Special Report: Pan Am

Failed Compromise Stadium Sites Reaffirm Original Choice

Council needed to be prepared to walk away from a bad stadium deal. That they weren't prepared to do this is why we look like such fools today.

By Ryan McGreal
Published December 21, 2010

Say what you want about the Pan Am / Hamilton Tiger-Cats stadium site selection process (and most of the complaints I've heard about it amount to: the process is bad because site X was rejected!) - compared to the current fiasco over the CP Rail Yard site, the site that was originally chosen, affirmed and reaffirmed by Council is holding up pretty damned well.

In the poor, much-maligned West Harbour, we know exactly how much the land acquisition costs - we've already paid it. We know how much the environmental remediation will cost. We know how much construction will cost. We even know that a number of third-party businesses were interested in investing in and around the stadium. Indeed, the West Harbour area is shaping up to be a promising location for new investment.

We spent years putting the West Harbour together, doing our due diligence, conducting studies on accessibility, traffic implications and economic impacts, and setting the proposal up for success.

Now compare our increasingly frantic lurches among the string of increasingly harebrained last-minute compromise sites as we try to throw something together.

As recently as yesterday, Mayor Bob Bratina is still tossing around Confederation Park as the site that should have been - a position, in fairness, that a number of Hamiltonians share.

Good Faith Discussions?

There's some lingering uncertainty over the extent to which the Ticats were included in the process that led to the West Harbour. Former Mayor Fred Eisenberger insisted that the Ticats were at the table the entire time, that there was never any question which direction the city was moving, that the Ticats had ample opportunity to kibosh the proposal before it went to press.

The Ticats, on the other hand, insist that they privately raised objections about the West Harbour, that the City ignored them, and that they only went public when it became clear to them that the City was going to plow ahead regardless. Owner Bob Young believes he negotiated with the city in good faith.

Early this year, the Spectator quoted Ticat owner Bob Young saying, "We will make it work, whatever the site." Young later claimed that his statement was taken out of context and that he had really said something along the lines of, "we will make a variety of sites work as long as they they have the attributes necessary for a successful stadium."

Young said during the summer that he would share the team's economic studies showing that the West Harbour did not have those attributes. Instead, we heard a lot of FUD, easily debunked, about how the West Harbour had a shortage of parking and was somehow inaccessible because it wasn't right on a highway.

Councillor Brian McHattie asked Chris Murray and Rob Rossini point blank whether the City had seen the Ticats' studies: "Have they actually opened their books and demonstrated why this doesn't work for us? The only reason we're moving away from the West Harbour is the ticats don't want to go there."

Murray and Rossini punted. "The Ticats shared with us a critique of the West harbour site showing in their opinion why that site does not work for them. The original assumptions in the business case would have to change significantly to let them turn a profit."

To this day, the Ticats still have not produced an actual economic study demonstrating why the West Harbour cannot work.

Game of Chicken

I've maintained that the Ticats are mistaken in their opposition to a downtown stadium more than a stone's throw from the highway: that they're reasoning from an obsolete set of assumptions about what will make a stadium successful.

Indeed, the main problem with the West Harbour, from the Ticats' perspective, is that it has the potential to provide real public benefits in the form of increased economic vitality in the area around the stadium.

For a team that loses money on its main product and hopes to make up the difference selling ancillary concessions, their best bet is to locate the stadium at a site remote and isolated enough to prevent anyone else from benefiting. That way, they can mop up all the spinoff revenues themselves.

They decided they could do better than the West Harbour and gambled on a tough game of Chicken with the City, safe in their assumption that Council would quickly lose its nerve.

They appeared to score a big win when facilitator Michael Fenn proposed an alternate East Mountain location on Provincially-owned land where the Lincoln Alexander and Red Hill Valley Parkways meet.

Proposed East Mountain stadium location
Proposed East Mountain stadium location

The Ticats dangled a bit of money, and our Councillors fell over themselves to throw out the West Harbour and direct staff to investigate the East Mountain.

Our City, Our Future

What the Ticats never counted on was the groundswell of outrage that greeted Council's decision. Thousands - literally thousands - of citizens spoke up with passion and optimism in support of a more visionary approach that would put city building first. Council was inundated with calls, emails, and letters from citizens looking for real leadership.

Support came from across the city and a variety of stakeholders, including: the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative to the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, the Hamilton Economic Summit, medical doctors, urban revitalization experts, the Downtown BIA, architects and designers, McMaster University students, the Globe and Mail, other city mayors, and the Future Fund board of Governors. (Predictably, the Chamber of Commerce punted.)

In the meantime, the Ticats came out with their own campaign, and there was some serious wrangling behind the scenes as the Federal and Provincial governments danced around the issue.

On questioning, both MPP Ted McMeekin and Sofia Aggelonitis affirmed that the Province would support the City's decision, but other forces were moving behind the scenes.

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon penned a threatening letter warning that it would be "the end of the CFL in Hamilton" if Council didn't give the Ticats their East Mountain stadium.

At one point, the Province announced that the Feds would only fund an East Mountain stadium, only to have the Feds retract the claim that a day later and reaffirm that their funding was not contingent on a particular site - all during a very well-attended public rally for the West Harbour.

It later transpired that on the day the Province said Ottawa would only fund an East Mountain stadium, someone from Premier Dalton McGuinty's office called Mayor Eisenberger and offered the City some kind of West Harbour development money in exchange for Council picking the East Mountain. Eisenberger asked for more details, but then the Feds reversed position and the Province never followed up.

(This issue came up again when someone leaked the story to mayoral candidate Larry Di Ianni, who was running against Eisenberger. Di Ianni accused Eisenberger of covering up the Province's offer so that it would not influence Council's decision. Eisenberger retorted that there never was a firm offer from the Province, only a trial balloon that went nowhere.)

This outpouring of support from a broad spectrum of citizens and stakeholders across the city helped Council discover their backbone. When staff reported back what everyone already knew - that the East Mountain was more expensive, produced limited economic spinoff and diverted funds from more promising sites - Council managed to reaffirm, again, their support for the West Harbour.

It was a rare, truly optimistic moment in Hamilton's political history.

Council's Conviction Crumbles

It didn't take long for the Ticats' supporters to start undermining Council's decision and chipping away at their resolve. The citizens who had participated in the Our City, Our Future campaign - an intense public engagement that lasted over a month and was sustained entirely by volunteers - sat back after the August 12 Council vote, assuming that the decision was made and the campaign was over.

Between endless potshots from CHML 900, "the Voice of the Ticats", political pressure from some well-connected Ticat supporters and the loudly expressed fears of fans that they might lose their beloved football team, Council started backpedaling furiously from their own decision.

This, incidentally, is a recurring pattern in Hamilton. Once the political pressure drops off our Councillors, the voices of the detractors, squelchers and exceptionalists take over and Council reverts to an uninspired status quo of fearful pandering.

