Comment 58015

By ONE P!$$ED OFF FAN (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 18:12:13

Unfortunately, from an overall business case, it is far inferior to the west harbour for many reasons. First is the clean up of a brownfield. Secondly, it creates a catalyst for higher density development in the downtown core. If you've followed the coverage throughout this whole ordeal, there has been significant interest from the private sector to develop around a west harbour stadium, regardless of what the Ticats have tried to spin.

I'm glad to hear that our young people such as yourself are becoming engaged in civic politics like this. One of the reasons its so important to create this critical mass of high density urban development in our downtown is that we have a better chance or retaining people such as yourself in a few years when you graduate from university, college or are comfortably working in your career of choice. Because of shifting demographics over the last few decades, the age at which young post-secondary graduates start looking at starting families and buying in the suburbs has changed drastically. Here in Hamilton, we don't have the downtown development market ie. High-rise Condos to retain this young demographic and it has been detrimental to our city's overall health. Unfortunately, the Ticats don't seem to understand that without keeping this demographic local, their future success is also jeopardized. The Ticats have by far the oldest fanbase in the CFL and are in desperate need of replenishing the fanbase with the 18-35 demographic.

This will have a lasting impact not only our city, and its ability to keep our young people, but also on our ability to attract companies to relocate here as well.

Higher density development also makes attracting businesses into neighbourhoods easier. The difference between the two sites is that West Harbour is an old industrial site with room for this type of development growth, while the Ivor Wynne site is a well entrenched residential neighbourhood without much room for the type of development that would create the critical mass that will make the stadium investment an economic engine for the area. By significantly increasing our tax base with this high density development that the stadium project can be a catalyst for, our city would be in a better financial position to invest in neighbourhoods across the city. Without that catalyst, the money invested in the Ivor Wynne rebuild stays in that neighbourhood, without the spinoff benefits for the rest of the city. Its also better planning when you can cluster many of your recreation/hospitality/cultural/retail into your downtown core. Its good for hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and other tourist friendly industries, and makes hosting conventions, expos, and other events more attractive to those from outside Hamilton who are looking to book these types of events. The West Harbour site can also help in attracting investment in other city building initiatives such as the west harbour recreation plan. Add to that the significant investment the city can expect for all day GO Train, and LRT.

This stadium debate should never have become an issue of neighbourhood vs. neighbourhood. Its really a case of what plan has the best chance of being good for all of our neighbourhoods.

Cheers Scott

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