Researching Profit Of Pro Football In Ottawa

3246 words - 13 pages

Researching Profit of Pro Football in Ottawa

Between 1876 and 1996, Ottawa was home to the professional football team know as the Rough Riders. After spending most of their last years on financial life support, the Rough Riders died a quick death in November 1996 when the Canadian Football League (CFL) revoked their franchise. The team began accumulating debt in 1985 under then-owner Allan Waters of Toronto, sparking an endless series of financial battles between city hall and the different owners in which came and went. With former mayor Jim Durrell at the helm, the Riders were given two weeks in August 1996 to raise $1.25 million in sponsorship and season ticket sales. The team attracted its biggest crowd in more than a decade for a home game on Aug. 30 and was given the go-ahead to finish the year. Because of withstanding debt and the CFL unwilling to pay the team's bills, the franchise was forced to fold in November of 1996.

In early March of 2000, the CFL's president and chief operating officer Jeff Giles announced that professional football would return to Ottawa for the 2001 season. Candidates for the new ownership position are being evaluated by Giles himself and it is expected that a decision will be made by June this year. However, the real question remains that of profitability. Can a professional football team survive in Ottawa? More importantly, can it generate profit?

This research paper will attempt to answer these questions and perhaps discover new ones. One of the first steps involves presenting a comprehensive summary of the existing research and articles. This will including the most recently published related to the rebirth of professional football in Ottawa. In addition, the research plan as well as a brief explanation of the types of methods used to research the topic, will be discussed followed by an analysis and detailed discussion of the results. Nevertheless, the first part of this paper considers a possible hypothesis, which has been determined, before the research was begun.

2. Hypothesis

First and foremost, why would anybody want to embark on such a risky venture? The organization financially collapsed in 1996 after a series of deficit and losses began in the mid-eighties. Has anything changed in the past five years? What makes people think that this type of investment will all of a sudden be profitable again? At first look, it is safe to assume that owning a professional football team such as the Ottawa 'Rough Riders', would not be a profitable investment. Since franchise fees are paid out to the CFL, it could be agreed upon that the CFL president is simply looking out for the leagues benefit and prosperity in the event of new teams. In other words, Giles is probably acting as a sales person and does not really care about the risk factor accompanied with the ownership of a team. Therefore, his promises and forecasts on the future of football in Ottawa should not be taken too...

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