Women’s Los Angeles-based soccer team Angel City FC has pledged to pay 1% of net ticket revenue from every National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) home game to its players, as part of its ‘ACFC Fan-Fuelled Player Fund’. 

Angel City is set to play in the NWSL from spring next year, after the new team was launched in 2020. The team will play home games at Banc of California Stadium and has already sold more than 11,000 season tickets, as well as selling out its premium seats. 

The early positive uptake means that players could receive several thousand additional dollars on top of their traditional wage. 

Angel City FC president and co-founder Julie Uhrman said: “Every pillar of Angel City is steeped in our purpose to create higher expectations on and off the field, and that includes using our platform to drive support of women’s sport and player compensation. 

“This fund essentially gives our fans the power to effect real change alongside us. Not only is Angel City going to create an incredible atmosphere for our fans and build an exciting, diverse, and exceptional team, but we are going to make every seat count to benefit each of our players directly. We hope to see other teams across all sports consider adopting the model, especially in women’s sports.”

There is a catch with receiving the ticketing bonus however, as players have to opt into the program, which means supporting marketing initiatives across their social media channels. 

Christen Press, who is a two-time World Cup champion with the US and has a three-year contract worth just over $700,000 (£507,000/€601,000) – one of the most expensive deals in NWSL history – with Angel City, is the only player currently signed up. 

The news follows an announcement that compensation data, software and services company Payscale had become a founding partner of Angel City FC. It will work with the club to provide tools, data and resources to support equitable compensation. 

Adrianna Burrow, chief marketing officer of Payscale, said: “As soon as we heard about the formation of Angel City Football Club, we knew we wanted to become a founding partner and work with an organisation, built on closing the gender pay gap, not just in sports, but across every industry and organisation. 

“Our brand values align seamlessly, and we are excited to join forces.” 

Beginning in 2022, Angel City and Payscale will develop a Pay Equity Pledge to empower other organisations to work towards pay equity. 

Uhrman added: “Since our first conversations with Payscale, we knew that not only is this a company that we want to partner with, but one that we want to be customers of. We founded Angel City on the principle of pay equity. By locking arms with Payscale, we ensure that our organisation adheres to a standard of equitable compensation as well as aim to hold others to the same standard through our Pay Equity Pledge and programming.”

Image: Tom Sodoge on Unsplash