Special Report: Pan Am

'We Will Make It Work, Whatever The Site'

In January, the Ticats said they would get behind whatever Pan Am stadium site the city chose.

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 21, 2010

Whatever happened to this?

The Tiger-Cats are behind whatever Pan Am Games stadium site the city chooses, says club owner Bob Young.

Young's commitment wipes out fears the football club and city hall were on a collision course over the stadium location.

"We will make it work, whatever the site," Young said yesterday.

Then, as now, the city was contemplating two sites side-by-side: downtown (at the West Harbour) and out in the suburbs (the area around Hamilton International Airport).

Then, as now, people were worried that the various stakeholders might not come to an agreement in time and the Provincial Pan Am money might flow elsewhere.

A few things have changed since then, of course. The suburban option has moved from the area around the airport to the area around the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

More important, the Ticats now insist that there's no way they can "make it work" at a West Harbour stadium.

Team owner Bob Young has gone so far as to state that if the City picks the West Harbour, the Ticats will refuse to sign on and Hamilton will lose the stadium altogether.

In an interview with RTH, Mayor Fred Eisenberger said, "It was a surprise to me that Bob Young was not going to play in the West Harbour in any way, shape or form."

Young disputes this, saying that the Ticats raised their concerns with the city during the private negotiations over a potential site, hoping that the city would address them effectively. They didn't go public sooner because the negotiations were still underway.

Eleventh-Hour Crisis

After Council selected the West Harbour in May, Young went public with a letter claiming the city selected the West Harbour without collaborating with the Ticats and objecting that the location has no visibility for naming rights, limited automobile access, no parking, and is a poor fit with residential neighbours.

The site is currently an industrial brownfield consisting of junkyards and abandoned industrial facilities, including the Rheem factory, which overlooks a large CN rail yard on the waterfront. Local activist Matt Jelly published a photo essay yesterday that documented the conditions at the site.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger shot back that the city had engaged the Ticats directly through the entire selection process, that the West Harbour has excellent transit connections and is close to abundant existing parking, and that "the purpose of this project is community building".

Nevertheless, Council wavered and the two sides brought in Michael Fenn to facilitate a compromise. Late in the mediation process, Fenn is said to have suggested the provincially-owned East Mountain location, which he apparently knew about from his time as the Chair of the Ontario Realty Corp. (Mr. Fenn has declined to be interviewed by RTH to clarify his role in introducing the East Mountain site.)

The Ticats responded to Fenn's report with a letter of support endorsing the East Mountain and promising $15 million investment in the "stadium and precinct", $3 million a year for ten years to manage the stadium, the "transition costs" to manage the team between now and the opening of the new stadium, and $14 million to attract two Grey Cup games to Hamilton.

City Council fell in love with the proposal and actually considered dropping the West Harbour from consideration altogether before finally voting to study both locations side-by-side in advance of a final decision on August 10.

East Mountain: A Closer Look

Since then, a closer look at the East Mountain suggests it will require millions of dollars in public spending to add a new highway interchange, increase road capacity in the vacinity, manage storm water runoff (the East Mountain location is one of the few greenfield spots at the top of the flood-prone Red Hill valley that currently absorbs rain water), and re-route the hydro line that currently bisects the site.

The East Mountain location sits where the Lincoln Alexander Parkway meets the Red Hill Valley Parkway, bounded by the Mud Street interchange and Stone Church Road. It has very limited local and regional transit connectivity and is essentially inaccessible by foot or bicycle.

A rail trail from downtown currently passes close to the site, but the trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment, through a greenbelt, next to the King's Forest Golf Course and through Mohawk Sports Park on the way.

It could potentially be converted into a light rail or GO Train line to access the stadium, but the potential for transit-oriented development along the line is extremely limited and the investment in building and operating the line would not be cost-effective.

City staff are preparing a comprehensive study of the new location and will present it to Council in August.

