Special Report: Pan Am

Bob Young Explains East Mountain Stadium

Young has a straightforward "agenda" in the sense of wanting the Ticats to be commercially successful, and believes he negotiated with the city on a stadium location in good faith.

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 13, 2010

I had an engaging face-to-face meeting yesterday with Bob Young, the owner of the Ticats, to discuss the Pan Am Stadium location issue.

In case you've been living in a rock for the past few weeks: after a two-year process that settled on the former Rheem factory in the West Harbour as the city's preferred location for a Pan Am Stadium, the Ticats announced publicly at the last minute that they could not support the West Harbour.

A mediation process was hastily arranged with Michael Fenn as the facilitator. Fenn's report recommended building a stadium on the East Mountain on a provincially-owned parcel of land bounded by the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, Red Hill Valley Parkway, Mud St. interchange and Stone Church Road.

The Ticats immediately followed the report's publication with a promise of $15 million in investment into the "stadium precinct", coupled with $3 million a year in stadium operating costs for ten years, $10 million in "transition costs", and $14 million to attract two Grey Cups to Hamilton.

Hamilton's City Councillors voted overwhelmingly on July 7 to spend the next month evaluating the two sites - but the preferences of most Councillors for the East Mountain site was obvious.

Young contacted me to discuss the issue in part because he has concerns with some of the statements made by Mayor Fred Eisenberger in last Friday's RTH interview, particularly the Mayor's claim that it was a "surprise" to learn that the Ticats opposed the West Harbour.

On a personal level, Young really is a genuinely likable guy. I came away with a strong sense that Young has a sincere and straightforward "agenda" in the sense of wanting the Ticats to be commercially successful; and that he believes he negotiated with the city on a stadium location in good faith.

I didn't record the discussion, so what follows is a summary of his arguments rather than a transcript of his statements. However, I sent a draft of this summary to Young to verify that I didn't miss anything important or mis-characterize anything he said.

Access to the Stadium

Young made it clear that his overarching issue is access to the stadium. He argued that West Harbour is hemmed in on two sides and has limited access for drivers in terms of both road capacity and parking. He noted that the city has promised North End residents it won't increase street capacity in the neighbourhood.

The Ticats' market analysis tells them most fans come to games from the region, not from downtown. For them, the difficulty of getting there by car is a major factor in whether to attend a game or watch from the couch.

He would prefer a downtown location (his favourite option is somewhere in the vicinity of Chedoke Golf Course and McMaster Innovation Park with highway access via Aberdeen Ave.) but his first goal is a profitable stadium and he doesn't see that they can run a profitable stadium in the West Harbour. He does think they can run a profitable stadium on the East Mountain, i.e. it won't need annual subsidies from the city. (This is why he regards the $3 million a year in stadium operating funds as a true infusion of money into the deal.)

He argued that an unsuccessful stadium on the West Harbour would be bad for both the Ticats and the city as a whole and would actually be an obstacle to community development.

Miami Arena

The Ticats are afraid of a situation like the Miami Arena that was built in a depressed part of town in 1988. The Miami Heat played there from 1988 to 1999 and the Florida Panthers played there from 1993 to 1998. After the two teams moved into newer venues, the Arena fell into disuse and was sold at public auction in 2004 to a property investor. He demolished it in 2008.

Young raised the issue of the Miami Arena as a "worst case" scenario in which an arena placed into an economically depressed area not only didn't revitalize the core but lasted only a decade before its two tenants fled to newer facilities.

Interestingly, in January 2000 the Miami Heat moved to a new stadium just a few blocks away from the old location - a new stadium on the waterfront with great views, close proximity to other urban amenities and about the same level of highway access.

I'm not sure what the Miami Arena debacle tells us about the viability of the West Harbour location, given that its failure seems mostly related to the fact that it was built on the cheap (it was widely regarded as obsolete from the day it opened) using only public money, and was situated in an American city slum.

I noted to Young that the North End around the Harbour already seems to be on a trajectory of reinvestment. I walk around there and see anecdotal evidence of this reinvestment like stamped concrete driveways and brick refinishing. Likewise, acquaintances of mine have profited handily from selling North End houses near the waterfront for considerable gain over the buying price. Young seemed interested in this.

Future Fund

I pointed out that the purpose of the Future Fund money is to promote community redevelopment and social inclusion, and an East Mountain stadium doesn't do this. He replied that if the city doesn't contribute the Future Fund money, there's no stadium. And with no stadium, there are no Ticats in Hamilton.

For Young, it makes no sense to invest public money to build a stadium that will not be successful as a stadium.

He also pointed out that the Province and Hostco support the East Mountain, in part because the government Pan Am money depends on a viable legacy use (i.e. the Ticats).

Demographics and Energy Situation

I noted the demographic trend toward urban intensification - both Boomers (with assets) and young people (with long-term earning potential) are moving back into cities - and Young noted that he's a case in point. I said the East Mountain may look like a good location now but the picture might not be the same ten years from now. We agreed to disagree over this.

He entirely agrees with the Peak Oil concept we sometimes bang on about here at RTH - he said it's only a matter of time until we're paying $5-6 a litre for gas - but seems confident that higher oil prices will incentivize both higher automobile efficiency and public support for more/better public transit (i.e. out to places like the East Harbour) that today is economically or politically unrealistic.

He pointed out in support of this view that the city owns an old rail line out to the East Mountain location that could come back into use in the future as an LRT line.

West Harbour

I asked him what the West Harbour would need to be viable for the Ticats. He said it would work if Burlington St continued across to link up with the 403.

I also asked him what the Ticats will do if Council still picks West Harbour. He pointed out that the Pan Am committee's mandate entails building Pan Am facilities that have a well-defined legacy use after the games, which in the stadium's case is a future home for the Ticats.

He indicated that without the Ticats' support for a chosen West Harbour location, the Pan Am stadium will be built elsewhere and the Ticats may well leave Hamilton.

He also wants to see the city proceed with the original Setting Sail plan for the West Harbour. He agrees strongly that the West Harbour is a valuable asset that "would benefit greatly from location-appropriate development."

Yet if the city spends its Future Fund money on the East Mountain, it's not clear where the money would come to remediate the brownfield site of the Rheem plant.

The Mayor's 'Surprise'

Young originally contacted me in part because of last Friday's interview with Mayor Eisenberger. Young argues in contrast that Mayor Eisenberger wasn't being accurate when he expressed "surprise" that the Ticats didn't agree with the West Harbour. Young claims the team raised their concerns eight months earlier but didn't go public because the negotiations with the city were still underway.

He also disagrees with the mayor's claim that cities no longer put stadiums on highways - he argues that every successful stadium has good highway access.

The Value of Goodwill?

Unfortunately, the one issue we didn't get to discuss in detail is the deep sense of betrayal many people seem to be feeling over this. I've been bombarded with calls and emails over the past few days of people who are outraged that the city seems to have switched at the last minute from the West Harbour to the East Mountain.

From downtown business owners to neighbourhood advocates to amateur urbanists to architects and designers - the people our economic summits keep insisting we need to attract to make Hamilton successful - city supporters are asking: how could this happen? What can we do to stop it?

In a subsequent email, Young pointed out by contrast that he has been "bombarded with emails, phone calls and letters from our audience who almost universally express 'relief' that a compromise site has been found."

Again, Young believes that while some people may oppose the East Mountain location and even boycott the team, many more will be "pleased that they can get to the stadium more easily than they can today at Ivor Wynne, or the even less accessible proposed West Harbour location."

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 08:06:51

Seems like a no-brainer to me, simply connect Burlington Street to the 403 and then everyone is happy:-)

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By EnviroSam (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 08:54:54

Connecting Burlington Street to the 403 would be disastrous. Some of the region's most environmentally sensitive areas are in the way....this would be the absolute worst thing to do!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 09:18:17

"He noted that the city has promised North End residents it won't increase street capacity in the neighbourhood."

I was not aware of this. It seems plainly obvious that, for the harbour west stadium to work, you'd need to widen roads or set up more one-way (or conditional lights-controlling-direction lanes) streets in and out of the area.

I agree that fundamentally the problem with the Harbour West is the same as the problem with Ivor Wynne - it's in a residential area.

Still, there has to be a better solution than putting the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Stoney Creek.

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By GBC (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 09:19:34

I learned some very basic principles of urban planning in highschool before pursuing a degree in an unrelated field. While studying in the "unrelated field" I dated an Urban Planner so I continued to learn through discussions with her.

Bob Young is from an older generation that is not using his head to understand exactly why it needs to go near Pier 4 for the benefit of all. Instead of resisting the idea he needs to get guarantees that in addition to the stadium, many other changes will be made to the surrounding area to bring people there every day like trails, shops, parks, etc.

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By Puleez (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 09:39:52

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 09:44:04

Spending $45 million on a stadium without the Cats as tenants is colossal misuse of public money. Spending $45 million on a stadium with the Cats as tenants and then handicapping their business with additional millions from taxpayers and entitled concessions is also a ridiculous proposition.
The club maintains that keeping them in the lower city will hobble attendance, but moving them to Stoney Creek will in all probability tear a gaping hole in the community goodwill that has kept the franchise afloat since the end of the team's golden era almost 40 years ago. It's decided then: We must kill the Ticats in order to save them.

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 09:57:11

"We must kill the Ticats in order to save them"

...I'm really afraid that's whats going to happen here. :( It's really going to kill the whole game day experience. I'd better start saving up for my "last ever game at Ivor Wynne" ticket, so I get that one last memory of it. Definitely would be the end of an era experience wise! And then, if I have any money left over I should buy a new suit and tie to wear to the new stadium, just like you would for a Leaf game at the ACC! ...right?

JM

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:04:39

His claim that he would have preferred a downtown location is not to be believed, frankly. Chedoke is NEC land, and the Innovation Park is the most valuable employment land in the city. The city opposed big box development on the site, but Bob thinks they would have allowed a stadium that gets 10 days of use a year? Saying he would have preferred Chedoke or IP is like saying he would have preferred the moon. It never would have happened, but it gives him some urban cred to say so. There was only ever one site on his radar: Confederation Park.

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By HighwaterNegative (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:10:30

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:37:30

Funny how a long series of disappointments will do that to you, eh?

Being negative doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong and cheerfully meandering down a wrong path doesn't bring you to your destination.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:47:31

Thank you Ryan for bringing Bob Young's perspective to this discussion, although I would have preferred to see a interview piece on par with the Eisenberger interview, and perhaps with a bit less of an editorial slant.

Bob Young has always been up front and frank whenever interviewed, so I don't think it fair for Highwater to accuse Bob Young of being dishonest about his preferred location. Why would he be?

A location along the 403 should not be immediately rejected off the cuff, particularly if it is being done so with the assumption that the stadium will be used only ten times a year. The city is not building a stadium for use ten days of the year. It needs to be built with the intention of much more frequent use, with amateur sporting events, a professional soccer team, and live concert events. This is the only way any stadium anywhere in Hamilton can be viable. Given these facts, a space in the Innovation district such as the land formerly considered for big box retail could be considered an appropriate site for a stadium.

The manner in which Highwater summarily rejects practically every suggested alternative to West Harbour makes me suspect she is either on the city's negotiating team or is an owner of property in the West Harbour location looking to make a few bucks on a quick flip. In order to resolve this impasse, eyes and minds need to be open to any and all potential solutions. Presenting an ultimatum of West Harbour or nothing, quite frankly, will just leave us with nothing.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:55:48

Thank you Ryan for bringing Bob Young's perspective to this discussion, although I would have preferred to see a interview piece on par with the Eisenberger interview, and perhaps with a bit less of an editorial slant.

Sometimes you have to go with what you've got. My meeting with Mayor Fred was a straight-up phone interview, which I transcribed frantically as he answered questions. My meeting with Bob Young was a face-to-face conversation over coffee, which did not lend itself to interview-style transcription.

