Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young has posted an essay on the Ticats website explaining the team's position on the West Harbour location for a new football stadium.
Young argues that the West Harbour site is a case of "trying to play in the wrong stadium in the wrong part of town" and argues that the city selected the location without engaging "collaboration" with the Ticats as the major proposed tenant.
Young raises four objections to the West Harbour site:
He argues that the city's consultant report on the location was well-prepared but that the city had asked the wrong questions about the West Harbour's fitness as a location and made specific assumptions about sources of revenue that would require the Ticats to raise ticket prices.
He also makes a powerful personal admission:
I bought into the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a whole bunch of illogical personal reasons. They include my personal experience of having grown up in Hamilton until I was 10 and then being dragged around the world for the next 10 years. My answer to the question of "where are you from," no matter where I have been living ever since, has always been Hamilton.
I continue to have friends and family in Hamilton, and as you know I'm a passionate Tiger-Cat fan. So when the Tiger-Cats finished 1-17 and went bankrupt in 2003, I made the very silly emotional decision to put my money where my heart was.
Financially it has been one of the worst ideas I've ever had. No, scratch that - it has been easily the worst financial idea I've ever had. While we have trimmed the losses of the team every year we are still losing a huge number of dollars every year.
Young concludes that the Ticats can't get profitable because Ivor Wynne is simply not a viable stadium. "The only reason Hamilton has had a football team for the last 40 years is that a long line of foolish but wealthy and philanthropic citizens have been willing to pay the losses."
He closes the essay with a commitment to work with the city to find the best location based on "listen[ing] to the experts" - including the Ticats as future tenants.
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