Special Report: Pan Am

Open Letter to Council: We Continue To Support You

The Our City, Our Future campaign sent the following open letter to Hamilton City Council and Mayor Eisenberger.

By RTH Staff
Published August 09, 2010

Dear members of council,

Bob Young's recent withdrawal from stadium negotiations puts you, our elected representatives, in firm control of the decision-making process once again.

This is where you stood several months ago before you extended a hand - and an astonishingly generous proposition - to the Tiger-Cats to join with Hamilton, as a minority partner, in building a once-in-a-generation civic project.

You and your staff had developed a visionary plan for a waterfront stadium, one that was supported by solid and careful analysis and tens of millions in public funds.

You received broad support from the citizens of Hamilton and many leaders of the private sector for this plan, and you voted overwhelmingly in its favour.

Our campaign continues to support you to push forward with that plan, because it is clear to thousands of Hamiltonians that it is Our City, Our Future, and Our Money to invest.

What unites us is a shared belief in the future of our city, the potential of our waterfront, and our ability as a community to come together and become the city we aspire to be.  This vision for our city is contained in a motion that will be introduced at your meeting.


Supporting this vision are many hard facts, several of which are worth repeating:

1. West Harbour was your first choice.

After thorough analysis and literally years of planning going back to previous games bids, the West Harbour was the overwhelming choice of City Council.

2. West Harbour is the financially responsible choice.

The East Mountain site will cost at least tens of millions of dollars more and cost the city millions in foregone tax revenue.  An East Mountain location would divert money from important economic development initiatives, including from the Glanbrook Industrial Park.

3. West Harbour would accelerate several important city initiatives.

These initiatives include waterfront redevelopment, downtown renewal, GO transit, and Rapid Transit.

4. West Harbour is the only site authorized for investment from the Future Fund.

The Future Fund Board has determined that an East Mountain stadium in not an appropriate use of this scarce resource.

5. The West Harbour, as your expert reports affirm, is a sensible choice for a stadium location.

It is within walking distance of 4,700 parking spots; it is accessible by many other means including a planned GO station that the Tiger-Cats own research says would be used by 39% of season ticket and 53% of single game ticket purchasers; and it has every likelihood of being a gorgeous stadium that will attract tenants, whether or not they are CFL teams.


We note that the recently conducted Angus Reid survey demonstrates that a clear majority of Hamiltonians want this stadium built, even if the Tiger-Cats are unwilling to participate.

We are with that majority.  Like the majority of Hamiltonians, we support you.  We support you because we elected you, not the Tiger-Cats or the CFL, to make decisions about our future.

We support you because you developed a vision for an amazing waterfront stadium.

Tomorrow, let's make that vision a reality.  Vote to reaffirm the West Harbour as the site of the Pan Am Games stadium to be financed by money through the Future Fund.

Sincerely,

The Our City, Our Future Campaign
http://OurCityOurFuture.ca

61 Comments

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By lukev (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:32:44

The City should buy the Tiger-Cats. Send Bob out the door.

Buying the team would be cheaper than building all the new East Mountain infrastructure, anyways.

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By amAlilyday (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:34:15

Well said. You can count on the continued support of our family. Please stay the course, our children are counting on you. Thank you mayor and members of council for making our city's future the priority.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:34:59

Bob should sell to the City, then the City should sell open shares back to the community. Then we all have a stake.

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By M (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:35:29

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:45:13

You consider 52% a CLEAR majority??

52 > 50 so yes, it's a majority by definition.

A city of 500,00 and only 500 were asked?

Angus Reid is one of the top polling companies in the country, I doubt they'd risk their reputation by botching something that so many people will take issue with.

It's not even zoned to build this facility.

This is entirely false. The Cat's report on the WH missed the fact that regardless of previous zoning in the Setting Sail area, any public building can be placed there.

Has an environmental study even been done??

Yes, Clr. Bratina mentioned it specifically at the rally. He also mentioned that the contamination was far less severe than was feared and as such could be easily afforded.

