New Stadium, New Jobs, More Culture

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published February 25, 2009

The new stadium is not yet built and it already created potential new jobs with the announcement from Bob Young that he applied for a professional soccer franchise. These extra jobs will be from the marketing industry all the way to the box office.

It will also add to cultural fabric of Hamilton. In an age of competition from the suburbs to the east, any extra incentive for business and residents to locate here is needed for Hamilton.

In addition to a CFL team, a professional hockey team, a world-class university, an A-list art gallery, a theatre company, a symphony and an opera company, it's something else that Hamilton enjoys, but Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga don't.

It will also make the citizens of Hamilton a little more proud and provide extra media exposure, similar to the World-Cycling Championships. These are two more important pieces that Hamilton badly needs to rebuild our ambition.

The cycling veldrone, which might not be used by regular citizens, will provide a venue for national and world cycling events and a training facility for athletes, good uses in my opinion. Note: regular citizens will probably never use the stadium either except as spectators.

There was some strange opposition from Sam Murella and Brad Clark – opposition from Margaret McCarthy is never a surprise – McCarthy tends to vote out of spite for anything that benefits Hamilton.

However, for Murella and Clark to suggest gold-plated roads offer more benefits than a new stadium was simply grandstanding and not representative of their constituents.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".


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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 16:17:24

Hamilton also "enjoys" one of the highest residential tax rates in Canada, one of the highest business tax rates in the province, declining commercial and industrial tax base, a decrepit downtown full of bums and junkies, an one of the highest social service burdens in Canada.

Who wouldn't want to be a part of all that?

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 20:29:54

Understood.... the Hammer has it's problems.... currently. It wasn't always the case however.

This is a step to reverse those issues. If we always do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always got. This is a different step.

It's still true that Hamilton has many more cultural amenities and a livelier civic life when compared to the suburbs to the east. When's the last time a Burlington resident walked/cycled/public transited to a destination or civic amenity? Not counting a walk after dinner around the block to burn 100 calories and check out the neighbours landscaping.

As far as 'bums and junkies'. I also see them in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and NYC and in any real city. Some might even be former Burlington residents... who knows? It's just there's no place to get crack and panhandle in a 'city' where everyone lives in their 'great room' and automobile.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 21:57:36

Have to admit I've turned around my opinion on this stadium. It may be a good thing for us, if:

  1. a coherent business plan for multiple uses that will attract a full crowd (such as a pro soccer team),

  2. Ivor Wynne can be torn down, removing the costly burden of maintaining it, and turned into something other than a big box store or a drive-through that generates revenue.

  3. the city can also afford to contribute nominally to the building of an LRT, and that LRT is completed - both A and B lines, in time for these Games, with full GO service conveniently located at Liuna to attract out-of-towners to attend events without their cars.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 01:01:21

I agree with arienc about tearing down Ivor Wynne. This space can be turned into a complete housing developement. It's close to transit and Gage Park which would make it a fairly desirable place to live.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 13:30:17

Capitalist, please tell me you live in Burlington or Oakville.

If you live in Hamilton I think you should move because it will never be the type of city you want or deserve.

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By Ariel (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 19:16:08

Capitalist, some of these people want you to leave for telling the truth. Please stay. Hamilton needs those who will tell the emperor when he/she leaves the house bare naked. Hamilton needs help no question...and it has to start with the recognition of the problem.

For the regular RTH'rs its only about beating business back and supporting LRT everything else be damned.

Even Trey's comment that the stadium is already creating jobs is ludicrous. Proof of this is Bob Young's announcement. NO statium yet, NO jobs yet, just an announcement. But the RHVP which has created jobs is dissed because the jobs aren't high paying or real jobs are bad- imaginary jobs are good according to this logic....Capitalist stay. Please stay.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 22:45:56

yea, you're right. Hamilton really needs people like this. What would we do without squelchers and naysayers?

You've obviously never read RTH. It's ALL about DEVELOPMENT. You self-proclaimed "business-friendly" types like the media and elites in our city have been proclaiming to be the advocates for 'business-first' and 'business-friendly' for decades. Just one small problem. The economy has gone one direction during the past 2 decades with all these Chamber types and backroom bidness folks in charge. Gum flapping might work with those in Hamilton with their heads buried in the sand, but for anyone who's been paying attention it's clear to see that the policies from the 1960's that we still employ have NOT worked. Do some research on LRT and do some reading on and tell me what the common thread is? DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT. Thankfully, the clueless folks in Hamilton are dwindling. More and more people are tuning into the fact that bidness as usual is what got us into this mess (please go and read 'The media, the mafia and the party machine'. Just as true today as it was when it was written). A different path and new ideas is what will dig us out of this mess. It's good to know that we'll always have ancient throwbacks like you who will resist change and prosperity to the bitter end hoping and grasping for the small inner circle of bidness and back-room dealers to remain in charge at the expense of the citizens and future of this city. The boat has sailed my friend. Change is not only coming, it's already here! Fight it all you want, but Hamilton's future is brighter than ever and all the squelching in the world won't change it!

