Word on the Street

Save the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Rally @ City Hall

  • Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010
  • Time: 7pm-8pm
  • Address: 71 Main St W (Google Maps)

Come out and join us in a show of support for a sustainable and economically viable stadium that will allow the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to stay in Hamilton. Guest speakers will present a compelling case for the City of Hamilton to start listening to the citizenry of the city instead of setting up yet another white elephant in downtown Hamilton that will suck away tax dollars for decades to come.

This event will send a message to Cit...y Council that the citizens of Hamilton are displeased with the lack of transparency and vision that council has shown over the past year with regards to the Pan AM stadium issue and that we need a better vision now!

Posted by abby98

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:31:18

A save the ticats rally is a great idea but if you are talking about tax dollars.. you realize the east mountain location would cost 80-100 million dollars more..dont you?..and that works out to 4-5 million dollars each year for 20 years. That money as well as 25-35 million more to complete the stadium doesn't even exist (the city doesn't have 100 million plus) and would result in your tax bill going up 4-5%....as long as that gets mentioned at the rally im all for it.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:48:15

Ho Hum! The same old 'spin.' I would show up to support the Team itself, but I will not be counted among the sheep who buy these unfounded arguments. Whose speaking, Foxcroft, Sutor, Mitchell, Kelly, Cohon, Mercanti? I've read that script!

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:40:28

instead of setting up yet another white elephant in downtown Hamilton that will suck away tax dollars for decades to come.

If this is the concern of the "citizenry" than this rally should support the Ti-Cats buying their own stadium.

Arguing for your preferred stadium location while feigning concern about saving taxpayers' money in the same breath is simply more BS. No stadium is economical or sustainable. They are all luxuries with relatively short life spans.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 18:32:29

Couldn't this crowd have simply showed up at the meeting last tuesday?

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 18:59:07

The East Mountain is dead - Bob Young agreed with that on CHML today. I don't know what the agenda of this rally is, but it would have to focus on some new site. The site selection deadline (already extended twice?) was August 12, so we now have negative 4 days to come up with a different one.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 19:06:35

I watched Bob Young stumble all over his interview with CHCH TV Live at 5:30, Tough questions but not great answers...Donna Skelly is my favorite interviewer now! Bob your entitled to your decision but I don't agree with your answers. This is about control and money not about location and parking. I stand behind Mayor Fred and council on this one 100%!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 19:33:11

Bob's team, not the city's. End of story.

Go for it guys and gals, support the WH and Fred all the way - doesn't matter, the city doesn't own the team. And Bob isn't putting a nickle into the WH site. That's the way it is but make yourselves feel great by saying you stick with Fred and the WH, who cares, doesn't matter if Bob isn't on board.

WH supporters need some money and a plan quick or else - bye, bye PanAms and money and TigerCats.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-16 18:36:10

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By TheLastStraw (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 20:39:12

HamiltonFan, you can't image how much I would prefer to loose the Pan Am games and the Tiger Cats rather than build a stadium on the East Mountain using our Future Fund dollars (and a lot more). Bob Young has to make a business decision...the city's made theirs.

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By hamilton pride (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 21:04:18

wow icredible people!
Anyone who thinks it is really going to cost less in west harbour is in dream land, this whole mess is so political its incredible. In the end those roads needed anywhereelse will have to be built down there. The city is attempting to clean up the west harbour which is good but you cant do it at the expense of the tiger-cats. The team has needed a new stadium to get it back on even grounds forever and goverments have helped fund probably every stadium out there, Hamilton has waited for this and the chance finally came up. The city now wants to take that money that was really ment to be a joint venture between the city and the tiger-cats and use it towards completeing personal agendas. I dont even get why anyone would want it down there? I attended the debate at the end of the evening between councilors at city hall and listened to several admit how badly the city had handled this whole thing and I as a tax payer of this city am ashamed of that, SORRY BOB YOUNG!
I remember when the city amongst other people beged you to take our team out of bankruptsy and to burn your money rather than theres, I remember all the improvements you did right away just to remove us as the laughingstock of the league, I remember you doing those things all along and still smiling and I can tell you sir I appreciate it! The city shut you out of this prosess long time ago and you deserved way better! As a tigercat fan and boaster of one of Hamiltons few positive pride identities I ask please bare with us we will make something work!
Personal choice, where it is now! Shut Cannon off for that block, take back Scott Park Scool and make one really cool venue right there, lots of space, the center of the city!
We are with you Mr Young

