Sports

Cripps: Councillors Reconsidering East Mountain Stadium

By RTH Staff
Published January 10, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

Mark Cripps, managing editor of Hamilton Community News, just posted on twitter that he has heard City Council is once again leaning toward support for the East Mountain Pan Am Stadium location:

From a good source, close to the situation, East Mtn will be back on the table for Pan Am stadium vote - so far, 11 councillors will vote EM

Bill Kelly also discussed this option in his radio program today on CHML 900 AM.

The East Mountain stadium location, a wheat field owned by Ontario Realty Corporation that sits adjacent to Lincoln Alexander Parkway and Red Hill Valley Parkway, was first proposed by facilitator Michael Fenn during last summer's mediation between the City and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Proposed East Mountain stadium location
Proposed East Mountain stadium location

The Ticats supported it because it allowed for a "driveway-to-driveway experience" with a large ancillary parking lot, but a broad coalition of citizens argued that the purpose of the Future Fund and Pan Am Games was to promote public benefits and city building.

On July 27, the Future Fund Board of Governors rejected the East Mountain site as an inappropriate use that violated the Future Fund mandate.

A staff report on the East Mountain site published a week later concluded that the East Mountain site would cost tens of millions of dollars more than a West Harbour stadium, would cost Hamilton $1.2-1.4 million a year in foregone tax revenue, and would provide very limited ancillary benefits through economic development.

Council voted in August to reject the East Mountain site and reaffirm its support for the West Harbour, even after the Ticats announced that they would "never" play there.

Council later asked staff to investigate a site on the CP Rail Yard at Aberdeen Ave. and Longwood Rd., but a study concluded that the cost to buy the property, relocate the existing tenants and remediate the land would be prohibitive.

In late December, just after Toronto 2015 enacted a contingency plan to find a fallback stadium location, the councillors voted against asking staff to investigate Confederation Park in a General Issues Committee meeting.

Whether this renewed interest in the East Mountain is real or merely the wishful thinking of Ticat supporters in the media remains to be seen.


Update: Cripps responded to request for confirmation:

no joke, but not 100 per cent for sure. bill kelly was talking about it this morn as well. got it from a good source though.


Update 2: Emma Reilly of the Hamilton Spectator just posted the following tweet in response to Cripps:

Discussion flying around the twittersphere about east mountain for #PanAm. I have been polling council all day and only 1 has mentioned EM.


Update 3: Two councillors have replied to our request for confirmation on this rumour.

Councillor Brad Clark, in whose ward the East Mountain stadium would be located, responded to say he is not reconsidering that site.

As ward councillor, I am not reconsidering the East Mountain. There is not enough time to complete the required due diligence. Moreover, the Ticats walked away from the site while we were assessing the feasibility, at which point the site was dropped.

Councillor Brian McHattie also replied to say the only source he has heard from the rumour is Stoney Creek News, of which Mark Cripps is the managing editor.

There has been scuttlebutt at General Issues Committee this afternoon about this based on a rumour started by Stoney Creek News apparently - no Councillors are claiming the idea.


Update 4: Now Councillor Scott Duvall has also responded:

I am not sure where this information came from that you have emailed me.

However, if I remember correctly Council did not reject the East Mountain site, I could be wrong so you may want to check this out but Council Received the report in August and the Tiger Cats forwarded a letter the day before the meeting Explaining they had withdrawn from the East Mountain site location.

72 Comments

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:09:49

Let's see a list of the 11. This is a balloon being floated from 1 Jarvis St. They are getting desperate. Not a single councillor from the lower city would vote for this. It they do they could kiss re election good bye.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-10 13:11:12

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:11:14

Puh-lease! This is the least likely to be agreed on by council. I love the credit to a "good" source. So good, we don't even dare mention its name? This is some kind of prank!

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:18:09

Old media: "sources say...."

New media: "this person, in this published document, says..."

Spot the difference?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:27:38

Council is trapped and panicking. There is no need for panic, only a need for strength. The backroom dealings going on right now must be furious. Isn't oddly amazing the timing of Andrew Dreschel's editorial and it's vehement attack of re-building at Beechwood?

Edit: wrong link corrected

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-10 13:32:40

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:41:43

I'm not buying it.
First, consider the sources. CHML and the Hamilton News?? ya ok.

Second, council isn't stupid. It would make no financial, city-building or negotiating sense to go EM.
Plus, the Cats already said it's too expensive for them. Is Paletta or Halton Region going to kick in $50 million for us??

Council has been consistently right through this ordeal and have stood strong for Hamilton all along. They won't cave now. Especially for a worse site than Aldershot.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:49:44

No Future Fund money for East Mountain!

Why the heck would the city spend tens of millions of valuable dollars where suburban mall development is already occurring.

