Canada’s professional women’s hockey league is shutting down, the board announced Sunday.

In a statement on their website, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) said the league will cease operations May 1, citing a financially unsustainable business model.

“Unfortunately, while the on-ice hockey is exceptional, the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable,” the CWHL Board of Directors said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The announcement comes days after a record-high 175,000 fans tuned in to watch the 12th annual Clarkson Cup women’s ice hockey championship game, according to Canada's CTV.

“We thank our fans for cheering on their favourite player and favourite teams, our sponsors for helping fund the growth of women’s hockey, and our partnerships [with NHL teams and players]," the board said.

The league was founded in 2007 in an effort to increase national interest in women’s hockey. The league began paying its players in 2017, with each of the league’s seven clubs throughout Canada and China receiving a $100,000 salary cap for all players, according to the Globe and Mail.