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 21:54:48

Hamilton Pride - "The city now wants to take that money that was really meant to be a joint venture between the city and the tiger-cats"..what the heck are you talking about??? that 60 million and money from the province/feds was for a pan-am stadium....a 15,000 seat stadium not a cfl stadium. This is the same guy that came quite close a few weeks ago to accepting the east mountain location...that would have cost 80-100 million dollars more than the harbor..are people in hamilton really paying attention?..Are they paying attention to the fact to make a 25,000 seat stadium still nobody has said where the extra 25-35- million is to build it??/. Are you aware the city doesnt have 80-100 million sitting around??.. your taxes would have gone up who knows how much .....They already spent 8 million at the harbor location...are you aware he doesnt want the stadium to be at ivor wynne??...are you aware of that..whether they fix it up or not. He thinks he can make profits with concert/event money running a stadium and he simply cant , other cfl teams have proven for years you cant....why aren't people thinking logically and getting facts. If people want to debate it atleast get the facts it's really getting annoying.

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By Gary Dell'Abate (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 22:22:12

I am a life long Tiger Cat fan and season ticket holder. Bob Young's non sense has just about driven me to cheer for the blue team down the QEW. This is about revitalizing a part of the city that is dead. Look what US stadiums have done to areas on the waterfront that were dead and deserted.

And ps...can CH stop interviewing the crook Gabe Macaulso about this?

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By Hamiltonian (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 02:22:31

My real issue, is where was all this from the Ticats prior to selecting the site back in February? As far back as July '07 when Hamilton/Toronto both said they were going after the games, the Ticats said they would make any site work. After Confederation was knocked out, and it was Downtown, West Harbour, and the Airport area, Bob Young said he didn't have any preference between the sites. There is even a video on the ticat site where Young says he will leave site selection up to Smarter people than him.

When the former premier asked where the Ticats were in all of this Young again said he'd have to wait for the city to choose a location before they would decide how much money they would commit to the project.

No, its not until May, a couple of months after the city had to gives its final selection to Hostco that the Ticats all of a sudden don't want to go to West Harbour.

I guess the other point in all this as has been mentioned is where is the other $50 million coming from to make the stadium 25k+ seats? If the city gives in and just builds a 15k seat Arena with their money + the fed/prov gov't share, will the cats be happy?

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 03:11:26

Man....Bob Young is starting to screw himself....a quote from his interview with TSN: "The whole trick to a modern sports stadium is to get 25,000 people to that location in very short order, half-an-hour...hour worth of time, you get them home again in very short order..."

No...Bob...that isn't the trick. The trick is to pay the folks that built you the stadium...through tax revenue. That doesn't mean people being teleported into the stadium and back home again with zero interaction with any other business.

What Bob is asking for here is EXACTLY what several dozen cities initially thought was the "trick"...and found it to be the "absolute failure".

You get people in and out...yes....but you give people reasons not to go straight home. That is what makes the area surrounding a stadium vibrant and lucrative for businesses. In Bob's idea though there would just be parking lots surrounding the stadium so no business, other than his Tiger-Cats, would see a dime.

He goes on to say that he is on board with fixing up the West Harbour....BUT..."it is 2.5km from the nearest highway entrance."....Bob....that isn't miles, it's kilometres. Even if traffic is moving at a crawl of 20km/h...you would still get to that highway in under 10 minutes. Ever tried getting out of a parking lot of 7,000 cars??? Good luck getting out of there in less than an hour. If there is ever a lane closure/construction on either the Linc or the RHVP you're totally screwed.

His "a few dollars worth of subsidy" is also a bit of a slap in the face to the City. How about a team that is competitive? That might work too Bob.

He somewhat saved himself by saying..."We're going to work very hard for the best solution...", "We're going to work hard on it, we're going to come up with a solution. I have no idea what the solution is going to look like today...but we're going to come up with it."

I take from that....the door is still open (since no other reasonable doors are)...and Bobby will find an agreement with the city he can live with that will make him much better off than he is at Ivor Wynne...and once the city realizes the benefits of a downtown stadium he will probably be able to negotiate a much better "solution" in the years ahead.

It's just a good thing Bob didn't have Mitchell the Mouth speak on his behalf to TSN....I'm sure we would have seen rallying cries and possibly a few salutes, fist pumps and pounding a fist on a desk to raise the troops to overthrow the local government....by any means necessary.

Comment edited by Jeffrey93 on 2010-08-17 02:14:23

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 03:56:37

I listened to another interview with the "Caretaker" on CHML 900. He basically said the ONLY reason he is opposed to the West Harbour is that you can't get 25,000 people to the stadium and home again in a short enough period of time that they would be willing to come back.

