If you want any more proof that hockey is no longer for all of us, consider this.
In a study released by Ohio University and commissioned by Canadian Tire and Scotiabank, hockey as a sport generates 11 Billion dollars of economic impact a year in Canada, with over 5.2 billion of that spent on ‘tourism’.
Tourism is defined as trips made by teams to other parts of their city, province or country to partake in the sport or simply just to watch. If you divided that amount, 5.2 Billion by the 35 million people in this country, it means that each person in Canada would spend $150 a year on hockey.
Drill down a little deeper and you realize that this number is misleading. The 5.2 Billion dollars is taking into account tourism, so when you pack Johnny or Sally off for their game out of town, the costs associated with that trip. Gas, food, hotel, etcetera; when you take that 5.2 Billion and divide it by the 580,000 registered hockey players in Canada, that is over $9000 per registered player, per year.
So if I have a family of two kids, who both play hockey, it would cost me $18000 per year…before registration.
Now you know why middle and low income families struggle with getting their kids on the ice…and that doesn’t include hockey registration, equipment or other costs that are factored into the equation.
The days of throwing hockey sticks into the middle of the ice to pick teams are over, and it was a long time ago. There are all types of power skating schools, spring leagues, summer leagues, specialized coaching, and each of them come at a price…and that price is the innocence of the game.
We no longer imagine what we can do while playing hockey, we are told. Like a lot of things in this world, hockey is not immune to micromanagement, especially when it has become such a big business.
The days of everyone playing street hockey are over because when you break a stick, it’s not $10 for a new one, it’s a hundred…and God help you if you put a little road rash on your hockey stick.
Hockey isn’t our passion anymore, it’s a business…and the greatest victim in all of this isn’t the game…it’s the kids