Most people will play sports and games as a hobby. But, for the select few people who excel and choose to take it up professionally or as a career, the earnings can often be incredibly enticing.
This does, however, depend on the sport or game in question…
An average NFL or NBA athlete will earn significantly more than a world class ultimate frisbee player. The differences in earning between sports can have a number of factors influencing them:
- Popularity of the sport
- Size of audience
- Geographical location of the audience and sport
- Sponsorship available
- TV licenses, deals, and rights
These are the top line figures that influence earning potential in sports or games. So, how much do foosball players make and is it a lucrative (or realistic) career?
Read on and we’ll cover earning potential, costs (as people often ignore that factor), and if you can make money in foosball or if it’s just a hobby – for now!
A Brief History about Foosball
Younger generations may not know what Foosball is. Also called Table Football or Table Soccer, it was once a hugely popular sport in the 1970s. But it’s lost public appeal over the decades. So, it’s been on the decline as a serious sport.
Whenever a sport is on the decline, earning potential will also follow suit. So, before reading on it’s worth keeping in mind that the more popular a sport is for both players and spectators, the more money will make its way into the field/
Foosball dropped from popularity as a “serious sport” and instead became an active game that you see in bars, arcades, or rec rooms. This means that it became a consumer pass time so people pay to play foosball instead of the reverse – being paid to play.
1970s Were the Golden Years
Playing this game was a bona fide sport throughout the 1970s. It would earn players tens of thousands of dollars. At one time, there was a championship that offered a million dollars in prizes.
In the 1980s, however, Foosball utterly collapsed. The advent of video arcade games and personal home gaming systems reigned, with Atari starting off the craze.
The Professional Foosball Players of Today
Today, there are still professional players but they do it for the pure love and joy of the game. This is not something they do in order to gain worldwide acclaim. These players have an energy and devotion that’s inspiring in ways very much unlike mainstream football or basketball players.
Fans and enthusiasts of the game find it to be something of a modern-day underworld. It’s a culture all its own, mostly out of popular view amid other sports like football, golf or baseball.
It’s worth noting then that foosball is considered a sport and as there is a professional standard, you can make money playing foosball.
A Foosball Documentary
For those more curious about today’s professional Table Soccer players, there’s a documentary called “Foosballers” by Joe Helsinga. The film features the Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco, California. During its heyday, San Franciso was a top Foosball destination that had international appeal.
How Much do Foosball Players Make
Getting paid as a pro foosball player isn’t easy so to make money at this game, a player’s skill level has to be the highest possible standard. It’s very demanding, requiring a certain amount of mental and physical stamina. The precision and quickness must match up to other pros.
Earning a living at Foosball means professional players have to enter many tournaments and contests where cash prizes are available for the winner. These can be very insignificant or quite substantial depending on the event.
A Foosball Player’s Average Salary
However, on average, a professional Foosball player can make somewhere in the region of $74,000 to $85,000. But, this is not the average range. Some salaries range from $39,000 per year to over $135,000. This will more than likely depend on whether the player has sponsors and how many tournaments they enter and place in.
Foosball Costs & Expenses
Foosball Is an expensive game to play if you want to turn professional and make an income from it.
While there is potential to make around $135,000, the payouts to play the game will absorb a lot of the cost. To be a professional, it’s expensive and below we’ll cover some of the most common costs and expenses for foosball players.
1) Owning a Foosball Table
Honing skills means players have to have the best equipment available, so that means owning a professional-grade Foosball table. This allows for plenty of study and practice. In general, a Foosball table will cost around $1,000. But they can be more or less expensive depending on where they come from.
2) Travel Expenses
Having a sponsor can help with the initial costs of purchasing a table and other equipment. Plus there’s the price of traveling to tournaments and competitions along with hotel stays and food.
These can get exorbitant, especially for larger tournaments. If a player doesn’t win, they’re out the money spent to attend the event. Therefore, even if a player makes $80,000 per year playing Foosball, 25% to 50% of those winnings go toward funding, practicing and traveling.
3) Money Is Not the Intended Goal
So, while people can make some money playing Foosball, it’s not a guarantee. People aim to become professionals because they’re good at playing the game. They do it for the principle of glory. This is not necessarily a sport to get rich on and six-figure salaries aren’t part of the picture. Unless Foosball regains in popularity, it’s probably not going to increase anytime soon.
4) Some Foosball Professionals Do Well
However, there are some players who do make a decent living off of Foosball. But these are few and far between. Currently, Tony Spredeman is the leading Foosball player in the world, having made somewhere between one and five million dollars so far in 2021.
If you want to be inspired to take on the pro circuit and earn money playing foosball then check out this interview with one of the best (if not the best) foosball players of all time:
There’s also Cindy Head, 59-year-old woman from Alabama who has made Foosball a lifelong career. She’s been playing since the early 1980s, winning over 50 championships. She saw the golden years of Foosball and its demise, yet kept on playing anyway.
There are many other fabulous players inducted into the International Foosball Promotions Hall of Fame. But, since the game isn’t popular and money isn’t the object, it’s difficult to discover total net worth.
If you’ve got an interest in making money in foosball then you’re likely also considering how to improve your skills.
If, however, you’re also interested in some “unofficial” ways to get better at foosball then you should check out our list of how to cheat in foosball for some interesting techniques players might use on the amateur scene.