NWSL Minimum Salaries Jump 60% With First CBA

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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The National Women’s Soccer League Players Association has finalized its first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the NWSL, including free agency, higher salaries, and additional health benefits.

The NWSLPA, which began CBA negotiations in March 2021, said players would not attend preseason training until an agreement was reached. While the deal is reportedly still “subject to approval by the NWSL Board of Governors,” players agreed to attend training beginning on Tuesday.

Starting in 2023, free agency will be available for those in the league who have played six or more years. By 2024, players who have played five years will be eligible, and players with three years under their belts will have restricted free agency.

Livable Wages

Some players were previously earning as little as $22,000 annually.

  • The contract raises players’ minimum salary by 60% to $35,000 with 4% annual increases, boosting the average total compensation by 30% over the 2021 season to $54,000.
  • Players will also receive increased free housing, transportation, health benefits, and 401(k) matching contributions. 
  • Including 10% of net broadcast revenues, individuals will be able to access revenue sharing as part of the deal, and the league will pay up to $300,000 annually for group license image rights.

The deal comes months after former commissioner Lisa Baird resigned from the league following criticism for ignoring complaints of sexual coercion and other abuses against coaches.

The league’s 10th season begins in March, and the CBA will last five years.

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