Business Analysis

The Ticats have not yet shared their business analysis showing that the West Harbour cannot work, though they promise to release more details in the next week or so.

However, it seems clear from what we do know that the major issue is not the dearth of parking at the West Harbour (in fact, there are thousands of parking spots within walking distance of the West Harbour) but the promise of 6-7,000 spots on the East Mountain for which the Ticats expect to collect the revenues.

In response to the suggestion that a creative collaboration with the city and local stakeholders could generate plenty of exciting opportunities for generating revenue at a West Harbour location, Young replied that the team and developers they spoke with "have studied this for months now and we cannot find any" such opportunities at the 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 Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 10:56:44

Typical Hamilton Council decision-making.

  1. Make a decision.
  2. Consult major stakeholders.
  3. Study economic/environmental feasibility
  4. Consult the public.
  5. Give up on the decision out of frustration.

Sounds a little bass-ackwards for my liking.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 11:07:40

What are everyone's thoughts on this latest development?

Is this really the vision the folks in support of West Harbour want? Just curious. For it to become this commercial?

I know it needs cleaned up, revived and all that and I am pro West Harbour before I am EM, but this is too much in my opinion. From the retractable dome, the condos, the fancy hotels.

I will admit, for a long time I envisioned big hotels slowly clearing the way as old factory's and mills closed down on the waterfront, but now that I see this kind of proposal, I am not sure. At least at this location.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-07-21 10:08:31

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 11:11:06

I know it's only an artists rendition (and a nice drawing I'll add - better than my hockey net shaped vision anyway), but it just seems so cold and unwelcoming - the whole plan/vision. It seems very American pro sports to me. Not that we should think of ourselves or the great CFL game as small time, but do we really want to be this kind of big time?

I don't know but I also don't want to see the NHL here either. I would love to see a CFL-like hockey league in Canada myself and bring that game back to it's roots.

Anyway. Just curious how everyone feels about this latest development.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:06:46

Honestly Lawrence, I'm surprised no one has discussed it sooner as well.

In my opinion, if that west harbour project came to pass, as envisioned in those renderings, I think it would be terrific. The style seems very "Hamilton" to me, and it's nice and dense, while still maintaining green space and waterfront access, which is something we definitely need. Imagine if we could connect it to Bayfront park, and have a waterfront promenade the whole way?

As for your concern that it's so commercial, I think that commercial aspect is exactly what you need if you're going to get people to stay in that area and spend some money on surorunding bars/restaurants rather than just heading home.

Just plopping a stadium down in the West end was never the plan as far as I was concerned, it was about creating a whole commercial/residential district around the stadium to support itself, as well as lend support to the downtown by getting more people living in/around the area.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:11:12

What are everyone's thoughts on this latest development? - lawrence

How much is that going to cost us? That is my first question. Going from a (relatively) bare bones stadium to that, would be a significant increase in cost. Who pays? Who benefits?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:24:23

This makes us a big city. It really does. This kind of money coming in (and it better be all private monies with that kind of grandiose design), changes Hamilton and starts a trend. I am not sure that's the trend I envision for our city.

I know change is good but I am more of a 'everybody's changing and I don't feel the same' kind of guy.

Red Hill, a bigger airport (just a dream right now for the city), what has happend to Mount Hope and Binbrook. I don't see any of that as good change.

Why do we need/desire to be a big city? Do we have 'little guy' syndrome being so close to Toronto?

My favorite song by a local musician(s), is 'Little Big City' by 'The Responsibles'. I like being a little big city.

I don't have all the answers and I am not sure what that balance is between big and small city. Maybe I need to start dreaming on a larger scale with all aspects of my life (including where I live), but Hamilton is so lucky to have what we have in it's core from entertainment and what not, to being a few minutes from the paradise that is the open country lands and spots like Binbrook conservation area that surrounds us.

