Saskatchewan Roughriders report a loss of $7.5M due to the pandemic

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The club's total operating revenues dropped by 74 per cent in the 2020-21 year.  (Glenn Reid/CBC - image credit)
The club's total operating revenues dropped by 74 per cent in the 2020-21 year. (Glenn Reid/CBC - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club reported a significant loss of $7.5 million for 2020-21 on Saturday, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 CFL season.

The club reported a much smaller net loss of $210,064 in 2020.

The Riders' latest financial report was initially presented at the club's 2020-21 annual general meeting on June 23, which was held virtually.

According to the report, the cancellation of the Canadian Football League's 2020 season led to a dramatic 74 per cent drop in the club's total operating revenues.

Revenues dropped to $10.3 million in 2020-21 from $39.6 million in 2019-20.

The club said that of the $10.3 million recorded in revenues, $3.9 million was related to federal government programs, such as the Canadian employment wage subsidy and the Canadian emergency rent subsidy.

Meanwhile, operating expenses decreased to $18.7 million from $39.7 million in the year prior. The club says the reduced costs were due to the cancelled season and expense savings across all areas, including a more than 30 per cent reduction in employees and pay cuts.

A shortened 2021 season is set to start in early August for the Roughriders.

Earlier this month, the CFL released a 14-game schedule that will end with the 108th Grey Cup championship in December.

The Riders' first game will take place at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Aug. 6 against the B.C. Lions. It will be the first of three consecutive home games for the Regina-based team.

Going forward, the club said it is facing a $6 million cash-flow deficit from its operations. That number is projected to increase in 2021 as the Riders recover from the pandemic.

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