Sports

Bratina: 30,000 Seat Stadium or Nothing

By RTH Staff
Published January 04, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

According to a CHML report, Mayor Bob Bratina is saying if Hamilton cannot put together a full 30,000 seat Pan Am stadium that can accommodate the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after the Games are over, it makes no sense to build a smaller stadium in its place.

Hamilton Mayor tells CHML's Bill Kelly he doesn't want to be the mayor who diminishes Hamilton - taking it from a 30-thousand seat stadium to a 6-thousand seater.

He says either we're going to be in the game and play off the tradition that the Tiger Cats are a part of, or not.

Anything in between, he says, doesn't make any sense to him.

As of this writing, Mayor Bratina and the councillors have not yet responded to an email from RTH sent early this morning asking if they would consider delivering a bid for a scalable 5500-6500 seat West Harbour stadium to Toronto 2015 on February 1.

Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop clarified yesterday in a Raise the Hammer interview that the February 1 stadium deadline is final and that the Pan Am host corporation will consider a 5500-6500 seat stadium in the West Harbour that can later be scaled to include a professional tenant.

Specifically, Mr. Troop stated that a stadium with 15,000-25,000 seats requires a permanent legacy tenant to be financially viable but a 6000 seat stadium has modest enough operating costs that a legacy of community use is viable and affordable.

He also explicitly pointed out that money freed up by building a smaller stadium could be used to upgrade the Pan Am Velodrome to be "a tremendous high-performance sports legacy" for Hamilton.

Update: Mayor Bratina just responded to our email, writing, "Council has been aware for some of the information presented here, which is not relevant to our deliberations."

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:24:26

ugh

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By Irony (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:25:57

I find it funny that Bratina was vocally upset when Council decided not to even STUDY Confederation Park, and yet he dismisses this idea in a similar fashion. Sorry Bob, but there are more colours in the rainbow besides black and gold.

Is he the Mayor of Hamilton or the Ticats' representative on Council?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:33:26

Maybe Bratina could say if some of you change your stance on exploring Confederation Park, I will vote to propose the plan mentioned in Ryan's article, as Hamilton's 'Plan B' if Confederation Park proves a non-starter?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:33:47

ugh

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:34:48

Council has been aware for some of the information presented here, which is not relevant to our deliberations.

...

ugh

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-04 14:35:19

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:36:30

Although Lawrence if the Confederation Park option is now agreed upon to take a look at, is there enough time to fully explore it? Writing it off as a non-starter essentially would mean you haven't looked at it closely and if you have looked at it closely, I would think that will take some time past the Feb. 1 deadline.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-04 14:36:43

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By Farr from the Truth (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:41:10

Jason Farr is clearly the ticats' voice on council. The last meeting he didn't even bother to consider tax payers, only his beloved tiger cats.

infact I don't think he has any clue what he's gotten himself into... if he has any clue about anything at all.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:41:42


And the money to get us from 15,000 seats to 30,000 seats is going to come from...________________?

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By SayWhat? (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:43:36

From CHML:
"As for where the stadium should go, [Bratina] says a regional solution in Aldershot is not out of the question, but adds that there's no way all parties involved could meet and decide who will pay for what in less than a month."

The term 'regional solution' scares the crap out of me. Is he seriously considering contributing Hamilton money to this?

Link: http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocalGeneral/Story.aspx?ID=1338117

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:48:07

@HamiltonFan. I do believe you are right, that there probably isn't enough time (especially now that we know Hamilton's deadline of Feb. 1st is final), and I don't even like the Confed Park idea to begin with, but if he already knew of what Ryan was talking about, that option certainly could have also been proposed back when they voted down to look at Confed Park.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:50:25

How sad is it that the Mayor doesn't feel that a 6,000 stadium built specifically for public use is a worthwhile project?

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:54:38

I thought this whole debate was retarded back when it was West Harbour versus East Mountain. At this point, I don't even know what the hell to call it.

West Harbour versus Aldershot versus Confederation Park

And all the options basically have little to no chance of happening. Interesting how the Ti-Cats have forced us into this lunacy.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:56:18

Yes lawrence, this could have been proposed as you say but many ideas could have been proposed since this whole affair started way back. It's a different Mayor now and he has a different take. Similar to when an organization or business gets a new CEO, the new leader brings forth a different approach many times.

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By george (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:18:31

"Not relevant"?

How is it not relevant?

