WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers operated at an overall profit of $2.8 million in 2016, the team revealed Wednesday in its 2016 Annual Report.
“We are pleased with our overall financial results for 2016,” said Winnipeg Football Club President & CEO, Wade Miller in a press release, “and credit our fans, season ticket members and corporate partners for the important role they continue to play in the success of our Club, both on and off the field.”
Total operating revenue was $27.1 million in 2016 – a four per cent decrease primarily due to fewer events being held at Investors Group Field in 2016 compared to 2015. Last year, there were no concerts and just one major event held at the stadium – the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.
This compares to the 2015 schedule that included the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, One Direction and AC/DC concerts and the 103rd Grey Cup.
“The good news for 2017,” said Miller, “is that, in addition to anticipating a great on field season, we also have a busy slate of major events scheduled including the Canada Women’s Soccer friendly match, Nitro Circus, the Manitoba Marathon and Guns N Roses. In addition, we will be hosting over 30 amateur sporting events, including the closing ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games.”
On other fronts, total game revenue dropped four percent, however, revenue from corporate partnerships grew by over seven percent from 2015 thanks to the strong and continuing support from Bomber fans and corporate sponsors.
Operating expenses came in at $24.2 million, an increase of just 1.3 per cent over 2015. This compares to football operations expenses which increased by 2.8 per cent, which the team attributes to travel costs associated with the success of making the 2016 playoffs. It is important to note that increased stadium occupancy costs were offset with cost savings in both marketing and administration.
The WFC continues to incur significant costs, especially compared to other clubs in the league, for game day transportation to and from the stadium that results from charges imposed by Winnipeg Transit and other third party providers. The club continues to work with the stakeholders of the Integrated Transportation Plan Agreement to address this ongoing cost burden.
In December 2016, the club made its third annual scheduled excess cash payment to Triple B Stadium Inc. of $4.5 million.
“Meeting our financial obligations continues to be one of the top priorities of the Winnipeg Football Club,” said Miller. “Despite investing over $15 million in stadium capital costs, the Club will continue to meets its financial obligations as outlined in the Management Agreement with Triple B Stadium Inc.”