Comment 47275

By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2010 at 23:21:26

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has over 25 Corporate sponsors, as well as government funding from The City of Hamilton, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. They also have a substantial membership which supports them through season ticket purchases. I would be willing to bet a pint of beer that the City's contribution is considerably less than what they pay to operate IWS. There is a big difference however between the HPO and the Tiger Cats. The HPO is essentially an arts endowment which provides the city with a musical cultural outlet. The Hamilton Tiger Cats are a privately owned business which is supposed to be self sustaining but which in fact has been perennially sucking on the teet of the taxpayers of this city. As for attendance. The HPO plays before approximately 225000 people per season.

Tell me what Mr Youngs choices are? Name me another stadium in this country where he can play after the 2011 season? There aren't any. None that can sustain a CFL team. Not Quebec City, Not Moncton, Not anywhere in Ontario. Temporary seating in any of the existing university stadiums is a non starter as well. If the WH doesn't fit his business (read real estate development plan) plan, then putting up bleachers in a corn field or on a campus somewhere doesn't either. He played his card, he gambled and lost and now is scrambling to save face.

His team plays in an 8 team league and in the only market currently able to support his franchise. He has nowhere to go that won't cost him even more money than he claims he is losing now. There is no other municipality that will cut him the big piece of cheese he now gets from the City of Hamilton.

He needs to get serious about building his brand and coming to an agreement with the city. Should he be foolish enough to load the trucks and move...... as I said before he will be slitting his own throat. The four hundred and eighty thousand people or so in this community who don't care about the Tiger Cats (If you judge these matters by attendance) will be just fine and so will the city. I'm not prepared as a taxpayer to allow a small retail business whose gross contribution to this city is roughly $65 million a year in economic activity(and who benefits from what can only be described as the sweetest of lease deals) dictate where we will spend over $100 million of taxpayer money.

The Tiger Cats are indeed often the number one draw on TSN CFL coverage. But unlike you I don't correlate that with some kind of publicity boon for the city. The people watching are football fans. Not businesses looking for a place to do business. Nor is it some kind of godsend for the image of the city. TV directors for CFL coverage seem fixated on the flames coming out of the stacks at the steel plants. After 40 years or so of seeing that I'm kind of sick of it and am more inclined to think that that view has done more harm for the image of this city than help.

Sticking only to the facts, the city holds the cards not Mr Young. If he leaves, then he is even stupider than he himself has admitted when it comes to running a professional sports team and in particular a CFL team.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-09-05 22:27:31

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