Any sports league where the pay is below what is regarded to be a living wage is considered a semi-professional league. Arena Football is often regarded as the most professional of the semi-professional leagues, and its players earn an annual salary of $21,760 to $32,740. An Arena football player can expect to get a starting salary of $17,920 and $26,880 on average.
Arena Football is one of the few semi-pro sports leagues that actually pays its players. In its place, many leagues have membership fees and sometimes even community service or other requirements for their participants. It is for this reason that semi-pro football leagues are not typically viewed as a stepping stone to the NFL, but rather as a method for passionate players to keep competing at a high level far into adulthood. Players are responsible for their own gear and travel expenses to away games. If they are able to do so, players may secure sponsorships to help defray the expense of membership and travel. In most places, the semi-professional football season goes from April to July. However, leagues with stadiums in warmer climates may start the season earlier. Most semi-pro leagues hold two or three practises each week during the off-season in order to accommodate the players’ work schedules.