Special Report: Pan Am

Ticats: $10 Million Toward Stadium

In the latest staff report on the CP Rail Yard site, the Ticats offer to contribute $8-10 million in capital costs toward the stadium.

By RTH Staff
Published October 08, 2010

City staff have published their information report [PDF link] detailing the latest updates on the Pan Am Stadium proposal that will be presented to Councillors at the October 12 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Since the previous information report, Staff still recommend that Council present the CP Rail Yards as the City's recommended stadium location and formally ask the Ontario and Federal governments for additional funding to increase the stadium from 15,000 seats to 25,000 seats.

Ticat Contribution

What has changed is that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are now offering to contribute $8-10 million in capital costs toward the construction of the stadium, spread over a ten year period. They also offer to contribute $200,000 a year, collected through a ticket price surcharge, toward a "capital reserve" fund held by the city.

The Ticats will enter into a 20 year contract with the City to operate the stadium "at no risk to the city" but with an annual $300,000 management fee paid by the City. The Ticats wish to reserve the right to collect revenues from Naming Rights on the stadium. The City would be allowed to use the stadium for community events at no extra charge.

The Ticats have secured an exclusive option to a NASL soccer team and are working to establish a team that will play at the stadium. They plan to start a soccer academy in conjunction with the NASL team.

The Ticats will also purchase 10-15 acres of land from the CP Rail Yard to build an operate a hotel/convention centre, which is expected to generate op to $500,000 a year in property tax assessments.

Senior Levels of Government

Pan Am HostCo has reiterated that it requires the City to: undertake a class Environmental Assessment on the site and arrange for any necessary remediation; prepare a functional programming assessment based on BMO Field in Toronto; and demonstrate that the funding shortfall has been addresses.

HostCo also demands that Hamilton agree to pay a $500,000 fee to cover their planning, design and compliance process in the event that the City backs out of a Pan Am stadium.

The Province has indicated a willingness to help with the additional cost of purchasing the land, relocating its tenants, remediating the land and upgrading the stadium to meet CFL requirements. However, the Federal government maintains that the private sector needs to fill the funding gap.

Other Issues

Council have identified the Ivor Wynne and West Harbour sites as priorities for redevelopment, but Staff have not yet prepared recommendations for these locations. The report states that they will provide a list of recommendations shortly. In the meantime, the staff report recommends demolishing the West Harbour properties the City has already acquired "where demolition is of paramount public interest."

The Ticats have offered to establish a "Hamilton Legacy Foundation" to support the redevelopment of Ivor Wynne and West Harbour, though they have not yet released any details about what this would entail.

A traffic study prepared by McCormack Rankin found that $6 million in road and highway improvements are required to prepare the area to accommodate game traffic.

Funding Shortfall

The net funding shortfall today stands at around $20 million - plus the total land acquisition costs, which are still in camera. The total funding shortfall will be somewhere around $50-60 million.

44 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2010 at 22:35:01

I'm somewhat speechless. That deal is a real piece of work.

A couple minor points:

  1. The NASL?? It's not even sanctioned yet as a second tier league beneath the MLS. So far, the USL is the only second tier league in North America.
  2. I know I'm way premature to even mention a design issue, but regarding the spartan drawing on the PDF file showing the stadium location and associated Bob's world next door - if this thing actually gets built here, let's please align the stadium on an east/west axis to show off the downtown skyline and leafy neighbourhoods between the stadium and downtown, as well as the beautiful west end, Dundas Valley and Niagara Escarpment off to the west. Small complaint, I know, but if we're going to be turned upside down for all we're worth, let's darn well make sure that the stadium shows off our city in the best way possible.

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By RD (anonymous) | Posted October 08, 2010 at 23:19:33

Similar to their current stadium, an east/west alignment acts as a wind tunnel which makes it cold and windy on days that are not nice. You also don't get the evening sun issue. North/South is the better alignment.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 00:06:07

Looks like a good deal!