Please note that I sent a draft of my summary to Young. He indicated some clarifications that I made sure to incorporate into the article. I may have an "editorial slant" as you put it, but I tried hard to express Young's arguments fairly and in context.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-07-13 09:56:49

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By Rough Rider (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:55:56

Would the worst thing in the world be losing the Ticats? Ottawa and Montreal have both lost their teams and regained franchises somewhere down the line. The Alouettes returing to Montreal was a hit, while the Renegades replacing the Rough Riders was less so. Both cities didn't get shunned by the rest of Canada because of the let their team go defunct and life continued in both communities.

Maybe we do have to let the Ticats sail away (killing them sounds so harsh) to Halifax or let them set up the franchise in Ottawa - while cooler heads prevail and Hamilton can truly think about this VERY big decision. The City of Hamilton retains all copyright to the name, colours and records of the formerly known Tabbies and another Canadian city can claim a CFL team that hasn't been good in a long time. Sorry Mr. Young - this isn't about your football team - it definitely is about Hamilton looking at itself and wanting something better than what we've had for the better part of 30 years. Renewal is so close - yet so far away. This city lacks a vision that the entire community can work towards and those who have been reaping the rewards of a fractured Hamilton - hope and pray council and the Ticats do make the wrong decision which sets us back another 30 years. "They" are the only ones making money from this place the way it is - why would they want to share?

So - let the CFL move the team to another city and we can all help Hamilton get on with rebuilding this community - with or without the Pan Am Games.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:58:18

The manner in which Highwater summarily rejects practically every suggested alternative to West Harbour makes me suspect she is either on the city's negotiating team or is an owner of property in the West Harbour location looking to make a few bucks on a quick flip.

Er, no. And I've never been unequivocal in my support for the West Harbour. However it is by far the lesser of the evils that we are currently presented with. Chedoke and the IP are complete non-starters. Forgive me for presuming that Bob Young is smart enough to know that.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:59:50

His claim that he would have preferred a downtown location is not to be believed, frankly. Chedoke is NEC land, and the Innovation Park is the most valuable employment land in the city. The city opposed big box development on the site, but Bob thinks they would have allowed a stadium that gets 10 days of use a year? Saying he would have preferred Chedoke or IP is like saying he would have preferred the moon. It never would have happened, but it gives him some urban cred to say so. There was only ever one site on his radar: Confederation Park.

I agree Confederation Park would also make a great location for a large-audience public facility such as a football stadium.

The reason Ivor Wynne gets as few event dates as it does is because of its age and location. A newer better sited stadium will attract a wide variety of events from sports to music to other cultural events resulting in a large number of days of use. This is a good thing if you are a city investing in a stadium. Not such a good thing if you live beside the stadium.

If you use google.com/maps satellite view you'll see a lot of underused property on the east side of the 403 between Main St and the Aberdeen exit, including the railyards there and Chedoke. It always seemed to me to be a much more credible place to build a stadium than trying to shoe-horn one into the residential neighbourhoods of the West Harbour.

As to the NEC restrictions, the fact is that Chedoke Golf course is currently public sports facility. The stadium would also be a public sports facility. Not to minimize the complexity of dealing with the Niagara Escarpement Commission, this should not be an impossible change in use application.

On the other hand this is all a moot point as, for a variety of reasons, the City have not offered this area as a possibility.

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By Maurader (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:59:51

Wouldn't it have been nice if Mac didn't build that new stadium for the sole use of the Mauraders and waited to share a multi-use space with the Ticats?

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:03:30

For the record: "caretaker" is me, Bob Young of the Ticats.

If there is any uncertainty I'll let Ryan vouch for me. ;-)

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By Anders (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:16:33

there's no use anymore for all these tangents - what about this or what about that site - it's now west harbour or east mountain. I was opposed to west harbour when I thought there was still a chance for confederation park, but now that it's between the east mountain and the harbour, I'm all in for the harbour.

As for the Govt Pan-am money depending on a legacy use, can anyone confirm this? If it happens that Bob Young pulls the team, I can't see why having a viable 15,000 seat West Harbour stadium for a variety of community uses wouldn't be a reasonable legacy. Anyway, I should think the Future Fund mandate should trump this clause, if it exists, since we're putting in the biggest single share.

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By ZD (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:21:05

Dear City Hall,

I love CFL football. I'm a huge fan of the Tabbies and have cheered for them for many years. But please consider what 'Rough Rider' just posted.

I'm tired of being in a major Canadian city that's mostly associated with steel mills and tiger-cats.

Spend the $45 million on developing the waterfront over the course of the next 5 years, in tandem with LRT.

And to you Mr. Young, I don't believe you fully comprehend the scale to which you're polarizing this city by proposing to move your team to a location that many people, living below the escarpment, will have trouble accessing. Driveway to driveway is interpreted as bus route, after bus route to us downtown dwellers.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:22:28

Ouch, one more false assumtion regularly made by some posters is that Bob Young does not read this site regularly, probably related to the other patently false assumption that he doesn't care much about Hamilton. Fortunately Bob Young is a level-headed gentleman who generally takes the high road.

Caretaker, meet Highwater. Highwater, meet Caretaker.

Dynamics should change with the realization that one is talking with someone rather than talking about someone...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:26:14

Hi Bob. I certainly didn't mean to imply that you knowingly lied about preferring downtown sites, but rather that your knowledge of the impossibility of turning these sites over to a stadium (with the vast amount of parking you're insisting on!), makes it difficult to believe that you consider these sites serious alternatives.

As to the NEC restrictions, the fact is that Chedoke Golf course is currently public sports facility. The stadium would also be a public sports facility. Not to minimize the complexity of dealing with the Niagara Escarpement Commission, this should not be an impossible change in use application.

You are a smart man. It is difficult to believe that your assertion that a 25,000 seat stadium surrounded by parking for 1,000's of vehicles would have the same impact on the escarpment as a golf course, is anything other than disingenuous. The 'complexity' of dealing with the NEC is not what should put this site out of bounds, but rather the environmental reprehensibility.

As for the IP site, if it were on the table, this land is Hamilton's best chance at attracting high-quality jobs to this city. Why would you want to take that away from us? The West Harbour site may not be ideal from a city-building perspective, but building on Chedoke or the IP would do far greater environmental and economic harm to this city. I guess that's why I prefer to believe that you are not being serious when you suggest these sites as alternatives.

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By Tom Bombadil (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:34:02

Regarding NEC restrictions and grandfathered exceptions to escarpment use, Chedoke Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course with minimal built structure and nominal parking. A 30,000-seat stadium and related parking facilities might alter the ratio of green space directly adjacent to a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Admittedly, I haven’t looked into the finer points, but my sense is that it would meet with resistance. The recent precedent is of course Burlington’s Sherwood Forest Park, which has existing use as a multi-sport facility (four baseball diamonds, five soccer pitches) and yet it was rejected by the NEC as a site for the city’s Pan Am soccer facility. A secondary site, City Park, was also rejected by the committee at first and only okayed after concessions on seating capacity. Working on existing use facilities, it took Burlington several months to find a home for a permanent structure that seats just 1,500 fans.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:38:11

Great interview, Ryan! I love that Bob approached you on this.

I have great respect for him and wouldn't mind some quality one on one time with the man myself. I admire what he has done to save the Tiger-Cats and little things like how he gets involved in the Tiger-Cats forums. Not many leaders will do that. Even though I can't get my head around the east mountain, I truly believe his heart and his genuine concern for the cities and teams well being is first and foremost in his heart. Just because he doesn't see eye-to-eye with council, I know he still believes in the people and I think weather we agree on the east mountain or not, I think we have to give him that.

One other thing I don't like to hear, is him talking about moving the team. In my eyes, he might as well sell it and let it fall, rather than move it and think it can be sustainable elsewhere. Perhaps under a new name it could be. ie Toronto Bad Boys. I know where he is getting at though.

I think the biggest question I would like to pose, is how many of us in this city, truly feel any of the proposed locations are right in your hearts. Looking at the broader picture and not just wanting a revitalized waterfront, or a stadium with high accessibility. Think beyond the city and Cats agreeing to disagree.

Who really believes the waterfront works for the Cats? Who really feels the east mountain site works for the city?

There is so much about this that I don't understand, but I know there is just something that doesn't feel right.

Take my video. It may be a far fetched pipe dream, but is there a way to make both sides happy with the CFL in one place and a separate venue on the waterfront to suit other needs? I know we are running out of time and these are discussions that should have been happening a long time ago, but there truly has to be a happy medium here?

This city doesn't have a lot of money. If we mess this up, we are stuck with it. We are lucky to have an arena like Copps and a stadium like Ivor Wynne whether you think the latter should go or not. Look at Windsor. It's a pretty big area. They have to go across to Detroit to see a professional sports game or a concert. We have the Bullodgs (I know they are a farm team but it's some darn good, fast, hard hitting hockey), and one of the last sports that is truly Canadian, the CFL.

Many other big cities would love to have what we have and if we don’t do this right, one of them will. We currently have the luxury of being a city that has something that doesn’t exist for at least an hour or so either way. Some go to Toronto for their sporting, concert, and entertainment needs, some go to Hamilton. Put an arena in between, and what does that take away from this city?

I know we can't please everyone, but we have to be able to find a place where it may not have been our first choice, but as a whole, we are happy and excited about that vision of our cities future.

Perhaps we need to let the Pan Am thing slide to make the right choice here. The Cats already said, as one poster pointed out on another story, a plan to stay viable for another 20 years. Let’s go back to that plan. Then, we talk to the Edmonton investors about a musical venue for our waterfront to move ahead with that revitalization vision.

I know the Cats seem to want to get out of the Balsam site, but the fans seem to love it. Still go for those two Grey Cups and as a city, we can make them work this time. Then, we continue to put together a plan for a future home for the Tiger-Cats over the next how many years, and wait for the next games to come around or the funds from somewhere else to build a new stadium, and be much better prepared for that process, and at a place where everyone is in mutual agreement as to where that stadium should go. A stadium built first and foremost, with a football, both professional and community, vision in mind. Not so many different visions.

I think the problem with all of this, is that the city wants one thing with their whole heart and have many citizens on their side. The Tiger-Cats have a strong desire as well with many on their side. It leaves this city in a great divide, because really when it comes down to it, this is really two separate projects. Am I wrong here?

I would like to see both sides realize their dream. However we feel about our council, I think the waterfront vision is a grand one. I think we all want to see it, but just don't like the way this is all playing out. Perhaps you are against the way Bob Young is seemingly strong-holding our council, but I too think his overall vision is right for his organizations needs. Perhaps not at a highway crossroads, but more accessible.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:40:42

Wouldn't it have been nice if Mac didn't build that new stadium for the sole use of the Mauraders and waited to share a multi-use space with the Ticats?

Yes Maurader. That would have been great. Used for Univeristy, Professional, and secondary school football.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:45:38

BTW, realitycheck, many people who frequent this site know my identity. I always bear that in mind and I stand by my words. Of course, who doesn't say things they regret once in a while? I don't give myself any special permission to say things on the internet that I wouldn't say in person, but God knows I've put my foot in it in person often enough.

Had I been mindful that Bob Young was reading my rantings, I would have used the word 'disingenuous' rather than 'not to be believed', but would have changed little else that I have written.

Hello, Bob. Kudos to you for engaging us on this crucial issue.

I am not a season ticket holder, but I have been a Ticat fan all my life (even during my 10 year stint in Argo territory), and have attended a number of games over the years. My dad and I made the Labour Day Classic a tradition when he was alive.