The thing Bobby, yet again, doesn't see is that not all 25,000 will be interested in going home immediately after the game. Honestly....I've been to suburban arenas/stadiums....and you have no other choice but to 'go home' or at least somewhere else immediately following the game/show, and you can't. It's a line up to get onto the highway...which causes delays....heaven forbid there is construction or an accident in that area. You could be stuck there for hours. The Palace of Auburn Hills is a solid example. People, myself included, would get on the interstate headed IN THE WRONG DIRECTION simply because the line for that on-ramp was shorter...we would then take the next exit and get back on the interstate in the right direction to go home. This took a decent amount of time....it was a royal pain in the arse...but it was faster than waiting to get on the highway in the direction most fans wanted to go.

Just a 10 minutes WALK away is Copps Coliseum. Up to 20,000 fans have filtered out of that venue and been able to get home...without much problem. Bob has said that if people can't get to and from the stadium in a reasonable amount of time they won't come back. I'm pretty sure if you held a top concert at Copps Coliseum today and then again in a year....both would be sold-out. Traffic isn't going to keep them away. The Tiger-Cats, as weak as they are....for several years, don't have a stadium that is easily accessible...yet they have drawn over 20,000 for games.

'The Caretaker' goes on to claim that the Tiger-Cats brought in "experts" to look at Hamilton and advise them on stadium building, he says those experts are "pretty unanimous" (although I doubt they would make public any experts that disagree with their stance) he eludes that all stadium experts agree that a stadium built away from downtown and on a highway are better. Seriously folks....look at NHL arenas....look at major league baseball stadiums....at a lot of NFL stadiums (unique due to tailgating in parking lots)....most suburban non-downtown stadiums have proven they don't measure up. Does everyone realize this except for Bob and his "stadium experts"?!?!?

Bob also re-stated in both interviews how he would "love to announce here is the solution to this whole thing".....as if scripted. He also mentions other "interests" in almost the exact same "guffawing" tone as he did in the TSN interview.

I literally smacked my computer speakers when Bob said on CHML that because the Mayor of Milton stated they realize running a business that profits requires options to make money made him want to "hug his TV" when CH showed it. When the West Harbour was chosen Bob Young said this: ""Let me be really blunt. I've said directly and really consistently from Day 1: I don't care where the (expletive deleted) stadium goes as long as we build it in Hamilton." (Hamilton Spectator, May 19, 2010)

But yeah....way to go Milton...way to offer choices to a guy that AT THE TIME when decisions were being made said anywhere will work for him.

Bob Young (very lightly para-phrased) - "I don't know what the other options are for us, that is what is required...for the future of the CFL and the future of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. I am required to do the rest of my homework."

Well Bob....I would have thought this "homework" would have been done already. You know....since you went through a facilitation process about the West Harbour site. Oh yeah...that's right...you went into the facilitation process on the City's dime and flat out refused to discuss the West Harbour location! No wonder you know very little about it and require "homework" on it.

This is getting ridiculous.....Moncton, Milton....please. No chance of ever having the "highway access" or attendance you could get in Hamilton. Remember....it will be a "new team" for about 15 years or more. Nevermind that no municipal government is currently looking to throw up a $130M stadium for a CFL team.

Just end it already Bobby....Mr. "Caretaker"......negotiate with the city...you have the leverage now. So use it...get your sweet sweet deal to play in the West Harbour....and sit back and watch the fans pile in to the new stadium after you have fielded a dreadful team for about a decade.

Some might show up on the Go Train....HSR Bus....LTR....walk....or drive and park gasp! 5 minutes from the stadium!!!

Hamilton folks are tough people....don't worry Bobby....we can handle a short walk to the stadium....we've already been doing it for decades.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 06:45:35

Good points Jeffrey. Exactly a parking lot that size..which i assume he would want not just at the east mountain location would take longer to get in and out of than parking lots spread out it only makes sense. I've made the point nobody makes money in the cfl and the only ones that really have the last 20-30 years is the community owned ones or the ones lucky enough to host a grey cup. I'm really at a loss as to why bob young doesn't realize this. He has this idea he could put on enough events and make a profit when the other cfl cities clearly show you can't. Other bigger cities with the same situation are not making money and hardly ever do. Why he thinks he couldn't get the same crowds at ivor wynne stadium than the harbor location is just beyond me..it's so illogical. If the team plays decently enough the rest of the year they might average 25,000.. maybe more..a sell out on labor day will guarantee a ave of 25,000 for the first 4 games....seriously is it about location??..or about winning...He still hasn't figured out in his head yet that he's lost 70% of this games sinced he owned the team..why doesn't he understand this ?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 07:07:29

Based on the buzzwords and dearth of logic, this invitation sounds like it was written by that annoying hand-puppet Pyjama Mercanti. I'm sure he'll be there along with the likes of other windbags like Ron Foxcroft spouting their self-serving venom.

