VIDEO: Crusaders reap reward for success
The Crusaders have reaped the rewards of their success in 2017 - the eight-time champions finding themselves in a healthy financial position.
The Crusaders produced an NZ$328,000 surplus for their financial year.
"We celebrated our eighth Super Rugby title, as well as a historic British and Irish Lions match in Christchurch on June 10," Crusaders Chairman Grant Jarrold said.
"We’re proud of the team’s performances, which certainly contributed to our most significant financial result for a number of years."
Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said it was pleasing to see a notable increase of 19.3 percent in total operating revenue, which was led by hosting two play-off games and participating in the Final - it was, however, partially off-set by operating expenses increasing by 15.3 percent, again largely driven by costs associated with the play-offs and the Final in Johannesburg.
"Match attendance for our round-robin matches increased 3.7 percent on 2016, a particularly satisfying result given we hosted one less game in 2017, and both the Highlanders and Hurricanes matches recorded sell-out crowds with the extra temporary seating in place lifting capacity for those games to 20,600.
"Sponsorship revenue increased a very pleasing 5.2 percent, and we acknowledge the tremendous support we received from a passionate and wide-ranging group of commercial partners, headlined by principal partner BNZ. There was ultimately a net financial benefit of progressing all the way to the final - noting that this would have been more significant but for the horrendous weather for the quarterfinal and bitter cold for the semifinal a week later, which meant those crowds were smaller than expected.
"Overall, 2017 has been a special year for the Crusaders, and we look forward to building on this positive financial result in 2018 and beyond," Riach added.