Special Report: Pan Am

Our City, Our Future Summary Report

The summary report from the Our City, Our Future campaign has been released.

By RTH Staff
Published August 08, 2010

The Our City, Our Future campaign has released a report identifying nine key themes from a comprehensive analysis of all written submissions posted by citizens from across Hamilton on the website.

The report has been produced to assist Hamilton City Councillors in preparing for the Committee of the While meeting on Tuesday, August 10 where they will listen to delegations and cast their votes for the construction of the Pan Am Stadium on either the West Harbour or the East Mountain.

The goal was to allow the comments to drive the themes, not to establish a set of themes and then go looking for comments to support those themes.

The nine key themes are as follows, in alphabetical order, not in order of most important or commonly-expressed (the most common themes are indicated, however).

1. Accessibility
Citizens expressed a desire to ensure the stadium site was accessible to all citizens, including those who do not own cars, and those who prefer to use public transit to attend events. They also expressed concern that the East Mountain site would promote more people using automobiles and greatly limiting the ability of people with limited incomes to attend the games without a lengthy trip using shuttle buses, or irregular public transit.

2. City Building*
* This theme was one of the most commonly expressed.
Citizens expressed a desire to use the building of the Pan Am Stadium as a catalyst for building the city for all Hamiltonians. They expressed a belief that the Pan Am Stadium, and its related spin-off benefits, would have long-term implications for the broader development of the City of Hamilton.

3. Downtown Revitalization*
* This theme was one of the most commonly expressed.
Citizens expressed a strong belief in and optimism for continuing and adding to the revitalization of the downtown core, citing other projects approved by this Council such as the renovated library, farmers’ market, York Blvd, Lister Block, Gore Park, etc. as evidence that downtown Hamilton is constantly improving, but that it needs additional support through projects such as the West Harbour Stadium to continue that revitalization.

4. Environment
Citizens expressed a belief that the West Harbour site provided the best environmental solution, citing saving greenspace, increased use of public transit, brownfield remediation, etc. They expressed concern that the East Mountain site was damaging not only to the environment, but also to the stated environmental goals of the City of Hamilton and those of the Province of Ontario.

5. Frustration with Ti-Cats
Citizens expressed a frustration with the way in which the Ti-Cats have managed this debate. It should be noted that this frustration turned to resentment immediately following comments from Ti-Cat President Scott Mitchell and CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. As you will note, some citizens who have been long-time Ti-Cat supporters, including many season ticket holders, comment they will no longer support the Ti-Cats if the stadium is built on the East Mountain.

6. Funding

Citizens expressed concern that it would be inappropriate for Future Fund monies to be spent on the development of a stadium on the East Mountain, citing that the East Mountain would be fine without the investment of limited funds from the Future Fund, as well as the downtown needing the investment much more than the East Mountain.

7.Legacy
Citizens expressed a desire to leave a lasting legacy through the decision to build the Pan Am Stadium in the West Harbour, citing the ancillary economic and social benefits of the site, as well as enhancing the existing asset of the waterfront.

8. Progressive Reputation*
* This theme was one of the most commonly expressed.
Citizens expressed a true desire for the City of Hamilton to be known as a progressive city through the development of and showcasing of its waterfront. They cited modern planning principles as being supportive of the West Harbour site. They expressed a belief that progressive planning would help attract and retain the “best and the brightest” talent, one of the City’s major economic goals.

9. Pride
Citizens expressed a desire to feel proud of their city, citing that further enhancements to the waterfront, and to downtown in general, would help to make them proud to share their city with visitors from all over the world.

Read the Full Summary Report (795.5 KB, PDF)

46 Comments

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 00:03:08

Although it is included in a couple of these categories, I have to add to the list: sensible land use planning.

We can wreck even more greenspace (bad) on the EM which is btw in the red hill drainage basin and needs expensive new infrastructure (even worse), or we can revitalize a contaminated brownfield (good) which is on no developer's short list for residential housing or anything else.

Both proposals increase 'mixed use' which as Jane Jacobs observed is key to city vitality and economic success. But below a certain critical mass of mixed uses, the effect is almost nil. Sure, EM will benefit a couple restaurants near the stadium 10 days a year, but not Home Depot or anything else in a big box park. Without question the spin offs will be greater downtown, benefiting even more restaurants and other things too.

And EM homeowners are more likely to see game days as a big negative pain in the butt, while WH homeowners will be more likely to see this as another interesting facet of downtown vitality. These populations are different because they have partly selected their place of residence based on such attitudes.

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By dmont (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 00:12:28

You people haven't presented any reasons why a 25k stadium should be located in the West Harbour. All you've done is express a desire for downtown revitalization. Your entire position is based on the assumption that this stadium will be a catalyst for downtown revitalization.

