Comment 44708

By moreofthesame (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 11:09:22

Parking is just one side of the overall problem with this location: access. With the exception of CN rail to the north, the stadium site is surrounded by residences. This was a limitation for Ivory Wynne's utility, and will be for the west harbour. To maximize the facility's utility and economic potential, tens of thousands of people must get to the stadium and away from it in a matter of a 2-4 hours. There is not good access to this location whether people drive or take transit. That's tens of thousands of people walking or driving through a residential neighbourhood on event days. Some, only a very few, will make nuisances of themselves, causing nearby residents to complain to political representatives, limiting the utility of the venue. This is Ivor Wynne's history.

The location lacks on-site parking, but it also lacks direct public transit access, local and regional. As a consequence it lacks visibility for advertising (public naming rights.) It's not that I feel sorry for Bob Young or the TiCats inability to make millions of dollars, if indeed that were the case. It's that if the location is not readily accessible, it will not be used to its full potential. It will not generate a return, economically or socially for the city. It will not adequately stimulate nearby small business activity (is business thriving on Barton Street & King St. E. now, thanks to Ivor Wynne?) It will be a nuisance, not a lasting asset for the city.

The city has a location proximate to highways, major east-west streets, and public transport both local and regional, adjascent to commercial streets and removed from residential streets, with high visibilty and proximate to the downtown. And the city owns property here. Tens of thousands of vehicles already pass by this location daily. It is within an hour's drive of millions of people, and yet, for some reason, the city prefers a location off the beaten path because it has a nice view of the harbour (and buries some unmentionable industrial contamination) frustrating efforts to revitalize the downtown north end as a residential area, the commuters to the events and the commercial asperations of the downtown and event promoters, including the Ti-Cats.

I do feel sorry for an economically challenged community that cannot grasp even one of the three prime requirements for commercial success: location, location or location. Bad as a site out in the 'burbs may be, any is better than the west harbour. Out there, only the event promoters and the city economic hopes for the location will be frustrated, relying mostly on highway access. But at least the north end will be able to develop as a desireable place to live and support existing small businesses on nearby commercial streets.

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