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It's official: Blue in the red

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made official the worst-kept secret in town Tuesday afternoon, announcing a net loss in 2012 of $758,307.

Club CEO Garth Buchko told a news conference at Canad Inns Polo Park that the club actually posted a healthy profit in 2012 on the football side of operations, recording a surplus of $726,930.

But Buchko said unexpected costs for new stadium development and the one-time write-down of assets at old Canad Inns Stadium pushed the club into the red.

"We all had far better expectations than we were able to achieve, on and off the field, in 2012," said outgoing Bombers board chairman Bill Watchorn.

The club also announced Tuesday that Watchorn is being replaced as Bombers board chairman by Brock Bulbuck — president and CEO of the Boyd Group Income Fund.

Bulbuck will serve a three-year term.

Bombers ticket revenue in 2012 was down seven percent from 2011, but record corporate sponsorship helped offset the declines at the gate.

Total operating expenses jumped nine percent over 2011, fueled by cost increases in marketing and administration and football operations.

Despite the 2012 loss, the club has $5.871 million in the bank heading into the 2013 season.

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