Comment 58024

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 22:28:38

Excellent article, Graham. Thanks.

A few additional random observations:

The potential risks of this $156.5 Million investment are concerning:

  1. The Tiger-Cats are only guaranteeing three years of the twenty year lease. The City of Hamilton could be stuck with a huge unusable stadium if the Tiger-Cats fold or move elsewhere some time between years four and year twenty of the lease. It is incumbent upon Hamilton city council to protect the Hamilton taxpayers from a Glendale, Arizona scenario.

  2. The United States Soccer Federation Division 2, comprised of teams in the NASL and the USL, had an average attendance of 4,459 in 2010. The NASL soccer team contemplated by Bob Young would actually be a better fit with a better atmosphere in a 6,000 seat scalable stadium than it would in a refurbished 25,000 seat Ivor Wynne stadium. A Major League Soccer franchise seems unlikely for Hamilton as neither Mr. Young nor anyone else have expressed an interest in paying the $40 Million expansion fee.

3.Concerts are unlikely at the new Ivor Wynne Stadium due to the proximity of residential neighbourhoods. Also, the city staff report noted that it would be necessary to incur additional costs in constructing "life safety and performance requirements" (i.e. sprinklers, fire alarms, emergency lighting, etc.) in the new Ivor Wynne Stadium if there is a "change of use" to a multi-use stadium to accommodate concerts and the amount of those additional costs are not addressed in the city staff report. (See page 9 of the city staff report).

The City of Hamilton therefore proposes to build a $156.5 Million facility of a size that only the Tiger-Cats need for ten games per year for the foreseeable future. Interestingly, the Tiger-Cats already have a 29,000 seat stadium, namely, the existing Ivor Wynne Stadium. If the Tiger-Cats just keeping playing at the existing Ivor Wynne Stadium, the city won't have to incur those $7 Million per year Ticat relocation expenses during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons. Instead, incremental improvements can be made to the stadium when the city has the funds to do so.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-25 22:38:09

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