Look at the very beautiful 50 point conservation area as well. Surrounded by development. It has lost it's 'out in the woods' appeal and it is a crying shame.

If this becomes the new vision for the harbour, my vote will get changed because on the last day, my vote was going to be for the Harbour because I want to see it change. But there is something about today's 'dream' in the Spec, that has my stomach turning.

Maybe it's just the whole dome thing.

Binbrook is ruined forever as is Mount Hope. Urban sprawl is not my vision for the city I have known all of my life.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:29:11

Keily, highwater posted a link on another blog posting that contains some numbers...

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By arienc (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:29:55

Lawrence: the proposed new development sounds like someone's pipe dream. There may be elements that make sense in the location, but without concrete investment dollars being put behind it, its just a set of drawings.

I'd expect the likelihood of this actually going down is the same as the likelihood of Stinson's 100 story pyramid getting built on the Connaught site.

Still give the guy credit for imagination, artistry and daring to dream big. Hope he pulls it off.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 13:40:30

"Failure is not an option," another statement made by 'The Caretaker.'

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 14:47:01

"Failure is not an option," another statement made by 'The Caretaker.' - F. Ward Cleat

I doubt I agree with him what constitutes "failure".

East Mountain = EPIC FAIL! (In more ways than one)

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 16:40:14

Honestly I think it has to go big. or go home. We do too many things half-way-good in this city.

We need a big 'seed' development.

Putting a Williams cafe, ice cream stand, a skating rink, a trolly ride over 15 years is not fast or big enough. At that slow pace of increments it'll take 100 years before it reaches a critical mass for condos and hotels and main street style retail.

Look at Burlington's waterfront from 10 years ago to now, the pier notwithstanding. But do it BIG! When Baltimore decided it was going to remake its waterfront, they drew up a plan and a timeline and got it done.

There is something to be said about big seed developments.. they work. In the late 60s early 70s downtown Manhattan was a crime ridden cesspool, until they built the WTC and surrounding Federal Reserve and now is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. People thought the project was insane!!! Build, not one but two of the world's tallest office buildings... in that area!!!

This could be done. It needs someone with guts and of course money to risk.... on Hamilton.

Of course a big argument for WH is to help downtown. If this happens, it will not only kill downtown, it WILL BE the downtown.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 17:42:45

I agree with what Trey said -- and I'll add in while I don't think there's a "magic bullet," this type of development provides something for a lot of different people and jobs in low, middle, and high-skill jobs.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 17:57:57

No question if the stadium goes to the EM, the city should be keeping a lot of the Future Fund, I agree, maybe even all of it some might suggest. That area is going to grow anyways.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 18:10:05

Go Big or Go Home indeed! The taxpayer has $160 million on the table, therefore this debate should not be about what's best for the Tiger-Cats and their 'One dimensional' stadium proposals. The debate should seek to resolve any real concerns the football team has, but first and foremost we should be should be using our $160 million as leverage for much greater development. The 'Whitestar' proposal should be seen for what it is a vision of what is possible on the West Harbour lands. Tiger-Cat president Mitchell dismissed this proposal less than 24 hours after seeing it by his own admission and that tells me that the Tiger-Cats thinking is, 'Their Way or No Way.' While most of the players in this fiasco may believe the football club has that leverage I don't see it that way. I think their threat to relocate is baseless there isn't a suitable stadium in all of Canada. Not to mention the CFL may not see the prospect of a 7 team league helping their cause. Now if they think they could move the team and the PanAm funding with it, they will still be short $50 milion local funding. It is time for the city to take control of this opportunity and build where it benefits Hamiltonians and maximizes the return on investment. Given that we have 2 choices, 'West Harbour,' wins hands down. So call their bluff and start approaching developers and financiers, seems to me they have already started to line-up.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 18:28:30

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.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-21 17:42:45

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By NothernStroll (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 18:52:55

Cats are on the offensive....goeastmountain.ca

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By Offensive? (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 19:07:17

If that's what they call an offensive no wonder they can't win the Cup.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 19:27:32

I think I've been blacklisted my computer won't let me in.....Hope cable isn't in on the conspiracy, I'm looking forward to tomorrows game...LOL

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 21, 2010 at 21:23:29

Don't worry WE will win the Cup soon enough, things are looking good for the TigerCats of Hamilton for now, of xxx perhaps in the near future.

