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Development Academy Fees and FAQ

UPDATE (June 11, 2018): For the 2018/19 seasonal year, we will be re-structuring our fees to go from an “All-Inclusive” approach (where the club fee covered EVERYTHING except personal travel to games) to a structure that aligns more closely with how the DMV’s other clubs structure their fees.

2018/19 Seasonal Costs Explained

The Washington Spirit Development Academy is not a profit center for the club, and we do not commingle budgets with the professional team or any other program budgets. The DA stands on its own purely on a cash-in, cash-out format, with no accounting tricks or non-cash values counted in establishing our fee structure. The tickets we provide players in our academy are not in any way factored into our fee structure as a “cost,” these are purely a benefit to members of our DA because we feel it’s important that all developing players get to witness the professional game up close as part of their learning process. If you see our DA coaches out in the community doing things for the game beyond our DA teams, they are either doing it on their own time or being paid separately from other funding sources than the DA budget. If you see or hear us promoting ticket sales to our pro team, it’s because it’s a great product that depends on fans to keep the dream alive for future generations of young players. It’s all part of the big picture. A successful professional team and league only lead to more opportunities for everyone around the game. In case you’re wondering, like just about every professional sports franchise on the planet, the Spirit professional team rarely if ever achieves break-even status. This club and this DA are not about making money. They are about the passion the team owners and staff have for providing current and future opportunities in the game for girls in the DMV region and beyond. All this said we are committed to continuing to find ways to drive down the cost of participation in our DA because a family’s ability to pay should not stand in the way of a player with the potential to become a professional player one day. One day, we hope our DA will be free of any club dues and will entertain ideas and opportunities far and wide to make that happen. #WeWill

2018/19 Fees

Commitment / GAP Program Fee – $500: This is paid when accepting an invitation to join our DA before the official beginning of the season on September 1 each year. The fee is nonrefundable, and covers the cost of the club and player registration with U.S. Soccer, setting up the player in our systems, and field and coaching fees associated with summer training programs leading up to the official season of training.

DA Season Club Dues – $3,000: This fee covers the cost of producing all training and games during the regular season schedule, including but not limited to coaching, fields, equipment, video, athletic trainers, sports science, and supplies. Payment plans will be offered, or families can pay in full or in two installments. Payments begin in July, with payment plans ending in April. We skip December for payments plans as well.

Uniform and Training Gear Fee – $350: This covers everything externally visible the players need to wear when participating in our programs, as well as a backpack to carry them in. For this season, the players will wear exactly the same game uniforms of our professional team! This fee is charged via electronic invoice upon acceptance to the program.

Winter Training Fee – $250-$750: This fee will be determined by October, and will be based on the amount of additional programming the clubs’ Academy Director determines necessary for off-season work between the fall and spring game schedule. It WILL NOT EXCEED $750 total but could end up being less. We believe it will be at least $250, but it could be less if we have an unexpected surplus in other areas due to something like a major new sponsor or exceptionally successful fundraising program.

2018/19 Travel Expenses and Process

Travel Policy: Within 2 weeks of the official and final schedule is released for the season, the Academy Director will determine which regular season game and other events require team travel as a group, and to what level – such as meals only, or also include hotels and/or ground or air transportation. The club will then centrally plan for each group element and invoice all families an estimated amount for the game/event as far in advance as possible. The invoices will be based on the total cost of the arranged group travel (excluding airfare), divided by 18 (number of players that will eventually be rostered for games). Airfare will be offered on an individual player basis far enough in advance for families to choose to utilize the group rates or to arrange for their own airfare. For teams with more than 18 players, players who do not end up being offered a roster spot for the trip will have their payments credited on file for the next trip, or can request a refund so long as all other club dues and travel fees are currently paid in full. Outside of airfare, all players rostered for a game/event who attend even one game will be required to share in the club-arranged meals, housing, and/or ground transportation. This is because food, hotel rooms for players, and rental vans and buses are a fixed cost based on total group size regardless of whether a few players end up not participating in team meals, sharing a team bus, or staying in a team hotel room. Players who are behind on club dues, other fees, or have not paid their travel fees in advance of departing for the trip; and who have not made other agreed arrangements; will not be permitted to travel with the team.


Players with a demonstrated need for financial assistance will have the opportunity to request reductions in costs outlined above, as well as an opportunity to apply and receive support from U.S. Soccer to help with personal travel expenses. Not all requests are likely to be granted, but we will work with everyone to the best of our ability within available budgets and based on the success of several planned fundraising events intended to support scholarship funds. Application