The more I think about MIP as a stadium site, the less I like it.
As much as a compromise that everyone can coalesce around would be great, it can't be one that sacrifices important long-term economic considerations.
The long-term, 25-50 year vision that we've undertaken at the McMaster Innovation Park is immensely valuable. Sacrificing that plan in the interests of a stadium is something that cannot be done lightly.
I can see two main benefits to the MIP site and neither have anything to do with its suitability as a stadium site:
If this is the balance then it is one where (short-term) emotions and political fortunes are weighed against facts and long-term economics.
I would be inclined to favour the facts and the long-term economic view but I also see the value of the former, particularly with DiIanni lined up to capitalize on a failed stadium bid.
In April I wrote an article, The Potential of New, High-Growth Companies, where I stressed the economic benefits that could be realized by creating and growing highly innovative and successful companies in Hamilton, rather than just trying to attract them here.
McMaster's plan for the location that is being floated for use as a stadium is meant to be used for an advanced automotive research facility. Suppose that this plan is discarded for a stadium instead. Could that be costing us the creation of a super-successful high-tech automotive company at some later point in the future? A company that could improve Hamilton's fortunes far more significantly than a stadium ever will?
On the other hand, we don't need to predict the future when we consider Bob Young, the Tiger-Cats (both as a business and as a cultural legacy), and Young's other companies. They're here right now, and the prospect of their loss is something that none of our elected representatives want to be accused of being responsible for - even if their responsibility to make decisions in the interests of Hamilton's long-term future ought to outweigh their short-term political considerations.
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