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By Jeff_Tessier (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:47:05

M,

No, he's not on crack. It's you who's a bit cloudy. Read the article. It doesn't claim that the Angus Reid survey indicates a clear majority favour the WH site. It says, to quote the article above,

"We note that the recently conducted Angus Reid survey demonstrates that a clear majority of Hamiltonians want this stadium built, even if the Tiger-Cats are unwilling to participate."

The numbers on this question are 57%/43%. That seems to be a clear majority.

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By thefuzzymethod (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:00:47

I was one of the respondents to the Angus Reid survey in question. In the email I received inviting me to take part, it was mentioned that only the first 500 people to reply would be able to participate. I didn't get the actual email inviting me until late Saturday night, although I have heard from at least one other person who received it on Friday.
The stats they released are great, but I'm far more interested in hearing the comments left by the other 499 people explaining why they preferred either EM or WH.

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By Ti-Cat fan (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:24:33

Stay resolute council.

I love the tabbies, but my city always comes first.

EM is not feasible by any means. I love the idea of buying the team as it would cost less than the extra expense of EM.

I'd buy shares and continue to buy my season's tickets.

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By Reid (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:25:10

I received the survey. Live downtown Hamilton and am in that ever important 18-34 demographic. I voted West Harbour all the way.
I don't think I have to explain why I voted the way I did; this site has enough information on that.

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:42:02

For those of you doubting the Angus Reid online polling system, it has in fact had quite a good track record. In the 2008 Federal election the Angus Reid Online poll provided the most accurate estimate of the final vote percentages:

http://www.thestar.com/federalelection/a...

Based on this and our knowledge of AR's past attention to detail, I think we can have a high degree of confidence in the AR numbers as representative of the Hamilton population. However, it is still a slim majority and I think everyone should be careful not to underestimate the divisions that are occurring within our community (Hamilton) over this issue.

Whatever Council's decision is, I hope the city quickly gets over this divisive debate and gets back to the regular friendly and neighbourly Hamilton that we're used to.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 01:33:08

Council have but one option after todays announcement from Mr. Young. Reaffirm the original commitment to build a 15-20,000 seat 'Track and Field' stadium on the 'West Harbour' site. Full funding for said stadium is in place. I fear that Council will be drawn into various unrealistic options such as revisiting Confederation Park or asking for another extension from HostCo. That would be playing into the opponents (and there are many) hand. If Mr. Young intends to re-locate the Ti-Cats under his ownership, only one place makes sense 'Halton.' In order for that to happen the PanAm funding would have to follow. As a city we lent our support to the PanAm bid through hard work and financial commitment. Our vision for a Harbourfront 'Track and Field Stadium,' with direct GO train access was a large part of a winning bid. Support for the 'West Harbour' site was overwhelming until the threats and ultimatums from the Ti-Cats, and still a clear majority favors this site. That clear majority will support all members of council who stay the course and reaffirm the 'West Harbour' vision.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 02:32:06

Hang tough Mayor Fred! Amazing job & good on yer!
Hamilton City Council, there is an election coming soon. You need to do what's right.
We will all know who Didn't tomorrow!

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 05:31:37

Without a anchor tenant, the WH site becomes financially unviable. The city staff report itself confirms this. Should council decide to proceed with a WH stadium that does not have a tenant then it will be a financial drain on the city. In fact, Hostco and the federal government have both stated that funding of a stadium would not be forthcoming if the stadium is not financially viable. A vote for WH will effectively be a vote to remove the Pan Am stadium from Hamilton.

If the remediation costs are so much less expensive than originally thought, than the main argument for placing a stadium on this particular site (i.e to facilitate the expensive cleanup of a brownfield)is null and void.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 10, 2010 at 07:46:08

Where will we find this magical anchor tenant?

I ask because no matter where the ticats play, they ain't it.

The cats are not profitable on their own. They have said themselves that their BEST CASE is a break-even situation. And that's at their favoured site (confederation) which is not even on the table anymore.

As a tax-sucking, money-losing entity they can NEVER be the anchor tenant that makes any stadium economically viable.

So in all cases we are financially better off without them.

