CFL team's profit or losses can be manipulated somewhat by the accountants. Hence, the Riders lost $5.5M last year despite earning over $40M in revenue and the Ticats reporting a profit for the first time in 30 years
Some factors include the Riders paying down their stadium expansion expenses and purchasing several million dollars worth of merchandise (which will later be resold at a profit). Some teams keep over $1M in cash-on-hand and generously stoke their short/medium/long-term reserve funds, which can have profit/loss implications depending on how they're structured.
If the Riders were run like a business by a private operator...or if they spent on average what other teams do for expenses...the Rider profit margin could approach $20M per season.
Another example is the Ticats erected a huge video advertising display board on the QEW which likely generates millions in ad revenue (with the city getting a cut). This revenue is above and beyond the traditional gate receipts/tv contract/sponsorshhips/parking & concessions. The Ticats are a private company and the public doesn't know the financial details like with the community-owned teams which post their Financial Statements on the internet.
The only fair way to estimate real profit margins is to project as if each team was run by a private operator who wanted to maximize profits...not create jobs or sock money away under the mattress.
Below are some realistic team profit margins (not including debt servicing or hosting Grey Cups):
Do you really think the Ticats will make that little? With the Ticats I see a team with excellent sales, high ticket prices, a great lease and being run lean - far leaner than Western teams not named BC. I would expect their profits to be higher.
CFL teams have been run on shoestring budgets for some time. I came in a little lower for all teams because of the pressure to spend any excess cash on worthwhile items that the organization has been hankering for.
In hindsight, the Ticats at $1.5M could be a little low, but considering their financial performance over the past 29 of 30 years, let's see how it shakes out over the next couple of years before we crown the Tabbies as Fat Cats.