Special Report: Pan Am

Council Should Demand Pan Am Stadium Transparency

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.

Larry Pattison is a local blogger, life-long resident of Hamilton, and father to two amazing girls. Larry is a former HWDSB Trustees for Ward 3.


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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 09:16:51

The process for siting and building this monument to corporate socialism has reeked from Day One. Why make it transparent, accountable, and democratic now?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:12:15 in reply to Comment 71322

I agree in part, Michael. I really do, but we have to start somewhere. That's what we are starting to push for in Hamilton right?

Open data and open communities is not something new in the world and you have people like Joey and his Think Haus crew pushing to show our great city how we can do this and why it's not something we should be scared about.

At a price tag of $45M of Hamilton's money, learning about this whole open communication/working tightly with the community, would be the perfect test bed.

Wouldn't it be something if on opening day, we could all stand amongst that crowd with pride knowing that we all played a major part in building this substantial Hamilton Sports and Recreation Facility.

Maybe I watch too many sports movies like Field of Dreams, The Blind Side, Radio, Rudy, Jerry McGuire his The Mission Statement, Any Given Sunday, Remember the Titans, A League of their Own, For the Love of the Game, Mystery Alaska, Maurice Richard, and I could go on and include other sports like Boxing or Karate.

Yes. I get choked up watching sports movies, especially ones about the deep roots of these games.

The Tiger-Cats are one of the oldest professional sports teams and yes, maybe even the CFL has stepped a little to the professional dark side, but Ivor Wynne is still our's and a great Canadian game is still played among those walls. Kids (once myself), still get to take to the surface a historic sports franchise - a team they cherish, battles on every other weekend. I don't know, but even at 14 and 15 that was pretty special to me.

So yes, maybe in part you are right. I know I need to be a little more closer to the place you and others are in terms of understanding the dark side of politics and pro sports, so we need to make sure what's pure about what we are building and what will transpire within those walls for the next hopefully 80 years, is never lost.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-11-17 10:16:22

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 09:47:59

I am unashamed that I am an habitual music bootleg supporter. I have had this discussion many times with friends and actually call it my "Dark Side of the Moon Reasoning" in that I've purchased those 9 songs so many times, first when I was a kid on 8 track (yes, I'm that old), then next on vinyl, then on cassette for my walkman, then on CD in the 80's. I've more than paid for the right to listen to that music therefore, I regularily purchase bootleg material. So, having said that (and my feeble attempt at justifying my position)Where can I get these bootlegged Pink Floyd at Ivor Wynne? I have never seen that in any of my many avenues to obtain 'illegal' material

Comment edited by RightSaidFred on 2011-11-17 10:34:53

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:34:17 in reply to Comment 71327

It's called "A Steel Breeze."

I thought I had downloaded it from here a few years back, but the link appears to be gone.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:25:50 in reply to Comment 71327

I'll start with this link,which I thought was the Ivor Wynne link. I know I posted it on the (Save Ivor Wynne)[http://www.saveivorwynnestadium.com/blog] site but I'll have to have a look for it. You'll like the link above though in the meantime.

Found it. I think someone with some connections (and we have some very connected music folk living in, around, or from Hamilton), should talk to Rogers Waters about cutting this concert onto vinyl. Include some article clippings form The Spec, talk to locals who attended, the history behind the blown up scoreboard and music being banned from Beamont (er Ivor Wynne), until the Rush show in '79 which ended up being the last concert ever - likely because our city was still devastated by the Floyd visit. :) I think there are many merits to making a project out of these recordings. The guy screaming 'sit down' is priceless, although if possibly, some if not much of it, should be dubbed out. Maybe not. Only problem is that after you listen to it once, every time you listen to it and hear someone screaming, you think they are saying 'sit down' - maybe they are.

Floyd live in '75 at the Legendary Ivor Wynn-ded Stadium. Invite him for a visit when he's in TO next year on his stadium tour. Unfortunate that we couldn't invite him back to close the place down. At least he can see it before it crumbles and use that as inspiration to promote the Live album.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-11-17 10:35:27

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:39:10 in reply to Comment 71334

Awesome. Thank you. I will have to wait until I get home to check it out. Damn work is blocking me from viewing it. Why oh why do I need a job to live?

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By JustWondering (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:55:00

Gee - I wonder if the Ticats are going to be able to see the plans? If the public is shut out - They should be too.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:07:16 in reply to Comment 71340

Lol; bob young will probably want the parking so close to the stadium he will complain that the field is in the way of the parking lots .

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 11:31:57

We couldn't see Bob Young's numbers and how many $$ of those supposed loses were in his other ventures like the soccer team he owns, the sports marketing business he owns, and whatever other businesses he has cloaked under the Tiger Cats corporation. Now we can't see how our tax dollars and legacy fund are going to be spent on a Stadium where nobody (save Lawerence) wanted it. The stench from this stadium just keeps getting higher. I'm still taking bets that you will see Braley and/or Bob Young invest in the West Harbour lands, through numbered companies of course.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2011 at 13:07:08

Some talk on the Cats forum about this the Spec article linked to at the top of this story.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 15:30:35

mrjan, where nobody wanted it? Count me out, I love the location of IWS actually. Although I'm a nobody, just a regular fan. Are there other locations that would have been far more beneficial to the TigerCats? Of course, just as many here wanted a stadium at the WH for their own reasons.