I will no longer attend games if you end up on the East Mountain. And no, this is not some empty gesture of protest, although I do feel the strong sense of betrayal that many Hamiltonians feel about this issue. Rather, I find the prospect of fighting traffic on the RHVP/Linc, parking in a sea of asphalt, sitting in a stadium in the middle of nowhere, and having no other options for dinner or a drink after the game except corporate chains in stucco boxes, to be a soul-sucking entertainment experience. Not my idea of a good time no matter how much I support the Ticats in my heart. Just one fan's perspective. Cheers.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-07-13 10:51:11

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By Another Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:46:26

People, no matter where you want the stadium, Bob Young is the real deal.

I have no doubt on his commitment to this city. His investment in downtown is much larger than the so-called "leaders" of the community.

I was a big supporter of the Harbour location, but as listed in another discussion here, we win both ways.

There is a new light shining on the west harbour in many parts of the city that was not there before.

I am convinced more than ever that this area will be cleaned up now. The question is what do we do there. More parkland, a small concert venue with boardwalk, private housing/condos?

The East Mountain location is minutes from where I live behind City Hall. I hear there is an old rail line that goes from the GO Station to this parcel of land. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could spur a North-South LTR (yes it's pie in the sky, but most great things start that way).

I, for one, am very excited of what's happened in the last 10 days

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:05:07

Would the worst thing in the world be losing the Ticats? Ottawa and Montreal have both lost their teams and regained franchises somewhere down the line.

I think that is the worst team for a team in any league, to lose a team and come back, leaving a gaping whole in the teams history. I am glad Montreal is doing so well with a rebuilt stadium now as well, and Ottawa looks to be on the road to return, but no. The Tiger-Cats need to stay.

Bob saved us from this fate once before, and hopefully we can all find a way to help him make this team a success going forward.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:11:02

Honestly, next to the agonizing press profile this slapstick adventure has produced, for me it’s probably the unflattering appearance of corporate subsidy that grates the most. More so because of the insistence that this is simply the way this particular industry operates.

The Ticats franchise, it seems to me as a spectator, is a dubious performer that has been run by otherwise successful, large-hearted businessmen with love of the city (Mr. DeGroote and Mr. Braley probably gave around $150 million combined to McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences from 1995-2010), but which has real difficulty competing in a free market environment.

I would stop short of suggesting that we’ve taken pro football and made it a wing of the civil service, but I wonder if we should not extend the same courtesy for other troubled businesses that operate 365 days a year. Or here’s a thought: McMaster initially seemed willing to entertain the notion of a downtown investment when Mr. Braley dangled a $10 million carrot. Maybe we could get a bona fide downtown university campus if we threw in a $45 million incentive.

Blue-sky, I know, but then that’s the flavour of the month.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:32:29

lawrence, to be clear, it's the city who has the 20 year plan to keep IWS viable not the Cats. I'm not sure where the Cats stand on the continued use of IWS however my guess is that the arguments would be the same as those against the West Harbour site.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:38:30

Regarding the issue at hand, I live close to Ivor Wynn - close enough to hear the announcer calling touchdowns and hear the crowd roar. Close enough to be affected by the increased traffic on game days. I attend a game a season or more if I can and I can promise I won't be going to an East Mountain stadium for the very same reasons highwater mentioned. At least with a downtown stadium I'm close to transit HUBs (not simply accessible by transit) making it possible to go in a variety of directions should I choose to. An east mountain stadium would kill that possibility.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:38:46

Considering how long the Innovation Park languished as a pile of debris (and iirc, it is still adjacent to a run-down warehouse) I'm actually surprised that the location wasn't seriously considered for the stadium - whoever is running the current construction obviously wasn't in any real hurry.

Actually, if we're going to spitball Monday-Morning quarterbacking about stadium locales, it would help to know the exact needs - if the Innovation Park is the necessary size, then would it be possible to buy Steelcare's Careport Centre across the street and use that land?

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-07-13 11:46:01

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:39:44

Mr. Young,

As you are a member of this site, I am sure you are aware of the often cited suburban stadium failures that are now being replaced with urban stadiums.

I am curious to know, what are you planning on doing differently to prevent a similar failure?

Furthermore, with numerous examples of successful urban waterfront stadiums, coupled with the consultants report (IBI's traffic study) what exactly are you so opposed to?

I am not trying to be argumentative, I simply don't understand your perspective.

P.S. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you are engaging the RTH community on this issue.

Comment edited by Ancopa on 2010-07-13 11:40:37

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By graham (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:50:21

"The reason Ivor Wynne gets as few event dates as it does is because of its age and location. A newer better sited stadium will attract a wide variety of events from sports to music to other cultural events resulting in a large number of days of use. This is a good thing if you are a city investing in a stadium. Not such a good thing if you live beside the stadium."

While I agree that living next to a stadium would be kinda annoying when it let out, I can't help but think that overall, the effect of a stadium downtown on the City would be better than putting the stadium elsewhere.

Personally, I like downtown locations (Chedoke or North end, admittedly very different sites)for a couple reasons.

  1. Walking to the stadium. Assuming that LRT or some other form of improved transit goes ahead, fans could park in more remote areas and take transit/walk to events. Burlington setup a shuttle service from the Sound of Music Festival to the Fairview GO Station. Quick, easy and certainly reduced the load on downtown parking.

  2. Effect on the local Neighbourhood. People walking to a stadium might stop for dinner or a drink before or after the game. King St in Toronto has a solid block of restaurants that cater mainly to the theatre crowd there. It seems to me that the North end of the City could use a few more businesses. And it also seems to me that there is vacant land, houses, or run down houses that could use a bit of a face lift.

  3. Something to be proud of. 'Cause the Money Mart & Bingo hall across from our City's main downtown park just isn't doing it for me.

Man, I really really hope it goes downtown.....

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:57:58

lawrence, to be clear, it's the city who has the 20 year plan to keep IWS viable not the Cats.

Thanks for clearing that up, Frank.

As for West Harbour, the thing that might not be attractive to some about IWS, is probably the one thing that is beautiful about the harbour. A stadium amongst the community.

And the argument that the current site is not accessible, why not? One poster on this site mentioned that he doesn't go to games because he doens't know where to park or lack of parking. Seriously? I may not drive now because I live close, but this couldn't be further from the truth.

Maybe the Tiger-Cats could (beyond a map on their site that indicates parking in the general vacinity of the stadium), extend the map to show other areas even streets, where people park during game day. By encouraging people to park on city streets, we are showing them the beautiful areas surrounding the stadium. A walk down streets like Leinster (heading north to the stadium from the other side of Scott Park), is one example of such streets.

Perhaps the Cats could get involved even with the private lot guys, chipping in some money for better signs for them and working with them to provide a map with prices and how best to get to these lots. Like churches or other business who allow parking on game day. Even houses for that matter? 'xx Balsam street offers parking on their lawns for $5. Fits three cars.

Maybe this is absurd, but saying there is no parking or poor accessibility is absurd. Perhaps if you are in the mindset of I just went online, bought a ticket and I am just looking for a big parking lot. There are a couple of those but if you are not early enough, you may end up driving around.

Plan ahead. Bring a parking map with you (include it in the season schedule even), so you know your alternatives with a clear veiw on how to find them and what kind of cost you are looking at?

At least in the interim if we are vacating IWS, this could help encourage more to come down and see that 'it's not all that bad'.

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By harriet (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 13:02:16

Unfortunately, Mr. Young does not have his facts straight. While I have read comments that HostCo has welcomed the two-stream process currently underway, nowhere can I find anything that suggests HostCo and the Province "support" the East Mountain location. Also, let us not forget that the Province and BidCo were the first to approve the West Harbour site, which, in fact, was one of the main reasons the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid was successful. It's a bit rich to listen to this multi-millionaire poke holes in everything the City has done (and everything brought forward by expert consultants) and yet refuse to provide any hard financial facts or so-called "research". I'm sorry, but fan polls and the opinion of one Big-box developer don't mean much if you cannot back up your claims with hard facts and third-party, objective analysis. The real reason we are where we are right now is because Premier McGuinty and our local government Cabinet Minister have not had the guts to publicly declare support in favor of the West Harbour site. If the Province, which by the way, is "leading" the Pan Am Games, declared months ago that it was investing in a West Harbour stadium site - period, we would not be in this situation today. The Province has left us high and dry, telling the City to figure it out, giving Scott Mitchell and Bob Young (who probably won't be here in a year or two ) a veto on the site. Why would the City, Province and Federal politicians even consider building a stadium for "today" without considering what our City might look like 50 years from now? That is sheer irresponsibility. Does anyone really believe that in 30, 40, or 50 years there will actually be many cars/trucks left on the roadways? Give me a break! It'll be high quality public transportation all the way. And my final point is this: if anyone really believes the TigerCats are actually considering dropping $74 million dollars in 10 years, I'm sorry to say that they are very gullable. We'll be lucky if Bob Young invests even $1 million when all is said and done. The City knows this, Bob Young knows this, and the Province knows this. Too bad the main stream media doesn't dig a little deeper to find out what's really going on. I will NEVER go to a Cats game on the East Mountain. This legacy investment with tax dollars should be for the good of the people, not for the good of a multi-millionaire who, by the way, doesn't know the first thing about Hamilton or good urban land uses. I digress....

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By Hamilton fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 13:36:53

Harriet, I'm sure Mr. Young will post here and discuss any facts that he doesn't "have straight" as you suggest.

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By tuftsdacat (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 13:40:42

Young really is a genuinely likable guy. I came away with a strong sense that Young has a sincere and straightforward "agenda" in the sense of wanting the Ticats to be commercially successful; and that he believes he negotiated with the city on a stadium location in good faith.

This statement seems bizarre - he owns the TiCats and like any business person of course they want their businesses to be successful but should it be at the expense of taxpayers?

Access to the stadium on the West side would be accessible via Bay Street (from the Mountain), QEW - Main St (from the West), QEW/York Street from Burlington/East, QEW/Burlington St from the East.

There is al ot of parking within a 10-15 miniute walk from the the proposed Stadium. (like, where is the parking at Ivor Wynn)

My last point is that the TiCats will use the stadium about 10 times per year - there is at least 180 days a year that the stadium can be used.

I think seeing an outdoor concert by the harbour would be nice. Traveller coming in via the GO train would see the stadium and the harbour,

Public transit is already in place for a West side stadium and little infrastructure would be needed.

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By tuftsdacat (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 13:47:41

Just a thought:

Does Driveway to driveway mean your driveway to someone else's driveway (ie. Going to a game at Ivor Wynn)

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 13:51:22

A point of clarification to my last parenthetical remark: A closer examination reveals that Mr. DeGroote and Mr. Braley have donated approximately $163 million combined to McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences from 2003-2010. Holy Mackinaw!

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By sodrunkrightnow (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:10:08

I like the comment about drinking and driving. All this stadium talk is based around football and we all know that football and drinking go hand in hand. this isn't a bad thing! But if everyone has to drive to the east mtn, they're either going to drink less or drink and drive. But if it's at the west harbour, people can walk up james north, go downtown and even hess village after the game and no one has to drive!

Seeing a concert near the water, near local businesses vs. middle of nowhere next to the highway and bland big box stores speaks for itself. Ask all the bars/resaturants downtown how busy they get before and after a concert at Copps...you think they wouldn't get the same numbers with a west harbour stadium down the street?

Toronto has ACC/Rogers Centre/Ontario Place/Amphitheatre/Exibition/BMO field ALL close by, ALL near the water and ALL are extremely accessible via public transit. Even when public transit is added to access the east mtn stadium, is the extra 20-30minutes it takes to get there from downtown worth it? There is nothing up there to enhance the spirit of going to a game/concert. Downtown, there is everything.

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By harriet (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:12:58

Dear "Hamilton Fan" or should I say, TigerCat employee?

