What pro sport should you play?

As a Canadian I was always amazed at some of the salaries baseball or football players we're able to get (Jason Heyward getting 21 million year? He plays outfield right?), especially compared to Hockey (one of the best players currently Sidney Crosby getting only 8.7 million). So after hours one day at work, I wanted to actually compare salaries of the four major professional sports in North America (Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey). So I grabbed salary (well cap hit) information for the top 500 players in each league from http://www.spotrac.com/ , and graphed it in millions (See attached).



So maybe the NHL doesn't have those extreme salaries, but if you're ok with a couple million, it's still alright :)

Used beautiful soup to extract the information, can share the code if anyone is interested.

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  • I always thought soccer was the highest paying sport. 

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    • Todd Dawson I believe it depends how you'd measure highest paying. Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's highest paid athlete (with Lionel Messi at #3, after LeBron James), but according to this link: http://www.businessinsider.com/sports-leagues-top-salaries-2015-5

      the NBA pays the highest on a per-athlete basis (as of 2014-2015). We should also take into account team size i.e.  NBA teams have 14-15 players, soccer teams ~20 players, and NFL teams have a 53 man roster.

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  • Very interesting. The NHL really seems to support the 'middle class' of players.

    I'd love to see the Python to scrape the website. I used BeautifulSoup to scrape (slightly embarrassingly...) Magic the Gathering card images once upon a time, but I haven't used it in years.

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  • I propose showing a ratio per salary interval, grouped per sport, thereby getting a bigger grip on relativities. Allowing to make statements like: Top X NFL players make up Y% in the pay grade 5-10 mln USD

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