Are you looking to start a youth football team?
Good choice. Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, with 5.23 million players over the age of 6 participating yearly.
You can start a football team as a nonprofit or a small business. Regardless, both types encounter the same question in the beginning: how much does it cost?
Ahead, you’ll see a breakdown of all the costs associated with starting a youth football team your first season, and tips for getting your team off the ground successfully.
Youth football team costs breakdown
Remember that these costs vary depending on the retailer, location, and bulk discounts available when starting your team. Here are the per-unit costs.
Initial equipment costs
The biggest cost you’ll need to consider is for equipment, which ranges from things like training gear to helmets and practice uniforms. Note, these equipment costs apply to tackle football for various age groups.
💰Total estimated costs: Between $7,500 and $21,700 for a team of 30.
Let’s break these down into two sections:
- Training gear: These items include footballs, training cones, tackling dummies, and goalposts. The initial investment for these can range from $500 to $2,000.
- First aid kits: A comprehensive first aid kit, which includes ice packs, bandages, and basic medical supplies, is a necessity. Budget around $100 to $200 for a well-stocked kit.
- Helmets: The most critical safety gear. Prices range from $100 to $250 each, with discounts often available for bulk purchases.
- Shoulder pads: Necessary for all players, with costs varying from $50 to $150 per pair.
- Cleats: Football cleats are essential for players. Prices range from $30 to $100 per pair.
- Uniforms: Includes game jerseys and pants. Costs can range from $30 to $100 per player.
- Mouthguards, pads, and miscellaneous: Don't overlook other protective gear like mouthguards, knee pads, and thigh pads. Allocate around $20 to $50 per player for these items.
💡PRO TIP: Explore bulk purchasing and sponsorships to bring the cost of equipment down.
Facility rental fees
Many youth community-based youth football programs are able to use facilities for free, either through the local school district or parks and recreation department. Be sure to explore options through the local high school coach, parks department, and any other potential facilities as you get started. If you aren't able to access a field at no cost, you'll need to look into renting a facility for practices and games.
For youth football practices and games, a basic community field can cost $50 to $100 per hour, but with additional amenities, it can be much more. Depending on the location and frequency of use, teams might pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for a full season.
In an urban area, a high-quality football field can cost $200 to $300 per hour, significantly increasing the total cost of the season. Seasonal rental packages can be more cost-effective for regular practice and games if schools and local sports complexes offer them.
By getting a sponsorship or community grant, you can afford better facilities without stretching their budgets.
Insurance and licensing
Youth football teams require specific insurance and licensing requirements based on their location and level.
A youth sports insurance policy can cost a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the coverage and number of players. The licensing fee is associated with registering the team with the local or national football associations, and it varies from $50 to $500 per year.
A youth football team's travel expenses can vary a lot based on distance, type of transportation, and duration.
Transportation can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per trip. There's also the cost of accommodation and meals during away games or tournaments, with estimates ranging from $50 to $150 per player per day.
Coaching and staff costs
For a qualified football coach, annual salaries can range from $3,000 to $20,000. An experienced head coach can attract new players, so it can be worth the price. But if they are out of your range, you can work with a first-time coach or volunteer and just cover the expenses. They will be more than qualified to teach players in your football organization the fundamentals.
Logo and branding
A youth sports logo and branding builds credibility for your football club. You don’t even need to have design skills. You can find a professional designer on Fiverr or Upwork to create one for you.
Prices can range from $5 to $50 and beyond depending on what package you’re looking for. A designer can choose your colors, logo, social media banners, and whatever else you need—but it’ll cost more.
A professional website
To find out more about your club, tryout dates, tournament schedules, and register and pay, players and parents should have access to a website.
A strong web presence can add major credibility to your new club, while a weak one can turn new participants away before you even get the chance to meet them. Here’s an example of a youth football website from Columbia Knights Sports Organization, built on Jersey Watch.
You can customize the look and feel of your website, and add pages like:
- About page
- Registration page
- Game schedules
- Contact page
- Code of conduct
Websites are easy to set up, and they shouldn't cost you more than $30 per month at first. In the future, you can always add additional features, like notifications and messaging, to your website. The cost may rise over time, but you can begin small.
Your website's first step is to purchase a domain name (or address) such as www.example.com. You can get a domain name for as little as $10-15 per year from a provider like GoDaddy. Some website providers include a domain name, so you don't have to worry about it.
It saves you time and stress by hiring an administrator to help run things. An administrator or virtual assistant may only cost about $100 per week, but will answer emails, manage budgets, handle registration fees, run background checks, and more.
Tips for minimizing youth football program costs
Now that you have an idea of total costs, let’s look at some ways to bring them down:
You can organize camps such as summer training camps or skill development clinics. These attract young football players and enthusiasts who are not regular club members.
Suppose you charge $250 per participant for a week-long summer camp. If 50 participants enroll, this can generate $15,000. This money can cover some of the club's operational costs like field maintenance and equipment.
Work with volunteers
Volunteers can reduce labor and administrative costs. Ask community members or fans to cover various tasks, like coaching and event management. If your club typically pays a coach $30 per hour for 10 hours a week, using a volunteer coach instead can save $1,200 a month.
Start an apparel store
Selling branded football apparel like jerseys, scarves, and hats can be a great revenue stream. Say your team sells 100 jerseys at a profit of $20 each, that’s $2,000 of additional income.
There are plenty of football fundraiser ideas at your disposal. You could host charity matches, raffles, or auctions to bring in donations and sponsorships.
Run your youth football league with Jersey Watch
For a youth or high school football program to grow, it has to run efficiently and cost-effectively. Clubs can save a lot of money if they organize camps, sell merch, and hold fundraisers.