Wouldn't that be grand if the 'Cats would pry open the books -- I won't be holding my breath though. Facts and fiction are very different, and the TiCats have been spinning this issue out of control for months. Bob Young played the Hail Mary play back in May when he issued his "my way or the highway" letter to City Council and the media (bad form, by the way, but if it works, it works, right?). He's on record in the local newspaper and on countless radio interviews as saying "We'll play wherever the City builds a stadium." That's a fact. Why in heaven's name did he wait so long to give the ultimatum to the City, after Council not once, not twice but three different times confirm west harbour as the stadium site? These guys have played everyone and their mother with their "playing out the clock" tactics. Too bad everybody blinked, but I guess it is an election year isn't it?

And on Mr. Young whining about the Mayor's reaction of surprise: I would bet dollars to dingbats that EVERYONE was shocked by his throw-down-the-gauntlet letter saying "we will not play at the West Harbour" -- including the business community. Again, give me a break!

I'd be surprised if Mr. Young has ever bothered to invest any of his precious money in any third-party studies or analysis. His claims about West Harbour are based on nothing concrete. The Spectator (and Ryan McGreal I believe) both featured news of an urban study that came out earlier this year (by the Urban Canadian Institute?) which featured all kinds of wonderful ideas about urban renewal in the downtown and along the waterfront. That study was funded by the government and apparently outlines west harbor as a great area for a stadium, so long as other development would happen there. And isn't it most ironic that one of the biggest Sport/Entertainment operators in the World (AEG is it?) clearly sees the value of a stadium in the West Harbour but Mr. Young and his top-notch corporate football executives don't seem to get it? I don't even think they really care about Hamilton or what's best for those of us who will be footing the entire stadium bill in the long run. That's the real shame at the end of the day.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:25:10

Harriet, I am a fan of the city of Hamilton, I live here, and a season ticket holder for our treasured TigerCats football club.

Remember Harriet, Bob Young is not a politician and does not operate this city like the Mayor or city council. He doesn't tell them what to do, he says this site makes sense to me or that site but in the end the Mayor and city council have the power to choose the site, not Mr. Young. All Mr. Young has done so far is pledge $15 mill to the stadium at a site he has determined works for the team as well as millions of other dollars in the entire project which includes bringing the prestigious Grey Cup to this city.

Is there a crime in all of this? Please enlighten me with your knowledge and thoughts.

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By TiCatFanHamiltonFirstFan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:33:08

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By harriet (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:43:19

No crime...Just my opinion. Mr. Young has told the city and the politicians "what to do". Instead of gratefully accepting a $150 million gift of a new stadium, he's decided that he's calling the shots and as a result, has put the entire Pan Am Games opportunity at risk. Remember, Mr Hamilton Fan, a pledge is not a pledge until it actually happens and I'll believe the $15 million (which is the maximum amount, by the way) when I see it.

I suspect Mr. Young (and many people like him) will not spend one dime of his own money if the public purse is there to foot the bill. Why would he? And for the record, this isn't so much about Mr. Young vs The City. This is about 'big money interests' getting the last laugh at the expense of the taxpayers and a city that desperately needs to begin its modernization effort. I believe Mr. McGreal said it best when he referred to it as "corporate welfare".

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 14:54:28

I disagree with your overall premise Harriet but that is fine, we all have different opinions on things. Again, please tell me how Mr. Young is telling the Mayor what to do and council when he doesn't actually have a vote on where the stadium is going? I'm having a difficult time with your logic here. The Mayor and council can decide to build a 15,000 seater at the WH if they want, that is their choice, Mr. Young has no veto in that decision at all. Again, am I missing something here Harriet?

I personally believe Mr. Young will contribute the money as he has said if the Mayor and council do decide upon the East Mountain site, a site that is what the facilitor Mr. Fenn has said will work along with the WH location for the Pan-Ams. Again, as I say, Mr. Young has no vote at all in the final voting for which site the city decides to choose. That is my understanding of the process at any rate.

You also make it sound like "big money interests" is a bad thing. Well, if it weren't for a very large and wealthy company, my father might not have been able to raise me and my brothers and sisters and provide a decent home and clothing and education because my father wasn't well educated and relied on "big money interests" to make a decent paycheque for our family. Thank goodness for "big money interests" to be quite honest.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:06:57

Speaking of waterfront development, how's that Randle Reef remediation looking? Oh right - we don't have the $35 million to spend on fixing a problem that would yield an estimated $1 billion in benefits for the city. Because we've devoted the dregs of our Future Fund to setting up profit incentives for one set of "big money interests", we're unable to properly mop up the toxic legacy of another set of "big money interests.”

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:13:03

"He replied that if the city doesn't contribute the Future Fund money, there's no stadium. And with no stadium, there are no Ticats in Hamilton."

The city and Bob Young should let taxpayers decide directly if they want a new stadium. Give back the Future Fund money to the people through tax rebates, set up an account at a local bank dedicated to funding the stadium and let people donate. If the people feel that it is a good idea, they will donate. If they don't, the money will be spent elsewhere in the community.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:16:40

And if people like High Water wont come to a game because you make a decision she dislikes, so be it.

Reading comprehension fail. This is what i said:

I will no longer attend games if you end up on the East Mountain. And no, this is not some empty gesture of protest, although I do feel the strong sense of betrayal that many Hamiltonians feel about this issue. Rather, I find the prospect of fighting traffic on the RHVP/Linc, parking in a sea of asphalt, sitting in a stadium in the middle of nowhere, and having no other options for dinner or a drink after the game except corporate chains in stucco boxes, to be a soul-sucking entertainment experience.

In other words it has nothing to do with my personal feelings about Mr. Young's actions, I'm simply making a consumer choice. If the product he's selling is an entertainment experience in a suburban wasteland, I'm not buying because I find those types of experiences depressing.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:18:46

I know what you're saying Tartan and I agree, personally I don't think this city can afford the Pan Am Stadium or the TigerCats. Perhaps it is best if the city bows out and if this means the TigerCats move to another community, so be it. There are other issues that perhaps the city should be spending the Future Fund on, I will not argue with that at all. As much as I love the TigerCats and I do, they are not as important as issues like Randle Reef etc.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:27:25

Give back the Future Fund money to the people through tax rebates, set up an account at a local bank dedicated to funding the stadium and let people donate. If the people feel that it is a good idea, they will donate.

No to giving back that money. There are many other Future things I am sure the citizens would agree on putting that money towards.

But yes to your second suggestion of a bank account for the stadium. Better yet, a Kick Starter type project. Country wide. Not just among the city.

How important are the Tiger-Cats to the CFL community? Would be an interesting testing bed that could lead to something very extroadinary.

The music and film industry are going this way as is evident on sites like Sellaband and KickStarter. Is it totally unrealistic that we could accomplish something like this on a scale as large as building a stadium? Big money investors have jumped into some Sellaband projects since I have been a supporter over there.

Makes you wonder. As A Smith stated, if the peole wanted it, they would fund it and as they do on Sellaband and Kickstarter, they would sell and promote the idea to their freinds becuase it is something they believe in.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 15:37:06

Really, how important are the TigerCats to Hamilton? As far as the fans go, even if the team moved to say Oakville, I will still go to as many games as possible because I love watching Canadian football and get a kick out of who will win the national football championship of Canada each year and the Grey Cup.

Honestly, I don't need the TigerCats to stay in Hamilton to continue to be a fan of the CFL and Grey Cup. If they aren't important, by all means save the Future Fund Fred for what you and council think are more important endeavours for the city, I have no problem with that at all as a taxpayer.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 16:59:23

Reading through these articles, comments -- as well as the activity on ticats.ca -- I think we all need to step back and recognize that this is really something special and cool.

Sure, other cities have had enriching debates about where to put stadiums and/or other public facilities -- but how many of those cities have active participation in the public discussion by the stakeholders?

I'm consistently blown away by Bob Young's involvement in these discussions -- it's extremely refreshing. Whether I agree with him or not -- which, it seems I waver mostly in the 'not' category -- it fills me with great optimism that the stewards of our city seem to legitimately care.

Not only does that foster my Hammer-town pride, it's certainly sold me more than a few Ticat tickets during the lean years.

I don't for a second think that Bob doesn't have the interests of revitalizing this city at heart. His manner in which to reach that goal may be different than some of ours. But the goal is the same. I believe Bob envisions a downtown very similar to what we all do.

I'll continue voicing my support for a downtown stadium -- because that's what I believe is best for the Cats and the city. But I sure respect the position Bob Young is taking as well. I don't see this as being a "Mayor vs. Bob" or "City vs. Cats" conflict at all. Let's not turn it into that. Everyone is driving toward the same goal. And from what I know of most civic initiatives on this continent, that's pretty rare.

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By ProgressiveHamilton (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 17:14:52

If you think that the West Harbour is the most progressive place to build the stadium please join the facebook group:
Support the WEST HARBOUR site for the Pan-Am Stadium in HAMILTON, ON

As the mayor mentioned in his recent interview with RTH, "The community needs to speak up."

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 17:21:30

I really think it's sad that Young felt the need to keep his displeasure with the West Harbour location something quiet until now. Not to assume the worst - while it may have been strategic, he may have simply been trying to keep the arguments private to keep a good public face on the process.

The fact is that there likely _are_ compromise locations that would come up if there was more time, but now it looks like time has run out.

Sad that it turned out that way.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 17:40:11

I don't look at it that wat Px. Bob Young wanted to respect the decision making political process and not go public with his concerns over the WH site but rather allow the Mayor and city to take the public-image view of leadership while expressing his views behind closed doors with them, which is what he did and Andrew Dreschel admitted this as well in The Spec. That is the classy thing to do and shows proper etiquette IMHO. Kudos to Mr. Young for not wanting to take the spotlight. Of course, the Mayor and city didn't quite "get it" so he had to finally go public at the last minute, and knowing Bob from being a season ticket holder of the Cats and his communication style, that was the last, very last thing he wanted to do.

What I do agree with Px is that it is sad that it turned out that way, although we are coming from this from different perspectives no doubt.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 20:25:16

Reading through these articles, comments -- as well as the activity on ticats.ca -- I think we all need to step back and recognize that this is really something special and cool.

Very well said, Slodrive!

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 20:33:28

I'll second that lawrence for slodrives post. Now I am one more or less leaning towards the EM location for the reason if Bob Young feels that investing some money in that site is good for the TiCats, I'm all for it, personally they could put the stadium in the middle of Lake Ontario and I'd still try and get to the games, that's how much I love attending TigerCats games. That being said, if the EM site is chosen, there has to be some lower city rejuvenation or building come out of it no question and it should come from profits from the EM site and "entertainment district" if it evolves to that, or from provincial or federal money. But not from local taxpayers money, the Future Fund is using up a lot of this money as others here suggest could be put to other use so there needs to be a return from this investment somehow for the cleaning up of the Rheem site and brownfield and helping to rejuvenate in some small way from a stadium anywhere in the city, rejuventate this area of the city to help with downtown and close to downtown redevelopment.

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By Larry (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 21:34:45

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 21:49:10

Mr. Young, As you are a member of this site, I am sure you are aware of the often cited suburban stadium failures that are now being replaced with urban stadiums. I am curious to know, what are you planning on doing differently to prevent a similar failure? Furthermore, with numerous examples of successful urban waterfront stadiums, coupled with the consultants report (IBI's traffic study) what exactly are you so opposed to? I am not trying to be argumentative, I simply don't understand your perspective. P.S. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you are engaging the RTH community on this issue.

This has been a busy thread, but here are some answers to a much earlier post:

Every waterfront is different. Some waterfronts work brilliantly for stadiums. But most of those (Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago, among others) had a lot of road and transit access to the waterfront long before any stadiums were built there. Hamilton's West Harbour waterfront has neither good road nor transit access. The part of Hamilton's waterfront that does have good road and transit access, ie Confederation Park, is not being considered for a variety of reasons you'll have to ask council to explain.

