By RTH Staff
Published January 04, 2011
In response to an RTH email to Council asking about a scalable West Harbour stadium, Terry Whitehead, Councillor for Ward 8, called it "an excellent idea".
He observed that Ivor Wynne Stadium will become a "white elephant" if the Tiger-Cats leave Hamilton, and suggested taking down Ivor Wynne and putting the saved operating costs toward a community stadium in the West Harbour.
He also noted the "great synergy" of remediating the Barton-Tiffany brownfield with a community-sized stadium that could "be the start of something great" in the West Harbour.
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 6,000 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.
According to a CHML report, Bratina said that if Hamilton cannot agree on a CFL-grade stadium for the Ticats, there is no point in building a smaller community stadium with Pan Am funding.
This afternoon, Mayor Bob Bratina responded to RTH to say that Council is aware of the information Mr. Troop presented in his interview and that it "is not relevant to our deliberations."
Here is Councillor Whitehead's email in full:
I think it is an excellent idea. I talked to Mr. Troop and soon came to realize if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are not interested in playing in Hamilton, then Ivor Wynne becomes a white elephant. Take it down, offset cost for a community stadium in the West Harbour.
It would have great synergy, clean up a brownfield and be the start of something great in West Harbour precinct.
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