But the fact remains, putting Future Fund money into an area where IWS is located is certainly not a bad thing if you care at all about other areas of inner city Hamilton other than WH.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 16:20:08 in reply to Comment 71366

Bob Young certainly didn't want his new stadium at the current location, he said he could never make a profit there. Bob played a game of chicken where both he and the city lost.

There was never any economic benefits to area from IWS, just look at the area bordered by Gage/Cannon/Sherman/Barton. Why will IWS2 change anything?

I have never had a problem seeing games at IWS, I just don't see any benefit from re-building on the same site.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 21:48:12 in reply to Comment 71368

I am pro WH, but honestly, take your above statement and change "IWS" to "WH". That is what the majority of other locations supports say (Using Copps as an Example of "why will it be any different").

Better places than IWS' current location? Sure! Are there worse? Hells Yeah, Hells yeah..

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 16:13:04

I'm not holding my breath for that soccer club...

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 17, 2011 at 16:25:35 in reply to Comment 71367

The Hamilton Tiger Cats Inc. were part owners of a professional soccer team in the southern states, North Carolina I think. The purchase of the team was by the Ti-Cats, not Bob Young directly. That purchase and the resulting operating losses show up as losses for the Ti-Cats, Bob is hiding a lot of things behind the Ti-Cat brand.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 00:00:40 in reply to Comment 71369

Not anymore.

>One filing dissolves Triangle Professional Sports, L.L.C., aka Triangle Professional Soccer, L.L.C., a sport management company formed in 2005 by founding managing member Chris Economides. According to the Triangle Professional Sports’ 2010 Annual Report, the RailHawks’ members/owners were Wellman, Atlanta Silverbacks Holdings, L.L.C. (the corporate front for original minority owner Boris Jerkunica), HTCFC, Inc. (HTC standing for Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Canadian Football League franchise owned by Red Hat founder Bob Young), and Singh Holdings, L.L.C. (managed by Dr. Paul Singh, a Cary physician).


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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 06:02:54 in reply to Comment 71384

And on who's spreadsheet will the losses of dissolving show up on? 'Boo Hoo, we lost money again, we need more community support'

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 01:38:23

or we could stop having sour grapes, and look forward to improving the Ivor Wynne area and actually discuss the issue of if the stadium designs should be made public.

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By If Braley funded it all himself (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 06:10:09

That's a good one. As if that would ever happen. this whole stadium at IWS looks rather shifty. Stopped watching the Ticats this year. watching Mcmaster games is much more fun and better value than Ticats.

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By Bobby1 (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 08:26:02

Good points you make Larry! Secrecy often leads to a perception of deception. I'm really grateful that we don't have a Veldrome as well in this mix! This is one of our biggest rebuild projects and you would think those in charge would like input! After all,they don't have to accept any of that input but it's great public relations! The Pan Am Games,if anything has resulted in some good infastructure improvements in various communities,but the points you make regarding the lifting of secrecy cutain are well taken! Certainly,if Council can't comment on what they might see,what's the point of seeing it! This site is not what Bob Young visualized as it makes little economic sense from the Cat's view! I predict,ownership of Ti-Cats will change or they will re-locate somewhere else after the first season in the new Stadium! You can build a shiny new Restaurant as well, but if your in the wrong location,can't cover expenses and make a reasonable profit,the economics may force you to walk away!

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 08:57:28

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 20:39:59 in reply to Comment 71393

Minor league stadiums don't attract concert promoters. Thats all they are building, a minor league stadium.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 19, 2011 at 11:16:27 in reply to Comment 71441

Welcome back bigguy. - would think an opportunity to sell ~30,000 vs 17-19k (which is I assume what ISWII would approx. hold for concerts), would attract a concert or two over the summer. As others have said no matter where the stadium went, there are a lot of outdoor/stadium venues within 50-100K all around us and we don't want to take away from Copps and we don't want concerts every other weekend in a residential area of which WH would have been in part too. For an amateur stadium, the current IW hosted some of the best bands to ever exist in Floyed and Rush. Than you have a promoter in BC who always wanted to host a concert at IW but council wouldn't spend the 300k to prep her for concerts. That was some 7 years ago. I woyuld think we could have made that back and then some. Too bad. A concert would have been a great way to close down IWSI.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-11-19 11:39:08

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 19, 2011 at 20:20:35 in reply to Comment 71445

I wouldn't worry about the prospect of "concerts every other weekend." The rental cost of the new stadium will be prohibitive for smaller promoters and the market for open-air concerts that require venues of 20,000+ capacity is limited at best. The Molson Amphitheatre (16K) and Darien Lake Performing Arts Center (21K) are both managed by LiveNation, so they stay booked as tight as they can be and soak up any available open-air tours. They're also far enough apart to avoid wandering into the tarpit of radius clauses; Hamilton is close enough to both to get nothing more than a sinking feeling. Festivals are about the only open-air product going these days that doesn't play to mid-sized amphitheatres, and they rarely appear in traditional stadia. BMO Field, for example, has a capacity of 20,000+ and little in the way of residential neighbours but has hosted exactly one concert so far, when Genesis played there four years ago.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 15:55:23 in reply to Comment 71393

I kinda doubt there will be concerts there... We don't have concerts at Ivor Wynne now, why would we in the new one?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 09:33:14 in reply to Comment 71393

I think we may have different definitions of "total success". I don't see total success as losing a community park and spending significant city money to rebuild a stadium in the middle of a residential neighbourhood with poor highway access and limited spin-off/intensification opportunities so that we can keep a team which has questionable econimc value to the city and draws the majortiy of its fans from the lower city (at least that's my perception of this deal).

