Special Report: Pan Am

Our City, Our Future Thanks Supporters

Most of all, we thank you, the ordinary citizens who spoke up to defend our city and our future.

By RTH Staff
Published August 12, 2010

The statement below was issued by Our City, Our Future earlier today.

Thank you.

Thank you to City Council for making the right decision, for taking a clear side on the issue and speaking for the hopes and dreams of thousands of Hamiltonians. Thank you to business leaders for helping make the business case on our behalf. Thank you to the Hamilton Spectator editors for speaking out in favour of the West Harbour.

But most of all, we thank you, the ordinary citizens who spoke up to defend our city and our future. You put your names and your heartfelt statements on this website. You contacted your elected representatives. You wrote letters to the editor and you called in to talk shows.

You spoke so clearly that a council that does not always listen had no choice but to take notice.

 

As we close this challenging chapter in Hamilton's history, we are aware that a new one is opening with regards to the Tiger-Cats.

This was never about us versus the Tiger-Cats, or Hamiltonians versus Bob Young, as much as some may have tried to describe this campaign. We have a deep and abiding affection for the Tiger-Cats and for Bob Young and we deeply appreciate all that he has done for Hamilton.

We watched in shock as what should have been a purely positive experience for Hamilton - the Pan Am Games - evolved into something with potentially negative consequences for our relationship with one of Hamilton's oldest and most beloved institutions.

We watched in shock as an incredible opportunity to build a civic jewel on what is now a toxic brownfield turned into a proposal to build a massive parking lot on a greenfield.

When it comes to spending public money, we have a say, and when we have a say and can make a firm decision, we do so with confidence and with a clear eye to the future we want - and that future was nowhere to be seen with the East Mountain proposal.

We understand that all decisions have consequences, and that sometimes those consequences will be regrettable. But Hamiltonians are resilient. We will not waver from the right decision simply because the alternative is easier.

We believe that decisions should be made on facts, evidence, studies and expert opinions, and we were never given any of these in support of the East Mountain, while there were many in favour of the west harbour. In light of this, what choice could we possibly have made?

Only the one that was made - not because we hate Bob Young, or businesspeople, or the Tiger-Cats - but because we love our city, and because we truly believe that this location is in the best interest of our beloved CFL team, even if the current owners of that institution disagree.

We love the Tiger-Cats. We want them to remain a part of this city and we will work hard in pursuit of that goal.

 

We have all been part of the dawn of a new era in Hamilton. Together we have demonstrated that together we can prevail.

We hope that the message in this victory is clear: we, as a community, have taken ownership of our future. If you are not willing to support that future, our opposition to you will be strong, clear, reasonable and persuasive.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to share in our vision, then we stand here ready to help. Ready to help you build support in the community and at levels of government, ready to help you get the word out, and ready to help lend a hand.

Work with us. Help us make this city great.

 

So what's next?

We're going to take a few days to relax and get back to spending time with our family and on other (paying!) projects. You'll hear from us again once we've had a chance to reflect on the last few weeks and on what lies ahead.

In the meantime, feel free to contact us at info@ourcityourfuture.ca for any reason.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Our City, Our Future

111 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 23:01:17

don't relax too much. The pressure is mounting in a HUGE way from the old boys club. They can't believe that the city might actually do something that is right for Hamilton after 30+ years of getting everything they demand. There are too few businessmen like Mark Chamberlain in this city. Tune into CHML and even though it's painful to listen to, keep calling, keep bringing FACTS to their UNFACTUAL discussions and keep contacting council and the TiCats.
CHML has made it very clear that they will let these guys have their own personal radio station to call and make stuff up. I heard an interview today with one of the old guys on the east mountain and I'm not sure if a single word out of his mouth was true.
They are going to really crank up the pressure on council - today's vote was our first indication.

Our City, Our Future needs to keep being organized and mobilized until we're sitting in a WH stadium surrounded by condo tower cranes.

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By RD (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 23:25:55

@Jason I totally agree. CHML for some reason has taken to be the champion of East Mountain. All their guest are pro east mountain. The callers are basically all pro east mountain. The ones that are not are run off the air. They remind me of a conservative news company down south.

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By JimmyS (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 23:31:48

'for some reason'??

It's simple.

Today after they had this show full of hate for council and tons of misinformation, it was near the top of the hour so they went to commercial break. The first commercial was a TiCat commercial and how CHML is the voice of the Cats etc.....

they have no choice. Go read some of the facebook and twitter comments of some of their "news" anchors - Ted Michaels etc.... just ripping apart city council and the WH stadium.

They talk about these "10 sites" as if they've seen the report themselves. News Flash time for CHML - there is NO report (or at least not one with damaging info). If there was, we'd have all seen it by now.

Still, call in and do your bit to educate the listeners as jason suggests. some of them truly are wanting to learn about this whole thing.

Comment edited by JimmyS on 2010-08-12 22:34:41

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 23:36:29

Today after they had this show full of hate for council and tons of misinformation, it was near the top of the hour so they went to commercial break. The first commercial was a TiCat commercial and how CHML is the voice of the Cats etc.....

LOL. I heard that too. I thought they would at least put a different commercial, and then go to that one, but it was seconds after Peter Mercanti (Carmens??) hung up the phone.

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By RD (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 23:51:01

I think if I try to call in, they will put me on hold indefinitely.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 08:21:04

I actually just stopped listening to CHML. I got sick of them putting down councillors who stood up for what people wanted. Guys who voted because they want a future for the city that's more than giant parking lots on the outskirts of cities and lining friends' pockets with taxpayer money! I got sick of hosts who are so obviously screening calls, of people presenting opinion as facts and the general misinformation that's so handily provided by them! AM820 here I come!

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By synxer (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 09:53:50

A great letter-to-the-editor today in the Spec regarding a recent visit to Pittsburg:

They have a 50,000-seat baseball stadium and 65,000-seat football stadium, both on the waterfront, with an escarpment overlooking the waterfront and entire city. I had the feeling I was actually in "Hamilton of the future". All three major sports venues (an NHL rink included) are located within a 10- to 20-minute walk from each other and the downtown core... ...Although perhaps purely by chance, city council has finally got it right.

-- Peter Vasil, Ancaster

http://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters/a...

Comment edited by synxer on 2010-08-13 08:55:48

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:01:50

I was happy to read that letter! I hope people and BY understand the experience is part of going to the game.... not just the game. We can have this experience down on the Waterfront - it won't nearly be as exciting as the Ivor Wynne experience (I love the neighbourhood black and gold pride) but it sure beats sitting in a gridlocked parking lot!

I want to make a trip to Pittsburgh just to see games at these venues.....

JM

P.S. - glad to see this is an ANCASTER resident writing in support of WH. Shows a little hope in this city that not everyone in Ancaster only cares about Ancaster!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:51:22

THe old boys club is putting pressure on council for sure. now is the time that we step up and let our voices be heard. It we don't we can possiby loose this great opportunity downtown. What I heard on CHML this morning (no surprise!) by Mr Turkster is that there could possibly be a OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) court hearing to stop the west harbour city planning area. That could take weeks to clear up in court. HostCo may not like that and they could pull this to another area. But what I'm trying to figure out is if they put this at York Univeristy or wherever. Where is the high performance tenent coming from? that what baffles me....HostCo said themselves (Ian Troop) have said that Hamilton could be a soccer center affiliated with Canadian Soccer Team and training centre. It just makes sense!

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By RD (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:02:08

I live in Ancaster and I have been to a football game it Heinz Field, a game at PNC park and a game at the Igloo. We walked to each and every venue from the downtown Omni Penn. So did 10's of thousands of other people. The walk was 1-1.5 km. I know for sure that for the baseball games, they close the one bridge to pedestrian only.

If the stereotypical fat American an walk to the games, I am pretty sure Hamiltonians can do it too.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:37:29

I heard Turkstra this morning too. A couple of points:

  1. There is NO piece of land in this city that is designated for a stadium under the official plan, except Ivor Wynne I would assume. So, an OMB hearing could just as easily be launched at any other location.

  2. I'm sure the city's official plan doesn't allow for the city paying hundreds of millions of dollars for a privately owned big box centre.

  3. If residents really knew what was proposed, the majority of the city would support the WH. Nobody will agree with closing down the waterpark at Confederation Park so the Cats can build a big box centre and stadium on 3/4 of the entire Conf Park land.