The IBI study by the admission of the IBI staff was badly flawed due to the poor initial mandate for the study. It was not asked to look at the stadium as fully configured, ie it was only asked to comment on the initial 15,000 seat stadium, not the fully built-out 25,000+ seat stadium. Much less a stadium that could be expanded 45,000 to host a Grey Cup event. And, oddly enough, IBI were not asked to talk to the future tenants of the building, resulting in their not understanding the needs of Tiger-Cat customers.

The other reason that the East Mountain, while far from perfect, works is because of its proximity to downtown. It is closer to Hamilton's downtown at King and James St (6km) than Yonge and Eglinton is to Toronto's downtown at King and Bay St. (7km). It is approximately the same distance Yankee Stadium is from mid-town Manhattan in New York City.

And while downtown stadiums can work with the appropriate access, parking, and other infrastructure to support them, they are not the only stadiums that work.

As I said to Ryan, it is pleasure to meet so many motivated Hamiltonians on this site and in these forums. We may disagree on specific projects but I respect and value your passion for improving our city.

Cheers, Bob.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 21:58:07

Bob, I thoroughly appreciate and respect your engagement.

As a former citizen of Toronto, I ask you to please come up with a better comparison than the subway ride between Yonge/Eglinton and Toronto downtown (the EXACT subway ride I used to take for my commute from home in Leaside to work downtown every day).

They're absolute apples and oranges, with proper transit to the stadium site decades away.

To get from downtown to the East Mountain will be a tough deal for those who want to attend the games and have a beer, but don't want to drink and drive.. and that's something I haven't heard you address yet.

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 22:07:08

As far as I'm concerned putting the stadium up on the "mountain" takes the Ticats out of the city.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 22:26:51

To get from downtown to the East Mountain will be a tough deal for those who want to attend the games and have a beer, but don't want to drink and drive.. and that's something I haven't heard you address yet.

It is the same challenge we all have when we are not at home and we chose to drink. Whether you take the bus, grab a taxi, or nominate a designated driver, it is essential that we don't allow anyone to get behind the wheel of a car they cannot properly control.

This challenge exists at Ivor Wynne today, and would exist at any other downtown location, because 80% of Tiger-Cat ticket buyers currently drive to Ivor Wynne.

This will be an ongoing project for the Ticats, the new stadium, and our society in general.

Cheers, Bob.

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By Jon Swift (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 22:55:27

Re: F&B Superfans

Seems like the city stands to make back its share in DUI fines from RIDE drift nets. Habitual offenders will be taken off the road and put in jail. Win-win, no?

Re: Downtown >> East Mountain transit

I believe you're looking at two buses that should only take about an hour in total, minus transfer wait. Except on weekends, when service to and from the mountain is ass.

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By red24 (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 22:58:08

I guess I'm a little surprised that more pointed questions weren't asked in this article, namely:

1) if the Tiger-Cats believe the City should not have been surprised by the 11th hour public declaration of the unsuitability of the WH site, how should they have interpreted the Spec quote from the Caretaker that 'we can work with any site' (or something to that effect);

2) What does $15M for construction costs in the stadium precinct actually mean? How much for the stadium itself? (and a number of other questions about the Caretaker's proposal for the EM site)

3) What is the Caretaker's proposal to get the stadium from 15,000 seats to 25,000+ seats? By all accounts this will cost $50M (over and above all of the public money going into, but he has put no more than $15M on the table - where will the rest come from?

4) The Tiger-Cats have released results of their fan surveys. There are some profound sampling issues with these data. Is this the only data that the Tiger-Cats are using to make decisions? Apart from the sampling issues, these data tell us nothing about the people who are not currently customers of the team, but who might be? Shouldn't some emphasis be placed on their preferences, say from a poll of residents of the GHA? I find it hard to believe there aren't other data they are working from.

5) In terms of data interpretation, the Facilitator's report appears to have accepted the significance of the claim that 74% of current fans said they would drive to a hypothetical stadium at the West Harbourfront. But this is a seriously flawed question, it does not provide real alternatives. A balanced question would have asked what mode of transportation fans would use if they had the full range of choices that will exist in 2015: driving, GO Transit, others. And by 2017, it should be driving, LRT, GO Transit, others.

6) In the Tiger-Cats' claim that they would lose $7M in the first year, one of the assumptions was an avg ticket price of $30 in 2014 dollars. This is about $22 in current dollars - is this what the current avg ticket price is?

7) What impact will the new CBA have on team revenues? How much impact will this have on the viability of a WH site?

red24

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By red24 (registered) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 23:12:12

One more question needs to be asked, this time of HOSTCO and the Province of Ontario.

It is reasonable that for its investment, the province insists that there be a 'legacy' plan for the stadium. But how exactly did the Tiger-Cats become the sole, or at the very least primary legacy for this stadium? What were the other legacies proposed, and what criteria were used to select this one as the priority legacy?

It seems scandalous to me that as much as $100M of public money would be committed to building a stadium for a 10-day per year tenant who at the time had yet to commit even $1 towards it. But in May, Ian Troop made the thinly-veiled threat that Hamilton could lose the stadium if the City did not come to terms with the Tiger-Cats on a site that met their needs. In so doing, the Province, with the help of the facilitator has railroaded both the Federal and Municipal contribution into a site that is nobody's first choice.

red24

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By Jon Swift (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 23:25:39

red24: "Ian Troop made the thinly-veiled threat that Hamilton could lose the stadium if the City did not come to terms with the Tiger-Cats on a site that met their needs."

1981 Ticat draft pick. Any Illuminati fans care to attempt an OT conversion?

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2010 at 23:33:27

red, those are all excellent questions no doubt. I'm a simple person, I love TigerCats football and have gladly bought a pair of seasons tickets for years and will continue to do so, my wife and myself absolutely enjoy our outings to TigerCats games. But I do think your questions all point to the viability of Hamilton spending any money towards a new stadium for the PanAm Games and to be used afterwards by the TigerCats or a professional soccer team or whatever. One can only assume that the Mayor and city council of Hamilton chose to land the stadium here in Hamilton, without full consultation with the TigerCats and their needs, based on what the city of Hamilton could see as a return in some ways on their investment in the stadium. As one councillor rightly pointed out, Hamilton should not have proceeded to be involved with attempting to land the PanAm games for Hamilton and be involved with the building of a stadium. I think your questions aptly point to this councillor's wishes.

Again, as I say, I'm a simple person who loves TigerCats football but to me the TigerCats are more the TigerCats rather than the Hamilton TigerCats. I feel that perhaps the team should be playing in a city that has more the means of dealing with a professional football team and their needs rather than Hamilton that has so many infrastructure needs and other pressing issues.

Of course everyone wants an owner who makes loads of money off their team and thus can build a stadium or arena like Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment did with the ACC. But even with the billions of dollars behind it, MLSE extracted most of the money for BMO Field for the soccer team from the city of Toronto and the federal government. And of course we know of Rogers Corp. purchasing the $500 or so mill Skydome for a paltry #25 mill. Again, perhaps it's best if Hamilton respectfully bows out of the PanAm Games getting in over their heads on this without doing the math first hand that would show it could work in this city.

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 00:03:18

Red24, I'm not sure Ian Troop's threat in May - reported by the Star, right? - came from the Provincial government. I'm not sure he has any say on whether govt funding could be taken away for the stadium. To my ear this sounded like an empty threat for Hamilton to get its act together, and fair enough. However, with the likes of Braley and Troop and Foxcroft working silently behind the scenes I'm not surprised we've all got it in our heads that this is a Ti-Cats, not a Pan-am stadium.

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By Dan Jelly (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 00:11:30

Mr. Young,

I also appreciate your participation in this forum and your investment in Hamilton thus far. While I am grateful for your contributions to the community I share the frustration felt by the other participants in this discussion. Many of us were very excited about what looked like a win-win-win scenario for the West Harbour, the Tiger Cats and the City as a whole, so it is very disappointing to be where we are today.

I believe the East Mountain site is a terrible location in terms of access from the rest of the city. While the RHVP and LINC serve local residents well in terms of day-to-day travel, neither of these two-lane roads was designed for the kind of traffic surge that will happen on game day. By relocating to the East Mountain you are asking your fans to expend unnecessary time and fuel while they plod through traffic jams. Once fans are on the parkway heading to the stadium there's no way out. They will be stuck behind the car in front of them.

In a downtown setting there are always options to avoid traffic, side streets, alternative arterial streets, or just simply parking and walking a few minutes on foot. A West Harbour stadium would immediately be well-served by the convergence of over 20 city bus routes, several inter-city buses, a future GO/VIA train station and possibly an LRT line, all within a comfortable walking distance or a short shuttle ride away. While bus routes will no doubt be extended into the East Mountain, citizens will instead be left with 2 or 3 options instead of 20+.

In terms of funding, who's going to pay for all that extra pavement in the parking lot? I find it troublesome that nobody has mentioned whether all this new parking will be free for fans or whether that's another added cost.

Also, Who's going to pay for the new highway access ramps? Who's going to pay to move the hydro corridor and sub-surface gas lines that exist at the proposed site? Who's going to pay for the extra environmental assessment of the new site that will be required before approval? Who's going to pay for the land itself? It's worth far too much to just be given away, even from province to city.

That $15million is shrinking very quickly and unless you have a last-minute surprise announcement coming I'm not sure I have any idea how you're going to pull this off. Private funding or no private funding I don't think the East Mountain location is worth a dime of our Future Fund and I sincerely hope our Councilors recognize that and opt for the West Harbour option.

Again, I appreciate your efforts thus far, and I know you need to consider the wellbeing of the team, but please trust the growing number of Hamiltonians who would love to see the stadium in the West Harbour. It will work if you give it a chance.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 00:25:38

caretaker: "The other reason that the East Mountain, while far from perfect, works is because of its proximity to downtown. It is closer to Hamilton's downtown at King and James St (6km) than Yonge and Eglinton is to Toronto's downtown at King and Bay St. (7km)."

Any way you slice it, the drive from the proposed Stoney Creek location is over 12 kilometers to King and James (13km if you take the RHVP and drive through the lower city). Unless you're going to install a helipad at both ends the 6km figure makes no sense.

I mean no disrespect, but if you're going to throw numbers around let's use the right ones.

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By BobInnes (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 01:04:14

Caretaker/ Bob Young

Thanks for staying around to answer questions.

My comment is that if you are looking to make the franchise successful, why on earth would you chose Hamilton, a city that has lost, what, half a dozen significant businesses this year alone, that has been unable/ unwilling to correct its tax competitiveness, and that is being asked to underwrite a huge financial committment to your intermittent enterprise as well as half a dozen other major undertakings at the same time as whole nations are melting down and taken to task for wanton profligacy, of which this stadium is a prime example? Debt, of which the feds, province and the city have aplenty is becoming a dangerous millstone in a deflating world. Not to mention peaking energy problems mentioned in the next blog. Please don't add to our considerable woes.

Why not Toronto which gets bailed out whenever it looks tearful?
Why not London or Ottawa which always look cheerful?
Why not Burlington, Waterloo or Markham, rolling in dough?
Why not join Hazel in competent Mississauga?
Windsor has plenty of space and Barrie is growing apace.
Sudbury will surely welcome a tough team to their tough landscape.

Mr Young, the Ticats may be beloved by all, but history is history and history is rapidly bypassing Hamilton and will not be dissuaded by the mere presence of a few ball players among the crowds of unemployed and homeless, who we suppose, must also be supported. If you insist on hanging around, please pay the bill, all of it, or ask A Smith for some assistance. This town cannot afford such entertainments until it decides to grow up and do what needs to be done to get the jobs back. Until then, the Cats (and the PanAm Games) are unfortunately just a confusing distraction that would be better off elsewhere.