First, this is a looooong shot. Every peer-reviewed assessment of the revitalizing effect of stadiums have shown that such facities have no statistical impact. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's a dangerous gamble. Second, the only way a stadium has even the slightest chance of revitalizing the surrounding neighbourhood is if the stadium and its activities are a commercial success. The Tiger Cats, and every reputable private developer, are unconvinced of the commercial viability of the site, and the city has been unable to produce a business case. The best proponents have been able to come up with is "it won't be any worse than Ivor Wynne". Ivor Wynne has not revitalized its neighbourhood, so it seems a dubious case for aspiration.

Your desire to revitalize the downtown is admirable, but this stadium will not do the job. The mayor's vision and philosophy would be an historical disaster for the city of Hamilton.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 01:17:04

Hmmm... it appears White Star Group have asked about a few key issues on their latest updates online I've noticed today. Including their "GRAND VISION" Development proposal. They state: "The current dilemmas between the Federal, Provincial, City levels of Government and Hostco have brought to the forefront two key issues in the guidelines set in relation to the Pan Am games venues."

Current dilemmas that need to be answered by Hostco:

  1. Lack of money for development past the Pan Am facilities. The issue of “City owns the stadium” does not take in to consideration the potential expansion of the stadium by perhaps $50 to $250 million dollars by the private sector. How would the question of ownership be dealt with? Hostco should define and expand on it’s position.

  2. To get Hostco to define and expand on the “stadium must be used for a high performance sport after the 2015 Games” issue. What if the Stadium is to be expanded into a multi-use Stadium and the high-performance sport entity is a minor user of the Stadium and not financially viable to sustain itself?

Which actually brings me to this point, the Tiger Cats are hardly a sustainable entity -- a money losing business regardless of where they decide to make home. What happens if Bob Young sells it 2,3, 4 or 5+ yrs from now? What will happen to that "Primary Tenant" situation then?

On another note, has anybody looked at the Chamberlain Architect report White Star have posted regarding their "Venetian Plate" concept? Interesting solution to the brown-field situation at West Harbour. Intriguing. Many people were all ears at the rally when they were discussing it with councilors and other folk. These guy's need to be heard in the VERY least at the Committee Meeting of the Whole. Perhaps there is a place for White Star, after-all they do own a major part of the land on the Bay St./Stuart/Tiffany Block. The City in the very least should back them when it comes to confronting CN. I understand they have reached several roadblocks there... I smell a big story here... something has kept them in abeyance at the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board level).

Look at their statement from the White Star site: "We have been asked by the City of Hamilton legal staff before the OMB board (in relation to the CN objections to provide the necessary easements for the development of our lands in the Bay, Tiffany, Stuart Block) in November of 2009 to delay our proceedings until the Pan Am bid was dealt with." White Star presently has 5 major residential apartment development proposals in the City of Hamilton. Four of the development proposals are within the Setting Sails Secondary Plan which has been approved by the City of Hamilton Council.

Questions? Yes. Lot's of them.

Then there is that recent weekend fiasco regarding the Feds/Provincial announcement and retraction (some myths and story telling). Sounds like the Feds NEVER made such an announcement/demand in the first place. I smell Liberal East Mountain rats on that story. Someone needs to break this thing wide open for the public.

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 02:03:47

You people haven't presented any reasons why a 25k stadium should be located in the West Harbour. All you've done is express a desire for downtown revitalization. Your entire position is based on the assumption that this stadium will be a catalyst for downtown revitalization.

Evidently you didn't read the post above, as it contains 9 reasons, 8 of which are not "downtown revitalization"

And a question to you as an East Mountain supporter: Why do you support East Mountain when all the consultant reports, and city staff reports recommend the West Harbour? I consider myself a political pragmatist, so I look for reasonable, well thought out arguments. Why are there no consultant reports supporting East Mountain? Why does the city staff report say that the East Mountain is a terrible location? And most importantly, why should I believe Scott Michell over the professionals that penned these reports?

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By dmont (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 02:27:38

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 dsahota (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 03:26:37

Which studies are you referring to? The ones I've read can be found at "www.goeastmountain.com" in the right margin toward the bottom. And don't refer to the opinions and preferences of architects and urban planners as "studies".

So I took a gander at those "studies" on the goeastmountain site, here's what I found:

Study 1) Tiger-Cats Customer Study – Centre For Spatial Economics

  • Essentially the opinion of 1 consultant with an economics background, data shows most Ti-Cats fan live outside downtown, most drive and people in downtown Hamilton are all apparently poor.
  • This study does not consider the changing dynamics of downtown Hamilton, there has been a significant shift in the past 5-10 years with more affluent young professionals moving into old neighborhoods. This shift is likely to continue as its part of a larger trend across North America towards city living.

