Special Report: Pan Am

Mayor: 'Full Steam Ahead' on West Harbour

Mayor Eisenberger reiterates the city's commitment to the West Harbour stadium site, arguing that the site was selected through an open process because it is the best for the community as a whole.

By RTH Staff
Published May 06, 2010

Mayor Fred Eisenberger just held a press conference in which he reconfirmed the city's commitment to the West Harbour site for the Pan Am Stadium.

He announced, "I want to reassure the community that we are moving full steam ahead on the West Harbour site, and we will not waver from that because it is best for Hamilton."

He reiterated the city's larger goal of "building community" rather than merely providing a venue for the Ticats to play. He said, "This is about what's best for the people of Hamilton - today and into the future."

In response to the argument from Ticat owner Bob Young that the West Harbour site doesn't meet the Ticats' needs, Mayor Eisenberger pointed out that it is close to many compatible amenities, has excellent transit connections and is within walking distance to "hundreds of existing parking spaces which can be used at no additional cost to the taxpayer."

The West Harbour site also has the support of the Chamber of Commerce, the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative and a wide cross-section of individuals and businesses across the city.

Eisenberger pulled no punches, pointing out that Hamilton subsidizes the Ticats with $1.3 million a year in public funding and stating, "We have been working diligently to find common ground with the Tiger-Cats, so today's revelation from Owner Bob Young that the team will not play at a West Harbour Stadium is disappointing to say the least."

The discussions over a site have been ongoing for years, and Ticats representative Scott Mitchell has been on the Pan Am advisory committee since its founding.

Eisenberger added, "Statements made by Bob Young only talk about what is best for the Tiger-Cats organization. There is no mention of the community. Bob Young needs to understand that the community is important and the purpose of this project is community building."

Here is the full text of the Mayor's statement:

The City's involvement in the Pan Am Games is an important initiative. We've always believed that this is about building community and leveraging this investment with our many other investments.

This is about more than just a two-week sporting event, and more than a professional football franchise. This is about the community, and community development. This is about what's best for the people of Hamilton - today and into the future.

To respond to some of the concerns raised earlier today in the media and by one of our partners, I want to reassure the community that we are moving full steam ahead on the West Harbour site, and we will not waiver from that because it is best for Hamilton.

The community is behind the West Harbour site. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Jobs and Prosperity Collaborative, and hundreds of private citizens and business leaders are behind it because it is best for the community.

The West Harbour stadium location is best situated for people to access the stadium by taking public transit including GO Transit and eventually the Rapid Transit line planned for the downtown.

A West Harbour stadium location is within short walking distance of hundreds of existing parking spaces which can be used at no additional cost to the taxpayers.

As for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, I want the public to know that we are committed to ensuring that the necessary conditions are put in place in the council-approved West harbour stadium to help the Tiger-Cats achieve success.

We have been working diligently to find common ground with the Tiger-Cats so today's revelation from Owner Bob Young that the team will not play at a West Harbour Stadium is disappointing to say the least.

Bob Young and the Tiger-Cats are on record as saying they would work with the City on "any site". Up to now, we have been proceeding on that basis.

At the same time, it is important for the public to know that he Hamilton Tiger-Cats is a tenant that the taxpayers subsidize to the tune of $1.3 million per year.

The West Harbour site was confirmed by council two years ago and was part of the Pan Am bid book. It was reconfirmed by council 90 days ago.

Statements made by Bob Young only talk about what is best for the Tiger-Cats organization. There is no mention of the community. Bob Young needs to understand that the community is important and the purpose of this project is community building.

Bob Young's statement that there has been no collaboration is puzzling. Scott Mitchell has been a member of the Pan Am Advisory Group since the very beginning. As recently as two weeks ago, I met with Scott Mitchell of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and we re-affirmed that we would continue talking and working together. It is hard to reconcile this with the statements made today by Mr. Young.

It is important to know that the Pan Am HostCo has imposed a May 17 deadline for site verification and as a key partner, the City is required to meet that deadline. I assure you that we will meet that deadline.

I want everyone to know that progress on the West Harbour site is well advanced.

Today, I would like to announce that, together with the City Manager and the City's Pan Am staff team, I will be hosting a Pan Am Community Engagement Session - which will include the Tiger-Cats and other stakeholders - to review the benefits of the West Harbour site, and the long-term benefits of revitalizing the West Harbour precinct. We'll be providing more details as plans are firmed up.

109 Comments

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:03:58

Man...I hope the stadium does get built but I hope also that the Ti-Cats stay in Hamilton.

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By JM (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:06:04

I'm going to pretend this is facebook and "like" this article... I have faith in this City again!

JM

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:12:08

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By synxer (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:13:50

Eisenberger continues to impress.

Side note: As much as I love the Ticats being in Hamilton, maybe we have our own "Phoenix Coyotes" standing in the way of common sense. Hey, Phoenix. Wanna trade?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:15:22

@TreyS if you think Burlington's going to fork out $60 million to build the TiCats a stadium I've got a nice pier you might be interested in buying.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:25:49

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By synxer (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:26:43

TreyS said:

the City will blow this because council thinks they know how to operate a pro sports franchise better than the people that operate pro sports franchises and businesses.

Sometimes you gotta break a bone to correct it. London, Kitchener, Mississauga+ all are without a CFL team. No one's calling them smelly, or dirty.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:33:41

whaddya know. A mayor who's doing what's best for the city instead of a few private interests. This is a landmark occasion folks.

TreyS and others - please explain why suburban, highway fronting stadiums all through the US are being torn down and replaced with urban stadiums in downtown/waterfront districts. And this in the USofA? The most car addicted, sprawl loving nation on the planet and yet they are investing billions to knock down old highway-facing relics in order to build new urban stadiums. Hmmmm. Maybe (once again) they are ALL wrong and we here in Hamilton are right??