On the bright side, I'm sure many loyal fans from Hamilton will continue to support the team, wherever it ends up.

Good luck in finding a new home.
Bob Innes

Comment edited by BobInnes on 2010-07-14 00:07:49

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 06:13:54

I completely agree Bob Innes that Hamilton is not even a London at this point in time, as sad it is to say this.

But believe me Bob Innes, our caretaker will find a new home for the TigerCats in one way, shape or form should the city of Hamilton say thanks but no thanks. Thanks for providing some good cheers, appreciated by us TigerCat fans. As I say, while Bob Young is from this area, as I'm sure you know and does not want to move our historic and beloved TigerCats, if he's forced to he will, assuredly, find a new home and model for this team. That you can count on.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 08:51:49

Anyone who believes a new stadium anywhere in the city will attract scores of concerts and 25,000 screaming fans needs to get a clue.

High ticket prices, irritating service charges and uncertain economic times seem to be keeping music fans at home.

The same applies to sporting events entertainment. You're gonna place AND price yourself out of the market Mr. Young, if you're not careful with this one! You did the same thing with your precious RedHat, which helped me kick the Windows habit and I'm eternally grateful for that, but I tossed this away along with my Fedora years ago.

I am disappointed that a brilliant OpenSource enthusiast is treating the people of Hamilton in such a proprietary way. This belligerent behavior is not likely to Win the hearts and minds of potential future fans someday. Please don't make the same mistakes again and that's all I have to say.

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By Skully (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 08:53:17

I've emailed pretty much all of city council, and every response seems to indicate they're going to vote in favour of the East Mountain (i.e. Bob Young's money). Unbelievable. No other sports franchise is building suburban stadiums in the middle of nowhere, except for Bob Young's Ticats.

Like I said to Scott Mitchell in an email: Bob Young can do what he wants, but I'm done as a Ti-cats fan, and will not attend a single football or soccer game at that location. Not an empty threat, but simply a fact. I'm going back to being an Argos fan, where at least you can partake in a bevvie or two and a bite to eat in a vibrant, urban environment and take the GO...

(ironically, I can see them actually drawing LESS fans at the new EM site, simply because it's going to be such a pain in the ass to get to, and a bleak, suburban eyesore)

Skully

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By Skully (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 08:55:09

And HamiltonFan, enough with the Bob Young arse licking...it's getting embarrasing!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:00:40

WRCU2

wait, backup, hold on....

you mean the Ticats guy is _that_ Bob Young? RHEL? Lulu Self-Publishing? How long have they been the same person??? I had no idea!

/happily used Red Hat until it went retail.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-07-14 08:02:49

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By TicatFanHamiltonFirst (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:01:33

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:09:22

you mean the Ticats guy is _that_ Bob Young?

Yes. For a neophyte Linux geek like me, it had the potential to be an intimidating meeting. However, Bob was unfailingly friendly, engaging and unassuming, and my strong sense was that he's sincere in his advocacy for what he believes is the best location for the Ticats.

As an aside: RTH runs on CentOS, which is a community-supported fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I think the vitality of the open source movement owes as much to early commercial adopters like Young, who proved that you can build a viable business model around free software, as it does around FOSS pioneers like Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-07-14 08:16:41

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:10:08

"People who invest private money count."

Yes that's true... no argument. But let's do a comparison. How much private versus public money is being spent here to construct the damn thing.....?

Seems like a VERY public project to me (and a lot of other taxpayers!)If Bob was willing to build the stadium on his own, this would not be the big deal it is now.

JM

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By z jones (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:21:27

People who invest private money count.

I've decided I want to buy a $450,000 house on the East Mountain. I'm putting up $60,000 and I demand that the city put up the rest. Also I want it right next to the highway and the city needs to put in a new interchange for me.

Hey, I'm investing private money so I should count!

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By Vernon (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:23:41

I agree with the above sentiment; but I can't help but think that if Young wasn't being treated so harshly more private money would come into the picture.

Is that a problem with the ciy? Is it really chasing businesses away? I think so. Even the Spectator has become a huge business chasing enterprise. Look at today's specualation that if we lose the Ticats its no big deal.

I am not a football fan, preferring soccer and baseball, but even I realize that the business of football is important to the city's psyche as well as pocketbook.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:27:55

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:40:01

Who is "degrading" Hamilton Mountain?

I've lived on the east mountain my whole life, and I've supported the West Harbour from the beginning. If anything, this is an opportunity for us to stop people from degrading Hamilton as a whole! Just think of what their minds will think with a view on the waterfront, as opposed to sitting in a parking lot waiting for an hour to get out and jump on the expressway... which will barely be moving anyways! The driveway to driveway "experience" will get you just that.... if you can manage to drive your car out!

JM

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By DBC (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 09:43:09

If this is really about parking, Bob needs to step back and get a grip on how the majority of mountain/suburban Hamiltonians feel about paid parking. Most believe they have a Constitutional right to park for free; anywhere, all the time.

As an example witness the recent It's Your Festival at Gage Park. Rather than pay to park at Gage Park many went and parked illegally in the surrounding neighbourhood and howled with outrage when they were ticketed. These same people believe that free parking would be some kind of panacea to Downtown renewal, when nothing could be further from the truth. Sprawl is what's killing this City's core.

If this stadium is built at the EM location you're dreaming in technicolour if you believe Hamiltonians are going to gladly pay for the convenience to park in your "driveway".

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:00:42

Mr. Young like others I appreciate your engaging in this discussion however I would like to pick a couple of points from your statement to discuss:

"The part of Hamilton's waterfront that does have good road and transit access, ie Confederation Park, is not being considered for a variety of reasons you'll have to ask council to explain."

I can explain that one for you... As a former resident of the far East end the main goal has been for several years to decrease the flow of traffic on #20 allowing for a more pedestrian friendly environment for the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who live around Eastgate Square. Couple that with the very real fact that, despite what you think, Confederation Park is incredibly poorly served by transit (it's at the far end of the system which creates longer wait times and longer ride times and it's only accessed by a couple of buses even during busy season) and the fact that there is NO (you read that right NO) sidewalk running continuously north from Barton under the CN underpass and on to Confederation Park and you get a stadium that is ONLY accessed by lousy transit or personal vehicle. This flies in the face of Hamilton's goal to lower the number of PV trips as well as proper/sustainable planning.

"The other reason that the East Mountain, while far from perfect, works is because of its proximity to downtown."

I believe another commenter has already addressed this issue. The shortest possible route from James Street downtown (up James to West 5th, across to U. James and then Linc) is not 6km as you state it is in fact nearly 13 km. As the other poster stated, if you're going to use numbers, use REAL numbers.

Regarding traffic and "the drive" in general I think attention must be drawn to the locations being driven through. An east end mountain stadium creates nearly all highway or arterial driving and while I understand that in terms of getting fans in and out quickly this type of trip is great, it actually detracts from the city experience which is what this stadium should be accentuating. Since this stadium will be largely funded by PUBLIC money, it needs to be built in an area that best serves the PUBLIC interest, not simply the Tiger Cats or even their fans. Public interest in this case is best served by utilizing a location that creates the best opportunities for future investment or investment in the current infrastructure and provides a catalyst for city renewal. Placing a stadium at a downtown location essentially forces people to either walk through downtown to their car (providing amazing opportunities to browse stores on revitalized James Street), take a bus to the transit hub (use transit) or be stuck in traffic in a personal vehicle. The first two are city building, the latter isn't.

By placing a stadium in the middle of nowhere with access only by road networks or at the far reaches of a transit system you create accessibility problems all around. You create the NECESSITY for PV trips to the stadium thereby thumbing your nose at the goal of reducing PV trips.

In terms of transit here's an exercise to go through: take a piece of paper and a pen and draw lines from edge to the other repeatedly and you will find that the area most congested by lines is the middle of the sheet of paper. This illustrates the fact that placing a stadium or any venue requiring access by a large number of people near a transit HUB is essential for making that location feasible to be accessed by transit. The closest transit hub to a West Harbor stadium is at MacNab street, the location currently being updated with two bus platforms and a new transit centre. This location happens to be a 1.6km walk (using roadways) from the Bay Area (I used Bayfront Park)! The closest hub to an East Mountain stadium is Limeridge Mall if I'm not mistaken and that would be suicidal to walk to (not to mention a long distance away). What this does is create the need to either have a bus run to and from the stadium during special events or place an underused transit hub at the location - both of which are poor uses of money.

Bottom line is this, saying that an East Mountain stadium is a good location for transit access is a fallacy at best and smoke and mirrors at worst!

I read above that in order for a Harbourfront stadium to be viable you wanted access from Burlington Street to the 403, my question would be: "what percentage of Tiger Cat fans come from Brantford or the London area?" as this would be the only people requiring the use of the 403! Anyone else who commutes from the regional area is far better served by a direct link to the QEW via Burlington Street which is a high capacity road, far higher than something like Upper James or Stonechurch because there is little access to businesses/residences that regular vehicular traffic utilize created less traffic stoppage. So again I ask, why is access to the 403 so important?

You state that people were frustrated this past Canada Day upon leaving the area and finding themselves stuck in traffic. My simple reply to that would be this: there's ample(if not excessive) parking downtown and a dedicated bus service accessing the waterfront, so why didn't you park yourself downtown and take the bus? The last time I attended Canada Day celebrations at Bayfront Park, I parked close by knowing full well that I would be stuck in traffic when I left. I therefore chose to spend time perusing the waterfront with my friends instead of jumping in my car and leaving. The goal of a downtown stadium is to create increased awareness and investment in a city core that has been for so long left to languish. A harbourfront stadium, while not the silver bullet, demonstrates a commitment to the core and city revitalization along with proper planning practices.

As an aside, I just read some early articles on the awarding of the games to the area and found it ironic that the mayor of Bogota was critical of the GTA's spread out plan for the games...I wonder what he thinks now?!

Comment edited by frank on 2010-07-14 09:10:09

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:01:36

Well, there's one thing that's reassuring: Bob Young will have enough experience with vitriolic online commentary that he probably won't take some of the nastier comments rolling around here personally.

As acrimonious as the EM loc vs. WH loc debate is, it has nothing on, say, ALSA vs. PulseAudio (or vi vs. emacs, or gnome vs. kde, or rpm vs. deb, or whatever).

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:07:59

Look, personally speaking, as a season ticket holder for the TigerCats and someone who enjoys going to the west harbourfront for walks on the trail out to Princess Point and over to the Discover Centre, my preference for the stadium is at the WH site. My wife and me love going there already so if the stadium is there, it will be great to go beforehand and have a picnic there or take in a restaurant downtown perhaps. Getting to the WH from where we live near Upper Gage and Fennell is a piece of cake, another plus. I think the WH is a gem and yes, even more of a gem if the nearby Rheem site and brownfield got cleaned up. But I'm a TigerCat fan and want to see the TigerCats successful, preferably in Hamilton BTW since I live here, and I have to have some trust in what the TigerCats are saying. Setting Sail as Herman Turkstra mentions is about housing which should be built in the Barton-Tiffany brownfields and that makes sense to me. No need for a stadium there as much as it is my first choice, for selfish reasons since as I say we love going there now already. I don't need a stadium to make the view nice, it's already nice. It's a place for families and light retail and housing.

As I've said, council needs to do what they feel is the right thing to do.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:17:19

Hamilton Fan, all great points! But I don't see why the Tiger Cats should thrive over the backs of the taxpayers in the City!

Personally I'd like to see IWS fixed up and used. Imagine what a 74 million dollar retrofit would make that place like? But we've chosen to build a new stadium using PUBLIC money and in that regard the ONLY feasible location to build is at the Harbourfront.