Study 2) Summary of City Reports on West Harbour (Prior to 2008)

This is just some unknown person making comments about old city studies of West Harbour locations, some of which cite positive aspects, some negative. The person writing the comments makes highly biased statements and has no measure of objectivity and little analysis.

Study 3) Report of the Facilitator – East Mountain Compromised Site Section Only

  • Interesting, but doesn't really provide us anything we don't already know. Ti-Cats fans drive, and ~75% are likely to continue to drive if the stadium is built at WH.

Study 4) North American Stadiums-Arenas Evaluation – NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS

This actually has useful objective data, some highlights:

  • 65% of all stadiums have Subway / LRT within 1 km of the stadium
  • 80% are located in "high visibility area" which is a highway vantage point OR major downtown core
  • 88% have at least 2 lanes both direction route into the stadium
  • 68% have 4-5:1 capacity to on-site parking

My comments:

  • The WH location, if we got LRT, would be within 1km of the LRT, EM would not
  • Both locations are seem to be high visibility by the reports definition
  • Both locations have at least 2 lanes in /out (Barton is 2 lanes each way, its just not a "arterial route", but it could easily be made one in that area).
  • Both locations have 4:5-1 capacity for parking in the vicinity (off-site in WH's case).

The thing that really irks me about this report, is that they use 1km as some magical delimiter for whether the highway access is sufficient, the 403 is at most about 3km from the WH site and King St is effectively a highway with the light synchronization. There's lots of capacity there. It would have been more useful if they also gave the average distance to a highway.

Study 5) Fan Research and Stadium Survey Results – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

  • Most fans attend games for the entertainment!
  • 76% of season ticket holders are within a 30 minute drive of IWS
  • 46% of single game attendees are within a 30 minute drive
  • 74% plan to drive to WH
  • 93% of fans expect to walk less than 15 minutes from their parked location (fair enough!)
  • fans anticipate being less happy with parking at WH (78% happy versus 57% happy!)
  • Washrooms, Concessions and Sightlines are the three most important things for fans at the stadium, parking is 4, weather protection 5 and highway access 6 and almost tied with "in stadium pre-game patio."
  • And the kicker (on the very last page)

39% of season ticket holders and 53% of single game ticket purchases would use the GO TRAIN if it went directly to the WH site!

I love this study! So essentially, WH would be totally fine for Tiger Cats fans as long as there's places to go to the washroom and we get the GO-Train to come very close to the stadium. If ~40-50% of the previously driving crew left their cars at home and took the Go Train, the parking problem, congestion issues, etc are COMPLETELY SOLVED.

Study 6) Comparable MLS Stadiums – Size & Location

What I see from this data:

  • American MLS stadiums built in the last decade, with the exception of Seattle, Portland and Houston, were built away from downtowns (no surprise given the SUV fad of of 1995-2008)
  • Canadian MLS stadiums built/renovated in the last decade were built .... in downtown metropolitan areas! (BMO Field / BC Place are the only examples in the list).
  • So we conclude that we're in Canada and so we should build an MLS stadium in a downtown metropolitan area :).

So those studies took a while to look through, but what I can see from them is that the argument against the WH is essentially based upon the spreadsheet of study #4 which has 2 or 3 criteria that have been put down as as "NO" for the WH, which could quite easily be "YES" if the city and Ti-Cats work together. If three are made "YES" then WH is "tied" with "EM" based on that analysis of the criteria. None of the data suggests that the stadium has to be on the East Mountain, in fact 40-50% of fans would take the Go train to the game if it stopped by the WH. The Ti-Cats own survey is the strongest proponent of the West Harbour location with an adjacent rapid transit option.

Comment edited by dsahota on 2010-08-09 02:35:06

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By adrian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 07:29:22

the city has been unable to produce a business case

Not true. The West Harbour site is backed up by thorough analysis and a business case presented by Deloitte Canada and a traffic analysis presented by IBI. These studies are far more comprehensive and better researched than anything produced by the Tiger-Cats.

Note that the Our City, Our Future summary report is not intended to be a presentation of the best arguments for the WH and against the EM. Those have been thoroughly presented in the past weeks on this site. Rather, this report illuminates the hopes, dreams (and fears) of Hamiltonians for their future.

If you want a good recap of the arguments presented on this site, read Why I Support The West Harbour.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 08:37:37

dmont said "It requires a detailed business case, and while your campaign's current business plan ("hold Bob Young upside down, by the ankles, and continue shaking until all bills are paid") is straightforward, it's not sustainable or fair."