Comment edited by jason on 2010-05-06 15:34:19

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By Woodenhead (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:33:52

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By Ivor Whine (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:34:23

Perfect thumbnail of the head-up-arse dysfunction on this project: The City has to name the site in 11 days time (presumably endangering provincial/federal funds if they don't), but the Cats want to stop the clock... for the next three months.

Eisenberger says Cats president Scott Mitchell has been a member of the Pan Am Advisory Group since the beginning. I hope all of that sleep did him a world of good.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:37:49

Well, I guess one thing we learned from this is that Primus and DeLuca Roofing don't like the waterfront.

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:49:40

Has DeLuca Roofing come out against the waterfront? I know Primus has, but I doubt DeLuca cares that much, advertising inside the stadium.

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By Ivor Whine (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:51:08

Eisenberger: "the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is a tenant that the taxpayers subsidize to the tune of $1.3 million per year."

Average 2009 home game attendance was 22,532. So if we're looking at 11 home games, the city kicked in $5.25 for every fan, every game. Beer subsidy?

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:51:25

Good to see Eisenberger show backbone - and reinforce what he says with good reasons and a reminder of all the partners consulted and involved with this location already.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-05-06 15:51:56

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By TD (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:58:22

The stadium does not belong to the Ticats. It belongs to the city. Young should be grateful for the opportunity to situate his team in a new stadium. Instead, he's acting like we owe him something. As for those defending him - why do you assume that just because someone is rich enough to own a sports team he is qualified to make city planning decisions over council, the Chamber, JPC, and many others? I don't even see how Young is qualified to own the Ticats - they've taken home sweet F.A. since he took over.

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 17:24:24

"sweet F.A."

I laughed. Hard.

I wonder if we (as a city) can vote him off the island? No? Shucks.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 17:44:21

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 18:21:30

Im sure HSR will expand service there.

Famous last words. LOL

Has DeLuca Roofing come out against the waterfront? I know Primus has, but I doubt DeLuca cares that much, advertising inside the stadium.

sigh.... believe it or not I actually am a funny guy in real life. Darn humour just doesn't translate well online.

But I guess everyone knows more about operating a pro football franchise than Bob Young.

I doubt 'everyone' knows more, but I'm willing to bet that pro-sports owners in the US who have been knocking down freeway stadiums in favour of downtown ones and are actually, you know, making money each year might be worth listening to.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-05-06 17:23:30

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 19:37:07

HSR famous last words.

Metrolinx famous last words.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 20:26:39

You can still take public transit to Confed Park. Im sure HSR will expand service there.

This is a hell of an argument for Confed Park and against the West Harbour. Couldn't HSR expand service to the West Harbour as well? In fact it would be far more likely for HSR to readjust service on some existing routes in the downtown area than it would be for them to create new services to Confed Park.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 21:22:37

I can't believe I am saying this, but I am actually impressed with the Mayor for the first time. I am glad to see he is sticking to his guns. Lets hope the rest of council does the same.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 22:10:56

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tK7-OuYf...

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By badidea (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 22:26:54

simple question. why is a stadium downtown a good thing? anyone who has been to a USA downtown with a major stadium project thrown into the mix must note that it does nothing particularly to make the downtown more vibrant. hell, why not go to downtown toronto, the area around the ACC is hardly a 'great urban zone'. one might want to check out montreal's rotting inner city stadium to see how destructive a failed project like this can be for a city.

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 22:48:25

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 23:03:43

The Ticats had 2 years to prove their case, NOW they want to open up the issue? As for "anti-business" we're talking about the city spending $60 million taxpayer money on a facility the Ticats want to use for free, if the Ticats want to be "pro-business" they can go try and fund their own stadium.

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 23:04:05

Crap, did I just feed a troll?

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 23:06:35

haha....here we go with the 'anti-business' stuff.

yea, I'm sure business will flock to our city if we plop a stadium down next to the steel mills and further cement our role as the butt of all jokes nationwide.

Council is doing the right thing for once. Let's give credit where it's due.

I'm not even sure what to say about the NHL comment....ever heard of Judge Baum?

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By we like issues we like because we like t (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 01:07:10

jason,

do you honestly think that if we plop a stadium down ANYWHERE in this city the businesses will follow? have they sprung up like mushrooms around ivor wynne in the last 70 years? is stadium plaza your idea of the development that will save downtown?

here is a test, name ONE business that is located around copps coliseum in the last 30 years because there is an arena there. other than illegal parking lots of course.

p.s. since when was the sole function of down voting expressing dissent overan opinion as opposed to the validity of the argument of the dissenting opinion?

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 07:18:07

here is a test, name ONE business that is located around copps coliseum in the last 30 years because there is an arena there. other than illegal parking lots of course.

The Cottage Living and Honest Lawyer, how's that?

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 07:44:25

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By ironic (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 07:47:14

"Full stea ahead". Interesting quote. Isn't that what Captain Smith said the evening of April 14, 1912? Before the iceberg was spotted of course.

Will this band keep playing as we sink, just like they did in the wee hours of April 15, 1912?

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By ironic (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 07:47:21

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 08:26:59

Hmmm, if the taxpayers were not already subsidizing this guy, Mr Young, the team probably would be defunct, period.

Seems that there is a power struggle going on in this city and well to the Mayor, all I can offer is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrCDdm2yj...

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-05-07 07:27:17

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 08:30:49

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 08:44:37

Hamilton Booster made a comment about Bill Strickland coming to Hamilton, well at least that gentleman cares about those that struggle, considering the public realtions scam perpetrated by one of Mr Youngs players, bragging about food for families for 3 to 4 days.