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By Hamilton Fa (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:30:22

frank, I'm in complete agreement with you about IWS, wife and me love going there now and find the parking is easy, we park at Centre Mall or Gage Park and walk to the stadium and we love IWS even if it is a bit old. And I'm with you on the WH site and using public money with that site making the most sense. The EM doesn't need help, it will get built on it's own, stadium or now stadium. (Man I'm torn on this whole thing)

But let me mention something. My family in London, Ont, I grew up there, laughs at Hamilton as a dirty smelly steel town not worth anything. I tell them about our trails and waterfront and waterfalls and they are starting to get what a gem Hamilton is once you get past the steel mills people see from the QEW. But they are a sports family and are so proud of the John Labatt Centre and gush about it (it is nice BTW) and the place is packed with 9000 for every Knights game. Well, I'd love to shove something like a nice new stadium down their throats and say look at us, we have a great stadium. Because they laugh at IWS being old and that even though again, they understand the sightlines are good but think the stadium is in an area "beneath them" to come to London for a game. (some Londoners can be haugty, my family is a bit like that).

So I'm afraid to admit this but I don't want to peeve off Bob Young too much, I love CFL football and I'm afraid he might pull the team out. So yes, I am sucking up to him somewhat I agree. If he pulls the TiCats out of Hamilton, I won't like that.

As I say, I'm very torn on this whole thing, it's driving me crazy.

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By Hamilton Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:32:12

Oops, mean't for them to come to Hamilton for a game, not London, my bad.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:35:56

@Hamilton Fan - if you register an account instead of using (anonymous), you get an "edit" button.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:45:04

Well, I'd love to shove something like a nice new stadium down their throats and say look at us, we have a great stadium. - Hamilton Fa

Stadium envy, what a great reason to spend $60+ million dollars in public money... sigh.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:55:38

I know Kiely but I'm a sports guy and so is my family. A bit competetive also. And I'm proud of Hamilton, has London beat on so many levels. I want a real good stadium for the TigerCats, I'll admit this and there is envy competetiveness there no question. I want Hamilton to be a proud host of the Grey Cup, I love the Grey Cup and would like to showcase Hamilton to the rest of Canada on Grey Cup day.

Is it worth it to spend so much public money on a stadium? That I don't know to be quite honest.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:52:34

Is it worth it to spend so much public money on a stadium? That I don't know to be quite honest. - Hamilton Fan

I didn't mean to pick on you or anything Hamilton Fan. I'm just trying to point out how this "debate" is starting to run on a wide variety of emotions more than anything else and when millions of dollars are at stake that is not how decisions should be made.

I agree with your question above though, that really is something people should be asking themselves.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-07-14 12:04:09

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 13:30:19

Here is what I really don't get about this whole situation. The 74$ million offered by Mr Young for the mountain location includes $14 million to bring two Grey Cups to Hamilton in the next 10 years. Okay, I mean why woulden't we do the same thing if we had the WH Location? You don't think the CFL would love to show off a shiney new Arena to the rest of the league a few times? If we build at WH and the TiCats still stay and the CFL awards the finals to us is Bob Young going to decline because the arena is not at the location he wished?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 13:47:14

Scratch that "$74 million" and a lot of it's smoke and mirrors.

  • $15 million to "stadium and precinct" whatever that means
  • $30 million for 10 years of operating costs
  • $10 million "transition costs" i.e. running the business until the new stadium opens
  • $14 million for two Grey Cup bids that he could do anyway
  • $5 million for a pro soccer team (that will play in the stadium?)

Far as I can see only the first 2 are legitimate and the second one is spread over ten years.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 15:39:33

The strange thing is, his message is basically. "If you don't put the facility on the Mountain, I am giving up". Sure, We get it, you prefer the mountain. But why not think along these lines "The mountain location gives my team the best chance to be profitable. However, I will accept the secondard location (to me) at the waterfront. I will give it my best effort and a few years, but as with any business, If I can't stay profitable, then I have no choice but to Sell or Move, or Both".



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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 17:14:34

Although I don't live in Hamilton anymore I want the city to do well. Clearly the Ticats are a big part of the Hammer's identity and would be very sad to see them leave.

Bob Young appears to be looking at this situation more as a business man than a Hamiltonian. The transit arguments as they have been presented just don't add up - I wonder what else might be afoot here? As for the statement that the East Mountain is only 6k from the core - what is the purpose of that point? By any measurement , Hamilton Mountain is nowehere near the core. Furthermore, Hamilton Mountain is not Hamilton. It's what Scarborough or Mississuaga is to Toronto. Does this matter? Of course is does! Location is everything.

In Manchester, England there are 2 main football stadiums: The City of Manchester Stadium, which hosts Manchester City, and Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Mancunians deride Old Trafford and Manchester United as being 'not part of Manchester', because their stadium is in a far flung suburb. The City of Manchester stadium is located - like many UK stadiums - in the heart of a residential neighbourhood near the core of the city. These locations work and they matter.

If you put the Ticat stadium on the Mountain you may as well put it in Oakville - I'll say it again - the Mountain is not Hamilton.

Transit issues can be addressed. As many posters have pointed out, there are more ways to get to a destination than by car. If the stadium goes on the Mountain the car will be the only viable way to get there.

As for the added benefits of locating the stadium downtown, these too have been cited in this discussion. Locating a stadium in walking proximity to neighbourhood shops and restaurants revives the neighbourhood and improves the game day experience. Who wouldn't want that?

If this Mountain stadium goes ahead it will put the Ticats in the same realm as teams like LA Galaxy with their suburban car park Home Depot Stadium and the God Forsaken Colombus Crew's airport strip locale. For those games you drive to the game, drink beer in a parking lot, watch the game and drive home. Woop De Doo. Where did we watch the game today? We can't remember, and it doesn't matter.

Here's hoping something comes along to sway this decision the right way.

Cheers

Ben

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 18:16:14

What people need to remember is that Mr. Young has not said unilaterally that if the stadium is going to WH he will automatically move the team, not at all. He has just indicated that that could be a scenario, depending. Obviously if the WH is chosen and the EM rejected, he will be looking at the future of the TigerCats from all angles, that is all.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-14 17:16:45

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 18:42:25

"I can't believe the whiners on this site like Jelly who has his head out of a stupor long enough to create the illusion of caring." - TicatFanHamiltonFirst

Unless of course you're directing this at my brother Dan, I don't understand why this attack is being made- I haven't commented on this article. I get the sense from your comments that you might be responding to something I might have said on facebook? Why not just level this attack at me where the original offending comments were made? Oh, maybe because you'd have to attach your name to your comments that way. It's much easier to hop onto another site and attack me anonymously- I get it. But come on, have some guts.

I care quite a bit, stupor or not. I care that $100 Million of our taxdollars are being spent on a Stadium in the first place- not a proven method for economic development. Between the two sites, the East Mountain is a far less beneficial investment- the team intends to have a business model where they suck up all the ancillary benefits- there aren't existing businesses at the Red Hill site which would benefit greatly as a result of the Stadium. So why would we subsidize the team this way? It's a direct bailout if you ask me.

The legacy would be much greater if the City would just take both sites currently under consideration and developed them, selling the land to a business that doesn't require massive government subsidies to make their business function. Remediate the land at the West Harbour, do sensible residential development and a bit of light commercial. Buy the property from the province at Red Hill and the Link, and sell it to the long line up of developers who are so eager to develop now that the road is built. Wait, what? There's no lineup? Fuck. I guess that's why we have to throw another $100 Million of public dollars at Red Hill- to make it look like it worked.

I know I say things that others find offensive sometimes, and I welcome disagreement and even vigorous argument. But come on, at least believe in your words enough to attach your name to them. Don't be shy. Don't be ashamed. Talk to me, baby.

Comment edited by MattJelly on 2010-07-14 17:43:14

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 22:19:31

Here's a term I'm surprised no one has brought up yet considering the whole topic of transit and car access..... who says the entire trip needs to be in one mode of transport! Just like how many people catch the GO or subway in TO to catch a leaf or jays game........ You won't get stuck in the parking lot, and then you can still drive home.

"Park 'n' Ride"

Simple....

JM

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 14, 2010 at 23:44:22

I'm still waiting to find out why, if IWS was so visibly decaying from the end of the last century onward, that nobody – not the city that owned the facility, and not the Ticats, the principal tenant of the facility – thought to initiate strategy sessions on how to move forward with a plan that would suit all involved. Factor out the taxpayers, if it helps. The question remains, why have the city and the cats had their heads in colonoscopy mode for the last 10 or more years? Why, after a replacement stadium became identified as an pressing issue by Cats prez Scott Mitchell two years ago, has the sense of urgency been dictated by Hostco alone? I am starting to think that we should bow out of the games and solve the IWS crisis without benefit of the additional tens of millions from upper levels of government, and let the private interests that believe in the viability of this team ante up. It's not impossible. It's just a challenge that would demand teamwork. This whole farce has been more like a crooked card game.

In a city that is addicted to government handouts, it would be a far more inspiring legacy if all involved made this stadium a monument to the power of the private sector rather than testament to sentiment clouding reason. Does nobody in the city recall the caretaker's tale of woeful fiscal judgement when he bought the team? Throw an exponent on that gaffe and you're looking at Hamilton 2015. We can opt to shore up the business model of this club with all manner of concessions, stipends and gratuities (just please don't call it a subsidy, as it offends the finer sensibilities of the semantic tacticians), but it will cost us dearly. And unlike the tabbies, the city has no sugar daddies.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 08:58:25

NB: When I say "crooked card game," I'm referring to the optics of the two main parties seeming to be working at strategic odds rather than pulling with unified purpose. I don't think this would have happened to anywhere near the same extent if the Pan Am timeline wasn't dictating forward motion. I know that losing the $57 million from the province is not something that wither side likes to think about, but this is a community that allegedly sees the Cats as integral to its identity, a community of willful and tenacious individuals. A multi-stakeholder, private-public partnership to build a new facility has the potential to rally the community and create a deeper and more palpable sense of ownership than is currently the case. When Toronto was awarded the Pan Ams, more than a few interested locals probably felt like we had won the lottery. That's possibly a great stroke of fortune, but it has the unfortunate side effect of looking like free money. And that's absolutely not the case.

If the community at large, Hamiltonians from every corner of the city and expats from around the globe, had raised $102 million toward a new stadium, you had better believe that the tone of the relationship between the Cats and the city would be vastly different: more mature, more professional, more respectful and more transparent. And yet that's essentially what we're looking at. Taxpayers are funding the majority of this project, have in fact staked the remainder of their Future Fund on it. The ideal scenario presented by the principal tenants involves fuzzy financial support and a revised facility proposal that could very well double the cost to Hamilton taxpayers. Private partners have gone to ground; everyone wants a piece of the pie, but apparently nobody wants to bake, let alone pay for the groceries. What's worse, I'm starting to get the the sinking feeling that this is as proud as we'll feel about this build.

And what's left? Bread, circuses and a would-be lion tamer jumping through hoops of flame.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 15, 2010 at 09:19:44

The more I think about it, the more it seems like the money should be re-invested in Ivor Wynne. While IW isn't in the best location (no street visibility) it is on one of our notorious downtown highways so it allows for the kind of traffic access Young craves. With the mountain of money people are talking about, you could do a lot of improvements and add a lot of parking and redevelopment to the immediate area.

The fact is that a smallish event like the Pan-Am games absolutely does not merit a new stadium.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 15, 2010 at 10:30:53

The more I think about it, the more it seems like the money should be re-invested in Ivor Wynne.