It seems to me that Bob Young's business plan is ("hold Hamilton taxpayers, now and in the future, and the future fund from the past, upside down, by the ankles, and continue shaking until all HIS bills are paid"). That's not sustainable or fair either.

As Mark Chamberlain (a REAL entrepreneur, free enterpriser and capitalist)said the Tiger-Cats are just ONE of countless retail businesses in Hamilton. It's obvious that Young can't be successful running the Tiger-Cats without massive public subsidy or he'd build a stadium himself. He needs cheap or free public land in a prime location, owned by the City so he doesn't have to pay taxes and then a sweetheart deal (his rent at Ivor Wynne is less than a storefront at Lime Ridge) where he's the only tenant and then, at the last minute, he has the nerve to DEMAND a location that contributes NOTHING to the common good or the public interest instead of one that does and which he had previously committed to make work.

He's simply not prepared to share OUR money.

As has been demonstrated by the the Montral Alouettes, who sellout a downtown stadium with NO parking every game, the West Harbour is MORE than workable for the Tiger-Cats and infinitely preferable to Ivor Wynne but Bob Young wants it ALL for himself and taxpayers to pay for it.

Owning a professional sports team is almost always more about ego than it is about business. In reality, Bob Young is and always has been coming to the taxpayers with his hat in his hand but he's somehow managed to portray blatant corporate socialism as business or, worse still, a charitable act on his part.

The City has shown that it's prepared to continue to provide corporate social housing for Mr. Young. Most people don't have a major objection to that in the circumstances. They just want it to benefit other people and businesses, not just him and his.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 09:02:51

"The rest are the usual platitudes about environmentalism, public transportantion, and urban sprawl. While these are fine general guidelines, a project of this magnitude requires a little more than buzz words."

It's disappointing when I read stuff like that - bit of a dose of reality - that we are still wading in those attitudes. I look forward to the day when "environmental sustainability" isn't viewed as buzz words because it's a given; hope it's not far off. Platitudes? Wow. Talk about a kick in the teeth for good, sustainable planning. I know developers generally cringe when they see these attributes demanded in a project (LEED, etc.), but I thought that was because of the increased expense in building something correctly. I truly don't understand the disconnect between living on this planet in a way that allows us to continue to do so, and living on this planet in a way that decreases the longevity of our family lines.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2010 at 09:06:01

The City of Manchester in the UK is the single best example I could find of an example of public investment in sports and entertainment infrastructure leading to the critical mass needed to help revitalize and spur downtown revitalization. Manchester held the 2008 Common Wealth Games. It is very similar to Hamilton. ie) Rust belt, city reinventing itself, disproportionately high ratio's of social service needs etc. The city chose to build its other facilities downtown. Post games this has led to increased levels of investment, people moving back to the core, legacy facilities being used by the people who live in the area on a daily basis.

This is what could and I suspect will happen in Hamilton with a WH stadium, velodrome etc. Detractors, naysayers, and EM supporters like to spout off about Copp's, Hamilton Place, etc, etc. In reality it takes a collection of facilities and attractions that become destinations to attract enough people to make the critical mass necessary to be effective. Livable sustainable cities have vibrant, diverse, and social cores, accessible by public transit, walking, cycling. We know this. You attain these goals by the types of public investment we have been talking about and the ending of zoning policies that allow for the development of giant box stores on the city's periphery and the profligation of dollar stores, bingo halls and peep shows in the downtown.

The construction of Jackson Square, Lime Ridge Mall, The Meadow Lands, The Eaton Center and the allowing of the types of retail businesses that popped up in downtown has as much to do with downtowns decline as an other single factor. It took over 30 years. Its not going to reverse over night but its starting. The WH stadium can help accelerate that change.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 09:40:16

Westandonguard states

"Which actually brings me to this point, the Tiger Cats are hardly a sustainable entity -- a money losing business regardless of where they decide to make home. What happens if Bob Young sells it 2,3, 4 or 5+ yrs from now? What will happen to that "Primary Tenant" situation then?"

I read this and it hit home supported what I have said. I would rather have a partially empty stadium by the waterfront with no professional sports team in 6-7 years than a stadium way up on the east mountain on a greenfield that will probably get developed anyways by a Big Box Store. Use the public money and clean up the brownfield or forget about it!

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 13:57:38

A report that is based on 3,000 opinions in a city of over 600,000. Designed, started, managed, responded to, compiled and submitted by a very small fringe group of very vocal, very passionate individuals. They have only one vision for the city, there own with no room for a second opinion. They have the RTH website in common and is how they stay in touch and orchestrate their actions. How many of the respondents live in Ancaster? or Stoney Creek? or Flamborough? or Dundas? Their narrow mindedness is evident on the website where they downvote opposing opinions until they disappear and they can once again pretend that they live in their world of fantasy. A fantasy where they and they alone can direct the city's future. Where nobody disagrees with them or has a better vision. Without that website the number of respondents would shrink to an imperceptible number and would more accurately reflect the true opinion of the populace.