I can't comment anymore because I'm having a Lakeport beer right now and shaking my head!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 00:33:33

At first glance it looks like a good deal.

The city would pay $300,000 annually instead of the current $1.25m, plus the city gets $500,000 annually in tax revenue from associated development, and the Tiger-Cats would also pay $200,000 annually to a capital reserve fund.

Just wonder how opearting costs go from $1.25m at IWS, to $3m to $3.5m for a new stadium. Does it cost that much to run a more modern facility?

I also noticed that the province may agree to pay for land acquisition, and that funding for stadium construction must be determined by February 1, 2011.

Now let's here from private investors.



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By Al Zander (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 07:13:46

I love the stale old maths the TiCats keep using. They propose to use up Hamilton's Future Fund to build the stadium anywhere but on the location that Future Fund was earmarked for - the West Harbour. In its place, the TiCats propose to create a "Hamilton Legacy Foundation". When and how any money will come out of this new proposed fund and be able to actually be used for the remediation of West Harbour is nowhere in their write-ups. The Future Fund money, however, that... they would like to use up right away, please and thanks you. Great deal!

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2010 at 09:13:40

So, at this point, they're contributing between a tenth and a seventeenth of the total costs?

Wanna know what a "development agenda" is? It's one that finds a way to open up entirely new lands for development (including a hotel and convention centre), as well as fostering the development of both IW and the WH. You can bet that they, too, will be hotels, condos, chain retail developments or something of the sort.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 09:37:27

In the middle of all that math, let's not overlook that the $8-10m doled out over the next decade is not a donation so much as it is in lieu of facility rental fees. And in exchange for that, a USL2 or whatever soccer team will probably play rent-free, while public access to the stadium made possible by massive infusion of public capital for will probably be tighter than Balsam Avenue purse strings.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 09:40:26

Oh, and as far as a funding shortfall, if they're ponying up a max of $10m and that's to be paid out incrementally over 10 years, the gap is possibly wider than you allow. Contractors like to be paid upon completion of project; they aren't up to speed on this newfangled Cat Math.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 11:49:37

What dirt does BY have over city council? His only threat is to take the 'Cats away and play somewhere else. What other city is interested in a CFL team at this point? What other city will invest $100+ million to put up a stadium?

Let's take a look at this, shall we?

What does the city want?

Brownfield cleanup and downtown revitalization. The Federal and Provincial money for the games makes this feasible when combined with the Future Fund, money specifically put aside for downtown investment.

What does BY want?

Turn the 'Cats from a money pit into a profit center.

What does WH give us?

Well, it apparently suits the city's needs (demonstrated by being voted for 7 times), but it doesn't give BY any additional revenue streams.

What does the CP site give us?

Suits none of the city's needs, but it does get BY his additional revenue streams.

What has happened? BY has seen a perfect opportunity to hijack Federal, Provincial and Municipal funds to his own profit and is using the threat of taking his ball and going to another home (that doesn't exist!) to accomplish this.

So, for the price of us not revitalizing downtown and remediating brownfields, for the privilege of us building him a stadium and providing him a customer base for Bob's World and Bob's Parking Lots, we also are expected to hand over to him the naming rights of the stadium!

Walk away. Call his bluff and start building downtown. At the least we have $60m to put towards a nice velodrome and a park.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 13:53:32

This deal seems pretty good to me. Lets look at it this way, this facility to replace IWS. Give that it is costing 1 mil a season, giving the Cats 300,000 (200,000 of that going directly to a stadium reserve fund managed by the city) and gaining 500,000 in potentiall tax revenue, that allows the city to use that additional tax money towards downtown revitalization. We also get rid of a brownfield and have a stadium with rail access that fufills the Ti-Cats needs. Also a potential soccer team, which say what you will, the Nutrilite Canadian championship will pack fans in that stadium with a NASL team due to our proximety to TFC.