Also, while the city may "own" the stadium, I don't have much hope that anyone in this city will be able to make a decent use ofut of it (i.e. international events). I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think it will be the "total success" you are dreaming of.

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By Reality (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 09:20:14 in reply to Comment 71393

Look - I'm all for moving on, but let's not rewrite history or forget how we got here - There was a huge opportunity that was squandered because of particular individuals, not unfortunate circumstances. What we have now is a sloppy seconds at best AND we have emptied out our Future Fund to boot!

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 09:49:08

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By theOther (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 18:58:31 in reply to Comment 71400

Hey HamiltonFan, welcome back! Or should I say, Scott Mitchell's beard? Happy Movember!

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By Reality (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 11:39:41 in reply to Comment 71400

If we don't learn from our mistakes, we will never progress as a city. You shouldn't be an optimist because of this outcome, you should be one in spite of the circumstances and resolve to push for a better outcome next time.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 15:10:25

My goal in life is to try and always be optimistic regardless if it is based on an outcome or whether it is learning from past actions and decisions or whatever.

So yes, I am not optimistic because of this outcome necessarily, I am optimistic because this outcome, in my honest opinion, will lead to a measure of success for the city, even if other decisions with respect to the city going after the Pan Ams, location of the stadium, TigerCats and other business involvement etc. could have led to perhaps a different and "better" outcome. Unfortunately none of us in this world can predict the future nor do we know if such and such had of occurred, would it be "better". Time will tell.

Afterall, we are speaking the language of heuristics in situations such as these.

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By theOther (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 19:00:40 in reply to Comment 71429

That is one awesome attitude, Scott/I mean HamiltonFan/I mean ... oh, whatever, your optimism is inspiring!

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted November 19, 2011 at 19:08:07

Larry Are you suggesting that as part of the revitalization of the IWS neighbourhood, the residents are going to embrace concerts in the all-new $160 million dollar IWSII? News to me. Hope you're correct.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 20, 2011 at 09:00:21 in reply to Comment 71459

Graham, I am not sure. Both large concerts approved for IW in past 9 years had Bernie gave his blessing as long as residents were minded. Done right with the right concerts, perhaps we can mend the fences broken after the Floyd concert.

I don't know much of the history surrounding the Rush concert? Why did they okay it after Floyd mess. Why never again after Rush? Still scarred after 75 show? Did Rush go off fine but still noisy? Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were last approved show. Something tells me that show might have opened some doors as a softer return of music to Balsam.

As a way to make the new stadium an all year facility, I wonder if there is some cooling system they could put under a stadium to allow for us to put ice down for winter community skating or a Dogs home game each year or something if the cost wasn't what it is yearly for the Winter Classics? Drive the Zamboni over from Scott Park. :) dress it up in Cats colours/airbrush design. Would be cool for Scott Park minor hockey.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted November 19, 2011 at 22:47:47

The 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games scorecard as of today:


Toronto is committed to spending $96 Million so far.

Toronto will get:

*Pan Am Athletes Village consisting of at least 6,000 residential units to be built near the Toronto waterfront all or most of which will be sold after the Games are done

*Aquatics Centre in Scarborough

*Pan Am Athletics Stadium at York University


Hamilton is committed to spending up to $60.5 Million so far.

Hamilton will get:

*a new 22,500 seat stadium where its old 29,000 seat stadium used to be

*little to no preliminary input from its elected officials or its taxpayers on the stadium and precinct plan

*one less soccer field

*one less school

*the possibility of three less baseball diamonds

Hamilton has also committed $5 Million for a velodrome but it remains to be seen where the velodrome will be built and whether it will it will be a permanent or temporary facility.

It also appears as though a special events GO train platform might be built near Gage Avenue North (about a block away from the Hells Angels clubhouse) or near Lottridge Avenue North or possibly near either Sherman Avenue North or Ottawa Street North (each being about a 25 minute walk from the stadium).

Next Steps For Hamilton

In his aggressive attack on the members of the Waterfront Trust earlier this week, Mayor Bratina professed to be looking out for the taxpayers' interests. Why then has he been so cavalier about how little Hamilton is receiving for its $60.5 Million commitment to the total rebuild of Ivor Wynne Stadium? And why didn't he inform Hamilton city council the same day he found out about the Ivor Wynne Stadium total rebuild?

It is incumbent upon Mayor Bratina and Hamilton city council to revisit the stadium file immediately and publicly. Is the $60.5 Million stadium expenditure a wise long-term investment for Hamilton or is the money better spent on other important Hamilton projects? How much additional money will the taxpayers be expected to invest in this project and what benefits does the city expect to achieve? Hamilton taxpayers need and deserve transparency from their municipal elected officials and city staff on these questions. And, as the contributor of 44 per cent of the stadium construction cost, the City of Hamilton should be demanding more transparency from Toronto 2015 and Infrastructure Ontario as well as greater city input at the preliminary stadium and precinct design stage.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-11-19 23:02:40

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2011 at 08:19:06

"If the shortlisted RFPs were made public, there could be pressure brought to bear to change or alter, or one bidder’s excellent idea could be lifted by another to gain unfair advantage. But even if you accept this defence, there’s an easy way to get around it. IO could receive the bids in confidence, share them confidentially with appropriate people, and manage the back-and-forth that is inevitable between bidders and the contractor. Then, when all bidders have done whatever fine tuning is necessary, declare the RFPs complete and make the short list public. That removes the risk of competitive advantage being lost because all three bidders are in the same position, have taken their best shot and cannot make further adjustments.