As a side note, Manchester has a population of about 2/3 of Hamilton with an area of about 1/10 of Hamilton. The city is as different as night and day. The populace is also as different as night and day. An automobile is not necessarily in a city that small. Here virtually everybody has a car and it is their principle means of transport. Transit does not work well in a city as spread out as Hamilton and neither does a downtown stadium.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:04:45

Without that website, the number of respondents would not be fully recognized and the true opinion of the populace would not be accurately reflected.

fixed.

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By Hi (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:06:25

Hey - Mr. Meister, you post here regularly. That makes you part of this community. Zap - Your frozen!

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:07:21

They have only one vision for the city, there own with no room for a second opinion. They have the RTH website in common and is how they stay in touch and orchestrate their actions. How many of the respondents live in Ancaster? or Stoney Creek? or Flamborough? or Dundas? Their narrow mindedness is evident on the website where they downvote opposing opinions until they disappear and they can once again pretend that they live in their world of fantasy. - Mr Meister

Ah yes, when you can't debate the issue start trashing the supporters... How very original of you.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:42:51

A report that is based on 3,000 opinions in a city of over 600,000. Designed, started, managed, responded to, compiled and submitted by a very small fringe group of very vocal, very passionate individuals. They have only one vision for the city, there own with no room for a second opinion.

Hmm, interesting take. Our City Our Future posted EVERY comment that was left by posters. RTH allows posters to post any opinion they choose, including yours. If you think these sites are somehow shutting down open discussion then please explain the GoEastMountain site with it's heavily moderated comment posting, restricted ONLY to comments that support their position. I think you left your rant on the wrong site....oh that's right, you wanted to write it somewhere where people will actually get to read it. Guess you can't expect that from GoEastMountain.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-08-09 13:43:52

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By ByeCats (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:53:24

Cats to pull out of Pan Am Stadium altogether... Stay tuned as Young release statement...

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 14:53:52

"Here virtually everybody has a car and it is their principle means of transport. "

I have been a suburb guy all my life until I moved to the Hammer. While I will agree that North American by and large is very car dependant, I would not say that "virtually everybody", particularly in Hamilton, does.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:29:43

I'm going to add my thoughts again and also a response to Mr Meister.

When I heard that the east mountain was a viable site that might satisfy all parties involved I was actually on board with the idea! The east mountain seamed great amd was originally considered and then taken off the table. Now it is back again and I got to say that when I looked hard at the facts that all that public money was going to the Ticats longterm interests and complete ownership of the stadium I got very sceptical. we are already giving him money to run the team.

If it made sense for Mr Young to build his new stadium up on the east mountain and he owns the Ticats then why does he need the city and the government to foot most of the bill ($60M of our city fund). Go to the BANK with your buisness case and borrow the money like any other retail buisness would do. The city and the fans don't have much of a problem with that however but they do have a problem with him using city money that he has been utilizing since he bought the Ticats. Money that is set aside for city renewal and clean up. A greenfield near hydro lines is not renewal and is certainly not a clean up. He has bad credit with the city and now he can't cover his losses but he does need to come up with more money than he has offered.

If you support Bob the east mountain and want to save our Ticats then take out your pocket books and wallets out and see how much money we can raise to save them. Let the fans decide. It's the same thing Bob is asking us to do. But also while your at it ask him to put up some more money to outright own it himself....

here's a senario if you don't agree ..If you had money to buy a car and Bob asked you for the money to buy his own car while he drives it back and forth only putting in the gas and maintaince, picking up his pals once and awhile, and if you asked him for a ride you had to pay him $20 to go to the corner store or $20 to park in his driveway would you do it. Not much benifit to you is it. That's is what he is asking us to do!!!

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By dennis1 (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:41:26

http://www.thespec.com/article/822979

The TiCats are leaving for Quebec City

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:42:30

I wonder why the poorest areas of the city are also the least "green".

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=markham&sll=41.886049,-87.713599&sspn=0.015815,0.027595&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Markham,+York+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario&ll=43.240201,-79.83696&spn=0.247604,0.441513&t=h&z=11

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:00:07

I just read that the Ticats are pulling there final trump card and are leaving town for Quebec!? What a slap in the face to Hamilton fans that have supported him!!...two times!!!!

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By whenwillyougetit? (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:19:35

Shempatolla:

When will you and the rest of the beatniks here understand that 9/10ths of the population doesn't want to support your pipedream. Downtowns are inconvenient; not necessary.