In the case of the Pan Am stadium, Council's resolve dissolved over the rest of August, and it wasn't long before the City Manager was pulled off his normal duties and dedicated to finding some site - any site - that the Ticats would find acceptable. After such an impressive show of principle, Council went back to being desperate to close a deal with the Ticats at any cost.

Weak Bargaining Position

That stink of desperation puts the City in a terrible bargaining position, which CP has exploited by boosting its asking price for the Rail Yard at Aberdeen and Longwood by tens of millions of dollars.

Consider CP's position: they're not the ones trying to sell the land. They have paying tenants and the facility itself is in active use. I'm sure their thinking, and I have a hard time finding fault with it, is: If you want this land badly enough, you're going to have to make us an offer we can't refuse.

Of course, the only reason we're at the CP Lands at all - and in a weak bargaining position, to boot - is that Council folded like a TV table when the Ticats threatened to pick up their toys and leave.

Council should have told - and indeed, still should tell - the Ticats: We went through a long, detailed process and selected the site that best meets our city-building objectives. If you want a new stadium in Hamilton, you'll find a way to make this site work.

That is, our Council needed to be prepared to walk away from a bad deal. That they weren't prepared to do this is why we look like such fools today.

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 SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:03:16

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By WH is still best (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:12:36

A well written post Ryan.

As far as I'm concerned once the Ti-Cats killed the Track and Field they also killed their negotiations and the council needs to realize that. The Pan Am games don't need a 15,000 to 20,000 seat stadium for soccer. The money the feds and province are putting up would be better spent building a small stadium in a town that doesn't have one and use that money for badly needed recreational facilities that benefit the entire community and not just billionaires and pro athletes. There are lots of fields to play football and soccer on in southern Ontario. But there isn't a velodrome and there are very few tracks for running on r Olympic sized pools for swimming in Hamilton.

WH is still the best but if the Tiger Cats don't want to play then let another municipality take it and lets focus on the MAC pool and the velodrome.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:21:29

Well what a surprise! Ryan likes the West Harbour!!

Well what a surprise! Every I time I add 2 and 2 I get 4. It must be some kind of conspiracy!!

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:25:08

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:41:26

And once again we are presented with the brilliant arguments against the WH location. Way to sum them up in detail!

"It won't work". Why won't it work?

"I just told you, it won't work!"

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:58:17

Ryan

An excellent, timely and helpful reminder of both the high and low points of the debate.

The fact that our City Manager has spent nearly 6 months focused on brokering a deal for the CP site is ludicrous. A complete waste of his and staff time. Not his fault, but all residents suffer as a result.

I hope Chad Collins stands his ground and works his Council colleagues to do the same and keep Confederation Park off the table.

Can't wait to see if it's Broadcaster Bob (everybody's favourite guy who got elected Mayor) or if it's Councillor Bob (Ward 2 resident's mercurial ex-Councillor) who makes an appearance during the emergency Council meeting tomorrow. So far, Councillor Bob seems to have left the building, but during what will be a heated debate, he's more likely to return.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:14:36

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:17:20

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:19:04

I just pray that WH never ever sees a stadium there. It would be a shame.

Concern trolling.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:23:35

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:28:35

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:29:21

That and the fact that the numbers were cooked on WH expenses understating them; and overstating them on the East Mountain. Everybody knows that too.

[citation needed]

It's not the Ticats responsibility to show the public reports that they paid for. I'm not going to show you my tax return either. He hired experts in sports entertainment and everyone reported West Harbour was the worst location.

"This site is terrible, and I have the reports to prove it."

"May we see the reports?"

"No."

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2010-12-21 08:29:46

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:29:28

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:30:19

How do we know? Because he said so. Again not his responsibility to publish his reports in the Spectator either.

Bwahahahahahaha. It's his responsibility to publish his reports if he wants $100 million+ of public money to run his business. I say let Hazel have him if she wants to shell out the money.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:32:45

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:34:16

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:35:40

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Comment edited by TreyS on 2010-12-21 08:38:04

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:42:00

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:50:35

The Cats are under no obligation to show the public reports THAT THEY PAID for.

Are we really having this argument? You're right, the Cats have no obligation to show us there reports. And we have no obligation to give them ONE RED CENT of public tax payer money to build a stadium so they can play football. The public reports that WE PAID FOR say the West Harbour is a good site that will work. If his reports say different, and if he still wants us to give him a bunch of money, he should probably show us the study that proves our choice doesn't work. As a tax payer I don't want one penny of my hard earned money to go into his pocket if he doesn't even have the decency to show us his numbers. Let him finance the stadium himself if he doesn't want us to see his figures, oh that's right, he CAN'T finance it himself without a huge public subsidy. Boo hoo for him, boo hoo for us.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:57:38

Just to throw another building-sized wrench into the already gummed works...

Jim Balsillie's Twitter account, which had been silent for 18 months, just fired up again this morning.

"jimbalsillie Jim Balsillie

Hi again, social friends! Very early morning. Nashville bound today! And not to learn how to write a country song. Stay tuned."

Uh oh. Everything is about to get just a bit messier. And a bit more interesting.

Comment edited by Tybalt on 2010-12-21 08:58:32

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:00:06

Coming soon: http://GoEastMountainArena.com

ducks

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:05:50

The quiet ambiance of the harbourfront area, which my wife and me love going to, would be ruined

You and your wife go for walks among the ruins of old factories and contaminated brownfield sites??
Wow. Perhaps you should start local walking tours to educate those of us who LIVE next to these dangerous, chemical sites of their quiet, beautiful ambiance.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:07:27

The Cats are under no obligation to show the public reports THAT THEY PAID for.

Then WE are under no obligation to pay for THEIR stadium. Nobody's stopping them from building their stadium. They can put it out in the middle of the lake for all I care. Just don't use a cent of my money.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:09:48

Trey, if the economic study was anything like the "report" that CASE prepared for the Ticats on their fanbase, no wonder they didn't release anything about it (including any of the findings). The CASE report would have disgraced a first-year commerce smallgroup.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:15:42

You and your wife go for walks among the ruins of old factories and contaminated brownfield sites?? Wow. Perhaps you should start local walking tours to educate those of us who LIVE next to these dangerous, chemical sites of their quiet, beautiful ambiance.

This.

We aren't talking about paving over Bayfront Park, we're talking about tearing down a derelict building and remediating a toxic nightmare that poses a real danger to the whole community.

