Edmonton

Economic impact of Edmonton Grey Cup exceeded $81M, study shows

Hosting last year's Grey Cup game paid off in spades for the city of Edmonton, according to a study released Tuesday bythe CFL.

'These impressive numbers are a testament to the support we received from the people of Edmonton'

Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes (30) hoists the Grey Cup as head coach Dave Dickenson, left, celebrates after defeating the Ottawa Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup CFL championship football game in Edmonton. Hosting the game paid off in spades for the city, according to market survey. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Hosting last year's Grey Cup game paid off in spades for the city of Edmonton, according to a study released Tuesday bythe CFL.

The study conducted by Sportcal — a sports market intelligence firm based in London, England — concluded the 2018 Grey Cup game had a total economic impact of over $81 million.

According to the study, more than 430,000 people attended Grey Cup events in Edmonton throughout the week, including 55,819 who watched the Calgary Stampeders defeat the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 at Commonwealth Stadium.

And 30,841 visitors from out of town spent $29 million during their stay in Edmonton.

Over 93 per cent of attendees reported having a positive Grey Cup experience, according to the study.

Two-thirds felt it was better than most of its predecessors.

    "These impressive numbers are a testament to the support we received from the people of Edmonton and Alberta, the contributions made by our partners, the hard work of our staff and an army of volunteers and the power of the Grey Cup itself to attract Canadians from every corner of the country," Brad Sparrow, Edmonton Eskimos board chairman and co-chair of the '18 Grey Cup festival committee, said in a statement.

    Other findings included:

    • The total economic impact of $81,146,423 was estimated to be a 6.6 per cent increase from the '17 Grey Cup in Toronto.
    • A total of 381 accredited media gathered in Edmonton, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous year.
    • The Grey Cup game garnered a television audience of 3.3 million with a reach of 8.4 million.
    • Thirty per cent of all fans — and 58 per cent of those aged 19 to 34 — attended a Grey Cup event for the first time.

    $2.8-million profit for Esks in 2018

    The Edmonton Eskimos posted a $2.8-million profit for the 2018 season.

    The Eskimos unveiled the surplus in treasurer Janice Agrios's report tabled Tuesday at the CFL club's annual general meeting.

    The Eskimos' operating revenue for 2018 was $25.1 million, an increase of two per cent over 2017. The club's gate receipt revenues, though, decreased by one per cent ($89,000), due to weather-related issues.

    Sponsorship revenues increased by 9.3 per cent from 2017. Concession and game-day revenues were down 1.3 per cent while merchandise sales declined 8.5 per cent, mainly due to increased Grey Cup merchandise sales throughout the season.

    Total operating expenses were $23.6 million, a reduction of $460,000 from 2017. The Eskimos also finished the season under the '18 CFL salary cap of $5.2 million.

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