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 23:42:01

Hey Capitalist: Was it not Mr Harris that implemented that change, meaning the downloading of the social services and alagamation, that precipitated the increases in the residential and commercial tax rates?

The story was, it was them there poor people that were causing the tax problems, only thing is that in the meantime your taxes have been rising, yet it has been the poor who have gotten less. And well, I find it pretty telling when the "business" elites of our community advocating for further cuts.

Anyways, within the community there are many that are organizing on different levels and if you where to check out the post in today's poverty blog, you will see that others in our community are seeing an awakening as well.

Just because someone is poor does not mean that they do not have something of a benefit to offer to the community as a whole. In fact in my travels, I have met some pretty dedicated people who advocate for change and they are what you would consider the dregs of our society. These people give back more to the community then possibly you do and they do it because they want change, to see betterment for all.

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By Cheer Leader (anonymous) | Posted February 27, 2009 at 14:10:31

Hamilton suffers a serious case of self loathing. That gives a new stadium positive potential (the city's favourite word) even if the economic arguments trotted out to support it are suspect. It's divisive to overstate and understate the benefits of these projects, and to continue to do so after the decisions have been made.

Whatever happens, the city will roll on and so will our lives which we'll continue to make the best of regardless of the blather that surrounds these events. It would be a very big change for Hamilton if we avoid falling into political sides based upon perceptions of historical associations.

That isn't easy. It was Florida after all who talked about "squelchers" which is little more than name calling. People should be able to question whether a project is actually an example of creative thinking and the best bang for the civic buck without being called names.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 27, 2009 at 16:50:56

cheer leader, you are bang on. Go back and read capitalists post at the top of this article. There's no 'questioning whether a project is creative thinking or not'. It's a rant full of anti-Hamilton nonsense. Questions are absolutely necessary and welcome. Squelching isn't. Cheers

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By yourmother (anonymous) | Posted February 28, 2009 at 15:20:55

this blows major nuts

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By Another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted March 02, 2009 at 16:09:51


I've read many of your posts.

It seems to me you constantly criticize without offering solutions.

Do we have problems? Yes.

Are the unique to Hamilton? No.

This city did build itself through ambition and taking a chance.

We went through a massive reorganization from the early 1980's until now. We've come through it where many other cities didn't ( The U.S. rustbelt)

Let us put the spotlight on the problems but let us also put the spotlight on the achievements, as well.

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By huh? (anonymous) | Posted March 03, 2009 at 14:58:22

I hate it when people make a comment there are "bums" downtown. There are "bums" in every city like was already said however it wasn't said that its a lot worse in other cities. Man Montreal is has the problem. I went there a few years ago and it almost looked like there were more "bums" then non "bums" and I was like people think this town is go great and come here from hamilton whats the deal with that. The only reason I was there was for a hockey game other wise I won't be going there again so many "bums". Im kidding but thats the mentality of some many people here.

Something that always gets me is the people that complain about Downtown are partialy at fault. If people would go down there and actually shop etc that would go a long way to fixing a problem. Realistcally the citizens of Hamilton are the people who are in the best position to fix downtown. Stop complaing stop judging someone for the way they look get on your bike your jump on a bus and go look at one of the many shops down there or heck grab a bight at a resturant there are a lot of nice ones down there.

seriously cut it out!

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted March 05, 2009 at 16:41:06

I moved from Hamilton to Toronto awhile back, and boy was it an eye opener.

All the Toronto people for all those years slagging off Hamilton for slummy areas, bums, closed storefronts etc. What a joke. There are way more in Toronto, of every negative. They just hide it better behind their highrises and fancy stores. Take a walk around Bloor West Villiage and head north. In about 5 minutes of walking you will think you are on Barton st. Or walk down some of China Towns smaller streets, SCARY!!! Not to mention I was offered to buy drugs almost every time I walked down Yonge st. Never once in any part of Hamilton. And constantly asked for change every corner.

I was so happy to move out of TO and back to this wonderfull (needs some work, I know) city.

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