Comment 47745

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 15, 2010 at 11:22:10

renegauthier Neglected? Yes IWS has been. A mere $9M has been spent on it since the 70's. Yes, $1.3M a year goes to maintenance, but I would like to see what it cost for maintenance for Copps Colliseum or Hamilton Place or the AGH.

BTY Group of Vancouver did a quick estimate of what it would cost (in Vancouver costs it seems), to demolish and rebuild in it's place, a new Ivor Wynne. $93M.

If we spent $20M to replace the south stands, that buys us 45 years with proper maintenance. Tear down Scott Park High School, build a parking garage, and we already immediately start to solve some of the (non)issues facing Ivor Wynne today. At least more parking money for the Cats.

Tear down Brian Timmis to create parking right in front of stadium, which also opens up Ivor Wynne for the thousands that pass by it every day; half hidden by the 16 foot fences blocking it.

Add some more seat backs. Give it a coat of paint to brighten it up, a new illuminated 'Ivor Wynne Stadium' sign, and what does that cost versus tear down and build new or build brand new for what, $200-$250 million by the time we are done? Anyone have an idea at what we might be looking at approximately realistically to build a new stadium?

Then we are left with a 25,000 seat stadium, 5,000 less than Ivor Wynne, on the side of a highway, not big enough to hold Grey Cups so we have to put in 20,000 temporary seats to host the Cup, our taxes go up, ticket prices skyrocket, and look, we have a nice shiny new stadium that many passionate fans can't afford to attend more than a couple games a year, so the people with money who make sports franchises sustainable, can fill the place.

That's a legacy? I already dislike professional sports more and more as I age. Ivor Wynne represents what football is about. The Tiger-Cats also used to represent that. The CFL used to represent that. This process changed all of that, or at least made the truth a lot more transparent.

Ivor Wynne is what I still love about sport, and I will fight for it, for what is left of sport at it's purest, until that final whistle blows on this Pan Am debacle.

HostCo is telling our city how to build our future. Whatever your feelings are towards Ivor Wynne, that is now the bottom line after yesterday's meeting.

After I delegated yesterday, Sam Merulla said that Ivor Wynne has always been the fallback. That's not what I wanted because a fallback, could still mean no Cats and an empty Ivor Wynne rusting into the earth like Scott Park School, would be a crying shame. That to me, is not a vicotry for 'Save Ivor Wynne'.

The removal of Scott Park should be a project all on it's own. It's been almost 10 years already. If it was only going to cost just under $2M I believe to tear down Ivor Wynne, I imagine it's close to the same for Scott Park High School.

As for residential. It's the best part. Florida Marlins are building there stadium in a mix residential/industrial area. It's quite a design.

If Ivor Wynne Stadium has failed in the eyes of some, it's becuase nobody has really been looking out for it. There is no HECFI type company managing it. It doesn't even have a website and there isn't a sign to be seen as you enter our city from all 4 corners, that there is even a football stadium in Hamilton. One little sign at Gage and Cannon is I believe all there is.

How do you make a success of something, the city has tried to hide for so long.

The Cats were happy with a restore scenerio a few years ago, as long as the stadium issue was addressed either way. Start them off with the $20M to replace the south stands, a new parking garage, and a citizens group that oversees the business and maintenance and promotion of the stadium, even the business of the Cats, and I think we can create something beautiful on Balsam Avenue North.

A couple of houses and a High School stadium does nothing, to replace the 250,000 people that come into our neighborhood every year. Not to mention the some 100,000 that attend the Festival of Friends over the course of a weekend. You might as well just turn the east end into the Red Light district. All you'll have left is big box Centre on Barton and Ottawa Street. Will Ottawa Street continue to thrive with all these changes?

I'll admit, my affection has grown substancially from living by the stadium. It has helped me see the true beauty and value of that place, when all the fans have gone and she sits quiet with all the ghosts of fans and players past, circling around the interior of the stadium.

Folks, love football or hate it, love Ivor Wynne or think it's a dump, Ivor Wynne is my Tivoli. It is my history. It has great value in my eyes and in the eyes of many. How many people think the Tivoli should just face it's final blow? Believe me, I am an artist before I am a football fan and I think the fact that nobody is stepping up to put big money into it to revive it, is a shame.

So those of you who are not football fans or only wanted a stadium built in the Harbour to clean up that neighborhood - nothing wrong with that, think of this whole debate for a moment, from the hearts of those that love Ivor Wynne the way you love places like the Tivoli.

It would probably cost s lot less to re-create the Tivoli somewhere else or build a new one, than restore it right? Just assuming there. I know Ivor Wynne is just concrete and steel, but building some big shiny new stadium, isn't Ivor Wynne. Creating a Tivoli-like theatre, isn't the Tivoli. Moving the Tivoli to another neighborhood, isn't the Tivoli.

Perhaps I am grabbing at straws here, but there is value on Balsam Avenue. Ivor Wynne is used by the community some 150-200 times a year. Put the Ti-Cats store there and how much more money does that generate on all those dates the stadium is in use. Many practices are open to the public. There is a schedule available showing the practices that are open to the public. Open a few concesisons, open the Cats store. Same for Highschool Football games. It's used every home game for Delta. Ivor Wynne is more than 10 dates a year, perhaps 11 with a home playoff game.

You can't provide that same sense of community off the side of some highway. That's the legacy Hostco says they want to leave. For it's community-use value to be maximized.

THe media (including that 'touching' Globe and Mail article and video), talk about Ivor Wynne's days being numbered. Don't buy into it. They are trying to sell us a new stadium like I am trying to selling you the old one. Excpet they have much more money and a broader network to get those messages across to everyone.

They won't publish the facts though so at least you can decide for yourself, whether Ivor Wynne can be or should be, saved at all.

You see value in restoring the Tivoli. I see value in restoring Ivor Wynne. They are different, but affections for them are similar.

What value is there in merging history, the arts, and football together? How do we make Ivor Wynne and the Tiger-Cats sustainable within, instead of having to build a highway accessible stadium just so people can see it when they drive by or because it makes it easier for people from out of town to get to without having to come into our city?

We already average 25,000 people a game now. How do we sustain that even when the team on the field is rebuilding? You go to a production that isn't good, you don't go back next week to see it again. That is a problem with sports. The team can't always be great.

I think you create an experience. I am not sure we have the money to create much an experience other than it's new, at a new stadium. Ivor Wynne is already an experience and I think we can build on that even more.

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