  4. Finally, we can't make local decision based on threats. If we didn't cave to the Cats threat of leaving, there's no way in heck we should pay an ounce of attention to some guy threatening an OMB lawsuit.

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By renegauthier (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:06:15

[quote]I live in Ancaster and I have been to a football game it Heinz Field, a game at PNC park and a game at the Igloo. We walked to each and every venue from the downtown Omni Penn. So did 10's of thousands of other people. The walk was 1-1.5 km. I know for sure that for the baseball games, they close the one bridge to pedestrian only.

If the stereotypical fat American an walk to the games, I am pretty sure Hamiltonians can do it too. [/quote]

What you didn't mention was that the I-279 sits in between both stadiums and that there's also a huge parking lot in between. There has to be some major infrastructure changes to match that experience and it will cost $$$$$. As much as I want a nice stadium on the waterfront, we need to use our heads as well as our hearts on this. We also need the Tiger-Cats on side, otherwise there will be no great game experience to talk about.

Edits: 1. I-275 corrected to I-279; 2. Trying to quote this, could use a tip on putting in its proper context.

Comment edited by renegauthier on 2010-08-13 11:17:40

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:14:33

Exactly, Rene. I'm as keen on city building/ revitalization as anyone, but none of this works without the Ticats. Personally, there is far more validity in the team's last proposal than there is in building an empty stadium on the waterfront.

If there's another viable site downtown, the city owes it to the public to present it. And the Cats owe it to the city and fans to hear it out.

I think we're kidding ourselves if we think 'city building' involves watching another 200 jobs walk out the door and the biggest brand associated with the city move elsewhere. That's counter-productive no matter where the stadium goes.

I believe there's a solution out there that works for the Ticats and the West Harbour. They just may not be as tightly linked as I had hoped.

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:15:25

There are parking lots scattered throughout the downtown.... and access to the 403 is easily accessible by YORK BLVD, which has more lanes than the 403 in most places! When you compare sites like this, you can't make them identical....

I'm really hoping the tiger-cats will start thinking about WH.... they CAN make it work!

JM

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:20:36

I have a hard time with the teams proposal to make all their funding conditional on the city helping to acquire over 100 acres of land so they can build a big box complex.

Furthermore, it was revealed the other day that they aren't putting ANY money into construction even with the city's help finding 100 acres The Cats were going to apply to the Ontario government for that $15 million they 'offered'.

Furthermore, keep in mind that in Pittsburgh, both stadiums share a 6,000 space parking lot (for over 110,000 seats in the two stadiums combined) and virtually the entire lot is pre-sold and is not available for casual fans showing up to the game. Both the Pirates and Steelers recommend that fans park downtown and walk over the bridges or take one of many shuttle buses to the game.

Using Pittsburghs formula, our 30,000 seat stadium would need roughly 1,500 parking spaces. No problem.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:24:14

jason, where did you find the info on the big box complex and the application for the $15m? I've heard this elsewhere as well, but haven't seen any documents to back up the rumors.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:44:47

Enough with the "we're going to lose the Cats" tactic already.

Some one please answer this question. WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO GO?

Their lease expires at the end of the 2011 season. So what are Bob's options?

  1. Get on board with the City and become part of something great at West Harbour. (To date he has not produced 1 (one) single document that says he cannot make it work there, all the protestations to the contrary aside. He has not brought forward 1 (one) of his so called experts to the forefront to back up his claims)

  2. Fold the team. ( In which case he will recoup exactly ZERO of his money.

  3. Move the team. To where exactly. A bunch of temporary bleachers in a corn field in Milton until the brain trust that thought of this idea figures out that a community of 70000 people cannot dole out corporate welfare to a perenially money losing enterprise? Quebec City? Moncton? Do you think the CFL is going to give up millions in expansion money to keep Bob Young happy?

  4. Cut his losses, sell the team and get out of Dodge (er.. the Hammer) never to return.

BTW those in the know have hinted at the above

I somehow think options 1 or 4 or more likely.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:48:54

I agree that there could be a another solution to all of this that the Ticats and the City could agree on. The Ticats have to come back to the table though. If not sell shop and and try to get your loses back. No matter what sie you pick you the are problems but walking away from the table in a huff will help nothing. Especially when you say you love HAMILTON! ...(can you hear the frustration in my voice Bob!)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:17:28

The concerns about parking and road access to the WH are nonsense. Anyone who has actually spent any time downtown knows this is BS. I live downtown, I know the whole thing is one big expressway with ample parking.

"How will I get to it?"

"Where will I park?"

For real?!?!?! These people take us for idiots.

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By madams2 (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:29:16

This is not over by any means and it is extremely important that we follow through. We fought long and hard to put that stadium in the West Harbour. Now we need to fight just as hard to get the Ticats to play there. Despite his ill advised business plan, Bob Young has been a Hamilton booster and he needs our support now more than ever. We would be remise if we didn't throw our support behind him now. Money talks - so we need to start a new campaign for season tickets. We could ask for people to pledge to buy season tickets if and when the Ticats play at the West Harbour stadium. We can't be hipocritical now and just walk away. We need to go all the way and prove to Mr Young that 'If you build it, we will come". I strongly urge the great people here to start this campaign and show Bob Young that it wasn't just talk. We are here to support him and the downtown!

Personally, I live in ancaster and I would absolutely pay for 4 season tickets at the West Harbour for my family. Who's with me?

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:32:27

Here's the deal.

There's an election coming in October.

Every mountain resident who wanted EM, and everyone who put the Ti-Cats first before the greater good of hte city (about 48% of the city) are going to have their beef with mayor Fred, and will be voting for DiIanni.

When DiIanni gets in, he won't be fighting the old boys club...he'll be kow-towing to them. We can expect that the principled stance of Council behind Mayor Fred's leadership will quickly dissolve if DiIanni regains the mayor's chair.

Therefore, it's going to be very important that everyone who supports the work Fred has done on the stadium issue and towards downtown's revitalization in general gets behind Fred's campaign.

Statistics show that those in older age brackets are more represented in municipal elections than younger age brackets.

For this victory to be maintained, we have to reverse that trend, and make sure every RTH reader who lives in the City of Hamilton take the opportunity to vote for Fred. Nothing against the other candidates, but at a time like this, the city can ill afford a split of its support.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:32:48

I did some checking at the edmonton stadium and the website says there is no public parking at the stadium. With a game day ticket you get free bus/lrt ride to stadium. Not only that with the game ticket you get free parking at the bus/lrt parking lots (six of them). To me that would save minimum $20 per vechicle. That is a sound business decision doing this. You save that $20 or more and already have enough savings for one ticket. If the cats had parking where they wanted they would have charge $15-20. This parking thing has to be some i'll advised imformation bob young is getting and for some reason he is buying it. He acts like it absolutely can't work there and i think its from these so called experts that haven't given him the full story. Bob bratina mentioned about covering a certain amount of tickets if it doesnt reach a certain level (let's say 25,000). He already mentioned for the east mountain location he would cover expenses for 10 yrs...well why doesn't the city go to him and say they will cover the expenses for 10 years..why isnt this even mentioned. The current stadium cost the city 1.3 million per year and the cats basically pay no rent, well keep that in place. If ivor wynne gets torn down that lot will be sold...and you will easily gain that money back in taxes etc... This figure he quoted of losing 7 million for the harbor location is also...a stretch. I checked both edmontons and winnipegs operating expenses and both were in the $14.7 million range..In the case of the winnipeg one around 2.7 million was cost of mananaging the stadium.(and receiving concert money etc)...the ticats don't do that. That got me down to a figure of 12 million to operate the hamilton team. Of course we don't know the actual figure...its secret but it has to be a around the 12-13 million range. They certainly are losing money but how much really. The winnipeg statement says they got 1.8 milion for the cfl. If you go 10 games (including pre season) at 22,000 per game...220,000 x ave of say $35 per ticket that's 7.7 million....So from ticket sales and the league thats 9.5 million..when you factor in advertising/concessions/radio/sponshership..that has to be probably 1.5 million...to take it to 11 million...The $30 million he quoted into putting into the team...is a loss plus the exense of putting in scoreboard etc. The "true" loss per year is unknown...but he did say the harbor would be no worse than the current stadium...so im not sure where he got the 7 million figure. Operating hecfi is costing the city millions. Well if the katz people take that...you save that money..than protect ticat loses with those savings. If there is a will something remotely close to that could happen.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:43:56

@Brian

Bob Young's entire anti WH campaign is not about accessability, its not about not being able to succeed at WH. Its about obtaining land to build a shopping mall or other such attraction beside the stadium and put where once you are there you are captive for at least 3 hours. You will not be able to walk, cycle, take public transit or spend money at any business that is not owned by The Hamilton Tiger Cats or Bob Young. The other hangers on in this saga like that glorified bus boy PJ Mercanti have jumped on the band wagon because they see an opportunity get in on the fleecing of the tax payers of Hamilton.

