The Cost of Playing in the Development Academy

Breakdown of Costs for all Travel, Coaching, Club, Fields, and Registration Fees

The Cost of Playing being one of the Nation’s Elite Teams

Birmingham United has restructured its Academy Fees for the 2011-12 Development Academy Season to become more in line with US Soccer’s mandate to move away from the "Pay-to-Play" model. Birmingham United has taken dramatic steps to reduce the cost for players to play in this elite program. The costs for the 2011-12 season has been reduced by 40% over the previous year (2010/11). We realize that there will always be a cost for running such an elite and prestigeous program. However, the benefits of playing in the DA, namely the exposure to collegiate and professional scouts as well as the elite training and competition, cannot be matched by any other program in North America. 

Here is a detailed look at costs for the 2011-12 season:

(FYI, the Academy Season goes from August 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Birmingham United’s Academy will take a break from training and games for the Alabama High School season from February 1 - May 1, 2012.)

1. Club Fees:   $0       (Club Fees in 2010/11 were $1960.00 per player)

  • Players will not pay Academy Club Fees for the upcoming season.

2. NIKE Uniform Fees:   $0    (Uniform Fees in 2010/11 were $350.00 per player. Players owned equipment)

  • Players will receive the following NIKE equipment for the course of the season. BU owns the equipment.
    • three (3) NIKE game jerseys (Red, White, Skyblue)
    • two (2) NIKE game shorts (Red, Black)
    • three (3) NIKE game socks (Red, Black, White)
    • Nike 3/4 Travel & Training Short (Black)
    • Nike Rain Jacket (Red)
    • Nike 1/4 Zip Fleece Jacket (Black)
    • Nike Travel Duffle Bag
  • Players will give BU a $300 uniform deposit check. The deposit will be returned when all Nike equipment is returned.

3. Team Travel & Academy Staff Expenses: $2800.00.     (Team Travel for 2010/11 was $2100.00 per player)

This fee includes:

  • All players’ travel (transportation) and lodging (hotel room) for the following:
    • All 11 Academy Away Games, except for trips to Atlanta and South Carolina,
    • Both Academy Showcases (Winter: Phoenix, AZ, Dec. 2-6, 2011, Summer: June 22-26, 2012
    • An additional Showcase: The Disney Showcase, Orlando, FL, Dec. 27-30, 2011 (not part of 2010/11 season)
      • A total of 25 nights in hotels lodging, 5 Charter Bus trips, and 2 round-trip flights plus ground transportation.
  • All coaching staff salaries: Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Strength & Fitness Coach, Goalkeeper Trainer, Training Consultants.
  • All coaching staff travel expenses.
  • All Training equipment needs (balls, cones, vests, etc.)
  • All Development Academy Registration Fees with US Soccer.
  • All Sports Medicine Supervision and Benefits during Academy home games.
  • All Training and Game Field maintenance.
  • All College Recruiting materials (Printed rosters, profile books/sheets, correspondence/phone calls to college and pro scouts)

4. Club Fund-raising Fee: $100

  • In exchange for 5 Raffle tix ($20 per ticket) in a Club Wide Raffle for various prizes such as a brandnew Automobile, Nike Gear, College Football trickets, etc... Players may sell all 5 raffle tickets or keep them for themselves and their families.

5. What is not included?

  • Each player’s training gear (shoes, shirts, shorts, shinguards, etc.)
  • Each player’s meals and spending money on trips.
  • Each player’s transportation to and from practice.

For questions or comments related to the information above, please email Academy Director, Oliver Weiss, at