Comment 47045

By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:59:43

There was a push for soccer. Here is something can came across my desk from a highly respected member of the Hamilton Soccer Community, former Olympian, World Cup Team member, and Inductee into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame to assist in ensuring the future of Hamilton’s Soccer Legacy and establishing HostCo requirements for a legacy tenancy. I'm going to publish it because I think it says something.

Mr Mayor and Council

It is my firm belief that an opportunity exists that could propel soccer in this community to the level of any major city in Canada. The Pan Am games if utilized properly could leave the City of Hamilton with a lasting legacy that would be to the benefit of over 28,000 soccer players. To those who have never had the great honour and privilege of representing Canada at the International level could be easily be persuaded to downgrade this great event to fit the needs of another agenda. What must not be forgotten is the tremendous possibilities that would be afforded to our soccer community if this stadium is built at its original specifications of 15,000 seats. Anything less would be a missed opportunity. What would a stadium of this size bring to our tax paying residents. Remember, 28,000 soccer players when you include parents, grandparents ,uncles , aunts and friends you are actually talking about 200,000 voters in this city. Every player at every level has a dream to play at the highest possible competitive division and the original Pan Am legacy would satisfy this dream. How you may ask?

A 15,000 + seat stadium would satisfy the needs of a professional soccer franchise as well as a National, Provincial and local player development Academy. What does this mean. Every soccer player and more importantly inner city soccer players who find it difficult to travel to Toronto which has the only Pro Academy, can take public transport within our own city to attend a first class player development school in Hamilton. If this is not a lasting Pan Am legacy then I do not know what is.

Anything less than a 15,000 seat stadium will also loose the potential for both male and female International World Cup soccer events, Olympic Qualifying soccer and International touring professional soccer games such as we experienced in Toronto this past summer with Manchester united and Glasgow Celtic. There is also negotiations taking place to bring the Women's World Cup to Canada in 2015 with Toronto being the central hub. Hamilton would be a certainty for hosting a number of these games. How great for not only the city but for women's soccer here in Hamilton.

A 5,000 seat stadium would derail all of the above. Too small for professional soccer team, Too small for hosting any World cup or Olympic Qualifying games and definitely too small for international touring teams. If this does not take place then our opportunity to develop an National and Provincial player development will disappear. Building a 5,000 seat stadium is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of money . It is a sad testament to the rich soccer history that we posses that I, John McGrane is the only Hamilton Player over the last 50 years to be Inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. We have a collective chance to change that. Give an opportunity to our children today that same dream that I achieved some 30 years ago. An interesting footnote is that at 18 years old I travelled to B.C. to get noticed because that was not possible here in Hamilton. Please do not let this happen to our children today. You have a chance to change that.

Thank You

John McGrane Soccer hall of Fame - Class of 2008

Note: edit by site admin to fix formatting

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-09-02 12:49:49

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