But what a bizarre location. Rather than schedule this in the heart of the City where people traditionally gather it's going to be in downtown of all places. Good luck with that! No one will be able to get there. Where will they park? They'll never be able to leave. Were there no vacant wheatfields available?

In any event, to assist in understanding the rhetoric that will undoubtedly be spewing at this think-tank, I've prepared a glossary of terms entitled "what they say and what they mean":

  • sustainable, economically viable = taxpayers fund it, I profit from it
  • compelling case = this benefits me, it's a good idea
  • start listening = Council doesn't agree with me
  • white elephant = anything that doesn't benefit me
  • the citizens of Hamilton are displeased = I don't like this
  • lack of transparency = this doesn't benefit me
  • lack of vision = this benefits others
  • better vision = something that benefits me not others
  • they don't get it = they don't agree with me
  • get it right = agree with me

Hope this helps

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-08-17 06:09:08

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By hamilton pride (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 08:23:22

Facts, Facts, Facts

Thats all I see people trying to convince of here! Only one problem, they are all looking at facts through rose coloured glass's. Looking at the ones they want to believe instead of the real ones.
1) Bob young said from the beginning Build where you want, as long as it is a sustainable location!
2) The Tigercats are paying thier own bills, we are paying the cities. The city is spending money (our money) hand over fist in study after study after study about the west harbour, the Tigercats are not about to do the same they waited for the city choises and then did there self paid for studies on those spots! The smart businessman way!
3) When Bob Young stated many months ago that the west harbour was not a sustainable site mayor Fred went on live on the Bill Kelly show that morning and said it didnt matter what Bob Young said it was full steam ahead, reafirming exactly what this is all about Mayor Freds legasy to develope the waterfront at any cost!
4) Studies, what a joke that was, ask the city to see the studies done on all sites. You will see tons done on the west harbour and next to nothing on any other site. Even the east mountain was studied very little, just enough to show it would cost more and therefore make the west harbour look even better!
5) Roads and cost, the city says west harbour will be cheaper, they dont say west harbour stadium will be cheaper today but we will have to build roads and infastructure eventually to support the stadium. No they dont want you to know that now, it will be a surprise down the road for us after mayor Fred has pushed through his private agenda!
6) The stadim is for the Pan Am games? Yes the upper level of goverments are going to spend millions for 3 weeks of games, wake up people! The stadium came to Hamilton for the Pan Am games because it was known that Hamilton has the oldest stadium arround and was badly in need of a new one and this was the only way it would ever happen. Yes Pam Am for three weeks then new Tigercat home!
7) Bad team reason for lack of profit! If any of you really followed the cats you would know that the incredibly bad team Bob Young bought has been changed and changed and changed looking for thier new identity and anyone that thinks that is going to happen in one or two years does not follow many sports because that doesnt happen anywhere! Actually the timing of all this in terible because the team is actually coming together!
8) Anyone who thinks we will ever get a NHL team is crasy because when you cannot even keep and support a 141 year old Hamilton tradition no smart business man is going to invest a billion to bring an NHL team that will require even more upkeep and suport!
9) Down talking the Foxcrofts, Braileys ect., when we needed suport from them for things they were the smartest and best businessmen arround now because they are using thier business savy but in support of what Bob Young is saying, they know nothing and are just spouting thier mouths off, excellant lets chase some more of our true city leaders out of town!
10) Our leader the mayor cant lead has been proven well before this even started, our counsilors are self serving and a lot of our residents are easily manipulated into believing what ever we are told! It is time to stand up and demand to see the facts! Why have we not seen any of these studies? Why have we not been asked by our counsilors what we think, why have we not been given enough to make our own descisions? Its all painfully obvious, wake up Hamilton!

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 09:47:09

why bother.

it's over!!!!!

No new stadium, no harbour cleanup, no TiCats.

Perfect headline in a Toronto paper today......Loserville

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:00:59

Perfect headline in a Toronto paper today......Loserville - another Capitalist

So the city finally realises corporate welfare for sports franchises at the level being demanded of it is not affordable or sustainable and we're the losers? Interesting comment from a self described "capitalist".

