Blue Bombers post nearly $7 million loss in 2020

Screengrab courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

We’re getting our first glimpse into the effects of the CFL not playing football in 2020.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released their 2020 annual report on Monday and there’s no shortage of red ink.

According to the franchise, the team lost $6,982,217 last year due to the fact that there were no games played nor could any events be held at IG Field.

“The unprecedented and rapid spread of COVID-19 and the related restrictions that were implemented in Canada throughout 2020 had a devastating impact on live sporting events across the country, which ultimately led to the cancellation of the 2020 CFL football season,” president and CEO Wade Miller said in a statement.

“This had a detrimental impact on the club, not only with the cancellation of the 2020 season but the shutdown of all events at IG Field.”

The team also had to pay $3.4 million to operate the stadium despite the fact that it was closed for most of the year.

On the revenue side of things, Winnipeg was able to offset some costs by still bringing in $1.33 million in what they call “game day revenue” which includes concessions and merchandise. They also received $3.1 million in aid from the government including $2.9 million in Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.

However, it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the $32.3 million dollar drop in revenue. In 2019, the Bombers posted an operating profit of $3.5 million.

“The Winnipeg Football Club has a strong history of profitability. The club entered 2020 on very solid financial footing with net assets of $12.9 million, including an operating reserve of $4.1 million,” Miller said.

“We will weather this storm and get back on the field to defend our Grey Cup Championship.”