The NFL generates more than $13 billion in revenue annually, with no signs of slowing down. Players average around $2 million each year, while coaches have an average salary of $7 million. Heck, the mascots make $25,000 or more dressing up on the field. After all, there is practically no reason. NFL cheerleaders shouldn’t be earning a living wage for their dedication to the utmost physical fitness and discipline, not to mention talent.
Cheerleading at the NFL level requires a lot more than yelling a little ‘rah-rah-ree.’ It requires an immense amount of time and training. So how much are those long days of training and performance worth? Follow us as we dig into how much NFL cheerleaders really make each football season.
Audition Fees Are $35-$75
Prospective cheerleaders pay $75 to audition for the New Orleans
Auditions are required for anyone to have a chance to become an NFL cheerleader, and those auditions are not free. Some teams only charge a $35 fee, but auditioning in hopes of becoming the New Orleans Saintsation costs $75. The high prices of auditions seem a little ridiculous when you consider how much each NFL team makes each year. .
Next: Rules and regulations mean cheerleaders are making money.
Many teams have strict policies that cheerleaders must follow.
The demands of NFL cheerleaders go beyond attending a handful of practices and performing at games. Appearances within the community are required at nursing homes, schools and even corporate events, however attending these events does not have a positive impact on NFL cheerleading numbers. Additionally, many teams require that cheerleaders never be in the presence of an active player without their approval.
Some cheerleaders make only $2 to $3 an hour
Hourly wages are low. | Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Despite the long hours, professional NFL cheerleaders are not meant to be a full-time job. However, all signs point to the contrary, as practices are an all day affair. You see, most cheerleaders are paid a set fee for both public appearances and games. Not all teams are transparent when it comes to exactly what work they are willing to pay for, but more on that later. Cheerleading squads are so fed up with unequal pay that they have sued the NFL.
A cheerleader claimed she only made $3,000 in total.
They don’t make that much money. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
An anonymous cheerleader took to Cosmopolitan to share the realities of the job. It’s well known that NFL cheerleaders are required to keep the body they auditioned for, but this cheerleader expressed that gaining just a few pounds not only got her out of a game, but she was hassled by team members and coaches and they harassed her. And all that torment for what, $3,000 pay per season? Her 2006 pay already seemed meager, but once she factored in the required upkeep (manicures, gym memberships, trainers, and makeup) she took home about $300.
Next: The cheerleaders went to court.
Before 2013, Buccaneers cheerleaders made $1,000 a year.
Buccaneers cheerleaders sued the NFL for low wages. | Brian Blanco/Getty Images
Even though many squads just smile and put up with the inequality, others have gone to court. In 2013, the Raiderettes and Buccaneers, along with two other squads, filed class action lawsuits against NFL teams for paltry pay. Sadly, we’re talking $1,000 for an entire season. Fortunately, the courts ruled in favor of the squads, and the teams paid millions in settlements. The eventual ruling required teams to pay the minimum wage for every hour worked.
Upcoming: This popular team appears to be skirting the law.
Some teams are still vague about how much they pay
The Dallas Cowboys are vague about how much they pay cheerleaders. | John Moore/Getty Images
Although many teams have stood up to the music and started paying their cheerleaders decently, others have managed to stay under the radar. For example, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading Tryouts Site loosely defines their pay by stating, “There is a pay schedule for rehearsals, home football games, appearances, and promotional shows.” Which insinuates that the staff is not compensated for hours or practices.
Next: Some teams are paid better, but it’s far from the same.
But now the majority must pay the minimum wage
Member of the New Orleans Saintsations. Chris Graythen/Getty Images
While squads like the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saintsations seem to be ducking a labor lawsuit, others like the Buccaneers squad and the Raiderettes at least pay squads a minimum state-mandated hourly rate for all the work they do. do. Public appearances, practices, home games, and community events are no longer pro bono.
Next: This is how much they get paid to cheer on a game.
Or they pay a fixed amount per game or appearance.Some
Unfortunately, teams that have not yet faced music at the appropriate pay level will continue to compensate cheerleading squads based on a fixed price per game or appearance. Commonly, squad members charge $50 to $75 for a public appearance and around $150 to perform at a home game.