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-12-21 09:16:19

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:28:11

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:29:33

we're talking about tearing down a derelict building and remediating a toxic nightmare that poses a real danger to the whole community

And this is one of the biggest things holding Hamilton back. The attitude among people who fled to the burbs that it's ok for us downtown area residents to live next door to stuff like this, or have our kids try to navigate one-way freeways with trucks roaring past. Stuff that they would NEVER dare put up with in their communities, but it's ok for me to, because I choose to live downtown, and in Hamilton it's an assumed law of nature that if one chooses to live downtown they automatically deserve a lower quality of life and less safe environment to raise their families. All the windbags on CHML who complain about us converting 5-lane truck highways in front of a highschool, farmers market, central library, elementary school, playground, mosque, churches and homes would NEVER dream of allowing that same 5-lane truck freeway past their neighbourhood amenities.
The hypocrisy and double standard in this city is truly fascinating.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-12-21 09:29:46

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:30:55

This will be a city owned stadium.

Bingo. The city should build it wherever it wants to.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:34:41

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-21 09:35:44

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:37:10

And very soon we will be told that council, as a majority, wants to build it at Confederation Park, is what I'm guessing.

Highly unlikely, but irrelevant nonetheless. HOSTCO has already made it clear that there is no time to consider any more sites.

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By mikeyj (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:48:54

This just posted on Bob Young's Twitter:

"According to a new, even secreter report from experts in Holiday Spirit, a West Harbour stadium would have also ruined Christmas."

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:59:30


Time to bring in Prof. Rosentraub, the stadium expert from the U.S. who lectured at McMaster to come up with a solution that will work for the City and for the team. With the two remaining options on the table (West Harbour and Confederation Park), the taxpayers are going to get burned either way. Either Council is going to give the Ticats a sweetheart deal for Confed. Park that does no good for the city, or we're going to be stuck in the stalemate of 'we won't play at WH and we won't say why' and lose the stadium.

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By Another Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:21:37

Predication:

Confederation Park will be chosen. Higher levels of government will insist on it.

Certain people will complain how City Council was usurped, still more people will be thrilled that this joke of a council was side stepped.

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:23:07

what a toxic, tiring debate this has become, between two ludicrous positions: those who want a stadium without a purpose, since our councillors won't put up good money to clean up brownfields just because we need to do it and it would bring economic advantages, and those who want the public to fund a small private enterprise based on fears of losing some apparent regional credibility we get through very infrequent football games, whose megamillionaire owner is too cheap to put more than a pittance into the team.

Let's just MOVE ON. Let the Ticats play on at Ivor Wynne and figure out a way to run their business. Put the future fund to good use, not a stadium. No more city staff hours on this issue. Sam Merulla has been right all along. I'm sure every councillor is sick and tired of this, and they know they got played by an election year ruse which failed.

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By ProLine (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:50:48

The Ti-Cats definitely bet the farm on this one, and I don't think they'll be able to hail-mary this ConfedPark proposal last minute. Too much badly needed public money is dangling for a project that only benefits a private interest and its overly romantic fans (who insist on promoting the hare-brained schemes meant to enrich a tiny local-sports "elite").

Well, Ti-Cats defenders, who have been endlessly predicting that each new made-up-as-Young-goes-along project will be "the one," when will you be ready to admit that we, as taxpayers, can't be so eager to throw away our money on a 130-year old Hamilton's icon representing Hamilton's former glory?

After watching site after site fall off the ever-expanding list, don't you worry at all about choosing a site at the very last minute, especially one that council has ALREADY shot down?

Can you see how to many people this represents a choice between a failing Hamilton business and a chance to reinvest in any number of other more important initiatives, like remediating poisoned lands, fixing collapsing infrastructure, and investing in the city services that are used by thousands every day, not just ticket-buyers, 10 days a year.

But what I think speaks louder than any other arguments offered in the past year is the absolute silence we heard from any potential investors on the CP site. This failure by the Cats to drum up any support for their gamble at CP is damning evidence that the enterprise is probably not viable, and leaves these last, lame grasps for Confed so sad to watch.

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By bluff (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:23:37

time for council to call the Cats' bluff and put money into recreational facilities the public can use. Given them IWS for a buck.

Bob Young only knows how to make money by taking something for free and repackaging it and selling it. Thats what he wants to do here. Take a stadium and land and repackage it as sports bars and things and then he'll put a chain link fence around it so that it can't be used by the public.

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:27:00

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:33:16

A COMPROMISE has to be worked out.

"Some problems cannot be solved, because stake-holders cannot agree on the definition."

I suspect that despite the substantial Comment-miles generated, this entire situation is simply a model case of bad execution of a task. (The 'contributing factors and underlying reasons' I'll leave to someone else to document. And I still believe there's a playwright's goldmine in there somewhere...and I'm thinking musical.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-12-21 11:33:39

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:41:07

Great article Ryan. I'm greatful for all of the information provided.

I really hope this whole Confederation Park thing doesn't get any footing. I can't help but wonder if there are some real power players behind the scenes though. Does anyone know who proposed the pedestrian bridge over the QEW? Who makes/made the final decision about where the GO station is to go? What influenced Confederation Park to choose now to allow it's campground to go unused? All of these things happening at the same time seems a bit fishy.

Let's start planning ahead. Does anyone have experience in organizing rallies or protests? I have zero experience, but will do what I can to prevent a stadium from being built at Confederation Park. Does anyone have ideas?

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:48:17

kudos to not goosestepping along with the crowd.

I call Godwin.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:50:13

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:03:13

Desmond

So far the compromise you're preaching looks like this....

Taxpayers put up 95% of the money and the Ti Cats tell us where to put it.

That's some kind of compromise.

And Trey, as much as I am not a supporter of Confederation Park as the site, I genuinely appreciate the quality of your post. Too be honest, I'm still pushing city building benefits, and I don't just mean psychic benefits such as we still have a CFL team. No transit, no Go train, no way to get there easily unless by car, no critical mass that at least has the potential to have a ripple effect on other types of businesses, including current and future hotels, etc. Confederation Park as a site for the stadium, in my opinion, just doesn't provide enough benefits to the non-football going public.

Inner city kids programs held in the outer city with no transit connections to speak of is but one example. Remember, IWS stadium was booked as a city facility for kids, students, cultural groups for over 200 days this year. Sure, I guess we could try to reach that same level of non-Ti Cat use at Confederation Park, but I worry about how that might work.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:04:51

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:05:37

nobrainer

Had not heard of the Godwin Law. That is lol funny. Thanks.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:16:34

Good for a chuckle I guess. Might help if the person could spell. Certianly had some of the hockey world asking some questions.

http://funtimeinternet.com/linkgo/2010/a...

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:28:22

How long does an environmental assessment usually take? Confed Park decided on in January, how does one go about putting togther an environmental assessment in the middle of winter.

Not sure the process, but my guess the study would need to take a full year, the report developed, then challenged. Hopefully, Confed Park becomes a non-starter.

Back to IWS, where the focus should have been from Day 1. But, now we'll have to renovate 100% out of our own pockets, as HostCo money that would have helped renovate Ivor Wynne for PanAm use will be gone to a 5,000 seat stadium elsewhere.

Way to go council. How many months till the next election???

