The Bay Observer of all places (which sometimes seems like a Bob Bratina
mouthpiece) recently had an excellent article about the business side
of the Hamilton Ticats complete with numbers. Since Tigercatatonia has always been interested
in the business of the Ticats besides the football, it is worth going over
some of the numbers mentioned in the article.
Probably most interested to me was the claim by Ticat CEO about merchandise
"For merchandize we’ve gone from being the last team in the league were now close to a million and a half dollars a year"
The most recent numbers I've heard for Ticat merchandise sales were a million
dollars per year, so if the Cats are close to $1.5 million that's impressive,
especially considering the stadium delays have no doubt impacted
merchandise sales this year substantially. A figure of $1.5 million is also
impressive compared to other teams in the league. Obviously that figure
what be dwarfed by the Riders' number, but one would have to think that the
Ticats would be among the lead leaders. I'm not sure they would be above
Winnipeg or likely second place Edmonton, but they're probably within
striking distance. With a full year of the new stadium, one wonders if
$2 million in merchandise is possible in 2015 (or 2016 when the Ticats are
likely to host a Grey Cup).
I would also be curious to see where $1.5 million in merchandise places
the Tiger-Cats relative to other pro teams in Canada: the NHL teams,
the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Raptors and especially the MLS teams
in Canada. Toronto FC when it started seemed to have excellent
nerchandise sales, but years of sucking and missing the playoffs seems
to have hurt their sales. Would the Ticats have bigger sales than
Toronto FC currently?
Mitchell also makes a statement in the article about corporate
sponsorships: "our corporate partnerships were the worst in the league and now we could be number two.”" Again the Riders are likely way out front, but
I seem to remember hearing that the Montreal Alouettes had great
corporate sponsorships, with the likes of CN as sponsors and Edmonton
and Calgary likely has extensive corporate sponsorship.
Another number Mitchell mentions in the article is the amount of money
an Eastern team requires in revenue to break even. I've heard $15
million bandied about for CFL operating expenses (with the salary
cap being around one third of that number), but in this article
Mitchell says it is $20 million.
Probably the most surprising item in the whole article is the news
that team would have turned a profit this year had it not
been for the stadium snafus, but will next year. That's certainly
good news for the Cats and impressive considering the revenue
needed to for that to happen.
One final number from the article:
"the fact that the tab that he has run up propping up the team is now at
$40 Million." So Tiger-Cats fans certainly have Bob Young to thank for the
team still being here.