The Edmonton Eskimos announced a 2017 profit of $430,000 on Tuesday, down almost a million dollars from the previous year and a drop of more than $3 million since 2014.
Operating revenue was $24.7 million, an increase of over five per cent from 2016.
Eskimos president and chief executive officer Len Rhodes said an expensive financial variable in 2017 was the six-game injured list, which cost the team $1.1 million in 2017 compared to $410,000 in 2016.
“Quite frankly near the end of the year we were hoping we’d just stay in the black,” Rhodes said. We did that.
“Brock deserves a medal in terms of managing it (and) not looking for excuses. You can’t control that part. Unfortunately, there were a lot of injuries. And he came in under the salary cap.
“I think most importantly is we stayed competitive. It’s one thing to stay within the cap. It’s another to make sure that our fans see a product that makes them proud.”
Gate receipt revenues increased nine per cent to $806,259, while Rhodes also reported that sponsorship revenues increased 8.9 per cent to a club-record level.
Merchandise sales dipped 12.9 per cent, which was expected as 2016 sales exceeded projections due to the Eskimos’ 2015 Grey Cup win.
Total operating expenses increased $2.7 million to $24.1 million.
Rhodes said in his report season-ticket sales increased 2.6 per cent over last year but single-game revenues were up a whopping 26 per cent.
Edmonton will host the 2018 Grey Cup, which Rhodes expects will result in more than $80 million in economic benefit for the city.