If you can't do the 30,000 seat stadium, a scalable stadium allows for the future. Can't he think about the future here? BOB YOUNG WILL NOT ALWAYS OWN THE TIGER-CATS!

I would have liked a more elaborate response with a little insight into his reasoning, instead of the dismissive single sentence that reveals next to nothing. Not helpful at all, and thanks for nothing.

Doesn't want to talk with the Spec, and now this response?

Does he lack savvy?

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By Lester (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:27:17

Sure, let's build the stadium on a green field site that provides public access to our own lakefront, health benefits to our families and our children due to the opportunity to use it for exercise, socialization and stress relief. Let's forever destroy a symbol of our cultural and social history and our political, social, and economic autonomy - after all, aren't these things are irrelevant to the deliberations?

Ludicrous - Confederation Park belongs as it is, a symbol of civic inclusion and political autonomy for the people of this city, not a cash cow for a private sector football team. In the West Harbour site we have a viable stadium site in place that can be built to be scalable while achieving the goal of acquiring the funding for completion that mayor has been warning us will be lost - while Ian Troop has just finished saying otherwise, such that WH becomes the best choice within the city.

About financially contributing to a stadium location in Aldershot - some of the Burlington Councillors are already backing away from the idea due to the possibility of being left with a big fat bill that can't be afforded because there is insufficient use of the stadium yet they would be left with on-going costs never mind the upfront costs they would have to pony up (can you say "property tax increase?"). Thus, while I'd like to see the circumstances regarding the Tiger-cats sorted out, not at the expense of our money and autonomy. Otherwise, the Tiger-Cats and the other parties interested in profiting from this situation at our expense would ask that we absorb a large portion of the financial risk.

NO. Call your councillor and tell them that Confederation Park is to be off the table once and for all, and that it is time that the parties involved meet to discuss going forward with WH and preparations to host a portion of the Pan-Am Games with or without the Tiger-Cats involvement in the process, or let's proceed with WH and prepare to host a portion of the Pan-Am games while letting the Cats and the City of Burlington work out a separate deal on the Aldershot site.

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:31:23

Does Bratina qualify his statements as his sole opinion, or are these statements he makes that help only to weaken the position of the city he supposedly leads supported by council? Is he talking off the top of his head? Is council aware of his statements? Perhaps he should learn that sometimes silence on an issue is golden. The new mayor needs to know when to speak, and when not to speak, on public issues. He could single-handedly deal the death blow to a new stadium in Hamilton, and maybe more.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:35:00

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By George (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:39:58

What?

How do you know what Collins is thinking?

From what I know the new plan for Confederation Park has undergone extensive public consultation. It's much more valuable to the entire city as a park, and should not be hijacked for development by the private sector.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:42:15

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:44:58

@Andrea. Although I don't totally like the 6,000 seat plan because if all FF monies were used for it, there would be nothing left to even offer a rennovation option beyond the $20M (added to our taxes), figure Sam talks about for Ivor Wynne. Even though I know Bob Y says he won't play there. If Bob doesn't agree for a future expansion of WH for his team, and leaves Ivor Wynne after the 2011 season, no Cats. No Bob Y is one thing, but bye bye 141 years of history, just sucks to put it bluntly.

But I do like that the plan outlined in Ryan's piece, would clean up the harbor and although there are other 6,000 seat facilities such as Ron Joyce at Mac, they aren't really public facilities per say are they? If the Harbor stadium took over for Ivor Wynne's 'other' uses, there is benefit in that, although I would rather a 6,000 seat facility replace IWS. Continuing 80 years of sports history, and the return of a Civic Stadium type facility. Track, field, and all.

I say pull Bob Y/Mitchell, Ian Troop, and council all into a war room and talk Ivor Wynne. Build the Veldrome at the Harbour (is there a concrete location decided for it yet? Was it Dundas?), that cleans it up and that neighborhood could forgoe 30,000 people converging on their little comminity 10 or 11 times a year, and we could continue to work with what sort of works right now at IWS.

There are options to fix parking (maybe a smaller scale parking garage if Parkview Secondary is really soon to be done), utilities, seating, exterior paint, stadium visibility off of Cannon, etc. Let's at least talk about those options and how they could possibly get the Cats out of the red. This isn't the Cats decision. It's our councils. Present them with all of 'our' options. Bob Y likes one of them, or does whatever he wants - inlcuding pursuing sites like Aldershot on his own but he might want to do a little research to see how many fans he would lose, moving the team outside of the Hamilton boundary lines.

