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Is Renting a Jersey at the Game Now a Thing?

As you probably know, I don’t buy or wear retail jerseys, and I don’t usually write about fan apparel. But I’m intrigued by the photo shown above, which was taken outside the Minnesota Wild’s arena prior to their game against the Florida Panthers last Thursday. Is on-site jersey rental now a thing?

I’ve never seen anyone renting jerseys at a stadium or arena, so I don’t know if the operation pictured above is a one-off or part of a trend. But the larger concept of jersey rental has definitely come up before. Back in 2012, there was a start-up called JerseySquare, which allowed fans to rent jerseys. I even wrote about them for ESPN. They didn’t survive, but their pitch video is still up on YouTube:

Later, in 2017, there was another rental start-up called Rep the Squad, but it too failed to gain traction. A few years after that, there was another rental project, called JerseyExchange. Its website is still up, but it appears to be badly out of date, and I’m not sure it was ever fully operational.

But just parking outside the arena with a van full of jerseys is a much more direct approach. Has anyone else seen this happening, or even rented a jersey? Do tell!

(My thanks to Carlos Montalvan for alerting me to the Wild photo, which was taken by Kim Hartman.)


Comments (33)

    My only thought is… unless you’ve got AirTags or Tiles sown into the jersey, how do you make sure you get them back after the game ends?

    Probably the same way you do with any other rental – you get a huge deposit on the renter’s credit card.

    Make them leave a big enough deposit? If not returned, you’ve basically bought the jersey. You get your money back on return and you’re only out $20.

    Was thinking the same thing but Probably a QR code the renter scans has sewn in and puts in information so he knows which ones are out and who to charge a full fee to or the $20 rental fee.

    Put a hold on their credit card.

    This does seem like a really ludicrous idea though. Seriously, he’s running it out of the back of a truck.

    I’m working on my latest, which is Rent-A-Fan. How it works is that you buy me a ticket, pay me a reasonable fee on top of that, and I’ll go to the game for you. Afterwards you get to say you were there. For an extra $50 I’ll even wear a team jersey for you, provided you supply it to me and don’t want it back.

    Expect a call from the Tampa Bay Rays admin offices. This is only way they’ll be able to fill a stadium.

    So you’re giving your credit card information to some guy in a “van down by the river”…I mean…down by the stadium? And this guy gives you confidence that these are washed after some previous sweaty fans wore them? No thanks!

    Hi! I am the owner of the company! It’s called Tarps Off Jersey Rental. Thanks for sharing this article! If you want to do a deeper dive into the specifics, let me know!

    Check out our website link

    My ex rented dresses for a few weddings and black tie events we went to over the years, and rented dresses for our daughters to wear to graduations and banquets, etc..
    That’s definitely a long proven, viable business model, and this seems like it could find similar success. The main difference, of course, being that one is a service that the customer searches for online vs. the other is an impulse purchase on the way into the stadium. Seems like a fun way to make a buck, though. Good luck Noah!

    I can see one market for this – you’re taking a client or a date to a big game, they want a jersey to fit in. Think C of Red in Calgary or Winnipeg White-out for the playoffs. They rent a jersey.

    I’ve certainly taken plenty of clients from out of town to games and they’ve bought jerseys to fit in.

    My only question: do they only rent home team? Or do they have a couple road team in the van? If I find my self unexpectedly in St. Paul when the Jets are in town, can I rent a Jets jersey?

    Buy a jersey if you are a fan and do not wear one if you are not. I am very European about this, I do not like casual fans watching their phones non stop during games, only looking up to wave at cameras and wearing rental jerseys because they want to fit in with real fans for just one game. Watching a sports game in person is not going to a theater or a circus, it is not an occasion for self promotion.
    On the other hand, attending a game is basically renting a seat from the team, so why not rent a jersey? The next step is indeed renting somebody to go in your place instead so you can watch your socials from the comfort of your home instead of watching them from a cramped seat in a noisy stadium.

    Rental jerseys at European or South American soccer games would be widely ridiculed by the fans (and rightfully so). But I can see this happen in Dubai or any other artificially created sports environment.

