Special Report: Pan Am

Staff Report: East Mountain More Costly, More Risky, Diverts Economic Development Funds

A staff report released for the August 10th, Committee of the Whole confirms media reports that the East Mountain stadium would costs tens of millions of dollars more than one built in the West Harbour location.

By RTH Staff
Published August 06, 2010

This article expands on a previous blog post. More details to come in this ongoing analysis.

A staff report (PDF) released for the August 10th, Committee of the Whole confirms media reports that the East Mountain stadium would costs tens of millions of dollars more than one built in the West Harbour location, even after factoring in a last minute offer by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to pay for 6,000 parking spots.

In addition, the report shows that on an annual basis, the East Mountain site will cost taxpayers $1.2 to $4.8 million in forgone taxes. The additional capital costs are a combination of site servicing (e.g. road infrastructure), and forgone revenues the City would receive if the land is developed for other uses.

While the report included two East Mountain scenarios (Full Precinct and No Precinct), it doesn't go into detail about what a full precinct development would look like other than to say "adjacent uses" that would likely be Big Box development.

The report also warns of significant financial risk to the city with the East Mountain site if full precinct development does take place in the future, as it would "represent a significant financial pressure and shortfall" since the extra capital required to support the stadium would have been spent upfront by the City with the expectation they would be paid back over time through growth.

In addition, in order to help pay for the City's portion of servicing costs, the report suggests that funds are not currently available and that $10 million of previously committed grants in support of the Glanbrook Industrial Park would have to be diverted towards the East Mountain development.

Five Factors

The report offers the five factors to help determine the preferred location. Based on these factors, the West Harbour site comes out ahead:

Factor Preferred Location

1

The viewpoint of the projected principal legacy tenant of the new stadium, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization.

East Mountain

The Tiger-Cats have repeatedly stated that their preferred option is the East Mountain. However, they still haven't produced any analysis to support their choice or show why West Harbour would not work.

2

The viewpoint of the community.

Leaning towards West Harbour

Almost all major civic groups and institutions who voiced an opinion on this issue have endorsed the West Harbour along with a groundswell of citizens through sites such as OurCityOurFuture.ca

3

The cost difference for taxpayers between constructing and operating the stadium at the West Harbour versus the East Mountain.

West Harbour

The analysis shows that the West Harbour is significantly cheaper overall than the East Mountain when you factor in costs to support the site.

Operating costs favour East Mountain but the scale of annual costs are small in comparison to the capital cost funding gap (e.g. it would take over 25 years to even out costs to the taxpayer if East Mountain is chosen)

4

The economic implications and spinoffs of the two sites.

West Harbour

The analysis shows significant amount of foregone revenue if East Mountain is chosen

5

Whether choosing the East Mountain site brings sufficient public benefits for the redevelopment of the West Harbour to justify the public investment in the East Mountain site.

West Harbour

Public benefit for the West Harbour would be muted (see below). The Ticats have proposed a small scale Pan-Am park but it requires additional public investment for development.

Stormwater Management

The report doesn't include stormwater management upgrades or the cost of moving the Hydro towers that run through the East Mountain site. These could increase the total cost considerably as paving over a significant part of the area for parking will generate a huge amount of new runoff, adding more pressure to the flood-prone Red Hill Valley Parkway.

Impact on Downtown/Waterfront Renewal

The report concludes that, "A stadium located in the West Harbour could strengthen the connectivity between the downtown and the waterfront, which has been identified as a core principle for downtown revitalization…The Pan Am Games, and the numerous future additional events that can be held at the stadium and velodrome in the West Harbour, will provide residents with an opportunity to visit the downtown which helps to strengthen the notion of the downtown as a desired place for social gatherings."

Conversely, the report states that, "[The East Mountain] provides no direct benefit to Downtown Development and Revitalization. Indirectly, an East Mountain stadium location actually removes any potential benefit of linking a major public gathering venue to the downtown."

