Hamilton City Councillors just voted 9-6 against instructing City staff to study Confederation Park as a potential site for a Pan Am Games / Hamilton Tiger-Cats stadium.
Mayor Bob Bratina called today's emergency meeting after a staff report determined that the cost to buy the CP Rail Yard at Aberdeen and Longwood would be tens of millions of dollars more than expected, rendering that site unaffordable.
The Spectator's John Kernaghan reports that Councillors Jason Farr, Tom Jackson, Rob Pasuto, Lloyd Ferguson and Brad Clark voted with Mayor Bratina in favour of studying Confederation Park. Councillors Bernie Morelli, Sam Merulla, Chad Collins, Scott Duvall, Terry Whitehead, Judi Partridge, Russ Powers, Brenda Johnson and Maria Pearson voted against. Councillor Brian McHattie was absent.
After tempers flared among council members on opposite sides of the motion during the emergency committee meeting, Councillors decided to defer a final Council vote until January 12. However, this effectively kills the Confederation Park proposal, since a vote two weeks into January would not give staff enough time to study that site and address the potential issues before the February 1 deadline imposed by Pan Am Host Corporation.
The only remaining possibility would be for Council to revisit a site that has already been studied: West Harbour, the East Mountain, or CP Rail Yard. Council already voted to reject the East Mountain and CP Rail Yard after staff reports indicated that they were poor candidates.
According to National Post sports writer Mark Masters, Ticat president Scott Mitchell called council "dysfunctional" and that the Ticats will start looking at stadium options outside Hamilton.
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