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2019-20 CFL Offseason

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This e-mail from the commish came to me yesterday. 
 

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April 29, 2020


Dear Season Seat Holder,

 

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. If you are one of the thousands of essential workers putting yourself at risk for the rest of us, thank you. If you are simply doing your part to fight this pandemic and following the rules as they come, thank you for that as well.

 

Most of all, thank you for supporting the CFL, and your team, by purchasing season seats. You and fans like you are the lifeblood of the Canadian Football League. We are deeply grateful for your commitment to us.

 

We want you to know we are committed to you and to the future of the CFL – and to building an even bigger and brighter future for Canadian football, together.


Right now, like you, we’re trying to cope with the fact that Covid-19 has literally created a world of uncertainty.

 

We are following the news, listening to public health experts, and monitoring the latest from our political leaders, for signs that life will start to return to normal and, when and if the time is right, we can safely get back to football and back to gathering together in our stadiums.

Like you, we’re doing all we can to weather this storm. We’re optimistic and we’re looking forward. We remain hopeful we’ll have a great season in 2020. But this pandemic is forcing us to also consider all the other possibilities, including the ones we hate to consider, such as fewer games this year or even a cancelled season, if that is what we have to do to help keep Canada safe and healthy.

 

You may have seen in the media that we have reached out to the federal government. We’ve told them we may need help, especially if these worst-case scenarios come to pass. We have stressed we want to be accountable to you and all taxpayers, and that we would want to repay them using all of the tools at our disposal, including advertising in our stadiums and online, programs in the community in support of a wide range of important causes, tourism promotion around our games and Grey Cup, and through content and digital partnerships.
 

You’ve already helped us by investing in season seats. Your support, patience and understanding through this challenging time helps us even more. I can’t thank you enough.

I wish I could return your loyalty by telling you how all of this will turn out, when our games will start and exactly what our season will look like. Unfortunately, all we can do right now is be as transparent as possible, to tell you we are working through all the possibilities, and to be as deeply grateful to you as you clearly deserve.

 

Whatever you are going through, at work or home or in your family, I want you to know we consider you an important part of our CFL family. If you have lost a loved one, or you are coping with the effect this virus can have on anyone’s physical, mental or financial health, please know we are thinking of you.

 

I know we’re going to get through this together. And when we do, it’s going to be a great day for Canada. We’ll celebrate football, friendship and our resilience. And more than anything else, when we see you again at the game, we’re going to celebrate you.

 

Thank you so much,

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Randy Ambrosie

Commissioner, Canadian Football League

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5 hours ago, Mr Dee said:

I second this emotion..


 

No doubt these are the same jackwads who go off about "Toronto deserves a NFL franchise" and then on the other hand say "Canada needs to win back the Stanley Cup"... it makes no sense.

And I really don't get the anti-CFL stance. At all. Especially when it's something that employs so many Canadians.

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1 hour ago, rebusrankin said:

In terms of Toronto and the NFL, I honestly think the NFL is more interested in adding London and Mexico City than Toronto.

I cant see london ever working. Maybe they become a floating market that hosts a couple games every year and maybe a superbowl etc but a full time team seems like a worse idea then vince mcmahon starting up another football league. Mexico city though I think would be top of the list by far in terms of want and reality. The nfl doesnt seem really interested in toronto. They'd never be no1 in that market likely not no2 for many years and TO fans are the quickest to jump off a bandwagon in north america. 2 years with 10 wins or less total and you couldnt pay them to attend nfl games. 

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Stadium would be (based on LV & LA) at least 2B US & the franchise fee another 2B US.  So, with exchange that would be well over $1.2 B so maybe 5.2 B Can. Then Buffalo wants a cut maybe another billion for future lost ticket & merch revenue for cutting into its territory before a penny is spent on the team itself.  So $6.2 billion to start??? Ain't happening.

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Just wanted to drop in and say as a season ticket member, received a call from the Bomber office this week checking in to see if I had any questions regarding COVID-19's impact on the CFL season (or other questions for them). The current situation is by no means ideal, but Miller and Co have done a great job reestablishing goodwill that prior regimes in this organization burnt through too quickly.

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8 hours ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

Damn!

Extracting some numbers from this article.

 

The Bombers have generated very little revenue this year. While season-ticket holders have shelled out money for the 2020 season, that money isn’t being counted as revenue coming in.

Fans in the stands generate game revenue which makes up to 36 per cent of the Bombers' $33.4 million income.

A cancelled season would mean no money from the league’s television deal with TSN, which comes in around $5 million per team. Also gone is any game revenue, which made up 36 per cent of the Bombers’ $33.4 million in income in 2018, corporate sponsorship money (17 per cent) and whatever significant take-home revenue that would have come from hosting other events at IG Field.