It's YOUR team Hamilton, let's cheer the boys on and try and win Lord Grey's mug for our great community here!

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By Chooserevitalization (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 07:44:15

http://www.thestar.com/article/838701--will-hamilton-choose-sprawl-or-revitalization

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 08:00:32

At least with ourcityourfuture.ca, the domain and site were created by some of our own local talent and is hosted on a Canadian server. The domain and site for goeastmountain.ca were cobbled together by some guy from Mississauga and is hosted in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Clearly there are special interests afoot, but I'll let someone else provide the gory details.

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2010-07-22 07:12:58

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 08:31:40

chooserevitalization you beat me to it! That article is a great one and I suggest everyone read it:

http://www.thestar.com/article/838701--w...

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 08:46:55

I had to chuckle at some of the articles they've listed under Media...so far it's an article from the Spec from SEVEN years ago deriding the West Harbour, and some Globe & Mail article that talks about Katz's ongoing negotiations with Edmonton city council...which, as far as I can tell, doesn't really have anything to do with the East Mountain at all...(I reckon they're trying to cast Katz' and his grandiose WH plans in a dubious light...)

I clicked on the "Show Your Support" tab and in the comments section, politely let them know that I'd never set foot in their suburban stadium...

Comment edited by skully2001 on 2010-07-22 07:49:30

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By Lettie (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 11:48:16

I just cannot see the usefulness of having the stadium on the east mountain. After the few football games are over, who wants to go way up there for anything? And just wait till you hear the complaining when people have to pay high event parking fees for everything. No opportunity for good transit, alternative parking places for free here and there etc. Downtown, the stadium could be used for concerts, rallies, other sports, and endless opportunites where the rest of the activity in the city is, where hotels, bars, restaurants and other things are available. You won't find me making any effort to get there on the east mountain, football or no football. No end zone to me; it is a dead zone.

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By Balsam Bunker (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 13:38:09

I'm sure we'll find a way to make the facility useless and exorbitantly expensive even if it goes to West Harbour. Hamilton's can-do attitude is nothing if not reliable.

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By LauraF (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 16:26:04

On the goeastmountain site, under Reports>Comparable Stadiums, the comparisons there are puzzling.

The point they make on the bottom "3 out of 5 of the top ranked attendance clubs do not play downtown" is incorrect as #4 & #5, the Home Depot Centre in Carson IS downtown - Carson has a population of about one hundred thousand, and their own city council and is NOT within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. The stadium is in the middle of their downtown, and is a huge hub of shops, restaurants, etc.

The Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus OH is in the suburbs, but considered by much of the local population to be an eyesore in the suburbs, and has never been considered popular with the team or fans.

The Xbox Pitch is about maybe a mile away from the Seattle Business District (very urban), and Gillette Stadium is about 20 miles-ish from downtown Boston, but located in the town of Foxborough, MA, which doesn't really have a downtown. The town was comprised of small neighbourhood communities until the turn of the century, and has a population of about 16,000. They're economy was in straw hat making, until the New England Patriots built the original stadium. That's really about all that town has.

So, that's one out of 5? A few others on that list are incorrect as well. Just sayin'.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 17:31:04

I suspect that the problem is that the 'Cats know that parking is the key, and as most people are aware, when someone knows something it can be very easy not to let pesky facts get in the way.

Between the enhanced transit and the downtown parking currently available, WH is the far superior site.

I'm wondering how much more the 'Cats expect the city to pitch in to pay for everything that the EM site needs. Maybe that's included in the mythical data that they are going to release in the "near future".

