Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers post $2.1 million profit from 2021 season

By The Canadian Press

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were big winners on and off the field last season.

Winnipeg capped the CFL’s return in 2021 with a second straight Grey Cup title. On Wednesday, the community-owned club reported an overall operating profit of $2.1 million for last season.

The CFL didn’t play in 2020 due to the global pandemic. It returned to action last season with a shortened 14-game regular season, culminating with Winnipeg’s 33-25 overtime Grey Cup win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field.

The Bombers’ revenue totalled $32.8 million in 2021. The franchise recorded $2.4 million in revenue from hosting the West Division final.

The Blue Bombers posted an overall operating profit of $3.5 million and total revenue of $36.3 million in 2019, before COVID-19 affected operations the following season.

“Our revenue for the year is at 90 per cent of total revenue in 2019,” club president and chief executive officer Wade Miller said in a statement. “That is astonishing to be so close to pre-pandemic revenues, even with the reduction to the CFL schedule.”

The club’s total operating expenses were $30.7 million as Winnipeg incurred $886,000 in COVID-related expenses. The franchise also entered into a new agreement with the Manitoba government and Triple B Stadium Inc. where a capital fund has been established with a $10.2 million contribution from the province.

The Bombers will also make allocations into the fund, putting forth $576,000 last year. The franchise was also entitled to a recovery of the ’19 annual excess cash payment of $2.2 million from Triple B. That money was to be used for stadium-operations expenses incurred during the pandemic.

The Blue Bombers also accessed government programs to assist with the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. They received $3.2 million in government assistance via programs available to organizations that experienced significant revenue declines.

Winnipeg also recorded an impairment loss on the loan receivable from soccer club Valour FC of $1.3 million. That’s because the Canadian Premier League team’s estimated future cash flows are uncertain.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2022.

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