Someone please remind the Riders that they play in the CFL and not the NFL. They are dealing with CFL revenue streams and not NFL revenue streams. There are several NFL teams that have built recent stadiums that cost no where near $450 million. The Riders need to be more realistic and go with a stadium that they can afford, instead of one that will be a financial burden for years and years.
If the Riders had gone with a more reasonable stadium (something in the $125-$150 million range), I would say that they would be breaking ground by 2012 at the latest. However, since they went for a $450 million Taj Mahal, it could be years and years before they break ground, if they ever do. Every year they wait, the $450 million stadium keeps going up and up in price. Before long it will be over $600 million and will probably get to the point where it will be just too expensive to build. $450 million+ is an awful lot to finance. Even at a 5% tax free bond, the annual interest rate will be close to $30 million a year for the next 30 years.
If the Riders build a more realistic 35,000 seat $150 million outdoor stadium, they could easily sell 20,000 PSL's to their rabid fans at $5,000 each and that would generate $100 million. They could then sell the naming rights for $25 million for 10 years. They could lease their 40 executive suites for $15 million over 10 years. If you add in the extra profit from stadium advertising and concessions, plus their massive taxable allowance from depreciation, they could easily have a major positive cash flow from the stadium from year one. Plus the outdoor stadium would be much cheaper to maintain and operate.
The question comes down to the Riders. Will they bite off such a huge chunk that they choke themselves, or will they do what is financially reasonable and doable.