USWNT soccer games generate more revenue than men’s games, audit report shows

Since the U.S. Women’s National Team won the 2015 World Cup, their games have garnered more revenue than the U.S. men’s games, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The information comes from audited financial reports from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the nonprofit entity that governs the men’s and women’s soccer teams as well as their pay.

News of women garnering more revenue for their games comes as the team remains entangled in a lawsuit with U.S. Soccer. All 28 members of the women’s team filed the lawsuit on March 8 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit alleges gender discrimination that includes unequal pay compared to the U.S. Men’s National Team as well as unequal treatment. That treatment includes unequal training, playing and travel conditions and the allegation that games are promoted less.

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In May, U.S. Soccer responded to the lawsuit and denied the allegations of gender discrimination and unequal treatment. It said every decision made “with respect to the conduct alleged in the complaint was for legitimate business reasons and not for any discriminatory or other unlawful purpose.”

The statement went on to say that each team is a separate organization with separate collective-bargaining agreements. It also cited the separate revenue from the teams as part of its defense for any suspected pay differences.

But numbers from the audit show the women are generating more revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.

From 2016 through 2018, women’s games generated $50.8 million in revenue while men earned about $49.9 million. In 2016 alone, one year after the women won their 2015 World Cup title, they generated $1.9 million more than the men.

According to the Wall Street Journal, game revenues are generated mostly by ticket sales. But other factors such as marketing and sponsorships play into revenue. WSJ reported that because U.S. Soccer sells broadcast rights and sponsorships as a packaged deal rather than separately for each team, it’s hard to see which team generates more revenue in that aspect.

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USWNT has won four Olympic gold medals, three World Cup titles and has been ranked No. 1 in the world for 10 of the last 11 years. The lawsuit cited those examples as part of the women performing similar duties for the same employer and outperforming their male counterparts.

The men’s team has never won a World Cup and the players do not participate in the Olympics.

Watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on FOX from June 7 through July 7.