The Frontier League is home to 12 teams scattered throughout 7 states. While the game is the same as the major leagues, the finances are very different.
Major League baseball teams have a very loose salary cap. Compared to the other major sports it is not effective at creating financial parity among teams in different markets. Each Frontier League team has a salary cap of $72,000. The league minimum for pay is set at $600 each month. To put that into perspective, a full time job paying $8 an hour is over $1000 per month before taxes. Due to this low pay, players in the Frontier League often live with 'host families'. Host families are people who agree to house players for free, typically only during the playing season.
Only the best Frontier League players make as much as $1600 per month and rarely more. Each player receives a $20 per diem when playing road games. This money is not taken out of their salary and is intended to be used for food.
Aside from employing a strict salary cap the Frontier League enforces roster rules that restrict teams from employing too many veteran players. Each team is only allowed to have three veteran players. A veteran player is described here as one who has three or more years of professional baseball experience. Each team is also restricted to having two players with two years' experience and seven players with one year experience.
Another measure in place to develop parity is to only allow players younger than 27 (as of January first of that year). All of these roster restrictions are in place to keep the Frontier League a home for competitive baseball.
As a result of the low pay these players receive they seek out free housing. As stated above, this free housing comes from families in the community and are known as 'host families'. Information for each team's regulations regarding host families can be found on each team's website. Most teams offer families great perks. Here is a short list of perks that some teams offer their host families:
1. Discounts at the stadium store.
2. Two free tickets to every home game.
3. Parking passes.
4. On-field recognition during games.
5. Team-sponsored events.
6. Discounts to select community businesses.
If the opportunity arises, I can assume that being a host family for these players is a unique opportunity with apparent benefits.
The players of the Frontier League work very hard for very little pay. Many Frontier League players have been able to reach the Major Leagues and have eclipsed the paltry salaries they receive in the league.