Special Report: Pan Am

Sustainable Cities through Sports Investment

Professor Mark Rosentraub's lively and engaging lecture presented a how-to guide for cities to ensure the most bang for the buck when investing in sports facilities.

By Mark Richardson
Published November 02, 2010

Hamilton, how do you want the benefits of your stadium dollars stated? If you are looking for immediate results with in-depth numbers, you will be disappointed. That's according to Mark Rosentraub, Professor of Sports Management, University of Michigan and author of two books: Major League Winners and Major League Losers.

Rosentraub recently delivered a lecture at McMaster University, titled "Amenities, Design and Development: When Having a Team and a New Stadium Matters...and Why".

He started his lecture stating that his is the 30,000-foot view point of a city, not the nitty-gritty of local details. With that in mind, he laid out the foundation of his theory on what makes a sports venue a good investment for a city: "Where economic activity occurs matters more than how much economic activity occurs."

To understand this viewpoint, you first need to become familiar with the idea of Human Capital and how it drives the growth and sustainability of a city.

Marshall Space

Rosentraub adheres to the teachings of Alfred Marshall, who theorized that ideas and more specifically Patents, are what drive the growth and sustainability of a city. The only way a city can foster the incubation of ideas and patents through Human Capital is to create a concentration of minds, called a "Marshall Space".

In support of this, Rosentraub points out that between 60 and 80 percent of the new jobs created in America across the last 10 years are from new, start-up businesses.

Competing with the creation of Marshall Space in a city is the unprecedented and de-concentrating growth of cheap communication.

Think of it this way: at one time musicians had to gather in a concentrated area and collaborate together to record music, a micro Marshall Space. Now, much of the work of musicians can be done from home studios and their musical contribution is sent to a recording engineer through file sharing, having no contact with others.

In response to this decentralization of idea creation and communication, many cities have leveraged sports to create Marshall Space and retain the 21- to 35-year-old demographic that is the seed of a city's Human Capital.

The key to retaining Human Capital is to retain the college and university graduates the city produces. What keeps the target demographic in a city are housing, entertainment and employment.

If entertainment and housing stock attractive to the demographic are available, these people tend to stay. Without the proper housing (condos and townhouses) and entertainment (sports, music and restaurants), the 21- to 35-year-olds leave and the city is stripped of its Human Capital.

21- to 35-Year-Olds

The focus on 21- to 35-year-olds is for good reason. If this group stays in a city past the target age range, they tend to lay permanent roots and remain in the city for good.

It's not that people over 35 do not provide their share of Human Capital; you just don't have to work hard to keep them in the area any more.

Much of this is to do with the great shift that occurred in the last 40 years: the mass entry of women into careers. Anyone who invests four to eight years in post-secondary education will naturally want to pursue the opportunities it provides.

Because of the time needed to educate themselves and then establish careers, women are having children later in life. As a result of that, women and men under 35 don't need the suburban house yet.

They want to enjoy the benefits a successful city provides: fun, personal engagement, ease of movement and a nice but affordable place to live.

Entertainment Zone as Marshall Space

So what does a Stadium have to do with any of this high-level economic theory?

If a stadium is done right, it can satisfy a requirement Rosentraub lays out for the creation of a vibrant Marshall Space - bring a guaranteed number of people together at a known geographic coordinate over a period of 12 months.

Rosentraub clearly states that a stadium alone is not enough to do this, and even answered that simply building a stadium as a place for a sports team to play offers nothing in gain for a city.

A unique and concentrated entertainment zone with many options is required to create a net benefit for a city. "Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate," as Rosentraub put it.

It is in applying Rosentraub's theories that two stadium locations in Hamilton emerge as clear winners (albeit for contradicting reasons) and two are revealed as clear losers.

The Case for Longwood: Engineered Space, Owner Controlled

"If the owner of the team has a stake in the land around a stadium, he will care about the area."