There is little, to no public benefit from this.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:50:57

Dreschel didn't attack rebuilding IW. Quite the opposite I thought.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:51:06

Nothing surprises me anymore.

Let's start a rumour about community ownership. ;)

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:51:33

Didn't someone (Brad Clark?) say that the East Mountain lands had been sold already?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:52:48

Also, didn't the Tiger-cats give last minute rejection to that site too?

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:55:45

'divide and conquer.'

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:59:10

update:

http://twitter.com/#!/EmmaatTheSpec

One councillor sounds more accurate than 11. Maybe Cripps hit the '1' twice by accident on his tweet. lol

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-10 13:59:42

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 13:59:48

'Bob's World' depends on Hamilton rejecting the Pan Am Stadium.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:01:17

@Jason

The cost gap in going to EM was edging closer to 80-100 million. The site has no infrastructure, a pedestrian bridge would have to be constructed over Stone Church Rd, road widening, sewerw etc etc. Its a no go.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:07:37

"but not 100 per cent for sure" LOL

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:14:08

Well, that trial balloon didn't take long to shoot down.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:14:40

I asked him if he knew which 11 councillors they were:

@mattgrande was told 11, but no specific names. it could all be poppycock, who knows. but this source has been right before.

Edit Also,

I was also told one of the questions from Terry Whitehead's poll was tossed out because it wasn't asked properly

I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of this poll.

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2011-01-10 14:15:20

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:18:36

No specific names for 11 out of 16 councilors? Wouldn't it sound better to guess who and be wrong? This claim is more than absurd.

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By mikeyj (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:42:01

I vote to delete this entry out of respect for readers intelligence, or at least precede the title with "Twitter Gossip:".

I'd tweet about how tweeting is not newsworthy, but that's dangerously close to pulling a Butani.

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By Valour (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:44:12

This is the song that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. Someone started singing it not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because, (then repeat back at top)

It would have been faster, easier and less expensive to have just taken a city wide vote. You know, one including the actual residents of the city who have to live with this. Council votes don't mean anything anyways. WH was voted in 7 times already.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 14:53:38

@Valour

I know its easy to get down on democracy when shyte like this happens. Being a glass half full guy I have to feel good about the fact that they have reaffirmed that choice 7 times. It is disconcerting and in fact infuriating that a small private money losing venture can manipulate a public process like it has. I think the silver lining is that people have become so engaged that it is unlikely that council would cave in now for fear of mobs with torches and pitch forks surrounding city hall.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:06:07

You mean like this?

A Riot is an Ugly Thing

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:10:46

Can we wear lederhosen?

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:11:01

LOL!!!!!

"It's about time we had one!"

too funny!

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:12:23

From the article:

"no joke, but not 100 per cent for sure. bill kelly was talking about it this morn as well. got it from a good source though."

Right, but since when is Bill Kelly a good source of anything other than self-serving BS?

Mr. Janitor commented:"The backroom dealings going on right now must be furious."

You're not kidding. Yesterday we attended an event celebrating the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada'a first Prime Minister, at the Crowne Plaza where Jason Farr and Mayor Bratina were supposed to speak.

Though both were listed as invited 'dignitaries', when it came time for 'greetings from the City' as listed in the program nobody rose to speak. The MC asked if anyone from the city was in attendance and there was nothing but silence. Moving on quickly, the show continued with us gobstruck and wondering WTF.

What could possibly keep the mayor and Farr from this long-scheduled event?

And then it donned on me; they were either plotting out strategies with the TiCats and/or lobbying their colleagues prior to this week's vote. And the fact that they didn't even send an aide in their place seemed to provide the exclamation point to reinforce just how much of their energies and OUR resources were going toward this effort.

It is a sickening realization to think that our newly elected mayor as well as my councilor, whom I did not vote for, have decided to focus exclusively on forwarding the TiCat's agenda at the expense of virtually all other matters of our city.

I ask you, where's the dignity in that?

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:32:44

What could possibly keep the mayor and Farr from this long-scheduled event?

And then it donned on me; they were either plotting out strategies with the TiCats and/or lobbying their colleagues prior to this week's vote. And the fact that they didn't even send an aide in their place seemed to provide the exclamation point to reinforce just how much of their energies and OUR resources were going toward this effort.

[citation needed]. "They weren't at an event, therefore they are plotting behind our backs." Sounds a bit paranoid to me.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:39:01

In other news, Bratina will be doing a live chat with the National Post here on Tuesday at noon.

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By zot (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 15:46:04

"What could possibly keep the mayor and Farr from this long-scheduled event?"

One of them was at home in his pajamas working his way through a bottle of scotch, the other one was down at Home Depot buying some stout rope and a step ladder...

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:00:07

Scott Mitchell is busy on the phone to a local community newspaper disguising his voice again?????

By the way, hope you're right, zot! (lol)

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:03:29

I am surprised this scoop didn't originate at the Bay Observer.

