Consumers, as SBNation once noted, "invested so much emotion, passion, love, and time" into sports.

A survey, conducted by online credit card and personal finance marketplace, shows that Americans have spent over $100 billion on sporting events, athletic equipment, and gym memberships over the last 12 months. Consumers spent the total amount of money on sporting events ($56 billion), athletic equipment ($33 billion) and gym memberships ($19 billion). had Princeton Survey Research Associates International conduct the survey through telephone interviews with 1,003 adults who reside in the continental United States from August 17 to 20.

Sports categories of spending

Consumers paid out money for sporting events, including tickets, transportation, food, and beverages. The survey reported that 46 percent of parents have spent twice more on athletic equipment for children than 22 percent of non-parents, and 36 percent of millennial consumers aged 18 to 36 shelled out money on a gym membership during a one-year period.

"There's been a lot written about folks focusing their spending on experiences and not things. What we saw in this survey tends to be further evidence of that.

Sporting events were certainly the biggest cost," Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at, told stock market and financial news MarketWatch. obtained the small percentage of sports categories in which consumers have spent, including sports-themed video games (12 percent), fun races (8 percent) and fantasy sports leagues (4 percent).

Based on a total annual spending, consumers chipped $8 billion in video games, $4 billion in fun races, and $2 billion in fantasy sports leagues.

Sports business data

Attending a National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League game, and buying food and beverages, and sports-related items at a stadium can cost consumers a lot of money.

The separate data from Marketing Report via Rodney Fort's Sports Business Data revealed in 2016 that four tickets to attend an NFL game, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking and two cheap hats cost $502.84 for a family of four. In comparison, the cost to an NHL game was $363.58, while an NBA and MLB game cost $339.02 and $219.53 respectively.

"There's no question that many sporting events - especially big ones like NFL and NBA games - are becoming harder for the average working American to afford," Schulz acknowledged.

The survey indicates that 26 percent of consumers who make money with a low income of $30,000 and under are less likely to attend sporting events.

By comparison, 49 percent of consumers who graduated from college and earned an income of more than $75,000 are more likely to buy tickets to attend sporting events.

Older consumers are less likely to go to sports games. The survey reported that 21 percent of consumers aged 53 and older attended sporting events, compared to 43 percent of those aged 18-52.

Schulz, who studied consumer spending on sports for the Texas-based online credit card marketplace for the first time, said, "It's interesting to see who was doing the spending and get a feel for what people spend the most money on. Sports is an incredibly big business."