Canadian kids are out on hockey

Since the day that two-thirds of Canada tuned in to watch Sidney Crosby score the “golden goal” in the 2010 Olympics, hockey has been losing its cachet.

Driving the news: Hockey may be drawing more interest than ever at the professional level, but the number of kids playing the sport is dwindling, with sign-ups down 20% since their peak in 2010. Parents point to safety, interest in other sports, and cost as the top reasons. 

  • The average cost of playing youth hockey in Canada is $4,478 a year, a number that can jump past $11,000 a year as kids get older and enter higher-performance leagues.

  • For a kid who plays hockey from five to 16 years old, the average total cost for parents is over $53,000. Over the same time frame, parents can spend over $9,000 on equipment alone.

Why it matters: Other sports like baseball and swimming can still cost over $5,000 a year. With more Canadians pinching their pennies, fewer families can afford to put their kids in any pay-to-play sports, let alone one of the most expensive ones.—LA