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 21:07:09

BTW we are only down by 4 in Montreal's new expanded playpen, right in the game boys in this one!

Hamilton TigerCats, Hamilton's team!

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-22 20:07:50

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 22:43:06

Oh well, Als showed why they are still the class of the east. Back to the drawing board. At least the d played somewhat ok but the offense was not there at all hardly.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 09:38:24

I think the 'epic fail' would be the team folding or being unsustainable. So, in that regard, I agree with the Cats. We need to ensure the stability of the team. I just don't agree that that won't be accomplished downtown.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 10:28:45

I think the 'epic fail' would be the team folding or being unsustainable. So, in that regard, I agree with the Cats. We need to ensure the stability of the team. I just don't agree that that won't be accomplished downtown. - slodrive

This isn't about the team, it is about our city.

Bob Young and the league need to ensure the "stability of the team". It is not our job to make his flawed business model profitable. If he can't charge enough for tickets to make a profit, then he needs to lower his operating his costs.

The continuing economic decline of an entire city is a bigger failure than losing a sports franchise… despite what the fans of said franchise may think.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 11:14:06

Yes, while to many people the TigerCats are a symbol of Hamilton (grew up in London Ontario and when the word Hamilton was mentioned, 2 things came to my mind, TigerCats and steel), no question that the decline of the city is more important. As much as I love sports and the TigerCats, the FF money really ought not to be used for a stadium unless it can be proved that a stadium, wherever, will help the city economically to a significant degree to justify spending the FF money. I doubt that can be proven although I'm not a bean counter or economics guru.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-23 10:14:43

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 11:25:03

I wouldn't describe the airport site as "out in the suburbs" ... it is more like "out in the middle of nowhere".....

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By Sustainability (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 11:55:32

What annoys me the most is the constant use of the word sustainable on the east mountain website and advertisement. If their point is that it is finacially sustainable, then say that. It could be extremely misleading to some readers as the east mountain stadium is terrible from an environmentally sustainable point of view, and socially sustainable point of view.

I have no doubt that this was on purpose though.

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By EMisascam (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 12:40:15

sustainability's comment is right. The first thing I did when I saw the EM website was laugh at the use of the word sustainability. Greenfield development is not environmental sustainable and taking money from tax payers (provincial, federal and municipal) to give to a business (yes the Cats are arguing that it is THERE stadium so this is pretty much a subsidy for the Cats) that seldom (never?) makes money is far from a good use of the word sustainable. Perhaps robbery is better. Or Scam.



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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 13:02:40

Well, Fred and council were elected, they don't have to spend the money on a stadium if they don't want to. People here love blaming the TigerCats but all they are doing is asking, I ask for raises at work and don't get them, my choice to stay or go.

The word scam implies something hidden, nothing hidden here, Fred is offering up $60 mill of FF money.

I laugh at you guys blaming the TigerCats, blame your elected officials if they choose to spend the money on something you don't want.

Anyone with any grey matter can look up the word sustainability and realize it can refer to all sorts of things, not rocket science. The TigerCats or anyone can choose to use it how they want to mean whatever they want, isn't that what people often say about statistics? Not sure why people think the word 'sustainability' necessarily refers to a green aspect specifically even though yes, it is referred to in that context of course but other contexts as well.

I know, you're objective here is like the employer looking to find fault with one specific employee to fire him/her when in fact all employees could be found guilty of a said behaviour. You guys are looking for every ounce, every morsel of whatever to blame the TigerCats. It's very obvious dudes but keep on doing it, it is fun to read I admit. ;)

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 13:38:07

HamiltonFan - "all they are doing is asking"...

I'm not sure what you call asking but saying "we won't play ball there but we'll play ball and fork over a couple of bucks here" isn't just asking.

