Leicester Tigers’ annual report and accounts for the year ending June 2017 reveals record ticket sales and sponsorship revenues for the club.
In the 12 months to June 30, 2017, turnover increased to £19.7 million (up from £19.0 million) as the business recorded an operating loss before tax of £686,000 (compared with a loss of £424,000 in the previous year).
More than 320,000 match tickets were sold for fixtures at Welford Road in the 2016/17 season, producing an average attendance in league and cup of almost 21,500.
The loyalty of supporters is demonstrated, too, in season ticket numbers of almost 14,500 which accounted for £3.7 million in revenue.
“The level of loyalty and commitment among supporters remains the envy of our competitors,” said club chairman Peter Tom CBE in the report and accounts.
“It is a position reflected, too, in our relationships with sponsors and partners, many of whom have long-term links with the club.
“This loyalty has resulted in record ticket sales at Welford Road while, in a very competitive marketplace, the club also secured record levels of sponsorship, including improved terms with existing partners and new relationships in a number of other areas.
“All of this was secured against the background of seeking a new main partner at the conclusion of an eight-year relationship with Caterpillar, with Holland & Barrett welcomed into that role before the start of the season.
“The Tigers’ position as the biggest and best-supported club in the professional game in the UK remains intact and it is one on which we continue to build.”
During 2016/17, Tigers lifted the club’s first silverware in four years to become the only three-time winners of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, while qualifying for the knockout stages of the Premiership season for a remarkable 13th consecutive season.
Looking to the future, chairman Tom added: “As we celebrate 125 years of rugby at Welford Road, there are major new plans for development around the stadium which are central to taking the club forward.
“Proposals for a hotel on the Granby Halls site next to the stadium will add not only a landmark to this part of the city but also to the facilities we have available for our customers, guests and supporters.
“The Board is also considering the provision of extra car-parking behind the South Stand but, while these projects provide improved facilities for all, the investment is not at the expense of the rugby budget where we remain committed to spending up to the salary cap on the squad.
“We invest heavily each season in support staff and facilities to ensure the players have the best possible preparation to represent the club on the field.”