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:32:39

HostCo money that would have helped renovate Ivor Wynne for PanAm use will be gone to a 5,000 seat stadium elsewhere.

HostCo was never going to fund an IWS reno - they said from the start that the money would only be used to build a new legacy stadium.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:06:19

I've got an idea. Why don't we take acres and acres of existing parkland that the public already owns and uses that currently provides access to our waterfront, evict the general public, pave over most of it, spend millions of dollars of public money to build a stadium on it that will be cold and windswept much of the year, let a multi-millionaire have exclusive operation of it and the surrounding "precinct" and pay him from our taxes to do it. I know, I know, no city would be crazy enough to do THAT.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:09:38

A very well written summary of the chain of events, I think you do a fairly good job of being impartial (most of the time ;-) ) and linking to relevant stories and sources were applicable (mostly RTH, but those articles cite their own sources, so I'm happy.).

This kind of summary is a must read for the stadium debate.

Also, I'll repeat what I've said several times before: Failure is an option. Neither side should be strong-armed into accepting something that does not meet their minimum requirements. If there is no site in Hamilton that meets the minimum requirements of both sides, then they should both just walk away. This wouldn't be a failed negotiation, this would be a negotiation that succesffully concluded that there is no possible agreement between the two parties.

On the other hand, if there is a site that would satisfy both of their minimum requirements, and one or both sides are "holding out for more" then I think we can say there's been a failure of negotiation.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:15:09

Thank you H+H. that was a valuable comment. However it will have a GO Station (planned announced), it has a pedestrian bridge, the Cats will continue with their shuttle busses, it will have a critical mass. There already is a hotel nearby over the bridge. HSR will likely have to make a Van Wagners route all year. It's directly connected to Burlington's waterfront, the beaches are wonderful, the Great Lake is wonderful. It may not be within the boundary of Aberdeen, 403, Barton and Wellington, (neither is WH), but it is still city-building.

Keep WH for what it was intended for, mixed-use, small scale retail, medium density variety of residential and just an overall nice family park. That was the original Setting Sail Plan. Setting Sail never ever had a stadium in its plan.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:17:58

@HamiltonFan. Dude, you really, I mean REALLY, I mean Really-really-really-REALLY need to give up on that 100$ dollar figure. It is completely made up. Stop including the future fund money, as that already is Hamiltons. We are not "giving it up" but not building a Stadium, if anything we are SAVING that money to be used else where.

I guess I am just tired of your passive aggressive bullshit posts.

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By notafanofhamiltonfan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:19:12

Hamilton Fan has got to be the worst waste of time posters here. Yeah I actually believe you and your wife go on picnics in the West Harbour regularly and that a stadium would ruin your life's plan of deck shoes and sweaters tied around your neck and Christopher Cross' "Sailing" playing in the background! Please go find somewhere else to type your horrible thoughts on Hamilton - WE DON'T NEED THIS STADIUM. Back to city building!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:19:54

@IWS Fan. Unfortunately, NoBrainer is right. HostCo would have never funded IW. I tried. IWS BU Plan. Perhaps the Future Fund committee would agree to an amount going to IWS Renos? You could probably clean up IW for many years to come, with the current FF dollars allocated to a new stadium, but how do you sell that to the board/the people? That tax money wouldn't have to be spent for the $20M to replace the south stands and whatever else the Cats would require to renew their lease at the end of the 2011 season? Tax money would also not go to any other upgrades required like improving both the water pressure and hydro capacity into IW. Seat backs, clearing Brian Timmis to create more parking, etc. If tearing down IW and building a new one in it's place is only $93M, what I have just discussed above can't be too outrageous a cost. Only problem is, that we don't really save from what it was going to cost us to build new at WH (although it surely would have gone over budget whereever it was built which would have had to come from somewhere), but the rest of the cost was to be offset by upper levels of government and something from the Cats so it's not really a cost savings per say. I think there are many benefits to staying at 75 Balsam and you, IWSFan seem to share my sentiments, but I know there are many who don't. How would spending some or all of the currently allocated stadium money to IW benefit everyone? Could it? Could this even appease Bob Young? Can a thousand more parking spots (not sure how many BTS would hold?), and the other improvements I talked of make a difference with regards to making the team profitable?

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-21 13:27:01

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:20:59

While the footprint of a stadium may well fit into Confederation Park, a quick visit to google maps and you'll see that Trey's location is a pond as well as a creek that feeds the pond. I count 3 ponds and a lagoon from Nash Rd. North to Grays Rd.. Within this corridor there are 2 possible sites where the stadium footprint fits, without disturbing the creeks and ponds. The first is the former campgrounds west of Greys Rd. bordered by a housing survey and a lagoon and about 1000 foot by 1000 (20 acres or so). The second is the present site of 'Wild Waterworks' and the adjoining parking lots. This site is maybe 700 feet deep by 2500 (about 25 acres).

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:25:53

No it's not. I specifically put it there, I mean you can fudge around the footprint here a bit, there a bit. I guess I have to post the original google map image.

Funny, because I was expecting this comment and considered showing an animation of the before and after.

Why are we posting this on Ryan's article, this conversation should be on mine. :) I'm in competition for most commented article with Ryan. Hehe. :) Ryan know I love ya.

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:41:24

HostCo has flipped and flopped with Hamilton on many things. So saying they would NEVER put money into a IWS retrofit can not be said with any certainty.

Who's to say a renovated and rebranded stadium couldn't serve as a "legacy" stadium. Especially if the the reno's allow the stadium to stand for another 25+ years.

BTW, I will quarantee a new stadium (wherever it's built) will not give you the feeling of closeness/intimacy to the game that IWS gives you.

And if you want parking, buy the former consumers glass factory and turn it into parking. A few minutes walk to IWS.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:47:22

Sometimes when all participants in a joint decision can't come to an agreement, the best decision is not to do it at all.

Games bids are always fraught with this kind of nonsense. It's not a Hamilton thing - look at any Olympic city. Professional, for-profit sporting events are not public services, and shouldn't be treated as such.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:48:32

I think the fact that IW is already a legacy left by another games, means it could continue to be a lasting legacy. IWS is it for historic stadiums in Canada. I for one would really not like to lose that. It has dugouts for crying out loud. What other football stadium has a dugout? People have compared the padded walls close to the field to the green monster in character. I could go on, but pertaining to your Consumer Glass comment, I have heard that one mentioned a few times in recent months. I was looking at south of Barton in all my plans but looking north and cleaning up some vacant, eye-sore land down there, could add a little to the 'justification' I was talking about above. We want these sites cleared up in our city in general so does it really matter where we start?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:51:19

Consumers Glass (Google): http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4... Some great pics of Consumers Glass: http://www.blogto.com/city/2009/03/ontar...

Hmmm...right on the rail line that the new GO will travel across. Game day stops.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-21 13:58:43

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:53:41

A few more pics: http://www.ntropy.us/2008/07/20/consumer...

