Edmonton Elks extend lease at Commonwealth Stadium through 2027

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks have extended their lease at Commonwealth Stadium for five more seasons through 2027.

Global News reported that the City of Edmonton temporarily waived some licensing fees as part of the deal, which will save the Elks around $400,000 over the next two years. The club posted a total loss of $9.3 million from 2019-21 with most of that coming in 2020 due to the cancellation of the CFL season. The team has yet to unveil its financial report for 2022.

In 2021, it was reported that the team was able to absorb the losses of the COVID-19 pandemic without dipping into its heritage trust fund, which then had a value of $13 million. According to the team’s financial statement from last year, this fund generated $1.4 million in investment income in 2021.

It appears likely that the team will post a loss again in 2022 as Edmonton averaged crowds of only 23,787 this past season, which is the lowest figure since Commonwealth Stadium opened in 1978. The Elks averaged attendance of over 30,000 as recently as 2018 with ticket sales dropping by 23.5 percent since that season.

The club has lost 17 consecutive homes games since defeating the B.C. Lions at Commonwealth Stadium by a score of 19-6 on Oct. 12, 2019.

The Elks are getting creative in their attempt to wins fans back, launching a limited number of “guaranteed win tickets” in December. Fans who buy these tickets for the club’s home opener on Sunday, June 11 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be entitled to the same seats for no additional charge until the club wins at home.

Edmonton also ran a limited-time offer last month geared towards families that included two adult and two youth season tickets for the price of $290.

Commonwealth Stadium is by far the largest venue in the CFL with a capacity of 56,302. It has undergone significant expansions and renovations since it was opened, most recently in 2008. The venue last hosted the Grey Cup in 2018 when the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks by a score of 27-16.