More and more "capitalists" are becoming nothing but Corporate Socialists.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 10:35:55

This debate is all about money, power and control not location, access and parking! We are just taking a front seat ride down emotional street!

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 11:08:37

No

what I'm upset about is the potential loss of another business downtown.

the loss of 250 high paying jobs downtown from the other non-football employees.

many of these people are from out of town, were buying homes downtown etc.

Mr. Young yesterday said on television he is not upset at the mayor or city council for their decision. If they feel this is what is best for the city, so be it. He will now have to see what is best for the football team.

Why is it almost every other municipality has close to positive job/business growth except us.

It can't all be "business'" fault.

This city is not run properly, no matter what side of any issue you are on, I would think you would have to agree with this.

Massive change has to come.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 14:22:08

I'm all for city building and urban renewal, but we cannot take a scorched earth approach to it. I believe we can make the Ticats happy and have a solution for the West Harbour. I think if anyone thinks Bob Young is going to be laughing all the way to the bank, they are sadly mistaken. The CFL requires some element of support to work -- especially when large capital investments like stadiums are required. Fact of life in Canada. The bottom line is that profit will be narrow no matter what.

Losing a 141 year old part of our heritage, the 200+ jobs and countless tangible and intangible benefits that go with it is unacceptable. What's the value of 858,000 seeing and hearing "Hamilton" for 3 hours last week on TV? Gotta be worth something.

I think the city can still offer up alternative sites and still have room (perhaps on an ongoing basis) for West Harbour revitalization. In 10 years or so, it will be the Ticats who will be kicking themselves for not jumping on this opportunity.

The only way a positive and productive solution can come of this -- which includes long-term benefits for our downtown -- is to have the Ticats a part of our community.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 19:08:01

Bob young has nobody but himself to blame for the record of the team since he has owned them and that includes the losses. There appears to be a change lately but that was after 5 years of a absolutely disgraceful team.

hamilton pride

7) Bad team reason for lack of profit! -- Nobody is making any profit in the cfl except one team..and profitable teams the last 20-30 yrs in the cfl are few and far between

8) Anyone who thinks we will ever get a NHL team is crazy because when you cannot even keep and support a 141 year old Hamilton tradition no smart business man is going to invest a billion to bring an NHL team that will require even more upkeep and suport!

...you mean like jim basillie last year...and it's odd you mention that because copps is 6 blocks away from this proposed stadium and he didn't see a problem with it. I also got news for you supporting the ticats and the nhl aren't exactly the same thing. Even the bulldogs has nothing to do with it...the toronto ahl team averages less than hamilton and it really doesn't matter.

9) Down talking the Foxcrofts......Yes we should go after some dimwit who thinks you should tear up a park and put a stadium in it. Not only that im sure the people coming over the skyway bridge will enjoy that lovely view.

1) Bob young said from the beginning Build where you want, as long as it is a sustainable location!

....once again only 1 cfl team is making a profit. That includes the ones operating the stadium and getting concert/event revenue. This is the way its been for years..they aren't making money that way..period..it wont be different in hamilton. Drawing concerts/events from copps will just take money from one spot to another as well. He wants to blame the city/fans for he loses (the exagerated ones as in $30.million .where he actually is including money that he invested as in scoreboard etc...he loves to play with numbers...such as the 79 million he was going to put into a stadium at east mountain...remember hes website...did we forget. That idea that could have cost us 80-100 million more...yes sustainable for him.

4) Studies, what a joke that was, ask the city to see the studies done on all sites

You mean bob youngs?...i agree with the toronto mayor the idea of stadiums on highways is a outdated 70's american idea.

Bottom line we almost came close to offering a deal to someone that would have cost 80-100 million dollars more. Yes he backed out because he knew the city wasn't going go with that.

A-The city doesn't have that 80-100 million dollars B-Taxes would have to go up if that was accepted maybe 5% C-There is no absolute guarantee that site would have worked and maybe 100 million would have been gone D-There is no guarantee he would keep this team here no matter what location was made, he has made the threat to move the team..the city hasn't and under the gun like that i wouldnt spend millions more either. E-This man has more money than everyone at the old dofasco/stelco combined, he can complain about losing money all he wants but trying losing your home, your job and going bankrupt. There is tens of thousands of children in this city who can't even afford to buy one ticket. There has been thousands of people that have supported that team despite having the worst teams in ticat history, he should thank those people for even showing up. F-If he decides to move the team elsewhere...he wont make a profit either..its the nature of the cfl..its a fact..most years you just hope to break even. That has been a common known fact for 30 years. G-Except for Ottawa there hasn't been any real interest in having a CFL team because of the lack of a stadium and the plain fact the 8 existing teams are barely surviving. Even if someone decided they wanted to have a team, they would have to get city approval. They would have to come up with 100-150 million city money because there is a good chance the province/feds wont pay for it. The amount of time it would take could be many, many years. H-I think the pan-am people will approve the harbor location..because no other city would have a major tenant either with a 15,000 seat stadium.but if they do say no they will probably give hamilton a chance to pick a different location...as long as that location isnt costing tens of millions more than i don't have a problem with it..if it does i say forget the pan-am games because it amounts to extortion after a democratic vote was made 5 times!!.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 19:56:41