If Parkview Seconary is an option (would is unfortunate I want to add), build a smaller scale parking garage there and demo Brian Timmis. Put the Tiger Town store along the south side of Ivor Wynne where not only thousands of Cats fans already live, but 22-25,000 or so gather 10-11 times a year, not to mention highschool kids who play and attend highschool football games during their season. These little tweaks would certainly get the Cats closer to even. It's a sports team and the CFL to boot. Pro teams lose money. It's just a matter of how much they are willing to lose or are 'really' losing.

Ivor Wynne is the most accessible location all around from proximately to the highway, to THE most accessible public transit wise - now and especially in our future LRT/GO plans.

Does everyone else feel we are kind of out of options here? If the powers that be could at least talk IWS for a day or two, if Bob Young could see the benefits from what I have talked about above and on my website, perhaps HostCo would be on board with a location that the Cats agree to, even though they originally said an Ivor Wynne reno was not an option. Was it not an option because the Cats said no way?

Is there something to exploring a couple of quick costs at IWS, to see if that could work for the Cats and the city?

  • cost to add seatbacks to the rest of the stadium
  • cost in today's dolloars to replace the south stands
  • upgrade hydro and water utility feeds into the stadium
  • demo Brian Timmis and pave it over
  • construct a new Tiger-Town store along the south side of IW, facing Bernie Faloney Way (aka Cannon St)
  • is there a place around the current stadim, where we could move the Hall of Fame to also move it closer to where Cats fans all gather?
  • the architects design for a hotel/housing complex along Melrose. Is that viable? Could we use bricks from torn down local buildings to keep with the current neighborhood architecture, for the exterior so it doesn't stick out like a soar thumb?
  • could we change the zoning for the houses along melrose, Beechwood, and Balsam, to commercial to allow for little pubs and eateries (not Hess Villiage-type night clubs but more 'Lazy Flamingo/Rebels Rock type bars), to occupy those homes perhaps, creating more 'local' business around the stadium?
  • paint the exterior the same color as Copps to brighten up the old girl and make her stand out even more than she alraedy does towering over the rooftops
  • create King/Wellington type pillars at either end of Barton at Victoria and Gage that say 'Stadium District'
  • the south stands can support more press boxes - at what cost?
  • improvements to the Hall of Fame box
  • highway signage - there is non. Advertise the darn place so people know it's there on all four corners of our city. Also highlight the 141 Years of history in Hamilton. That's signifant. Let passerby's know this
  • can Ivor Wynne be designated as a historic site, and what kind of government funding/grants would that give us for upgrades/yearly maintenance costs?
  • would improvements above greatly affect our yearly $1.7M maintenance 'burden'?

Not all of this has to be done right away, but how much would it cost roughly with what money we are being offered ($70M from feds and $45M FF), to do what needs to be done over the next couple of years, to get the Cats out of the red or at least much further from it?

What harm is there in that? We have already spent boatlaods of time and cash exploring other sites, let's spend a couple of more days exploring our options with what we have.

Then we'll all know, and other than Confederation Park, we will have explored quite a few sites and know that we tried everything if we still lose the funding after all is said and done.

Is there still not some shortfall at the Harbour for a 22-25,000 seat stadium? Shortfall gone at IWS. Maybe not everyone's preferred site, but If it solves many of our issues, is that so bad? If we could do all that for the $70 from the feds, we still save our FF? Just questions. Wouldn't mind knowing some answers and not just from the Cats and their hired experts. From RTH and others who may be a little more removed from our politics and open-minded to all scenerios.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-04 15:58:02

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:54:15

it's about development of any nature that paves over greenspace. To be consistent with this line of thinking.

Not necessarily. All development is not equal. An ice cream stand is not the same as a stadium and 5,000 car parking lot.
From what I've read, the Conf Park plans add in a few retail stalls and more interactive kids park space. To be honest, I'd like to see more development of Conf Park, perhaps along the lines of http://www.waterfront.co.za/Pages/home.a... although I think Cape Town's model is more suited to the West Harbour area. My point is, I'd love to see compatible development in the greenspace, but not a stadium. It's a stupid location for a stadium. Traffic nightmare and a horrible view of our east end, which the rest of country sees enough. Plus, stadiums are only heavily used 8 or 9 times a year.