I was given a ticket for a box at the stadium yesterday. It was advertised in the spec as containing food for 3-4 days. (for 1500 families from feed the children) Everyone got the same size box. It was very quick to get it but other than that it was a disappointment. I will list the contents. 3 vortman apple turnover cookies 2 boxes of weird cereal (1 expired) vitamin drink crystals dented 1 can tomato sauce 2k bag of ring shaped pasta (1 can of sauce would go far...) 1 large bag of chocolate chip cookie apple-strawberry spread orville redenbacher micowave popcorn 1 can mini ravioli box of premium crackers digestive bars organic peanut butter (no date)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:05:35

The point is that the Ticats are a business and to tell them to just do as we say and continue losing dollars because we lose $1.3M too is doubly stupid. - Hamilton Booster

But it is okay for a floundering pro sports franchise that will use the facility 11 days a year and will likely continue to lose money no matter where the stadium is built, to tell the city what to do?

You need to check your logic.

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:08:05

TreyS wrote: "But I guess everyone knows more about operating a pro football franchise than Bob Young."

I would be questioning Youngs business accumen when he proclaimed that buying the Ti-Cats was the worst mistake of his life...

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:15:27

Hamiltonbooster wrote: "I hope Council will not be anti-business like the mayor..."

Um, did you not read that the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce SUPPORTS the west harbourt site?

From an overall business standpoint the west harbour makes the most sense.

I would certainly be questioning Bob Youngs business case conclusions on other locations - he has NOT exactly been a success at running a football team.

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By race_to_the_bottom (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:22:38

Mayors speech on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK90U5FE0ps

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By synxer (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:47:55

Maybe the city will let the TigerCats have a tasteful sign at the QEW that they could lease naming rights to along with the stadium's name as well to match.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 09:54:21

As a Hamiltonian, I respect and thank Bob Young for all his done.

Having said that.....where the hell has the team been the last year or so. You didn't like the west harbour, fine. Where was your plan, did you option a site, did you come forward with what your contribution would be?....No

You literally come at the least second and say...Sorry we're not playing there.

And can someone please tell Mr. Young there is no Hamilton side of Aldershot. It's Burlington. I have nothing against Burlington but as a Hamilton Taxpayer you think I would be happy with my tax dollars going to another community?

As a diehard TiCat fan I have to say that this whole debacle is the TiCat's fault.

I suspect that very soon there is going to be one man owning 3 teams in the CFL

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 10:18:58

The Spec has a poll up I'd advise everyone to vote and comment on the issue to let Bob Young know what we think.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 10:54:49

A hearty thank-you to whoever brought up Pittsburgh in this discussion:

http://www.steelersfever.com/images/stad...

http://2rice.us/Mustang1990/Heinz%20Fiel...

http://artfiles.art.com/5/p/LRG/21/2102/...

http://students.cup.edu/pac7854/pictures...

the last one even has the 'wings' like the proposed stadium at the West Harbour.

BUT, I guess there is still a contingent of Hamiltonians who would rather see a wonderful stadium project like this:

http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/...

http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/CLT/CLT...

http://www.oac.cdlib.org/affiliates/imag...

http://www.ballparktour.com/Chavez_115.j...

If there's one thing Hamilton needs more of, it's massive parking lots next to highways.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-05-07 10:02:40

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 10:57:31

Re: the Chamber supporting the West Harbour....of course the West Harbour should be supported...but this isn't about the West Harbour; it's about building a stadium where the only tenant we have is saying NO it makes NO sense to them.....so the choice is between building a 15000 seat stadium or one to accommodate the football team...and the football team isn't buying into this site.
I say, accommodate them; and redevelop the west harbour for something else....housing, open space, commercial, entertainment....lots of possibilities. Don't lock yourself in. We can all win if we are not stubborn.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 10:59:12

And can someone please tell Mr. Young there is no Hamilton side of Aldershot.

I'm a big Cat fan too, but I'd just assume see the team move to the Hamilton side of Milton instead of build a stadium in the wrong location here.

They've had two years to work on this and choose 11 days before the deadline to throw this at everyone. No sympathy from this fan.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 11:11:58

There is a sentiment out there that the Ticats have no right to protest the stadium site because the stadium is the city's and not the Ticats. While it is true the stadium will be the city's and the Ticats are merely the (only) tenant, it is important to remember that the Pan Am track events and the stadium it will house are only coming to Hamilton because of the Ticats.

David Braley is quoted in today's Globe and Mail as saying that the stadium was flagged for Hamilton so its legacy would be as a football stadium for the Tiger Cats. Braley was a member of the Toronto 2015 Board of Directors, so he has unique insight into the workings of the bid committee and the events leading to Hamilton being awarded this stadium. There were many GTA communities vying to host a 2015 event and house the corresponding infrastructure for those events. Hamilton tipped the scale because of the Ticats. In other words, the stadium could very well have gone elsewhere if it wasn't for the Ticats and their need for a new stadium.

Braley goes on to say that the Pan Am BOD has the authority to ask the city to make changes to its proposed business plan. Presumably, this request could be made if the objectives of the Pan Am committee are not being addressed to the BOD's satisfaction (which includes the committee's legacy objectives). While Braley must officially remain neutral during this embarrasing squabble, as a fellow CFL franchise owner, Young has a powerful ally in Braley.

Ultimately, the final call on the stadium is not going to be made by the Ticats. Nor is it going to be made by the city. It is ultimately being made by the Pan Am organizing committee. And if the city and the Ticats remain in this impasse, the stadium could very well end up elsewhere.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 11:27:57

it's about building a stadium where the only tenant we have is saying NO it makes NO sense to them

FIRST: Bob had 2 years to speak up but waited until less than 2 weeks before the deadline ... to ask for a 90 day moratorium while they come up with another location.