These are old school capitalists that only know how to get rich by TAKING from the community. They haven't figured out that you can become EVEN RICHER by PUTTING INTO THE COMMUNITY and bringing other people with you for the ride.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 14:02:16

reuben the info came out at the meeting on Tuesday.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 14:03:20

Reuben, the info was released during the COW meeting on Tuesday. I'm guessing it's in the city report.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:41:37

Reuben. The Tiger Cats plan is to acquire up to 100 acres of the ORC lands in addition to the 18 acres of the "Ear Lobe" piece at the junction of the RHVP and LAP. Of this approximately 60 acres is needed to provide up to as many as 6600 parking spaces. However borrowing this money (like $40 million) to pave a parking lot is not going to give a good return on investment. So the plan calls for an addtitional 40 acres to develop commercial/retail properties to lease/sell etc to pay off the parking lot. What the city balked at is the additional $80 million plus required to acquire these lands, install infrastructure (roads, sewers, storm water capture, hydro etc) and accelerate the install of these things and sacrifice those works in other areas of the city that have been waiting years. Additionally the city would lose the development fees for those lands and any subsequent taxes on them which could be up to $5.8 million per year. Its a crap deal and there is no way council could support it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:03:21

actually, there's more to it than that. Namely:

  1. The Cats wanted the city to work at acquiring/assembling that 100 acres for them.
  2. The $15 million the Cats had offered towards stadium construction was contingent on the city assembling the 100 acres
  3. The $15 million wasn't actually coming from the Cats. They were going to apply to upper levels of government for some sort of sports infrastructure money to come up with that $15 million. In other words, once again, you and I would be paying instead of them.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:29:13

wow.why isn't this being reported anywhere but here?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:43:44

Large Cat eats up large percentage of Hamilton media!

The Mountain News etc. wants to carry on the 'Pity Party' into the next decade.

I absolutely agree that you must revere, remember & thank people who have contributed, donated, & given of themselves for the benefit of the community, but that doesn't mean that we must acquiesce to their every whim, their descendant's wants, their in-law's choices, their friend's desires & their relatives grievances several generations later.

It's just amazing how much people haven't learned. If an business person or developer comes to Hamilton with good ideas & money to invest, what is he/she going to think if surrounded by 1000's of toes that must never be stepped on? Before they do some studies,& refine their business plan, they have to research Who's Who in the GHA, Who was Who in the past, Who's related to Who by money, political, religious, marital, & social affiliations. Who is sacrosanct,& who may never be approached with a proper 'connection'.

(In short -'knowing what to kiss & when'.)

'Can't think of a better way to drive potential investors & new ideas away, but I suppose it leaves all the more for The Usual People, & more Same Old Same Old for the rest of us.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:50:46

Get ready to glue your eyes and ears to the halftime show on TSN tonight between HAMILTON/WINNIPEG because Bob Young has something to say and annouce. Could he possibly have a deal to move the team?? who knows. Speculation says he might move the team to Aldershot... oh brother!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 17:00:27

Aldershot!!???...Oh Brother would be right....& so would Goooood Grief!

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 17:14:37

Aldershot, bah

How's he going to finance a stadium in Aldershot. The mayor of Burlington has already said that Burlington will not contribute to a stadium and the Halton regional chair has said the same thing. If they don't contribute then the upper levels of government won't contribute. So unless Bob Young is going to build it himself, I can't see that happening.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 17:21:23

oh yeah I forgot to mention my source for that speculation was AM900chml

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 18:55:48

Lol. CHML

Reuben I'm guessing this important info isn't being published because it would really take the air out of the debate. I mean what Hamiltonian would agree to those insane terms from the Cats? Sadly, media makes more money off a controversy instead if reporting the important facts that could end the controversy.
The only people who know this info are the ones who watched that marathon COW meeting on Tuesday. Help our city out and spread the word.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 19:09:14

Well the parking thing still has me baffled at the size and i dont care what the hell you put there. Limeridge mall has parking for around 4,000 cars and it holds over 200 stores. Nothing could fill that parking lot enough to justify the size. 99% of the time it would be practically empty. In fact it is one of the oddest things i have ever heard someone contemplating. I just think he has no idea how to run a team, winning 30% of your games in 7 years and some of the decisions made have shown this. The only place that any stadium or owner wants you hanging around is the stadium itself, concessions etc.. but i agree about that mercanti character...it's all about dollar signs to him.. Another strange thing in this is the montreal team...and not just that it is a downtown stadium. They recently added 5,000 seats to make it a 25,000 seat stadium and its still selling out. What i find interesting is we always hear how sucessful they are and how great things are and all is well. That stadium had capacity of 20,000 seats and the entire time bob young owned the ticats, hamilton had a higher ave attendance (until this recent upgrade). The montreal owner purchased that team in 1996 and i can only imagine how much he has lost in 14 years. He has been amazingly patient to wait all that time to get an expansion in seating with no prospect of a new stadium at this time. That stadium is also older than ivor wynne and its working in a downtown area because the owner and people around him know how to operate a franchise. Somebody mentioned bob young was going to make an annoucement at half time of friday game. I just think he is going to state his position again. Of course the cfl and the announcers will do their best to slag hamilton...despite the fact they don't have all the true facts. The cfl doesn't care about hamilton they just know they can't lose another team...they dont care and have shown this with the idiot commissioner saying if hamilton loses the team..they wont get one back. When hamilton went after the commonwealth games and our chance of a much needed new stadium..the cfl sided with halifax in the chance of landing a franchise there. Halifax lost the commonwealth games..backed out and hamilton is still in this posistion....thank you cfl.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 19:47:19

If Bob drops a bombshell people take it with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. It is most likely a last gasp bargaining ploy and should be considered as such. There is no other market currently able to take the team....this year or next or anytime soon. He has no cards to play other than the "I'm taking my football team and leaving" rant.

If he says he's going to share Skydome with Braley and the Argos .... good luck they will both be bankrupt and at each others throats soon enough.

Host Co knew we wanted the stadium in west harbour, the TiCats knew and didn't have a problem with it until May. This is about leverage and getting another sweetheart deal.

And if he leaves..... so be it. That was his intention all along.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-08-13 18:48:29

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:26:36

Tabbies are up 32-14 at half time.

If any one cares, in my humble opinion, Drew Edwards has had some very interesting information on his Tiger Cats Blog all throughout this Great Stadium Debate, from a refreshingly different perspective.

His most recent entry at game time mentions #51 Yorkton's Jordan Matechuk of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats saying of Hamilton becoming"...a little bit more of a booming city, like IT was maybe in the forties and thirties..." When asked by Craig Stein from GX94 - 940 AM Stereo - Now That's Country, if he was confident he would be a Tiger-Cat in H2amiltOn for awhile he replied:

Oh Definitely Yeah, we're not goin' nowhere!

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By Armando (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:31:49

After the City Council reaffirmed Their position on The West Harbour A motion was introduced By Scott Duvall (ward 7) to direct staff to post information in our local news paper regarding the bid and process and facts pertaining to their decision ... It was voted down because they did not want to upset the Ti-Cats any further.... Disappointing since the Ti-Cats are one of the groups putting out misleading information only what works for them..

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:46:19

other than some misinformation about there being no major roads at the west harbour and a GO station planned for the farmland on the east mountain, the rest of this interview is more hopeful than I've heard the Cats be in a long time. Notice how he isn't saying "we won't" this or that. He wants a shift from the city and he wants more than "a few dollars in subsidy" from the city. Maybe I'm overanalyzing this interview, but it sounds like he's open to talking with the city and trying to make the west harbour work if the finances can make sense for the Cats.

http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/News...