In terms of the waterfront, the report advises, "It is also important to note that it may not be financially viable to do the residential development [on the West Harbourfront] due to the contamination at the site," and that, "The Pan Am Games provides an opportunity for the City to utilize public investment for the re-development of a set of former industrial 'brownfield' properties, and thus revitalize the precinct."

Transportation

The analysis shows that people often prefer to walk to more dispersed parking rather than wait in a queue to exit large on-site parking facilities. A survey shows that current fans at Ivor Wynne typically walk further to park than they would at the West Harbour. In addition, 50% of fans could take transit to get to the West Harbour stadium based on the postal code data provided by the Tiger-Cats and an average drive to the West Harbour would be 18 minutes.

For the East Mountain, the analysis points out that to avoid large traffic jams, 40% of attendees must arrive more than an hour before the event and a substantial shuttle service would be needed to eliminate as many car trips as possible to prevent overloading the roads.:

To accommodate more than 22,500 fans on a weekday evening one or more of the following must occur:

  1. Car use must be lower than the predicted 70% (as low as 57% for 30,000 fans), with the balance taking transit or shuttles.
  2. A larger portion of the fans must arrive before 5 pm
  3. Games must start after 7 pm

Without dedicated transit lanes however, the buses and shuttles will get caught up in the same congestion [to the East Mountain] and any perceived benefit will be lost.

Social Inclusion and the Future Fund

The report also includes the findings of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction which concluded the West Harbour is the best choice from a social inclusion perspective. The report's analysis doesn't take into account the revised recommendation of the Future Fund Board that said the Fund's money should only be used for a West Harbour location. In addition, previous reports suggested that an East Mountain location should lower the required capital expenditure from the City which would leave a funding gap.

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By gord (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 16:19:52

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 16:23:37

gord,

Nobody's the winner because council still has the choice of telling the feds and province where to stick their funding. They can decide not to build a stadium at all. They could decide to demolish IWS and tell the Ticats to take a hike, my preference.

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By gord (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 16:37:34

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 16:39:12

where's the zookeeper?

I hope Scott Mitchell like Ivor Wynne cause he's gonna be playing there for a while....

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By timmybgood (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 16:59:59

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 17:07:05

timmybgood,

Good luck to them then. I am sure KW has millions to build a stadium from scratch. It will be nice to not have to subsidize the Ticats anymore. Let someone else do it.

Boycott the Ticats starting with tonights game.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:01:14

"I heard the news today, Oh boy"! : {

It's nice to know that the comedy team of Harpey & McSquinty have gotten together again on another fiasco! Just like G20, eh? "We'll show you who runs This Town!" (& it Ain't You!)

So, whoever is in charge of Hamilton...Isn't? We have elections to decide that kind of thing, in case those two hadn't noticed.

I wonder if one of those poncy Liberal "Green Space" signs is near that cornfield? Well, they could change it to, "Green $$$$pace".

Goodbye LRT, & Maybe, goodbye mayor Fred? (the punishment for standing up to bullies is being cut adrift? I remember when it used to be admirable. It still is!

Is it too late to tell both of them to go find another City of $uckers?
"Take yer Pan Am Stadium & put it .... Somewhere Else?" ; }

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:07:35

I agree 100% bigguy! BOYCOTT TONIGHT'S GAME!

(& congrats K.W. on your rumored brand new gazzilion $$ white elephant! I hope the elephant enjoys the cornfield.)

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:14:40

Er, guys, the next Ticat game isn't until tomorrow.

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By Dr Detroit (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:18:28

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:28:15

Maybe, goodbye mayor Fred? (the punishment for standing up to bullies is being cut adrift? I remember when it used to be admirable. It still is!

Damn right it's admirable, Fred definitely has my vote, and the libs and the cons never will again.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:29:35

No Funding from the city, though, on the East Mountain. So says the board of the Future Fund. And guess who's posting the big blind to the pot? Oh yeah, the city.