What little revenue the Bombers have generated this year has come from retail and merchandise sales. The club did see a massive boost after winning the Grey Cup in November, and the hits on the cash register continued through the Christmas holiday season. That would have trickled into the new year but not in any way significant.

In 2018, the money spent on marketing, administration and game-day preparation came in at $11.8 million, 38 per cent of all expenses. According to a team source, a cancelled season would result in paying approximately 15 per cent of that total, which, assuming costs would be similar this season, would mean $1.78 million.

What remains unclear is just how much it would cost to manage the stadium, which is the responsibility of the WFC. This falls under a category of "stadium occupancy" and it accounted for 18 per cent — or $5.5 million — in 2018. Just because there are no games doesn’t mean the lights and water won’t stay on. One source estimates a possible savings of around $1 million but said it was hard to tell at this point and depended on how often IG Field was being used.

The Bombers would also be off the hook for public transportation for games, which would save around $850,000. As for any stadium payment, WFC would be mostly exempt from payment, per their agreement with Triple B, which is based on various taxes earned through ticket sales.

Given the information above, the Bombers are on the hook for as much as $6.2 million, minus whatever unknown revenue they’ve generated from retail and merchandise sales.

That leaves the team’s biggest expense: football operations, which accounted for $12.2 million (or 40 per cent) of all revenues in 2018. This category includes salaries for executives, coaches and players, as well as all others costs — travel, hotels, food, etc. — of running a football team.

In the event of a cancelled season, players would not receive payment, and instead would be eligible for either employment insurance or, if Canadian, possibly assistance from the Canadian Emergency Relief Fund.

But that doesn’t mean the Bombers are completely off the hook; teams are responsible for paying off-season bonuses. A source with access to player salaries, which was reviewed by the Free Press, showed that Winnipeg paid out bonuses to 15 players for a combined $808,000.

What the Bombers are on the hook for are the salaries of executives, coaches and other team employees. Using a league average for each role, the total in salaries, including for Miller, general manager Kyle Walters, head coach Mike O’Shea and dozens of others, totals around $4.4 million.

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14 hours ago, Eternal optimist said:

Just wanted to drop in and say as a season ticket member, received a call from the Bomber office this week checking in to see if I had any questions regarding COVID-19's impact on the CFL season (or other questions for them). The current situation is by no means ideal, but Miller and Co have done a great job reestablishing goodwill that prior regimes in this organization burnt through too quickly.

Given the CFL has no answers I’m curious as to what information they provided you with? You would hope that season ticket revenue be held in a trust. I know that the CFL has indicated that the refunding of season ticket money is up to the individual teams.

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5 minutes ago, DR. CFL said:

Given the CFL has no answers I’m curious as to what information they provided you with? You would hope that season ticket revenue be held in a trust. I know that the CFL has indicated that the refunding of season ticket money is up to the individual teams.

Didn't really ask any questions, he didn't have any answers to stuff I didn't already know, league suspended to-date as of July 1, 2020 etc. etc.

As for the 2020 season tickets, they've been a fine organization and I've retained both my invoice and proof of payment, I'm not too concerned about getting scammed etc., and thankfully I'm not in a position right now where I would need the money that urgently.

I think they are in the same position as many businesses in the country and world right now, cloud of uncertainty and just trying to stay afloat.

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The bombers would struggle through this time but certainly they would not go under.  Teams like Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg would be able to survive with the stabilization funds they have. However, the rest of the league is going to have trouble surviving. 

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4 hours ago, Colin Unger said:

The bombers would struggle through this time but certainly they would not go under.  Teams like Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg would be able to survive with the stabilization funds they have. However, the rest of the league is going to have trouble surviving. 

No doubt those 3 western teams can likely hang in. The Montreal situation is fragile to begin with. While Toronto is under the umbrella of MLSE that also encompasses all there sports franchises and a major loss or revenue likely with significant overhead. A major concern for the CFL is what appears to be a communication breakdown with the CFLPA. Even an attempt to play an abbreviated season likely brings questions as to how that impacts the CBA and player contracts. Like all pro leagues the fact that they are spread over a wide number of a States/ Provinces and jurisdictions makes it difficult for any one plan that covers all the restrictions and guidelines for startup. Another significant issue is the fact the CFL can’t survive playing in empty stadiums. Time will tell and unfortunately the clock is ticking. 

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To rub salt into a wound: last year at this time, CFL rosters were being finalized, and we were arguing over who would make the opening day roster. I really miss that right now. Things are easing up here in Manitoba, and we have been both fortunate and compliant for the most part with the restrictions, but I suspect that the bit of added freedom we are going to experience starting tomorrow is going to be more of a reminder of what we have lost.

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