Couldn't agree more, Pxtl. I couldn't agree more.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 10:32:44

You either get to the proposed WH stadium via the 403/york blvd entrance (one of the most beautiful entrances to a city in North America btw, and a great way to shift the city's perception of grit to glory in one swoop) or take Burlington Street that ends on James North, just a few blocks away from the stadium. The Go transit will lead you to it as will the light rail along James. Young is full of crap! If the ticat's owned all the parking lots surrounding the proposed WH stadium, they would be tickled pink about that location. This all boils down to money - or should I say - MORE money! Bob Young and Scott Mitchell don't live in Hamilton and couldn't care less about the future of the city. I'd rather lose the ti-cats and develop the WH with our 60M then give it to those greedy corporate b's. Buy the time they get around to building light rail or any other mode of transit to the east Mountain location, Bob will be long gone.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 15, 2010 at 11:04:04

Scratch that "$74 million" and a lot of it's smoke and mirrors

I have to say, I am tired of all these numbers. Millions here and millions there. Blah. Why? Why is it *$74 Million to rebuild Ivor Wynne to be sustainable and safe for the long term? Really?? $74 Million.

Now I am not a complete idiot I understand everything costs in the Millions and Billions these days but do they need to?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 15:21:40

Steve, I'm with ya there buddy, does Hamilton really need the TigerCats anyways? Save the money and spend it on Hamilton redevelopment the right way.

Bob, see you at York in the future for a game or two, eh? ;)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 16:11:41

I have to say, I am tired of all these numbers. Millions here and millions there. Blah. Why? Why is it *$74 Million to rebuild Ivor Wynne to be sustainable and safe for the long term? Really?? $74 Million. - lawrence

I assume that must include "upgrades", not just a renovation of the existing stadium???

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By JM (registered) | Posted July 15, 2010 at 16:28:21

It cost $72 million to "rebuild" City Hall.... shit, we should have just combined the two projects to save on the costs! LOL ...at least it would be used more than 10 x per year.

JM

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By TnT (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 09:33:13

Is parking the biggest issue? Then why not just build parking towers like on York across from the library...or wait a minute, why not just use that tower?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:15:48

@TnT

I'm fond of that solution myself, but in another thread somebody quoted numbers saying that a parking structure that would fill the stadium's needs would cost upwards of $100 million. Apparently those things are ludicrously expensive, and the City Centre parking lot was only built because that was when Eatons was spending itself into oblivion. No idea how true that is - they seem common enough in '90s mall construction, and they sure don't look like $100 million buildings.

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By Lettie (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 10:32:48

That stadium will be a white elephant up there on the east mountain. Wait till they start charging $10 or $20 there for event parking.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 01:09:49

Pxtl: "I'm fond of that solution myself, but in another thread somebody quoted numbers saying that a parking structure that would fill the stadium's needs would cost upwards of $100 million.... No idea how true that is - they seem common enough in '90s mall construction, and they sure don't look like $100 million buildings."

The 500-space Charles Benton Parking Garage in Kitchener cost $16 million.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=152823

St. Catharines is getting a 600-vehicle garage for $26.7 million.

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2664865

I'm sure that there are efficiencies of scale, but it's expensive. One of the hidden costs of the “driveway-to-driveway” experience.

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By Otto Stax (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 07:25:54

Surface parking, as downtown dwellers might guess, is relatively cheap, running $1,000-$3,000 for surface lots. Structured parking on the other hand is not. In a marginal use area, it's only efficient in terms of density considerations; it definitely doesn’t seem cost-effective for a thrifty CFL franchise.

Kitchener and St. Catharines are more expensive options ($32,000-$44,500 a space) because of scale and finish; they’re in high-visibility downtown areas so people had to make them look nicer. EM would be able to cut corners. So let’s say $20K per spot by 2,000 spots = $40 million. Assuming you see capacity use for the Tiger-Cats’ 10 games a year and charge $20 a spot (you’d maybe give it a priority exit that would shortcut the surface lot gridlock), it would pay for itself in 100 years… as long as you overlook land cost, maintenance and staffing. You could obviously slap billboards all over the thing to help subsidize costs, but even then revenue stream is relative to venue usage (which is why you generally see these structures in 365-day environments).

A Pan Am Stadium parking garage has the potential to be the invisible white elephant in the room.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 16:15:40

I've read all of these articles and all the comments and have come to this sad Hamilton conclusion - this is all about parking.
To say that a 2-lane Linc is going to be a breeze for people to arrive to a stadium is pure garbage and everyone knows it. Will Stonechurch, Rymal, Highland, Mud and other area streets be converted to 4-5 lane streets like all of the main roads at the doorstep of West Harbour? If Hamilton was flat, the Ticats would be a laughing-stock for even trying to suggest that Queen/Barton is nowhere near the 403. Look at a Google Map people. Or go drive it. It's mere minutes from the 403.

The Cats have been a joke of a team for over a decade and still saw over 25,000 people at last week's game. Did they all arrive by helicopter? IWS is way more inaccessible by highways than the west harbour. West harbour is minutes from the 403 which links to the Linc, QEW, Highway 6 etc....

as is usually the case in little old, hick Hamilton, this is about parking money. nothing more. we might be one of the only cities left anywhere that does the wrong thing over and over just so a few people can charge $15 for cars to park. get real.

Other cities might have hope that council will do the right thing, but look around our city..... They won't.

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By West (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 22:14:12

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have a very successful stadium in an almost-downtown location. It is perhaps an exception to your contention that 'every successful stadium has good highway access.'
We GET that the Ti-Cats need their ticket-buyers to have access. Many of us simply believe that there are other ways. We also feel strongly that where public dollars are involved, the public needs to be involved.
I love football. I am sad for Hamilton. When the cameras pan the surrounding city from the east end, what will they see? Big Box Stores,highways ++ rather than the harbour & waterfront of Hamilton. This just feels like more of the same, going with the flow rather than the courageous & progressive choice.
And comparing the Hamilton waterfront to Miami's slums - Bob do you live in Hamilton? If you do, perhaps you've defected to Dundas and Ancaster, where all the wealthy folk go who've given up on revitalizing the city, really being part of it. Luckily this hasn't happened in places like Toronto, Montreal, Portland, Cleveland among other cities. More of the same for Hamilton.
The bad news about the access to the new stadium site is that the best laid plans for the Red Hill Expressway have gone awry and your access may not be as good as it originally seemed - at least not in a rain storm. AND the 403 on a Friday afternoon... hmm. Maybe taking the train from the regions surrounding would be a great idea, or the go-bus BUT they don't go to the east end. :(
This is a difficult decision. I hope for the best for the Ti-Cats, but I think this is, albeit unsurprising and completely understandable,a cop-out. By the way, Bob, you should check out what is already underway on the lands you have described around MIP. I seriously doubt a stadium fits into the vision of an 'innovation park.'
I agree with my fellow Rough Rider above - this decision should be about what is best for Hamilton, not what is best for the Ti-Cats, love em though we do.

Cheers
Elaine

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 19, 2010 at 09:20:51

Just did some noodling around on Google Maps and it confirms my theory that this is 100% about parking money (pretty sad to hijack a public project over some parking money).

Queen and Barton is 1,200 metres from the 403. Within 800 metres of the site are the following major road lane capacities:

Barton - 4 lanes Queen - 3 York - 6 Bay - 3 Locke - 2 Dundurn - 3 Cannon/Wilson - 10 King - 5 Main - 5 James - 2

That's 43 lanes of major street capacity (nevermind the great transit/walking/cycling connections)

The East Mountain site has the following access:

The Linc - 400 or 600 metres (I'm not sure which side of Stonechurch this ORC land sits)

Major street lane capacities within 800 metres: Stonechurch - 2 Pritchard - 2 Upp. Mount Albion - 2 Highland Rd (not sure this is a main road, but let's add it anyways) - 2 Winterberry - 4 Mud St - 4

That's 16 lanes of major road capacity with almost NO walking/cycling opportunities and with horrendous transit access.

As we all know, this is about money. And in this case, parking money. To choose a site with such horrible access compared with the West Harbour, and to make matters worse, it's way further removed from the city population which will compound the lack of access.

The city needs to do the right thing and save us from embarrassing ourselves.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 19, 2010 at 09:59:09

Just you wait. In an interview on TSN, Bob Young said there would be an announcement about EM this week. Watch him announce an infusion of cash from a private investor, and even though I'm sure it won't begin to cover the full costs of this stadium, our childish councillors will fall all over themselves over a little token private money and sell our future down the river. It's over. We're screwed.

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted July 20, 2010 at 07:48:47

Yeah, maybe one of the Ticats big corporate sponsors, like DeLuca Roofing, will announce a ONE MILLION DOLLAR contribution (spread over 50 years) toward the EM stadium. And once again, there will be a stampede of lemming councillors praising the EM and Bob Young's financial largesse...

Yeah, we are so screwed.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 20, 2010 at 09:04:08

we already know we're screwed. The Cats say they love the BMO Field arrangement. First of all, BMO is a piece of crap. Secondly, it was about as blatant theft of tax dollars as you'll ever see. Of course the Cats like it.

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By west (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 16:56:59

Not ALL of the councillors are lemmings.

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By red24 (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 21:56:22

"The recent precedent is of course Burlington’s Sherwood Forest Park, which has existing use as a multi-sport facility (four baseball diamonds, five soccer pitches) and yet it was rejected by the NEC as a site for the city’s Pan Am soccer facility."

Just a factual clarification from a post above. The soccer facility at Sherwood Forest Park was not derailed by the NEC, but by Burlington City Council, under what I surmised to be mild pressure from neighbouring residents. I live very close to the site and was in the minority who favoured it.

It is correct, however, that the NEC forced the City to change its plans for its 2nd choice site, reducing the number of seats in the temporary stadium.

red24

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:09:57

I think we should all just ignore the shock doctrine the TiCats are giving us. That is the argument that if we don't build the stadium the way the urban planning football geniuses want that they'll move the team.

This is hogwash and directly from the Hal Steinbrenner guide to bankrupting the public purse. Moving an business to a new community is just asking for financial hardship. So the threat is somewhat akin to "Do what I want or I'll shoot myself in the foot" which is ridiculous. And yet some fans are buying it.

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By crepes_suzette (anonymous) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 13:54:13

Ok so if I'm coming from the most western part of the City (hey Waterdown's population is set to boom) I'll only have to pay for a $130 round trip cab ride (I recently took a cab home from Carmen's after a wedding...it was $68...I almost had a stroke) in order to drink responsibly. Uh...I better get a second job.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 27, 2010 at 14:09:13

@jason

Funny, they like the BMO field arrangement, but they won't settle for the BMO field capacity or price tag.

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By Duke (anonymous) | Posted July 29, 2010 at 06:25:56

A few questions I'd like to ask some people about Confederation Park site. Yes, I understand it will not happen and I find that unfortunate.

- Could a Confederation site provide easy access with little to no upgrades provided? Or would it be a mess like the West Harbour?

- Parking is a great concern to Mr. Young considering most in fact drive, Would Parking be easily made available?

- Considering it has great visibility not only to the highway but also the Toronto sky line(on clear days) and Hamilton downtown, why were not of these mentioned as positives?

- Would enviromentalists or activists attempt to halt construction?

- Would it attract more patrons from Burlington/Grimsby area whom are generally abit wealthier; as well patrons from Hamilton MTN who are alot closer now? (Living on the Hamilton MTN it takes me from Glanbrook to Confederation in ten minutes).

- Are the concerns of fall out or pontential health risks from Hamiltons Industrial plants near by a correct assumption?

- Was this site Mr. Youngs top pick or was it in fact the Chedoke/Mcmaster area?

- Would Wild Water Works be effected and would a stadium here pontentially revive the beach by adding restaraunts/bars more alike are neighbours beach ie Burlintons..

These are some of my questions Ive been curious about this site as I believed it was the best location and I know im not alone. Nevertheless any insight on this topic would be greatly apperciated.

Cheers,
Duke

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