Sports

Staff Update on Pan Am Stadium on CP Lands

By RTH Staff
Published September 28, 2010

City staff have published their Pan Am Stadium update [PDF link] for tomorrow's Committee of the Whole meeting, and the recommendation to Council is to present the CP Rail Yard to HostCo as Hamilton's stadium location, despite the fact that much of the cost to build it remains unfunded.

The update recommends that the City formally ask the Provincial and Federal governments to provide additional funds to upgrade the stadium from 15,000 seats to 25,000 seats to accommodate the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a permanent tenant.

Staff are also asking for approval to negotiate with property owners, finalize arrangements with the Ticats, and ask the Ministry of Transportation to review the traffic impacts and consider adding lane capacity in and out of the stadium.

Staff would report back on the response from the higher levels of government by September 30, and on the whole proposal by October 12.

The Ticats have expressed interest in buying part of the CP Rail Yards property "for development purposes" but not toward either the stadium or any related parking areas.

The team is willing to operate the stadium on an ongoing basis in return for "a yearly stipend to cover additional administrative costs". They also propose "that any stadium naming rights and ticket surcharge revenues be utilized to offset stadium operation costs."

CP is willing to sell the land, but the price must include the cost of relocating existing tenants, which CP estimates will be "significant". Staff have hired an independent appraiser to assess the current value of the lands.

A letter from HostCo CEO Ian Troop is included as an appendix. Troop specifies the following requirements of the City:

  1. Declare its stadium llocation.
  2. Produce a letter of intent to sell by the property owner.
  3. Remove any leasehold interests or impediments to development.
  4. Declare full responsibility for any remediation costs.
  5. Produce a letter of support from the Ticats for the site.
  6. Prepare a risk assessment for the selected site.
  7. Demonstrate that the funding shortfall has been addressed and covered.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted September 28, 2010 at 20:51:12

I booked Oct. 12 off work today.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 28, 2010 at 20:55:32

Meanwhile, this article by John Kernaghan titled "York outrunning Hamilton in stadium plans" on thespec.com website tonight states that York University is not ruling out expanding its stadium somewhere in a partnership with the Argos and/or private investors somewhere down the road. http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-09-28 19:55:53

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 28, 2010 at 21:36:46

Wow. I need to get me a sports team. Who knew that was a golden pathway to drain the public trough. That stadium deal is horrendous. I can also assume that the 'other' development spoken of will be a really cool big box complex and mega parking lot?

As for the York article, I agree with others who would like to see some further research into this story. Look at all the events that have been pulled from Hamilton, Barrie, Burlington and Oshawa and moved into Toronto. Coincidence?? Hardly. We're all being hosed once again by TO, despite the fact that Hamilton is ponying up more money for these games than TO.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 28, 2010 at 22:33:22

WHERE IS THE VELODROME?

nowhere is there a mention of the velodrome ... I searched the pdf for velodrome and cycle ... nothing. The stadium has been completely Braeleyed (sp). Hamilton should just walk away and leave the CFL to their own devices and build the velodrome and let the UCI beat a path to the door...

The pan am committee really has NO choice but to make hamilton the center of cycling ... no one else has the geography for the road racing component of this ...

The moment Brarley bought the Argos this was over ... he realized he could never make money at the rogers center and set about ensuring that the pan am games ( the feds and province) would fund a new stadium for his team ...

Besides doesn't every one want to see Roller Derby on a banked track ... kinda like the 70's on CHCH ...

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 01:31:34

The Velodrome will go ahead for sure. Hamilton will be the cycling center of Canada. That is something to cheer about. Hopefull it is still going to West Harbour.

As for this raw deal to build a stadium for Bob to use at the end of Longwood just stinks. This New stadium should have been the central stadium for the Pan AM Games but now it looks it will be a 5000 seat stadium with temporary seating at York University....unless of course Mr Braley magically invests in building a new stadium for his Argos...I wonder who is really making the desisions at HostCo?

Athletics is the main event at these games, not soccer believe it or not, followed by swimming and gymnastics. All located in Toronto. Here is an example of a well built 45,000 seat stadium at the last Pan Am games in Rio in 2007..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stitch...

