Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Does It Cost To Play Hockey In Chicago?

By CAYH Editor

What does it cost to play hockey in the Chicago area?  It is not cheap, that's for sure!  That could be why the AA and House Fees Database was the post that launched this blog.  Many of our readers have referred to it in their own investigation, and I have a few posts delving into the topic further.

For me, the next logical step is to compare the average fees charged at the various levels.  From the CSDHL at the high end of AA travel competition, to the house 'travel B' leagues of NWHL, NSYHL, and SSHL at the low end, there is considerable variation in fees.  As mentioned in the original post, this is NOT a discussion of what you get for your money.  That is a topic for another day.

A chart illustrates this phenomenon:



Click for a larger version


Here is a table of the average fees by level and division:


Division CSDHL NIHL House NWHL*
Mite  $     2,675  $     1,369  $     1,762
Squirt  $     3,449  $     2,948  $     1,522  $     2,063
PeeWee  $     3,546  $     3,119  $     1,630  $     2,191
Bantam  $     3,736  $     3,289  $     1,698  $     2,317
Midget  $     3,910  $     3,376  $     1,241  $     1,699

*Excluding park district NWHL programs.

As you would expect, the CSDHL is the most expensive league as it is arguably the highest level of competition for AA travel hockey.  Ranging from $3,449 to $3,910, the CSDHL is approximately $500 or 14%-17% more this season than NIHL.  Average fees for NIHL ranges from $2,675 to $3,376 for the 2010-11 season.

Now moving to the house leagues, things get really interesting.  The "House" column in the above table includes all three leagues:  NWHL, NSYHL, and SSHL.  NIHL is double the cost of the house leagues ON AVERAGE.  However, the averages are skewed by the fact many of those NIHL clubs that also offer NWHL league teams.  These 11 clubs in the database charge significantly more on balance for NWHL than other house programs.  In the far right column, I removed the 4 park district NWHL programs that charge only $550 to $990 to get an average for these NIHL/NWHL teams.

The bottom line is that you will pay about 1/3 more to play for one of these NWHL teams, but it is often about 1/3 less than playing on the NIHL team.  Of course, that is still 2x to 3x the park district teams you will be playing in the NWHL.  OUCH!

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