ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - With the success of the St. Louis Blues this season, your child may aspire to become the next T.J. Oshie or Alexander Steen. But you might be uninspired when you find out how much it costs to play the sport.
When former Blues player Terry Yake visited NewsChannel 5, he provided his best estimate on the costs for youth hockey participation. We also reached out to a popular west St. Louis County ice rink for another estimate.
The overall theme? Youth hockey is not cheap.
Families have to pay league fees, which includes ice time. That can run about $2,500 a year.
Travel is the largest expense, and it varies depending on what league your child is in. On average, it costs $4,000. However, a really advanced player might be in a league where you have to fly, and that can run up to $8,000 per year.
Equipment will set you back about $2,000; and remember, kids are always growing, so you'll have to buy new gear every few years. And skate sharpening will run you about $5 every two weeks.
The grand total? Approximately $8,600 per year.
However, Yake said one element to youth hockey that you can't put a price tag on is the bond the parent and child form. He feels youth hockey is one of the more parent-involved sports there is.
NewsChannel 5 has received emails from parents who believe these costs reflect a more elite hockey player. They indicated their family doesn't have that type of expense. Others say they pay that or more. Larry Boyd with Missouri Hockey, said there are more affordable options, including a free program aimed at beginners. For more information, go to Missouri Hockey Inc. website.