The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made an impressive financial comeback from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting a $7.2 million net income for 2022. This figure marks an extraordinary turnaround from the club’s $7.5 million loss in the cancelled 2020 season, and matches their net profit from 2021, signifying a full recovery.
In 2022, the club managed to garner total revenues of $39.7 million against expenses of $35.8 million, buoyed by a strong football season and the successful hosting of the 109th Grey Cup, which contributed $3.3 million to their profits. The marquee event played a significant role in this financial resurgence, generating nearly $70 million in economic activity and contributing $25.7 million to Saskatchewan’s GDP.
Despite not featuring in the championship game, the Roughriders reaped the benefits of the economic uplift, which was the first CFL championship game played at the recently inaugurated Mosaic Stadium, and the first in Regina since 2013. The Grey Cup encounter saw the Toronto Argonauts secure a narrow victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with a 24-23 scoreline.
Roughriders Chief Financial Officer, Kent Paul, attributed the club’s financial recovery to the full 18-game season and the unwavering support from fans, partners, and stakeholders. The boost from the Grey Cup also played a key role, despite the club witnessing a drop in season ticket sales following the event, a trend commonly observed across the league.
The Roughriders’ overall attendance dipped slightly in 2022, averaging 27,431 fans per game, the lowest turnout since 2006, and a 4.9% drop from 2021. However, the season opener in 2023 has seen an upturn with 28,299 fans attending the game, even though it resulted in a 45-27 loss to the visiting Blue Bombers.
To tackle affordability issues amidst rising inflation and living costs, the team has introduced a more family-friendly pricing policy with reduced ticket prices for 9,000 seats and a $5 menu item at each stadium vendor. With this renewed focus on fan experience, the Roughriders hope to sustain their financial momentum as they face off against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, June 24.
As a community-owned team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are among the three CFL teams obliged to make their financial reports public. The 2022 reports from their peers indicate varied fortunes with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announcing a $4.9 million profit, and the Edmonton Elks disclosing a net operating loss of $3.3 million. Nevertheless, the Roughriders’ strong financial performance amidst challenging times underscores their resilience and dedication to community engagement.
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