Comment 59151

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 21:02:51

The professional soccer component in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Mayor Bratina and Bob Young on January 31, 2010 to refurbish Ivor Wynne Stadium needs to be revisited and revised before they sign the Licensing Agreement.

Paragraph 5 in Appendix “A” of the Memorandum of Understanding reads as follows:

“The agreement will provide for the Tiger-Cats to operate a professional soccer franchise in the stadium for the playing of all of the franchise’s home pre-season, regular season and playoff games, except as provided in Paragraph 30. Professional soccer shall mean a franchise playing in the North American Soccer League, United Soccer League or an equivalent professional soccer league. For greater certainty, ownership/operation of the soccer academy by the Tiger-Cats shall include ownership through a related corporation provided that such corporation is owned or controlled by Robert Young.”

Conspicuous by its absence in the wording of this paragraph is the Major Soccer League. It is superior to rather than the equivalent of the North American Soccer League or the United Soccer League. It therefore appears that Bob Young does not contemplate bringing a Major Soccer League franchise to Hamilton during his 20 year stadium lease.

What happens if another entrepreneur expresses a willingness to pay the $40 Million expansion fee and apply for a Major Soccer League franchise in Hamilton? It would be unconscionable for Hamilton to pay $60.5 Million toward building the stadium and be prevented from having a Major Soccer League team for the first 20 years because Bob Young has an NASL or USL team playing in the stadium. This scenario needs to be clearly addressed in the Licensing Agreement.

An example of a compromise would be to give Bob Young an exclusive five year option to pursue a Major Soccer League franchise and, if he chooses not to pursue it within the five year timeline and another entrepreneur wants to bring a Major Soccer League team to Hamilton, the city shall have the right to negotiate and sign a stadium lease with the MSL entrepreneur. This gives Young five years for his NASL or USL franchise to sink or swim or to acquire an MSL franchise while giving Hamilton a chance to seek an MSL franchise during years six to twenty of the lease.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-02-02 22:21:44

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