Perhaps after this vote we should arrange another: should we continue to subsidize a pro sports team with our civic dollars?

Bob is treading dangerous ground by angering the very people who are keeping his flailing enterprise afloat.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 08:24:32

this sure makes the decision much easier. Either way the Cats aren't an anchor tenant, so council can vote for WH and remind the unelected folks at HostCo that we'll have many concerts, sporting events, community events etc.... at our new stadium and in the meantime we'll look to land a soccer team to add to the mix.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 08:32:53

Thst is worth repeating... seancb

"Perhaps after this vote we should arrange another: should we continue to subsidize a pro sports team with our civic dollars?

Bob is treading dangerous ground by angering the very people who are keeping his flailing enterprise afloat."

We know the Ticats was not a substainable franchise to bring in the stadium in the west harbour. Period! Even Bob said he wants to bring another franchise in to be profitable. If someone doesn't come up with more money to buy another team (Pro soccer is viable and much more profitable) and build the stadium where we all know it should go then we should just forget about a new stadium for now and concentrate on a velodrome and a park that have positive benifits to the community. I have trust in the council to choose the west harbour but it's HostCo that I don't trust. They have their own agenda and we could loose the money that is being offered to us. Remember it Toronto's games with Hamilton as a statigic partner. It's kinda sad all around but Bob Young has left the council with no other choice now by refusing not to be a partner with Hamilton council. Council has stated that the land at the east mountain is owned by the ORC and has to be put up for sale by a fair public auction which would take months. The ORC will not change it's rules for land transfer.

I hope the Katz Group sees something here that they can profit from. They are now the Trump card.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 09:15:32

M said "Eisenberger has a personal agenda which will cost the city the TiCats and the PanAm games..he is ripping the heart out of the city..."

Well M, at least you could let the rest of us into your inner circle and share exactly what the Mayor's "personal agenda" is. We're all on pins and needles here. Would you say Bob Young's agenda was for charitable or altruistic purposes?

Although an important part of its culture, the Tiger-Cats AREN'T the "heart of this city", the downtown is. An east mountain stadium would do more and further harm to it. Don't believe me? Remember the downtown BEFORE Lime Ridge, Eastgate, Centre Mall the Meadowlands? Each of those projects drew people away from downtown and an east mountain stadium would continue the trend, a west harbour stadium would reverse it.

I think it's all a moot point now because, based on the Tiger-Cats antics and the demographics of their supporters, they've managed to piss off an entire generation of potential young, urban supporters and numerous others. They can't survive forever on retired factory workers and people who can't do anything unless they drive.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 09:30:14

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 09:53:43

@jason -- I see what you're saying, but without the Ticats the purpose of a stadium is almost pointless. The 3,500 seat ampitheatre would be plenty. Soccer? Really? Again, 3 or 4 thousand seats would be plenty.

As well, the thought of buying back the team is only viable if it's up for sale. And how much will that cost?

Neither of these seem like great options to me. I believe city council and the Ticat brass have to find a way to save this franchise. The intangible detriments of losing the oldest sports franchise in North America would be hard to measure, but I think they'd be massive.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:17:50

Soccer Really??? 3 or 4 thousand seats? That is what people were saying in Toronto before they built BMO field. Now people can't find a ticket to sit down and watch a game. Soccer is on the Rise big time. It's good entertainment with only 20K seats. Even Bobby Young knows that. oh and by the way it's located in their downtown!!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:26:27

Detroit has already built two new stadiums downtown, and now may get a third.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100809/SP...

Why does Hamilton always land these incompetent, 1970's era business people while other cities get people who understand 21st Century city-building and sports development.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:29:32

Has anyone been twittered or texted as to what's going on at the COW (sorry that I'm not that techno-connected - it's on my bucket list)? According to the Agenda online, the Pan Am games are right in the middle of the meeting.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:36:11

@cityfan -- so do you really think that the MLS is going put a team in Hamilton? Seriously? Toronto FC is the anomoly in that league. What we'd get is NASL -- about 5th rate soccer.

