The National Women’s Soccer League received a loan from the federal government to cover player salaries for two months, The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed Thursday. The New York Times first reported the story.
The Payment Protection Program loan, a league spokesperson said, was used “exclusively” for salaries. NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird and other league officials took pay cuts.
“Our sole intent in applying for the PPP loan was to continue player compensation,” Baird told The Times. “With ours, the calculus was pretty simple. Either you’re going to pay your players or you’re going to furlough them. What could we do?”
The loan helped the NWSL put together the Challenge Cup, a monthlong tournament that started Saturday in Utah. The league expects the loan to be forgiven because all of the money was used for payroll.
Utah Royals FC owner Dell Loy Hansen, who owns the two stadiums where the tournament is being held, told The Tribune last month that he gave $700,000 of his own money to help subsidize the tournament and get it off the ground.