That’s not going to happen. Instead, IO, with input from city staff and the Pan Am subcommittee, will select a winning bid from the three, and only then will the details made public. So city taxpayers, and the majority of city council — councillors not on the subcommittee are kept in the dark, too — are on the hook for $45 million for a project they only get a look at once it’s a done deal. It may be legally and procedurally defensible, but it’s still wrong."


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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 20, 2011 at 09:40:44

Mgrande to answer your question directly, Bernie and council gave two concerts their blessing but wouldn't spend the cash to fix I believe it was egress issues from field level and sprinklers and such? If I remember correctly. Hxtc on Cats forums was involved with Moncton stadium build. See my link above to those forum pages. He makes some good arguments but I still say its time to change process and bring some trust to the table. What are we teaching our children if they see we have to enforce secrecy because we can't trust anyone.

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By support MAC (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2011 at 15:46:34

Support the MAC Marauders for your football fix in Hamilton. Ticats robbed the city taxpayer and hurt city building at the same time. Go bombers.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 21, 2011 at 09:36:00

Cable 14's For the Record. Bernie Morelli talks about the Stadium starting at at 9:27.

At 16:45 the Seniors Centre (proposed to be constructed within the stadium district), is discussed.

18:25 Bernie talks about the advisory board connected to the Pan Am sub-committee.

Thanks to Paul Tetley for providing the Ward 3 residents for this link to keep us up-to-date.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-11-21 09:44:53

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted November 24, 2011 at 04:27:12 in reply to Comment 71473

...and I believe there's an illuminating analogy provided at 14:30 or so that speaks volumes about perspective and context and mindset.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 23, 2011 at 11:48:52

supportMAC, idiots like you are what give Hamilton a bad name and anyone who agree with you about our Hamilton TigerCats. I know, you don't have a clue what the Grey Cup is or why it's been sold out for a while in Vancouver for months now and for quite a few years now at other cities in Canada that have hosted it. Like I say - idiot.

Go Mac Go for sure, that I will agree with.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 23, 2011 at 13:14:31

supportMAC et al. who wonder what the Grey Cup is and what it can mean, read on about the 2009 Grey Cup held in Calgary and see why Hamilton deserves to host this event as well. Something similar to this cannot happen without the stadium project:

"The four-day festival saw over 121,000 fans in attendance with 46,020 attending Sunday’s Grey Cup Classic at McMahon Stadium. An estimated 32,000 fans in attendance over the course of the festival were from out-of-region, and their spending, in combination with expenditures made by
the 2009 Grey Cup host committee totaled $35.3 million. These expenditures generated an
estimated $81.0 million in economic activity for the province of Alberta, of which $61.0 million occurred in the city of Calgary. The total net economic activity (GDP) generated by the event was $39.5 million throughout Alberta, with $28.4 million occurring in the city of Calgary." ...

Source: http://www.visitcalgary.com/sites/default/files/pdf/media-releases/MEDIA%20RELEASE_040710_Grey%20Cup%20Economic%20Impact_0.pdf

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 23, 2011 at 17:57:56

Yes, I must be stupid, we wouldn't want to expose Hamilton on national television to some 5 or so million viewers and have the honour of hosting Canada's national professional football championship that is in it's 99th year and counting and bringing in millions to the city, now would we. Dumb ol' Anon...

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:38:55 in reply to Comment 71574

Since you find it so easy to dig up rosy numbers on the Grey Cup, why don't you pull the numbers for the last two grey cups Hamilton hosted, so we can see how great they were in the past for our city, and how great they might be again.

I don't recall it being all that rosy.

But please, provide me that proof, I'm willing to listen, and if you're right, I (and likely others) will upvote your comment.

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By all Grey Cups do better today (anonymous) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:22:33

Fact is that with a new stadium coupled with the vast improvement at every Grey Cup venue since Hamilton hosted 15 years ago improved revenues is virtually guaranteed. Besides, the Tigercats, not the city, would be taking the financial risk

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 28, 2011 at 08:40:00 in reply to Comment 71616

The City would be the one (taxpayers), that would have to put up the $2M dollar investment to make up for the shortfall of available seats required to host a the Cup. So the City are the ones taking the risk. I'd guarantee we make that money back the first time. Depending on it's success, is how I would determine if we should take the CFL up on that 2nd promised Cup within a few years of the first one.

Ivor Wynne has the capacity now, with the addition of temporary seats although Tiger-Vision made it so we couldn't install temporary seating to host Grey Cups. That is an assumption but I'd be willing to bet that is what Tiger-Vision actually took away from us.

And so what if fans stay in Burlington. That hotel on Lakeshore at Brant is a nice place with a great view of either the lake or downtown Burlington. And it's just a few minutes from Ivor Wynne

We'll do fine and the City will take the risk at least the first time.