I'm behind this, the only issue is finding a way to deal with the funding shortfall.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 14:01:15

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-09 13:07:24

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 15:02:13

Earth to turbo. The city is spending more on the stadium than the feds or the province. The money's coming from the future fund, which has a mandate of city building. The pan am legacy is amateur sport, not professional, they made an exception for the Ticats. Finally longwood was already going to be remedied via MIP.

PS we're still short $60,000,000 or so for this stadium, do you know where we're going to find it?

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 15:31:51

-Hammer- "..and have a stadium with rail access.."

There will be no rail access to this location. It's not even being suggested as part of the plan. Where do you get this idea?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 15:37:47

So even after their "special development charge" that will bring the city $200,000 a year, we'll still be paying them $100,000 per year to run the place for us.

Unbelievable...

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 16:01:43

Similar to their current stadium, an east/west alignment acts as a wind tunnel which makes it cold and windy on days that are not nice. You also don't get the evening sun issue. North/South is the better alignment.

I gotta side with Paul Allen on this one. I think we should model a new stadium after Qwest Field, albeit smaller of course. His design team walked into his office with plans for a domed stadium and ended up being lectured by the multi-millionaire on the virtues of playing football outdoors, in the rain and wind. he sent them away with a few instructions - make it the loudest, most intimate venue in the NFL; angle it so the wind and rain rip through the place, no fair-weather fans allowed; create a dynamic view of the Seattle skyline.

The result? The loudest, coolest stadium in the NFL with this view:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwest_Field

I'd hate for us to choose a worse location than WH and then botch it up even more by giving everyone a view of the base of the escarpment right in front of them to the south, and the 403 to the north.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 18:32:49

@ jason

That is exactly what I was thinking. Qwest Field in Seattle is a wonderful looking stadium designed for soccer, football and concerts. If we can get anything close to this on a smaller scale (30k seats) looking toward downtown Hamilton I'll at least be happy with that. Hopefully the architects have something like that in mind for the city. But I could be getting ahead of myself

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 22:29:21

Hopefully the architects have something like that in mind for the city. But I could be getting ahead of myself.

I know it's early, but we need to start throwing out progressive ideas about this now instead of waiting. If the Cats have been getting all their advice from some big box builder, I sure don't want to sit back and let their design expert make all the decisions without hearing from the public. The last thing we want is a stadium that is out of date the day after it opens. Might as well keep Ivor Wynne in that case. Some end zone seats in the west end will take away any sunset concerns on the field.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 22:32:23

No the feds and province are providing more than the city is. That money is for a stadium, nothing else. If the city wants more than a stadium they have to find more money.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 22:42:14

Doesn't a north south orientation put the endzones in the north and south ends of the stadium leaving a view through the north endzone towards Cootes Paridise? I don't see a problem with that view to be honest with you. No matter which way it goes there will be buildings in the way at any rate. It appears to me if you go east west you'll end up with a view of the lower city southwest residential area

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-09 21:42:55

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 23:31:11

Turbo,

The $60M Future Fund wasn't earmarked specifically towards a stadium. This is money for downtown.

This is the cash that BY is hijacking.

No one is suggesting that the CFL is a path to riches. In fact, we're trying to oppose paving that path for BY with our money! I have no problem with BY trying to earn money or even succeeding at earning money, but I fail to see any reason why tax dollars should not primarily benefit the city instead of BY.

You will also note that BY is perfectly willing to invest significant funds in land BESIDE the stadium. This, in my view, proves the main reason that WH wasn't acceptable to him. There's no way there for him to control all the revenue streams.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2010-10-09 22:32:23

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 23:38:44

I've heard that the FF isn't necessarily tied to anything in what is regarded as "downtown". That it could be used for somethings besides "downtown". Is there a document that anyone knows of that specifically states what it can and cannot be used for?

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-09 22:39:17

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 09:06:47

This link to the Hamilton Future Fund website states the allocation goals of the Future Fund. Supporting downtown redevelopment is one of its allocation goals. http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/C...

