Burlington Council just voted 5-2 to instruct city staff to investigate a proposal by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and a business consortium led by Paletta International to build a stadium in Aldershot, just south of Hwy QEW between Waterdown Rd. and King Rd.
The team claims the proposal will not cost the City any money in capital or operating costs. It depends on $30 million in capital funding and land donated by Paletta, plus $70 million from the Federal and Provincial governments that are currently earmarked for a proposed Pan Am stadium in Hamilton.
However, it would require the City to pay for any necessary infrastructure upgrades, including highway exits and road widening, to the site.
The Ticats refuse to play in the City of Hamilton's preferred West Harbour stadium location, while Council has rejected several proposed alternate sites as either financially unaffordable or inappropriate uses of the site.
Toronto 2015, the Pan Am Games host corporation, has set a hard February 1 deadline for Hamilton to deliver a workable site proposal. Otherwise, the stadium will go to a Plan B site in Mississauga or Brampton.
Hamilton still has the first opportunity to present a stadium proposal. Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop confirmed this week that Hamilton's proposal does not need to include the Ticats as a legacy tenant if the stadium is a 5,500-6,500 seat facility for community use.
Burlington Council has voted only to direct city staff to investigate the site and prepare a list of questions for further study to be presented in two weeks.
The Ticats hope that the report will prove encouraging enough that Toronto 2015 agrees to another extension, but Mr. Troop has stated repeatedly that the February 1 deadline is final.
"We've tried to be as flexible as we possibly can be, but we're now at a point where we've eaten all our flexibility and any schedule timing. Any further delays will risk or jeopardize our ability to deliver the Games on time."
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