On Tuesday, we caught a glimpse of that reality when the Edmonton Football Team released its financial report for the 2020 season during the virtual Annual General Meeting.
The Edmonton Football Team announced a net operating loss of $7.1 million in 2020. Revenues dipped 84 per cent to $3.8 million from the previous year, in large part due to the lack of ticket sales, sponsorship, league distribution, concessions and game-day revenue due to the cancellation of the season.
The organization received $2.5 million of government assistance through the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Total operating expenses decreased by 55 per cent in 2020 to just under $11 million. The team saw a significant reduction in staff, operating costs and contracts during the year. The team saw an increase later in 2020 as they ramped up day-to-day operations toward a 2021 season. The team also stayed under the salary cap in 2020.
Even though the organization suffered significant losses in 2020 due to the pandemic, the future doesn’t appear overly bleak as the report states “the club has sufficient cash and working capital at this time to meet all of its current and anticipated obligations. ”
The CFL recently announced plans for a 14-game season which is scheduled to being on Aug. 5.
Edmonton Football Team president and CEO Chris Presson says those plans are, at the moment, still in place. Presson adds the goal is to play games in front of fans, provide a safe and enjoyable environment, and provide a championship-calibre football team in 2021.
If a 2021 season for some reason can’t be played, current board treasurer and incoming board chair Ian Murray says the team would still be in good financial position for 2022.
“We believe that this plan is realistic and viable however, there is one thing that we have learned recently and that the situation is constantly changing and largely out of our control,” Murray said.
“Even the best plan might not turn out to be feasible. We have therefore modelled multiple scenarios including cancellation of the 2021 season. If the season is cancelled, the financial impact would be significant however, we’ve projected the team would still be in a position to meet all of it’s obligations and be in a position to play in 2022.”
As far as a new name for the team is concerned, EE Football Team outgoing board chair Janice Agrios says the name should be unveiled shortly.