SECOND: The Ticats are only using the facility 9 DAYS out of 365. If the new stadium is going to pay for itself it will be from using it for lots of other events not from sucking up to the Cats.

THIRD: Bob Young's own examples favor a downtown location like West Harbour and away from a sprawl location like Confederation Park.

FOURTH: The city's putting up half the construction cost, why does Bob think he deserves the money from naming rights?

FIFTH: Notice how Bob didn't say anything about the survey they conducted with ticket holders? I wonder why not.

SIXTH: The successful stadiums all over the USA and Canada are built downtown, not in the suburbs.

Face it, this is Bob playing late-inning hardball (sorry for the baseball pun) because he can threaten to derail Hamilton's pan am stadium bid altogether.

He admitted he's lot a truckload of money, I believe he's trying to get a new highway stadium, sell naming rights for some quick bucks and then cash out to stem his losses.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 11:36:10

He admitted he's lot a truckload of money, I believe he's trying to get a new highway stadium, sell naming rights for some quick bucks and then cash out to stem his losses.

Interesting. I suggested this exact thing last night to some friends.
Speculation, of course, but you never know.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 11:48:51

He admitted he's lot a truckload of money, I believe he's trying to get a new highway stadium, sell naming rights for some quick bucks and then cash out to stem his losses.

This was my first thought too. Why else wait till the last minute?

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 12:16:12

SECOND: The Ticats are only using the facility 9 DAYS out of 365. If the new stadium is going to pay for itself it will be from using it for lots of other events not from sucking up to the Cats. - z jones

Exactly Z! A good promoter will bring in bands and events that will outdraw the Cats and for more than 11 days a year.

The Cats are not even a real tenant if we have to keep giving them millions of dollars... they're more like a brother-in-law who is sleeping on your sofa and wants to tell you what room to put it in, (of course he'll take the master suite if you let him).

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By willk (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 12:30:06

remediation costs are much lower than expected, just 3-5 million. Let Bob Young pay that and put something people will actually use in the West Harbour. This is a debate between two crappy options.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 12:36:27

The Cats are not even a real tenant if we have to keep giving them millions of dollars... they're more like a brother-in-law who is sleeping on your sofa and wants to tell you what room to put it in, (of course he'll take the master suite if you let him).

LOL! I nominate this as the Best Analogy of the Week!

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By Vod K (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 12:52:56

"If there's one thing Hamilton needs more of, it's massive parking lots next to highways"

Well if this below is true, there are no worries!

"One option, which Young identified at the intersection of the QEW and the Red Hill Valley Parkway near Confederation Park, was a site near a proposed Walmart store on Centennial Parkway. Sources said that possibility hinged on a stadium using Walmart parking."

I know Walmart is usually loose with their parking lots but really? Walmart's going to let the Cats use their lot on Friday night/Saturday sunday afternoon when they are open?

Walmart has more clout that the Cats and the City combined. You don't think they would do this without getting some kind of major kickback somewhere?


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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 12:57:42

^^Yeah, and the brother-in-law is saying, 'Just give me the master suite and you get your sofa back!'

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By Jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:11:10

Let's hope there is a Mcdonalds in the walmart so fans can enjoy the best of Hamilton nightlife after the game.

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By FenceSitter (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:22:08

Ivor Wynn is a city owned stadium.

The Ticats are the major tenant.

How much money do the Ticats pay each year to the city of Hamilton??

Is it not the Ticats who are reducing the losses that the City would otherwise incur if Ivor Wynn sat empty ?? Who is subsidising who here??

The City is unable to rent out Ivor Wynn 365 days of the year to cover expenses. The shortfall should not be termed a subsidy for the Ticats. Politics at play here.

Remember what is important. A legacy venue that can be used by everyone in the community that does not sit empty. The west harbour is probably the best location.

The time has passed for me to say I do not want to spend this money on a new stadium. The time has probably passed for the Ticats to complain.

I do not like the Ticats tactics/decision, but I ask...Why did it come to this??

Some one needs to lend an olive branch to the two sides. I just hope someone picks it up.

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:48:40

Jason, you say, "I'm a big Cat fan too, but I'd just assume see the team move to the Hamilton side of Milton instead of build a stadium in the wrong location here.

They've had two years to work on this and choose 11 days before the deadline to throw this at everyone. No sympathy from this fan."

Firstly, you may be a Cat fan, but certainly are not a Hamilton fan if you can see the Cats moving to Milton.

Secondly, if you think the Cats have waited til now to indicate their displeasure with the West Harbour site, you haven't been paying attention. The papers have been rife with this information for many, many months now; in fact, almost from the beginning. It is that now, apparently, Bob Young has done a financial analysis which confirmed their initial reservations; and the deal doesn't make sense. The real question is why the city didn't do this analysis earlier and arrive at a sensible solution.

Let's separate the need to revitilize the downtown which we all want from the need to build a new stadium and see the beloved Cats thrive...which all of us should want. Why does it have to be either or? Why can't it be both?? Move the stadium and have Mr. Young help, as someone else suggested, help with the West Harbour revitilization. If he can be accommodated he will help, I am sure....and in case some of you doubters need convincing...he bought the team when it was bankrupt to help the city and has continually poured money into it....let's give him some respect and a chance to succeed!!

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:49:48

Please don't flog me in the streets for asking.

But have we thought of/tried having another sports team that used a giant field in the past? I dunno, soccer maybe? I think it's highly unlikely, but the possibility is there, right?