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By dennis1 (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:24:25

http://www.900chml.com/Other/BobYoungLetterAugust9.pdf

Its Over

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:26:30

well I guess he will go to Quebec and support his pipedream and ask for his hand out. Oh well and good luck Mr Young! You can't hold the city hostage!

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:21:08

I guess that is the end of our Pan Am Games involvement and a new stadium. The good part is it is saving the taxpayers a bundle of money. The bad part is virtually everything else. It certainly would have been nice to have a real place to have concerts and sporting events and the like. I am sure that we will muddle our way through this too.

I am not convinced that this is the final play but if it is I just hope that some people have learned a little bit about dictating terms to other parties and not taking into account others needs and wants.

The WH site is not a feasible site to have a stadium for a pro football team. The current owners really do feel that way it is not just something they are saying to get their own way.

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:33:17

I read Bob's letter....I don't get how anyone posts that link and says "It's over."

Nothing is over. This is either an idle threat or a very serious one...that is for council to decide when they cast their vote for the EM or WH.

Bob has nowhere to move to....so folding would be the option. At which point any buyer (Katz?) could scoop up the team and keep it where it is before it folds.

I think Bob has gone from saviour to big time jerk in a matter of a little of a month. He STILL didn't say he would move the team....very dodgey threats and being a child by withdrawing any participation in the process at all.

Like he sees he might not get everyone agreeing with him so he is taking his ball and going home...pouting the whole way.

Aside from "highway visibility"...(which is what you get a billboard for, not stadium naming rights) and a POTENTIAL traffic problem....what is his basis for not being able to operate his business in a brand new stadium next door to downtown??

I don't think anyone has a problem walking from a parking spot to get to the stadium, we all do it now. I also don't think anybody is going to give you way more for stadium naming rights because you're near a highway. These aren't billboards...they get mentioned on the radio and television broadcasts....for free. THAT is the reason you buy naming rights to a stadium...not because you drive by the building. Look at naming rights around the 4 major leagues....some of the biggest are on stadiums that have zero highway visibility.

I gotta think this is just idle and subtle threats....but again...I really don't care. Just build the darn thing.

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:36:09

@whenwillyougetit

Weird that a poll was conducted and found that it's about 50/50 on the stadium location, with the slight edge going to the West Harbour.

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By dmont (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:42:22

.

There we go, now Hamilton (particularly downtown) is even worse than it was yesterday.

Enjoy the visions and philosophy. Compared to the real world in Hamilton, they're starting to look better every day.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 19:57:37

The Cat's may say they are gone but I think the city has it's own Trump card...mark my words!

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:13:57

Meister "As a side note, Manchester has a population of about 2/3 of Hamilton with an area of about 1/10 of Hamilton. The city is as different as night and day. The populace is also as different as night and day. An automobile is not necessarily in a city that small. Here virtually everybody has a car and it is their principle means of transport. Transit does not work well in a city as spread out as Hamilton and neither does a downtown stadium."

I guess if you want to be ignorant, that's a fine way to look at it. Realistically, if you remove the low density rural areas added to Hamilton at amalgamation, the area of Hamilton is less than double that of Manchester, with a higher population providing a lower density than that of our British counterpart, but in the range of 1:1.5, not particularly different. So really, if you feel that a car isn't a necessity there, you are pretty much saying it isn't necessary here either. We just choose to subsidise that method of transportation to the point where all other mass transit methods are no longer financially feasible.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:50:58

The Angus Reid survey results are out, and they completely disprove the assertions of Bob Young and his football club.

In terms of overall support, it's very close; 52 percent prefer the West Harbour site, while 48% prefer the East Mountain.

But lets look at how the support breaks out. The story here is very interesting, and no doubt caused the Ti-Cats executives to take notice.

For the 18-34 age grouping (i.e. the future of the team's fanbase and the key demographic sports are marketed to), respondents favoured West Harbour 70% to 30%. East Mountain was favoured (54-46) by respondents aged 35-54 and (57-43) by those 55+.

Among income groupings, while those earning <$50K support East Mountain slightly (53-47), middle income residents (another key demographic for the Ti-Cats) support the West Harbour, with those earning $50K-$99K leaning (54-46) in favour of West Harbour, and those earning $100K+ split 50/50.

Based on education levels, those with university degrees favoured West Harbour 66-34, while those with highschool or less favoured East Mountain 64-36.

From a perspective of building and sustaining a rabid fanbase among Hamilton residents who identify most with the team, West Harbour would seem to be the sustainable choice, based on these results form a third-party polling firm.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-08-09 19:54:28

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By savethewave (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:03:35

JonC: thats right, only focus on the downtowners. Why can't we all agree on whats important, Save the Wave!