This place has been closed down since '97ish? Crazy. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Consumers+...

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-21 13:56:01

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By silbordeo (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:07:08

all comments here are valid but what is the real point here..... in any negotiations all parties want to be treated fairly. The City and its mandate is to revitalize renew bring people back to the core. Then you have Bob Young wanting to make a profit, from over and over loosing a significant amount since buying the TiCats. Both points are valid but who should get the final say, all one or none. Where ever the Stadium is built it will get used no matter what, Bob Young will make a profit the city will have it's renewal, The only ones who are fudging it all up are the people behind the curtain the ones looking to profit from this in secret, and we all know who they are.... they are the ones who live downtown wanting renewal, developers, institutions, organizations, fat bureaucrats looking to expand their presence, suburban yuppies, its all of us, we are the reason nothing gets done.... too many people have their own agenda. I say take IWS tear it down and build again.....

Its a new Stadium so Hostco Cannot back that down. People will come, we all love the new car smell.... Bob will profit.....take Scott Park turn into a parking garage, get his naming rights etc... It will be in the centre of Hamilton that's a no brainer.

before anyone says nope that's not right just think of your own stance on it before replying how will YOU benefit.......

this will be interesting to see what will happen.....

just an outsider who sees this from the other side of the country

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:10:51

And speaking of HostCo flip-flopping, I think somoene needs to call them on the Varsity Stadium upgrades. Why doesn't Hamilton qualify for the 'upgrade' card? Even at a reduced funding amount than what they were going to pony up for a new stadium. IW is ready for soccer today.

Worried about camera shots for the games? Outside of the breathtaking view of the historical south side pressboxes that foreshadow the escarpment, there is a nice shiny new school next door and now it looks like Parkview is done unfortunately so there is more parking even. (although I would rather fight to save that school too ...), and who knows what the owner of the International school (aka Scott Park), has in store for that building. Give us the full funding and renovate another historical part of the block (Jimmy Thompson Pool), and build a new Scott Park arena. How is all that for legacy? Can $105M do all that ($60 from feds/prov and $45 from FF)?

Want some kind of hotel/living quarters at the stadium? Take this guys IW hotel design and change it to suit the current housing archecture on Melrose/Balsam/Beechwood. At the Cats/private investors cost of course.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:15:01

@Silbordeo Agreed. Best part of IWS IMHO is the location. The history of football on Balsam. $93M to demo/build new seems okay to me. Not sure how accurate that original assessment was, but it's our land.

A few people on here did some research, and Scott Park isn't vacant so it can't be demo'd. BTS could be and Parkview is apparently done so that could probably be purchased from the board/turned into parking?

Centre of our city and off of all major bus routes, proposed LRT route, and as one poster pointed out, Consumers Glass could be demo'd for parking and that is right on the rail line that I assume will be used for the east/west route to Niagara. We should make sure someone hasn't already purchased that property like we (I) did with regards to the old Scott Park High School.

There were also many people who have quesitoned the whole 'historical designation' factor. Could IW or even the property given the history of sports on that seciton of Balsam, be granted Historical status, therefore opening up some possible different funding sources to repair/upgrade the site. They agreed to designate Fenway as a historical site, but the owners voted against it. Not sure why. Perhaps becuase they would have had to be accountable to the people that oversea historical buildings? Not sure. IW may not have the brick work that Fenway has, but the history is there for sure.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-21 14:33:31

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:37:52

I believe Carl Turkstra owns Consumers Glass, but if we can expropriate land in WH I see no reason CG can't be expropriated for stadium support.

Scott Park even if is could be purchased (expropriated) shouldn't be considered for a parking garage. As it would result in even poorer streetscape for King Street and wouldn't help the neighbourhood, or city.

Pros to IWS;
1. We own property
2. No remediation of property
3. No EA
4. No neighbourhood opposition
5. Economical
6. Already a great place to see a game, so lower risk
7. Has a history and sometimes history should be preserved (I know Hamilton isn't the best with that part)

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:46:49

Thanks for the lucid overview of this whole sad spectacle, Ryan. I suspect the majority of Hamiltonians are just as tired of this protracted debate as I am and eagerly look forward to the February deadline with the hope that Hostco will be true to its word and award the Games to another community.

With other money-losing ventures on the horizon, such as the Aerotropolis development, we need to regroup and force Council to start concentrating on the bread and butter issues that need to be addressed, such as upgrading our dilapidated infrastructure and stopping this senseless pursuit of every scheme that falsely promises a transformation of our beleaguered city.

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By -Hammer0 (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:47:47


A stadium is not only meant to be a venue for sports and entertainment but is also designed to be an attraction and showcase your city's image. Building a Stadium over parkland, downwind of the Woodward septic system,next to rusting steel mills where black metallic fallout falls from the
sky and air quality is so poor, white flags turn black in a months time is NOT the image our city needs to perpetuate.

If this stadium site is without remediation opportunities this should be a non-starter. We have toxic waste sites that need cleaning, right next to homes where children live and we also are home to the 2nd most contaminated site in Canada at the Randall Reef and project that has stalled due to lack of city funding. If this project isn't going to remove brown fields it should be scrapped.

If it's Confederation Park or Bust, I choose Bust.

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 16:14:26

@lorne,

Agreed the efforts of our council and city would be better served elsewhere. I just took a co-worker for "a walk" along Barton looking at the north side. He was visibly alarmed by the number of vacant storefronts.

Efforts needed elsewhere indeed.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 16:57:01

I really think this is already over. Hazel McCallion has said that she is interested in building the stadium, and infact, she's always wanted a soccer stadium in Mississauga:

http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/...

I think once Hazel decides she wants something, she pretty much gets it, so we just have to make sure Confederation Parking is a non-starter and this can all go away.

Comment edited by d.knox on 2010-12-21 16:00:09

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 18:04:16

d.knox

She is in favour of a 6000 seat stadium paid for by Hostco. The city of Mississauga will not put up a dime of their own money. They can't afford it. They are looking at 10% property tax hikes for the foreseeable future to fix their failing infrastructure.

Markham has said the same thing, and in fact are considering pulling out of the other events they have been awarded because they can't afford it.

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 18:20:15

@bigguy1231 The article says Mississauga would pay 44% of cost. I've yet to hear Hazel say they can't afford it. But if Mississauga can't afford 44% of a 6,000 seat stadium then why is Hamilton even considering anything...

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 19:32:47

Thats funny I saw her on a Toronto TV station saying that they wouldn't put a penny towards it.

Even if they did whats it going to cost them, 5 or 6 million. The fact of the matter is that it is only a 6000 seat stadium. They can have it, we don't need it.

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By Slacker (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 23:10:22

Well look at that - the freakin Winnipeg Blue Bombers are putting up $85 million towards their new $190 million stadium - with interest. Mind you its a 44 year mortgage with a risky borrower - but hey - remind me again exactly how much hard money the TiCats are paying for their new stadium???????

