Comment 43346

By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 08:58:25

NB: When I say "crooked card game," I'm referring to the optics of the two main parties seeming to be working at strategic odds rather than pulling with unified purpose. I don't think this would have happened to anywhere near the same extent if the Pan Am timeline wasn't dictating forward motion. I know that losing the $57 million from the province is not something that wither side likes to think about, but this is a community that allegedly sees the Cats as integral to its identity, a community of willful and tenacious individuals. A multi-stakeholder, private-public partnership to build a new facility has the potential to rally the community and create a deeper and more palpable sense of ownership than is currently the case. When Toronto was awarded the Pan Ams, more than a few interested locals probably felt like we had won the lottery. That's possibly a great stroke of fortune, but it has the unfortunate side effect of looking like free money. And that's absolutely not the case.

If the community at large, Hamiltonians from every corner of the city and expats from around the globe, had raised $102 million toward a new stadium, you had better believe that the tone of the relationship between the Cats and the city would be vastly different: more mature, more professional, more respectful and more transparent. And yet that's essentially what we're looking at. Taxpayers are funding the majority of this project, have in fact staked the remainder of their Future Fund on it. The ideal scenario presented by the principal tenants involves fuzzy financial support and a revised facility proposal that could very well double the cost to Hamilton taxpayers. Private partners have gone to ground; everyone wants a piece of the pie, but apparently nobody wants to bake, let alone pay for the groceries. What's worse, I'm starting to get the the sinking feeling that this is as proud as we'll feel about this build.

And what's left? Bread, circuses and a would-be lion tamer jumping through hoops of flame.

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