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By dirk (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 00:21:58

I sent this to TSN in response to their coverage of this evening's Ticat football game. I told them I'd post it online.

The "Great Stadium Debate" in Hamilton is a complex matter which involves 10s of millions of taxpayer dollars and the private interests of the Hamilton Tiger Cats, a local institution. You presented one side of that controversy through you half time interview with Ticat's owner Bob Young. You also allowed your on air personalities (Dunigan, Shultz et al) to present the same point of view as Mr. Young but with little or no understanding of the complicated nature of the discussion. I understand that TSN has a vested interest in keeping the Ticats in Hamilton and, as a long time supporter and frequent patron of the team at Ivor Wynne, I too sincerely hope that the team remains in our fair city. However, you are doing no service by misleading the Canadian pubic outside of Hamilton that there is but one legitimate point of view on this matter and that the Mayor and city council are somehow incompetent (which was the clear inference to be drawn from what your panel had to say) for not jumping at the opportunity to spend money developing a stadium at a site which is so clearly against the direction which council has taken and is, in fact, the contrary to the platform upon which they were elected i.e. to avoid further urban sprawl and to infill the existing city boundaries. For example, Mr. Dunigan (I believe it was him) mentioned that 10 sites were vetted by the team and the West Harbour was the least suitable from their point of view. However, only the West Harbour and East Mountain Earlobe sites were ever considered and nobody, aside from the Ticats, has ever seen the survey. Much of the money, which would make up the city's contribution to stadium development, will come from the Future Fund, a civic legacy from the sale of a city owned utility, monies which are overseen by a citizen's committee which directed that it could not be spent in support of the East Mountain site. I trust this message will make its way to the appropriate programmers and producers.

p.s. I also listened to some of the phone in on CHML and was appalled.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2010 at 09:07:22

The Ti-Cats are a proven money-loser. Bob Young knew that when he bought them. Owning something doesn't guarantee you a profit at public expense any more than running up a debt on your credit card entitles you to a government bailout. He knew what he was getting into, and that there was no guarantee the region was just going to cough of the cash for a stadium megadevelopment of his choice.

The sense of entitlement here is amazing. If he wants to take his team to a town where 1/3 of it will have to turn out to fill the stadium, he can go ahead. Let it be a lesson to all who would try this in the future: we'll hold you to empty, pointless and hurtful threats.

Nearly everywhere else in the world, "football" refers to what we know as soccer. If this madness keeps up, that will soon be true here as well.

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By DAN (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:22:24

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 dirk (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:38:27

Hey Dan! You're reading it buddy.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 14:41:15

Dan,

I'm sitting in my backyard right now with my laptop, watching my nephews swimming in my pool.

I'm guessing your probably sitting in your parents basement watching porn and mourning the deflation of your blow up doll.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 16:05:04

bigguy, you must sell a lot of drugs to be able to afford that lifestyle and STILL be a WH supporter! LOL

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By Armando (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 16:25:59

Hey Dan have you describe yourself.... Maybe you should be hanging with Mercanti...Unreal...

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 16:31:25

Jason,

It's the grow op I have in my basement. LOL

Oh, and Dan I live on the Mountain.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 23:43:49

I'm glad someone contacted TSN..that was just absolutely one sided. If you are going to conduct a interview than get all the facts and get the other side or else just shut your yap and call the game. I could be wrong but i don't think the province has any choice but to take that location. No matter else where they put it now it will be a 15,000 seat stadium. If the real reason they picked hamilton as site is because of the ticats than they should have funded to build a 25,000 seat stadium. I just can't see other cities rushing to the gate to get this stadium. for 2 weeks of soccer..when they need atleast $60 million and it has to be decided right away. There isn't going to be another MLS team in the toronto market either. Only a CFL or maybe an MLS team can be viable in southern ontario market and that is a stetch. There hasn't been any canandian cities come knocking on the CFL doors the last 10 years (minus ottawa for the 3rd time). No other place has a suitable stadium and the toronto area couldnt sustain 2 cfl teams in the long run. The pan-am stadium was designed as a 15,000 seat stadium no matter where it was to be and if hamilton didn't get selected...there wouldnt have been a major tenant in it anyway. The lease the ticats have is up at the end of 2011..the one they pay basically nothing for i mean. He can't fold the team..cause the league can't exist with 7 teams. Ottawa is paying 7 million for an expansion team..and no matter where else a team goes they will have to pay that. The other owners probably wont accept a team move without some kinda deal because they could lose 1 million dollars each, without that expansion fee. If he can't find a place to go for the 2012 season..he's stuck where he is and there isn't much he can do.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 23:48:23

...this hasn't been mentioned but does anyone know why they couldn't just play the soccer at the BMO field and save that money?. Im sure logistcally they could work around toronto fc games...

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 03:00:33

Time for all you WH supporters to find an anchor tenant for your stadium choice. The rush to buy Ti-Cat seasons tickets by RTH posters is really overwhelming much as I suspected. One well intentioned person proposes this and not a soul responds. Find a paying organization who buys in to your "problem what problem" access and parking arguements. You got the location most of you live in and support but the stadium will not be built there. What a surprise who could have seen that coming.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2010 at 07:19:03

@ Chris Angel. The city itself is the defacto anchor tenant. It already uses Ivor Wynne 200 times a year. The criteria is that it be used for high performance sport. It doesn't say what sport, professional, amateur, etc. If you've been reading the multitude of threads since the WH was chosen, many who support WH have come forward and proposed supporting the Cats by committing to season tickets. In any event it's not something that necessarily requires a response.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 08:04:39

Brian:

In answer to your question as to why HostCo won't just use BMO Field for all of the Pan Am soccer games, HostCo CEO Ian Troop has said that the recent installation of a grass field at BMO Field would result in too much wear and tear on its natural playing surface. He said that HostCo is working on "building the soccer component" and that Hamilton would therefore host up to 30 Pan Am soccer games.

If not for the natural turf at BMO Field, Maple Leaf Sports Enterprises would have undoubtedly tried to hoard as many Pan Am soccer games as possible for their own venue.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 09:00:46

"The rush to buy Ti-Cat seasons tickets by RTH posters is really overwhelming much as I suspected. One well intentioned person proposes this and not a soul responds."

How many more should I buy than I already do? I already support the Ticats with an unreasonable amount of my own money.

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By Forgetta aboutit (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 12:00:22

Wind turbine factory to create 300 jobs

The city cannot afford to loose this opportunity!

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 15:31:29

The rush to buy Ti-Cat seasons tickets by RTH posters is really overwhelming much as I suspected. One well intentioned person proposes this and not a soul responds. - Chris Angel

I emailed them the day after the vote saying commit to the WH and I'll buy two seasons tickets. I know others that have told them the same thing. I've received no response from the Ti-Cats.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2010 at 15:51:47

Siemens has already, recently shown what they think about Hamilton recently. And already have a pile of land here.

Let me guess, whoever wins this race will have to guarantee land, subsidies and concessions for the wind turbine factory.

rolls eyes

Not again.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2010 at 22:36:27

Imho, the funniest are the "omg he's going to move it to Aldershot" worries.

...

and? How is Aldershot any worse than East Mountain? Ohhh gosh, he's going to put the stadium in suburban sprawl 20 minutes down the highway! That's way worse than the location in Hamitlon 20 minutes down the highway! Oh God, we could have the Ticats close by without having to pay into that money pit, how terrible!

Hell, it's better since there's the Aldershot Go station.

As far as I'm concerned, saying "you should have put the stadium in East Mountain, now he's taking the cats to Aldershot" isn't a complaint, it's grounds for a high-five.

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2010 at 23:43:43

I guess I still don't get the WH argument. I'm trying to see it but...if it means that the Tiger-Cats will continue to lose money, why would they want to relocate there? Bob Young could continue to pour money into the team every year until he dies and then which philanthropist would continue to keep the team going after that?

I think everyone would agree with that. My understanding is that either WH folks don't believe that he would still lose money (or believe that there must be a solution to his problem as well...something can be worked out at that location), don't care if they still lose money(city first...I can understand that to a certain degree...but I think the Ticats are a huge positive brand associated with the city), or simply believe that the Tiger-cats assessment of the WH site is wrong.

