Number Crunchin’: Inside City’s Books

If you’re a regular reader of BIR, or even just a casual observer of Detroit City FC, you are likely well aware of how the club’s attendance has grown, year after year after year. What you’re probably not aware of is how the club’s finances have fared over the same time span. We’ve gotten glimpses here and there, such as the title sponsor price tag ($75k), but never a larger, overall picture.

Now, as part of the Keyworth Stadium community investment program, the club has opened its books to the public, allowing us to get a better feel for its overall financial situation.

[Note: Information and screenshots are taken from the Keyworth Funding site, as well as the DCFC Offering Memorandum.]


To start off, let’s take a look at how much money the club has brought in on a yearly basis:


Unsurprisingly, gross revenue appears to be closely correlated with attendance:


A more detailed look:


After losing money in season one, the club has turned modest (and slightly increasing) profits over the past three years. And as income has risen, so have expenses. Much of that may be a reflection of reinvestment of profits back into the club, though. For instance, the nearly $300k spent in 2015 includes the HD streaming of home matches and the housing of players, both first-time expenses for the club.

As for individual sources of income, gate receipts and merchandise sales account for the bulk of money the brought in. Figures for 2012-2015 were not released, but we can get a good feel for the breakdown by looking at projected income over the next five years:


The club estimates it will sell 1800 season ticket packages at $60 apiece for 2016*. Adding in single game and group tickets, this makes up City’s main source of income. Looking more closely, sponsorship is poised to overtake merchandise for the first time, possibly even this coming season.

As for concessions, with alcohol set to be sold at Keyworth in 2016, it’s unclear if this is factored into the projections. If not, it could be a wildcard that makes said projections seem conservative in hindsight.


A few other random facts gleaned from the Offering Memorandum that I found interesting:

  • The club has no outstanding debt but may need to borrow up to $100k at some point in the near future. (Possibly for if the Keyworth funding project comes up short?)
  • 3000 people from 50 countries viewed DCFC match streams in 2015.
  • The ultimate goal:


Speaking of the Keyworth funding, this is where it currently stands (as of 11/22/15):


The current pace of over $10,000 raised per day surely can’t continue, can it? If it somehow does, the $400k goal will be reached before Christmas, leaving nearly two full months for additional funds to be added on.

ED: I’m not a math major, the current pace is actually $3739 per day. If it keeps up, the $400k goal would be reached sometime at the end of January.

*2016 Season Tickets go on sale this Friday (11/27)


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