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By actually the city would put up nothing (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2011 at 21:40:08 in reply to Comment 71653

Sorry but your information about how future Grey Cups will be funding is totally false

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2011 at 17:09:20 in reply to Comment 71790

January 24th 2011 report

Bottom page 15/top of page 16.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-12-02 17:10:44

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By troll fail (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2011 at 15:44:29 in reply to Comment 71808

nice try tho

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By thanks (anonymous) | Posted December 02, 2011 at 20:25:15 in reply to Comment 71808

you pointed to proof that the $2M requirement from the city is not an absolute and should not be stated as such. Again thanks for proving that the facts as stated above are not actual facts

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 03, 2011 at 07:04:19 in reply to Comment 71813

Okay, I'll bite. Neither of these are set in stone.

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By Look it up (anonymous) | Posted December 02, 2011 at 16:54:19 in reply to Comment 71790

You can down vote all you like, it doesn't change the reality that your facts are not facts.

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By R U SERIOUS? (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2011 at 15:21:10 in reply to Comment 71653

"And so what if fans stay in Burlington." WTF???? Lets just forget about filling Hamilton's downtown hotels right?... oh yeah, we did! When our spineless council caved to the two Bob's ridiculous Ivor Wynne rebuild.... We had one chance to do this right, and we BLEW IT!!!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted November 30, 2011 at 15:50:40 in reply to Comment 71721

The previous commenter said we wouldn't have enough hotel space to host a Grey Cup Mr. Sunshine.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 13:25:06 in reply to Comment 71616

"Virtually guaranteed" is of course not the same as "guaranteed". I'm not confident that success out west will result in success in Hamilton. I'm not confident in the ability of the city or the ti-cats to capitalize on a new stadium and grey cup and actually make money (Heck, where are all the visiting tourists going to sleep overnight? Burlington? Toronto? We sure as heck don't have the rooms in Hamilton).

Also, speaking of financial risk, last time round the CITY lost $1.2 million, based on the information I could find. I don't know how or why the CITY lost money last time, but it implies to me that the CITY would be taking some financial risk on this time, as they did last time.

If the ti-cats are so certain they will make money, and the CITY will not lose money, why don't they put up a surety bond to cover any expenses the CITY will incur during the Grey Cup, that was the city is guaranteed to break even at very least.

As evidence that what works out west doesn't work in Hamilton, let's look at Light rail. We all know LRT works in Calgary, but of course it won't work here - ask anyone! So why would the Grey Cup be any different?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 25, 2011 at 13:25:58 in reply to Comment 71619

That last paragraph should have [sarcasm] and [/sarcasm] tags around it...apparently using these angle brackets makes the words disappear...

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:19:20

Grey Cups have been sold out well in advance for a number of years now so it's pretty well a given, especially with the much better ownership we now have, that a Grey Cup in Hamilton in the new stadium will be a success for the city as well as the league and the Cats. A win-win-win really no doubt.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 08, 2011 at 23:26:02

A report by Emma Reilly on thespec.com states that councillor Brad Clark introduced a plan at today's General Issues Committee meeting to request clarification from the provincial privacy commissioner on whether Infrastructure Ontario has the authority to silence municipal discussion about the Pan Am stadium plans: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 09, 2011 at 08:34:37

Three recent decisions made in Toronto do not bode well for the long term future of the new Hamilton football and soccer stadium:

  1. A press conference has been called for today to announce a joint venture purchase of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment by Rogers Communications and Bell Canada Enterprises with the approval of minority MLSE shareholder Larry Tanenbaum: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-inv...

  2. A Toronto bid is being assembled to apply to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Committee will announce the winning bid city in 2017: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...

  3. In September, 2011, Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto 2015 selected Dundee Kilmer Developments Limited to "design, build and finance" the Pan Am Athletes Village which will consist of approximately 6,000 residential units near the Toronto waterfront to accommodate 8,500 athletes and staff during the Pan Am Games and sold after the Games. One of the partners in the consortium is Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. which is "..the private investment and holding company of leading Canadian business leader and philanthropist Larry Tanenbaum." http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/835291/p...

How do these three decisions affect the future of the new Hamilton football and soccer stadium?

a) The "Toronto NFL Dream"

Since 2006, Rogers Communications and Larry Tanenbaum have demonstrated a desire to bring an NFL franchise to Toronto. http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2006/09/06/...

the missing component right now is an NFL sized stadium.

2017 could be the watershed year for moving the "Toronto NFL Dream" to the next step. The 6,000 residential units in the Pan Am Athletes Village should be sold by then, allowing Mr. Tanenbaum to partner with Rogers and BCE in attempting to buy an existing or expansion NFL franchise. A winning Toronto bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic bid will send a message to the NFL that Toronto will get an 80,000 seat stadium by 2024. A Toronto NFL franchise could temporarily play at Rogers Centre until the Olympic stadium is built.

b) The New Hamilton Football and Soccer Stadium

The projected life cycle of the new Hamilton stadium is about 50 years spanning from 2014 to 2064.

There could be new Hamilton stadium "honeymoon" of up to 10 years including hosting some Pan Am soccer games, the Tiger-Cats, a second tier professional soccer club, and perhaps a few Olympic soccer games.

However, if Toronto gets its NFL team by 2024, it is improbable that the Argonaut and Tiger-Cat CFL football clubs could survive in the Southern Ontario marketplace. If, for example, the Tiger-Cats lasted another five years before folding or moving, they would be gone by 2029 and there is huge risk that new Hamilton football stadium could be devoid of CFL football for at least the final 35 years of its 50 year shelf life.