I'd like to believe the former, but I'm not sure I think anything can be done to make it work for the team.

....my two cents!!

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted August 16, 2010 at 07:32:15

I agree that Bob Young cannot be blamed for wanting to turn a profit. I just think that he's wrong about an urban stadium being able to work.

Take, for example, Molson Stadium in Montreal: downtown, near, hemmed in by Mount Royal and and park land. And yet the Alouettes pack them in there after years of playing to a 2/3rds empty Olympic Stadium.

I'm sure that Mr. Young is correct in thinking - not saying; he's never come out and said this - that it seems easier to make a profit with a lock on parking and food revenues at a remote location.

Montrealers can figure out how to park downtown or take transit and walk a little bit. Can't we?

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-08-16 06:33:27

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 16, 2010 at 08:41:53

Time for all you WH supporters to find an anchor tenant for your stadium choice. The rush to buy Ti-Cat seasons tickets by RTH posters is really overwhelming much as I suspected. One well intentioned person proposes this and not a soul responds.

I also offered to buy season tickets for their first year at WH if they choose to play there. Here is the response I got:

I respect your enthusiasm for the team and the stadium, however the Tiger-Cats will not play at the West Harbour location. Everything you mentioned about how good the stadium will be by waterfront would be just as equally beautiful and way more accessible, economic viable, prosperous and so on at the Confederation site. Many experts and case studies have been done on the North End with the conclusion being NO to a stadium, and YES to building residential properties, condos, and commercial properties. Why spend our tax dollars to ignore these case studies?

However, if you would like to show your support for the team for at Ivor Wynne (which plays close to a downtown proximity now), please let me know and I can definitely help you out.

Really? A pitch for Confederation? It's filtered through the entire organization. Pass the Kool Aid!

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 09:23:22

the real issue here is surrounding the development outside the stadium. Apparently the Cats partner only knows how to build 100+ acre box store complexes. No thanks. The city is trying to get them on board to join in on some of the, you know, actual urban development that will take place next to the WH site - condos, retail, restaurant districts etc.....

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:16:11

Can any of these supporters of the east mountain tell me of any other city in canada that would be willing to spend 80-100 million dollars more for a stadium within the same city...for someone worth maybe as much as that cities entire budget for a year??..only to break even?. There wouldn't be any city in canada willing to do that, it just make no financial sense at all. I could imagine what would happen if some city expressed interest in the ticats but the ticats decided on a location in that city which would cost them 80 million dollars more. Exactly how far do you think they would get when cfl teams generate so little money in actual dollars. It's just not worth it for a business that generates at most 10 million dollars a year. Most of the people involved with the team dont even live in hamilton and in a city with a gdp of 10 billion plus..its peanuts. Most of the people from outside hamilton drive in go to the game and go home..some might spend at restuarant/bars but it wouldnt amount to much at all. Maybe some hotel might see a spike gameday for tsn, cfl officials and the other team but you are still talking 10 days a year. In fact years ago the away teams use to stay at the holiday in burlington..i'm not sure if that is still true. Bottom line is there might be a emotional/identity loss if the ticats leave but that doesn't justify spending 80 million or more to keep them for one location or another. I don't care if locations were reversed..its just plain nuts.

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By FB (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:46:10

Bob Young was on CHML this morning...
http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocalGeneral/story.aspx?ID=1265364

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:11:33

Milton?

Seriously, Milton? That's the best counteroffer he can get?

I mean, he could build a stadium cheaply there and would get all the spin-off development he'd want... but would he have any fans there? I mean, Milton's a lovely little town wrapped in a big suburb, and the 905-sprawl north of Hamilton is a big enough market, but only if you can get the whole mass of Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington to identify with the Milton Tiger Cats as "their" team. Otherwise it's going to be seen as nothing but The Other Toronto CFL Team. The CFL's answer to the Mets, as if the CFL could afford to have that kind of business.

Maybe it'll be branded as the Mississauga team, just located in Milton? Or will it just be the Ontario Tiger-Cats (not unheard-of, look at the Sask. and B.C. teams)?

I honestly don't know how this is going to work.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 17:20:22

I honestly don't know how this is going to work.

It isn't.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 17:48:32

I am watching Bob Young stumble all over his interview with CHCH TV Live at 5:30, Tough questions but not great answers...Donna Skelly is my favorite interviewer now! Bob your entitled to your decision but I don't agree with your answers. This is about control nd money not about location and parking. I stand behind Mayor Fred and council on this one 100%!

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 22:13:05

He simply couldnt make money by putting events in a stadium in hamilton anywhere period . Very few cfl teams in the last 20 years have made a profit and that includes the ones operating the stadium and getting concert and event revenue..end of story. You would be taking some concerts and events from copps to there and you wouldnt be adding too many more events outside of the proposed soccer team in a league that averages 4,000 per game. There is a limit to how many concert and events you can hold in hamilton in a year, it's just the way it is. If that were true the CFL teams (bigger cities) with better attendance would be profitable..they aren't.The only way he could possible make money or break even is a sold out stadium. Atleast she asked the question and we got a answer about the break even point...well come labor day..for one game anyway he will be breaking even.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 22:48:37

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 02:24:25

Chris Angel,

I had season tickets for 20 years and still attend many games per year.

As for Copps and Hamilton Place every cent the city has spent on them has been worth it. Just think what it would be like in this city if we didn't have them. No concerts, no sporting events other than the Ticats, no ice shows etc etc. We have had some of the best entertainment on the planet play here because of those venues. One of the greatest hockey games ever played, Canada against the Soviet Union, was played at Copps in the 1987 Canada Cup.

As for people here being anti sport your assumption is totally wrong. Most of us are Ticat fans and have stated that repeatedly. But we are Hamiltonians first and foremost and we support what we believe to be in the best interests of this city. We don't want the Ticats to leave town but we also don't want to compromise the goals of this city to revitalize the core of this city.

It may be true that having the stadium at the West Harbour will not in itself revitalize the core. However it will be another piece of the puzzle put in place to expedite the process.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2010-08-17 01:25:33

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 07:28:40

I've been going to games since 1973 and im still dead against any stadium costing millons of dollars more at one site over another. There is no way big name acts would have ever come to hamilton if they didnt build copps and compared to what a stadium costs now the 42 million it cost to build in 1985 was worth it. Some events don't come to hamilton because of deals when a concert is playing in toronto ..another venue can't host the same concert during the same time within a certain distance of toronto. 7 of the 8 cfl stadiums in canada aren't making a profit either and most arenas in canada for that matter. You know what big damn deal a 15,000 seat stadium can't hold a cfl team and bob young doesn't have the money to make it a 25,000 seat stadium did you forget this chris angel??..even if everyone was onside...he doesnt have the extra 25-35 million to build it anyway... That stadium would be run at a loss whether he was there or not or do people need a slide rule to figure this out?. This is a outdoor stadium and 1/2 the year it will be empty as it is. He want's a 2nd tier soccer team that has lost 14 teams since 2005 and averages 4,000 people per game (with that number inflated by 2 teams). Anyone with half a brain will realize events could be taken away from copps to a new stadium..so there wouldnt be much to gain that way. The other cfl stadiums prove you wont be making money i can't see it being any different in hamilton. This isn't a new thing this has been a 20 + year thing..you aren't making money at cfl stadiums..whether you have have events there or not...period. It has cost around 10 million dollars to keep ivor wynne going since he's owned the team. That doesn't include any upgrades the city put into it. He may have as much money as the entire city budget for an entire year...end of story...

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 17, 2010 at 09:07:01

@Chris Angel.

I said the city is the defacto anchor tenant. I didn't say I felt the city should be in the sports/entertainment facility management business. That is why they are in talks with Katz/AEG. Turning over management of those city owned facilities to people that do that AS THEIR CORE BUSINESS is something that should have been done a long time ago.

As for no fan interest or anti sport comments? Have you been actually reading the posts? or just skimming them? Did you actually participate in any of the town hall meetings across the city put on by David Adames and his staff working on the project looking for public input? I did. This entire project is about leaving a local sport facility legacy in the city WHERE MORE PEOPLE WILL BENEFIT FROM IT. It was clearly determined that this would be achieved by putting the stadium in the core. By the way when is the last time you have spent more than 10 minutes downtown? The venom you spew when speaking about those of us who live down here suggests a high degree of ignorance about what is actually going on in the heart of the city.