Makes you wonder what could have been without Ticat interference. Does Hostco even know what they are doing? York dosen't have a legacy tenent either. Everything about this just stinks!!!

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-09-29 00:43:33

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By frank (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 08:39:40

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 08:52:12

So... 'big progress' means still no funding commitment from the Tiger Cats. They offered $15 million to buy themselves some land to develop. They offered to get paid to operate the stadium that we build for them. But so far, $0 towards stadium capital costs.

We don't have the details yet, but already this stinks of a bad deal.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:28:13

jonathan dalton

You're absolutely correct. No direct contribution to the stadium from the Ti-Cats, only ancillary investment in land that will generate money for them and not for us.

If they bought, remediated and built their Ti-CatWorld next to the stadium, the citizens of Hamilton might be "willing" to operate it for them, take all of the revenue and get all of the franchise lease revenues from the box restaurants and coffee shops that will populate the place? I thought turnabout was fair play? Guess I'm dreaming.

The province is not going to close the funding gap of $60-80 million. Perhaps if they have that kind of cash lying around, we could ask them to give it to us to spend on infrastructure so seniors don't nearly drown on a main road in the middle of the city because it rains. Yet another one of those hundred year storms we've had this year.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:31:59

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By Here'sWhat (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:38:09

Velodrome will go to West Harbour to save Freddy's face...it will be a disaster...Ivor wynne will be sold to cover the extra $20M...it will never happen....CP is getting a bundle and relocation costs...it is bankrupting us...and private dollars will not flow to the new site...the neighbours will be unhappy....and a new council will come and undo the deal....

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:45:18

The Velodrome will go ahead for sure. Hamilton will be the cycling center of Canada. That is something to cheer about. Hopefull it is still going to West Harbour.

tell that to these guys:

velodrome facebook group

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-09-29 08:46:41

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:48:04

Let's hope the city just sticks with west harbour instead of allowing a small group to push for their own agenda:

http://restorecootes.blogspot.com/2010/0...

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:06:49

@seancb

Interesting, but not surprising. Putting the Velodrome in Dundas might work as well but why would they do that when the possiblity of getting more funding to build a permament and a better access stadium at the WH work as well. As with Mr Young I would like for them to provide a report for reasoning not to locate the Velodrome at WH.

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-09-29 09:09:34

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:15:50

I don't even understand the agenda - is it really all about parking? It seems to be an "anywhere but downtown" attitude...

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:28:37

The city should do what they think is best and the TigerCats should do what they think is best and hopefully there is some common ground between the two. Remember, the TigerCats offer a lot of benefits to the city for people like me who are a fan of the team and enjoy watching them on national television some 18 times a year shouting the word "Hamilton" to the nation. It makes me proud to say Hamilton has a team in the league that can capture the nation's national football championship Grey Cup trophy dating back to 1909.

But if it doesn't make financial sense for the city to spend money on a stadium where the TigerCats might actually put something into a city-owned stadium, then that is the city's right to do so and they should act accordingly. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't make the TigerCats bad guys or whatever.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-09-29 09:30:57

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By neverwynne (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:43:01

@Seancb -- NO, it's it's all about building a big box complex! Bob Young's consultants are the same that helped Redcliffe develop Centre Mall, excuse me, the Center on Barton.

I can't believe Bob Young can keep a straight face when stating that CP Chedoke Lands have better accessibility than West Harbour. Either he's never been to either location, or he is just that brainwashed by his Big Box Consultants!

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:43:34

HamiltonFan

Honestly, I understand what you're saying and I agree with your sentiments. I grew up in a house where televised games were watched with friends of my parents, and I attended games as a kid. Both memories remain with me today, many years later.

I really don't dismiss the value of the Ti-Cats to fans, and to citizens at large, at all. Although I don't agree with Ron Foxcroft that culturally the Ti-Cats define Hamilton, I do think they're part of our culture, and we should, and I think do/did value them.

What I do dismiss is the notion that the Ti-Cat organization is a partner with the City in this stadium project. They have not acted like community partners. Not at all. They have acted like detached businesspeople who are not coming to the table. I get the need to run a business profitably. My business partner and I met an annual payroll in the many millions of dollars for over 20 years before I sold and retired.