Comment edited by slodrive on 2010-08-10 09:37:57

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:40:47

the spec has a live feed on their website. audio video and twitter. few audio issues though.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:44:19

few audio issues though.

lol That's an understatement. On my browser it sounds like the whole meeting is being autotuned.

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By laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:44:35

The Tiger-Cats

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:47:12

Eisenberger has a personal agenda which will cost the city the TiCats and the PanAm games..he is ripping the heart out of the city...

Harsh words, for someone who wasn't even particularly decisive on the issue until the last week. The WH plan is exactly where the planning process took it, and without Bob Young's sudden interference, it would still be on track.

Argue about economic development studies all ya like, but I'd really hate to end up with an East Mountain stadium (or no Ti-Cats) just as a means of unseating Mayor Fred.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:49:44

Thanks, Frank. I'm getting almost no video, and absolutely no audio. The commericals come through loud and clear. Guess I'll have to wait 'til it's over or The Spec puts up an update article.

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By Laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:52:36

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:53:14

I have both audio and video. they're hoping to replace the mic during the lunch break. brought in new equipment and it's working better. boggles the mind as to why the city didn't provide hookups for audio and video at a meeting like this...

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:54:27

Laser you obviously have no concept of reality...

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:57:50

the thought of buying back the team is only viable if it's up for sale. And how much will that cost? - slodrive

That is a good question. A money losing CFL franchise with minimal to no hope of any change in financial situation (Unless fans are willing to absorb a significant ticket cost increase) is essentially worth nothing... or what you can get some narcissistic millionaire with more money than brains to pay for it.

If I wanted to sell you a business that is going to lose money in perpetuity what would you pay for it?

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-08-10 09:58:47

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By Laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:59:38

Frank, Bob Young has spent millions of his own money on a losing business venture. That is a reality.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:08:39

If Bob Young wanted to spend millions of dollars on a losing venture, that's his ego and prerogative. Or there's other financial reasons for incurring losses. I would still like the City to look at the Regina model of owning their CFL team, should that be an option - but Bob looks pretty intent on harming the City if he doesn't get his own way. Frank - got the audio working (embarrassingly - the volume was down to zero - weird default). Thanks for the heads up. Anyone know if Eisenberge got a response as to the feds and province's choice of location? Hope they've received some clarification from HostCo as to whether or not a permanent, 8-10 day a year tenant is an ironclad criteria.

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2010-08-10 10:09:15

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:37:46

Laser that was his choice and it doesn't mean that I should fund his own private enterprise. He didn't have to buy the Cats!

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:38:38

As far as I heard (the audio went squirrely at the time) the Cats aren't necessarily the only acceptable legacy tenant.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:55:19

At 25,000 seat stadium...is currently short 25 million dollars right now no matter where they put it. The east mountain location may cost 40-100 million more than the harbor. The money doesn't exist period..why don't people understand this...the money isn't there. You can't say ok to a plan if the money simply isn't there, does bob young need a slide rule to figure this out. He wants the stadium at the east mountain to build a huge parking lot because he knows there you will be basically forced to park there and pay $15-$20..that's all it is. If it's at the harbor people will park blocks away from the location like they do presently at ivor wynne and he won't collect that money.

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By laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:18:55

O.K. Frank, so what you are saying is; You don't care if the Tiger-Cats stay or fold?

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:31:42

Laser, I can't speak for Frank, but I've seen very few posts wishing the Ticats away - maybe two or three over two or three weeks. The majority (myself included) like or love (myself included) the Ticats, but think it's ridiculous to program a City around a money-losing football team, and with a team owner who is completely unreasonable and is expecting the City to not only program itself around his financial requirements, but cover the financial discrepancies that occur as well (in addition to already subsudizing the team). Ticats have survived at IWS for decades; the WH has the potential to be an even better location for them (with their cooperation), but because it's not the one that Young wants, he's ready to take the team out of Hamilton. His way or no way. Very irrational and mean-spirited.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:46:19

goin'downtown you get an upvote. My thoughts exactly.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:53:58

Laser what I'm saying is that if that's how Bob Young wants to play ball then by all means, leave. We currently subsidize a private venture that loses money. That gives the owner of said venture absolutely NO right to try manipulate the location to better suit his own pocketbook. In fact he should be grateful he hasn't been told to come up with the shortfall himself...

