NFL referee salary: How much are Super Bowl officials paid in 2021?
NFL referees and officials have been under the microscope a lot during the 2021 playoffs for controversial calls and no-calls.
That might raise a question for fan bases on the wrong end of those decisions: How much are these folks in stripes being paid to mess up a team’s season?
It’s not a simple question to answer, though. The NFL doesn’t release public information on officiating salaries, and it’s rarely reported on. But there’s some data out there that can at least give us a ballpark idea of how much those whistles are worth.How much are referees paid for Super Bowl 55?There’s no easy-to-access database to tell us what Super Bowl officials are being paid.The most recent reporting on Super Bowl referee payment looks to have been done by Money.com in 2018. They speculate that officials may earn as much as $40,000 to work the Super Bowl, which could even be slightly increased in the three years since that report.Money.com’s other approach is to compare referee bonuses to player bonuses. Based on past data, they write that referees likely earn between $30,000 and $50,000 to work the Super Bowl. Considering that officiating in the NFL isn’t a full-time job, that’s not a bad side gig.
Who are the Super Bowl 55 game officials?Below are the officials the NFL assigned to Super Bowl 55 between the Chiefs and Buccaneers, including their NFL experience and the Super Bowls on their resume.Position
Sarah Thomas becomes the first woman to officiate in a Super Bowl. She’s been an NFL official since 2015.
Carl Cheffers, the referee, also was referee for Super Bowl 51. That was the game that featured Tom Brady and the Patriots’ famous comeback from down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons.How much do referees make in the regular season?Referees and officials in the NFL aren’t working a full-time job, but rather what amounts to a weekly side hustle.According to Money.com, an NFL officials average salary rose to about $201,000 in 2019, which likely has grown ever so slightly over the past year-plus. Officials also receive a defined-401(k) plan from the NFL with an annual deposit of $18,000 and partial-matching from the league.