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By screwed (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:51:59

Is there an honest chance Council won't approve this deal on Tuesday?
If they reject it, what's next?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 14:44:24

Then it gets pushed over for the next council to decide. Sigh. Maybe Commonwealth 2024?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 15:35:19

brandon I was not talking about the future fund. I'm talking about the HOSTCO money. The future Fund money isn't even necessary as far as HOSTCO is concerned. They really don't care how Hamilton funds their portion

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 15:45:28

@By RenaissanceWatcher (anonymous) Posted October 10, 2010 08:06:47

That document also shows that the Future Fund is for other city building projects and that the stadium would fit in if they were only allocating 20% (social benefit) of the total $100M. Since they are allocating more than that the use of the Future Fund is dubious at best unless it can be argued that it contributes to the economic base (65%)or enhancing community life (15%) As you can see the total should be no more than $35M at the WH for the entire Pan Am Project assuming that brown field remediation is considered improving community life. Any way you look at it all options are breaking the spirit and letter of the Future Fund Priorities Statement

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 21:02:07

Turbo,

I'm not sure I understand your point. There is Federal, Provincial and Municipal money coming in to build a stadium to benefit the city and help revitalize downtown.

The Federal and Provincial money come with strings attached, such as nearness to GO services and other transit (LRT comes into it as well). The Municipal money comes with the string that it go to benefit downtown.

Since BY won't make as much money downtown as he will if he can build Bob's World beside it he has, at the last minute, flat out refused to go along with the plan that he was a part of building. Why at the last minute? Because now he can hold everyone hostage to his demands.

Make BY happy or lose the 'Cats! They'll go play somewhere else!

Make BY happy or lose the HOSTCO funding! They demand a legacy tenant.

Once again, to summarize: BY is trying to channel public money to provide himself with a significant revenue stream at the cost of downtown. Let him build his own damned stadium if he wants to make all the money. If he wants a stadium built for him, he can damn well play in an environment that will benefit many citizens, not just him.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 21:47:07

Make BY happy or lose the HOSTCO funding! They demand a legacy tenant.

Only in Hamilton. No other PanAm facility has a legacy tenant. Just one more piece of the political puzzle that has been waged against our city behind the scenes. We're paying more than any other city for our contribution to the games and are also facing more demands and unnecessary restrictions than any other city.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-10-10 20:48:39

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 10, 2010 at 22:08:21

Brandon, the federal and provincial money is for a Pan Am Stadium and Veledrome. Its the city that wants it to be more. Thats fine but if the city cannot find the funds and/or they don't have the requisite legacy tenant, no funding. Their funding is not contingent on downtown renewal LRT or Go access The only string attached is the legacy funding. In fact Premier McGuinty stated unequivocally that the LRT and Pan Am stadium are not dependent on each other and HOSTCO had approved the East Mountain site which had neither LRT nor Go service

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-10 21:14:42

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 04:14:41

@Turbo. When did they approve the EastMountain site? Burlington lost their facility for one reason, Go access.

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By Marauder (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 06:52:13

"..the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are now offering to contribute $8-10 million in capital costs toward the construction of the stadium, spread over a ten year period."

Capital costs? Can you even legitimately describe it that way if most of the money will be received AFTER the stadium has been built? Even if they started this year, most would roll in after we've footed the bill. We'll end up closing the funding gap by maybe $3 million, which could easily be burned off by cost over-runs.

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By Comeon (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 08:34:08

"They also offer to contribute $200,000 a year, collected through a ticket price surcharge, toward a "capital reserve" fund held by the city."

They offer to contribute through a ticket price surcharge! Isn't that just the fan's money??

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By SnowJob (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 08:57:51

This is a worst deal than imagined. It has hidden costs all over it and nothing but good potential for the TiSharks!

For instance, what is the price of the rail lands? CONFIDENTIAL???? plus relocation of 3 companies: CONFIDENTIAL plus infrastructure works, plus remediation works, plus plus plus...it is unaffordable.

Council is lame duck and should not be making this decision....come on Oct 25th!!!!

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2010 at 14:21:02

Here's something that is just confounding me.

