30 of the Highest Single-Game Paychecks in Sports

By Luke Stenis
August 03, 2011

With the 2011 free agency period wrapping up for most of the world's top sports -- professional baseball, American football and European futbol (soccer) -- some of the world's top athletes are now getting paid very, very well.

Whether they deserve the money for playing a sport they love is anyone's opinion, but for major sports fanatics, having "elite" talent representing your favorite team on the field of battle is well worth the price paid for it.

[After you read this slideshow, check out the 12 Star Athletes Making a Second Fortune With Savvy Investments and the 20 Star Athletes Who Went from Millions to Bankruptcy Court.]

Methodology

We start with a player's total contract size as determined by what is reported by the league and other online sources. Endorsement income not included in a contract was not factored into the player's paycheck, causing some players to drop dramatically down our list.

The contract size is divided by its duration in years, giving us an annual salary. The annual salary is then divided by the number of regular season games in their respective league format.

The final number represents their paycheck for one regular season game. Preseason, post-season and extra tournament games are not factored in, as most teams and players are compensated generously for playing and/or winning these games in addition to their salary.

Editor's Note: Some elite athletes that make our list have eye-popping contracts, but their respective sports play more regular season games than others, i.e. baseball has 162 regular season games versus football's 16 games, causing their "Paycheck per Game" to drop dramatically when compared to other athletes.