Riders financial crisis to continue

The Riders painted a bleak financial picture at their annual general meeting.

The teams lost $7.5-million in the 2020-21 reporting period. That is significantly changed from a $210,000 loss in the previous year.

While that $7.5-million figure is less than the club predicted early in the pandemic, the losses won’t be limited to this year. The club is forecasting another multi-million dollar loss in 2021-22.

Revenues fell more than 70% to $10.3-million. And the biggest portion of their revenue came from federal government programs. The Riders collected almost $4-million from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy.

By laying off 35% of their employees and cutting salaries for the remainder, the Riders were able to cut costs in 2020-21. Their expenses were $18.7-million down from almost $40-million the year prior.

Riders fans were very generous, allowing the club to roll over $10.6-million in season ticket money. The club refunded $2.6-million to ticket holders that requested it.

The club expects to lose less money this year with the team played a 14-game season. However a cash crunch is on the way. The Riders expect a $10-million cash flow loss in the coming year. A lot of it is because the club has already booked the revenue for tickets for future years, so there won’t be new money coming in.

The Riders say they will definitely use their stabilization fund in the coming year. That fund sits at $7.8-million.

More from Play92