Comment 54463

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:44:58

@Andrea. Although I don't totally like the 6,000 seat plan because if all FF monies were used for it, there would be nothing left to even offer a rennovation option beyond the $20M (added to our taxes), figure Sam talks about for Ivor Wynne. Even though I know Bob Y says he won't play there. If Bob doesn't agree for a future expansion of WH for his team, and leaves Ivor Wynne after the 2011 season, no Cats. No Bob Y is one thing, but bye bye 141 years of history, just sucks to put it bluntly.

But I do like that the plan outlined in Ryan's piece, would clean up the harbor and although there are other 6,000 seat facilities such as Ron Joyce at Mac, they aren't really public facilities per say are they? If the Harbor stadium took over for Ivor Wynne's 'other' uses, there is benefit in that, although I would rather a 6,000 seat facility replace IWS. Continuing 80 years of sports history, and the return of a Civic Stadium type facility. Track, field, and all.

I say pull Bob Y/Mitchell, Ian Troop, and council all into a war room and talk Ivor Wynne. Build the Veldrome at the Harbour (is there a concrete location decided for it yet? Was it Dundas?), that cleans it up and that neighborhood could forgoe 30,000 people converging on their little comminity 10 or 11 times a year, and we could continue to work with what sort of works right now at IWS.

There are options to fix parking (maybe a smaller scale parking garage if Parkview Secondary is really soon to be done), utilities, seating, exterior paint, stadium visibility off of Cannon, etc. Let's at least talk about those options and how they could possibly get the Cats out of the red. This isn't the Cats decision. It's our councils. Present them with all of 'our' options. Bob Y likes one of them, or does whatever he wants - inlcuding pursuing sites like Aldershot on his own but he might want to do a little research to see how many fans he would lose, moving the team outside of the Hamilton boundary lines.

If Parkview Seconary is an option (would is unfortunate I want to add), build a smaller scale parking garage there and demo Brian Timmis. Put the Tiger Town store along the south side of Ivor Wynne where not only thousands of Cats fans already live, but 22-25,000 or so gather 10-11 times a year, not to mention highschool kids who play and attend highschool football games during their season. These little tweaks would certainly get the Cats closer to even. It's a sports team and the CFL to boot. Pro teams lose money. It's just a matter of how much they are willing to lose or are 'really' losing.

Ivor Wynne is the most accessible location all around from proximately to the highway, to THE most accessible public transit wise - now and especially in our future LRT/GO plans.

Does everyone else feel we are kind of out of options here? If the powers that be could at least talk IWS for a day or two, if Bob Young could see the benefits from what I have talked about above and on my website, perhaps HostCo would be on board with a location that the Cats agree to, even though they originally said an Ivor Wynne reno was not an option. Was it not an option because the Cats said no way?

Is there something to exploring a couple of quick costs at IWS, to see if that could work for the Cats and the city?

  • cost to add seatbacks to the rest of the stadium
  • cost in today's dolloars to replace the south stands
  • upgrade hydro and water utility feeds into the stadium
  • demo Brian Timmis and pave it over
  • construct a new Tiger-Town store along the south side of IW, facing Bernie Faloney Way (aka Cannon St)
  • is there a place around the current stadim, where we could move the Hall of Fame to also move it closer to where Cats fans all gather?
  • the architects design for a hotel/housing complex along Melrose. Is that viable? Could we use bricks from torn down local buildings to keep with the current neighborhood architecture, for the exterior so it doesn't stick out like a soar thumb?
  • could we change the zoning for the houses along melrose, Beechwood, and Balsam, to commercial to allow for little pubs and eateries (not Hess Villiage-type night clubs but more 'Lazy Flamingo/Rebels Rock type bars), to occupy those homes perhaps, creating more 'local' business around the stadium?
  • paint the exterior the same color as Copps to brighten up the old girl and make her stand out even more than she alraedy does towering over the rooftops
  • create King/Wellington type pillars at either end of Barton at Victoria and Gage that say 'Stadium District'
  • the south stands can support more press boxes - at what cost?
  • improvements to the Hall of Fame box
  • highway signage - there is non. Advertise the darn place so people know it's there on all four corners of our city. Also highlight the 141 Years of history in Hamilton. That's signifant. Let passerby's know this
  • can Ivor Wynne be designated as a historic site, and what kind of government funding/grants would that give us for upgrades/yearly maintenance costs?
  • would improvements above greatly affect our yearly $1.7M maintenance 'burden'?

Not all of this has to be done right away, but how much would it cost roughly with what money we are being offered ($70M from feds and $45M FF), to do what needs to be done over the next couple of years, to get the Cats out of the red or at least much further from it?

What harm is there in that? We have already spent boatlaods of time and cash exploring other sites, let's spend a couple of more days exploring our options with what we have.

Then we'll all know, and other than Confederation Park, we will have explored quite a few sites and know that we tried everything if we still lose the funding after all is said and done.

Is there still not some shortfall at the Harbour for a 22-25,000 seat stadium? Shortfall gone at IWS. Maybe not everyone's preferred site, but If it solves many of our issues, is that so bad? If we could do all that for the $70 from the feds, we still save our FF? Just questions. Wouldn't mind knowing some answers and not just from the Cats and their hired experts. From RTH and others who may be a little more removed from our politics and open-minded to all scenerios.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-04 15:58:02

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