Riders did not use $7.6 million contingency fund in 2020, but need it in order to get back on the field

The Saskatchewan Roughriders made it through 2020 without having to use its $7.6 million contingency fund, according to Regina Leader-Post reporter Murray McCormick.

Riders president Craig Reynolds initially stated the team faced a projected $10 million shortfall in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

McCormick reports: However, the Green and White emphatically addressed some of the financial challenges by laying off 30 per cent of its staff, in addition to implementing across-the-board wage reductions.

The team also accessed federal programs designed to assist with wages through the pandemic, in addition to taking advantage of some rent subsidies through other government programs.

Those moves meant the team emerged from the 2020-21 fiscal year without having to dip into its $7.6-million contingency fund.

“We haven’t had to access it yet, but we will have to this year in order to get back on the field,” Reynolds said. “Once we get back on the field, we’ll incur significant costs.”

Both of the other community owned franchises in the CFL lost millions last year. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers posted a loss of nearly $7 million. While the Edmonton Football Team had a net operating loss of $7.1 million.

The Riders posted a loss of over $200,000 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Saskatchewan earned a net profit of $1.4 million in 2018-2019, which was up from $781,930 in 2017-2018 and $33,000 in 2016-2017.

The fact Saskatchewan has cash on hand after the financial toll COVID-19 took on the team has to be positive for the future.

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