The Ti-Cat "negotiating" stance is insulting to fans such as yourself and to people like me who support the continuance of the team in Hamilton, but not at any cost. As I've said before, I think Bob Young is getting bad advice. Problem is, he's taking that advice. That's not my fault. Neither is it yours.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:06:48

Anyone want a good read, head over to the HPL. They have Ivor Wynne Stadium scrapbooks. I only read from 1957 to 2009, but what an eye opener. The first page you turn to, back in 1957, The Spec writes about the city deciding whether or not to build a new stadium at Kings Forest Golf course, or rennovate Ivor Wynne. How ironic was it that that is how my research started. It's a common theme every so many years from 1957 until 2007 when this latest 'build new or rennovate' process started. That and astroturf have been very popular topics in that scrapbook. The astroturf one obviously doesn't come up until the 70's when we rennovated in preperations for the 1972 Grey Cup in Hamilton.

They have some beautiful negatives of the old Civic Stadium when it was first built as well. I sat and stared at them for a good hour. There was still some open space around the stadium then, but it was still for the most part lined on a couple of sides with houses. There was a baseball diamond where Brian Timmis Stadium now is, cricket pitches, etc.

I am sure at today's COW meeting at 4pm in council champbers, we will all find out that this is all but a done deal.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:13:01

And H+H, make no mistake, there is a large part of me that just wished the TigerCats went along with the Mayor's WH site from day one. The TigerCats did put some 10 sites on the table but the city did not go with any of these sites, which is the city's right. So I take exception to you saying the TigerCats acted in a non-community manner. To me, Hamilton is Hamilton regardless of where you live in it. I see the city in a holistic manner rather than reductionstic ie. this little area, that little area...

At any rate, you are right, BY can choose to take the advice he wishes. He must have a reason for taking this advice and if it means to turn a bit of a profit on the team, that is his right. But the city can choose to make it WH only, that is their right. Maybe there isn't any common ground here, not sure, we'll see.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:22:56

The most laughable part of my research at HPL, was how Harold Ballard played us in his ownership days. Packed up all Cats gear and such, brought in a big truck, and emptied Ivor Wynne of all Tiger-Cats related items. Then he donated all the concession foods to Good Sheppard. Threatening to move to Varsity Stadium.

This part of our history is like a broken record, how it repeats itself. Even found an old article and photo of Alderman Fred (Eisenberger), and another current councillor who's name escapes me, bickering over Ivor Wynne back in the day.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:47:54

Dalton says "So... 'big progress' means still no funding commitment from the Tiger Cats. They offered $15 million to buy themselves some land to develop. They offered to get paid to operate the stadium that we build for them. But so far, $0 towards stadium capital costs. We don't have the details yet, but already this stinks of a bad deal."

This cannot possibly be a legal deal.

We are going to PAY our tenants? AND they're going to reap all the profits at the same time? And manage the facility?

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:05:30

neverwynne: to clarify, my parking comment was in reference to the velodrome.

I also agree that this announcement of funding is not at all "news" nor is it "new funding" from the cats.

They are offering to buy land... on which they will develop their own sports entertainment district.

This does not equate to stadium funding! Do they think we are stupid?

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-09-29 11:05:47

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:10:13

If this goes forward, under no circumstances should we accept the ti-cats offer to manage the stadium.

Give it to those people who are interested in Copps and the Convention Centre, or keep management of it internal to the city. Letting the ti-cats manage the thing is ludicrous and will definitely result in wasted opportunities.

I'm not certain how I feel about this retail zone around the stadium, on the one had there isn't much out there so it would be useful, on the other hand, we explicitly ruled out a big box type store format previously when one was proposed for the innovation park lands, so I don't know if we'd be opening ourselves up to legal action for the double standard...

