By Lauren Gordon
The Daily Meal
Life is a beautiful thing, so we can live it up and celebrate every now and then.
We go out for one expensive dinner, treat ourselves to one fancy cocktail. But if you are an all-star athlete, celebrations are never few and far between. Whether an Olympian or NBA star, you can be sure to see them taking a break from training to knock back a few, and do it in extravagant style.
|In Pictures: 10 Most Lavish Athlete Parties|
The world of sports and spending is nothing new to fans. Recently, ESPN featured a documentary exploring the world of frivolous sports spending in their 30 for 30 premier of "Broke."
For instance, with Curt Schilling's first paycheck, he asked to receive it in $20 bills and proceeded to scatter it on his bed before he laid down on it to watch TV. Bernie Kosnar was once paying for 60 cell phone plans at one time. Evander Holyfield dropped serious money to have two bowling alleys put in his mansion.
Though many players have gone broke from excessive spending, today's athletes aren't paying their elders any mind. In addition to grandiose homes and expensive toys, athletes drop thousands on the thrill of a good time. After all, if you became a national champion, how could you not spend $200,000 on your bar tab, like the Miami Heat?
And for your next birthday party, rent a yacht and host a mind blowing party with a celebrity guest list like James Harden. Whether celebrating a birthday, retirement or championship, professional athletes always score big on the partying field.
When you're a 27-year-old retiring from your athletic career with no less than 22 medals (18 being Olympic gold), you have earned the right to celebrate. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps did just that with celebrations at Club Surrender in Las Vegas, where the party fittingly continued on to a pool party at Encore Beach Club the following day. Phelps was greeted with USA chants by fans and cake presented by bikini-clad servers in his luxury bungalow. Fellow Olympians Nathan Adrian and Charles Houchin were in attendance, along with other close friends and family.
After the Miami Heat became NBA champions in 2012, the celebrations promptly began. The team headed to the LIV Nightclub in Miami Beach at around 2:30 a.m., and ended the evening with an estimated $200,000 champagne tab, topping their rivals the Mavericks, who dropped a mere $147,000 at the same club the previous year. The team enjoyed a performance from the original party rockers, LMFAO, and were serenaded by the rap stylings of teammate LeBron James. Reportedly, all non-NBA attendees were charged a hefty $1,000 cover charge.
The Germans are not only now the top field hockey players in the world, but they may be up for top partiers, too. After winning gold in the summer 2012 Olympics, the team took over the German cruise ship "MS Deutschland" for an insane romp of partying. The team is now responsible for paying over €500,000 for post-party damages including everything from broken windows to stained upholstery.
Michael Vick showed off his ability to make his lady happy by dropping a reported $300,000 for security alone on a white-themed wedding in July 2012. Vick spent his big day in the lap of luxury at Miami’s Fontainebleau Resort, where wedding packages start at $185 a plate. Guests were fed gourmet “chicken and waffles” and surrounded by white candles, flowers and blinged out centerpieces. Fellow NFL-ers and coach Andy Reid were in attendance and enjoyed a day relaxation, R&B tunes and available hookahs surrounding them. But after recently signing a six-year, $100 million contract, The Eagles quarterback's gorgeous South Florida wedding was just a drop in the proverbial bucket.
If you have an amazing year on the court, you have a right to break out of your shell -- at least if you are Wizards star Gilbert Arenas. In 2007, the normally tame Arenas celebrated his 25th birthday with roughly 7,500 "friends" at the Love nightclub. In addition to sports star guests like Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell, rappers Doug E Fresh and Fabolous were also in attendance. P. Diddy served as the evening’s host featuring performances by Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, The Game and T.I. Reportedly, reserved tables went for around 4,000 clams.