Oh and how much are taxpayers on the hook for - looks like $17.5 million, $12.5 million of which they will make from selling the old stadium....so basically $5 million in new money.

I'm assuming that the remainder goes to the U of Manitoba....otherwise known as "Private Investment"

So once again......Tiger Cats..... SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/story/2010/12/13/man-stadium-bombers.html

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 08:42:01

@bigguy1231,

If only a 6,000 seat stadium is needed than that's what should be built. And I agree we don't need a 6,000 seat stadium so it can go elsewhere.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:10:52

Since the city is already talking about smashing up the Confed. Park greenfields or buying up rail lands at CN, couldn't teh same argument be made for extending/widening Stuart Street to York Blvd (through Dundurn Park and the rail yard), thus providing the direct suburban highway access that Bob Young craves and giving everybody what they need?

Obviously it would be nicer to avoid that kind of thing, but would that be a compromise everyone could live with?

edit: I'd still love to hear a plan for what could be done with IWS and Scott Park and the surrounding neighborhood with the 9-figure numbers people throw around for other sites.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-12-22 09:18:13

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:31:45

Pxtl, I'm assuming you're joking about a highway through Dundurn Park. LOL

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:34:12

I'd still love to hear a plan for what could be done with IWS and Scott Park and the surrounding neighborhood with the 9-figure numbers people throw around for other sites.

Scott Park is now the National Art College, so it's not available for consideration in any sort of IWS reinvention. (Yes, I still have egg on my face for having been so strident about this 'Superproperty', not having done due diligence about its actual non-vacant state.)

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthre...

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 11:14:15

@jason

I am not. I'm admitting it'd be a sad loss, but many of the solutions the city has put forth have involved gobbling up greenspace (realistically, the Longwood sites would involve pushing into Chedoke's golf course a bit). Would the loss of part of Dundurn park be a compromise we'd be willing to make to get the site we'd want?

@mystoneycreek

I meant Scott Park itself, not the school building. IIRC, the city still owns the parkland adjacent to the school.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:01:23

Personally I have zero interest in touching Dundurn to accommodate a stadium when there are other sites that work and tons of empty old derelict factory zones in Hamilton to use. The WH was the best option. Developers were lining up to build there and it would have cleaned up a huge, ugly piece of our downtown waterfront. I hope the Cats like playing at Ivor Wynne.....

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:24:22

Woodja believe Confed Park may be about to get shot down by council? Better start watching out for flying pencils.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:44:14

Wow. 9-6 against. Council just got a backbone!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:46:15

I am afraid I can't agree with you nobrainer. The Ti-Cats will play out the end game of this and walk away with Confederation Park.

I am SOOO glad I was wrong on this!!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:49:31

Whitehead was talking about West Harbour or nothing. Amazing how things change AFTER an election.

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By IWSFan (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 13:18:15

@Pxtl,

The "parkland" to which you refer is actually 3 baseball diamonds. Not much that can be used for, as the foot print is pretty small (one diamond is scrunch in and it really should only be 2 diamonds).

Also, Bernie Morelli has a Seniors Centre plan for Scott Park, which I'm guessing will encroach on the scrunched diamond, and eliminate it completely.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 13:19:14

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 14:44:28

Wow! Council grew a pair and called the Tiger-Cats bluff. Now I guess they'll be moving to....oh yah, they never did say where, did they?

Nevertheless, maybe it's time to get innovative here. West Harbour is the very best site we could hope both for the city as a whole and for our downtown but, while I don't believe access is the problem that some would have us believe, maybe it's time to bend just a little.

The concept of improved access to WH from both east and west doesn't have to mean a throughway and arguing that the current access to WH is perfectly satisfactory (I believe it is) won't win over a single person.

Burlington Street is already a major arterial roadway as far west as Wellington Street. Utilizing the CN right-of-way or directly adjacent land to get QEW/Red Hill/mountain traffic closer to the West harbour and TO the downtown rather than THROUGH it makes some sense. On the western end this could easily be achieved by making Queen one-way in before games and one-way out after games at least from Barton to York Boulevard.

Traffic is the only "tangible" objection the Tiger-Cats have voiced and, like or not, a lot of people have embraced it.

Disarm them!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:05:50

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:21:31

the Tiger Cats have two choices. Continue to play at Ivor Wynne, indefinitely. Or sign on to West Harbour and get on with things. They are being embarassed right now by Winnepeg and their plans to put up at least half the money for the construction of a new stadium.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:29:05

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:43:38

@HamiltonFan, and what exactly are these "other plans". You can tell us. Clearly you must have insider knowledge. Or maybe you are just guessing, and basing your guess one what, how successfully they have run the franchise since Bob has taken over? Or perhaps you are basing it on how well they have been able to bring other investors on board? Or perhaps.. maybe just perhaps.. you are basing on your love affair with Bob Young.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:46:59

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-22 14:48:19

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By silbordeo (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 15:58:14

love all the Scenarios HamiltonFan is coming up with......who are these people

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:13:50

who are these people

HamiltonFan = TD Fanatic

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By ProLine (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:15:12

HamiltonFan: "Well I'm a winner any way you look at it."

No, HamiltonFan, you've always been a loser, and you keep your streak alive. Anyone who's interested in some "Fun With History" should check out HamiltonFan's comments going back to July of this year. This Bob Young Sycophant has been a booster for every half-baked plan that's emerged in this god forsaken process. From initially being a fan of IWS, WH and EM (July 13) to his most recent boosting of Confed (until it inevitably failed), you've been on the wrong side of every prediction. So wrong, in fact, that I'm starting to conclude you're just another name for the Caretaker himself--deluded, overly optimistic, without an ounce of shame. Sounds about right to me...

HamiltonFan, in a few years you'll be the last, sad fan sitting alone at IWS waiting for your beloved TiCats to take the field, not realizing the team had folded (read: FAILED) and left months ago...

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By for real (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:43:09

hamiltonfan - are you for real? I have never taken these discussions to a personal level in the history of RTH but you have made me cross that line. If you are indeed a real person spouting real opinions then you are a bona fide moron.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:48:34

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:48:37

@Hamilton Fan.

Ultimately if no stadium is built, the city will be far from embarrassed. It will emerge as an example for other cities to not be railroaded by a professional sports franchise looking to get a new building on the public dime. The Tiger Cats have nowhere to go, protestations from people like Hamilton Fan aside. There is not another municipality in the country that will write Boy Young a cheque, build him a building and then hand him the keys. Which is the raw reality of what he wants the City of Hamilton to do. The TiCats rolled the dice, tried to get cute and now they are not going to get anything.