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:16:26

As mentioned before, I agree that any land purchased by Bob Young will be for his grand vision of a 'Ti-Cat world' complex of shopping and offices. This money should not be included as a contribution to stadium costs, it is most likely for Bob's profit and Bob alone. Let the city purchase all of the land and have Bob put that money towards construction costs, then this deal will fold like a cheap suit.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:16:52

There has to be a process for bidding to manage the facility!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:28:52

@mrjanitor hence why Bob was upset when The Katz Group came into the picture. He knew he wouldn't get everything that he wanted because they would offer more money toward managing and possible contruction.

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-09-29 11:30:38

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 13:14:13

Here's an email I sent earlier today to all Councillors and to the Mayor. Have received some replies.

Dear Councillor,

I have read the initial report that will be presented by City Manager, Chris Murray, this afternoon. Am I to conclude the recommendation is to have:

The citizens of Hamilton get more money from the Province to build a larger stadium?

The citizens of Hamilton get more money from the Province to buy and remediate land we don't currently own?

The citizens of Hamilton get more money from the Province to expand on and off ramps from Highway 403?

The citizens of Hamilton pay the Ti-Cats to operate our stadium?

The Ti-cats sell naming rights to the stadium to offset their stadium operating costs?

The Ti-Cats purchase land next to the stadium, and expanded off and on ramps, to build a development from which the citizens of Hamilton derive zero revenue?

All this, while the West Harbour sits purchased, accessed, and within easy walking distance of parking lots?

This is a good deal for the citizens of Hamilton?

I don't care if you've never owned a business, or ever met a payroll out of your own pocket, you simply can't disregard these stultifying facts and pretend this is progress.

This is an absurd business deal. Stop pretending it's working. It's not.

Can't wait to see the debate this afternoon.

Graham Crawford Hamilton HIStory + HERitage

P.S. For those Councillors who use neither BlackBerrys nor computers, perhaps your assistants could print off this letter and hand you a hard copy. Just want you to know what this citizen is thinking.

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 13:48:09

Wouldn't a velodrome bring more international interest and reinvigorate a more healthy lifestyle in Hamilton, for a fraction of the cost?

A center for cycling sport such as a veldrome seems cheaper to build and establish as a legacy than something centered around football. American football is hardly recognized outside of north america. Can't we use a velodrome to bring international attention to Hamilton and inspire people to get on their own bikes more often?

Reviewing the latest ongoing arguments it seems soccer is being written more and more in the background while football is being brought to the forefront, again, as some sort of stadium solution - un raison de etre. Special interest and politics is needlessly complexing the issue and costing us more!

A world class velodrome down in the Dundas area if only seating 5000 would surely be a greater attraction. Could it not serve a unique if not more exciting focus than football, for a fraction of the cost with greater international visibility than an american-centric football stadium.

Maybe a world class velodrome and ancillary cycling events centered out of Dundas will inspire more people to get on their bike more often than picking up a football.

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By frank (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:17:14

Velodrome in Dundas? Ummm why? I can see a case for something at the Harbour but where did Dundas come into play?

The reason football came into play is because Hostco stipulated that there had to be a legacy tenant and in this case it's football. Certainly, it clouded the issue but that can't be simply pushed aside...

Comment edited by frank on 2010-09-29 13:19:01

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:24:23

And so Nero squandered his days fiddling with toys, as the Vandals and Visigoths stormed Rome, bought out the Colosseum, and moved it to Milton.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:24:51

Hostco stipulated that there had to be a legacy tenant and in this case it's football

If we back up the train, HostCo asked the Pan Am games commission to make an exception to their rule that the sports legacy is supposed to be for amateur sport so they could include the Ticats. Now the Ticats have screwed over Hamilton's part of the bid.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:39:22

I agree with the comments re: the velodrome . It really is the sleeper in all of this, and we need to ensure that it is a vital piece of the WH redevelopment plans.

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 15:36:43

Yes, most certainly clouded an issue but now i wonder what HostCo meant by legacy. Where and why did the word tenant come into play if it was ever meant to. Did something get lost in translation?

Dundas is cropping up more frequently in articles and blogs, possibly because West Harbour has been relegated to the back seat for the moment in all other currently related Hamilton stadium writings. And, because the cycling interests have deemed Dundas a better location; probably so.

