Special Report: Pan Am

Chamberlain: 'Absolutely Foolhardy' to Build Stadium at Innovation Park

Mark Chamberlain says that building a stadium on lands earmarked for new-economy businesses would actually "detract from the city's economic agenda" in the MIP by crowding out more valuable spinoff investments.

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 30, 2010

Mark Chamberlain believes putting a Pan Am stadium in the McMaster Innovation Park district at Aberdeen Ave. and Longwood Rd. would be "absolutely foolhardy" and Council should be looking at other sites to invest the Future Fund money in a city-building legacy. He called Council's interest in the west end park "a knee-jerk reaction" to their fear of losing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Chamberlain is the CEO of Trivaris Ltd., a high tech company that recently relocated its head office to McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). He is also the chair of the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

MIP is a new high tech research and development facility anchored by McMaster University, which is intended to bring multi-disciplinary researchers together to spur innovation and new spinoff businesses in the adjacent designated employment lands.

Chamberlain told RTH in a phone interview that the City should only invest the Future Fund money in a location that has the best potential to leverage our existing built infrastructure, including transit links, to spur new growth and development in a strategically important downtown area.

The West Harbour fits this bill, says Chamberlain, because it is situated on the waterfront close to downtown and has sat underused for years due to lingering contamination from previous industrial uses.

MIP, in contrast, "does not need that kind of leverage. We've got it already."

Building a stadium on lands earmarked for new-economy businesses would actually "detract from the city's economic agenda" in the MIP by crowding out more valuable spinoff investments.

Small Innovation Footprint

He notes that the MIP footprint is very small - only 12 hectares (30 acres) - and that other cities competing with Hamilton for high tech business have much larger innovation business parks. "It doesn't seem like that much - just a few acres - but we don't have the land to spare" at the MIP.

"The city really needs to rethink what employment looks like in 25-30 years," and MIP is a crucial part of that re-conception.

Chamberlain points out that the city just successfully blocked a commercial developer from putting big box retail in the dedicated innovation employment lands.

He sees a stadium as a similar use of this land. "Bob Young said it himself, the Ticats are retail business. We'd never consider putting a big box store in these lands, so why would we consider putting in a stadium?"

He also worries about the message that Hamilton will communicate to prospective residents and investors by putting a stadium on innovation employment lands. "I'm worried that we'll have a harder time attracting young people. You can do a lot with a beautiful design," he adds, but it must be in service of an economically valuable goal.

Ticats the Team vs. Ticats the Business

In discussing the broader issue of the Ticats' interest, he drew a distinction between the team of the Ticats and the business of the Ticats. "We all want the team to succeed," he said of the Ticats as a cultural touchstone. "As a city we don't want to lose another thing, be it the team or the Pan Am stadium."

However, the Ticats are also a business, and it's important to understand team owner Bob Young's business interest. The Ticats have a "rabid fan base", and attendance at Ticat games is roughly similar to other CFL teams. But Ticat tickets sell for over $20 less than the CFL average, meaning the team has some serious revenue shortfalls to make up.

Today the team is effectively bankrupt, but for the willingness of its owner to absorb annual losses.

Chamberlain noted that Young still has not released his team's economic studies - "We still haven't seen a business plan" - but acknowledges that the team needs to make up its revenue losses somewhere.

The problem, Chamberlain argues, is that the current demographic of Ticat fans just can't afford to pay the kind of ticket prices that would ensure a sustainable business - hence Young's efforts to re-brand the team more regionally and locate the stadium where a larger regional catchment area can easily reach the games.

In that sense, a MIP site represents an improvement over the West Harbour for Young. It is closer to Westdale, Ancaster, Dundas and beyond; and it has better highway access.

The problem for the city is that the land is much more valuable as innovation employment lands than as a stadium and parking. "We have to ask: what city-building are we doing" with the Future Fund money?