Rosentraub been involved in and studied highly engineered sport complexes. These zones are owner-controlled and developed with help from public money. These complexes include the facility, shopping, amusements and housing and are usually built in a downtown area with all of the components new and coming together around the same time.

Petco Park in San Diego is often cited as a very successful example of this type of engineered development, where the owner has his own stake in attractions and development around the venue.

Owner-owned condos were built around the ballpark to specifically look inside at the diamond; one can stay at home and watch the game live. The stadium has some free seating near a play area for kids and the usual shopping and restaurants are close to the venue.

The complex was "blown in", as Rosentraub likes to say, very quickly in a dilapidated part of the downtown.

Interestingly, the stadium and the immediate area around it have no parking. People either walk a distance from surrounding lots or take transit to the venue.

LA Live in Los Angeles is cited as another example of an updated venue where the owner has a personal stake in the surrounding area.

The area around the old Staples Center was considered one of the most dangerous in LA, and many people would not venture into the neighborhood to see a game.

The owner of the Lakers invested in an iconic entertainment complex that included a gathering area where crowds could watch a game outside for free on a screen.

Of course, if you wanted to eat, drink or shop you have to do that in the owner-controlled stores. The unsafe area was turned around using the concepts of crowds to create security, also called eyeballs on eyeballs. The old reputation of the area has now been changed and new development is coming in.

The Case for West Harbour: Organic Space, City Controlled

"Build new facilities as close as you can to existing sports, shopping, housing and entertainment areas."

Rosentraub could not state the case for geographical entertainment concentration strongly enough. He said if other venues and entertainment facilities exist, of course it makes sense to locate the new facility as close to these as possible.

Instead of spending huge tax dollars to procure extra land and create an engineered space out of nothing, it makes more sense for a city to invest where these amenities are already located.

Rosentraub also alluded that monies saved on acquiring extra land could instead be used to create an iconic facility with the wow factor, instead of building a box to hold sports.

He says it is critical that a stadium have some sort of dazzle factor - be it location, design or both. If a bare-bones stadium is there just for a team to play in, it doesn't make sense for a city to invest, as it will not be an attraction.

For Hamilton, he also leaned heavily to a covered stadium, due to our climate. By his numbers, an open air stadium was pointless for growth here.

The Case against East Mountain and Confederation Park

"It does not make sense for a city to build a stadium just to house a team. There has to be a net benefit."

Rosentraub tells his audience that sport facilities most benefit a city when suburban dollars are spent in the downtown. Suburban dollars staying in the suburbs are detrimental to a city creating a vibrant Marshall Space.

He also stated that it is very difficult for a city to maintain two area of entertainment concentration dense enough for the creation of Marshall Space.

He pointed to Yankee Stadium and Cowboy Stadium as great facilities in awful locations, as there are no opportunities for synergies around them.

My Personal Experience

I was amazed throughout Rosentraub's lecture, especially when he brought up San Diego as the example of a successful city using entertainment and housing to create Marshell Space to attract and retain Human Capital in the 21-35 age range.

My sister in-law is a McMaster graduate and Certified Accountant who worked for several large industries that have left town or are leaving town.

At the age of 29, bored and disappointed with Hamilton and its lack of growth and change, she started looking at working in the United States. Her job search took her to San Diego and she was enthralled with the lifestyle opportunities that city offered.

She moved to the trendy and funky Pacific Beach area, full of entertainment, and lived the single life to its fullest. Along the way, she met a very nice guy and got married this summer.

At 34 she is working as a vice-president of an insurance company and she has now moved to the suburbs in preparation of starting a family.

I get depressed when I think of what Hamilton lost when this bright young woman who worked so hard and volunteered for so many causes left.

I will always remember sitting in the lecture hall listening to Rosentraub's 30,000 foot viewpoint ... and seeing my lovely sister in-law as if she was only one foot away.

Additional Recommendations

Rosentraub clearly stated that it extremely difficult for a sports team to move to a different city and that most will avoid it at any cost.