The term 'regional solution' scares the crap out of me. Is he seriously considering contributing Hamilton money to this?

Honestly, there'd have to be a mutiny if this happens. While we're at it, why don't we toss $40 million to Winnipegs new CFL stadium. I'm sure they'd appreciate the free money as much as Burlington.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:56:47

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-04 15:57:52

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By George (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:58:29

There have been and always will be appropriate development for city parks.

That's one reason why there is public consultation.

To equate a football stadium, it's parking lot, and any revenue capturing development to traditional park development is completely disingenuous.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-04 15:59:03

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:59:03

@HamiltonFan - Strange, I had no problem getting to/from WingFest. The fireworks on the other hand... Ugh, that was a nightmare.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:00:47

the only time I've seen traffic jams at the WH is when 200,000 people cram in for fireworks. The fact that there are still no buses serving Bayfront Park 15 years after it opened is quite remarkable, and another glimpse into our priorities as a city.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:01:56

George, my understanding is that Confederation Park was losing something like $400,000 a year and they wanted to look at a hotel there which the public wasn't keen on. I understand that and you are correct not all development is the same. I don't support Confed Park for a stadium either but one ice cream cone stand can turn into another one and another one and soon enough enough little ones can add up. Yes, there needs to be a specific plan for Confed Park, I don't have a problem with that.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:02:25

to me it's all one regional city

With two regional tax bases, governments and jurisictions. Yes, we share the Hamilton metro area together, but that doesn't mean Hamilton should start giving away gobs of money so Burlington can build a stadium. I don't see them sending us gobs of money for downtown renewal. In fact, I see them sending their neediest citizens here for us to take care of.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:08:17

I can't see how someone could possibly not view Burlington and Hamilton as different cities, unles your only view of Hamilton is of the mountain or one of the suburbs. Lower Hamilton and pretty much all of Burlington couldn't be more different. Regardless, that's definitely not an excuse to defend the notion of Hamilton taxpayers paying for a stadium in Burlington... for a football team that only belongs to Hamilton in name. That's absolutely insane.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:08:22

If you look at polls & opinions -even in (gulp!) The Spectator, it's pretty obvious that most Hamilton citizens are Done & Done with the stadium. Period!

We can't afford it. We don't need it. There are other much more important things that need attention & money in the GHA. Even the biggest fans of the Ti-Cats are fed up.

So Mr. Bratina is gonna start his term of office, Not Knowing what most citizens really want -or Don't Want? GOOD GRIEF!!! Is there no end to the selective deafness at City Hall?

(...Just shoot &/or deport me now...please.) :(

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:09:58

The more I hear from this guy, Bratina, the more I worry about Hamilton's future. I'm so glad that I didn't vote for him.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:13:40

Can someone tell me how I can obtain how many squre feet Brian Timmis stadium occupies? If it's an average of 160 sq ft per parking spot, how many could demolishing that 5,000 seat stadium create?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:13:51

Hamilton's downtown and waterfront redevelopment is what will put us in the 'big leagues', not a stadium that is used by a crappy football team 8 times a year. Is Hamilton more of a vibrant or prosperous city than Ottawa because we have a CFL team? How about Los Angeles with no football team. Or Portland, Halifax, Quebec City etc....

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:17:03

Breaking the Bratina code: Regional Solution = Future Fund $$$

We need a #$%&ing revolution in the council chambers like right NOW!

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:19:54

@Farr from the truth

I will give you, I'm disappointed by Farr very quickly stepping in line with the Tiger-Cats on this issue, and not showing a bit more restraint or inquiry to why Confederation Park was removed from selection. Something that you think he would do given that he got in with 20% of the vote and made claims his personal position regarding the team wouldn't interfere with his choices at council. I mean, he has to understand that the combined votes of the candidates in his ward that opposed the stadium, outweighed the votes he got in the election.

However, he still seems to be younger voice on council with some good ideas. He did after all pioneer the Farmer's Market expansion plans, which I think we all agree was a good thing. I wouldn't say he's clueless, and I do think he will be an asset on council as from my understanding was born and raised in the inner city and understands many of it's issues.

