Soccer Business Bits: Salary Comparison, WPS Attendance & More

In an article about UCONN star Maya Moore, LZ Granderson provides some interesting detail about salaries in the WNBA.  Because fans often look at the WNBA for purposes of comparing MLS TV and attendance, we thought the salary numbers would also provide an interesting point of analysis.  Here is the passage from Granderson’s article: “The salary range for WNBA rookies drafted 1-4 is $44,064 in the first year and taps out at $56,182 in the fourth year of their contracts.  The max any WNBA player can earn is $95,000.”  From this sentence, it is apparent that WNBA salaries are well below those in Major League soccer where the minimum salary under the new CBA is $40k and a healthy percentage of players make in excess of $100k per year.  Moreover, the $95k cap on salaries is well below the higher end salaries in MLS.

Keeping with women’s sports, we pulled some attendance nuggets from WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci’s media conference call.   According to her statement, season ticket sales for returning teams are up 20% and local sponsorships are up 150%.  WPS averaged over 4,600 fans per game in 2009 and the league is shooting for a a 5-10 % increase in 2010. Other bits from the call include an announcement about a two team expansion in 2011 and discussion of the new stadium in the Atlanta area.

Finally, a quick note on the stadium effort in Houston.  The City Council approved the deal for the stadium that will be shared between the Dynamo and Texas Southern football.  The county will vote to approve the arrangement on Tuesday.  In addition to the $15 million dollar city contribution to the land, the team will foot the bill for the additional cost of stadium construction.  Total cost of the projected 21k seat stadium is expected to be about $80 million with the Dynamo ownership (primarily AEG and Golden Boy Promotions) funding about $60 million.  The rest of the funds could come from tax credits,  the TIRZ money and from some of the stiumulus money floating around.  The TIRZ program will also provide the property for the stadium.   Another round of voting is required to move the project forward.