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By Laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 13:26:33

He'll take the team out of Hamilton not because he's irrational but because he's anti-losing money. When the Pan Am games are over, then what are you going to do with the stadium? What a debacle this is going to be!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 13:32:43

@slodrive

Yes that is true we don't have a MLS franchise yet. Yet the business case is there for competition and revenue and the league is expanding. We just don't have a stadium yet. Too many people enjoy soccer in this town and if we are in the NASL or USL or the MLS we will still be competing against other canadian clubs and north american clubs. That is how it is in soccer. It's not just your own league that you compete against it clubs from different leagues. Build the stadium downtown next to the Go Train and now you have a cheaper way to get to games back and forth to Toronto games. Maybe we have to swallow this with a bitter pill and understand that we were doomed to loose the Ticats anyways.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 14:02:47

Hey, Laser - a private business requesting an entire city to change the direction of their future developments, from end to end, to me is irrational. I suppose anyone might make a stab, but it's a ridiculous scenario. Even ArcelorMittal Dofasco and McMaster don't make that demand, and they employ thousands of people. So if we went ahead with EM, Young may (or may not) make money on the Ticats, but the City of Hamilton (that's all of us) loses all around - loses millions of dollars in future tax dollars (20-50 years of taxes) because the EM would be City-owned, in investment lost from the WH (which is poised now but will walk away with no anchor projects), and in all the economic spin-off from revitalizing the downtown (no, not overnight). A healthy downtown = a health City, whether you live or visit the downtown or not. That's just the finances; that's not even including the environmenal implications and stormwater problems (ever been on the RHV Parkway during a downpour?). Yikes. Taxes would go up and up and up, and there would be major financial opportunities lost. And then our services would take a dive - roads wouldn't get fixed, parks wouldn't get properly maintained, I don't even know the impact on social services, libraries, et al - the implications are HUGE.

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By BS (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 14:24:07

Bratina's supposed $100 million announcement was Vrancor? C'mon Bob... who's going to take them seriously after both tearing down HMP and turning it into an illegal parking lot and lying to us regarding a Hotel development as well as redeveloping the old Federal Building?

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 14:33:37

Laser he's been losing money for a long time. According to himself, purchasing the TC was a poor business decision.

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By laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:23:13

Frank and others, I support Bob Young's approach to get the Tiger-Cats off the public dole and make them a thriving, profitable business. This strenghtens the C.F.L. as a whole. I could care less about the Mayor's political agenda.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:46:37

This strenghtens the C.F.L. as a whole. I could care less about the Mayor's political agenda. - Laser

So you care more about the CFL than the city?

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:55:52

Thankfully, John Dolbec is not running Hamilton City Council.

He folded like a cheap suit.

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By laser (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 16:28:12

Kiely, Yes I care about Hamilton. The city will not be damaged if the stadium is built on the East Mountain site.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 16:41:27

Kiely, Yes I care about Hamilton. - laser

Than agree or disagree with him, you should care about the mayor's agenda.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 18:14:36

..?? The city will not be damaged if the stadium is built on the East Mountain site...really?..the fact that it may cost 80 million more to build there alone is proof it was a dumb idea. To lose potentianlly millions in taxes for a parking lot is insane. The fact that the ticats pay $3000 dollars rent per game at the current stadium (and tax payers have to pay 1.2 million to keep that stadium going is bad enough. It's nice that carmens had plans for a hotel..but the only reason they are supporting bob young is because of that. They know that they would get would get all the game day hotel rooms and of course they dont want it at the west harbor. Why isnt 100 million spent to save hundreds of jobs in this city (for people that actually live in hamilton).

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By Entertained (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 20:22:49

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By More roads (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:17:34

The West Harbour is a great choice and will act as a catalyst for finally getting a highway that runs across the entire lower city. Excellent work RTH!

