SBD/May 10, 2013/Franchises

CFL Eskimos President Blames Structural Changes For Net Profit Being Down From '11

CFL Edmonton Eskimos President & CEO Len Rhodes said that the team's consolidated net profit for the '12 calendar year was less than half as much as in '11 "due to structural changes made in the past year," according to Chris O'Leary of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. The team had a profit last year of C$207,060, down from C$473,471. The club did not host a playoff game, as it did in '11, but "transition costs -- including the departure of GM Eric Tillman in November and two other senior executives, as well as outgoing president Rick LeLacheur -- were a factor." Also, gameday costs "came out of the net profit." Rhodes said, “We are not-for-profit, but we can generate more dollars at the bottom line. It’s about re-investing in football operations and putting it right back in the community as well." O'Leary noted Rhodes "knows a winning team often means the bottom line is a winner, too." Rhodes said, “Putting a competitive club on the field is what’s going to sell tickets and we recognize that." He added that fans this season will "enjoy new seats at Commonwealth Stadium sooner than expected." Rhodes: "The weather delayed things to get started this year, but the lower bowl will be about 95 per cent complete by the pre-season game (June 14 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders) and the upper bowl is destined to be done by the end of September. ... I want more fans in the seats and the rest will come." The Eskimos averaged a league-high 33,975 fans last season, but Rhodes said he wants 40,000 fans "for every single game" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/8).

THEY CALL ME THE WAND-ERER: The CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers will use security wands as the "primary screening device at Investors Group Field" this season. The team last season "got flack for increasing the frequency and length of manual searches and not allowing outside food or drink." Authorities will "continue to do pat-downs if the security wand turns up anything suspicious." Meanwhile, fans will now be allowed to "bring in one, one-litre or smaller empty bottle, and fill it up at water fountains inside the stadium." Single-serving snacks, "like a chocolate bar or vegetables will be allowed, but no more" (WINNIPEG SUN, 5/9).
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