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By Lester (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:23:57

@Andrea - your points on IWS do make some sense - is it possible that there are aspects of your thoughs on IWS that Sam Merulla has missed or is simply not aware of? It would interesting to hear Sam's thoughts on the today's comments by the mayor, and on his own take regarding your ideas - although I think Ian Troop is still thinking primarily of funding a new building.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:31:43

RE: Square footage of BTS. Found this site. Just did a rough estimate, and Brian Timmis Stadium is approximately 160,000 sq ft. Exaxtly 1,000 additional parking spots if we tore it down.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:42:49

Dear Bob:

You may have heard of a concept called "bargaining".

Here's how not to bargain:

"we will do whatever it takes to make the other guy happy, we really need this deal".

Council scored a huge win when Burlington demonstrated out how nobody really wants a CFL team... at least, not at the price-tag of a new stadium.

But now Bratina goes out there and says "We do! We do! Thank you sir, may I have another!"

And yeah, I still think an Ivor Wynne reno is the best option - screw the Pan Am committee for saying the money was only for new stadiums. That's exactly the kind of mentality that leads to sprawl and urban decay.

edit: @Lawrence - notice that the city also still owns Scott Park's Park (not the building, the baseball diamonds) - that ain't a big space, and in another thread someone posted that there are plans for a retirement home or something there... but still, that is more land that could be commercialized as part of an IWS revitalization.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-01-04 17:00:06

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:45:21

Bottom line, Bratina needs to check himself and his personal feelings at the door. He needs to realize council doesn't want a Confederation Park stadium and the majority of the people of Hamilton don't want Confederation Park stadium. Trying to force this through council isn't serving the public good and is making this wild goose chase look more and more like an episode of Benny Hill. He needs to say "Cats this is the best I can do at the West Harbour or Ivor Wynne. Take it or leave it." He also needs to understand that he got in mainly on his talk of deamalgamation and NOT based on his stadium position, which has changed from Confederation Park, to Sir John A. MacDonald, to the East Mountain, to the West Harbour, to back to Confederation Park.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:45:45

-Hammer-

My personal opinion is that Farr pulled his farmer's market proposal right from the very pages of RTH. Read the comments and you will see that his proposal was being discussed here in mid-November.

http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/12...

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-04 16:46:01

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By Some Guy (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:52:14

This is an excellent strategy by Bratina, if his goal is to not build any stadium at all. By being firm on forcing the city and the Ti-Cats to compromise on a large stadium - while knowing full well that this compromise will never happen before Feb. 1 - he manages to kill the stadium without actually being the bad guy.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:53:54

@-Hammer-

I disagree. I think Bratina got in partially because of anti-incumbent fervor surrounding the Ticat fiasco, and I think a lot of the voters supported Bratina's apparently waffly position on the stadium. Most people don't see the synergy of the West Harbour with the city's plans, since a lot of the good reasons to put it there aren't built yet.

Bratina was onside with the west harbour when the alternative was to put it way out in sprawl country. But he's always been pushing for the study of every possible location, including several "true downtown" spots that were on the top of his list. While it's waffly and wasteful to want every location studied, I think the public supports him on that.

His last push for the Confed. park smells of desperation. He doesn't want to be the mayor that lost us the Ti-Cats. He works in talk radio and so he deals with their echo-chamber.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:56:35

@mrjanitor

A good idea for our city, holds merit regardless of who thought of it first. If said good idea is acted upon by a councilor, is that still not a good thing?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:58:46

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:03:56

-Hammer-

You wrote this,

he still seems to be younger voice on council with some good ideas. He did after all pioneer the Farmer's Market expansion plans, which I think we all agree was a good thing.

I responded because I don't think that idea was his, so I don't think he has good ideas. I also don't think he pioneered the expansion plans, I think RTH did that. Is it good the motion was made, absolutely.

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By f hayek (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:06:53

the taxpayers of hamilton should not be supporting a failing business.





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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:22:21

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-04 17:22:44

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:34:12

Or a failing city for that matter.

Leaving just where, exactly...?

What is it that you're suggesting in your sarcasm?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:38:36

hayek makes a post with little explanation or thought. Sarcastic IMHO so I responded as such because I felt like it.

This will all end shortly and we can move on but in the meantime it's just going to be a tad hairy like we've seen.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:46:24

@MrJanitor

Well, I suppose we can both have a wait and see approach as to what ideas Mr Farr does bring to council. However, given that no one on council put the motion forward (even before Farr got in) and that he was the one who started the city actually working towards making it happen, (not to take anything away from the people on RTH, who discussed it and might have brainstormed the idea first for Farr to take and run with) I would say pioneer is a suitable adjective.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 17:50:22

My personal opinion is that Farr pulled his farmer's market proposal right from the very pages of RTH. Read the comments and you will see that his proposal was being discussed here in mid-November.