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 adding up? (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 17:12:05

Bravo to Mark Chamberlain.
If I multiply 5 and 1, I get 5--as requested by the blog host. But if I multiply Hamilton times the Tiger Cat football team, it doesn't add very much of anything to the actual, real arithmetic of Hamilton, nor would the team's absence subtract much compared to what's already missing in the city, but gradually getting better. The failing Spectator would have to find something else to cover and worry about.
The posting by Creeker (Posted August 30, 2010 12:36:10 in the Bob Young letter responses earlier today) asked a really important question that these blog comments clearly deem irrelevant. Fortunately some council members at the first vote in committee thought this question was the key question, Pan Am or no Pan Am.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 30, 2010 at 17:12:57

As is so often the case, Mark Chamberlain is a truly credible voice of reason!

In fact, his points are so well articulated and sound that I fear this delusional discussion of MIP is but another shell game. Look over here, but it's really over here.

Tuesday may reveal more than we realize. If this is a scam to get the West Harbour pulled off the table and to open up all of the other choices again so the Ti-Cats are happy, I might suggest Chad Collins get ready to man the CP barricades because an attack may be imminent.

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By NortheastWind (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 17:36:10

I think we should relocate a portion of innovation park to the West Harbour and create a McMaster University campus and residents with it. It sounds sustainable to me. Jobs would be created in the downtown. Planned condo developments would likely follow. This will draw people to live in the area, which is the ultimate goal for our struggling core. In addition, a need would be create for a rapid transit system and a case to present to the province to fund a system. It seems like a "win-win-win" to me. Hamilton gets a state of the art football facility, our downtown gets a needed boost and the Ticats stay in Hamilton. McMaster has not shown any interest in the past to move to the downtown, so an incentive would be needed for them to participate.

Comment edited by NortheastWind on 2010-08-30 16:40:56

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 30, 2010 at 18:51:16

OK.

Before we deify Mr. Chamberlain...more importantly, before we start getting all positively blustery about what he’s suggesting, here’s some stuff that I think needs to be considered:

-What is the extent of subsidies for the innovation park? I’m thinking of unsuspecting taxpayers inputting into creating inventions that are profited by innovation licensing companies...the benefits of which do not filter back to the tax payers.

-Has Mr. Chamberlain yet delivered on prosperity after spending nearly 800K on attempting to invent a new language for the city? 

-His licensing firm (a fairly new invention) promptly got a nice location in the heart of the invention zone; does he get first dibs to license the technologies?

-Why would a licensing company need physical proximity to tech R&D centre? 

-Are there good reasons why a company like Chamberlain’s would get upset at the reduction -or now dispersal- of startup companies across the city (ideally) or in this case maybe to the waterfront?

-What are the specific terms of agrement for the licensing of Mac technologies by Travaris? Is it sole-sourced to Travaris? or are there other companies involved in the deal?

-Has he in fact empowered Mayor Fred in some way to take the hard stand that he took on WH?

Enquiring minds SHOULD be wanting to know the answers here, before we grant tremendous cachet to Mr. Chamberlain’s observations.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 30, 2010 at 19:04:15

mystoneycreek

I missed the part where you commented on the MIP being used as a stadium site.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 19:14:40

Ticat season ticket prices 700-550-380-300- 195-150-125

Saskatchewan 572-528-466-343 (students) 343 (seniors)

Argos 630-540-386-224-161

Edmonton 500-450-390-329-294-209

Calgary 539-479-419-289-179-139

Winnipeg (single tickets) 64.50-58.25-46.50-32.75-19.25

Bc Lions (10 game flex pack pricing) Silver 350 Bronze 250

Montreal (Super-platinum 1175 - Super Gold 1015) 740-535-355-240-199

ticats *All individual game tickets will include an additional $2 Facility Fee. The top 4 ticat price levels take more than 75% of the stadium..the last 3 ticket levels, family zone, end zone and a small red section arent many seats.

Im not sure where the $22 less per game come from but that isnt the first time ive heard that

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By cd (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 20:00:23

Awesome idea,NortheastWind!

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By cd (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 20:20:44

"MIP, in contrast, "does not need that kind of leverage. We've got it already."

Building a stadium on lands earmarked for new-economy businesses would actually "detract from the city's economic agenda" in the MIP by crowding out more valuable spinoff investments."