Comment edited by frank on 2010-07-23 12:57:03

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 14:24:30

Again, Bob Young has not said he will outright move the team if the WH location is chosen, he is just doing as any business would do, look at options for the team that makes sense to the business of the TigerCats so he won't lose money. Yes, he wants the city to adopt his business plan for the team or else he might move the team. But that's what businesses do all the time regardless of the business, they try and locate in an area they see could be profitable which means they are trying as best they can to figure out what most of their customer base wishes.

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 14:27:33

You must of missed this.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 14:39:10

From what I can see Bob is warning that if the WH location is chosen the TigerCats and their development partner will not be contributing funds towards it. And then a stadium will not be built, in his opinion. HOSTCO might still choose Hamilton though, that remains to be seen. Bob feels that they will choose another community, he might be right or he might be wrong. But in fact I don't think he knows 100 percent what HOSTCO will do if the city chooses WH.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-23 13:41:26

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 14:54:36

What is most bothersome at this point is the silence from HostCo and the province. Nobody knows what they will do because they aren't saying anything. That leaves so much room for the information void to be filled with non-information and threats of all kinds coming from the EM camp.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 15:57:22

HamiltonFan you need to take off the rose coloured glasses when you read... If that's what he was saying he would be saying "We are ok with both sites but we like this one better and we'll put some money on the table to help you out." and not "If you win you will commit Council to a path that will ensure nothing gets built anywhere in Hamilton for the Pan Am games". That's a very thinly veiled threat if you ask me if not a straight up threat that if WH is chosen the Cats won't play there.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 16:50:09

Council is blasted whenever they get something wrong, so in this case we need to remind them that they ARE doing the right thing with west harbour. History will prove it.
Keep emailing people. Never say never, especially in an election year.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 23, 2010 at 21:12:43

frank, one thing about Bob Young as much as I love the guy, and you know I do as he saved our beloved Ticats (beloved to those of us who love the team), he's a gamer despite that somewhat geeky appearance of IT type guy. He'll keep you guessing and make you think things but the fact is he doesn't know what is going to happen here. He's warning but he doesn't know.

Should be interesting. But priority no. 1 is cleaning up WH, a disgrace for a large city like Hamilton to have such a situation as exists there with the nice harbourfront they have made. Disgrace. WH first for cleanup, any talk of PanAms and stadium secondary.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-23 20:13:28

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted July 24, 2010 at 22:16:32

"This isn't about the team, it is about our city.

Bob Young and the league need to ensure the "stability of the team". It is not our job to make his flawed business model profitable. If he can't charge enough for tickets to make a profit, then he needs to lower his operating his costs.

The continuing economic decline of an entire city is a bigger failure than losing a sports franchise… despite what the fans of said franchise may think." - Kiely

The two issues are one in the same. It's about the team and the city. There's no seperating the two. You can argue all you want about the economic impact of sports franchises to their markets (as there is evidence they have limited contribution) but what impression does it give potential residents and investors when a key part of the city's identity -- with 150 years of heritage -- goes waltzing out the door?

Give that some thought before you infer that comments are only voices of the fanbase. Or, should I assume that your opinion -- and desire to call the team's bluff and erect an empty 15,000 seater -- is because you aren't a Ticat fan?

Comment edited by slodrive on 2010-07-24 21:17:45

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted July 25, 2010 at 15:34:25

I realize many people like their sports teams, but last time I checked, Montreal and Winnipeg are still around.

The real question is which stadium does Hamilton build?

One that meets all the goals that were set forth or one that meets none of them and creates its own set of problems?

Have the 'Cats ever released any of their research proving that they couldn't make money at WH?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 25, 2010 at 16:39:50

You can argue all you want about the economic impact of sports franchises to their markets (as there is evidence they have limited contribution) but what impression does it give potential residents and investors when a key part of the city's identity -- with 150 years of heritage -- goes waltzing out the door?