Copps Coliseum had a five year honeymoon until the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs derailed the Hamilton NHL expansion bid in 1990. Similarly, MLSE will probably prevent Hamilton from having a Major Soccer League franchise at the new stadium which could relegate the new stadium to hosting second tier professional soccer throughout its life cycle.

Is the investment of up to $60.5 Million by the City of Hamilton on the new Hamilton football and soccer stadium worth the ten year honeymoon period for the new stadium followed by 35 to 40 years of underutilization?

Mayor Bratina and Hamilton city council need to consider these three recent Toronto decisions and how Hamilton should respond to them.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-12-09 08:40:05

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:17:13 in reply to Comment 72043

The NFL working in Toronto or Canada has a huge strike against it. Its not the fact that Toronto can't support a team, it can. Even if there is a suitableo stadium, the biggest reason, is the TV revenue. About 2/3 of the NFL's money comes from TV revenue and that revenue cannot be shared with a foreign team. TV ratings on Canadian TV are not measured by the U.S. Networks and as a result the big broadcasters and advertisers are not going to be willing to shell out the big money for a team that essentially makes them no money. It makes not matter how big the market is in Southern Ontario because in terms of TV Southern Ontario does not measure up. It can't.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 31, 2011 at 19:18:42 in reply to Comment 72150

Five prerequisites, all of which are attainable, will need to be met for Toronto to have a NFL franchise by 2024:

  1. An NFL franchise will first be placed in Los Angeles once a new stadium is built there;

    The plan is to have a new stadium built and an NFL franchise in Los Angeles by 2016 or 2017.

  2. Unless the NFL changes its current ownership rules prohibiting a corporation from being the lead owner of an NFL franchise, an individual must become the lead entity in a Toronto NFL franchise bid;

    The participation of Mr. Tanenbaum’s company in the construction of the Pan Am Athletes’ Village and subsequent sale of the 6,000 residential units after the 2015 Pan Am Games should enhance his capabilities to lead a Toronto bid for an NFL team by 2017.

  3. The future ownership, location and territorial rights of the Buffalo Bills franchise must be settled;

    Media reports indicate that the family of Ralph Wilson, the 93 year old owner of the Bills, will sell the team after his passing. It is probable that a family sale of the team would occur by 2024 and that the issues of ownership, location and territorial rights would be settled by then.

  4. The construction of a new NFL-compatible stadium in Toronto;

    If the Olympic Committee announces in 2017 that Toronto will host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Toronto will get its NFL-compatible stadium by 2024 and the Toronto NFL bid group will have seven years to negotiate the purchase of an NFL franchise before the new stadium opens.

  5. The NFL television and multi-media contracts need to be reworked to accommodate international NFL franchises.

    Rogers Communications (Sportsnet) and Bell Canada Enterprises (TSN and CTV), who recently became partners with Mr. Tanenbaum in Maple Leaf Sports and Enterprises, are the Canadian rights holders for NFL broadcasts. They have successfully and cooperatively negotiated television contracts with the NFL
    for many years and it would be in their best interests to provide guidance to a Toronto NFL ownership group in negotiating a workable television and multi-media agreement with the NFL by 2024.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-12-31 19:26:10

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2011 at 09:48:02 in reply to Comment 72043

All valid points and perhaps you are bang on but so we don't build a stadium, Cats fold up or move, and Hamilton starts the demise of at least CFL football in southern Ontario.

Canadian football is a better game. That is the truth. Rogers and Bell and Mayor Ford all want their flashy American NFL, but I bet there are more than a few CFL faithful that will fight that. Will they win? I don't know but it's the last thing sports wise that is still truly Canadian.

A new home for the Cats, hopefully one for the Argos at some point, Ottawa is coming back into the league, Quebec wants a team and Moncton has been getting a good up close and personal taste of what the CFL is about.

We 'welcome' the NFL and force football out of Hamilton, families who enjoy a summer afternoon at a stadium, will be lucky if they can afford the trek out to TO once a season to sit through TV time outs.

The game changes however for me, if Mayor Ford sets up the Argos in a new home and starts supporting and selling this great Canadian game as well so that perhaps - perhaps, both leagues could survive simultaneously.

I am not all that shy perhaps unfortunately when I discuss my despise towards what the NHL has become on so many levels from dollars to too many concussions sense. It's hard as a life long Bruins fan. I still love hockey and I follow it and I drove 8 hours to Boston to see the Legends Bruins play at Fenway Park and blew 1K on a weekend venture to New Jersey/New York to see Ray Bourque play in the Stanley Cup and had I the money, I would have paid to see the Bruins play in the finals last fall.

For me though, I love the AHL and I think - I truly think, if we could brand the AHL as more of a CFL-type league where it's no longer a farm system but a completely different league where star players aren't going to get called up during a playoff run, than that league will be a favorite amongst smaller cities. These places like Hamilton that are almost big enough or near the right market to make a go of it, will stop their flashy 'big-league' dreams and appreciate the great product they already have.

If NHL teams had to chose the guys they wanted and let go of the rest, then if they wanted a guy they had drafted but let go to the AHL becaese he wasn't ready, then they'll have to wait until the following season to add them permanently to the roster. No more going up and down and being a farm league. They do that and the CFL continues to be the same league it is, then the AHL get's stronger and the CFL expands south. So we are supporting the 'American' hockey league and 'they' are supporting the 'Canadian' football league. The bottom line is that they would both be leagues of their own.