    Hockey jerseys are completely impractical in everyday life. So for those of us who don’t have the expendable income to justify spending $200 (or whatever jerseys are going for these days) on something we’re only going to wear a few times a year, this model makes a lot of sense. And ridiculing someone for it comes off as rather elitist.

    Fair point but still hard to accept for die hard soccer fans and our jerseys are not cheap either.

    Call me elitist but I still think attending an average sports game in America and a pro soccer game in Europe or South America are two totally different experiences when it comes to intensity, involvement of the fans in the game and commitment to the teams and to the games, no matter how poor the level of play is. I have been to pro baseball and hockey games in the States and I was hugely disappointed by the general lack of involvement by the fans. It was like going to a cinema or a show. You go to a dinner party, you rent a tuxedo. You go to a hockey game, you rent a jersey. Well, then it makes sense.

    Come to CBP in Philly in October. Quite a bit of involvement there. You won’t be disappointed.

    I rented a jersey for a friend for Wild home opener from that very location (pictured above). Process couldn’t have been any quicker or easier. We had a great time at the game and returned the jersey to the same location after than game. Again, quick and easy!

    So much of this, IMO, is more an individual market variance as opposed to sport.

    In Minnesota, which nicknames itself “The State of Hockey,” I can see this. Could also imagine it in Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg, three places in which the overwhelming majority of fans will wear sweaters/jerseys to games, especially Stanley Cup playoff games. The Twin Cities can be every bit as fanatical.

    Now Phoenix/Glendale, Sunrise or Raleigh? No way.

    I rented a jersey last Thursday for the wild home game and it couldn’t have been a more smooth and enjoyable process. Extremely friendly owner who walked me through the process and the return was simple. So worth renting for $20 than buying a $200+ jersey for a player who may not even be on the team in a couple years.
    I will be renting jerseys with tarps off all season long.

    I received tickets to the wild home opener as a gift this summer. Was so pumped the day of, I laid my reverse retro Kaprizov J on the couch to grab when I got home. Turned out that my cat decided to use it as a scratching pole.. Was so down in the dumps knowing my jersey was ruined – until I saw the “20 dollar jersey rental” chalkboard sign whilst walking down W 7th street. My eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store. Was able to seamlessly rent a reverse retro Kaprizov J – made my day. The process was very smooth, and the owner provided fantastic customer service. I will be stopping at “Tarps off” every single time I go to a game now, and have recommended my friends to do the same.

    This business couldn’t have came at a better time! Took my buddy to his first Wild game this this past week. He really wanted to wear some sort of apparel but didn’t want to spend lots of $$$ on a jersey. We ran into Tarps Off and his mind was set immediately about renting his jersey of choice. The renting process went extremely smooth. Highly recommend.

    OK, to each his or her own, but I will never rent a jersey. Buy it or wear something else to the game, I feel no need to blend in with the rest of the crowd by wearing exactly the same jersey anyway. Once again, a matter of a different culture: in soccer stands wearing old jerseys with names and numbers of players long gone is a badge of pride. It shows that you have been a fan from way back. Also a lot of fans have their own name and number printed instead of an actual player.
    Final note: yes, Philly fans are a special breed within US sports and I love them for being rowdy, loud and lively, even if I support the New York Mets and Giants. Philly fans remind me of a good soccer crowd.

    After purchasing a Heatley and Parise Jersey back in the day and them no longer being on the team. I was extremely excited to see this walking into the home opener last week. I had flashbacks of someone wearing a Ryan Suter Wild Jersey during the playoffs against Dallas in April, and seeing fans “boooo” her and yell “Suter sucks” at her while she’s just trying to support the team, it’s safe to say I will 1. Never wear a players jersey not on the team anymore and 2. Pay 200 bucks for jersey when the player won’t be there forever. I walked over and grabbed a Boldy jersey for 20 bucks and dropped it off on my way out after the game. Quick and easy process and I was pumped to rep a jersey over my Wild T-Shirt. Especially if I go to games in the middle of winter. I will be back!

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