You're simplistic conclusions that if you're for the WH you're against the TiCats seem to be rooted in some misbegotten belief that there is a left wing conspiracy to run Bob Young out of town as the first step in a master plan to take over the city and begin the banning of the car, turning all of our roads into bike paths and handing out granola and tofu to everyone. Give your head a shake.

What are you so angry about? NO ONE HERE IS ANTI TIGER CAT. They are pro Hamilton. If you read the posts carefully, no one is disparaging the people who live on the east mountain or their neighbourhood. They are speaking out against a proposal that was quite frankly crap for the taxpayer. Its moot now anyway because its off the table. The Tiger Cats are not likely going anywhere protestations from Bob Young, Scott Mitchell and Mark Cohon aside. They have no where to go. If they are stupid enough to play this game of chicken to the end and actually do leave....they will look like the idiots because they will continue to bleed money. If the funding for the stadium gets pulled and Pan Am leaves as well? Oh well then we didn't spend 60 million of our future fund on a stadium, we can put to other developments and there has been enough interest in the WH area among developers thats something good will come of it. If we do build the stadium and the city concludes its agreement with Katz, even better.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-08-17 08:12:31

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By HAAA (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:00:00

How do I join this conspiracy? Is this where I sign up for the tofu handouts? That sh*t is getting expensive.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:02:56

I'm allergic to tofu, does that mean I get extra granola?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 17, 2010 at 12:22:46

@UrbanRenaissance

No, but you can trade your patchouli-vouchers for the granola, and you get extra lentils if you turn down the tofu.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:17:25

Shempanonymous I am not angry and have not spewed venom as you suggest nice try though. Is that a side affect of the WH kool-aid? Or is this just something you gutless I mean anonymous types just toss out there before bolting to hide behind your mommy's anonymous skirts. It is one or the other and this is the only and last time I will respond to a baseless comment from someone without the courage of their convictions. In regard to WH you said this "OUR GROUP as you like to call it is every single citizen of the City of Hamilton. This project was never about a money losing football team. It is about the city being able to leverage its Future Fund along with provincial and federal partnership the Pan Am games to build some legacy sporting infrastructure in this community, and begin long over due revitalization projects in our core." There is no margin for error and certainly none for diverse opinions its about the core only the core and nothing but the core. Woe to anyone not rigidly in lockstep. We had our evil capitalist straw man in Bob Young, that show is over. Maybe a few true believers are singing "we won" over that crock but that tired old wobbly anthem will not get a stadium built. Since you asked I lived in the core for 7 years and I would live there again. I have also lived on Beach Boulevard, East Hamilton and somewhat less East Hamilton, 35 years in all doing everything from steel plant labor to sales. I am in the core several times a week. I discuss issues and events with very diverse groups of people with wide ranges of opinion. I realize perhaps you have not sought such experience but instead have relied on the opinions of those you respect, warts and all. It was easy for me to inherit left wing political views I came by them honestly. It was more challenging and rewarding to go toe to toe with right way propenents. I came away changed; so did they. Try it some time it's good for you if it is not to late for you at 44. Yes I have read every post this is why I can say that there is an anti pro sport bias. Perhaps I should have qualified that but I thought it was obvious since you are supporting a WH sports facility. From the snide "they should walk anyway" remarks to the countless vilification of Bob Young, most posters here do not support the Ti-Cats or likely any other pro sports team. Talk is cheap people here want to appear balanced but no one translates that into Ti-Cat seasons tickets. One soul says he used to own them, another few say WE ARE NOT ANTI TI-CAT and go on to say they go to some games. Honestly now; did you pay full price for the tickets or were they freebees? I know lots of people who will go if the seats are free but that really isn't support. Frankly lots of the twaddle posted here is or seeks to appear as intellectual twaddle. Don't think I ever met a pointy head who was a pro sports fan. Nor an artist who was one either. I am sure there are some out there but it is a rare combination. You have my conclusion wrong. No stadium is going to be built anywhere in Hamilton without the cooperation of the Ti-Cats. There seems to be almost a scorched earth policy at work here at RTH. That being it is WH or NOTHING - ANYWHERE IN HAMILTON. You cannot support something like that and claim to be acting in the interest of the city as a whole. I find it ironic that IMHO you have adopted the moniker of the least original of all the stooges.

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By Bayou (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:23:50

Congratulations people. You have won a great battle. Council has suckholed to you and Fred, well, he didn't get that prissy look on his face from sucking lemons.

And what have you won? Let me see...the PanAm games, no that's not it, a 350000 seat stadium, er..no that isn't it either, a unified community...no scratch that one....a re-elected Mayor...scratch that one too...the support of Bob Young and the TiCats...fat chance!

Hang on, give me a second, I know you won something....let's see, the lotto...oh drats....the Grey Cup...oh, no team...the Stanley Cup...that's rugby isn't it...the.....

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:47:13

Yes the victors have won a set of bleachers to weather away on top of a few acres of capped brown field land. Woo Hoo let the celebration of an expensive soccer pitch begin.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 11:17:15

Chris Angel- You pose the question "did you pay full price" for Tiger-Cat tickets? Well, based on the massive public subsidy (dirt cheap rent and concessions, free policing and HSR) plus Bob Young's claimed losses, neither did you.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 18, 2010 at 11:30:50

@Chris Angel

Above this line is a blank line.

They help to break up the text in your writing. The blocks of text are called paragraphs. They help your prose look legible, instead of being an ALLCAPS-riddle wall of text.

I hope this was informative.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 11:42:12

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 16:00:39

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 16:16:56

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 18, 2010 at 18:04:17

@Chris Angel (are you trying to tell me that is your real name?) Mine is Greg Galante. It's registered here. I don't know why it doesn't show up.

You say you aren't angry and then you go on to call people who post here who are pro WH as gutless. Say you're not angry again. Really with conviction now.

Have you ever read what the Future Fund is about? It's not about building shopping malls on top of wheat fields. And if you really want to know. I run my own business based out of downtown, I am a capitalist at heart and am probably slightly right of Attilla the Hun on the political spectrum. I started posting here and getting involved in this process because a private business tried to hijack a public process and parlay that into a sweet heart deal for itself. It's just wrong. The fact that pro sports teams have been able to do it in other places doesn't make it right here. Council and the mayor did the right thing. Period. The Future Fund was established exactly for the types of projects envisioned in the West Harbour. These types of investments work. Ignore the evidence of this all over North America all you want. The West Harbour was not pulled out of left field. It was in the bid book sent to Pan Am. It was in the bid book sent to two previous Common Wealth Games bids. If Bob Young and the TiCats had a problem with it, they should have spoke up a long time ago. Instead they gambled and lost and now they are trying to sabotage the entire process so they can say I told you so.

As far as embracing dissenting opinion I do it everyday on this issue during my everyday activities and on forums like this. The refrain from people opposed to the WH is the same every where. " The mayor and council have lost the TiCats and the stadium"..... "Why is the city trying to screw Bob Young"..... " a stadium in the WH won't work".... "you left wing socialists just hate sports" and on and on and on...... never backed up by one ounce of fact.

May I remind you that this website, this movement did not start off as an organized political movement. It does not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising campaigns to try and sway public opinion. There is no Kool Aid served here. People flocked to this site and movement in frustration, anger and concern that the democratic process was being hijacked. If you are unhappy with the results, sorry for your loss. You have an opportunity to voice your feelings come election time. Tell me Chris. Did you attend the committee of the whole meeting on August 10th? I did. I sat there from start until about 4:30pm. Overwhelmingly the people that spoke in support of the West Harbour came from diverse and disimilar back grounds, socio economic strata and across a broad range of ages. There were socialist activists, students, and captialists. None of them bashed Bob Young as a person, or the Tiger Cats as an institution. Your ranting has no basis in fact. For some reason your view on this is so slanted that you have lost the ability to remove fact from opinion.

And yes it is about the core. For most of my lifetime I've watched the downtown ignored, while zoning and development was allowed to run rampant on the mountain and the suburbs. Mistake after mistake made downtown followed by neglect, lack of property standards enforcement, the proliferation of dollar stores and bingo halls, little to no residential developments, ridiculously high business taxes and the embracing of a suburban development mentality. Jackson Square, the Eaton Centre, Copps Coliseum were all built as centers of commerce and entertainment while paying no attention to the fact that you actually need more people living downtown in order for places like that to flourish. We seem to have turned a corner. Now we have to see it through.

