Record Trading Year at Sandy Park
By Mark Stevens
Sandy Park and Exeter Chiefs have announced another record-breaking year of trading, following the release of the club's annual accounts.
Exeter Chiefs chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded another “fantastic’ year - on and off the field - after the Devon club consolidated its position as England’s only profitable top-flight rugby club.
Not only have Exeter Rugby Group produced a pre-tax profit of almost £1.6m in the year to the end of June, up from £660,000 in the previous year, but turnover rose 6% to a record figure of £21.7m.
At the same time, the club’s net assets also saw a sharp rise in value, from just over £2m in 2018 to almost £2.9m in the latest figures.
Moving forward into the New Year, the Sandy Park Hotel project will begin in earnest, whilst the ambitious club have also outlined plans to add 2,000 seats above its East Terrace next summer, giving the stadium an increased capacity of around 15,000.
Mr Rowe said: “The figures produced are hugely encouraging and show that the club’s Board of Directors continue to run the club very much as a business.
“Supporters, as ever, remain at the core of the club and we are proud to say that during the 2018/19 season, Sandy Park welcomed a record average number of spectators, with attendances and financial key performance indicators bolstered by a home semi-final in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs.”
During the 2018/19 season, the Chiefs - who reached a fourth successive Premiership Final in June - saw their average match-day attendances rise to a new record figure of 12,080, which compared to 11,538 during the 2017/18 campaign.
Away from the on-field action, Mr Rowe outlined how Sandy Park continues to be a venue that people want to experience, not just for rugby.
He continued: “This December alone we have over 5,200 diners coming to celebrate Christmas with us, whilst numerous companies are making the most of our outstanding and ever-improving facilities on offer within the building.
“As well as staging Chiefs fixtures, we’ve again put ourselves on the global map by staging two England Women’s fixtures, as well as an England Under-20s game. Again, this underlines that Sandy Park is a stadium fit for international rugby and one which can be showcased in all its glory around the world.”