There's a group called Friends of Hamilton Farmers' Market who's been working with the vendors who are rejected and/or appealing. I've been to one meeting and otherwise keeping up on their list. Jason Farr came to the same inaugural meeting, but I do not know what contact/appearances he has made since then - he could be at all meetings or none, I'm unsure. Some of the same people who are part of that post on RTH. I do know that at that meeting the possibility of additional space (after the appeal process for current vendors was exhausted) was discussed and he said he'd bring that up. I think he's done pretty well on this.

I'm nowhere near as impressed by his conduct where the Ticats are involved, but to be fair I think he's done well representing people on the Farmers' Market issue.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 18:19:04

Maybe Jason Farr just sees things differently on the TigerCat issue from some people. And I think that is fair enough as well. I don't think that any of us will agree with all the decisions and ideas someone makes who is in office.

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 19:16:38

while I have some concerns over costs at Confederation Park, like sewers and highway access, some of the arguments people bring forward against it are ridiculously circular or contradictory. We don't want it because it gives a bad view of the east end industry. But if not that we don't want it because it's a beautiful park. But if not that it smells bad. But if not that it's a well used greenspace. But if not that it doesn't have access. But if not that we don't want the ticats anyway. I get it, many people here wanted the WH, and frankly so do I, despite it having a number of downsides as well, including opposition from north end neighbours and conflict with setting sail. But if you're arguing against CP because you're really arguing for the WH or against the Ticats anywhere, then do that not these lame arguments.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 19:32:13

I'm not arguing 'for the WH' when I saw Conf Park is lousy for a stadium. Yes, the parkspace is nice along there, most specifically the waterfront trail. The view is nice at ground level, but up in a stadium it would be brutal.
It's necessary recreation space for that part of the city. We have so many brownfields in Hamilton that can house a stadium. Ripping up a park isn't necessary IMO.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 19:48:01

Last week Bratina was confident HOSTCO would grant another deadline extension. Now when he learns that it won't happen he dismisses it as irrelevant. Do you think if during the election campaign he stated he would be kissing BY's ass to the bitter end he would have got elected. It's time he starts being mayor on the other issues important to the city.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:04:57

When I put forth arguments against the idea of a stadium at Confederation Park, it had nothing to do with a stadium at any other site. A stadium at Confederation Park is a horrible idea for many reasons. I'm impartial about where else it might or might not go.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:08:37

Bratina said on the radio today that Council had yet to make a decision about Confederation Park. Didn't council decide against it, but then Bratina said a re-vote needs to be done?

Bratina also said, today on the radio, that "any study is better than no study" about whether or not to go ahead with a stadium for Confederation Park. Really!? I think it would be pretty easy to argue that a rushed, inaccurate or otherwise flawed study has the potential to be much much worse than no study.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:16:19

so when is this next 'vote'? This study should be a real beauty considering they'll have about 2 weeks to do it. Multi million dollar highway interchanges, servicing issues, transportation issues, design, layout and dollar figures are all going to be ironed out in 2 weeks?? I can barely decide what colour to paint my bathroom in 2 weeks, let alone do all of that and expect any reasonably accurate info.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:25:20

Some of the Burlington councilors have stated that proper public consultation would take months, and that's a reason not proceed with looking at the Aldershot site.

Wouldn't that same time constraint apply to Confederation Park or any other new site with a Feb 1 deadline looming?

What is Bratina thinking?

With a firm deadline set at Feb 1, there are only three options.

1) Go ahead with the 6,000 scalable solution for current community and Pan Am use, and future expansion for CFL

2) Pass entirely, and let HOSTCO proceed with Plan B's contingency of a small stadium in another municipality.

3) Tiger-Cats agree to WH if private funding gap can be addressed.

