Help Me Understand the Argos Finances Because I Give Up

A sporadic timeline...

In 2007, when the Argos were at the Rogers center and the team was owned by C&S, Bob McClown said the team lost $6M/yr.

In 2010, Damian Cox said the team would lose that much under David Braley.

Those losses were before the CFL got the new TV Contract and the League sponsorship from Shaw - both of which added significant dollars to the Argos bottom line.

Fast forward to last year, after the Grey Cup (a Grey Cup that supposedly LOST money), Bruce Arthur (Toronto Star) said the Argos lost $5M. He attributed a large chunk of the losses to the all the marketing the Argos did in year 1 at BMO. According to Bruce Arthur, the marketing budget was going to be cut in 2017, and that would help with the losses.

Then, this year, according to Bruce Arthur, the Argos lost $10M.

According to Bob McClown, the Argos lost $12M.

All this in the same year Rogers decided to buy the team and absorb 40% of any losses.

The whole thing makes NO sense and I cannot wrap my mind around the numbers.

Can someone help me understand?

naah, you're a lost cause

Because they are probablypaying Popp and Trestman a combined $10M!
They wouldn't come cheap!

Really? I find that hard to believe.

Popp and Trestman had few options. If they paid them that much, they deserve to lose all that money.

All joking aside, NONE of it makes sense.

How does the team double its losses (according to Bob McClown, the losses went up 140%) when they cut the marketing budget - which was the reason why they lost money in 2016.

The numbers don`t add up unless, as Grover said, they paidPopp and Trestman (combined) 10 figures.

Unless any of these writers has access to the Argos bottomline, it's all conjecture. They can guess at game day revenues and the salary cap, but not at sponsorship and myriad other details. Take them all with a grain of salt. They are, after all, trying to sell ad space beside their stories.

Well said.

I just wish we had a better perspective on the team's/CFL's finances.

As for Trestman’s salary…

Toronto made a major investment to land Marc Trestman.
The 61-year-old head coach will make north of $600,000 annually on his three-year deal with the Argos, per sources.

I wonder if the team wrote off several of the BMO expansion / locker-room /coaching change expenses in 2017. Because, without something extreme, the numbers don't make sense.

Either someone was lying to Bruce Arthur last year, or they lied to him this year.

I wish reporters wouldn't just report what is told to them. I wish they would research / dissect the numbers.

In 2016, "Edmonton’s total operating expenses were $21.3 million."

Assuming the Argos have similar expenses, to lose $12M, the Argos total revenue would have to be less than $10M - including a home playoff game which I assume was cash positive.

Considering the teams got $4.3M from TSN alone, that makes NO sense.

Again, the team must have written something off if the losses are to be believed.

Again, the only thing that makes sense is either :

a) The numbers are wrong;
b) They wrote off/down some of the expenses involved in moving the Argos to BMO.

“b” would make sense since Rogers was buying in - Rogers would want it off the books.

I agree.

Again, the only thing that makes sense, IF the numbers are correct, is Tannen-Bell writing off/down something (perhaps the Argos locker room, which came in at $20M, and still had $10M on the books), took a huge loss, and then welcomed Rogers into the fold.

And now you see why you can't always believe owners when they claim these outrageous losses for their teams.
The Argos do lose money, no doubt about it, but its not the $12 m or even $14million figures that are being thrown around by the media. Given the low operating costs and enhanced revenues of modern day CFL teams you would almost have to try to lose that much money.

There's no chance they had a cash loss of $10-12M in 2017, but I doubt they're doing cash accounting. There may be all sorts of things factored into the accounting, including purchase price, investment in their old practice facility and new training facility, 2016 Grey Cup marketing costs, etc. Businesses often find it advantageous to report a loss, for tax purposes. But there is no chance they spent $10-12M more in actual expenditure in 2017 than they took in actual revenue.

Remember though that this year to even get up to the 14,000 or so average per game during the regular season they had to sell thousands of tickets to some games really cheaply. Any game where there were very many people in the Upper East stands - those tickets were being sold at huge discounts. I suspect the gate per game was way down from last year with some of the really cheap deals they offered to get over 10,000 at the games.

For the August home games they were selling tickets for $12 through Travelzoo and one of those games that $12 even included entrance to the CNE.

And even for the EDF they prices were kept low (a good move IMO) with some seats as cheap as $19.00.

Maybe thier using Kathleen Wynne's accountants.

Didn't the Argos go from paying very little in rent at Skydome in 2015 to paying $10m to $15m a year at BMO Field the last two years?

Argos costs would be in line with the other CFL teams, their revenue would be down with 14000 regular season attendance. Toronto's ticket prices are higher and concessions are quite high so there is an offsetting revenue amounts.

The upside to them is thatthey arein a large metropolitan area and can get a large uptick in revenue without doing too much. If they did clear debt then they are doing what we would all like to do.

If the Commissioner has some success with national sponsors, and withthe US TV deal on the horizon plus what was happening with the League andArgo organization itself, they should be able to do quite well.

MLSE makes a profit and is owned by the 2 largest media companies in Canada. They can either pay their taxes from the profitor take small losses on some of their assets when needed. 1 bank in TOjust paid 800 million for naming rights to the ACCand didn't get crucified by their shareholders. Media companies, Banks - all PROTECTED byvolumes of legislation protecting them. NoNAFTA free trade here andit has made them very successful.