Nice going Bob and Scott.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 16:53:37

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By silbordeo (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 17:03:06

Why are you so afraid of anyone laughing.......who cares what other cities have to say they all have their own problems to worry about too ....... it's like a bad breakup give up already

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 17:29:59

FWIW, the FAN interviewed one of their guys who was at the meeting today and asked him what the mood was among citizens that he spoke with. He said "people are supportive of today's votes and despite some different opinions, the majority of people I've spoken to are happy that the city is standing up for itself and not just throwing a ton of money away to a private business".

He clearly caught the mood of the city and relayed it nicely to the Toronto audience. Hopefully other media folks will also present the facts when sending their articles to the various sports news outlets (although I doubt it, most are morons).

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 17:33:03

It sounds like the FAN summed up my thoughts exactly. A big Thank You to the Councilors who voted against pursuing Confederation Park for a stadium. You've got your head in the right spot.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 17:40:25

Not all things are needed or good even for half price. You need the right thing at the right price, or it would be a waste of money.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 17:43:53

Hamiltonfan,

Bob tried to take all that money that was to benefit the city and hijack it so that he would be the prime beneficiary of it. Not a stupid move at all. That being said, he needs to rethink his position now that every other option has proven to be ridiculously expensive.

He'll get a shiny new stadium out of the deal and all he has to do is say "I'm sorry, I was wrong". If he refuses to walk that back then he's got to go begging to other cities to see if they'll pony up the $100+ million for a stadium.

Good luck with that.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 18:22:36

Let's see, hmmm, how much money is the city turning down from the feds and province in this matter? Regardless of your take on this, many many people outside of Hamilton are laughing now, at the city and not the TigerCats. That is money that would have gone to a city owned asset and the city says "no thanks".

They can laugh, I'm far more concerned about opinions like this:

When I look at Hamilton and I think: Are the land use controls there? I'm not sure. Are the, is the economic development as strong of a case in Hamilton as it is in Waterloo? I'm not sure. Is the population growth there? I'm not sure. - Jeff Casello (on The Agenda with Steve Paikin) http://raisethehammer.org/article/1233/

When asking for money, it's important to demonstrate that the money in question is not going to be squandered. The "give us money - we'll build anything, anywhere, for the sake of construction" approach does not speak well of us. Instead we should focus on a few key requests (such as LRT, or fighting downloading) and take other opportunities, like Aerotropolis and the Stadium to say "no, but thank you". It may cost city coffers in the short run, but in the longer run we'll be in a far better position to ask when we need it.

It's also worth noting that we're not the City of Hamilton, we're taxpayers. I have no interest in squandering my tax dollars, no matter which levels of government it filtered through on the way. Federal tax dollars are not "free money".

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 18:35:59

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-22 17:46:39

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 19:04:58

At the end of the day I am surprized they dident want to study the Park. I think if they cut right to the chase and got answers on cost of the stadium itself (which shouldent really change) but more importantly information on the setbacks from both the QEW and the Lake, I think they would have found out in very short order if the site was doable at all. In other words, validate your top concerns first, if those pass the sniff test over the next 2 weeks, the go gangbusters and see what you can't work out.

The idea is basically sounds like the site was not doable, but if you validate it, as the Mayor was suggesting, the city has a better public image and more bargining power with the TiCats to slap them in the head and get them into WH.

As it stands there will always be a "maybe.." if everything does go into the shitter. I hate maybes...

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 22:07:53

Robbie K,

Based on what I heard from the meeting, the reason many councillors didn't bother is because they had already received preliminary info behind the scenes and were well aware of the massive expenditures needed for new highway ramps on Ontario's second busiest freeway, along with setback rules from the lake and the QEW which would have resulted in not being able to squeeze the stadium plan onto the small plot of land. As one of the councillors said "lets not bother since we already know the answer".

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 22:55:19

Thorough review Ryan. I thought West Hamilton was the first choice for a site.

Regardless of any location, I wonder, if we had pursued the venue for track and field we would have already broken ground for stadium construction.

A multipurpose facility should have been obvious for all sides. But no; narrow self serving interests prevailed to confound a decision with no regard for a greater purpose...

...and then there were those who would consider turning park lands and greenlands into parking lots for limited and exclusive events? Where is the common practical sense?

The city loses. Self interest loses. The people lose.

In all the commotion, York got the nod to build a stadium. What the hell happened? Re-read Ryans review. York is already set to break gróund in the spring and understandably so. Its a university of some substance but like all academic institutions its a forward thinking University.

Academics get an A.
City Council, past and present, an F for obvious failure.

And lets give it up for all meddling self serving interests for contributing to the failure to create for the citizens of Hamilton and beyond.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 00:30:21

And Unindustrial, you think that the money earmarked for Hamilton won't be used by another city in this for facilities? Think again. Either way, the money will be used, now it just won't be used in our city in all probability. That's a shame IMHO.

This type of logic just doesn't work. If other municipalities won't be responsible, there's little we can do about that. Wasting more money certainly wont. But by setting a good example, we're making a statement that we can be trusted with Federal and Provincial funds when we need them.

We do not need a stadium to remediate brownfields. We do not need one to build new GO stations (in fact, those tracks might be handy...). We do not need a stadium to fix up Confederation Harbour. And we certainly don't have to wait for one to implement plans which were already on the books for the West Harbour. The trend of overspending on boondoggle "legacy" projects in this town must end. Every time it happens, we're waved a big pile of intangible, unquantifiable benefits which are supposed to repay all the costs, including the possibility of more boondoggle projects (roads, hotels etc).

What might happen to this town's image of being dirty and poor if we actually started acting on issues of poverty and the environment?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 09:47:03

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 09:57:15

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:16:01

Just because he is rich does not mean that he is required to take a loss on business to operate it where the city wants him too.

And just because the Ticats are currently in Hamilton does not mean that we are required to take a loss on the Future Fund to build it where Bob Young wants us to.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:26:11

and if you want to learn about a bumbling council spending like drunk sailors look no further than Saskatoon

How does the above statement support this next one:

the rest of the country IS laughing at your City Council right now. Their incompetence has outweighed even Saskatoon's council.

We're worse than Saskatoon council because we chose NOT to spend like drunken sailors and get pushed around by a private business and pursue a bad development just for one persons benefit?? Sorry, can't have it both ways. Do you get CHML out there by chance???

Comment edited by jason on 2010-12-23 09:26:44

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:26:14

nobrainer, no one is saying the city has to build the stadium where the TigerCats would like it to be. The city has no obligation whatsoever. And likewise, the TigerCats have no obligatiion to continue to do business here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:27:11

HamiltonFan, finally you get it! lol

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:29:27

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:32:34

a signature Hamilton stadium requires Young and the Ticats much more than Young and the Ticats require Hamilton.

Young and the Ticats require Hamilton much more than Hamilton requires Young and the Ticats.

I can think of 4 other cities in Canada that would take the Ticats tomorrow and show them some level of support

Please name them. I can't wait to find out what cities are ready to build Young the $150 million stadium he wants in the location he demands.