One writing stuck in my mind (sorry can't refernece it) that a West Harbour velodrome might be built as a temporary box like structure (paraphrasing here). Thus not a legacy in the sense of a brick and mortar, oval track and training venue.

I think the idea of a Dundas venue had much more to do with a greater multipurpose training and racing center. Indoor velodrome events and a center for road racing and training would all be based from a location that had ready access out to the surrounding hills, countryside, nearest a city with all supporting amenities like hotels and an international airport, yet just outside of metropolitan traffic woes.

I am wondering if the idea of designating an american style football team as a legacy tenant is a misnomer... not articulating this too well... just seems with all the agreements and renegging over the last year the ti-cats don't fit that concept. Especially if they publiclay threaten to pull up roots and leave.

I think HostCo meant a facility was to be a legacy structure for the sport awarded, or at the very least serve as a multipuspose facility for sport. But when Athletics Canada got wind of Bob Young suggesting ripping up the Track and Field facility as awarded to Hamilton after the games its no wonder they recommended HostCo drop Hamilton as an athletics venue for the CommonWealth Games.

The Tiger-Cats would have ripped up the legacy concept for self
interest. There are at least a thousand multipurpose sporting facilities in North America seating 20,000 or more with an IAAF recognised athletic track surounding an american football, soccer, or field hockey pitch. Bob Young should never have considered ripping up the track.

So, we are left with soccer and a velodrome venue as a potential legacy of the 2015 games. Soccer may get squeezed out as did athletics.

A velodrome may survive the turmoil as a standalone legacy, for a lot less money, for a greater long term benefit to the city and citizens than a new football stadium.



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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 15:46:19

apologies... Pan Am games. not Commonwealth games... I screwed up elsewhere too as the new logo for 2015 Toronto was unveiled... just reading so much about Hamilton, New Delhi, Toronto, 2010, 2015.. Hamilton is just being screwed over by itself internaly and external... it's a great city that has had such success and has such potential ... arghhhh.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 18:02:39

The one thing we can afford to lose out on is this stadium.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 20:23:55

Ha Ha Ha!

Gotta love that 7 point list.

Anyone looking at that list has to see that the cost of this stadium TO THE CITY far outweighs the benefits TO THE CITY.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 21:54:33

I'm repeating this on this article but the more I read about this debacle the more I see a bigger picture. Bob has invested quite a bit of money in the Tiger Cats and has also said that purchasing the Tiger Cats was Thee worst buisness decision he has made in his career.

From what was said in the past by Bob Young (and from what I believe) is that he is making the Tiger Cats a future sustainable and profitable franchise for the citizens of Hamilton, by his stagegy, even if most of us and city council don't like it. It also seems from his statements (through Mr Mitchell) that he is putting in very little investment in this project to raise the value of the franchise to sell to the highest bidder in the future after 2015, soccer team, retail and all. He IS creating Bob World to break even!

hmmm if I'm wrong so be it, but the city is getting almost all they are going to get from Bob on this project and that he knows what's best for us because he is a multimillionaire. He's sticking this out because he may have a chance to break even or possibly make a little profit. I don't know if I like his tactics and I'm not a buiness owner or anything but reading between the lines is becoming clearer and clearer.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 23:31:20

According to a news item on CHCH-TV tonight, Bob Young proposes to buy a 15 acre portion of the CP rail lands upon which a hotel and entertainment precinct would be constructed.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:00:09

Yes, that was in the spec the other day

So his "contribution" is to throw in 15 million......to buy himself some land

what a nice guy

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By candi (anonymous) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 15:15:00

the velodrome won't go to west harbour because they cycling commitee said they didn't like the west harbour location for the same reasons the tigercats didn't like it, it's not a good location for ANY business. They came out against the west harbour for the velodrome before the tigercats did.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 19:33:51

According to an article on thespec.com website tonight, Gary Lunn, federal Minister of State for Sport, wants to see the Tiger-Cats and other private investors put more money into the Pan Am Stadium and he wants to see an extension of the deadline for stadium talks beyond the October 25th municipal election date to give the city more time to organize the 53 acre CP stadium deal.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/a...

Good to see some common sense return to the Pan Am stadium issue.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-09-30 18:34:26

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