Spectator sports are a huge money generator and data released on Friday by Statistics Canada indicates just how big of an industry it is in the country.
The federal agency said total operating revenue for the spectator sports, event promoters, artists and related industries group rose by eight per cent to $9.7 billion in 2017, while total operating expenses increased 8.4 per cent to $8.7 billion. This resulted in an operating profit margin of 11.1 per cent, down slightly from 11.4 per cent in 2016.
“Spectator sports accounted for the largest share of total operating revenue (37.5 per cent), followed by promoters (presenters) of performing arts, sports and similar events (35.7 per cent), independent artists, writers and performers (22.0 per cent) and agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers and other public figures (4.7 per cent),” it said.
“The spectator sports industry, composed of sports teams playing before a paying audience, horse race tracks, racing events and independent athletes, had operating revenue of $3.7 billion in 2017, up 11.9 per cent from the previous year. The growth partly reflected a better 2016-2017 season for Canadian teams in the National Hockey League, with five of the seven teams making the playoffs.”
Operating expenses rose by 11.6 per cent, leading to an operating profit margin of 4.4 per cent. Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits grew 15.1% to $1.9 billion and accounted for 53.6 per cent of total operating expenses.
E-commerce accounted for 12.6 per cent of total sales, added StatsCan.
“Operating revenue grew seven per cent to $3.5 billion in 2017 for the promoters industry. Events and festivals celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday contributed to the gain for this industry, which includes live theatres, sports stadiums, performing arts promoters, festivals, sports promoters and other presenters with and without facilities,” said the federal agency.
“Operating expenses were $3.5 billion, resulting in an operating profit margin of negative 0.6 per cent. Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits were $771.9 million. E-commerce sales as a share of total sales grew 4.7 percentage points to 26.2 per cent in 2017.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.