He clarified that the Ti-Cats are already a regional team; they do not need a new stadium or location to become one. At the same time, he pointed out that half of a team's profit comes from luxury suites.

He argued that it it doesn't make sense to build a facility just for the owner. If it doesn't make economic sense for the city, the city should not sign the contract.

Finally, the investment numbers in San Diego and LA are illustrative.

In San Diego, the public investment was $310 million, while the team and private investmen totalled $660 million.

For the LA Live, the public investment was $187 million, while the team investment was $300+ million and the third-party private investment was $2.5 billion.

Rosentraub concluded: If it could happen in downtown Los Angeles, is there really any place it cannot work?

Mark Richardson has lived in Hamilton since 1993. He is a Stationary Engineer and is one of Hamilton's many Industrial Nomads. He currently is employed at US Steel.

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By Edward HC Graydon (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 07:52:17

If the city of Hamilton just has to have a stadium to feel good, all while spending federal provincial and municipal tax dollars on a game that most people can not stand "football" a game that attracts the close to retarded and those that are for sure ,less financially able,then why build it at all? given that the track and field events are no longer going to be held in Hamilton.The fact that Hamilton's poorest will not be served at any level with regards to this stadium is the problem that the new mayor is going to have to figure out,if I had been elected I would have continued the goal of building it at the west harbour location ,as it is still the best location. Building at the west harbour will achieve many goals that are of concern to Hamiltonian's and at the same time retail is still close at hand ,"if the people actually still watch football" .I can not stand the game and I know that the game attracts only a very small amount of the population of Hamilton,but if I had to build it with tax payers dollars all while promoting a private business that to me brings little value to the city,then I would build it at the harbour front.

But really who cares about a stadium?

Edward Graydon

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 08:20:43

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-02 07:39:57

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By turbo fail (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 08:49:06

"Lets slag the 2 most successful franchises in North America."

Reading comprehension FAIL.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 09:24:33

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-02 08:28:28

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By turbo fail (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 09:27:04

You "comprehended it". But you think highlighting 2 successful stadium projects as models to follow is "slagging" them. Right.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 09:28:57

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-02 08:30:42

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 10:07:08

In the section called ' The Case for West harbour", Rosentrab says there has to be a 'wow' factor in the stadium in order for it to succeed. However, the city has already determined we do not have the funds for anything more than a bare-bones stadium. So really, given the facts, there is no case for West Harbour under the conditions Rosentrab prescribes.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted November 02, 2010 at 10:08:32

However, the city has already determined we do not have the funds for anything more than a bare-bones stadium. So really, given the facts, there is no case for West Harbour under the conditions Rosentrab prescribes.

Or any stadium at the current time.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 10:14:41

So really, given the facts, there is no case for West Harbour under the conditions Rosentrab prescribes.

Except that Frank Freaking Gehry wants to build it. Except that.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 10:50:09

If the city can only afford a bare-bones stadium, then it's a no-brainer that it certainly could not afford to have one designed by Frank "Freaking" Gehry.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 10:52:39

You don't think investors would line up to finance Gehry? You don't think developers like Molinaro would jump at the chance to build nearby?

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By zippo (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 11:41:02

Alice: "So, Bob, have you checked out the new West Harbor Stadium yet? The one that Frank Gehry designed. What do you think of it?"

Bob: "I went down to have a look but I don't think they have started construction yet, all I saw was that old scrap metal yard that's been there for years..."

Hotel Marque de Riscal

Comment edited by zippo on 2010-11-02 10:45:21

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By hshields (registered) - website | Posted November 02, 2010 at 11:44:43

A great posting!

Lets look at this "Marshall Space" idea. I've heard similar descriptions through Richard Florida and McMaster's Global Studies folks. If you think about a physical space where ideas and people can mix, network, start their businesses and have the facilities that nurture that - I think that is what McMaster Innovation Park is all about. Our own Marshall Space is already taking root. The question now is, would the addition of a 30k seat football stadium "excelerate" those kinds of attractions and networks or would it "dampen" the kind of incubator MIP wants to market itself as? I think Rosenstraub is saying a stadium in that location would excelerate the attraction of young graduates.