Spurious reasoning here. What do we mean by "spinoff investments" anyways? How are spinoffs from a stadium different from those that MIP is expected to generate? A spinoff benefit is a spinoff benefit, whatever the source. What kind of elitist thinking is this that wants "ethereal" hi-tech lands to be kept qualitatively distinct from a site whose only putative value lies in bulldozer development? And why (or how) do a stadium and MIP, located in the same vicinity, necessarily cancel each other out as business investment sites. It seems that Chamberlain may be as glib andself-serving as Young supposedly is.

And the "team" and "business" distinction with regards to the Ticats is even more bogus than that between MIP and Pan Am stadium as "city-building legacy" ventures. The worst type of reasoning is the either-or one: "either you're for us or you're against us". Again, why not both "team" (legacy site) and "business" (investment)?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 30, 2010 at 20:26:26

I missed the part where you commented on the MIP being used as a stadium site.

Exactly. I was commenting on why Mr. Chamberlain might have the perspective he does regarding the MIP being used as a stadium site. Apologies for not treading the pedestrian path as anticipated. (By you, anyway.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-08-30 19:26:45

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 21:00:58

Mr. Chamberlain brings some excellent points but nothing that the big players don't already know. But as I say, good points nonetheless.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 22:03:57

I agree 100% It's a stupid idea to build a stadium on our best hope for high tech high paying jobs that will keep educated grads in this community and expand our commercial tax base. What are we replacing it with? A stadium that we'll likely have to start subsidizing again within the next 5 years when the Ti-cats realize their "driveway to driveway" experience is failing to convince people to drive in from Waterloo.

This is the worst of all possible compromises, perhaps even worst than the East Mountain.

Anyone else think we should use our future funds to cap Randle Reef instead? I hear we've failed to contribute any money to that yet...

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 22:46:11

I was reading blithely along when I encountered MyStoneyCreek's comments. Strange and cryptic, and not what I was expecting. I know of Chamberlain only from the Hamilton Poverty Roundtable thing.

It turns out that Trivaris is indeed not a high-tech company, but rather a commercialization company, specializing in converting the innovative ideas of others into money. And that's not a bad thing, but it's not high-tech.

MyStoneyCreek also informs that Trivaris is now at the MIP, and indeed thay are. Hmmmmm. So perhaps there is a personal profit motive in Chamberlain's responses on this issue, given that the stadium will not likely result in any particularly innovative ideas that commercializers can make money on (not include Bob).

Ryan - I wish you'd seen fit to include this information. It changed my reception of Chamberlain's comments. Perhaps just for now he should excuse himself from this discussion, given that he has a very specific motive for his comments.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 22:52:56

Good research d. knox!

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 22:55:04

Chamberlain has been consistent through this entire discussion. Look up some of his previous comments and video footage from the Hess Village rally. He's not looking at this issue from a personal motive point of view, but rather one of city building. He was also dead set against the EM site. It just so happens that the new compromise site lands right in his backyard, but if you've followed him from the start of this debate you'll know where his passion lies - building a great city starting with the downtown.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 00:05:33

What Mystoneycreek pointed out was more than relevant. If we're going to critique prominent Hamilton Businessmen for throwing their weight around on this, then lets not only pick on Ron Foxcroft. Mark Chamberlain is not a saint, he used to run a company that made parts for American cruise missiles (Wescam). Background info on powerful people is always relevant information when they're trying to influence people.

That being said. I agree with him fully on this issue (as well as others). Putting a Stadium in the Innovation Park would be every bit as stupid as he says. Lands earmarked for high quality employment shouldn't be squandered, especially since it's finally being built. Does Chamberlain have profit interests? Of course. He's a businessman, and a stakeholder in a project which is much more important and has prior claim to the site.

These developers are acting like kids in a sandbox, continually wanting to bulldoze "yesterday's work" and build something new today, even it isn't done yet.

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By NeverSurprised (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 07:29:44

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 08:08:41

If Mr. Butani and B Young like this site, then so do I. We shouldn't be too hasty to line up opposed to yet another prospect. I look forward to debating all the other issues involving design, planning and construction. Enough already, let's show some compunction and Git R Dun. Why prolong this delay when there's still much more to come?

