How much professional sports teams pay cheerleaders vary from league to league and team to team. For example, some estimate NFL teams pay cheerleaders around $75 to $150 per game and some cheerleaders estimated in a 2014 lawsuit that they earned less than $5 per hour. It also depends on the State.
In 2016, California clarified that cheerleaders who work for professional sports teams that play a majority of their home games in California are deemed to be employees. This applies to both minor and major league level teams in baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, or soccer. The employee classification applies even for cheerleaders utilized through a labor contractor. It covers all exhibitions, events, games, and arguably practices or rehearsals.
As nonexempt employees, qualifying cheerleaders for professional sports teams in California are entitled to minimum wage, overtime, rest periods, meal breaks, and reimbursement for necessary expenses to do the job, just like any other nonexempt employee in California.
(See Link(s): Labor Code Section 2754)