From another thread -

It seems to me that unless the Tiger-Cats figure out a way to make the West Harbour work they're finished anyway. Their brand is worthless anywhere else, they simply can't survive with fewer fans and they can't take any of them for granted. But in a few short weeks they've managed to turn off the better portion of a generation of them, not to mention many of their existing supporters. From what I can see, there are lots of West Harbour opponents who'd still show up if that's where they played but not the other way around. They either wouldn't go on principal or they wouldn't be able to get there. The Angus Reid poll indicated that the people who generally support the West Harbour, the educated, the well-to-do and the young are precisely the people who a sports team, or any business for that matter, should be targetting. The Tiger-Cats can't survive on retired factory workers forever.

I doubt that even the most rabid of Tiger-Cat supporters would argue that this exercise has INCREASED their fan base.

All the rallies in the world won't change the fact that the ORC isn't going to give public land at the East Mountain to the City so Bob Young and Osmington can build a shopping centre. Paving Confederation Park would threaten the downtown in the same manner as the East Mountain site plus it's a park. (doh)

Expecting to make a profit in the CFL is a fond hope and it has nothing to do with parking or access. Purporting that profit hinges on one site or another, especially when no one's seen the books, is disingenuous, at best. History has shown that breaking even in the CFL is generally the best one can do. And the best way to do that is to reach out to ALL your fans, real or potential, not just the ones who can't see the woods for the cars.

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-08-17 18:57:08

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By Jeffrey93 (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 01:19:30

What do people want? Like Mayor Fred said...the City can pay for buildings for lots of businesses and the economy in Hamilton will be booming. The City would likely be forced to declare bankruptcy....but hey...they retained and generated new business!

People ask who will pay to expand the stadium to 25,000 plus....I wonder who was going to pay the additional $40M it would have cost to build on the East Mountain.

Doesn't sound like Bob Young wanted to pay for either...but demanded both.

Imagine if a company showed up at City Hall and said "We want to setup in Hamilton...we will create about 200 jobs, there will be some economic spinoff from our operations in the area surrounding our facility. Cool huh? The deal is though...for us to do that...you have to build us a $130M building. I'm sure you won't have a problem with that, your taxpayers can pay for it."

How would that go over? That is what Bob Young is seeking. A handout from the City, Province and Federal governments so he will keep his business in town. I think he's going to keep it there anyway, but since he hasn't committed to move or stay...he can continue to threaten until he soaks all he can out of the city. Part of me can't blame him for this, but most of me feels he is holding the Tiger-Cats entire fan base as a hostage. As a fan...I don't appreciate being used like that.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 19:48:21

If this rally was clearly about saving the ti-cats and discussed things like ways to engage and work with the team now that city hall has made it's decision, ways to convince the ti-cats to come back to the bargaining table, showing them how much they mean to us, I would definitely be there, cash in hand.

However this rally seems to be about convincing city hall to revisit their decision and give the ti-cats an stadium somewhere other than the West Harbour, and that's simply not something I can support.

It's unfortunate that "Save the Ti-Cats" in this case seems to be synonymous with "No stadium on the west harbour". We've already played that game, and the city was split about 50/50. A stadium debate by any name will still have the same results. Unless the "save the ti-cats" discussion becomes more broad than "where does the stadium go" it's doomed to have the same split support.

Why not hold a campaign we can all get behind?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 21:46:38

Based on what I read on facebook the rally has actually been moved to Gore Park. As of yet, the 'speakers' have not been listed. I found the facebook page to have many derogatory comments towards any WH supportors. Same old stuff; Bob is a hero, Bob is a philanthropist, Bob is entitled to make money, Bob has done wonders for this City. 'you people' are responsible for the demise of the Ticats, etc. Even the description of the event has a very negative and argumentative undertone to it. In my humble opinion the City council did show vision. Not at all intersted in this nonsense. I would much rather participate in something proactive and postive.