Not a penny for the East Mountain.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 18:32:34

Not a penny for the East Mountain.

How about Not One Dime For The East Mountain?

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 20:26:12

Why did the province and the feds leave it up to the City...then when the City was set to choose the location they wanted...catered to one guy?

Watch...now when the East Mountain stadium fails, fans hate it...and is a joke across the league and country...Bob can blame the Province, Feds and Fenn for picking that location.

What a colossal joke this has been and the Province & Feds just put the icing on the cake. So now the city will be forced into spending THEIR money on a site they quite possibly would have voted against.

Anyone want the Future Fund going to a site that doesn't do what the FF is designed for AND a site that the city is opposed to?!?! Geez...what a joke.

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By buffalo bob (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 20:55:45

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 20:58:20

Would the feds dare pull this bullshit on any other city in Canada? Once again Hamilton gets screwed by dirty bqckroom dealing. Not One Penny of Future Fund money for the east mountain!

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By BobInnes (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2010 at 21:12:06

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 21:25:01

Please, East Mountani did not win shit. This happened because spinless douchers like Bob and Gary are afraid that joke of a CFL team will leave town.

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By water boy (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 22:05:56


Danial Nolan of the Hamilton Spectator (july 30, 2010)wrote:

`The head of the 2015 Pan Am Games organizing committee says the city was aware weeks ago it was going to lose track and field at its proposed stadium and was on board with the idea.

"They knew we were planning it," said CEO Ian Troop.

The 15,000-seat stadium can still be built, but would host 30-35 soccer games. He said provincial and federal funding is not in jeopardy and the only loss would be about $3 million for building the track and field.'

MPP Sophia Aggelonitis might just have unwittingly been pulled into the mess regardless of her personal view but if she wants to keep her job she had better tow the party line, deliver the news and keep a stiff upperlip. She is just the messanger. Boss Dalton made her do it. "With a final decision days away, the federal government has made it clear to the province and the city that it will not fund a new stadium at the West Harbour."

Provincial and Federal funding being pulled in the last hour? Bad faith and politics aside, I wonder if the lawyers are lining up.

This is just wrong and getting worse, but will make for a great book.








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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 23:08:19

K/W is an enterprising, youthful city, the best-educated in Canada. I doubt they'd want the Hamilton Dinosaurs. But I'd be quite delighted if they would take them off our hands. I'm a lifetime fan who will not attend another game.

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By greenfingers (registered) | Posted August 06, 2010 at 23:22:57

What a disappointment. Wrong in so many ways - economically, environmentally, socially, What happened to lowering dependency on cars and petroleum based fuel? Saving decreasing arable farm land? Living up to our Pan Am bid which included a downtown stadium, accessible by transit? Have these people, these politicians not paid attention the history of other major cities as they made both good and bad decisions about the placement of major sports facilities? A football team should not dictate the future of a city to its own benefit, not ours! Let's fight this Fred.

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By Great White Elephant (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 01:13:23

C'mon, greenfingers. Maybe a maybe a football club shouldn't dictate what a city should do, but should we spend millions on a white elephant which our children can point to and say "they built that place for a few soccer games and there it sits unused for the last 50 years?"

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By Peter (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 01:52:51

Some of the dumbest comments I've yet to read here on RTH. I think that's quite telling of this so-called debate.

I have to say, though, that I've always liked Bratina's idea of building on the SJAM site. But that would involve re-routing streets and building a new school - never happen in a million years.

Failing that, the WH is about as good as it's going to get. The proposal put forth by White Star is fabulous. If it comes down to it, the City should force Young's hand, buy the Cats [if need be] and run it as a community-based team.

Oh yeah, I love this boycott idea. Don't put another loonie into Young's pocket.

