Comment 44601

By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2010 at 16:28:37

Ian Troop : I’d like to take a moment now to talk about the Hamilton Stadium.

The debate on location has been incredibly active, and I have to say it’s encouraging to see such a passionate level of community involvement. The City has been a strong supporter since very early days of the bid, so we appreciate the energy and drive it continues to bring to the Games. I look forward to this intensity of broad engagement carrying on right through 2015.

I’ll reiterate a few significant considerations:

• The decision that has to be made is on location, which goes hand-in-hand with the associated financial implications.

• As well, this is a local decision. The Hamilton community will have to live with its decision far into the future, so the responsibility must remain in this community.

• Finally – legacy is fundamental to the City’s involvement, and this legacy speaks to the lasting value of the stadium to this community long after the Games are over. In other words – how will the facility be used? What is the ongoing cost and revenue potential, and, who is financially responsible?

These are not considerations unique to the Hamilton Stadium – every one of our venue partners across the region have to incorporate these factors into their plans.

With those considerations, the community has two location options and economic factors to evaluate.

Toronto 2015 also has been evaluating a number of scenarios.

Shifting sports is a very positive option, and we’re continuing our assessment. We’re optimistic with how this may work, but there still are pieces to be worked out. Our Board of Directors today agreed that we should explore a shift further – that is, moving Athletics and building the soccer component.

We urge the decision-makers to ask the tough questions about each location to clearly understand the ongoing financial implications to future generations.

Ultimately, Toronto 2015 will act in the best interests of the Games – we’ll deliver a great Games, and a great legacy.

Kevin Werner: Sorry, I wanted to ask you, I know you’ve mentioned that – the location of the stadium needs to be made by the local municipality. Yet would – does the Toronto 2015 still take a position that it would rather have it on the West Harbor because it seems to be to able to be more accommodating for athletes rather than the West Hamilton?

Ian Troop: We have never taken a position Kevin.

Kevin Werner: Yes, I know.

Ian Troop: We voiced – we mysteriously objective this whole thing.

Kevin Werner: Yes.

Ian Troop: So, you know, we think both sites can work and both sites have pros and cons from the city standpoint and it’s up to the city to sort it through. Both sites have different economic realities given you know, income revenue potentials going forward so it – that’s why it gets back to – you know, the folks that are going to be paying the freight for the next – in the years to come better make a good wise decision on what site makes the most sense.

Kevin Werner: Okay. And with regard to the velodrome again, where is that at the moment, I mean, it just seems to be getting lost when talking about the stadium?

Ian Troop: Yeah. That’s true actually it is fairly taking a back seat and which is not a bad thing right now, we have got - Hamilton is getting actually report backs on the business plan and look – what they commissioned was a study that looked at variety of different velodromes to understand what makes a velodrome work, what revenue producing activities can be inside it and that helps us frame that business plan that legacy, the business legacy that I spoke about that’s so important in the stadium as well. So, you know, we can let it follow the stadium decision and that’s what we are planning to do right now.

Kevin Werner: Does it need to be with the stadium?

Ian Troop: No, we are not making any pre-ordained discussion on where it needs to be. I think we will learn a lot more when we get the study back. I mean we are keeping an open mind.

Kevin Werner: So I just wanted to understand there is going to be no track and field at the Hamilton stadium, it will be replaced by soccer games, how many are we talking about?

Ian Troop: Lots, a number of factors I mean, we have to still sort this also, I wouldn’t say its cast and stone yet although I think we are all thinking that it makes sense, you know, one of the big factors for us is that when the games were schedule originally at BMO field there was a turf facility and because it was turf it could handle lot more games, now that BMO is grass one of the things were getting back from TFC and MLSC as they just can’t handle game load like we had scheduled so we need another bonafide mark key facility. So it will have between it and Joy stadium you will have a soccer hub in Hamilton. 30 odd games probably when this is all said and done I don’t know the exact number yet, we are still working it through but it’s going to carry a good chunk majority of soccer.

Kevin Werner: And is August 12, still the drop-dead date for council to make a decision?

Ian Troop: I think so, you know, yes, it is, I mean, because we are rapidly closing election nearing time and so we need to get that settle down and decided before you are going into that kind of blackout period attributed to the elections.

Kevin Werner: So no more extensions?

Ian Troop: No.

Kevin Werner: Okay. Thank you.

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