The Average CFL Salary: How it Compares to Other Professional Sports Leagues

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The Average CFL Salary: How it Compares to Other Professional Sports Leagues

The Canadian Football League is getting better and more attractive every year – and fans recognize it. According to the 2022 report, CFL attendance went up 13% from 2021. Almost every team in the league hosts more spectators per match, which is amazing.

The league is now so popular that you can bet on matches on nearly all gambling websites. It’s not just our opinion, as experts at came to the same conclusion. If you feel like placing a bet, just join one of those online casinos in Canada and pick your favorites on best casino bonuses over at

But there’s another thing we want to discuss here – a typical CFL salary. How does it compare to other major leagues? Read on to learn more about it

The Average CFL Salary

The League has been around for 65 years, so players’ earnings witnessed many changes. CFL salaries fluctuated due to factors like the economy, the popularity of the league, and the overall success of individual teams. For example, in the late 1970s, the average salary used to be around $25 thousand. That’s much lower than today’s average, but it grew as the league itself raised in popularity. 

But our goal is to talk about today’s earnings.

Calculating the median salary in the CFL is simple. We divide all salaries in the league by the number of players. This includes salaries, bonuses, and all other forms of compensation that players receive. According to the report, the average CFL salary is now around $80 thousand per year.

How about other major leagues?

It’s clear that CFL earnings are big, but are they that big really? Well, not if you compare them with other major leagues in North America. We’ll make an overview of popular leagues to see the difference:

1. NFL

According to the report, the average NFL salary is around $2.7 million. It’s a staggering difference compared to the average CFL salary, but why is the situation like that? The NFL is simply the most popular sports league in North America. It generates billions of dollars annually, so teams can offer players such gigantic salaries.

In contrast, the CFL has a smaller fan base and makes a more modest profit. While its players are undoubtedly talented, they are not as widely recognized or compensated as their NFL counterparts.

2. NBA

If you thought NFL earnings are massive, wait until you see the NBA stats. The media report that the average NBA salary is just shy of $10 million. It’s obvious why NBA stars earn more, but we’ll focus on two distinct factors.

Firstly, the NBA is a much larger organization than the CFL. It has a global audience and a massive media presence. Secondly, the NBA operates under a salary cap system. It limits salaries just like in the CFL, but it’s set much higher in the NBA.

3. NHL

A median NHL is also respectable. According to official reports, NHL players earn 2.7 million per year on average. Once again, this has to do with the sheer popularity of the league and its ability to attract the best players from all over the globe. 

4. MLB

More than 700 Major League Baseball players reportedly make $4.3 million on average. Apart from business factors, the disparity in salaries comes from the difference in talent level between the two leagues. 

MLB players are some of the most skilled athletes in the world, and their salaries reflect that. On the other hand, the CFL is a lower-tier professional football league. Its players typically have less experience and skill than those in the MLB or other top-tier leagues.

Implications for the CFL 

The CFL’s lower average salary compared to other major North American sports leagues has many implications. In particular, we are talking about the league’s ability to attract top talent. While the league has many talented players, some may choose to pursue opportunities in other leagues where salaries are higher. 

This can make it challenging for the CFL to attract the best players, particularly those who are looking to maximize their earnings. The lower average salary also impacts the quality of play. Players who don’t earn enough rarely perform at their best.

The CFL will obviously have to explore new revenue streams to remain competitive. They can make changes, though:

– Improve media presence

– Attract additional corporate sponsorships

– Open new markets 


The CFL is a great football league, but it can’t get anywhere near bigger sports organizations on the American continent. We did our research to discover median earnings and understand the differences between these organizations. Now it’s your turn to write a comment and share your opinion on all of these business models. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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