EDMONTON — The 2015 season was a profitable one on and off the field for the Edmonton Eskimos.
The Eskimos capped the season by beating the Ottawa Redblacks 26-20 in the Grey Cup game. On Tuesday, the CFL team announced at its annual general meeting that it posted a profit of $1,567,534 in 2015.
According to treasurer Brad Sparrow's report, team sponsorships were a record $4,073,472, an increase of $127,000 over 2014. Merchandise sales were up $403,000 (or 31.4 per cent) over the previous year as a result of hosting the West final and winning the Grey Cup.
Hosting the division final resulted in additional playoff revenues of $1.7 million. That compared to $1.3 million for hosting the West semifinal in 2014.
Total operating revenue was $24.8 million, an increase of $545,000 (2.2 per cent) from the previous year. Operating expenses were $22.8 million, an increase of $1.87 million (8.9 per cent) over 2014.
President/CEO Len Rhodes reported while Edmonton's average attendance of 31,517 led the CFL, that figure was down 5.9 per cent from the previous year. Rhodes cited Calgary and Saskatchewan, traditionally big draws in Edmonton, only visiting one time each as well as some inclement weather dates.
"Nevertheless, we need to grow our fan base, particularly among children and young adults," Rhodes said.