I wish to see Mr. Young back in the business of winning football games and our leadership shift into their election year campaigns. Doesn't anyone feel the same? To not make the next level would be a crying shame, afterwards we'll speculate for years exactly who was to blame for lousing the fame and our potential gain. This really is becoming insane and provokes me to write really lame.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 08:33:50

Scanning a Google Map of our city and knowing it well as I do, I think this is the only compromise site I could live with, with some strict design guidelines and some intensification of the MIP plans and perhaps moving some of them to WH or downtown. I can't find another 'ready to go' site anywhere in the city that I would support. The downtown options are clearly out of the question as Mr Young won't have highway access OR 7,000 parking spaces at Sir John A or the parking lot kingdom at John/Rebecca area.

He won't get as much parking at MIP as he wanted, but he'll get his highway exposure. And we get LRT tied into it and perhaps some MIP uses downtown. With some creative thinking, it's workable. I always felt Mac was underutilizing the land available with their plan for 2-4 storey buildings everywhere. Get 5-15 storey buildings at MIP and you'll be able to add more jobs and more research space in less overall land area to work with.
Toronto's Discovery District is a good, urban example to follow:

http://www.verney.ca/hpd2007/images/aeri...

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 08:50:47

Charberlain's comments have always been useful and well-thought out. I don't really care what he does for a living, nor am I trying to attack him, and I certainly don't want to demonize him for working for Westcam. I just think he should refrain from commenting on this, or at least make his personal interest more obvious. I should have been more clear on this point.

That said, I'm quite disappointed that this site is being considered. I don't think it's a good use of lands that have potential for innovation and good employment.

But I would appreciate one clarification: I read elsewhere that the site being considered is south of Aberdeen, but it appears here that we are talking about the warehouse location on the west side of Longwood. There seems to be plenty of space for a stadium south of Aberdeen where the viewing station was set up for the Aberdeen road replacement. If you drive through the lights and follow Longwood across Aberdeen it opens onto a large warehouse building with considerable space available. I don't know how much space, but I thought this was the site we were discussing and I didn't think it was so terrible. Are we sure that instead the site is really just across the street from the old Camco building? (as much as we're sure of anything these days...)

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 08:57:37

I just think he should refrain from commenting on this, or at least make his personal interest more obvious.

You got it backwards. He isn't promoting MIP because he's there, he's there because he believes in MIP.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 09:51:12

I think Jason is right on his assessment. Regardless of what I think of this location, Young is interested, and the city has a way to keep the Tiger Cats in Hamilton and use land that meets most of the criteria they have set out for their Future Fund. Not the best thing for MIP, but certainly better than the East Mountain or Confederation Park for the city.

This location is not greenfield, has ready access - highway and public transit, good visibility, doesn't impinge on residential sensibilities, doesn't require huge infrastructure upgrades...this site seems like a realistic compromise as opposed to the alternate site of the East Mountain. Hopefully McMaster will use the landswap to do some development downtown as well, and then a further goal of meaningful employment in the core will be met as well. But I'd still like to know if it's north or south of Aberdeen...

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 10:00:11

So it's OK for the Mercanti family and Bob Young to back a location that meets their business needs, but it's not ok for another active member of the community (with business interests) to give his assesment and ask that the City stick to a long term plan?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 11:16:01

"So it's OK for the Mercanti family and Bob Young to back a location that meets their business needs, but it's not ok for another active member of the community (with business interests) to give his assesment and ask that the City stick to a long term plan?"

The big difference is that Mark Chamberlain's "interests" or "needs" are entirely in keeping with the City's stated interest in, or need to, provide high-end, high-tech employment in an urban environment. What he's doing COMPLIMENTS the direction of an emerging post-industrial city. AND he's consistently, eloquently and intelligently made that position without insulting people.

The needs of the likes of Pyjama Mercanti, Bob Young and the inveterate windbag Ron Foxcroft were NEVER about the city and were ONLY about themselves. That would be fine if they weren't expecting taxpayers to foot the bill.

Moreover, Foxcroft and Mercanti resorted to high-pitched, outright falsehoods to somehow justify their own selfishness and seeming inability to progress into this century.

