A third of Americans may go into debt from sports spending

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Americans are willing to spend a good amount of money on their favorite sports teams. Tickets for Super Bowl LVI sold for an average of around $9,500, according to TicketIQ, for example.

And this fall, 33% of Americans are anticipating going into debt after splurging on their favorite teams.

That’s according to financial services company LendingTree, which surveyed 1,578 Americans about how much they are planning, and willing, to spend on sports this fall.

“Americans love, love, love their sports, and we aren’t afraid to spend money on it,” Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst, says in the report.

On average, sports fans plan to spend $664. However, it differs by age. Here’s the average amount Americans plan to spend on their favorite sports teams, by generation:

Generation Z (ages 18 to 25): $464Millennials (ages 26 to 41): $645Generation X (ages 42 to 56): $827Baby boomers (ages 57 to 76): $641

Millennials are the generation most likely to drop money on sports, with about 50% planning to spend, LendingTree finds. About a quarter of them will be putting their cash toward live tickets.

While fun, too many splurges can lead to long-term consequences. About 42% of both Gen Z and millennials anticipate going into debt due to sports-related expenses, while just 11% of boomers expect to.

And those who earn less are more likely to take on debt. Of respondents who make less than $35,000 a year, 44% are expecting debt from sports spending, while only 28% of six-figure earners have the same fear.

Only a small number of Americans — 8% — plan to engage in sports betting, and 7% will spend money on fantasy teams. However, the stakes may be high: 33% of respondents who plan to gamble say they’ll spend over $1,000.

But this debt is not necessarily all bad. “Done wisely and in moderation, sports betting can be an amazing, fun thing,” Schulz says. “Fantasy football leagues, March Madness brackets, Super Bowl pools and trips to Vegas with family and friends can be fun and lucrative — and create memories that last a lifetime.”

Debt is usually looked at as a negative thing, but Schulz says it can sometimes be OK if it allows you to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

However, it’s important not to take it too far. If you use a credit card to pay for any sports-related spending, aim to pay the card off in full every month to avoid taking on debt and accruing interest.

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