The only catch is, what about ownership and investment? What exactly will be Mr. Young's ownership of the stadium and what kind of investment opportunities will he have in the immediate area to ensure the Ti-Cats have a vested interest in the property?

I like what Rosenstraub has to say but, there are a lot of question marks regarding the development that still have to hashed out before we can even concieve of this as being an attractor or dampenor for "Marshall Space."

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 12:04:14

@zippo +1!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 13:49:03

This is a recent article on facility funding in the Financial Post Magazine. The author claims studies show that "pampering sports teams actually harms local economies."

http://www.financialpost.com/magazine/An...

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 14:21:51

Intriguing idea. Couple of things do not make sense.

Has the author or the speaker at Mac ever heard of musicians jamming and creating music by sending music tracks back and forth? I am no musician but I have never heard of it. I have heard of big time bands replaying or at least overdubbing certain tracks to get the exact sound that they wanted. Maybe I am wrong and musicians spend there days playing tracks and sending them to each other and creating great music that way. Love to hear from any that really do that.

The examples used Los Angeles and San Diego, neither one had a stadium built near existing shopping or attractions. In fact the exact opposite. The stadiums (stadia?) were in fact built in areas that had nothing there to attract people or even in an area that had elements to scare people off. What they did have was the possibility for future growth. How valuable can real estate in a crime riddled area be? If we build a stadium downtown is the surrounding real estate cheap enough to warrant being bought and converted? Will there be that demand from a football stadium where there are only 9 (11 if the team does really well into and through the playoffs) meaningful home games a year? Compare that to San Diego's Padre's 81 games a year or the Laker's 41 games. TiCats have 9 games and average around 20,000 per game. The Lakers sell out all 19,000 seats to every game. They also have a lot more dates potentially available in the playoffs. Best of 7 series for every round of the playoffs, with a potential of 4 series, a maximum of 16 more games. The Padre's average has declined to 25,000 but that is for 81 games. Big difference to the Tiger Cats 9 (max 11) games annually. Even if their attendance jumps to 26,000 or 28,000 per game can that really trigger that kind of Marshall space? I doubt it but I really do not know.

In comparison to the big sports in the U.S.A. the CFL is a minor league operation. Any comparison needs to be taken with a big spoon of salt.

If we build a new Stadium with taxpayer dollars it still needs to be a functional usable space in years to come, for both parties. I can live with tax dollars being spent in a scenario like that. If the city and Tiger Cats can not come to terms on a site that works for both then let's not build the new stadium, or at least not that size. If we are not going to build something relatively large do we need to build anything at all? McMaster U. just built a new stadium that holds (I believe) just under 10,000. That is big enough for things like high school championships and other civic needs. To bad the City did not get involved when that was being planned/built.

If the Tiger Cats can not live with the West Harbour site (I think it is a terrible site for pro football) and the City honestly cannot live with another site then we need to walk away from the deal. I would prefer that another mutually agreeable site were found but if it cannot then we need to move on.

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By George (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 14:35:25

Something resonated strongly with me when reading the article.

As a recent empty nester who is planning retirement as early as six years from now, I was very excited at the prospect of the NHL coming to Hamilton. I had four deposits down for the Predators "long shot" and, being a long time Tiger-Cat season ticket holder, and watching the slow re-emergence of our downtown and emergence of our waterfront, I was actively looking to move downtown if the NHL came and the WH stadium was going to be built.

I really looked forward to an urban, walkable lifestyle that would have included seasons tickets to both Hamilton's CFL and NHL teams, walking and shoppping to the Farmers' Market and frequenting the various entertainment venues and restaurants that downtown Hamilton has to offer. (More than one might think.)

God, would I love to have gotten rid of one car. Imagine the cost savings alone!

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 16:31:36

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 17:56:59

I never say never.

There's only one overriding factor in getting an NHL team: Money.

