The US women’s soccer team made more revenue than the men’s team over the last three years, according to financial reports analyzed by the Wall Street Journal.
Women’s games reportedly brought in $50.8 million from 2016 to 2018 from mostly ticket sales. Men’s games made $49.9 million in the same time frame. Before 2016, however, the men’s team had generated more revenue every year, sometimes by more than $10 million.
Ticket sales make up just part of the US Soccer Federation operating revenue. The organization bundles brand sponsorships and broadcast sales between the two teams, making it harder to distinguish the difference in revenue, the Journa sa ysl.
The women’s team revenue spiked in 2016 after they won the World Cup, outpacing the men’s team’s earnings by $1.9 million. The USWNT is favored to win this year’s FIFA World Cup, and already defeated Thailand with an eye-popping score of 13-0. The team also beat Chile yesterday to advance to face Sweden on Thursday.
Upon the team’s resounding victory over Thailand last week, many people — including Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand — brought up the unfair pay between the men’s and women’s team.
“Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team,” Gillibrand, a New York senator, tweeted.
Members of US women’s team filed a lawsuit in March against the US Soccer Federation alleging that gender-based wage discrimination violates the Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit claims that female players make $4,950 a game ($99,000 annually) if they play 20 times a year, while men earn $13,166 a game, or $263,320 a year.
Women players earned just $15,000 for making the World Cup team, while men got $55,000 for making the roster in 2014, the lawsuit says.
Soccer isn’t the only sport with a pay gap. Well-paid women’s basketball players earn low six-figure salaries, while the minimum NBA salary is just over $838,000. Superstars like Serena Williams and Lindsey Vonn have stated male players get paid more in their sport, no matter how decorated the female player.