Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky and 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin are among the big names helping to launch the International Swimming League.
The eight-team pro team competition will debut in the fall with matches in seven cities culminating with finals Dec. 20-21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
ISL 24-swimmer rosters were announced for four teams Tuesday including the DC Trident with Ledecky, 36-year-old Coughlin and 2016 Olympian Kevin Cordes, who starred in college at Arizona.
Other U.S. based ISL teams are the New York Breakers, Los Angeles Current and Cali Condors. International teams are based in London, Paris, Rome and Budapest.
In addition to Ledecky, other premier U.S. swimmers participating in ISL include Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew and Simone Manuel.
Before the finals, matches will be held in Indianapolis (Oct. 4-5), Naples, Italy (Oct. 12-13), Lewisville, Texas (Oct. 18-19), Budapest (Oct. 26-27), College Park, Md. (Nov. 15-16) and London (Nov. 23-24).
General managers of U.S. teams include elite swimmers Lenny Krayzelburg (LA Current), Kaitlin Sandeno (DC Trident) and Jason Lezak (Cali Condors).
The World Swimming Championships will be held July 21-28 in Gwangju, South Korea. The ISL season will follow in the fall leading into 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics.
Teams will pay swimmers out of $150,000 per team total salary with extra prize money based offered based on performance. The international swimming federation (FINA) is no longer threatening sanctions against swimmers competing in the ISL but will not recognize ISL results or records.
Participants sign a contract with both the ISL and their teams, and revenue will be split equally between the league and swimmers.
Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today.