The PHF salary cap is going up 150% next year, increasing from $300,000 to $750,000 per team. This is thanks to a commitment from their Board of Governors to invest over $25 million in direct payments and benefits to its players over the next three years, including more than $7.5 million in salary and benefits for next year.
The league also announced plans to expand from six teams to eight next season, confirming a seventh team will be in Montreal, Quebec. Additionally, an expanded 28 game schedule is planned.
“The PHF has been steadfast in its vision to grow the game under a new era that truly provides leading opportunities for athletes in the sport who deserve to be treated as professionals,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia, in this morning’s press release.
The investment includes cash and full healthcare benefits - including maternity leave - provided by their clubs. Equity in the teams means that players will be shareholders, benefiting from 10 percent of the equity from each team, which will be contributed to an investment pool owned by the PHF players. Players will also have control over their own likenesses and be able to profit from their own images.
Further growth is being supported and facilitated through the eight team expansion, the updating of facilities, purchasing new equipment and increasing ice time by having more practices and expanding the schedule to 28 games.
The salary cap increase alone means that the possibility of earning enough money from professional hockey to live off of is becoming a reality for PHF players.
In the past year and a half, the PHF has moved away from being a single entity and embraced a joint venture model. Rather than all teams being owned and operated by the league, each of the six clubs are currently owned and operated by private ownership groups in their markets. The $25 million investment over the next three seasons comes directly from the ownership group.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors we are proud to play a part in bringing women’s sports to the next level by investing in the PHF,” said John Boynton, Chairman of the Board of Governors. “We see the PHF as a platform to address the inequities that women athletes face. We also believe in the sustainability of our developing business model and embrace our responsibility to build a platform that grows this dynamic league to historic heights.”
The investment will be used to provide more financial opportunities for athletes as well as enhancing the player experience through benefits that will support current players, and hopefully, draw in new ones as well.