Would the players in both leagues still dream of larger scale, higher paying big leagues like the NHL and NFL? Sure they most likely would and perhaps the AHL would continue to grow talent bound for the NHL like the Carey Price's of the world. It would be great to see more CFL'ers realize their NFL dreams as well.

I talk smack about the NFL and the NHL but I will say that we need these high-priced leagues. Corporate boxes and high salaries and high tech, etc. I am sure we really do - especially in large metropolises like Toronto and New York and the likes. However, we also need the Hamilton's and St Johns and Hershey's of the world. Affordable family entertainment but in order for the AHL to take it to the next level, they need to be a real league and in order for the CFL to survive in Ontario alongside the NFL, it could perhaps use for the AHL and NHL to agree to this step so that the CFL isn't compared any longer to a farm league. If the AHL can be cool for cities long dreaming big dreams like Hamilton, than the CFL will be even cooler and perhaps expansion south of the border might then work as it didn't before.

There are a lot of guys that want to play professional hockey and football and even baseball as I wouldn't mind the Thunderbirds being more of a big deal - their stadium is in a great spot. These 'minor' leagues already exist but they could be so much more, if the NHL/AHL NFL/CFL MLB/MiLB, could live in harmony. I attended game 7 of the Calder Cup finals against the Aeros a few years back. I don't know about the next person but that was some great hockey and the atmosphere was electric. Why can't we sell out that arena all year for the Dogs. What will it take for the AHL to be a cool league - perhaps when the biggest difference is $100 for the cheapest ticket in Toronto and $15 in Hamilton but other than that, most everything else about the two leagues is the same. One is just a more grass-roots hockey experience, and one is built for the rich and maybe that is not a bad thing - just help us little guys enjoy what we love about the game again and help us afford to be true fans and go to 20 games a year because it's affordable and the place is packed and it's a fun environment.

Would this not work because big tv stations/cable companies, big newspapers, etc., are all over these big leagues with next to no coverage of these 'farm' leagues? If hockey on a Saturday afternoon/night was just as hyped up as the NHL, if we cared about the score of the Portland Pirates as much as we cared about whether or not the Florida Panthers won or lost where division standings go, how does that change these games? Same with football on Sundays. If the CFL had the same type of hype and respect, how would those dynamics change every ones outlook?

So long story longer, maybe you are right, but I'd rather us fight to save something rather than step aside as corporate America moves in and strong-arms us.

Maybe that's just me.

How many people go to NFL or NHL or MLB games for the joy of talking about these events long afterwards. Cool water cooler talk. Well the CFL and AHL and MiLB have every potential to be cool water cooler talk. The big guys aren't going to dial down their leagues and the smaller leagues can't afford to and shouldn't, dial up their leagues so it's up to some creative marketing and a few hey listen's with the big dudes.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-12-09 10:10:26

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 12, 2011 at 00:15:54


Nobody has forced or is forcing football out of Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats already have a 29,000 seat football stadium. They pay a base stadium rent of $27,500 per year which amounts to $0.95 per seat per year. Even though it is an old stadium, the Ticats have a sweet deal unavailable in any other city in Canada.

Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats were synonymous with one another until July, 2010 when the Tiger-Cats cut their own umbilical cord from Hamilton by threatening to move the team out of town. That is when, to many Hamiltonians, the Ticats became just another professional football franchise instead of the community-based team that generations of Hamiltonians had grown deeply fond of. Under duress, Hamilton then sacrificed the main Pan Am athletics stadium and its preferred west harbour location to appease the Tiger-Cats’ demands.

On January 31, 2011, Mayor Bratina and Hamilton city council voted unanimously to spend up to $60.5 Million to demolish its 29,000 seat stadium and replace it with a 22,500 seat stadium on the same site. That was the day that professional football officially prevailed over Hamilton’s city building and amateur sports Pan Am legacy.

Hamilton’s needs and wants seem to have become increasingly irrelevant in the Pan Am stadium process since then.

Please read the Stadium Subcommittee report on their November 16, 2011 meeting. http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/58CE...

Two things stand out in the Stadium Subcommittee report:

  1. The Infrastructure Ontario representative would not even disclose to the city subcommittee whether the stadium will be built in an east-west direction or a north-south direction. It is disingenuous of Infrastructure Ontario to claim that this basic design information cannot be release to the City of Hamilton and must remain confidential until the bid process is completed. Aren’t the three construction design bid teams working within the same design parameters? Surely all three bid teams are either designing a north-south stadium or all three are designing a east-west stadium.

  2. The City of Hamilton plans to talk with the neighbourhood residents about what they want to see in the stadium precinct.

These two important items should have been addressed by Infrastructure Ontario and the City of Hamilton in advance and contained in a report as part of the RFP sent by Infrastructure Ontario to the three construction design teams in September, 2011. Instead, the basic design and the direction in which the stadium will run is being dictated to the City of Hamilton by Infrastructure Ontario and the city will have to spend the next three years playing catch up.