If there's money to be made BY THE RIGHT PEOPLE, it'll happen, no doubt about it.\

And one very promising outcome of the Phoenix BK case, is that it is now established that a team in Hamilton would be a lucrative one.

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By vod_kann (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 18:53:24

"Yes I do. I think you missed the point where he said they were terrible locations"

Because of the insane cost of NYC/North Jersey Real estate, the new Yankee Stadium is not a good example. I believe the Yankees did look at a Manhattan site but the $$$ were insane

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By vod_kann (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 19:03:02

"So really, given the facts, there is no case for West Harbour under the conditions Rosentrab prescribes.

Except that Frank Freaking Gehry wants to build it. Except that."

Is there a source that says that Gehry is actually wanting to build a Stadium? All I see is "iconic building":

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/...

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Let's not bend the truth here..

Comment edited by vod_kann on 2010-11-02 18:03:38

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 21:17:22

"Has the author or the speaker at Mac ever heard of musicians jamming and creating music by sending music tracks back and forth?"

It is quite common for professional session musicians to work this way. Here is a link to a 1990 article on the process. As you can imagine, the technology has grown leaps and bounds in the 20 years that has passed since this was written.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=phsEAAAA...

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted November 02, 2010 at 21:32:20

Gadzooks. This tiresome stadium debate is distracting us from doing what matters - making innovative jobs. The writer is a bit dense in not understanding his own family and what Ronsentraub/Marshall's idea applies to. For heaven's sake, his sisINlaw left because there was no accounting work. She would only have stayed for an accounting job. Do you really think a business needing accountants (such as the insurance head office she ended up at)will be arriving any time soon? Our dismal situation is driving such businesses out, leaving public facilities behind that do not pay municipal taxes.

The Marshall Space thing applies perfectly to Waterloo and not to Hamilton at all. They already have patents, innovation, technology, young people and money, lots of it. They can build a nice large covered facility, possibly for both CFL and NHL teams (cool innovation right there), with the condos etc. using pocket change from RIMM's sports-fanatic owner. Hamilton cannot compete with that and should not waste its time trying. Not to mention the huge debt tsunami about to hit profligate schemes such as this.

Instead of daydreaming such fantasies, Hamiltonians should go out to their garages and invent something useful or make a youtube movie or a hundred other possibilities. That's a daydream worth working on.

However, for such a thing to be able to grow here in town, Hamiltonians will have to get a lot better at being more open to actual local people with sometimes wacky ideas, not just suits from the sanctified Innovation Center. Hamiltonians are great at pooh-poohing home-grown ideas, or throwing the regulatory book at them and not financing anything but the worst investment, sprawl. Hamilton is not really open for business, even if it says so. We are still too self satisfied to change.

Hamilton will not be able to wrap its mind around this needed mind-adjustment until insane stadia-dreams are relegated to the outhouse where they belong. And, imo, the Spectator manipulation machine shuts down.

Comment edited by bobinnes on 2010-11-02 20:39:48

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 21:41:26

My sister in-law was employed her whole time here, she got sick of the defeatist attitude and stagnation of Hamilton.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 22:30:28

You're right Bob. It's foolish to want better things, to try and create scenarios similar to what's happening in other successful cities.

I say we just vote to shut RTH down now!

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 00:46:25

As someone in the 21-35 age bracket who grew up here, I can attest to a prevailing sense that there is no serious employment here. Yes, there are call centre jobs, temp agencies and big-box stores, but if you're educated to do anything serious (art, business, even factories, etc) you pretty much have to move somewhere like Toronto. As someone in that age bracket who's looked for jobs, it's largely true.

How exactly is a stadium going to change this? It's such a fantastical leap I don't even know where to begin. Sure, there's low-paying service sector jobs, but is that really the kind of employment we want to be nurturing? This whole thing is a farce, and it's exactly this kind of 1950s thinking and governing driving people my age out of this town.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 05:33:38

Hypothetical: Would you accept a downtown stadium if, in order to facilitate the explosive growth that would make such a facility edge closer to viability, that the city was willing to waive heritage considerations and lift zoning restrictions for all properties within a four-block radius of the site?