Have a rally to save the 'Cats by all means, but where are all the supportors on game day? How much do they really mean to the community if Ivor Wynne sits at 65% capacity?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 18, 2010 at 22:29:55

Robert D asked "Why not hold a campaign we can all get behind?"

Because this isn't about the Tiger-Cats. If it was, it would simply say "come out and show the Tiger-Cats that you want them to stay in Hamilton" or "Come out and tell Bob Young that a decision has been made, we'll support you to make it work". Few could argue with that.

But this is clearly politically motivated and predicated on the wholly unproven notions that a West Harbour Stadium is neither "sustainable or economically viable" and that the Tiger-Cats are leaving for places unknown.

Terms like "start listening" (after Council entertained about 8 hours worth of delegations) "another white elephant" (without naming the others) "suck away tax dollars" (when an East Mountain stadium was $50-$80 million more expensive) and "lack of transparency" (while advocating a 10 year untendered contract with a football team that won't reveal its books or studies) serve only to elevate sucking and blowing to an art form.

Sadly, it appears this event is nothing more than a shameless exploitation of the genuine loyalty of many to the political and economic advantage of few.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 05:01:20

They can blame the city all the want but if people arent showing up it isnt the fault of the city. Sold out labor games show people can show up!..why dont they show up to the rest of the games?.is it too hard to get there??

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 09:28:52

On a positive note, there is also another Ticat rally, organized by Chris Ecklund, taking place on Saturday Sept 4 @ Pier 8 (new bandshell). It seems to be much more about the love of the Ticats, and less about business and politics.

You can find the event on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=130485693662214&index=1

This one is being promoted as follows:

"Hey Folks Chris Ecklund here, its time we all come together and celebrate our LOVE for The Hamilton Tiger Cats and show our appreciation to Bob Young. This is a Rally to show our Love for the team and that we want them to STAY in Hamilton!!!!

East or West our Tiger Cats are the best!!!!

Come join us for as we celebrate our love for the Tiger Cats and Bob Young on Saturday September 4th at Noon till 4 pm.

The rally will take place at Pier 8 at the new bandshell on the waterfront by Williams Coffee Pub. This is located right at the Discovery Centre.

This is not a statement of what stadium location is best but it will be a statement from all Hamiltonians to Bob Young that we love our Tiger Cats and want the team to stay right here in Hamilton!!!

So this is the chance for every Hamiltonian to get involved, spread the word, talk to your friends and neighbours and invite ALL your Facebook friends to join this group!!!

I will also be giving away 100 tickets to the Labour Day Game to the best dressed fans and the best signs!!!! "

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 09:47:19

@Andrea -- So, the Ticats are averaging under 19,000? News to me. I'm no math major, but crowds of 26k, 22k, and 24k doesn't quite extrapolate to 65% of capacity.

Last year, I believe there was one crowd under 20k.

Would you be able to elaborate on how you came up with this number? Is it a historical average?

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 09:52:44

Just a question for everyone -- feel free to reply or simply 'up or down' it.

If the city offered another site that was in relative proximity to the downtown core AND the previous Ticat proposal of offering funds for remediating and managing a West Harbour ampitheatre was brought back to the table, would you support it?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 10:16:57

I stand corrected, 70%/75%. I really appreciate that you would take the time to calculate that for me. I must have pulled my numbers from my invisible panel of experts.
:-)

I sat in the North stands for years when there were only 12,000 people at the stadium. We used to cry with joy when there were 19-20,000 people turning out.

My point is that if the entire community was engaged with the Ticats we wouldn't even be having a discussion about viability. In a city with a popultion of 505,000, the Ticats should have no trouble filling the stands. 30,000 butts in the seats should be doable.

Maybe their focus should be on putting a winning team on the field that the supportors can be proud of today, instead of resting on the laurels of great teams in the past & using the teams historical significance to garner favour with the die-hards.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 10:39:38

@sloedrive

In regards to the alternate downtown location, were you referring to a specific site? The Spec just posted this: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:00:55

@Andrea - Well, for this year it's more like 83%, but who's counting? When Bob first took over the team, we had a run of about 3 years where between 27k and 28k were showing up. Unfortunately, a brutally dismal product soured the fans.

As with any product or event, the results from a solid marketing mix -- something that was sorely lacking in the years were 12,000 were showing up. What Bob Young has shown is, if you serve up the product well, people in Hamilton will fill the stadium. But, you're right, you have to deliver.

I think we also have to remember that, last week for the Winnipeg game -- two 1-4 teams -- the viewership was 858,000 nationally. I think we can extrapolate that a good chunk of those numbers were from viewers in Winnipeg and here in Hamilton. Which, we can further extrapolate that people in Hamilton are engaged.

