PHF, Boston Pride Have Seen Tremendous Growth In Last Three Years

'I think Boston is such a big sports city, so it's really nice to be a part of that community'


Feb 4, 2023

The Boston Pride and the PHF have grown a lot since its inaugural year, and they continue to do so in 2023 with Pride games airing on NESN and NESN+.

PHF games also have aired on Twitch, ESPN+, ESPN2 and NBC, showcasing just how far the PHF has come in a short time.

“Just to be able to turn on the TV (and watch the game) is something we’ve always wanted through this growth.” Kaleigh Fratkin told “It’s a testament to how much this really has taken off the last couple years. The fact that more girls that players on our team coach, the girls in our local area can turn on the TV and watch Boston Pride games is certainly exciting. … It’s just great visibility for us and a great opportunity just to continue to push our team and push our team brand.”

More than games being aired on national and regional networks, the league also has expanded twice since 2020 with the Toronto Six and Montreal Force emerging. The salary cap also has increased the last two seasons and will jump to $1.5 million for the 2023-24 campaign, marking the third raise in as many seasons.

The growth of the league also is important to young girls who want to either begin to play hockey or want to make it a career as those in the PHF have. When many of the Pride players were growing up, all they had was the NHL.

“I was just reflecting recently with some other players when we were growing up we wanted to be in the NHL because that was all that it was, that’s all we had,” captain Jillian Dempsey told “Now it’s a really enjoyable experience for us to engage with fans or some of the youth hockey players who come to games. … To have them see what’s possible and to know it’s just going to keep getting better by the time they’re there is something we’re proud to be part of. … If they turn on the TV and see women playing hockey, it’s really going to mean something to them.”

For some players, that raise will mean they can be full-time athletes. Many work a full-time job, such as Dempsey, who’s a teacher in Massachusetts. Sammy Davis said the ultimate goal is to become a full-time athlete, and knowing she’s been part of the growth is something she’s grateful for because it wasn’t possible just a few years ago.

“The future generations are so lucky to have this growth happen,” Davis told “I really don’t have a lot of words because I’m just so grateful to be part of it, to be part of this league and to be able to see little kids come to the rink and be able to be with mentors, be with role models because I never had that. Every single home game we do signings and I just am in awe because I never had that when I was younger, I never really had women to look up to. So now that that’s a possibility it’s really amazing.”

The Pride play at Warrior Ice Arena, where the Boston Bruins hold their practices, and games are constantly sold out with the seats filled with families watching them play.

“Just in the past three years, having the salary cap increased twice, having our visibility increased and we have a lot more people, a lot more fans coming to the games knowing who we are,” Davis said. “I think Boston is such a big sports city, so it’s really nice to be a part of that community. It’s just so amazing.”

The Pride look to get back in the win column Saturday night against the Metropolitan Riveters. You can catch all the action beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NESN+.

Thumbnail photo via Michelle Jay / Boston Pride
Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
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