Has everyone forgot Mercanti ranting about WH supporters all being unemployed (as if working for your Daddy is a real job) and Foxcroft, the Hamilton "booster" who lives in Burlington, falsely claiming on radio that access to the West Harbour was "one lane in and one lane out"? Where is he now when the Longwood site has significantly fewer lanes in and out than West Harbour?

When the City's interests and business' interests coincide, municipal funding is an investment. When they don't, the greater good must prevail.

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By SitOnIt (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 13:01:13

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By JP (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:06:09

As a resident of the Locke & Aberdeen area, I would strongly oppose putting the stadium at MIP. A stadium would only drag my property value down, and it doesn't fit in with the existing environment. Other than the construction jobs, it wouldn't provide any significant employment for Hamilton. And no, I don't count the hundreds of min. wage concession stand operators that would call the stadium home significant employment.

A fully-realized MIP would provide lots of decent paying jobs, and drive up property values in my neighborhood and the entire Southwest part of town. It would also help bolster Hamilton's commercial tax base. There are very few good jobs in Hamilton, we need to provide desirable places for employers to establish their businesses. A stadium at the MIP would just take away from what little land we have available for that purpose.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:08:27

I agree. Downtown has a huge number of restaurants and stores that will benefit from the games being there. Aberdeen and Longwood? Eh, not so much.

Instead of a short walk past a lot of restaurants to dispersed parking lots or transit, it'll be a long wait to try and get out of a parking lot with four lanes leading out of it.

6000 cars * four lanes out (only two if you want the highway) means huge wait times! Great game experience!

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By shemphill (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 20:07:59

As someone who lives in the Dundurn and Aberdeen area, I've supported the WH site location. Going by the MIP everyday - I have to say that I don't think the proposed location is big enough. Losing the MIP concept would also be big mistake IMO. It is a fantastic plan and it needs to be followed through. That being said... if they were to look across Aberdeen Avenue to the rail yard...they would find a much bigger parcel of land. In my opinion it would be a much better location and wouldn't compromise the MIP land & would likely get neighbourhood support - as everyone would love to see the rail-yard moved.

Steve

Comment edited by shemphill on 2010-08-31 19:09:26

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 23:35:36

While I wholeheartedly agree that anybody and everybody have the right to bring up issues about his business interests, I don't feel that it should exclude Mark Chamberlain from having his say. First off, because everyone who's involved in a choice like this should be able to voice their opinion BECAUSE they are a stakeholder, not in spite of it. And secondly because I believe in free speech in general.

The difference I see here between businessmen like Mark Chamberlain and businessmen like Ron Foxcroft or Bob Young is that Mark Chamberlain's arguments stand on their own merit, regardless of who makes them. Ron and Bob's arguments rest on their positions as businessmen.

Many people on here, myself especially, have been very critical of the power and privilege wielded by a very small number of businessmen over the city's political life, especially on this issue. For this to be more than just name calling, it needs to be even-handed. Nobody can be above scrutiny when their business interests affect so many other people, and especially when they're receiving taxpayer dollars. I'm not saying that Chamberlain's opinion on these matters should be discounted because of his business interests, but his business interests should not be ignored because we approve of his stance on this issue. Same goes for any other millionaires who want to speak up.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 04, 2010 at 10:44:19

Here is the link to an excellent information and opinion piece by Mark Chamberlain in the Hamilton Spectator today: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

This should be required reading for Bob Young, Scott Mitchell, Senator David Braley, Ron Foxcroft, Hostco, Hamilton city council and staff and the Hamilton community at large.

Can anyone, including Bob Young's stadium experts, name one city in the world where a high tech innovation park was sacrificed in whole or in part to build a stadium?

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from page A4 of yesterday's Hamilton Spectator:

'The Ticats' Mitchell says though there are a number of sites that could work, the team is sticking to is agreement to investigate MIP.

"The time for examining 20 different sites was two years ago, and unfortunately, we've spent the better part of our time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole," said Mitchell. "Now the deadline is upon us."

