Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yet More Winnipeg Blue Bomber Finance Analysis

The CP article I linked to in my previous post on the Bombers' finances was rather scant in terms of information. There's another version of the article that has a lot more information about how Winnipeg, despite a sucky season went from a loss to a profit in 2010.

The main factor is $981,950 in severance costs, including $160,000 to the fan reviled Mike Kelly, plus varous assistants, former coach Doug Berry, plus some others. For a CFL team, signing a new coach to a three year deal and having him tank the first year is problematic, because replacing him means paying two coaching salaries for several years. However if the fans demand the coach's head, not firing him could potentially lose the team more money if the fans stay away. With player salaries closely controlled, coaching salaries, especially severances can be considerably more variable. Luckily the Bomber fans aren't demanding current coach Paul LaPolice's head after a 4 and 14 season last year, but if there's more of the same this year, what happens.

One other interesting piece of information in the article was that CFL revenue paid to the Bombers increased by $122,000. It would be interesting to find the actual total number paid to the teams for 2010, but an increase is still positive.

Staying with the Bombers, season ticket sales are already past 16,000, which is impressive for a team that was the worst in the CFL in 2010. The new stadium is probably helping out some what, plus some delusion on the part of Bomber fans that Buck Pierce will stay healthy. Interestingly I've heard no word on how Ticat sales are doing this year. If they were going fantastic, one might have expected to hear something from the Cats.

There's probably some bitterness about the stadium debacle that could take more than a year to subside. Likely the fans that buy the most tickets will keep buying, but some tickets to some angry casual fans might not get sold. Plus the fact with the Moncton game you're only getting eight home games and forced to buy a potential playoff game could also be causing some problems.

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