As far as your talk is cheap shots. Again.... merely your opinon. You have no way whatsoever to qualify or quantify your assertions. Your generalizations about "pointy heads" not being sports fans again give you away. FYI, some of us "pointy heads" played elite level sports. Some of the "pointy heads" that played those sports have been key in developing the plan for the WH Stadium.

There is no stipulation that the Tiger Cats be on board with the WH stadium. Its been reaffirmed by both senior levels of government. If they waffle again on this it will be political suicide in this town for them. This isn't over yet but I'm much more confident than you that this city will move forward positively in the West Harbour WITH a new stadium.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 21:15:02

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 18, 2010 at 21:44:23

@ Chris. The reason I continue to suggest that you are angry is that your posts drip with sarcasm and contempt for this site, the posters here and and the very idea of building a stadium at West Harbour.That clearly hasn't changed with your latest post. I also have a job. In fact I have two. Both full time. But I took time out of my day .....essentially a day off to go to the COW meeting. I realize that some people can't do that. Belittling those who did doesn't make you smarter than them or right.

If you are seriously trying to suggest that the arguments posted here in favour of WH are on the same level of sheer propaganda, misinformation, and emotional extortion as those employed by the Tiger Cats and their media campaign you need your head examined. The case for the West Harbour has been made over a decade. There are transportation studies, and now developers ready to jump in. There are thousands of pages of documents, PUBLISHED OPINIONS of respected urban planners. The case against the WH consists of exactly ...... nothing...... unless you count thousands of adverstising dollars spent by the Tiger Cats and the constant stream of 20 second sound bytes by Bob Young decrying the inpending disaster as imperical evidence. There is ZERO paper backing it up that the public can obtain and make their own mind up over.

You keep stirring the pot Chris. The rest of us will just get on with building a city.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 22:11:10

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 22:46:27

"Don't count your Future Fund cash until you have it in hand". The future fund people are for the west harbor and against the east mountain..did i miss something. The only way that stadium wont be built there is if the pan/am people hijack democracy after they voted for it 5 times!. You don't have to like it thats how the vote was. Just because they say NO doesn't mean they wont say "we will give you a few more weeks or months to pick another site". If they picked another city...they would have to come up with 60-100 million..maybe more to get a stadium and it would take time (more time than it would to see if hamilton picks another location). The bottom line is if that happens, democracy will be hijacked...it will cost millions and millions more and taxes will go up. That is the real the problem i have with this. If Bob Young and his supporters convince me it wont cost tens of millions more for a site he wants...than i wont have a problem with it...they havent so im dead set against it.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 23:02:23

Sure Brian count it before you have it then. I think I heard somewhere that is a good idea. Of course you should always believe what a politician tells you. If they say they will not raise taxes they won't they will call it somethibg else. If funds are offered they are never delayed or obstructed. Good luck with all that.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 06:23:54

Count it before you have it..what are you going on about?...Spectator July 28th "The stewards of the city's Future Fund say the legacy account can only be used for a stadium at the west harbour. if council chooses the east Mountain next month -- or any site other than the west harbour -- the board says the $60 million it has approved to build a Pan Am stadium should be pulled.". I know they dont techically have the full say and the city could pretty much trump that idea if they chose another site...but they are for the harbor..they approved that location...if the pan-am people say ok..its a done deal..unless they have to do a vote for the 6th time!!. That money and government money is only enough for 15,000 seats and yes there is always a chance of extra costs. The east mountain would have been 80 million plus extra...and that doesnt even include more than 25 million to make it a 25,000 seat stadium...that would have been 100 million +. There is no money and would result in easily a 5% tax increase....even to this day Bob Young doesnt have the money to make it a 25,000 seat stadium...why do people forget this anyway???

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 08:48:06

Chris, since everyone else's attempts at being nice have failed to put a dent in your sarcasm or even get you to see past propaganda bs, I'm going to be straight. You sound like you're unable to actually complete any type of logical thinking; you've fallen for hype and your idiotic drivel, while amusing at times and usually self serving, is a sad indication of your failure to do something as simple as read studies that may or may not (and in this case they wouldn't) support any argument you have. Your baseless, hyperbolic, finger-pointing, pessimistic, and sarcastic statements and your inability to form opinions based on factual evidence is sad. I'm sorry you're creating rain on your own parade-it must be sad and lonely in Angelworld.

Bottom line is you're making yourself sound like an annoying prick trying to mask yourself as a polite individual. People who post here aren't averse to opinions other than theirs, I've read many peoples' arguments in fact some peoples' arguments have caused me to rethink my position on matters. It's when someone comes along presenting opinions and random "feelings" as facts that I have a hard time taking them for real.

Shemp, I admire your attempts to address Chris's arguments and yours as well brian but sometimes it's better to just move on. While Chris's mind may not change, there are other people out there who might actually be able to read for themselves and participate in some sort of logical thinking process based on facts. Chris is simply trolling and trying to create an emotional reaction when that's the opposite of what is needed.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 30, 2012 at 12:53:23 in reply to Comment 45960

Jesus Frank how could I have been so wrong in saying a stadium would never be built at the WH site. Thank you for naming the many studies I have not read that state otherwise. I will never make the mistake of standing up and voicing an opinion contrary to the huge brains here!

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By jtford (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 09:43:35

WH will be another big fat white elephant. Copps barely breaks even. I'd actually be surprised if it makes money really. I don't see a mass of new development in that are. Theres NOTHING THERE! We had to have Sheila Copps beg borrow and steal to have a new Federal build built across the street! Now we have an empty eyesore near the concrete bunker(sorry City Hall). If a stadium is such a center of redevelopment why has Copps done nothing for it area? Reason One, no real tenant! Ivor Wynne after 80 years has nothing but homes around it! Where are the condo towers? WHere are the hip little shops and bistos? A WH stadium with no tenant will suffer the same fate of slowly decaying costing the taxpayers plenty over the years.

I don't know if I support EM, but I know that land locking a stadium in another predominately residential area a few narrow streets going in only two directions and minimal public transport will prove disasterous.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 09:48:19

I don't know if I support EM, but I know that land locking a stadium in another predominately residential area a few narrow streets going in only two directions and minimal public transport will prove disasterous.

Few narrow streets? Minimal public transport? Are you kidding? Just look at this map it highlights all the different routes one could take to get to and from the WH stadium.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:19:09

jtford...yet another person who hasn't been down to the WH location.

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By ?renniw (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:51:56

What does having been down in the west harbour have to do with anything frank?

I've been to Albequerque before and that doesn't make me an expert on nuclear weapons!

You guys are more interested in trying to satisfy your goal of making the downtown a better place. Good on you!! Honestly, good for you for trying to do something positive for the city.

But the fact is that you are more concerned with your pro-urban goals than you are with building a sustainable stadium. So don't take it so personally when people who do care about the sustainability of the stadium, don't agree with you. Don't take it so personally when people with money on the table consider different factors.

You are interest group, just like any other interest group, with your own goals and values.

The money from Pan Am would never have been available in the first place if it weren't for the Pan Am Games facilities, so how about we first try to figure how to make the stadium work, before we try to build utopia in the north end.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 19, 2010 at 12:09:43

There seems to be this misconception that a publicly funded stadium MUST BE PROFITABLE to be considered successful. Ivor Wynne Stadium hasn't made any money for the city over its life time. Yet no one suggests it isn't or hasn't been a successful municipal asset. The idea was not to create a cash cow for the city. It was to create new sporting infrastructure. There is going to be a cost moving forward to maintain that facility. If it can be made versatile enough and big enough, there are going to be more opportunities to have it generate revenue, potentially making it a money maker. But if it doesn't. That does not mean the community will not benefit from it.

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By _ (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 13:12:46

no one said "profitable".

the word was "sustainable".

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 13:22:30

?renniw - People who have never been to the area who make comments about the accessibility of the venue while expecting their comments to carry some sort of validity as an argument when compared to the arguments of those who have been in the area and posted maps etc are not adding to the quality of the debate!

