The Premier Hockey Federation has announced that their Board of Governors has committed to investing over $25MM in direct payments and benefits over the next three years, the largest one-time independent investment in the history of professional women’s hockey. The investment will lead to a huge, 150 percent increase in the league’s salary cap for the 2022-23 season, up to $750K from $300K. The PHF, formerly the NWHL, is the leading women’s professional league in North America and consists of six independently-owned franchises.
PHF commissioner Tyler Tumminia released the following statement:
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. This amazing investment by ownership reaffirms the strength of their commitment to being difference-makers who advance the professional game so that our athletes can thrive as role models who continue to inspire the next generation.
The investment, which will also include full healthcare benefits and equity in teams, follows a successful few months for the league. In October, the league announced a landmark deal with ESPN+ as its exclusive U.S. broadcast partner for this season. In December, they announced a partnership with Upper Deck to produce the first-ever series of trading cards for professional women’s hockey. Earlier this month an agreement was announced with Warrior as the league’s new equipment provider.
This new investment also comes with the expectation of expansion. According to John Wawrow of the Associated Press, the league is moving forward with plans for two expansion clubs; one in Montreal and the other in an undisclosed U.S. location. It will also increase the schedule to 28 games for each team next season.