Ultimately, the long term viability of the new stadium remains the largest issue. Whether we Hamiltonians like it or not, it is highly probable that the new MLSE ownership structure will be the ownership template for a Toronto NFL franchise playing in an 80,000 seat Olympic stadium by 2024. Is Hamilton spending $60.5 Million toward a stadium to host 50 more years of Tiger-Cat football? Or will the new stadium instead host a farewell salute of 15 years or less to a football team that has played here since 1869? If the Ticats fold or move within 15 years of the opening of the new stadium, is it still worth building the stadium to gain a chance to host some Pan Am soccer games, a Grey Cup or two and a few Olympic soccer games between 2014 and 2024? Or would it be of more long-term benefit to Hamilton to pay the breakage fee of perhaps $1 Million to Infrastructure Ontario, spend $15 Million on stadium renovations and the remaining $44.5 Million on waterfront development or LRT or return some of the money to the Future Fund? Mayor Bratina and Hamilton city council and staff need to assess the recent decisions made in Toronto as part of their continuing due diligence on the stadium issue.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-12-12 00:24:50

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:26:20

I get you Renaissance. I think you know I really and truly do based on this article and other's. I care a lot less about the Cats through all of this and it bother's me.

A part of what I say is based on fear of losing the team but you also know that deep down inside, I don't want to tear down Ivor Wynne. I will admit and maybe to the disapproval of many, but I do still feel our $45M contribution should go to Ivor Wynne upgrades.

I'll agree with this also - this all should have never happened. A new stadium should have been built at West Harbour. This was all hijacked - I agree although do we only see one side? I don't know. It's done bottom line and we have to move on but we need to be careful with how we move on. Do I think the Harbour is the best place for the stadium? If a Smart Centre goes there then yes. If the true Setting Sail happens, than no.

Ivor Wynne has had little to no money poured into it since it's namesake championed the north stands upgrades in 1970. The last major investment was a mix of Bob Young and Arcelor Mittal I believe was the funding breakdown, of the video bard. That screen added a lot to the gameday experience except that it perhaps purposely, made it so we couldn't host Grey Cups because there isn't the space for the temporary seating required to increase the capacity to 45,000.

I want to see some concerts hosted at Ivor Wynne. I'd like to see some proper seating - seat backs. We are talking $20,000 just to replace the concrete slabs on the south side. We need all that money. But if you told me Renaissance and many others on this site on on the Cats forum that you were all prepared to help me buy this team off of Bob Young and make this a community owned team like Green Bay or Saskatchewan, I'd say let's do it. Let's pay the fine for copping out of the Pan Am games and take control of the 'upgrade' of Ivor Wynne and keep the community informed the entire way.

I haven't read that report that you provided yet. I contacted the clerk immediately following the meeting but they said it wouldn't be available to us until around this time. Thanks for the link.

I want to see the Cats (our Cats), get some of what they need to survive. Some parking (barring post Pan-Am Games it's filled with trees and flowers and such), in the place of Brian Timmis so we can actually see all of Ivor Wynne when we drive by. Purchase some derelict and abandoned warehouse space on the CN ROW around Gage Ave and turn that into parking/future GO satellite stop. Lot's of parking and bussing opportunities with The Centre too. Might as well make some use out of all that black top.

The City would likely love to see Scott Park high, the arena, Jimmy Thompson, Parkview, King George, etc., all fall to parking and a seniors centre but I want to keep it all. I know it's not my decision but it should be the entire community talking about what they do and don't want to see go. I think we already have a nice little sports and education district currently and I would love to build on that and incorporate it all better, into the stadium.

I just sent emails to the AHL, NHL, and the Toronto Marlies, asking them to advertise this outdoor game at Ivor Wynne in January. That stadium and the community means alot to me and I want it to be a special event. THis is likely the last year of Ivor Wynne barring some miracle and forging of the city building/sports fanatics of this city to truly preserve history both in the stadium and the Cats, build Parkview their systems school within Parkview/KIng George, make Scott Park High a mixed community centre/Hamilton Sports and CFL Hall of Fame, make any needed improvements to Jimmy Thompson, preserve the tailgating and parking on lawns experience that I am hearing rumours of being done away with, and lastly perhaps Scott Park Arena winning Kraft Hockeyville - because you NEVER know, and getting a bit of a facelift. It's the only hockey arena in Ward 3. I spent 4 hours there on Sunday with my two girls. It's likely one of the smallest arena's around and the smallest hockey communities, but there is something strange (in a good way), about that little facility - which is one of the cleanest/well-kept, arena's I have ever been in.

That's a bit of what I envision along Balsam. Oh, and a partnership with the boxing gym on Barton with Parkview/the Cats too. A CFL shop would be good at the Stadium Mall as well. Lot's of space for a football/sports related store or two over there.

I fear losing this team. Fear ticking Bob off or the CFL or IO and losing it all. Something doesn't feel right outside of what we see on the surface and perhaps I am being too Conspiracy Theory about the whole thing - perhaps many of us are, but Canada doesn't have a stadium they herald with the same hurrah as the Fenway's and Lambau's and Wrigley's of the world. Perhaps it doesn't compare in the least and perhaps if I want to be surrounded in that kind of history I should move to Boston or Green Bay, but if we paid our IO fine and gave back the feds and provinces money and had $45M of OUR money to spend, what could we really do? How long does that buy us before our next major upgrade is required.I'd like to know from someone other than IO who has an invested interest in these Pan Am games.

I know nothing. I am just some voice who loves a football stadium, a football team, and a community. The thought of a community run team sounds intriguing as well, but how much work is that? What kind of time is required in fundraising and such to keep the team and the stadium going?

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-12-12 10:38:21

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