With the introduction of the club's first Tryout and Observation Days for new advanced playing options, we were eager to study the landscape of soccer in Central Texas to see what families are traditionally paying for competitive soccer. Here is what we learned after researching neighboring clubs and compiling the data.
The Big Guys
Admittedly, there is good reason for the 3 most recognizable clubs in the area having the reputations they do. The largest 2 boast memberships in the thousands and all have strong track records of building quality players and teams thanks to sound technical programs led by credible directors of coaching. While it can be a bit frustrating to see players - developed under the guidance of our strongest WBSA coaches - get recruited to these clubs, the appeal is irrefutable.
Our research showed the average TOTAL price of these clubs to be $2,676 for one playing year (spring and fall season). This included registration fees, uniform kits (ordered separately) "commitment" fees, and volunteer buyouts that could be earned back. Not surprisingly, financial aid is available on a limited basis.
To contrast the big club model with what WBSA is now offering, we also did a comparison of organizations that are more aligned with regards to having a large recreational membership. One of the clubs chosen has a nearly identical membership population while the other is roughly 3x our size as of last season.
As you can see, the total annual costs were only about a quarter of the larger clubs, with an average of $705 across the 2 clubs. Uniform costs are typically substantially lower and the additional fees appear to be absent in these models.
Our board has decided to keep the Academy and Select fees consistent with our recreational prices for the upcoming fall and spring season. Combining a $135 registration fee in the fall with a discounted $110 rate in the spring (reduced for returning players not needing a new uniform), you arrive at a total annual cost of $245 for players on our advanced soccer teams.
As an entirely volunteer driven organization, we do not require buyout fees. Instead, we are moving to implement a "volunteer credit" that would put money back into the pockets of our families that volunteer (in the form of a team party / tournament fund). Further, our uniform expenses are rolled into the total price of registration and we are thrilled to be rolling out an awesome new Joma kit.
You can can play 2 full years of advanced soccer in WBSA for the price of just a single year within the clubs that are most like us.
You can play a staggering 11 YEARS ($2,646 divided by $245 = 10.9) for the price of a single year of training in one of the "Big 3" organizations offering services in our area.
To put that into perspective...assuming your child started playing competitive soccer at the earliest permissible age (U8 "playing up" in Academy), you would barely just be hitting the $2,646 mark by the time you paid their last WBSA registration fees (as a U18) before they left for college.