Top 8 Most Expensive Sports in the World

Published: 4 years ago, Last Updated: 9 months ago
Daniel Brown
Writer: Daniel Brown

There are some sports that anyone can get started within no time at all. If you want to become a runner, all you need is somewhere to run and some trainers! However, there are lots of sports where the entry barrier is not quite so low. In most instances, you may need to buy expensive sports equipment in order to get started; sometimes, if you are not very good at the sport yet, then you might have to make a significant investment.

Throughout this guide, we will be looking at some of the most expensive sports in the world and what makes them so pricey.

What Are the Most Expensive Sports to Play?

Surely you can get started with most sports without spending a considerable amount of money? Well, this largely depends on what you want to play and how in-depth you want to get. If you are going to start playing baseball or cricket, for instance, you can turn up with a cheap bat, but it probably will not even get you through one practice session.

Other sports cost a lot of money to even access. For example, if you are looking into starting a watersport generally played in a pool, you might have to pay for the pool access on top of the equipment needed to start you off.

Hot Air Balloon Racing

Some people are not even aware that this sport exists! In fact, it has some pretty ancient roots, but as you can imagine owning a hot air balloon is not common, and flying one is one of the most expensive sports! They take up a vast amount of room, and to get a hot air balloon made and maintained is incredibly expensive.

Racing a hot air balloon is simply the art of getting from one place to another as quickly as you can. This can force you to grow and improve your navigational skills, as well as acquire the knowledge of balloon flying. On top of obtaining all the necessary equipment, this sport also may require permission from local authorities as you will be taking up air space, and some jurisdictions may need to know what the object flying around is!

The training involved to get started with hot air balloon riding and racing can take a long time and cost thousands. Plus, the actual hot air balloon will probably cost up to $20,000 and maybe even more if you want to get the very best features and improve your chances of being competitive.

Formula 1

Millions of people watch F1 all around the world. The sport is popular and enjoyed by many who tune in specifically to watch names such as Lewis Hamilton dominate the racing circuit.

Formula 1

Of course, you practicing your driving skills in a car is deemed a more affordable option than a proper F1 car.

Nevertheless, if you are looking to get involved with the real thing, chances are you will need to get a real F1 car that can cost over $1 million. Moreover, some of the most expensive sports car options can be worth many millions. On top of this, you will be dealing with enormous gas costs as well as repairs; even replacement tires can cost thousands.

A lot of people who want to get into driving-based sports, such as motor racing, start by playing simulations. The virtual F1 is growing.

Still, even this is one of the most expensive sports to get started with, and whether or not you get incredibly good at it, in reality, taking control of a car is something entirely different.

Motorcycle Racing

There are many different types of motorcycle racing; Moto GP is perhaps the best known around the world, which is similar to F1. The most expensive sports equipment, such as bikes, can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These bikes are considered feats of engineering. The cost of getting started is steep, just to get the equipment. However, entering tournaments or even getting access to tracks where you can practice can be pricey, too.

Moto GP, motorcycle racing

Even if the active lifestyle is encouraging, let’s not forget the fact that sports like this can be pretty dangerous, too. It is relatively undeniable that certain accidents occur at some stage when practicing on a motorbike or some other motor vehicle. These hazards are also an expense.

Adding to that, in cases of choosing this type of expensive sport assumed to have insurance. But getting insured for these types of sports can be pricey as well.

Any Equestrian Sports

Sports involving horses may not require you to buy expensive sports equipment, but they are still among some of the most expensive sports because you are required to keep and look after a horse. Buying and maintaining a thoroughbred horse properly can cost around $200,000 a year.

Even if you buy equestrian equipment such as saddles, it isn’t cheap! On top of looking after your equestrian buddy, there are a lot of added costs.

Owning a horse can be a considerable commitment. Though it can be gratifying and a dream for a lot of people, don’t get into it unless you know that you can afford to look after them and provide the rest of the costs that go into playing a part in the equestrian sports industries.

Skiing and Ski Jumping

Is Skiing an Expensive Sport?

Compared to some of the other sports on the list, this isn’t the most expensive sport to play. However, for an activity that just about anyone can get started with, it has some of the most costly sports equipment.

Skiing and ski jumping

For a lot of people, there will be substantial travel costs, too. You need to be in the right climate in order to start skiing; if you live in a flat country or somewhere with no ice, then you need to put the time and money to get to a location where skiing is provided. However, skiing is one of the few sports that comes with a big market for used sports equipment and rented equipment.

Ski jumping is even more expensive. You need access to a ski jump for starters. If you plan to get involved at a professional level, you will need both instructors and insurance that guarantee coverage in any sort of accident.


If you have ever watched the film “Cool Runnings” (based on a true story), you will know that one of the obstacles the team had (besides having no access to ice or a track) was buying the bobsled. These can cost between $20,000 to $30,000, and this is before purchasing any additional expensive sports equipment or insurance.  

Most bobsled teams rely heavily on sponsorship to get the money to be able to take part in the sport. It is truly one of the most expensive sports in the world, with some of the most expensive sports equipment in the form of a $30,000 sled!


Several different sports revolve around sailing. The price is never low! Unlike other sports, which may involve expensive sports equipment, this is one of the most expensive sports to play since you are required to purchase a watercraft, such as a boat, and more so account for costs like mooring your ships or yachts. It is known as something of a status sport.

When it comes to sailing, some sailors are at sea for months at a time! This sport requires full involvement and costs a substantial amount in both lifestyle expenses and sports equipment. The vessel itself can cost millions of dollars.


Many of the sports above are quite specialist, and they are not the sort of thing you would get involved in unless you have some particular interests. However, golf is something millions of people enjoy, and there are courses all over the world to cater to people’s needs. In the UK and the US, there are thousands of golf courses.

Golf is one of the most expensive sports. Though it will not cost you millions to get your gold setup, it is undoubtedly more pricey than a lot of hobby sports. Even if you have no interest in competing or playing for money at any stage, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on memberships to golf clubs and your equipment. One golf club can cost thousands of dollars, and when you consider how much equipment a golfer or their caddies tend to carry, you can start to do the math on how much it requires to get involved.


Some of these sports are more pricey than others, but overall they are all among the most expensive sports in the world. When you consider the minimal costs attached to becoming a runner or soccer player, you are able to understand better just how expensive some of these sports are. Some of them require millions in investment just to get you started with the right equipment. The bottom line, they are not easily accessible to everyone.

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