By Jeff Reid
Published December 28, 2010
Aldershot Stadium site Burlington - Google Map w/MTO Cam
It now feels like an eternity since the digital shadow of a transparent stadium began passing back and forth over Hamilton, as Bob Young's Sim-City cursor tries to figure out where to force the parking-centric dream-facility onto his custom Google-map.
And, as time runs out to capitalize on the enormous
taxpayer funding, the virtual venue now hovers
off the map, over the edge of Burlington. And I say please let it drop down there!
This works for the Ti-Cats. Obviously. They get the new home that made my beloved neighbour, Ivor Wynne, look like an old grey bowl from the moment the concept art rolled out of the 3D rendering factory. And they get nothing out of being located in Ward 3, just like we get nothing out of the Tiger-Cats being here.
Our failure, theirs, who knows now..? But Aldershot is everything the Tiger-Cats could want for the future and we could spend some Future Fund fixing up the hole they will leave behind.
This works for Hostco and the Pan-Am Games. They will get the 20,000-seat stadium to show off to world soccer viewers, and this option is much closer to the rest of the games compared to the other ideas to-date.
This will work out for Burlington. They want to be viewed as a real city not just a suburb. The Tiger-Cats will be an anchor tenant for a facility that attracts hundreds of events to Burlington, nothing to do with football or Hamilton. It will be an amphitheater and an open-air convention-hall for their city.
This will work for Hamilton. Despite what Hamiltonians may think, we just spent a long time agreeing we can not agree on anywhere for a new stadium. And face it, it means the Tiger-Cats are staying, and we don't have to pay for them to to do so with Future Fund or taxes down the road.
Ticats president Scott Mitchell issued the following statement Tuesday:
We have spent almost one year working with the City of Hamilton to find a suitable location for a "legacy" stadium that would house Pan American soccer games and become the new home of the Tiger-Cats, with no success.
The Tiger-Cats continued to work with the City of Hamilton, reviewing every site that would work as a location for a successful stadium.
The Aldershot property is three kilometers from Hamilton and is convenient for transit and GO users as well as the 80% of fans who travel to our games by car.
We believe the proposed Aldershot location, being on the municipal boundary of Hamilton and Burlington and accessible by both GO Trains and major highways, will satisfy HostCo's requirements for soccer in Western Ontario.
In the longer term, the stadium would become a multi-sport centre of excellence for soccer and other high-performance sports.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The British Empire Games provided the same stimulus for the construction of what is now Ivor Wynne Stadium almost 80 years ago.
A similar opportunity exists today for a dynamic, public/private partnership stadium that could serve the needs of the Hamilton and Burlington community for decades.
Our goal remains to keep the franchise in this community and we are working hard to do that.
Will this work for Aldershot? I think so, as isn't really anywhere now. Hamilton, Burlington and GO transit all stop near this location all-day everyday and there is nothing there but a delay.
Aldershot is not really "in Burlington", "in Hamilton" or even "in Waterdown"; it is the name for an old railway void between the three.
So I'm holding my breath, crossing my fingers and hoping the Stadium finally drops where it can be appreciated and afforded.