Winnipeg Blue Bombers post $5.7 million overall operating profit in 2023

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have announced an overall operating profit of $5.7 million for the 2023 season.

According to the publicly-owned club’s annual financial report, revenue totalled $50.5 million in 2023, an increase of $5.1 million over 2022. The Bombers led the CFL with an average attendance of 30,448 last year, raking in $15.1 million in gate receipts while posting five straight sellouts to end the year. The team also made $11.5 million in merchandise and concession revenue, with both categories increasing by more than a million year over year.

“Financially, 2023 was another very strong year for the Winnipeg Football Club,” president and CEO Wade Miller said in a statement. “Credit goes to our season ticket members, corporate partners and fans for the crucial role they play in the success of our Club, both on and off the field.”

The club made a $5 million allocation in 2023 to the capital fund established in 2021 with the Manitoba provincial government and Triple B Stadium Inc. to repay the construction of Princess Auto Stadium. They also made a $1 million contribution to the club’s operating reserve, closing out the year with a capital fund balance of $9.6 million and an operating reserve balance of $6.6 million.

The Bombers again recorded an impairment loss of $1.25 million on the loan receivable from the Canadian Premier League team, Valour FC Inc.

“Our strong financial results allowed the Club to make these allocations and build our reserves for future years to invest in our stadium,” Miller continued. “2023 saw the beginning of the replacement of the stadium turf which will be installed in time for the 2024 season. We will use the Capital Fund for future capital improvements at the stadium as part of our commitment to have the best stadium in the CFL to provide the best fan experience.”

The Blue Bombers posted an overall operating profit of $4.9 million in 2022, as well as earning $2.1 million in profit during the shortened 2021 campaign. They endured nearly $7 million in losses during the cancelled 2020 season but were profitable before the pandemic, posting a profit of $3.5 million in 2019.

Winnipeg has become the CFL’s model franchise in recent years, winning back-to-back Grey Cups in 2019 and 2021. They qualified for a fourth straight championship appearance in 2023 after posting a 14-4 record, falling to the Montreal Alouettes by a score of 28-24.

The Blue Bombers will open the 2024 regular season by hosting the Grey Cup champion Alouettes for a rematch at Princess Auto Stadium on Thursday, June 6.