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 07:59:00

How exactly is a stadium going to change this? It's such a fantastical leap I don't even know where to begin. Sure, there's low-paying service sector jobs, but is that really the kind of employment we want to be nurturing?

My questions, too. It's all well and good to say we want to keep the 25-31 demographic, but what do we want to retain them with? Lots of places to spend a bit of cash here, a bit of cash there, for their own amusement? Are we aiming for a city with a shiny new core and an underclass of service sector employees who live in less desirable parts of town?

Will a new stadium help make Hamilton the best place to raise children (the 25-31 year-olds of the future)? I'm afraid I agree with Merullaon this one.

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By SayWhat? (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 08:33:22

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 10:21:18

Nowhere that I read in the article does it state that Rosentraub or anyone else asserts that Hamilton does not have the money for building a stadium with a wow factor. He states that for his principle to work it must have a wow factor and not be bare bones. This can be accomplished through either location or design or both. BMO was build for $62 million. It is relatively bare bones. We have more than that available for Pan Am. The location at WH I believe would provide a stunning backdrop for a stadium and tie into the principles that Rosentraub is talking about.

Its probably all moot because our spineless city council has caved to Bob Young and the TiCats and their buddy Ian Troop. It would be interesting to see Mr Young's reaction should the whole mess cave in and there is no stadium built. Where will he play then?

He will stay at Ivor Wynne or sell because there is nowhere else for him to go.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 11:22:13

The city manager, Chris Murray has said on more than one occasion that Hamilton only has the funds available for a bare bones facility and cannot afford to pursue a stadium with 'wow' factor.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 11:23:47

We don't even have that much, we're still $70 million short. This whole thing is gone stupid.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 12:30:56

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 15:30:00

We're up to seventy million short for the extra costs of the CP site, but nobody has yet demonstrated that the original $100 was something we should we could (or should) afford.

If 60-80% of new jobs are coming from small start-ups, why are we investing in a stadium, rather than viable options for STARTING FIRMS? As we've discussed lately, starting even tiny businesses in this city entails tens or hundreds of thousands in pointless zoning/licencing/permit costs and at city hall. As someone in the 21-35 age group, the idea of trying to raise that kind of capital for a project is a non-starter. Even if the building, labour and equipment was free, it just isn't doable for 99% of us.

Ever since Richard Florida got big this kind of magical thinking has been endemic. Economic theory no longer requires facts, evidence or numbers - they're passe. Just talk about hipsters and everyone takes you seriously. Any project can be justified if you invoke the inexplicable powers of trendy young people.

Comment edited by Undustrial on 2010-11-03 14:31:30

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 20:35:42

Mr Murray quite frankly is hedging his bets. His job kind of depends on it. More than one architect in meetings that I have sat in on has said that the budget available (providing the stadium were built at WH) is more than enough to build an impressive facility. Mr Murray himself when pressed by Lloyd Ferguson at the last COW meeting hinted that there was "some juice" in the numbers. He can't openly come out and state the type of facility that can be built for the money as design, among a host of other factors are just being worked out. East Mountain was not doable, CP/Longwood do we know yet? WH we already own the land and remediation estimates were way less than first feared.

Again not likely to transpire. CP could still not happen unless someone pulls a rabbit out of their hat and finds more money. (Hello, calling Bob Young and his business partners).

Which brings us back to no stadium, no games, the Cats not going anywhere and Mr Young selling, and the future fund being used for something else, which I would be fine with.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 22:09:42

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-03 21:11:51

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 22:24:02

Several hundred million needs to be spent on transportation links to make that site work starting with the completion of the Perimeter Road project"

Give your head a shake. The transportation studies were done, WH was better for access than East Mountain by far,the bottle necks created by the limited access at EM would have led to interminable traffic jams. The dispersed nature of parking downtown leads to far better ingress and egress patterns There is a train station being build by GO Transit a mere couple hundred meters from the site. There are no significant public transit nodes at EM. It is a greenfield with no infrastructure. The low side in difference in cost was $80 million in favour of WH.

