Counting the cost of losing

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

CALGARY -- To add insult to injury, the Edmonton Eskimos' loss last Sunday might have cost the organization a decent payday.

The club's brass had decided to buy the West final from the CFL, hoping the financial reward outweighed the risk.

However, that plan went up in smoke when the Eskimos gassed their chance to host the game by losing 43-23 to Calgary.

"It would probably have been about $600,000 to buy the final (from the league)," said Eskimo COO Rick LeLacheur.

That total includes paying the playoff shares to each team, travel costs for the visiting team, etc.

If the Eskimos had attracted 35,000 fans to the final, the club would have broken even.

A crowd of 40,000-45,000 would have likely brought a profit of between $50,000-$100,000.

The Eskimos' loss is now the Stampeders' potential gain, as the Calgary organization has bought the West semifinal.

Given the Stamps' ticket costs, the break even point is 25,000 fans.

A crowd similar to last Sunday's 31,000 gathering at McMahon Stadium might bring as much as $200,000 to the Stamp coffers.

But Stampeder executives aren't expecting a huge rush of Eskimo fans to make the trip.

"The four o'clock start time kills the Edmonton crowd," said Stamps owner Ted Hellard.

A 4 p.m. start means a late drive home on potentially dangerous roads.


Videos

Photos