And can we perhaps get a nice drum-line for our games? When the Burlington drum-line walked down Main St. a while ago for the parade (I can't remember which one....Santa's perhaps???) it sounded AWESOME.

Just a thought.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:56:21

Fencesitter,

The TiCats pay only a small amount for the use of Ivor Wynne. The city subsidizes the stadium to the tune of 1.3 million per year just so the TiCats can use it.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 13:59:42

Is it not the Ticats who are reducing the losses that the City would otherwise incur if Ivor Wynn sat empty ?? Who is subsidising who here?? - Fencesitter

For what it is worth, in his announcement yesterday Mayor Eisenberger claimed the city subsidizes the cats to the tune of $1.3 million a year.

You beat me to it bigguy!

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-05-07 13:00:26

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 14:14:43

Jarod raises a good point. Given Hamilton's demographics I have no doubts we could support an MLS team. Though I'm not sure how close the size requirements are for a soccer stadium. Any one know if the current stadium design would fit a regulation soccer pitch as well?

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 15:01:09

As found on "Wiki Answers" - may or may not be accurate.

The following are the ''Official Dimensions of a Soccer Playing Field'' as set out by FIFA:

Length: minimum 90 m (100 yds) maximum 120 m (130 yds) Width: minimum 45 m (50 yds) maximum 90 m (100 yds)

International Matches

Length: minimum 100 m (110 yds) maximum 110 m (120 yds) Width: minimum 64 m (70 yds) maximum 75 m (80 yds)

If this is true, there is no reason both sports couldn't play at the same field. (Again...I am unsure about the soccer and football....hmmm football and football seasons...haha, and whether there would be significant overlap.) However; that is something the leagues can work on and sort out.

I don't watch professional soccer all that often, but having a pro team in town might change my habits.

Comment edited by Jarod on 2010-05-07 14:02:34

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By canbyte (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 15:30:07

A. Smith, I can't believe you're in favour of building a gummerment subsidized anything, let alone a subsidized stadium for a subsidized sports team. So is your famous Libertarian bias only for other folks? And if taxpayers are going to foot most of the bill, their interests should not prevail on the location they favour?

Now is the right time to get rid of grandiose plans including PanAm until the tax base is built up enough to justify it. Doom follows improvident spending as Greece is discovering. Canadians are not immune.

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By frank (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 15:40:09

When soccer was mentioned as a possible tenant I became interested. We definitely have the base here for a team and quite frankly I'm surprised it hasn't been tried yet.

I'll also agree with the drum line comment...having been a member of the BTTB, I know the work the kids do to sound like they do and playing for home games is a fantastic experience. CFL half time shows aren't the greatest. We have access to a world class marching band and we can't use them properly? They perform field shows in competition in the States and regularly bring home awards!

I also happen to disagree with calling Jason a lousy Hamilton fan because he suggests the Ticats can fly their kite elsewhere... When an organization that's as unprofitable as the Cats has the gonads to try hold a City by the short and curlies over a decision they don't have the right to nix they ought to be flogged! We're not talking about the Leafs here - they don't make money even when they're losing! This is an organization who's owner admits was a poor business decision to purchase! How long do we have to wait for the team to rebuild and be profitable? 10 years? 20 years?

A new venue can host many different types of events like concerts and other sporting events. A location like the west harbour provides excellent amenities within walking distance. Building at Confederation Park is insane. The only things close by are Adventure Village and Hutch's/Barangas... Oh wait, they're going to walk along Centennial (which has no sidewalks) to Walmart (who just might let fans park there) to drive to the nearest restaurant (Wendy's or Subway) on their way home? Ideally, attending a sporting event would be an experience that involves more than simply attending the event... That can't be done down at Confed Park.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 15:40:13

Thanks for the info Jarod! And after checking this Wikipedia article, it seems that MLS fields do conform to the dimensions set out by FIFA. It also shows that most MLS stadiums are the exact same size as the Pan Am Stadium.

As for schedule overlaps, the MLS season runs from late March till November with 15 home games per regular season, whereas the CFL from from June till November with 9 regular season home games.

So I really don't see why both teams couldn't share the stadium.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 15:53:46

having been a member of the BTTB - frank

My wife is a Teen Tour Band alumni as well frank… one of the best experiences of her life. Provided her with plenty of stories that start along the lines of "This one time in teen tour band…" : )

A new venue can host many different types of events like concerts - frank

This is what I'm looking forward to most. A great band, playing a great show, on a beautiful summer night down by the West Harbour, then a walk up to "This ain't Hollywood" after the show for a nightcap. In my books, that beats the heck out of a CFL game!

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 16:52:46

I would love an MLS team in Hamilton. A stadium by the harbour with beautiful surroundings and views will make it easier to draw new tenants like that, as opposed to a stadium next to Columbia Chemicals.

Also, concerts of all music types and styles could take place at a harbourfront stadium and draw crowds from the GTA. Good luck getting anything other than a death metal band next to our steel mills.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-05-07 15:54:05

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 17:26:32

I would politely like to mention that I LOVE metal and would LOVE for there to be larger venues for those bands to come and play here. (I'm an associative personality, so it is a little offensive to me to say," "Good luck getting anything other than a death metal band next to our steel mills.") I'll respect your music, willingly, just don't send me and my music into dark corners (despite the fact that's where most people mistakenly seem to think that's where we want to be).

At the same rate, I recognize that any new facility should be used (and planned to be used before it is built) by a large variety of people and organizations, for a wide variety of purposes.

I wonder what would happen if there really was an MSL team on the horizon, and how that might alter BY's choice to come on board. Maybe he might see it as a good thing, that they wouldn't be the only tenant and that, since the place would be more regularly occupied, that more people, from a wider fan base would have a knowledge of the building.

