Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young announced an agreement to build a 25,000 seat Pan Am / Ticats stadium on the site of the current Ivor Wynne Stadium.
By RTH Staff
Published January 11, 2011
In a joint press conference at 11:00 AM today, Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young announced an agreement to build a 25,000 seat Pan Am / Ticats stadium on the site of the current Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Ticats would sign a 20-year lease with the City to play at the rebuilt IWS.
Both Hamilton City Council and Toronto 2015, the corporation organizing the Pan Am Games, would have to approve this plan.
The proposal is to demolish and rebuild the south stands, and to renovate the north stands with new seats and other improvements. Young added that there may be opportunities to build more parking on vacant industrial land near the stadium.
Young suggested that the Ticats might play in Toronto during the construction phase.
The Ticats had previously argued that they could not be economically sustainable at Ivor Wynne Stadium, arguing that the location is far from a highway, has poor visibility for naming rights. However, Young claimed today that visibility, automobile access and parking are better at IWS than they are at the City's selected West Harbour site.
The IWS site did not originally the Pan Am requirement to provide a 20 acre warm-up track next to the stadium, but when Toronto 2015 moved Track and Field to Toronto and Soccer to Hamilton, this became a non-issue.
Young and Bratina say the refurbishment will cost $115 million. That money will come out of $70 million from Toronto 2015 and $45 million from the Future Fund.
It is not yet clear what, if any, capital funding will come from the Ticats or from other private sector partners.
Young said that the team's corporate sponsors, including Molson-Coors and Primus, "have stepped up in a major way".
This plan would leave no money from either Toronto 2015 or the Future Fund to expand the Velodrome into a permanent, full-featured facility. It would also leave no Future Fund money left over to remediate the Barton-Tiffany property in the West Harbour.
Toronto 2015 has made it clear that the City must present a complete proposal by February 1. The IWS location has the advantage that property ownership, zoning and soil remediation will not be issues.
However, Toronto 2015 has also maintained that the Pan Am stadium money must go to a new facility. It is not yet clear whether they will accept a partially-rebuilt Ivor Wynne.
Another Toronto 2015 criterion is good regional transit access. Ivor Wynne would be much farther from the proposed GO Train station on James North, but it would be much closer to Hamilton's proposed east-west LRT service.
Young believes the proposal meets Toronto 2015's criteria as explained to the team. Toronto 2015 is expected to issue a public statement later today.
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