from season ticket-holders to weekend golfers.
State of play: Sports fans and participants continue to spend big money to follow their favorite leagues, watch their favorite teams and enjoy their favorite pastimes.
Apparel: The global sports and fitness clothing market is expected to reach $221.3 billion by 2026 (up 29% from 2020). Among the biggest drivers is e-commerce giant Fanatics, the sixth-most valuable private company in the U.S. at $27 billion.
Game outings: It cost a family of four $568.18 to attend an NFL game last year, followed by the NHL ($462.58), NBA ($444.12) and MLB ($256.41). That's based on Team Marketing Report's Fan Cost Index, which counts tickets, food, merchandise and parking.
Betting: Americans have legally wagered nearly $135 billion on sports since the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in 2018. New Yorkers alone have bet nearly $8 billion since January, when mobile betting was legalized.
Streaming: Live games are the only reason many sports fans pay for cable — and it isn’t cheap. Streaming services add up, too, and fans increasingly need more subscriptions to follow the action.
Community: Golf's popularity has soared since 2020, and memberships can cost upwards of $100,000 thanks to huge initiation fees. Community can also be found via subscriptions to Peloton ($44/month), ClassPass ($19-$199/month) and Planet Fitness ($10/month).