And last I checked, soccer fans are nuts, in a similar way to football fans and how they go nuts. Maybe there is some common ground there.

Not to mention you can get sponsors for soccer that you can't for football, and vice versa.

That said, I wonder what the next step would be? If a city actually wanted to get an MSL team, how would they go about achieving that?

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 17:54:57

MLS needs a market much larger than what Hamilton has to offer. Hamilton's best move forward on soccer would be to seek a team in the new US Soccer Pyramid but at the USSF-2 or even the USL-2 level. USL-2 (which is two levels below the MLS) is probably about right and provided an owner can be found, USL-2 doesn't take a big level of commitment. A new stadium like the proposed West Hbr would also be ideal for the USSF-2, the new league one step below MLS. Although those cities tend to be bigger.

Hamilton, though, has had professional and semi-professional soccer before and it hasn't been supported. The advantage of something like USL-2 is that you could take time to build a following.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 18:08:13

(I'm an associative personality, so it is a little offensive to me to say," "Good luck getting anything other than a death metal band next to our steel mills.")

my apologies if that came across offensively. I was simply making the point that only a small segment of music genres would feel comfortable holding a show in that location. I was the biggest Metallica fan for years (not death metal I know, but back then it was pretty rockin) so I wasn't meaning to demean that particular music style.

I think we need a venue that is suitable for all music styles. Let's be honest, the demographics showing up to a Diana Krall concert are usually a little different than those showing up for metal. They're a lot pickier and dare I say (at the risk of offending someone else) 'more yuppyish' LOL

I love all music styles and want a venue in a location that is attractive for all promoters.

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 18:43:22

agreed.

And this is something I would rather be a part of. Arguing (in my mind I call it discussing) what should be DONE WITH the new building at the new site, rather than WHERE should it go. (not to diminish the importance of that discussion...I think it IS very important indeed)

I hate to say we've wasted time and energy on not committing to a site, and for the most part anyone who likes the West Harbor Location is pretty much preaching to the choir here. But what should stand out for most people is that regardless of our opinions of what we want to see (I'm not saying our voice shouldn't matter) we should plan to support the new building in any location. (even if it means taking a hit in the prideberries. TM)

And I'm not trying to be naive here. I'm simply saying, "Work with what you get". Either side, we shouldn't argue and hate each other. We should plan plan plan and plan some more, and no matter what, continue to love this city (hopefully by being involved and attending a game here or there....whether it happens to be here...or there-->)

It sucks that we have to argue about this stuff. On some level this is deeply affecting people and families and businesses. But at some point, some group, interest, or purpose is going to have to bite the bullet. Eventually, someone down the line is going to have to act like a mature adult and say, "oh well, let's make the best of this".) (I'm not calling anyone immature...for the record)

Besides, is anyone against a 40 storey pole with a huge billboard (and perhaps an arrow pointing downward) with the stadium name...and address? And while we're at it, make this monstrosity rotate. Boom, visibility solved. You can make your checks out to me.

....

Tybalt Thanks for the info. Very interesting. But how would a city get a team regardless of division? Yellowpages?

Comment edited by Jarod on 2010-05-07 17:46:46

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted May 07, 2010 at 18:57:33

Rotating billboard? Oooh, that's classy.

And let's make it right across the highway from the Benz dealership so we can have giant rotating billboards on both sides as you draw near to Hamilton, too!

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By badidea (anonymous) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 21:10:59

"If there's one thing Hamilton needs more of, it's massive parking lots next to highways."

uhm if there's one thing downtown needs more of its massive civic projects, produced by an inept council, paid for with public funds, with no chance of sustained success, which rots and decays over time....???.

when will people finally understand that the city will not be saved by a public project. let the failed stadium (which is what it will be) rot on the side of the highway in the suburbs where it belongs. if there is a bright future for downtown it will be ushered in by private citizens running independent businesses. the best thing that we can hope for from our pathetic and corrupt local government is that they have the foresight to know that they are terrible at civic planning and they decide to stay out of the way of natural development, and don't try and do some sweeping huge project that will fail like jackson square did.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 21:25:15

As I've obnoxiously stated on the Ticats boards, I'm in support of an urban central stadium. If that's West Harbour, great. I think it should be support, and be supported by, Public Transit and, ideally, encourage people to experience our budding downtown.

That said, the Ticats are the main tennants. If they legitimately can't make a go of it, we have to hear them out. I'm a huge fan and would be absolutely heartbroken if this team ends up in Burlington, or worse... I think it's mighty bush-league of them to raise their hands at this late stage. But, that's what has happened, and it must be dealt with.

My hope would be that a West Harbour-ish site can be found that builds the downtown community and allows the necessary revenue streams to make the Ticats profitable.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 07, 2010 at 23:29:16

If they legitimately can't make a go of it, we have to hear them out.

I'm sorry, but Bob Young whining about his bad business decisions isn't my idea of them not being able to 'legitimately make it'.

If their reasons truly are 'legit' then please release the consultant report on the location and release the results of the season ticket holder survey. I'm not necessarily saying that those reports would sway my opinion, but I'd certainly put some stock into them.

Until that happens, I could care less what the TiCats think.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 10:56:33

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 11:17:33

Could not agree more with that article jason!

What bothers me most about this whole mess is the timing. As I've said on other boards, Bob Young knew for 2 years where the city wanted the stadium and said nothing, if this was going to be so hard on him then why is he only speaking up now at the 11th hour? And why are his other "options" complete jokes?

Sounds to me that Bob is either trying to extort more money from the city in exchange for supporting the west harbour or (as was said here earlier) he's looking to sell and wants the stadium where he thinks it will benefit him the most.

