Michael Fenn Selected as Pan Am Stadium Facilitator

By RTH Staff
Published May 18, 2010

A press release issued by the mayor's office reports that the City and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have agreed on a facilitator to try and resolve the dispute over the Pan Am Stadium location.

Michael Fenn, a former senior bureaucrat with the old Region of Hamilton Wentworth and founding CEO of the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (now Metrolinx), will facilitate talks between the city and the Ticats to seek a resolution.

After participating in a two-year consultation process resulted in the selection of the West Harbour site of the old Rheem factory for a Pan Am Stadium, the Ticats only recently raised a last-minute objection, demanding that the city consider other locations, months after Council had approved the West Harbour.

Ticat owner Bob Young posted an essay on the team website in which he argued that the West harbour has:

While most of Hamilton scratched their heads and wondered why the Ticats waited until after the decision was made to speak up, Mayor Fred Eisenberger reiterated his forceful stance on the West Harbour in a press conference that promised to "move full steam ahead" and "not waver from that because it is best for Hamilton."

Of course, that was until our kvetching council got a hold of the issue and the Mayor's united front dissolved. Within days, Mayor "Full Steam Ahead" was talking about jointly picking a facilitator with the Ticats to resolve the dispute.

After a panel discussion at yesterday's Economic Summit on the Pan Am Games, the parties agreed to a July 1 deadline to resolve the dispute. If they can't resolve the issue, the Pan Am Games Commission may decide to move the Stadium elsewhere.

Mayor Eisenberger has called for a hasty Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting for Wednesday, May 19, 2010 to approve the selection of Mr. Fenn as the agreed-upon facilitator.


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By Earl (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 15:08:32

Bob didn't want to comment publicly but had to because there were not enough concessions being brought forward by the city for the west harbourfront site. IMHO he will move or sell or fold the team if he can't get enough concessions, but the facilitator will be sure that he will not do this. Regardless of the site, it is my belief that the TigerCats and sponsors are not able to bring enough funds to the table to upgrade the stadium to a very nice 25,000 seater. So in the end the city will get a west harbourfront or some other downtown location, and the TigerCats will get an excellent deal on rent with no funds going into the stadium from them and the taxpayers will pick up the tab to get the stadium to 25,000. Bob will keep the Cats in Hamilton and see how it works out at the new downtown or near downtown stadium for a few years and what happens after that is anyones guess. Hopefully the Cats will have great attendance the Bob can run a successful team and Hamilton can have our cherished TiCats for years and years to come.

Now hopefully the taxpayers are ok forking out the extra money to have a 25,000 downtown stadium, we'll see.

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By Befuddled (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 15:33:15

I guess Mayor "Full Steam Ahead" Fred is still going full steam ahead....he just doesn't know in which direction....!!!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 16:09:17

This is a nice overview of the stadium issue. Hopefully the two sides can come together and reach some kind of resolution. They seem to be giving mixed messages about how close (or far) they are from an agreement.

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By Gosh (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 16:11:10

I thought I detected a rather cool reaction from the TiCat offices to this location from the time it was announced, but it is so obviously the wrong place to put a commercial operation intended to draw tens of thousands of people at a time that perhaps Young was reluctant to be too vocal and embarrass his hosts and landlords.

Careful observation and a little bit of investigation reveals a number of potential locations for the stadium that would meet Mr. Young's concerns without moving the team to the suburbs. Is there a good reason for not wanting the TiCats, or any of the stadium's potential tenants, to be successful commercially? Wouldn't a commercially successful stadium be good for the city, economically?

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By hest warbour (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 16:24:24

@Gosh which locations pray tell?

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 22:56:37

Does someone know why Ivor Wynne can't be fixed up? I kind of like the hike in, and in nice weather the environs are amazing. And what will happen to the land, another Walmart?

But about the west harbour location, I think the parking whiners are a bunch of lazy wankers.

If you've ever been to Montreal and walked around Mt Royal, you've seen the McGill Molson stadium and what a parking mess that must be. Always full for Alouette games too! How do they do it??

Or maybe Mr. Young could move the team down the QEW a bit. St. Kitt's Kitties has a nice ring to it, no?

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By frank (registered) | Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:45:19

Ted, I believe it would take a fair amount of money to bring a stadium like Ivor Wynne into the 21st century and you'd still be stuck with a stadium that is surrounded by homes which means that it's much harder to do things like host concerts...

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