We are already being mocked in the national media for even considering building a suburban stadium in the 21st century. If we actually go ahead and do it, it will do far more damage to our image than losing a football team.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 25, 2010 at 19:21:23

Have the 'Cats ever released any of their research proving that they couldn't make money at WH?

NOPE. I'm sure they're feverishly scrambling around now getting some company to fudge a lot of numbers for them so they can present this 'info' at some point soon.

We are already being mocked in the national media for even considering building a suburban stadium in the 21st century. If we actually go ahead and do it, it will do far more damage to our image than losing a football team.

Sadly, this is bang on. I'm being made fun of like crazy by my friends in other parts of Canada. And sadly, I have no legitimate response for them. Our city is already a national joke and now we're just adding more fuel to the fire.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 25, 2010 at 19:26:08

by the way, people don't hesitate to give the Spec a rough ride when they push old fashioned, suburban ideas so I think it's appropriate to give them some massive kudos for their stance regarding LRT and the WH stadium over the last number of months. I'm not sure if it signals a shift in thinking over there as they realize that most of my generation views city building differently than the past group or if they truly see and understand the value of reinvesting in a vibrant urban centre that can become a source of pride for everyone from Burlington to Dundas to Stoney Creek instead of being something they all try to dis-associate with. Whatever the reason, I hope to see them apply the same forward, progressive thinking to many other issues. They have clearly begun to make the slow transition into a 21st Century paper.
Now if they could only hire someone to do their website and bring it out of the 80's. LOL

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted July 26, 2010 at 07:00:32

"Now if they could only hire someone to do their website and bring it out of the 80's. LOL"

And bring all their community newspaper cousins under the Metroland banner...and the TORSTAR mega-conglomerate...along with them.

I think here's the basic point they all miss in this regard: if you're going to have an Web presence...then it's 'in for a penny, in for a pound'. Half-arsed efforts do NOT reflect kindly in this day and age.

Makes me cringe when I think I'm of the same generation as many there who should know better. Ugh.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 26, 2010 at 08:02:43

And bring all their community newspaper cousins under the Metroland banner...and the TORSTAR mega-conglomerate...along with them.

I understand they're already pretty far along at doing this, at least for thespec.com. Currently the site uses a content management system (CMS) called TOPS, which apparently isn't internet-aware enough to understand hyperlinks. They're in the process of migrating to a new CMS called NewsGate.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted July 26, 2010 at 08:22:32

Perhaps. (Not that I like thespec.com; part of my background is e-learning, which is all about functionality and usability...and I do not like this site. At all.)

Maybe my wording was off: the Metroland online presence is horrible. They need to not only reconceptualize their sites...but also re-think their approach, period.

What is a community newspaper? (Funny; they have another publication, 'Community News', I believe, which is all 'good news' photographs'.) More to the point, what is a community newspaper TODAY? In light of social networking, etc.

To me, to a great extent, a community newspaper is NOT so much about 'news'...how can it be when it has a weekly cycle, and the actual news cycle is 24/7?...it's about COMMUNITY. (And to me this does NOT immediately mean 'good news'.)

Honestly, I don't think they've defined themselves very well...and they're living in the 90s. Truth is they can't keep doing it their way forever, no matter their perceived business revenue realities.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-07-26 07:23:33

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By Skully (anonymous) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 08:56:29

Hey, whatever happened to the "Bob Young Explains..." thread...if I recall, it was a paraphrased interview with him, wasn't it? Has it been taken down (or am I not looking in the right area?)

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 27, 2010 at 09:14:37

Hey, whatever happened to the "Bob Young Explains..." thread

It's still there. You can find all the stadium article grouped under the Special Report: Pan Am Stadium section. For blog entries related to the stadium, check out the Sports blog section.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:31:45

Whatever happened to "caretaker"?? I guess the questions got too complicated. It's hard to fight pointed logic with vague arguments.

Comment edited by frank on 2010-07-27 10:32:10

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