Again moot. At this point neither are likely to happen.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 22:35:00

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 22:42:13

@turbo - An oft repeated assertion at the Ti-Cats message board with no back up or sources given even though I've asked for it several times.

Do you have a source?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 22:44:18

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-03 21:45:05

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 03, 2010 at 23:54:15

The infrastructure costs were in the capital budget spread out over 15-25 years. To build a stadium by 2014 would have accelerated those expenditures at the expense of areas of the city that have been waiting for road, sewer and sidewalk replacements in excess of 30 years. So no the costs were not tacked on to EM dishonestly. What was dishonest was trying to claim that those costs were already in the capital budget between now and 2014 and then trying to subtract them from the cost of building on a green field.

The Rheem site is already serviced by roads, sewers, water, electricity. In other words zero capital costs to service the site. You are trying to blow smoke up every one's arse.

How has the city closed York Blvd to through traffic? Its being converted to two way. The project is near completion. You can't do construction on roads without temporarily rendering them a pain in the ass to navigate. This fantasy that the TiCat kool aid drinkers like to spew that the WH site is inaccessible is simply that. Fantasy.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 07:24:28

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-04 06:28:28

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 07:29:41

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2010 at 11:58:17

"2 way traffic makes it impassible. Its effectively closed as an arterial road. That is actually the intent"

You obviously don't spend much if any time downtown.

Is Mohawk Rd impassible? Or Rymal Rd? Or King or Main in the East end? Obviously the answer is no. York Blvd will be no different.

Thats a ridiculous statement not supported by anything resembling fact.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 12:12:08

York Blvd. Master Plan

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/49B3A856-37C5-462B-8748-369051B2F0FB/0/YorkBLVDMasterPlanSection23.pdf The plan is 'Putting People First'.

I did not find any specific references that cited the purpose was to close York Blvd as an arterial road.

Secton 3.3 "In the Plan, York Blvd is identified as a 'Mobility Street'. These types of streets accommodate large volumes of traffic as well as transportation of freight goods. York Blvd provides and important linkage between the Highway 403 and the Downtown..... Aside from accommodating traffic, the design of 'Mobility Streets' must follow the intent of the Downtown Secondary Plan namely being physically comfortable and safe, animated with people and activity with buidling addressing the street."

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 16:29:32

Is Longwood impassable?

How about Aberdeen?

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By C (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 16:34:32

Shempatolla wrote: "The infrastructure costs were in the capital budget spread out over 15-25 years. To build a stadium by 2014 would have accelerated those expenditures at the expense of areas of the city that have been waiting for road, sewer and sidewalk replacements in excess of 30 years. So no the costs were not tacked on to EM dishonestly. What was dishonest was trying to claim that those costs were already in the capital budget between now and 2014 and then trying to subtract them from the cost of building on a green field."



If I read the city report correctly I think that infrastructure costs were to be paid from a fund that would be fiananced, years later, by development charges. Development charges that would be lost if a stadium were to be buuilt at EM.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted November 04, 2010 at 18:02:30

I stand corrected. It was a long day at the COW meeting that day. The net result is that areas of the city that have been waiting for decades for hard service improvements would go without. That question was put directly to the city manager and one of the other staffers working on the EM breakdown by one of the city councillors. The answer was that yes other projects would be shuffled down the list.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted November 04, 2010 at 18:47:56

So pro sports are "sustainable" now?

Interesting...

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 08, 2010 at 15:40:34

Comparing 8 lane streets with 4 lane streets is the ridiculous statement. The lower city was not designed for the traffic flow that it has and 60 years ago the city came up with a solution to solve that problem. News flash, there are more people cars and buses now than 60 years ago so going backwards to 2 way traffic is going to be a worse problem today than it was then

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