Also, I thought this was hilarious!

The Spec

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-05-08 10:33:34

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 13:16:01

Do you think the Pan Am Committee will go ahead with a West Harbour stadium if the Ticats are not on board? Their motives for placing the track events and corresponding stadium in Hamilton was mainly so it may be a legacy home for the Ticats.

Should the city still put $60 million into a stadium if the Ticats are not going to be tenants? Perhaps a much more economical temporary structure could be placed there, and then the site could be reverted to urban residential after the Pan Am Games.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 14:12:07

One more question - How does RTH reconcile its long-standing animosity towards the excessive glut of downtown surface parking lots to its support for this stadium proposal which relies upon the preservation and expansion of surface parking lots in the downtown area?

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 14:36:18

I'm not sure that 'RTH' has an official position on this project, but I can safely say that I've long advocated for the clean up and redevelopment of our north end and waterfront brownfields.
Whether we build a stadium down here or just leave all the brownfields to rot for 100 years (which is what will happen if we pass up this chance) parking lots aren't going anywhere downtown. A parking lot should be the official symbol of Hamilton.

Anyone who thinks a QEW stadium location won't result in construction of a massive parking lot is sadly mistaken. 100% of stadium users will need to drive in that location. Get ready for acres of parking on both sides of the QEW.

Landowners to the west of Rheem have indicated a desire to build mixed use residential/commercial projects if the stadium project goes ahead. They've also stated that there is no way they'll build condos or restaurants next to acres of ugly brownfield.
A look at the city's just completed West Harbour Recreation Plan shows a concept for a wonderful pedestrian bridge linking the stadium to Bayfront Park. This entire brownfield district might be looking at it's only chance of cleanup with the PanAm project.

I'm with the mayor 100% on this one. Short term interest of a few can't trump long term benefits for everyone.

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By canbyte (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 15:21:17

Jason said "Short term interest of a few can't trump long term benefits for everyone."

My version is "Narrow, non productive benefits for a few shouldn't trump long term costs for every taxpayer".

The cleanup issue is separate: if the province is going to pay, then it hardly matters when. Projects will be happy to build on clean land as long as other factors make sense, which they don't at present. That is why Hamilton is a mess, not the fact we did or didn't build a stadium.

Since all this subsidized stuff exacerbates the basic mill rate problem, I say suspend all such projects until the tax base improves,

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 15:34:44

I say suspend all such projects until the tax base improves,

New condos, shops and restaurants along the waterfront would help the tax base more than a mega parking lot next to Confederation Park. I don't see any other way for our tax base to improve without smart investments by the municipality and higher levels of government to help clean up old derelict industrial areas.

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By canbyte (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 17:06:51

Jason. No doubt we cannot expect new industry to undertake expensive clean up unless there is a draw (such as the harbour) which induces them to look past the cost and to discard non-Hamilton investments open to them. Condos indeed may fit the bill but only occupy the first few hundred feet and for now, i'm holding to the theary that upscale rez will follow, not precede quality jobs. Jobs is #1. But i also hold that it must be the wealth creating type, not the public sector, tax sucking type. Yes civil servants remit%% taxes but their workplaces do not, rather public buildings occupy prime real estate but arguably contribute nothing to the city.

%% remit, not 'pay'. Civil servants do not pay taxes, they only return a portion of what they originally took from the taxpayer. Ooooh, am i gonna get downvoted for that, but dv cannot refute the logic. ;-)

Comment edited by canbyte on 2010-05-08 16:13:48

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 17:07:06

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 20:44:21

Hamiltonbooster,

The Mayor is not the one who has made this adversarial. Bob Young is the one to blame here. Throughout the whole process he has been saying that he would work with whatever the city decides. Now at the last minute, two weeks before the deadline he decides to let the city know that the site is not acceptable.

Personally I think it's a ploy on the part of Bob Young to get a sweetheart deal with the city, much like he has now for IWS. He knows that with a new stadium he is actually going to have to pay rent.

In order to change locations now the city is going to have to start the process all over again. That means they are going to have to try and unload the properties they have already bought in the West Harbour at a loss more than likely. That alone wouldn't go over very well with taxpayer. Besides that in order to change the decision a 2/3 vote of council would be needed. That is not likely to happen.

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By kevin (registered) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 21:13:35

Howard Elliot speaks my mind. Not long ago, I heard Bob Young, "How can I give to Hamilton?" Now I hear, "What can I take?"

Comment edited by kevin on 2010-05-08 20:14:53

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2010 at 23:16:07

If remediation of the former Rheem site will only cost $3-5 million dollars as the mayor claims then why are we spending $60 million to develop a tenantless stadium on the site? Why not simply clean the lands up and repurpose it as urban residential? Instead of pulling $20 million out of the Future Fund for a stadium of uncertain viability, what not take a fifth of that out, remediate the land, then repurpose it more appropriately as urban residential?

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 02:32:48

Why do we not have concerts at Ivor Wynne, there used to be lots of concerts there? People living nearby complained about the noise!
So now once again the city is going to have stadium where concerts cannot be held because people living close by will complain. I am not in favour of the west harbour site but I am not putting up the cash (except of course in my tax dollars). As long as the city is putting up the money they get to decide where it goes. The Mayor and council will either make their careers or extinguish them. I do not see me voting for them again.
I really believe that the voters should and will decide what the right decision is. Just to bad that the wrong decision will leave the city with a useless, empty, and expensive problem.