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:03:44

Mr. Grande,

You're right. I should have said that it caused me to wonder what was so urgent that not one but both of them deigned to attend, apparently without sending a proxy or at least regrets to the organizers.

I cannot provide a citation as it was merely my attempt to understand a seemingly bizarre situation. Of course I don't actually know where they were. It might have been their turn to cook Sunday dinner for all I know.

Considering the lengths politicians go to to reinforce a positive image, it seemed like a real gaffe to snub a community group like that. I might have put it down to health or a personal matter but that would hardly seem a possibility that would keep two 'voices of the TiCats' away.

I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not but I have strong and growing concerns that this council term is going to be a casualty of Tiger Cats business interests. After that well, then there's the looming Vranich business that the mayor seems quite keen to promote. And the LRT to the airport.

Meanwhile Rome burns. Am I nuts to think that this seemingly singular focus is occurring at the expense of other council matters?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:04:27

Cripps newest tweets are hilarious. everyone has their own 'truths'. Exactly.

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:05:54

Mr. Grande,

You're right. I should have said that Bratina and Farr's no-show caused me to wonder what was so urgent that not one but both of them deigned to attend, apparently without sending a proxy or at least regrets to the organizers.

I cannot provide a citation as it was merely my attempt to understand a seemingly bizarre situation. Of course I don't actually know where they were. It might have been their turn to cook Sunday dinner for all I know.

Considering the lengths politicians go to to reinforce a positive image, it seemed like a real gaffe to snub a community group like that. I might have put it down to health or a personal matter but that would hardly seem a possibility that would keep two 'voices of the TiCats' away.

I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not but I have strong and growing concerns that this council term is going to be a casualty of Tiger Cats business interests. After that well, then there's the looming Vranich business that the mayor seems quite keen to promote. And the LRT to the airport.

Meanwhile Rome burns. Am I nuts to think that this seemingly singular focus is occurring at the expense of other council matters?

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:06:30

Damn, sorry.

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By twatter (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:40:10

I think this speaks more of twitter as a news source than the sources and/or the so-called news in this case. RTH et al should consider this before re-spewing such junk lest they wish to be painted with the same brush.

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By old farts (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:52:25

This phone pool is useless to the point of hilarity.

How many people under 35 even have a home phone? And of those that do, how many are standard listed landline numbers as opposed to unlisted (by choice or due to being third party or IP phone numbers)?

A great way to get the opinion of hamilton's past-makers instead of hamilton's future-makers is to do a phone poll.

Why don't they do a telegraph poll?

Morons.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:54:29

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:02:42

Thanks Jason, based on that piece of information we know now that Whitehead is the one considering revisiting the East Mountain. The same location from which the Ticats withdrew from negotiating.

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By scb (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:04:22

Someone needs to email him and tell him that it isn't even an option. I think they are sick of hearing from me via email by now.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:13:46

Two issues:

1. Isn't there still a significant funding gap at that site? Who is going to pay that?
2. Will the ti-cats play there? They withdrew this proposal before council could consider it the first time.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:14:54

R. Don Lyres said:

"Meanwhile Rome burns. Am I nuts to think that this seemingly singular focus is occurring at the expense of other council matters?"

Not only other council matters, but other staff matters too. How many staff hours have been wasted on this?

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:43:11

Summary of the Spec survey of mayor & councillors:

  1. Confederation Park: yes 4; no 8; ? 4
  2. West Harbour: yes 1; no 3; ? 12
  3. Withdraw: yes 2; no 8; ? 6

Note: East Mountain not included in the survey

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:50:34

Is it just me or does anyone else just feel like screaming?

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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:55:26

could someone steal terry whiteheads flipflops and give the man a pair of workboots?! please!!!

Comment edited by trevorlikesbikes on 2011-01-10 17:55:41

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By JonC (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 17:58:35

In the spec article 8 of the 16 specifically say no to Confederation. Not, maybe or we'll see how it goes, just a flat No.

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 18:06:23

Just watching CHCH Burlingtons Goldring basically says Hamilton should join in for the Aldershot deal.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 18:25:18

Great idea Goldring! While we're at it, perhaps Burlington can toss $100 million into Hamilton's LRT project.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 18:40:58

Goldring may be on to something. Maybe we could get Quebec to chip in for GO Transit while we're at it.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 18:53:46

Seriously, spending Hamilton municipal tax money in Burlington would have class-action lawsuit written all over it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 19:09:09

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 arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 22:45:13


Field of Schemes will have a field day with the Burlington / Hamilton gambit. So will the press. Check out similar situation in Florida:


http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2011/01/4392_miami_columnist.html

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 22:57:00

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

The "everyone help Aldershot" plea is in the Spec...it would be amusing if it weren't so astonishingly outrageous.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:07:08

thankfully council is shooting it down soundly.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:12:04

Cripps 5 minutes ago on twitter:

did some more digging with diff sources. EM won't make it off operating table now because something big will be announced tomorrow

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:14:17

'something big'? Hmmm, Let me guess. A new stadium somewhere between Hamilton Airport and Fort Erie in order to make up a reason for the province to want a new freeway in the middle of nowhere.

seriously though, any guesses? something big seems to indicate that the Cats will be on board. And if that's the case, it's likely bad news in a horrible location that will be a rotten deal for Hamilton, it's taxpayers, it's urban core and city-building initiatives from the FF.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:14:32

Cripps 5 minutes ago on twitter: did some more digging with diff sources. EM won't make it off operating table now because something big will be announced tomorrow

Dear God help us all...