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By Bob (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 01:58:32

Places To Grow

Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006

Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan Area The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, released on June 16, 2006, is a 25-year plan that aims to:

•Revitalize downtowns to become vibrant and convenient centres. •Create complete communities that offer more options for living, working, learning, shopping and playing. •Provide housing options to meet the needs of people at any age. •Curb sprawl and protect farmland and green spaces. •Reduce traffic gridlock by improving access to a greater range of transportation options.

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 02:53:44

@BobInnes

Hamilton City tax rate (with transit) = 1.538147% Hamilton City tax rate (no transit) = 1.452408%

London = 1.504425% Sarnia = 1.566474% Oshawa = 1.756299% Niagara Falls = 1.450953% Sudbury = 1.354977%

Hamilton seems in line with quite a few cities in Ontario. If it is on the high end of 'normal'...it's probably because tax revenue in the city is down. Something the East Mountain stadium is going to guarantee continues to happen. No re-vamped West Harbour with more foot traffic in the area...higher property values and more tax revenue. Just a less taxed stadium than if the East Mountain had developed on its own.

So....if you're ticked at the tax rates in Hamilton (even though they are comparable to many cities in Ontario) you can thank the Tiger-Cats for insisting and pushing your Provincial and Federal governments to shove this location down Hamilton's throat.

It will cost more...less tax revenue will be generated by the land...money still needs to be spent on fixing up the West Harbour....road construction on the East Mountain that wasn't budgeted to be completed for another 10 years will need to be done right quickly......

If your taxes go up....Thank Bob Young, Dalton McGuinty and Stephen Harper (or your local MP & MPP). Don't blame a Mayor that tried to avoid this for the betterment of the city. Mayor Fred would have had this stadium built in an area that would have increased tax revenue in that area...allowed higher tax on the East Mountain development (that would have happened), upgraded the roads near the East Mountain when they were due....and paid less for the stadium/land overall.

How you blame the Mayor for this is beyond me. He did every last thing he could to avoid this.

Oh...and cancelling things like the LRT isn't going to draw business back...it would keep it away.

Comment edited by Jeffrey93 on 2010-08-07 01:55:56

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 03:14:27

If there should ever be an inquiry into any "government dealings"...I think this should be it. How the Province and Federal governments can take the side of the city (by leaving the choice to municipal government) for so long and then suddenly pull the rug out from beneath them is beyond me.

Who got to who? Who greased the wheels? Since when does a private interest dictate where a public building is built?

The "legacy" of this stadium isn't that it will be the home to a private business...it is that it will be something that the citizens of Hamilton can enjoy and athletes from the area can utilize.

If the Provincial and Federal governments are on-board with subsidizing private businesses (like the Tiger-Cats) and catering to their demands....where were they when Balsillie was making his attempt to bring the NHL to Hamilton? Where are they now in that regard? I'm sure there is an Owner out there that the Province and Feds could lure to Hamilton by offering up millions of dollars to build a new arena for them.

Go figure....we pay for an NHL arena on our own...and the NHL balks on their promise. We want to put a CFL stadium where we want it...and the Province and Feds say they will only pay for what the sports team wants. Isn't that just a kick in the pills?

If nothing else....I hope the City of Hamilton bills the Provincial and Federal governments for every last dime the city spent to acquire land and conduct viability studies of all sites. The City of Hamilton should be completely reimbursed for anything they spent on this endeavour since at the 11th hour the Province and Feds decided to dictate the decision.

And in 10 years when everyone realizes a stadium overlooking an off-ramp was a colossal mistake...I hope the Province and Feds are there to cough up the dough to build yet another stadium after the Cats realize their "regional" plan is an enormous failure and people hate paying $30 to park just to wait in line to get on the highway after the game.

This entire thing makes me want to bang my head against the wall. At least let it play out...let the vote occur....then if the Tiger-Cats (meaning Bob Young) come out and say 'The moment Ivor Wynne is closed we are leaving, no question about it...we're gone.' before stepping in. Had the vote occurred and the West Harbour was picked....for all we know Bobby and the Cats would have sat down and negotiated a nice deal to play there.....letting the threats eventually be forgotten. Now we will never know.