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 08:32:48

Boby Young is saying, "What Can I take?" More like, "Give me a fighting chance to earn back SOME of what I've already lost!" As for Young making this adversarial, what could he do other than say he'd be willing to work with the city and even donate capital to a new site? He meant it; but he also expected to be treated like a valued tenant instead of pushed around and forced to be where he will surely lose more money AND asked to give capital dollars....look, Fred told a Councillor that if the Cats leave, we'll play soccer at the stadium in the West Harbour....what a great attitude. Maybe he can also try to attract an NFL franchise to the West Harbour....this man is really dreaming in technicolor if he believes Hamiltonians will sit idly by and watch the Cats be bullied...or if he believes that Young has endless good will!
It's a shame, because it need not have been this way.
Fred, can you say October 2010? But, if you are smart, you will accommodate for the sake of 'city building'!!!

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 08:33:05

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By justathought (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 08:49:06

just a thought. but obviously the best thing to do with the money would be to build a temporary structure (much like the millenium dome was intended to be in london, and what much of the shanghai expo currently going is). keep the tiger cats out of the picture, and use the money to develop brownfields and beef up infrastructre in the area into prime waterfront property to be sold off by the city after the whole thing is done. i mean nobody really wants a stadium down there actually, the benefit is just cleaning up the land, and who cares about bob youngs subsidized six days a year tenants. or is this idea a little too smart for hamilton?

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 10:22:03

@ justathought,

You are the voice of reason. There are far better uses for the land that are far less costly.

We've all been so excited about any investment in the downtown that any news about this ill-conceived, divisive, guaranteed money pit has us in emotional ruin.

Do any examples of urban renewal give credit to a sports team for shaping the city? I am a TiCats ticketholder, and hate the idea of having to drive to games, but theirs surely isn't the leadership Hamilton needs.

Let's do what we must for the Pan-Am Games, rather than stake our future on this stadium.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted May 09, 2010 at 13:18:08

When I started reading the article and following comments I had several opinions but now I believe I have narrowed it down to one: Bob wants a better deal one way or the other. Probably not to invest the 50mil and have the city pay-up for the expansion. As a business owner I have already been researching moving more of my business to the west harbour area of the city. And being a relatively small business I'm sure there are others doing the same for the same reasons. I would not be looking around Burlington Street (anywhere along) or Confederation Park or the airport. High density areas are what build small business not Industrial parks and airports that have little or no residential.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 10, 2010 at 13:37:55

Where did the love and support go Bob?

What actual benefit do we see from pandering to pro sports franchises?

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted May 10, 2010 at 17:22:46

Exactly. Where did the love of Bob go? he's likely the last of a generation of people that came from Hamilton to create something on the world stage. We don't have anymore Youngs, Braileys, Joyces, DeGrootes, Juravsinskis left. and to some degree Michael Lee Chin who for some reason hates Hamilton. No mystery that Hamilton has missed out on one or two generations of wealth... and even lost two generations.... another blog.. anyway...

Where did the love of Hamilton go? Right now Young is the best we got. Let's build a viable stadium. I don;t care where it is at this point, a viable stadium is better nothing.

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By Hamiltonbooster (anonymous) | Posted May 11, 2010 at 14:46:05

TreyS for Mayor...and I mean that!

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By Vod K (anonymous) | Posted May 11, 2010 at 14:56:47

For those who want to, a survey with comments is being taken by CHML...

http://www.900chml.com/Contests/Register.aspx?ContestID=112795

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 12, 2010 at 07:37:23

New opinion piece up at The Spec which sums up the situation nicely.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 12, 2010 at 08:14:13

New opinion piece up at The Spec which sums up the situation nicely. - UrbanRenaissance

Yep, Bob's tirade just doesn't pass the smell test...

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By frank (registered) | Posted May 12, 2010 at 12:40:42

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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted May 13, 2010 at 08:35:17

Looks like stupid is contageous....

http://thespec.com/News/Local/article/768558

I mean where in Sam hell are they going to put a velodrome on that park?

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=olympic+sports+park+dundas&sll=43.271894,-79.930429&sspn=0.023373,0.053215&ie=UTF8&hq=olympic+sports+park&hnear=Dundas,+ON&ll=43.278455,-79.935493&spn=0.02337,0.053215&t=h&z=14&iwloc=A

either they are going to have to fill a pond or cut down a forest!

Comment edited by trevorlikesbikes on 2010-05-13 07:37:11

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By JM (registered) | Posted May 13, 2010 at 08:50:51

@trevorlikesbikes

sigh........................ let's hope this doesn't drag on, and screw us over in the process! this has been up for discussion for years, why are the concerns only coming up now!? btw there is a GREAT article about storm cunningham as well. i've seen this guy speak - he knows his stuff. and has real succesfull projects to show and prove his point!

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/articl...

JM

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 13, 2010 at 11:50:00

Cunningham is full of crap. Doesn't he know that successful cities are all about mega parking lots beside highways and in city parks??

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By Donald J. Lester (anonymous) | Posted May 13, 2010 at 12:02:17

It's a good thing we only have the TiCats heck if we had an NH teem they would be running the city....there would be no need for a Council or Mayor

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 14:21:34

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 14:24:15

^Oh God, the picture says it all, doesn't it? Old white dudes.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 19:05:24

Are these the progressive agents of change you were hoping for?

The dude in the middle, sound asleep, wearing the wicked tie sure is.

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By Goboy (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:17:37

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:38:49

Any thought of a Stadium other than near a major expressway Exit is asinine.

Fail. Stadiums built next to major expressways are economic suckholes, stadiums built downtown actually add value. Facts suck, I know.

Ditto 'revitalizing' downtown. It is what it is. Always will be.

Fail. Every city that revitalized it's downtown did it despite their squelchers and nay sayers. But when it finishes happening here, free to enjoy our revitalized downtown even though you did nothing to help it along.

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