What good is it for Council to know the details of the stadium design if they cannot share it publicly or make use of the information?
By Larry Pattison
Published November 17, 2011
Regarding the secrecy demanded by Infrastructure Ontario where the new Pan Am Hamilton stadium is concerned, why don't we demand transparency or threaten to back out?
I know that sounds harsh (perhaps not so much for many in the community), but there must be a way to challenge the Province into stepping in as a voice for the taxpayers province-wide who are all a part of building this stadium for Hamilton.
Has the Big-O card been over-played? I joke, but there must be a card we can play here - if transparency is something our City Council unanimously feels we should demand.
This is a community stadium. We are going to have to live with this for another 40 years or so. It's not about questioning the abilities of these design firms. I'd just like to know that they have taken a long hard look at the history of sport along Balsam.
That they have perhaps spent some quality time in our Central Library looking through the Ivor Wynne Stadium scrapbook and photo archive - what could they bring back/re-create with this new structure. That they have attended a Tiger-Cats game and the tailgate party at Scott Park and spent some time thinking about the memories they are replacing.
I'd like to know that they have talked to fans, the players, the groups that use the facility - the people who will also have to live with this stadium for the rest of many of our lives.
This is being built completely from the taxpayers wallet. If David Braley was building this on his own, I'd say perhaps we should have no say, but 'we' - you and I, will own this at the end of all of this.
I ask Council not to sign the document agreeing to keep the details of the Pan Am stadium a secret. What good will it do any of us, if all it does is make Council realize we aren't going to be impressed by it but must remain tight-lipped? It's not a fair position to put us in. If there is nothing we can do, then why bother?
Let's all be 'surprised' by the final design together - after we push one last time, that our one collective desire is for this to be more out in the open.
I don't mind if I can't see the designs. I can live with that as long as I know there is a larger collective of local representatives who have had some major input on something that has took us 40 years to revisit. Make them all sign secrecy statements.
I don't mind a little wow factor on opening day. I have some ideas for some other wow features around the city we could unveil on the opening of our new facility. I think it could be an event this city and all those who attend would not soon forget.
I have been listening to the 1975 recordings of Pink Floyd at Ivor Wynne Stadium this past week on my commute into work. What an awesome piece of the history of that facility to listen back on. My uncle, and my neighbour who also loves walking over to games, both talk of attending that historic show.
Although I have been quiet as of late, I still feel this is a very big deal for our city and its future. IO and the Province must be made to truly understand that.
Listening to those bootleg recordings (which are of great quality by the way), still makes me feel we are getting this wrong by totally ripping it down but who am I to say? Maybe it's just all the secrecy that is leaving me uneasy - and I don't think I am alone.
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