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By KelownaMate (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:46:43

The real issue here is the involvement of the Katz company. This is yet another spanner in the West Harbour initiative looking for development opportunity. Bob Young's quick reaction to leave is directly attributed to this discovery at a late date.
Young's argument is based on 0 opportunity to market the TiCats from the stadium. They can't generate any advertising revenue or parking fees from the West Harbour location. Whether this is true or not is their business opinion. Adding Katz to the mix proves that high level politics is at play, and that your mayor is playing his card. This is a very, very risky card to play at this stage of your little game.
As of now, whether you like it or not, you really don't have a tenant for your little elephant.

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By thehound (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 14:54:08

The council has spoken. I think that the Perimeter road now needs to be resurrected.It will give the WH stadium the access by car it needs as well as a FINISHED Hamilton ring road . Let us not forget that there would be major costs to put in and outbound ramps for the EM off of the Linc/Red Hill expressways.I think this money could be better spent on the Perimeter Road, giving Hamilton a new access to downtown from the 403. If downtown can supply the parking for 18,000 fans for Springsteen or Elton John at COPPS, why can't the same parking options handle 25 - 30,000 crowds for CFL football, two city blocks away.If parking fees are needed by the Cats as a revenue stream, perhaps the city can turn over some or all of the proceeds from their owned lots on game day.Also there will be GO train and LRT options that will allow fans to come in from remote parking lots. A much better option than sitting traffic to and from wither a WH or EM stadium.I am sure a Ticat surcharge could be arranged.
Vision is requied here.

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By Simon B (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 16:01:38

I don't understand the support for the city council whatsoever.

Regardless of whether your a fan of the waterfront spot or the east mountain, the very fact that this has been dragged out the way it has shows a complete lack of leadership and vision on the part of city council. If you needed any more evidence watching the video from the meeting sort of sealed the deal on the type of people we're dealing with.

I have no faith in these people to do what's right, forget ever trying to do it on time too.

shame on you if you still support this sort of mismanagement.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 19:15:23

Bob Young just said the west harbor wont work because there is a shortfall of developers for a stadium there.beyond a 15,000 deat stadium..um ok...than why hasn't he stated any "developers" for his choice of location?..its because he doesnt have any. He had his website goeastmountain and obviously thought it could be acceptable..but than says he won't play at either location. If a few weeks ago the city said ok east mountain..he would have agreed to it and all would have been fine in his world. That location would have cost more than $50 million dollars more than the harbor location...and yes he would have been ok with it. The local tax payer would have taken a tax hit of maybe 4.4%...yes that would have been perfectly fine with him. He would have wanted a 7,000 space car lot for a few dates that would lose the city millions more in develepment fees, taxes...and yes to him that would have been fine. That is unfair to the tens of thousands of people in this city who cant afford to go the games...and the 400,000 or more that dont go to any games. The ticats where on the bid book when the pan-am games was announced and the west harbor was in it. They voted on that location before and it was what they wanted for a previous bid for the commonwealth games (which i assume he knew that fact too). Like someone else stated about the location and parking he is correct. Jim basillie knew it wouldnt be a problem to put a nhl team down there . With 18,000 people at a concert...a few thousand in jackson square and thousands more elsewhere..there is no problem..its a myth. All it is about "parking" and bob young controlling that parking and charging 15-20 dollars to do it (and to take a $50 millon dollar hit to the taxpayers...im not sure why nobody understands that. The carmens guy was furious for only one reason..he knew on game day that players/cfl would use his hotel...he doesnt care about hamilton..he cares about his wallet.