At a Committee of the Whole meeting on February 23, 2009, Hamilton city council considered for the first time whether to commit $60 Million of Future Fund money to a Pan Am athletics stadium and velodrome with the preferred site to be the west harbour. Bob Young did not attend that meeting but Scott Mitchell made a presentation to city council that day. Mr. Mitchell did not tell city council that Bob Young would make no financial contributions to a west harbour stadium, that the Tiger-Cats would never play at a west harbour stadium, that the Tiger-Cats wanted the track removed from the athletics stadium, and that Bob Young required a 60 acre parking lot. Based on all the information it had received including the presentation by Mr. Mitchell, city council voted to spend up to $60 Million on a Pan Am athletics stadium and velodrome if and when Toronto was awarded the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Here is a link to the Minutes of that meeting:http://hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/A74BC236-F8F7-4DE8-B2B9-DDCE411F94EF/0/Feb23Minutes.pdf

City staff began making Pan Am bid preparations and plans. Hamilton was featured in the Toronto Pan Am bid book as the site of the athletics stadium.

On November 6, 2009, a majority of Pan Am Sports Organization delegates voted in favour of the Toronto bid largely based on its bid book. Hamilton has already lost the Pan Am athletics stadium primarily because the Tiger-Cats insisted on the removal of the track after the Pan Am Games. As a result, Hamiltonians will not get to see Usain Bolt try to break his own world record in Hamilton in 2015. We will not get to see Canadian medal winning track and field performances. And the city has lost the chance of having Pan Am marathons run along its wonderfully reclaimed harbourfront before a national and international audience.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting on February 18, 2010, Hamilton city council accepted a stadium feasibility report from Deloitte Canada and a transportation study from IBI Group as well as presentations from various community members. Bob Young did not attend the meeting. Scott Mitchell attended the meeting but made no presentation. Based on all the information it had received, Hamilton city council again voted to spend up to $60 Million on a Pan Am athletics stadium and velodrome at the west harbour.

Shortly after that, the Tiger-Cats began their anti west harbour stadium campaign.

Hamilton has already lost the Pan Am athletics stadium primarily because the Tiger-Cats insisted on the removal of the track after the Pan Am Games during the facilitation meetings with Michael Fenn. The Ticats' demands caused much concern for Athletics Canada and made it easy for HostCo to move the athletics stadium to York University. As a result, Hamiltonians will not get to see Usain Bolt try to break his own world record in Hamilton in 2015. We will not get to see Canadian medal winning track and field performances. And the city has lost the chance of having Pan Am marathons run along its wonderfully reclaimed harbourfront before a national and international audience. In hindsight, had the city invited Athletics Canada into the facilitation meetings with Michael Fenn, perhaps Athletics Canada could have been secured as the legacy tenant for the west harbour stadium site.

The facilitation process resulted in the identification of a two-track stadium location process including the existing west harbour stadium location and an East Mountain stadium location. Bob Young, Scott Mitchell and Ron Foxcroft went over the heads of the Hamilton community and pleaded their case for an East Mountain stadium through the national media. They also apparently initiated discussions, with Mr. Foxcroft as the admitted go-between, with other municipalities about moving the team out of Hamilton. Based on the information it had, Hamilton city council again voted in favour of the west harbour stadium site on August 10th and 12th. However, on August 31, 2010, it eventually bowed to the enormous weight of the HostCo timelines, local and national media pressure and the fear of losing the team.

Now Hamilton is faced with the prospect of a capped, downsized or partially relocated West Hamilton Innovation District (including the McMaster Innovation Park) because the Tiger-Cats will not talk to the city unless this stadium site is on the table. The city could end up sacrificing billions of dollars in lost employment income and intellectual property economic spinoffs over the next fifty years by building a stadium in that district.

In retrospect, it appears that, for city building purposes, the Pan Am Games was the "round hole", Athletics Canada was the "round peg" and the Tiger-Cat organization was the "square peg". One wishes that the Ticats had tried to be a little more "well-rounded" and tried harder to make the west harbour site work for everybody or that the Ticats had disclosed their "squareness" to Hamilton city council back on February 23, 2009 to spare the city the time, effort and money it has directed toward the Pan Am stadium issue.

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