With the U.S. women’s hockey team (and possibly the men’s team as well) on the verge of striking through the World Championships, this seems like a good time to compare USA Hockey to U.S. Soccer.
Which … isn’t easy. You can compare each organization’s Form 990s, as I’ve done in the chart below, but one line item might not equal another line item. I get a headache just thinking about lawyers arguing the definition of “program service revenue” and so forth.
One key difference: When U.S. Soccer lists its highest-paid employees, you’ll find coaches and players. Not at USA Hockey.
Viewed historically, that makes sense. Before MLS, U.S. Soccer paid its men’s players to be part of the national team. Today, they get substantial World Cup bonuses that can easily put their names in the 990 forms. USA Hockey’s men get paid well in the NHL, and there has been no need to pay them more. The women’s team is arguing now that its players need professional salaries, and they’re not going to get them from pro club play just yet.
So the next question is obvious: Can USA Hockey afford it? Again, I’m not enough of an accountant to say no, but the budget outlined here suggests they’d need some more revenue.
Which raises the next question: Can USA Hockey attract sponsors to pay the players? USA Track and Field, included for sake of another comparison, has plenty of sponsorship money.
And one totally unrelated question: Is USA Hockey spending an absurd amount of money on website hosting? They list one registration contractor (Neural Planet, $212,198), one web host (TST Media/NGIN, $158,440) and one “programming, support and hosting” contractor (The Active Network, $180,250). I didn’t see similar listings for USSF and USA Track and Field, but could they be spending just as much money on in-house employees doing roughly the same thing?
If you prefer to see it as a Google Sheet, click here.
Sources (transcribed, not scraped, so any transcription errors are mine):
- ProPublica has some at-a-glance info as well as the downloads, but they’re not up to date for all three organizations. See USA Track & Field, U.S. Soccer Federation and USA Hockey.