The Tiger-Cats have been in the news almost every single day for the past 4 months. That's all of Hamilton's radio stations, all newspapers, CHCH TV, all Council meetings and THEY STILL CAN'T FILL a 30,000 seat stadium! Normally, this kind of constant coverage would result in a spike in ticket sales. According to reports, they had just over 20,000 at the last game. And they're winning games. How many of those seats were give-aways? What was the range in price from the lowest to the highest tickets and how many of each were sold. There is something terribly wrong with this picture.

You simply cannot blame it all on Ivor Wynne Stadium. Lawrence, I know you agree.

So what the hell are we talking about here? The Chris Murray Information Report is scandalous. The Ti-Cats are once again spinning their nonsense about investment, and Foundations, and risk, and ticket surcharges, and naming rights. And our City Manager is letting them do it. Read the Draft Memorandum of Understanding. It's full of "poor Ti-Cats/fabulous Ti-Cats" clauses. I think it's time Chris Murray put in a few "poor taxpayers of Hamilton" clauses.

They can't fill the stadium they've got that we subsidize to the tune of $1.25 million a year and they want us to pay them $300,000 to use our brand new stadium, which presumably after the halo has worn off, the numbers will drop back down to 20,000 paid tickets, give or take a few thousand. And then what do we do?

Just like Bob Young said in his heartwarming and stomach churning letter, it's time to call your Councillor. As in now.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 14:26:31

I laugh when people actually complain that its the ticket buyers that are paying the Tigercats share while ranting against the Tigercats . Just where do you think the money should come from ?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2010 at 14:38:45

turbo

I could care less what Ti-Cat ticket purchasers pay. That's their business. What is MY business is how much money from the Future Fund and the City's already strained budget are being "invested" to keep the Ti-Cats happy. Are you saying you're happy with the "investment" we're making?

Ever met a payroll with your own money? If you had, you'd probably think twice about spending taxpayers' money this way. At least I would.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 15:35:55

Data is from 2006 Census and city websites...

Burlington...

348k average home price * 1.04 tax rate = $3,691 tax bill

$3,691/$74,969 median household earnings = 4.92% of earnings to the city in taxes.

Hamilton

252k * 1.54% = $3,881

$3,881/$55,312 = 7.02% of earnings to the city in taxes

If the City of Hamilton cut residential taxes as a percentage of earnings to Burlington levels, residential tax rates would fall to 1.079% and average payments would fall to approximately $2,720. Who thinks that an extra $1,161 per household would help our local economy?

The only reason why we don't have fair tax levels is because the city pays our workers the same wage level as richer communities. This is great if you work for the city, but is a raw deal if you don't.

The time for a fair tax on the people of Hamilton is here. We should start demanding a tax grab no bigger than 5% of our median income. Setting a tax cap would force politicians to make budgets based on serving the taxpayer first and their pet projects (Pan Am Stadium) second. They have a tax cap in both Oregon and Massachusetts and neither Boston, nor Portland have suffered because of them.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 15:39:40

@H+H

I believe Bob Youngs argument is 20,000 is about as much as the team can hope to draw from the immediate Hamilton area. What he is hoping to get by locating closer to a highway is a higher draw from fans further away.

I.W. is not a terrible location to get to if you are already in Hamilton. It takes me about 30 minutes from Barton/James. But if you think about the commuter from further away, for example Guelph/Kitcher/Waterloo that 30 minutes brings the total commute to well over the "magical hour" I think most people have in their mind as an acceptable commute time.

It is those further away people he is hoping to bring in, by turning the TiCats into a more regional draw (which honestly is a GOOD thing for Hamilton).


Of course, that does not excuse the financial mess this thing is in, but I think the above is the general idea, and its hard to argue against that.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2010 at 17:10:27

Robbie K.

I think your analysis of Bob Young's strategy is correct, but it's your statement, "It is those further away people he is hoping to bring in, by turning the TiCats into a more regional draw (which honestly is a GOOD thing for Hamilton)." I think is the fundamental problem.