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By thehound98 (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 23:26:22

Way to go Brian. You have hit the very large nail on the head.Last summer I had occasion to attend two games in New York City. I took my son to see the Yankees and the Athletics at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Three nights later we went to see the Mets and the Rockies at the new Citi Field in Queens. When we came up from the subway for the Yankees game we were treated to street vendors selling all kinds of food and souveniers on the street, outside of the stadium. There were even stores that had the snack sized everything in bags ready to put in you coat and take into the stadium.No one at the ticket taker locations really looked that hard. Contrast that to Citi Field. Come out of the subway at Willets road station and you walk into a gigantic parking lot. And guess what? Not a single vendor of anything anywhere on acres of parking lot or anywhere outside the actual stadium. When asked where the hotdog vendors were (outside) I was told by a stadium official that there was plenty of food INSIDE ( at the huge prices they command).
Outside Yankee Stadium anything you wanted and outside Citi Field-NOTHING. Guess which experience I preferred and then guess what the Ticats ( Bob Young and Scott Mitchell) want? The outside entreprenuers ala Yankees or the captive audience ala Mets. A huge cash grab and 60 million of the city's future fund for the privelege.Even in Toronto, there is street food to be had outside of the ACC and Rogers Centre.
I also discovered what a pleasure it is to go to the ACC via GO train as opposed to the driveway to stadium back to driveway experience. The train is a no brainer as it will be at WH once all of the GO and LRT systems come to be.
Just my observations.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 20:38:24

I can't comment on other situations but for someone thats been going to ticat games and watching them since 1973 i know his objections with the harbor site is coming from what "experts" are telling him. Owners and "experts" can go on all day about business models all this gibberish, all the forecast projections all the want..but they just dont really know what would happen at the harbor location. It can't be said now (as far as crowds go) but there was a time when the rogers center (skydome) was full every night for the blue jays with 2 years having the highest attendance in baseball. The argos were getting in the 30-40 thousand range and i went to some of these games. I can remember getting out of union station and you had to walk through that large indoor walk way between there and the dome and thousands of people did. You had a long walk to the get into the stadium and if you were in the upper level you had to go in circle in the walkway to the higher levels. That im sure was a good 3-4 block walk...and people did it. If you add in the fact that people take transit (and alot of people around just walk there)..you aren't really talking about alot of cars..not as much as he seems to think. It might be fine to say 80% of the fans are coming in cars...but they arent coming individually last time i checked!. With a sold out stadium at its location currently, usually labor day its not that hard to get out. Part of that reason is some people walk/take the bus but another reason is because the parking is spread out and not in one location. Is there anywhere in canada that has a parking lot for 7,000 cars for a stadium?..Something interesting to note the cfl team with typically the biggest crowds "edmonton" states this on their website. PARKING "Please be aware that there is no public parking available at Commonwealth Stadium or in surrounding neighbourhoods (City of Edmonton Bylaw #5590 in effect)....i seen some parking across the street and it isn't much...so i still think this parking talk is just bull, it's a easy way to get $15-20 per car as a simple way of increasing the ticket price...without changing the number on the ticket. There is enough parking downtown he just knows its impossible to get all that revenue if people have a choice where to park. He is losing money because he's lost almost 70% of the games since he owned them (7 years). Right or wrong that was on his watch and for the most part he can't run a team. I just find it amazing a few yrs ago the blackberry co-owner was considering having a nhl team blocks away from this harbor stadium and bob young says it cant work its bizarre. There isn't a huge parking lot at copps either and when it's sold out and the immediate area with the mall,library, farmers market attached you have easily 25,000 people. The montreal stadium proves this is just all fabricated nonsense on his part.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 20:50:36

..one more thing to make a comparison with edmonton..

Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) Your Eskimo game day ticket is your fare to travel on ETS (bus and LRT) to and from Edmonton Eskimo home games. Your ticket is valid for two hours before the game starts until two hours after it ends. Regular ETS fares apply for people without an Eskimo ticket.

ETS Bus Park and Ride ETS Bus Park and Ride service with free parking is available at six locations including Burns City Lot, Calder City Lot, Davies City Lot, Kingsway Mall, Mill Woods Town Centre Mall and West Edmonton Mall. Service starts 90 minutes before game time. Show your Eskimo game day ticket and ride for free. Regular ETS fares apply for those without a ticket.

Transportation and Parking Stadium Road will be closed from one hour before until one hour after the game. Also expect travel delays on 112 Avenue from 82 Street to 95 Street. Public Parking is not available at Commonwealth Stadium. On- and off-street parking restrictions will be in effect and strictly enforced. Illegally parked vehicles will be tagged and towed.

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