There are no other options right now. There is simply not enough time to properly assess either Aldershot or Confederation Park.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-04 20:32:51

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:33:22

The next and final vote on whether to study the Confederation Park stadium idea will occur at the Hamilton city council meeting on January 12th. If the motion is defeated again, it will be interesting to see whether two of the councillors then move and second a motion to submit a scalable west harbour stadium proposal to Hostco by February 1st.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-04 20:37:20

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:39:11

SpaceMonkey...Bill Kelly, like Bratina is also far up BY's ass. He would never bring up the question on the issues you posed here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 20:59:10

interesting tidbit from Ron Foxcroft and his role in this. Taken from another post on RTH in August.
Originally typed by reelfreeenterprise:

The following quote from Foxcroft “I got several calls from mayors and leaders of municipalities that wanted an intro to Scott and Bob, which I did. I will not say who they are because I would be betraying confidence. But that's the truth.” earns him another nomination in the "I said it, but I can't back it up" contest. If you can get past the shameless self-promotion (why would "several Mayors" call Foxcroft for an intro instead of dialing Young or Mitchell directly???? They're Mayors, you windbag, Mitchell or Young would jump at their call) consider that this is someone who purports to be a "Hamilton booster" who's claiming to be facilitating the relocation of Hamilton's team. What a booster! Although it's all probably BS, if it IS true, it only goes to show how fruitless the search has been.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 21:24:37

Meredith,

Yes, I was aware that there was a very dedicated group of people working for vendors in the new market. I did not know Jason Farr showed that interest, thank you for clarifying that for me. I guess following your's and Hammer's experience with Jason I'll try to keep a more open mind towards his performance.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:16:36

Alright everyone, new campaign:

Go to a used bookstore/thrift shop etc. Buy a dictionary, and make sure it has the word "irrelevant" in it.

Highlight the word and definition, and add a sticky tab or bookmark of some sort, or just dog-ear the page so it can be found.

Send to Mayor Bob.

;-)

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By NortheastWind (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:34:12

I hope the people here who are advocating a scalable stadium can speak up at the next Council meeting. Let your voice be heard!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:58:03

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 SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 23:44:08

Can anyone here confirm that Council did, in fact, vote against (and therefore decide against) studying Confederation Park as a possible stadium location at the last council meeting?

If this is the case, then Bratina flat-out lied to the people on radio today.

Here is a quote from TheSpec on Dec 23/10. "Councillors disagreed with the mayor when it came to Confederation Park. Bratina introduced a motion to investigate that site and proposed that staff bring a “preliminary progress report” back to council by Jan. 14.

After hours of debate, Bratina’s motion was defeated 9-6 by councillors who presented various arguments against looking into the waterfront park".

Does Bratina think the residents of Hamilton are a bunch of idiots? Shouldn't he be penalized for telling such an obvious and provable lie?

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:00:08

Council will vote on January 12, 2011 to ratify or not ratify the decision they made on December 22, 2010 not to study the Confederation Park Pan Am stadium idea.

By the way, the December, 2010 calendar of public meetings on the City of Hamilton website does not even list the meeting held by council on December 22, 2010. Is this the "new transparency" Hamilton citizens can expect in the future? http://hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/Corpo...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-05 00:00:23

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:01:37

What's the point of even having a vote if it's just going to be "ratified"? What a waste of time/money.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:02:03

SpaceMonkey, the vote was performed by the Committee of the Whole (which just happens to contain all the councillors). The Hamilton City Council then has to ratify the decision of the Committee, on Jan 12.

Since it's the same people, 99% of the time Council approves the recommendations of the Committee of the Whole, but it is theoretically possible that they can reverse their choice.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:15:30

Thanks for the correction MrGrande. So it wasn't a lie, just a way to mislead people. I may have underestimated Bratina's skills as a politician.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:37:04

I had emailed Jason Far about the 6000 seat stadium. I'd like to point out that I didn't mention Ryan, RTH, or money in my email. And maybe I'm being overly critical, but I instantly lose respect for someone when they use "peek" instead of "pique."

Here was my email:

Hi Councilor Farr,

So, I keep hearing talk about building a 5000 - 6000 seat stadium at the West Harbour so we can participate in the Pan-Am games, since the City & the Cats can't agree on anything. It makes sense to me. It leaves us open to expansion if/when the Tiger Cats decide they want to play at the West Harbour. Have we talked to the Canadian Soccer Association about this? What do you think? Is this feasible?

