Confession Time – I have a live sports addiction

July 19, 2011

It is really hard for me to admit this but I am pretty sure that  I am addicted to attending  live sports also known as live sports addiction. Let me preface that statement by saying that I have been very active in different sports my entire life and most likely will continue to do so, health permitting. But I really really really enjoy watching sports with friends in person. Past boyfriends have loved that fact that I would go to any game, although some hated the fact that I knew more about certain sports (baseball, basketball, soccer) than they did.

I am not a big drinker, smoker or have any other vices (besides shopping) so I never really thought that this could be a destructive habit, but it has turned out to be. I have an addiction to live sporting events. I went through my credit card statements from the last 2 years-something I have never done and noticed an astronomical amount of money had been dedicated to sports.

Some of the items include:

  • Season tickets to the Toronto Raptors (2 seats/split with a friend)  Approx:$3600
  • 20 Game Flex pack to the Toronto Blue Jays-  Approx:$700 per season
  • Half season pack to the Toronto FC –Approx: $550 per season
  • Atleast 10 Toronto Maple Leafs games- Approx: $1500-2000 (Hockey tickets are really pricey here)
  • March Madness games (Detroit and Syracus- atleast 2 games per season)- Approx :$1800 
  • Tickets to Kitchener Rangers  -Total: Approx: $280

I did not include tickets to concerts and plays.

Obviously none of these prices includes transportation, food or accommodation costs. JUST THE TICKETS.


Part of me says that the reason I work as hard as I do is to be able to afford the things that I enjoy, but the other part of me remembers that this was all put on credit cards and was not paid off in time.  So the balances were carried.

I have a lot of ticket stubs and some very fuzzy memories to show for a mountain of debt, almost no retirement plan, and hardly any savings.  You know the moment where you feel like an idiot for being taken in by the glamour of events, yeah that.

I am being honest with myself in knowing that giving games up will be very difficult, but the plan is to move forward and pick a game to go to per season. That way I get my fill and use it as a treat for lowering my debt.  That being said, does anyone want to buy some Blue Jays Tickets? 😉

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  • Kellen July 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Wow! Sports tickets really add up! Actually, I love ice hockey too, but hardly ever went to Atlanta games, because tickets for medium-quality seats were still $80 or something. And now they’ve moved the team to Canada, so I guess no one else in Atlanta wanted to pay that either.

    However, as far as budgeting goes, I know that it can be hard to give up something you really love just because it’s expensive. Especially all at once. Similar to trying to go from eating fast food and candy to only eating vegetables for food – the diet won’t work.

    Maybe you can still buy season tickets to your favorite sport, and with your new awareness of how much those tickets cost, be more concious of finding buyers for those tikets for the games you can’t go to?

    • Marissa July 20, 2011 at 2:02 am

      Mine is a seasonal addiction. I have a favorite team every season. I think what I going to look into is perhaps buying with a bunch of friends and sharing it that way.

  • Melissa July 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Oh come on now, all that money on Jays tickets? The Jays suck! 🙂

    Just kidding.

    I think it’s good that you discovered this little spending habit, but don’t be too hard on yourself. The point of making money IS to spend it and enjoy it, so long as you’re not spending too much. All about balance. If live sports is something you really enjoy, then you SHOULD make room in your budget for it, just not room on your credit card?

    If it helps, when I realize that I’m way overspending in a certain area, I try to think if I’m really overspending overall, or if there’s a deficit somewhere that makes up for it. Like, I spend a huge chunk of my income on rent (like, more than half my take-home pay), because Toronto rent is off the charts, but my transportation costs are next to nothing. So, while people might spend 35% on housing and 15% on transportation, if I’m spending $0 on transportation, then it’s not horrible to spend so much on rent.


    • Marissa July 20, 2011 at 2:00 am

      I completely agrees. I’d like to blame it on being young and stupid. And oddly enough, my new budget actually has games budgeted for.

  • Niki July 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I agree about the balance thing. You should be able to enjoy this passion, but not at such a debt cost.

    At least now you know and have discovered this little umm.. addiction.

  • Financial Success For Young Adults July 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Haha! But those are expenses for fun things! Entertainment has to be fit into the budget somewhere right? lol

  • SB(One Cent At A Time) July 21, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I agree with FSYA, we need to budget for these fun, or else why are we working hard and saving money?

  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog July 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    That’s quite an expense, but if you get a lot of enjoyment out of it, i’d say keep going. My family has had football season tickets for years, and it’s something that they enjoy quite a bit and wont give up either.

  • Ken @ Spruce Up Your Finances July 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

    That’s quite an expense on live games! I usually just watch the games on TV. I know it’s not the same as watching live but it’s just too expensive for me to watch it live.
    Besides, when the game is bad, I can just turn off the tv and do something else.

    • Marissa July 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      The beauty of going to a bad game is that it allows your heckling skills to shine.

  • Evan July 23, 2011 at 4:23 am

    To me, it seems that the real problem is that you don’t have NFL up there to cover you for the entire year of shitty sports to watch…lol come on how many people out there really care about hockey lol…and the Jays?!

    • Marissa July 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Are you kidding me?! 🙂 Its hockey nation up here. The leafs haven’t made it to the playoffs in years yet every single game is always sold out. The Jays games are hit and miss. When teams like Boston and New york come to town, the stadium is packed. It’s just more fun being there live.

  • Julie@ The Family CEO July 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    We’ve spent our fair share of money on sports – mostly college basketball (Go Jayhawks!). We also spend all fall tailgating at college football games with some good friends of ours. It’s not cheap, but the experience makes for good times and priceless memories.

    Your idea to split tickets with friends will probably save you a bundle.

  • Freddie @ Invest With Passion July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I will pass on the Jays tickets, but damn, you have a serious addiction there. If you are able to trim your spending in half you could do some real damage to your debt.

    I think it would be worth it to put that sports money toward killing debt. Once the debt is paid, then you could enjoy your sports addiction guilt free!

  • Rafiki July 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I think this is a hard realization to come too but I guess it is for the better. I am not a fan of giving up stuff you love but if you need to cut down till you are in a better financial position you do so.

    Experiences are worth a fortune but not a fortune of debt.

  • Hunter July 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    That’s some serious cash for some great sporting events. If you wanted to cut-back you could perhaps limit yourself to purchasing only what you havethe cash for, and not using credit? At the same time, money was made to be spent. We have to enjoy our money, or what’s the point to it all?

  • Dining Out Challenge July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Wow! As someone who has not attended a live anything for at least 10 years, I am shocked to see how expensive it is! The nice note is that if you can cut it only by half, you will suddenly come into a lot of money that is no longer being used for sports.