The Winnipeg Football Club released its 2018 annual report Tuesday, announcing its overall operation profits of $2.6 million for 2018.
The total operating profits were down from 2017 as Investors Group Field saw a quieter year in 2018 with no concerts or other major events other than the Manitoba Marathon, said CEO Wade Miller.
“We had the Nitro Circus here, the closing ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games, Canadian Women’s Friendly soccer match, and Guns and Roses, so that’s a big impact … just not having those major events.”
Total operating revenue reached $33.4 million, which is an increase of $970,000 from 2017. The increase is attributed to the Club’s decision to take over food and beverage operations at Investors Group Field in 2018. Operating expenses totaled $30.8 million, an increase of $3.4 million over 2017.
Attendance was down about three percent, said Miller.
“Off just a little bit, and also not hosting a home playoff game really impacts as well.”
The Jets’ significant playoff run last summer also affected the bottom line, said Miller.
“At the same time it also brings excitement and energy and pride of your teams when one of your sports teams is taking that run in the playoffs. So as much as there’s an impact, there’s also a tremendous amount of benefit as well.”
Overall football operations expenses increased in 2018 by $470,000 as a result of the club’s success in playing in both the Western Semi-Final and Western Final playoff games, the report says.
The club says there was expected increases in expenditures in marketing, administration and game day expenses associated with bringing food and beverages into the Club’s internal operations.
There was also a decrease in overall stadium occupancy costs of $830,000 as a result of fewer non-football events at Investors Group Field.
The Club continues to fund the public transportation program for transit and park and ride services to and from the field.
They’ve operated the public transportation program since 2013 and have paid for all expenditures related to the program, totaling more than $4.6 million, said Miller.
In 2017, Triple B Stadium Inc. acknowledged their legal obligation to fund a portion of the public transportation program, retroactive to 2013 and onward. The Club says they’ll continue their efforts to recover the payments due from Triple B.
“We made our $2.7 million payment to Triple B, which is our payment based on our formula under the management agreement,” said Miller.
“The stadium loan is with Triple B, and our responsibility is that entertainment tax, facility fee and excess cash.”
This is the fifth scheduled annual payment the Club has made to Triple B, fulfilling the Club’s ongoing obligation.
The extra $100,000 between profits and loan payments comes out of the club’s general cash, said Miller.
Miller said they are continuing to “work aggressively” to book other major events at IGF.
-With files from Kelly Moore and Geoff Currier