(Reuters) – The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) will double its salary cap from $150,000 to $300,000 per team starting from the 2021-2022 season, said commissioner Tyler Tumminia on Wednesday.
Based on 20-player rosters, the average salary would rise to $15,000 per player.
“The NWHL is committed to its vision of providing opportunities for elite women’s hockey players to earn a living playing the game they love,” said Tumminia in a statement on the league website.
“This increased investment by ownership, especially following a challenging and shortened season, is a significant step forward and exemplifies the strength of our league and our developing business model as we continue to advance professional women’s hockey and inspire the next generation of female athletes.”
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the six-team, U.S.-based league has seen an increase in sponsors and viewers.
The Isobel Cup playoffs were televised across the United States for the first time on NBCSN with average audiences of over 100,000 per game, while online audiences on the league’s streaming platform, Twitch, produced over 2 million views and generated a 260% increase in year-over-year following.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)