The problem is, with a lot of pro-sports franchises, the ability to make a profit isn't easy -- save for a few key markets. And, the ability to measure the benefits of said teams isn't easy. Meaning, it cannot be reflected in just profits or losses.

It is very clear -- even based on the fact that we're having this conversation -- that this team means a lot to this community. Don't entirely sell it short by limiting your judgement to number of butts-in-seats. It's a good indicator, for sure. And, I'd be right with you if there were only 16,000 showing up at games and viewership was as paltry as a team like Toronto FC. Fact is, after almost a decade of losing, we're putting well over 20,000 in the seats -- and, right now, a lot of people have become very active in our city's municipal politics solely because of this stadium issue.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:03:07

@Andrea re: stadium site. Actually, I posted my question before I had heard about this site. Personally, I was thinking something closer to the downtown, but (and, not wanting to kill the objectiveness of my question) I think I could definitely compromise with something like this.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:39:46

Agreed about the compromise. I would prefer something closer to downtown as well, but if there is a solution that will work for everyone then I am open to investigate the possibility.

As to the community engagement of the 'Cats, obviously you are much more educated as to how best measure this. Based on my humble opinion, if people cared they would show up.

At this point I don't know or care exactly how many people attend Cat games; keep in mind I am a former die-hard and season ticket holder that lives within walking distance to Ivor Wynne. I am not anti-Cat by any means, but I am 100% ambivalent. After a lifetime of cheering for them it gets a bit old hearing about how much money they are losing. Make the team a serious contender and I will consider showing up.

I cannot confirm this with a hard source (sorry but I have been reading a lot lately), but I did hear somewhere that the Ticats are actually TSN's biggest draw. So obviously people are watching.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 16:29:24

Chris Ecklund's event sounds much more enticing.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 16:56:29

Lets show the Cats that the West Harbour can work.

http://www.thespec.com/sports/stadium/ar...

Now that you are done reading that article, go to

http://goticatswestharbour.com/wp/

and lets see what we can do!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 18:33:19

High season ticket sales and filling the stadium on TiCat games are not going to make Bob accept to go for the west harbour. He can launch that ticket drive for Ivor Wynne! It's location, so they can take advantage of parking revenue, additional stadium events (like NASL soccer team) and ownership of all retail revenue is what will make him stay in Hamilton. Mr Young knows what he is doing with the city and our emotions. He says he is a very simple man. The question is do you want him to make all the profits with city future fund money that belongs to us for city building. Do you think $60M is fair to give to him to do that? that is the question and the problem. The city has already answered that.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 21:02:18

In all fairness, I went to check it out and stayed for only five minutes. It was too difficult to hear the speakers.

After a quick glance around I was disappointed that I did not see any of the regular season ticket holders that I am acquainted with in the crowd this evening.
I actually believe that Mr. Ecklund's rally on Sept 4th will be a top notch event and be very well organized. It will hopefully have a great turn out and I think it will better reflect the diversity of true Ticat fans.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 19, 2010 at 21:32:47

Sell outs are possible they occur during labor games. The question is why dont all these people go to all the games?..minus the Toronto fans. I'm going to make a point again...in general CFL teams don't make money..this has been going on for 30+years. This includes places with larger crowds and they manage the stadium and collect that revenue. You only have so many dates available for a outdoor stadium. A football team and a soccer team easily take 1 month out of that time frame. The soccer league team he wants averages 4,000 people per game, with numbers being inflated by the two top teams. I read the salaries are in the 20,000-40,000 range but with travel costs etc would it be profitable? i heard only 2 teams were making profit. Montreal and Portland are doing well but...Balitmore ave 1,049, Miami ave 1,286 Minnesota 1,374 Carolina 2,184 Puerto Rico 2,288 St. Louis 2,824 Austin 3,615 Tampa Bay 4,574 Vancouver 5,080 Rochester 6,068 Portland 9,590 Montreal 12,273. For the most part i dont see how this venture would be profitable...those attendance figures are as of aug 18, 2010. There was 14 former teams 2005-2009 in this league as well.There is only so many events you would be able to hold at this stadium and given situations/time frames etc..it could take events from Copps, it is easy to see that happening. The opening of MMA to ontario could be a good prospect of filling the stadium maybe other events but i think you would have to look to other canadian outdoor stadiums as to whether they are profitable ot not. On the basis only a few teams have the last so many years (mostly because of hosting a grey cup)its obvious and i don't see Hamilton being different.

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