I really don't think anybody...including the people that guzzled the Mitchell kool-aid really believed the Tiger-Cats would move. But...the government seemed to.....

I never really cared where this stadium was built. I preferred the West Harbour (for obvious reasons) but felt as long as a stadium is constructed within Hamilton it is a good thing. The higher governments sticking their nose in it sullied the whole process and made me rather upset. Before I would have been fine with an East Mountain stadium....not happy but fine....now I'm ticked. Heck...I would have been ticked if they stepped in and said they would only provide funding for a West Harbour stadium. Just stay out of it and let the process run it's course!

So....now, does Hamilton still pay what they initially planned on paying? Do the Cats live up to their earlier commitments now that they seem to be dictating things?

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 03:29:42

Wow...now the clowns on the Tiger-Cats board are debating grass or turf. Wasn't part of Bob's proposal that a soccer team will be brought to town as well??

I highly doubt a soccer team will be interested in playing on a field hacked up by football....but..those are the people that were catered to.

God help us all.

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By dennis1 (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 14:02:59

Jeff.

The city can still vote no. Nothing would be built and the TiCats would play in a high school since IW will be smashed

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 07, 2010 at 16:31:34

What a joke.

I can't believe people are trying to pin this on Fred. There's lots of blame to go around here - including the Province and Feds, Ti-Cats, and Bob Young's army of trolls (...gonna have to talk to my blacksmith buddy about getting that old broken sword put back together...).

Another example of how power works in this town, when confronted with facts or public opinion. Just go a few rungs up the ladder and find someone dumber and less involved.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 18:15:20

The Future Fund is not tax dollars. It is money from the sale of an asset... Hamilton Hydro.

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By dennis1 (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 18:33:22

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/822172

"Ottawa says it is not against building a Pan Am stadium at the west harbour.

Federal Sports Minister Gary Lunn issued a statement Saturday disavowing a Friday statement from two local Liberal MPPs that the Conservative government will only provide funding for an East Mountain site, the favourite site of future tenants, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Federal funding is not contingent upon the location of the stadium,” Lunn said in a release, received by The Spectator at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. "



Bye Bye Tabbies! Have fun with your one year in Halifax before you fold. The CFL was bush league for trying to pull this and they will pay now. This league should be at 16 or even 20 team by now with all the recent bragging they do.

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By dennisq (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:23:58

"Statement by Ian Troop, CEO, Toronto 2015:

On Friday, I was informed by the federal government that funding for the PanAm Games stadium in Hamilton was contingent on having an anchor tenant, and that they would not be interested in funding a stadium at the West Harbour. I passed that information along to representatives of the provincial government, who are a major partner in the Games. I've now learned that Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn has clarified the federal position and stated that their funding is not contingent on the location of the stadium.

As I've said before, the organizing committee is looking for a long-term plan with viable future usage for this facility. The city's own report has said that an anchor tenant is required to make the stadium viable. The PanAm Games organizing committee looks forward to the decision from the City of Hamilton about the stadium later this week."

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:31:01

I can't believe people are trying to pin this on Fred. - Undustrial

Really the worst thing you can accuse Fred of is not being a bigger hard-ass and a certain amount of perhaps idealistic naiveté. He shouldn't have opened the door for this in the first place he should have stuck to the "full steam ahead", "like or leave it" approach. Instead he lobbed the ball back to Bob Young in a gesture of reconciliation and Bob was the one to play hardball and lay down the ultimatum. It also gave Bob Young the opportunity to begin his behind the scenes maneuvering (this is where Fred was a little naive). So if the worst thing you can say about him is he expects the best of people, I can forgive him that. I bet he has learned a valuable lesson or two in this process.

