Bombers win big financially, scoring $11 million profit


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Wins on the field were once again few and far between for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2015, but the club recorded a critical — and record-breaking — victory off it in the form of an $11-million profit.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/04/2016 (2369 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Wins on the field were once again few and far between for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2015, but the club recorded a critical — and record-breaking — victory off it in the form of an $11-million profit.

The Bombers announced Monday they posted a net profit of $7.1 million from hosting the 2015 Grey Cup. Sources said Monday the club will announce later this week it posted an additional operating profit of about $4 million on its 2015 season.

A season that saw the Bombers post a 5-13 record on the field saw them post an $11-million profit off it.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Hosting the Grey Cup at Investors Group Field in 2014 earned the Winnipeg Blue Bombers twice the profit compared to the last time they hosted the game in 2006.

That’s an unprecedented payday for the Bombers and it couldn’t come at a better time, giving the franchise some much-needed financial breathing room as it continues to pay down its new stadium while buying management more time to get things right on the field.

“It was a big year,” Bombers CEO Wade Miller said Monday. “The Grey Cup was a huge success that took a ton of dedication from the committee, the 500 volunteers that were involved, the Grey Cup staff and the Bombers staff.

“We pushed hard for 18 months leading up to the game and it all paid off.”

The $7.1-million profit from hosting the 2015 Grey Cup is more than double the $3.2 million the club earned the last time it hosted the Grey Cup in 2006.

While the 2015 Grey Cup wasn’t announced as a sellout until the final week, and there were some discounted tickets made available through various corporate partnerships, Miller said every aspect of Grey Cup week proved to be a huge success.

“There was a huge gate for the game, all the festival events were sold out and we had amazing corporate sponsorships, both locally and nationally,” said Miller. “The Grey Cup continues to grow across the country and the value of it continues to grow for corporate partners.”

The Bombers had hoped to record at least a $5-million profit on hosting last year’s big game.

The club’s operating profit of about $4 million on its 2015 season is a small improvement on the $3.9-million operating profit the club recorded in 2014, no small feat given 2015 was the fourth straight season the Bombers missed the playoffs.

A little more than half the Bombers 2015 windfall will be pumped back into the stadium in the form of a $4.5-million mortgage payment and another $1.5 million in stadium improvements that were made in advance of the big game.

That leaves roughly a net remainder of $5 million the club can bank towards a rainy-day fund and draw upon in the future if the need arises. “It’s a great number,” said Miller. “The Grey Cup was a great, great event for the city and this team.”

Miller said the challenge now is to pay the local community back for its extraordinary support last year with a championship on the field this year. “We want nothing more this year than to see our players lift the Grey Cup over their heads. That’s true every November, but this year in particular,” said Miller



Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.


Updated on Monday, April 11, 2016 1:41 PM CDT: Updates with more info on Bomber profits

Updated on Monday, April 11, 2016 5:21 PM CDT: Writethrough

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