MLS referees are paid a set fee per game based on their level of experience. Each of the four experience levels are determined by the total number of matches a referee has officiated.
As of 2011, level one referees (76 or more matches) receive $1,100 per game, level two (41 to 75 matches) receive $1,000, level three (21 to 40 matches) receive $900 and level four (zero to 20 matches) receive $700. Referees serving in tournaments receive $2,000 per game during the quarterfinals and $2,800 during the semifinals. Referees who officiate over the MLS Cup receive a payment of $3,500.