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By dennis1 (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 22:29:58

"On Friday morning the province received specific information that the federal government would not fund a stadium at West Harbour. This confirmed information we had heard the previous day.

On Friday, this information came through Ian Troop, CEO of Toronto 2015.

We felt obliged to inform our partners at the city. Our concern was that this development, coming so late in the process, could jeopardize the chances for the city to realize its goal of having a stadium. And all along, as Hamilton MPPs, our goal has been to bring a stadium to Hamilton that will provide a lasting benefit to our community.

With the information from Mr. Troop, on Friday we indicated our belief that, in the circumstances, the East Mountain site represented the best hope for achieving this goal.

We are reassured to know that the federal government has now clarified that its funding is not contingent on any location.

This has been our position all along and we are glad to reaffirm it."



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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 04:32:50

We're back in the game folks! Hamilton may just yet get a nice stadium near downtown to enjoy for decades to come!!!

It appears to me....that Bob Young went fishing...to other levels of government....he got a bite. The Spec reported it....but the line snapped!

The stadium location is once again in the hands of Hamilton. And the best place for both Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats for the long term is the West Harbour.

Hopefully this little snag doesn't scare too many councillors.

We all know where the best site is....it's common sense. Can Detroit prove that bringing the Lions back from Pontiac to the downtown has created a spinoff effect? Probably not....but if you have attended a Lions game (I pity you) you would see it with your own eyes. People walking around downtown that otherwise wouldn't be.

I'm still confident the smarter heads will prevail. The West Harbour is the best choice. But, if it fails to meet council approval...I'm fine with that too. The system ran its course...and the decision was made.

Really ....I just want a stadium built. Period.

So whatever happens between now and the 10th (or 12th as some places have reported) I'm fine with that.

I'd rather go to a stadium I look forward to going to though.....not one that is hugging a highway. If I'm going to a game...I want an experience...not a tour of local highways.

Comment edited by Jeffrey93 on 2010-08-08 03:35:28

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 04:57:30

The way Jeffrey93 reads things so far....it is up to the City of Hamilton. Which is fine by me.

Ten bucks says they stoopidly pick the East Mountain out of fear. Which will...screw us all in the long run!

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By WestHarbour (registered) - website | Posted August 08, 2010 at 11:42:35

Put it up on the East Mountain, I don't want the stadium, traffic and noise where I live. Close to the highway is the best spot, I don't want people parking all over my street!

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By NorthEnder (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 11:55:11

Put it at the West Harbour! I want more people and eyes on my street making it safer! Close to the Downtown is best!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:49:22

Worst case senario is if Mr Young doesn't get on board with the West Harbour vision is that we put on a fantastic Pan-Am games event and we have a beautiful stadium (that can be used for soccer and a potential soccer team..imagine Toronto FC vs Hamilton United!) with a velodrome that's connected to an entertainment district with Go Trains and LRT public transpotation and a beautiful view of the West Harbour surrounded by trails and Parks. For the city this promotes a better experience than the East Mountain and promotes Hamilton as a progresive city that can make downtown renewal work and encourages other investors to come downtown to invest... Over $100M in city brownfield downtown renewal will do that if done right.

The idea that the Ticats can't make this work to promote thier interests and build something successful is a crock! Even so called experts can be wrong sometimes. We are a unique city with a unique location beside a bay that has never had a highway running through the downtown yet we still have a downtown that is here and is growing. The Tiger Cats will make money when they are putting a quality product on the field just like all the other CFL franchises. Bob should concentrate on that important fact. The fans will take care of the rest. The West is Best lets not give in to anymore Suburban Sprawl!

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:45:02

I gather that it may just be academic at this late stage, but if we're talking WH vs EM, the matter of highway access advantage seems like smoke and mirrors. EM may offer convenient exits to Red Hill and the Linc, but the site is around 7km from both QEW & 403. WH may task GPS modules with an indirect path to King West exit, but the site is at best 2km from the 403.

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