Comment 43613

By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 12:19:21

Caretaker: “A properly planned new stadium will bring dozens of new events to Hamilton. The goal of a new stadium should be to host a dozen events a month, weather permitting.”

It’s important to have big goals for an open-air stadium, but I would respectfully contend that the notion that the stadium would realistically be hosting a dozen events a month is a stretch.

First, the venue is at best good from April to October, a time when average lows would only be in single digits at worst. So let’s say 214 dates. Of those, the Cats account for 10 and a USL franchise would take 15, amounting to about five dates a month at peak. That leaves about 88% dark days. And a lot of sub-capacity dates as well: USL-2 is a perk but potentially not a cost-effective solution. The Charlotte Eagles play in a 6,000 seat facility and draw an average 1,200 people a game, and the Carolina RailHawks play in a 7,000-seat facility and draw an average 2,100 people a game. Dump those gate numbers into a 30,000-seat stadium and try to put on a happy face.

Many people think back on Pink Floyd’s legendary June 1975 IWS date and imagine that the Pan AM Stadium would be a natural for concerts.

New car, caviar, four-star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team.

But the same geographic considerations that hamper us for dates at Copps (and, arguably, NHL expansion) hit us on the open-air front. Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre and Buffalo's Darien Lake Amphitheatre are the busiest open-air facilities in our immediate area, and they routinely feature the same acts, and no more than a dozen of them a month. We would be in the unfortunate position of having to outbid those markets as well as negotiate the sticky traps of non-performance radii, while possibly eating into the revenue of taxpayer-funded Copps Coliseum. (Monster truck events are a better fit for an open-air facility, if only because of superior ventilation.) Not to mention that there’s a vast difference between the concert configuration between a stadium or amphitheatre show and a straight-up open air stadium concert. Think of the sheltered portion and video screen configurations at the Molson Amphitheatre, and then imagine the work that has to go into making that happen in an unadorned stadium... you're possibly looking at a day to build and a day to strike each show.

Maybe there’s a latent demand for more old-fashioned stadium shows that hasn't found a home yet, but riddle me this: With the business-savvy and connected MLSE at the helm, how many concerts has BMO field hosted since Genesis christened it in September 2007?

Oh Superman where are you now?
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

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