May 12, 2014 4:47 pm

Winnipeg Blue Bombers boast big financial touchdown

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers didn’t win many games last year, but the club says it scored a financial touchdown.

“It’s a great feeling to know that we are moving in the right direction,” Winnipeg Blue Bomber president and CEO Wade Miller told Global News.

The club said it is posting a profit of $2.9 million in 2013, $2.2 million more than the year before. In the first season at Investors Group Field, the club sold 24,620 season tickets, generating $8.66 million.

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The team said it’s not worried sales have slowed down considerably this year, with just 20,150 sold.

“We had budgeted for that,” said Miller. “It was a first year in the stadium and people wanted to see what the stadium looked like and maybe if we played better on the field, some more people would’ve stayed.”

In 2013, the Blue Bombers won only three games. Miller hopes an increased scouting and coaching staff will help with performance on the field in 2014.

The Bombers’ financial plan relies in part on a planned transit subsidy. In 2013 the football club paid the city $1.1 million for buses to carry fans to the stadium on game days and to other events. This year, the club wants transit costs subsidized by the city and province — a plan that would cost $750,000 in 2014 and more the following year.

“We’re waiting for some documentation to come from the Winnipeg Football Club,” said Mayor Sam Katz. “Then we can discuss it at committee maybe have a council seminar on it, but we’re waiting on information.”

Miller also said the club is on track to begin paying down its $85-million stadium debt to the province at the end of this year with an initial payment of $4 million.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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