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By adrian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:11:45

Designed, started, managed, responded to, compiled and submitted by a very small fringe group of very vocal, very passionate individuals.

Thanks for recognizing our passion. ;) You're wrong about the people who signed up for Our City, Our Future, though. Here's my favourite statement on the site:

I have traveled around this country for east to west, my father sold our home in Cape Breton for 1500$ I was 10yrs old. We moved to Ontario, I can still smell the cab that picked us up and the train that took us Hamilton, you can only speculate as to how I felt. For a kid who used pick up coal of the train tracks a father who worked the coal mines and mother gave everything she had, even till the day she died, (here in Hamilton) this was to a gambler Vagas, to truck driver the sweat sound of Patsy Cline but to us it was HOME. I grow up on Barton and Sherman when it was the roughest street in Canada, my cousins were bikers my and friends were Italians. AS a young man on the weekends there were endless possibilities as to where we could go, the Jockey Club on Barton, or to the east end (which was not a really good option for us) or go down town. Ah, down town, the Running Pump, the Grange, Duffy's this was were it all happened, hell I saw Rush at Duffy's. I have hitched hiked across this country 3 times twice in the the winter and and have and have broke bread with many great Canadians along the way, but let me tell something you perhaps can never understand, as that boy from Cape Berton there is no more welcome sign as you travel down the highway then the one that says HAMILTON. I want to walk down town with my wife and boys just like I did when I was young. I want them to experience Hamilton as I did, in the down town core, how do we do that, bring the stadium the West Harbor. Bob Young has down a lot for the Ti-Cats which in turn I know for our city, we love him for it, but with that said, I am not to particular on who owns the club as long as long as it remains in our hands, " my way or the highway" doesn't work for me BOB. I live in the north end and I can tell you this will be nothing but a pain in the butt for all residents, but we can make it work. Lets get it done!!

Can you hear the true voice of the Hammer in that statement? Because I sure can.

When will you and the rest of the beatniks here understand that 9/10ths of the population doesn't want to support your pipedream.

This is a straightforward troll and I don't normally respond to trolls, but I always laugh when I hear people describe the people on RTH as hippies, beatniks, etc. I certainly have nothing against hippies but I don't actually know any (at this stage in my life, anyway), and the people I know personally who write for RTH are entrepreneurs, web developers, designers, architects, doctors, politicians, and many other people from all sorts of different occupations who share one thing in common: passion for Hamilton and a progressive, urbanist vision for this city.

It may also come as a shock to some to find that many in our audience, and quite a few among our contributors, have largely conservative viewpoints. There is nothing about urbanism that needs to be contrary to conservatism, and in fact, there are many good reasons why conservatives ought to support urbanism (for example, because concentrated urban centers, rather than sprawl, help conserve our rural areas and thus protect the rural way of life).

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:16:13

Oh good, I hate context too. For starters, the old Hamilton boundaries includes more than just downtown, if you care, which I doubt. It even includes the East Mountain. It doesn't include Flamborough. So when Meister makes his assertion that the density isn't compatable for non-car living, they're blowing smoke out their ass. So in summary a) you don't understand the borders pre-amalgamation. b) you hate context.

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By pseudonoise (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:24:50

Re. arienc's post on demographics.

I knew something smelled familiar about this, not much different than the George Bush elections. All the elements are there: private interest trumping social good, uneducated fools being fear mongered into supporting destructive policy, undermining legitimate leadership using backroom manipulation, etc. etc.

Now all we need is some 'know it all' contractors to put down their beers long enought get out of their pickup trucks and throw out some 'lefty' comments supporting Young with the no clue how multi-million dollar contract negotiations are done (something I do for a living in telecom).

Literally, I have never supported signing a big contract (that wasn't formal RFP) without bluffing at least once. Anything less and you have no idea how far you can push your opponent.

Take note.

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By AEGD (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:33:37

Don't forget, tomorrow (Aug 10) is the downtown Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD) Public Information Session at the Scottish Rite, King @ Queen - Tue Aug 10 @ 2pm-4pm or 6pm-8pm

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:36:27

Well written Adrian!!!!! I wish I could vote for your comment more than once.

I want to see a vibrant and cleaned up downtown. A stadium will help bring people downtown. Bob is a great person but he is a businessman that is playing hardball with the fans and with the city. He should just come up with more money or put up the team for sale. He is playing with peoples emotions to get what he wants. ( BTW that was not an anti Ticat statement)

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By pseudonoise (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:54:20

Oh, and by the way, I don't think the mayor has to worry too much about the upcoming elections. All the people in favour of EM are in the demographic too stupid to vote.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 22:29:31

There we go, now Hamilton (particularly downtown) is even worse than it was yesterday.

au contraire, The Mulberry Street Coffeehouse opened today. Downtown is FAR better off today than it was yesterday. The place is a gem!

