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$askatchewan Roughrider$ announce profit, top CFL brand recognition for 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders may not have repeated as CFL champions in 2014, but president/CEO Craig Reynolds and the rest of the club’s front office have officially labeled the past season a massive success.

In holding their annual general meeting yesterday, the Roughriders brain trust announced a profit of over $2.2 million for the fiscal year – nearly double the amount turned during 2013, not including income derived from the team’s Grey Cup championship – making Sasketchewan perhaps *the* financial success story of the CFL for 2014. Or, as Reynolds put it, “We continue to set the pace in the CFL.”

Reynolds further claimed that “We sold almost half of total league merchandise last year, and we led the league in away attendance. We averaged more than 2,000 fans more than the next-best team in away attendance. What’s really interesting with that … is on average we boost the other team’s home attendance by approximately 20%. So when the Rider Nation shows up, their attendance goes up by 20%, which is just astounding. ... When you look at total attendance – home and away attendance combined – we led the league. … We had about 1,000 more people, home and away combined, than the second-best team, and that was Edmonton – and obviously Edmonton plays in a much, much bigger facility.”

Reynolds further noted that “A study came out last year that showed that we’re the no. 3 sports brand in Canada ... And if you actually rank it by who are the most-respected sports brands in Canada, we’re Number 2 after the Montreal Canadiens.”

For the record, said study undertaken by Saskatoon-based Insightrix put the Toronto Maple Leafs in the no. 2 spot on the sports brand list. According to Insightrix’s results, “The most respected team is the Canadiens, followed by the Roughriders, Blue Jays and Alouettes. When it comes to popularity, fans perceive the Montreal Canadiens to be the most popular, followed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Alouettes.”

Congratulatory accolades for the Roughriders aside, one other interesting quote emerged from the Saskatchewan meeting yesterday. Eliciting cheers from the 200+ gathered for the meeting was Roughriders board chairman Wayne Morsky’s statement that “the CFL is forming a committee to investigate the feasibility of an earlier start to future regular seasons.”

Added Morsky after the applause, “I know there’s a lot of interest in that, but I’ll also tell you there’s a lot of challenges.”

– written by Os Davis