According to Bob Young's wince-inducing letter, he states, "We are not talking about an Art Gallery or an office building with a few hundred or a few thousand visitors over the course of a day. We are talking about a large audience venue where we need to get 25,000 or more people to the venue within an hour or two of the game, and home again as quickly as possible."

I'll say he's not talking about an Art Gallery. At least people who go to the Art Gallery of Hamilton might stay and spend some money. His business model, as expressed in his letter, is to get them in and out fast. Unless, of course, they choose to hang around and visit Bobby'sWorld for a drink and some Ti-Cat wings.

The amount of money these out-of-towners, using their oh-so-convenient in and out privileges, spend in the City of Hamilton, other than their tickets at the stadium built with our money ($60 million++), and paid for by us to operate ($300,000 per year), and that produces no commercial taxes ($0), will be negligible, I suspect. So much for supporting the local economy. Bob not only takes money away directly from taxpayers, he proposes to ensure out-of-towners don't leave any money here either.

Are we still thinking this is a good thing for Hamilton? I don't think the so-called benefits come close to the level of investment we are being asked to make.

Comment edited by H+H on 2010-10-11 16:35:31

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By FenceSitter (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 21:05:23

Robbie K

"30min from Barton/James"

I presume this is on foot, or maybe bus.

It takes all of 7-8 minutes to navigate from the 403 or Red Hill to Ivor Wynne, maybe less (by car).

Perception is greater than reality, unfortunately with all if the negative press IW has been getting lately, the perception probably is 30min from the boundaries of hamilton (car).

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 23:02:55

@FenceSitter, Try it on gameday. I just did, trust me, I have the cardboard ticats helmet to prove it.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2010 at 23:09:37

@H+H, I agree that one visitor, one time from out of town will not have a great impact. And that for a single visit an Art Gallery and the like would server much better. However if we agree that Hamilton really is a great city, that it really does get a bad rap in the media, and that we have a lot of offer, then really the only way to change that is to get people to actually come here. Sporting events are something that I think more easily accomplishs this. Perhaps a stadium "close to downtown" that is "easier" to get to for out of towners might just help to change that. Give them a few years, a few dozen trips, and the city may just grow on them.

Lets face it, A trip to IW down Barton does not exactly paint a glowing picture of Hamilton to someone out of town.

Don't get me wrong, I think that because our city is footing a large portion of the Bill, we should have all the day. But if you view the stadium as a catalyst for city growth (which really only comes from outside money) then we best work on getting those outside dollars.

Of course, West Harbour accomplish's this just as well if not better then this new site. Brings them just enough into downtown, and with a little spit and shine in the area would really show off some of Hamilton.

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By TripleG (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 21:45:49

how come the only posts that are actually rational and use common sense on this forum are always the ones that are hidden. When someone tries to make a valid point everyone jumps on it and votes it down. All the other ones are bitch bitch ticats this and that and west harbour blah blah. stop being fascist idiots and learn to think on your own.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:25:05

@Robbie K and H+H

I think Bob Young's choice of words could've been better. (Scott Mitchell must be rubbing off on him). Bringing 25,000 to the relative proximity of downtown is a good thing no matter how you cut it. I think what Bob is saying is that the stadium needs to conveniently (as in, without major hassle) get fans into the stadium.

It has proximity to HSR and future LRT, it's not an enormous bike ride from downtown -- however, walking from anywhere east of Hess would be a task. But overall, that's not bad. And, having a Hamilton showcase piece/ attraction that's visible from the highway isn't a bad thing either.

I think that once some actual plans are drawn up, and it looks like there is some amount of stability with the process, private investment will come. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I also still believe people here have a very inflated perception of CFL revenue. Regardless, I'm a firm believer that it is important to this community. So, the intangible benefits are valuable. Not to be taken lightly. Obviously, as a fan and ticket buyer, I'm very biased. I still think that setting the table for a CFL team to be sustainable, albeit with a big upfront investment, can be beneficial to the city.

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