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 16:55:23

Lets show the Cats that the West Harbour can work.

http://www.thespec.com/sports/stadium/ar...

Now that you are done reading that article, go to

http://goticatswestharbour.com/wp/

and lets see what we can do!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 19, 2010 at 17:06:32

Oh no. Another website. lol I think the web hosting companies are loving Hamilton right now.

Can't make the rally tonight, but I would. Not necesarily in support of the Cats at West Harbour, but some happy medium. There has to be one. We built Copps without a tennant and although I love the Bulldogs, I don't know that 2-3000 a game warrants them being called a 'Legacy' tennant. We can't afford two stadiums without a professional sports tennant.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 19, 2010 at 17:09:43

Agree Shempatolla. No one thinks Copps is a failure or a White Elephant as is thrown around a lot in conversation. There have been some fond memories at Copps. You can't put a price tag on that.

I'd like to see a figure showing how much sports franchise owners lose on average per year. Is $4 million really a lot vs right offs, advertisement of owning a nationally known franchise?

Just curiuos?

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 06:25:48

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 07:42:24

Chris, a study isn't a study when we're told the "results" of it, those results differ from that data that we're aware of and we are never shown the actual study.

Bob Young has been going on for a while now about how it will be impossible for the WH to be a success and apparently he has data to prove it. Also apparent is the fact that this data is "burn before reading" secret as he's kept it from everyone.

Let us see it and we'll have a better chance of accepting it rather than just taking Bob's word for it when it's clear he has ulterior motives.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 08:14:11

Very reasonable Brandon.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 08:16:38

Chris Angel - You dismiss Lawrence's contention that Copps Collisem ISN'T a "white elephant". Please tell us, specifically, why it IS a "white elephant"? Then tell us where Hamilton would hold Elton John Concerts, Disney on Ice, Bulldogs games, NHL preseason games, numerous conventions etcetera?

As well, in referring to West Harbour supporters, you said "If you have read a study it isn't the right study unless it supports our point of view" Specifically, what studies regarding the viability of ANY Hamilton stadium have you read? Have you read any prepared by the Tiger-Cats?

Further you described West Harbour supporters as "zealots who would rather see no stadium at all unless it is built in the area they live". Specifically, how is it that you know where West Harbour supporters live? And how do you respond to the fact that I have a job, live way out in the country with equal access to the Linc or downtown yet favour a West Harbour location?

Do you think it would be fair to say, after his high-pitched rant at City Hall, that P.J. Mercanti "is a zealot who would rather see no stadium at all unless it is built beside his Daddy's business"?

I've posed 6 reasonable questions here. Simply answering the questions and providing readers with facts that can be backed up or referencing particular studies or reports, would go a long way to promote a more civil debate. Unsubstantiated throw away lines and references to "pointy heads" and "who's got a job" don't really change a thing.

Your answers might just change some minds.

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-08-20 07:18:23

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 11:22:38

FWIW neither location is "in my area" and EM would actually be closer to me than WH. You haven't come out with an actual study, you just repeat the same crap without backing it up and the flies are getting annoying! And no, I'm not kidding... if you can't back up your arguments with credible studies and data, then you should stop muddying the water with the same tired old arguments! Not to mention I see "self serving" in my statement either.

Comment edited by frank on 2010-08-20 10:25:00

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted August 20, 2010 at 15:43:14

If you have read a study it isn't the right study unless it supports our point of view.

Have you seen any studies that support your point of view? If so, however did you get to see them since the Ticats refuse to release them???

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 21, 2010 at 01:02:14

Saying COPPS is a white elephant is interesting. A outdoor 25,000 stadium probably would have less events at it than COPPS. It wouldn't be open year round for instance and couldn't host alot of things copps can. It would actually be in competition with copps for certain concerts (like elton john) where more than likely he would have played there. Even if a stadium is built it wont change a certain fact about where hamilton is located. When concerts are played in Toronto there is deals in place that state that they cant play within a certain distance of Toronto (within a certain time frame). This is why Hamilton loses alot of concerts not because copps can't attract them. If the Katz group and Live Nation get together and take over Copps that would probably change and you would see a increase in events there. If you base it on other CFL stadiums it's unlikely it would make a profit. I'm really curious as to why bob young thinks it would be and why Hamilton would be different. .

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 21, 2010 at 21:32:06

From another post -

The following article from only a year and a half ago makes for interesting reading. Pay special attention to Scott Mitchell's comments on the fact that the Tiger-Cats would be "viable to some extent" at Ivor Wynne and to the fact that he consistently mentions only a "new stadium" without even alluding to location.

"HAMILTON TEAM SETS RULES IN STADIUM BID February 26, 2009 Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Hamilton, Ontario - Build a new stadium with lots of financial help or go it alone with Ivor Wynne: Those are the two options facing the city, according to Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Scott Mitchell.

The team president said, while the Cats are willing to contribute "millions to tens of millions of dollars" along with other private partners toward a new multi-use facility for the 2015 Pan Am Games that would then be home to the football team, the team is no longer willing to make financial contributions to maintaining the existing Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Mitchell says the team has already paid $7 million in costs related to the stadium in recent years and isn't prepared to keep spending on the 79-year-old facility that has "limited economic spinoff" for the club.

"We put that money in on the basis of a long-term solution becoming available with the new stadium but, if the city did choose to maintain Ivor Wynne stadium, it would still keep us viable to some extent. But we wouldn't be interested in participating in any additional costs at Ivor Wynne," Mitchell said.

His comments come a day after a report by David Adames on the Pan Am Games bid raised the possibility not building a new stadium could cost Hamilton its only professional sports franchise.

The report states C$18 million to C$20 million will be required over the next five to 10 years just to maintain the stadium and a major renovation is estimated to cost about C$94 million. "There is also risk the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the main tenant at Ivor Wynne and potential partner in a new stadium, may leave Hamilton should a new stadium not be built," he wrote. Mitchell said he spoke to Adames but never told him specifically the Cats would leave without a new stadium.

Nonetheless, Mitchell says the situation needs to be dealt with.

"Either there has to be a new facility in Hamilton or there has to be a major renovation to Ivor Wynne Stadium. If the city doesn't want to do either, obviously we'd have to look at other places to play," he said.

Mitchell said the team doesn't want to appear to be "putting a gun to the city's head," but thinks the decision is straightforward. (Hamilton Spectator)"

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 22, 2010 at 08:43:34

The key phrase of that article (great find, realfree) is "limited economic spinoff". That is what the Ticats are objecting to at West Harbour - the plan for the stadium there does not include large sums of public money being spent to generate revenue-generating opportunities for them: like a Ticats-owned parking lot and Ticats-owned 100-acre big box development.

Let's not kid ourselves. This is the Bob Young objection to West Harbour. This is why, in his awkward public appearances since the West Harbour decision, he has said that the Ticats cannot play at West Harbour without "subsidy" or "financial inducement".

It's a cash grab, an attempt to line the purse of an obscenely rich man with our money. And as long as there are people that are hungry in Hamilton (and oh yes, there are) any attempt to do so is morally unforgivable. By all means, we should build a stadium West Harbour if it will benefit the community in the long run. But if we as a city are going to put that kind of money into the Ticats, we should be the owners.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted October 25, 2010 at 14:49:06

I returned to this article just to see if the harangue from deluded WH supporters was as silly as I recalled. Yes actually, if it is read in light of how events have transpired especially.

Note that I am not saying all WH supporters are or were deluded, only some as described.

In this and so many other articles on the WH option I pointed out simply that a stadium would not be built anywhere in Hamilton without the support of R Young and the Ti-Cat organisation. You would think this would be painfully obvious to anyone but no I caught an incredible quantity of flack for just stating it.

To what should be no ones surprise, I was and continue to be correct in this matter. I also said I thought some were being less than honest describing themselves as Ti-Cat fans. Oh the cries of foul on that one.

Feel free to root around RTH and now WH supporters are openly saying they are not and have really never been fans and their support was about site remediation for the area.

I could tell these people were not interested in foot ball please don't delude yourselves into thinking that others can't tell the difference too. It does a great diservice to you and those you attempt to deceive. You will undermine the credibility of this publication in addition to losing your own. I know these deceptions have been employed by political movements with some success but they are very old now and people are much better informed than ever before regardless of their political / economic beliefs.

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