Thanks for your time, - Matt Grande,

And here was his response:

Matt, I did read Ryan's interview (Raise the Hammer) with Troop and admit it did peek my interest. A reminder to us all that this stadium issue is about so much more than just the Tigercats. As for the CSA, I have not spoken to them directly but was aware of their interest and have heard from local soccer groups and players who see great value in such a facility. This said, I am still hopeful we can make something happen at a much larger scale that speaks to prosperity and growth. As your Mayor would say: "If you stick a mirror under our nose, you'll see we are still breathing." The west harbor is a prime spot and certainly a six thousand seater is closer to the Setting Sails vision than a monster facility. My one fear (and this has not just been sparked by your own perspective but many others in the last few days) is where the money will come from to expand this stadium to CFL standards. The 70 to 100 million from the prov. And feds. is a one shot deal that centers around Pan Am and this looming Feb. 1st deadline. Thanks for your email Matt and I can assure you I am keeping an open mind on all this.

Jay

Edit: I don't know what you're talking about, highwater. There is no typo there. At all.

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2011-01-05 00:59:49

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 00:48:27

And maybe I'm being overly critical, but I instantly loose respect for someone when they use "peek" instead of "pique."

Ah dear. Muphry's Law strikes again. :)

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2011 at 06:11:56

Is this the "new transparency" Hamilton citizens can expect in the future?

Possibly related.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 08:22:27

On page A3 of today's print version of the Hamilton Spectator, there is an article by Ken Peters titled "Aldershot last chance for new stadium, says Ticats boss". This article does not appear to be available on thespec.com website at this point in time.

Ticat president Scott Mitchell is quoted as saying:

"I think it's the last legitimate, good opportunity we have to build a stadium for everyone, for community use, for the Tiger-Cats, for soccer, for the Hamilton, Halton region."

And here is an excerpt from another part of the article:

"I don't blame some Burlington residents from being a little bit gun-shy but the fact of the matter at this point there would be very limited financial exposure," Mitchell said, declining to say just how much Burlington taxpayers might be asked for."

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-05 08:22:59

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By Hipgnosis (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 09:07:55

Is anyone shocked that our mayor seems to have such a cavalier approach to this whole thing? He was quoted as saying that he didn't want to be the mayor who lost Hamilton a 30,000 seat stadium for a 6,000 seat one. The decision is not about him, it is a decision that ultimately will be made by committee.

Bratina has his head so far stuck up his own bottom that he will never see daylight. It is unfortunate that the people of this city had such a knee jerk reaction at election time.

From what I understand the $20 million that would be required to renovate wouldn't even take into consideration the upgrades that are required to facilities such as the bathrooms. That money is just to do the basic replairs to bring it up to code. Ivor Wynne is at the end of it's lifecycle unless we are willing to spend upwards of $90 Million to give it a complete overhaul. I don't see anyone being able to stomach that.

At this point I honestly believe we should lay our cards on the table and tell the Ti-Cats that they can be with us to create something that is remarkable on the West Harbour or that we will go it alone and create a wonderful community stadium that can be used for highschool, semi-pro and possibly a professional sports club in the future. That means that we may lose the Cats but really what are we losing? They do not define our city or who we are. If they were anything other than a football club this would be a no brainer.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 09:48:56

Mr Farr should be reminded that the money that isn't spent on a Stadium can be used to make the Velodrome awesome. So, Hamilton wouldn't be losing out on any money.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 10:25:55

Here is a link to the article that RenaissanceWatcher mentioned: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 12:30:46

@ Jason who said, "interesting tidbit from Ron Foxcroft and his role in this. Taken from another post on RTH in August.
Originally typed by reelfreeenterprise:

The following quote from Foxcroft “I got several calls from mayors and leaders of municipalities that wanted an intro to Scott and Bob, which I did. I will not say who they are because I would be betraying confidence. But that's the truth.” earns him another nomination in the "I said it, but I can't back it up" contest. If you can get past the shameless self-promotion (why would "several Mayors" call Foxcroft for an intro instead of dialing Young or Mitchell directly???? They're Mayors, you windbag, Mitchell or Young would jump at their call) consider that this is someone who purports to be a "Hamilton booster" who's claiming to be facilitating the relocation of Hamilton's team. What a booster! Although it's all probably BS, if it IS true, it only goes to show how fruitless the search has been.
***************************
The senario Foxcroft sets would/should make absolutely no sense, as you have suggested. However, this is Hamilton & I'm willing to bet That it Might be Exactly How It Works here! It would be interesting to know Who those Mayors are. Did they attempt contact, & how did they attempt to contact Y. or M., & what was the result. If the result was, "You must speak to somebody else 1st.". ???? ....Well then....

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