Most of the CFL is still feeling the financial pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are not among those struggling for cash.
In conversation with Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, Bombers CEO Wade Miller divulged that ahead of their West Final matchup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, his team is already well into the black.
“Bombers CEO Wade Miller says it’s already been a winning season on the books, taking a good bite out of that $7 million loss last year. ‘It’ll be a profit. A meaningful one,'” Friesen tweeted Friday.
Winnipeg has been one of the league’s most successful franchises off the field in recent years and in 2019 they posted an operating profit of $3.5 million. Even they couldn’t escape the horrors of a canceled 2020 season however, losing $6,982,217 last year due to the fact that there were no games played, nor could any events be held at IG Field.
Their success on the field appears to have provided a meaningful bounce back in 2021 however. The Bombers were the first CFL team to impose a vaccine mandate for fans at their home stadium and have been allowed to host capacity crowds all season, including Sunday’s West Final. According to Friesen and Miller, it isn’t rabid Rider fans boosting profits either.
“Apparently there won’t be a sea of green at Sunday’s CFL West Final,” Friesen tweeted. “Am told just a couple hundred tickets went to Saskatchewan, not the few thousand we typically see for the Banjo Bowl. ‘People are coming because they know this is a big event.’- Bombers CEO Wade Miller.”
In a year where good business news has been hard to come by in the CFL, the Bombers success shows just what can be accomplished by a well-run organization.