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By Michebel (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:01:40

Some food for thought on the East Mountain location: should there be development suited to 6,000 hungry fans leaving at the same time after a game, one can predict the inevitable crop of Keg's, Kelsey's, Montana's and you-name-it large chains that serve warmed-up pre-prepared offerings. There is $$ in them there hills, and other than a handful of service jobs that pay as little as possible, the real profits leave town in bagfuls. Smaller locally-owned establishments are likely to benefit from a closer to the street, walkable location like the West Harbour. The profitability of every mom and pop within spitting distance to the stadium have chance to gain, not so if the stadium is located on the edge of town.
And what else are fans going to do if the roads are busy?- might as well stop and spend some time and money at a chain that has no vested interest in Hamilton, and is as likely owned by someone from the panel on The Dragon's Den. Maybe Bob's appeared on an episode we missed.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:32:00

How many of the respondents live in Ancaster? or Stoney Creek? or Flamborough? or Dundas? Their narrow mindedness is evident on the website where they downvote opposing opinions until they disappear and they can once again pretend that they live in their world of fantasy. - Mr Meister

I guess I'm one of those narrow-minded respondents but I live in the country and hope never to live in the city. I could drive to either stadium site with equal ease but I support a West harbour site because a) it's the best use of my taxes, b)I know that when one part of the city degrades everyone else's taxes go up and c) when I DO go to the city instead of going to a mall I'd much rather walk on streets where the stores aren't boarded up, eat at an independent restaurant, catch a drink or two and go for a stroll along the harbour. If it was a night when the Tiger-Cats were playing, all the better. Anyone who's watched what's going on across North America would know that great cities are built from the inside out. That's why they call it the "heart". Keep up the good work RTH.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 08:40:43

We know the Ticats was not a substainable franchise to bring in the stadium in the west harbour. Period! Even Bob said he wants to bring another franchise in to be profitable. If someone doesn't come up with more money to buy another team (Pro soccer is viable and much more profitable) and build the stadium where we all know it should go then we should just forget about a new stadium for now and concentrate on a velodrome and a park that have positive benifits to the community. I have trust in the council to choose the west harbour but it's HostCo that I don't trust. They have their own agenda and we could loose the money that is being offered to us. Remember it Toronto's games with Hamilton as a statigic partner. It's kinda sad all around but Bob Young has left the council with no other choice now by refusing not to be a partner with Hamilton council. Council has stated that the land at the east mountain is owned by the ORC and has to be put up for sale by a fair public auction which would take months. The ORC will not change it's rules for land transfer.

I hope the Katz Group sees something here that they can profit from. They are now the Trump card.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:19:10

Katz Group could be the trump card -- and they've been talking with the city for months and months. This is exactly what the White Star group have been saying all along. Attract the Katz Group and private investment -- don't leave the entire deal up to one money losing team - the Ti-Cats. As much as they are so very loved, and the historic importance, the fans, the legacy of this city and football are all very real things. Hopefully the Ti-Cats will come back to the table after WH is votes as the only viable choice for the City. In the long run, after all is said and done, this City will be better off for having chosen the WH site -- and having the Ti-Cats along with Katz be the high-performance sport attractions and management teams we need. I see Bob coming back to the table after the vote. The City needs to stick to its guns, it's original preferred choice. Once that is done, then and only then will the rest of the pieces fall into place.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 13:38:37

It may also come as a shock to some to find that many in our audience, and quite a few among our contributors, have largely conservative viewpoints. There is nothing about urbanism that needs to be contrary to conservatism, and in fact, there are many good reasons why conservatives ought to support urbanism (for example, because concentrated urban centers, rather than sprawl, help conserve our rural areas and thus protect the rural way of life). - adrian

Very true adrian. I am a devout fiscal conservative (I have no time for the social variety however) and I believe urbanism, brownfield rejuvenation, less dependence on oil, reducing or eliminating sprawl and creating walk able and livable cities are inherently fiscally conservative concepts… my dad was a Beatnik though : )

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 14:09:37

I have a dream!!! That one day all east mountain fans and all fans of the West Harbour will walk hand in hand and in peace towards the new stadium in the WH and enjoy a great event...Oh wait! EM fans say they don't want to walk at all! I live on the west mountain and I will drive and park downtown to walk to the WH if that's what I have to do to go see my Ticats...what is wrong with that. NOTHING! This is all about parking revenue not about driveway to driveway expeirence. Bob is a business man but the city has to run the city. It's going to cost too much to build on the mountain. Period! does he have the money. Nope dosen't look like it. THe least he could do is put the team up for sale.

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