We are not professionals. We don’t get paid to play. In fact, quite the opposite. In order to participate in Beer League, we have to pay league fees that vary a lot from region to region and even from league to league in the same region.
While costs are dependent on location, the price per game must be the ultimate consideration as opposed to the raw dollars. The cost per game ranges from $12.98 per game in Minneapolis, Minnesota all the way up to $42.00 per game in Los Angeles, CA.
Some leagues have much higher team/free agent fees but that also includes a larger number of games per season. Team prices can also be misleading as that is the total paid by captains, not individual players.
I have searched over 100 web sites of different beer leagues, and reached out to commissioners for some to get information on how much it costs to play beer league hockey. The result is the table below of 70+ leagues in different hockey and non-traditional markets.
Price When You Have The Choice
Although the option of being able to choose which league you can get into based on availability is always presented to you, it is interesting to note that some areas have vastly different prices between them.
In Nashville, TN, for example, you can save up to 50% of your price per game amount by choosing one rink over another depending on the team and number of players.
If you are in the position to be able to do team pay, then it will almost always save you money vs. paying the rink directly. There are, of course, downsides to this. The captain usually has to pay the initial fee and then collect from the players – which can be easier said than done. Nothing takes the fun out of the game like chasing down your teammates week after week trying to get them to pay up.
So players, if your captain has done the team pay option – realize he just saved you money and pay the man back as quickly as possible. Both he, and likely his credit card, will be greatly appreciative.
Not All Teams Are Equal
Some important items to keep in mind is that some leagues operate under a Team Pay structure. In this, the team captain pays the entire cost for the team and charges the players on their team a price unique to them.
“If you join a team as a free agent, it’s up to the captain on how much money he charges. Some teams are sponsored and some aren’t.”Adam Miller, City National Arena Hockey Director
This means there may not be information on prices for some leagues. The map below represents the leagues we searched for and the information we were able to obtain. We’ve done the hard work for you.
The price-per-game calculations assume a team size of 15 skaters when team pay calculations are made. When those are not available, I divided the individual pay amount by the number of games in a season to come up with the result.
If you would like to add your league to this list, drop me an email (email@example.com).
|Location||Games||Team||Individual||15 Players||20 Players|
|Little Rock, AR||20||300||15.00||15.00|
|Romeoville, IL (Chicago)||18||4595||17.02||12.76|
|Santa Fe, NM||12||220||18.33||18.33|
|Las Vegas, NV||20||5500||18.33||13.75|
|New Haven, CT||10||3300||22.00||16.50|
|Kansas City, KS||16||6240||26.00||19.50|
|San Jose, CA||24||625||26.04||26.04|
|New York, NY||20||8950||29.83||22.38|
|St. Louis, MO||15||6900||30.67||23.00|
|Long Island, NY||8||4250||330||35.42||26.56|
|Los Angeles, CA||15||630||42.00||42.00|
|Salt Lake City, UT||14||3875||18.45||13.84|
In 99.999% of Leagues, Jerseys Costs Are Not Included
Keep in mind that team fees do not include the cost of your jersey. Most leagues require two jerseys. One for home and one for away games. These can range between $90 – $170 for the set depending on the style of jersey and the manufacturer.
Be sure to ask your team captain how much the jersey fee will be for your team so you can take this into consideration when working the financial end of playing.
In cases where jerseys are provided you may not always get the number you want and there likely will be no name on the back depending on the team. Sometimes you get lucky and have a jersey sponsor who will step up to facilitate team jerseys, but I have never had this happen to me personally.
Paying By The Team Gives You More Options
As a rule, a team captain that fronts the cost of the team usually results in a lower price-per-game than one that does not. The math is simply based on the number of players. If you find a team that does team pay on a regular basis, then you are normally saving anywhere between 10%-20% on your league fee depending on the number of players on your team.
Of course, the trade off is with more skaters, you have less ice time – but that is a topic for another article.
One other possible advantage of Team Pay are sponsored teams. Teams like this sometimes have sponsors who will pay a portion or all of your league fee. Sometimes they will provide jerseys. It just depends on the nature of the sponsorship.
Naturally, sponsored teams tend to be more competitive and choosy with regard to players since they have a wider selection of players to choose from and once people get on that team, they are unlikely to leave.
City National Arena (practice home of the Vegas Golden Knights) hockey director Adam Miller told me via email, “If you join a team as a free agent, it’s up to the captain on how much money he charges. Some teams are sponsored and some aren’t.”