Wednesday October 4, 2023

NWSL Challenge Cup Doubles Prize Pool to $1M

  • The minimum salary for NWSL players was $35,000 in 2022 and is rising to $36,400 this season.
  • This year’s NWSL season will feature 12 teams before expanding to 14 in 2024.
NWSL Challenge Cup
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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The NWSL Challenge Cup has raised its prize pool to $1M, becoming the highest prize payout ever in a U.S. women’s soccer league event. The total is twice as much as last year’s Challenge Cup, which was the first title sponsored by UKG.

UKG is an HR and payroll services company that signed a multi-year sponsorship with the NWSL last year to achieve equal pay amongst U.S. women and men soccer players. UKG’s million-dollar prize offering for this year’s Challenge Cup is a huge step towards pay parity given the $1.1M prize pool from the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament, which awarded $300,000 to the winning team and $150,000 to the runner-up.

The prize breakdown regarding how much NWSL Challenge Cup winners will get versus players from the remaining teams is still being decided. The minimum salary for NWSL players was $35,000 in 2022 and is rising to $36,400 this season, according to The Athletic. Players will also get increased free housing, transportation, health benefits, and 401(k) matching contributions as part of the NWSL’s first CBA signed earlier this year.  

This year’s NWSL season will feature 12 teams before expanding to 14 in 2024 with clubs in Utah and the Bay Area. The 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup will kick off on April 19 and run through September 9, with matches airing on Paramount+ and CBS Sports platforms. 

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