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:19:14

Jason,

Sorry but I'm not sure who this Cripps guy is, can you please provide some background if you have it. Thanks!

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:23:56


@mrjanitor "Dear God, help us all"

My reaction exactly.

My hope? Agreement to sell team to Darryl Katz, and Katz / AEG to build and operate 25,000 seat stadium at WH. Katz to contribute to stadium construction in exchange for WH development lands adjacent to stadium.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 23:30:41

arms-length....most of us share that dream. It'll never happen until the first part happens - the team sells. Current ownership is stuck in the 70's.

Janitor, Cripps is managing editor of the venerable Hamilton Mountain News and associated group of papers....they're basically the CHML of print.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:00:35

According to Cripps subsequent tweets it is a 'win-win'.
Now, keep in mind their coverage has been like CHML's. Is it a win-win for both city-building and team-building, or just for the team and the team?? Apparently we'll find out in the morning.

Read for yourself:

http://twitter.com/#!/markcripps

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-11 00:00:50

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:03:16

So it would seem to me that Aldershot is dead, EM dead, CP most likely dead. The councilors need only to ask the cats you in or out at WH? What choice do they have? Any place they go will need time to give them a sweetheart deal. Yesterday their last year at IW went from 2011 to 2014! Did the city agree to this. Council please do not blink now, pick the WH again and the cats have 2 weeks to either come on board, fold or sell? Bratina could try to sell the Aldershot as a regional solution.... incredible.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:20:50

yea, I don't see how there can be any other option tomorrow than WH that can officially 'close out the process' and be a 'win-win' etc.....
Cripps event told CFL News on twitter that it comes to an end tomorrow and is 'win-win'.
How can it end tomorrow if it's a site like Conf Park, CP Rail, Aldershot etc..... the only site that was studied fully and had costs and the entire plan understood was WH. Have the Cats come on board??
I'd be shocked. Pleasantly shocked, but I don't see it happening. Maybe it's a full rebuild of Ivor Wynne??
The point is, it can't be anything new and unstudied or the process would just be starting tomorrow, not ending.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:24:19

You missed one PeterF. Aberdeen railyards, the only thing that killed it was CP's asking price. Did they close the funding gap somehow?
Just a hunch.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:28:21

Jason, Logically WH should be it and hopefully it is. With Aldershot basically dead the Cats lost their leverage. Either they came on board or are willing to sell. Unless CP was somehow brought back to life? Should be a fascinating day Tuesday!!!!

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:31:22

F.Ward, you beat me to it, yeah CP could be the dark horse

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By arms_length (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 00:34:46


Yes, my Katz gambit would be a win-win-win, so I imagine it's highly improbable.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 02:10:23

Cripps tweets:
> EM won't make it off operating table now because something big will be announced tomorrow

Maybe because the "operation" to float...

> From a good source, close to the situation, East Mtn will be back on the table for Pan Am stadium vote - so far, 11 councillors will vote EM

...was a bit too absurd to be true? IMHO, Reporting that "11" just destroyed his credibility for me.

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-11 02:11:15

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 06:36:15

CH has just announced a press conference with Mayor Bob and Bob Young from Ivor Wynne.

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:45:26

Mr. Grande,

I'm feeling a little less paranoid today. I think I'll cancel the appointment with the psychiatrist.

Cheers brother.

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By Mountain Resident (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 20:35:19

Mark (can't believe his tips) Cripps is an embarrassment to journalism! Remind me not to believe any scopes this so called journalist has written. The stadium outcome was so far removed from reality that its laughable!! Lol. Mark needs to work on his resume.

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By BTR (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 20:44:21

Does Cripps actually have legit formal credentials? I watched this guy on Cable 14. What a bloody clown. No wonder this city gets 30 percent voter turn out @ election time. We have Morons like Cripps masquerading as "Opinionators". Lmao and God help us all!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 02:53:08

Who knew he Tweeted?

Is it April 1st already?

Maybe he was thinking that just because he encouraged or foretold Larry D's run for mayor, that he could wish this rumour into reality? (Larry D. didn't win, so he wasn't exactly Merlin on that one either.)

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