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:34:22

However, for an outsider the national public support lies more with Young it would appear.

That's a poll I'd be curious to see.

Just a year ago, Bob Young was considered a hero in this town, particularly among educated professionals. Are you not the least bit curious as to why that changed?

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:35:25

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:38:24

"HamiltonFan, finally you get it! lol"

Ok, so I'm a bit slow from time to time. No bona fide moron remarks from the gallery please!

At any rate, this was in the National Post, haven't seen it yet in the Spec. So some of you may get the wish you want:

"“Essentially what we’re being told is to get out of town,” Ticats president Scott Mitchell said in an interview with a Hamilton radio station. “That’s a harsh fact of reality for us to look at today, but that’s really, essentially, what we’re being told.”

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:38:59

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:39:07

For sake of argument, say his report says that WH is not an option. Will you people accept that report? Or are you more likely to begin disputing it and saying where it is wrong and trying to convince otherwise? Young has gotten a report from people he trusts and is relying on that information, regardless of what the rest of us think.

At this point, it is difficult to believe that this 'report' even exists frankly. If it did, and if it made a solid case against WH, don't you think BY would have released it by now? Why are you asking us how we would react to a hypothetical report, when you should be asking why the ticats haven't made the report public if it supports their opposition to WH?

It is absolutely ignorant to expect a business to relocate simply because of the city...

Likewise, it is absolutely ignorant to expect a city to hand over a minimum of $100m (not to mention an additional $50-60m from other levels) without working with the city to ensure that there will be sufficient economic spin off benefits to justify such an enormous investment of public dollars.

and by the way the reason WH would lose money is because the Ticats would have to pay RENT....

Where on earth are you getting your info from? The only reason WH won't work for the cats is because it doesn't allow them to capture all possible revenue streams generated from the 'driveway to driveway' experience. At WH, they will have to share some of the economic benefits with the people who are putting up 99.9% of the funding. If their 'report' on the WH exists at all, it is likely that it lays the cats' cynical revenue grab bare, which is why they don't want to make it public.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-12-23 09:40:31

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:40:47

I can think of 4 other cities in Canada that would take the Ticats tomorrow and show them some level of support, which doesn't seem to be happening in Hamilton.

Which of them have the money to build a stadium?

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:42:08

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:45:41

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:49:55

Business needs Hamilton much more than Hamilton requires business.......yet you wonder why the money isn't flowing into your 'progressive' city.

How many of these other generic businesses ask for millions of dollars of city funding, and are subsidized several hundred thousand dollars a year?

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:51:40

Business needs Hamilton much more than Hamilton requires business

Business is companies that raise their own capital, sell things that have value and earn revenue they use to pay back their capital loans and make profits.

The Ticats aren't business, they're welfare.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:53:06

"Young and the Ticats require Hamilton much more than Hamilton requires Young and the Ticats."

We have $150m to throw at a beautiful stadium overlooking our beautiful harbour if we so choose. The resounding silence from the private sector in support of the EM and CP rail sites, has made it plain that BY brought nothing to the table but the sentiment attached to a sad sack CFL team to use as leverage against a city with collective low self esteem, and now Council's vote has taken even that away.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:53:55

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:56:24

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:58:17

Ticats have nowhere to go so let's fail to account for any of their needs.

Sorry, Bob, but this is where you lose the last shred of credibility. The City has spent years selecting and preparing a site that meets the Ticats' needs and the City's needs. The Ticats participated actively in this process until the last minute, at which point they decided they could extort the city for a preferential deal that shifted most of the benefits to them at taxpayer expense.

The City was and remains prepared to build a stadium in a location that meets everyone's needs - but that's not good enough for the Ticats, who after years of supporting that location now insist it cannot work for them but have not the decency to show us any study detailing why it cannot work.

Now good day to you, Sir, and may the good Councillors of Saskatoon benefit from the remainder of your concern trolling.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:02:19

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:04:54

good luck in attracting that NHL team/business to your city with the current attitude.

Funny, but Jim Balsillie doesn't seem to think Hamilton has the wrong attitude toward an NHL team coming here. I don't recall him insisting that Hamilton build him a brand new Copps Coliseum next to a highway...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:08:19

I guess I'm a troll for offering a different point of view.

No, you are a troll for offering an ignorant point of view. There is ample proof on this site, including links on this very thread, showing the ticats' support for WH right up to the eleventh hour, and there is no proof that WH won't work for the cats, unless you count Scott Mitchell stamping his feet and screaming "No!" as 'proof'.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:09:33

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:11:53

Also Young has proposed several locations that will work other than 'next to a highway'.

This is so laughably untrue, I'm starting to feel sorry for you. You obviously didn't realize when you decided to post on this site, that it is a community that has been following every minute twist and turn in this issue for several years, and is highly informed. You have unwittingly brought a proverbial knife to a gun fight, and I am no longer going to take advantage of your well-meaning but profoundly ignorant intent, to make any more well-worn points.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-12-23 10:17:51

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:14:01

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:20:38

Folks, I think it's time to stop feeding this troll.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:23:09

Which of them have the money to build a stadium?

Hamilton has $170 million that we're ready to spend on a stadium. The Cats don't want it. You can lead a horse to water......

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:28:25

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:29:13

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-23 10:35:03

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:34:01

To those with the intellectual superiority,

I take back my remark about your intent being well-meaning.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:45:49

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:48:11

I've never heard that the Bulldogs essentially have had an arena built for them to play out of.

Well, the Bulldogs haven't been there nearly as long as Copps has, so maybe that's why.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:58:25

Where was all the opposition when Young was offering up his personal money to refurbish and make suitable IWS?

Dammit. I promised myself I wouldn't, but I have to respond to this. Why the hell would we oppose a business investing in something it will benefit from? That's why we have this fiasco on our hands. BY wants us to do all the investing so he can do all the benefitting. Capiche?

When you have your hand out seeking funding from others, perhaps you should consider the needs of others outside yourselves.

No kidding. Are you really this obtuse?

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:22:25

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By Doppelgänger (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:30:04

Dear HamiltonFan,

Concern trolling from a made-up "outsider view" account does not make your fake concerns any more real.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:34:27

@Sask Resident.

  1. No one put a gun to Bob Young's head to buy the TiCats.
  2. If he thought he was going to make himself richer by owning a CFL franchise he needs his head examined.
  3. Yes he spent money on the scoreboard, other amenities at IWS. So What? Any business owner re-invests in their business. Why should we all be jumping up and down saying yeah Bob?
  4. He has a sweet heart deal at IWS and still can't (or claims he can't) be sustainable there. HINT : When you have a gate driven retail business and you regularly only drive that gate to 65% capacity, you will not break even. SECOND HINT AT SOLVING PART ONE. HOW ABOUT JUST FRIGGING WIN.
  5. This was a power play plain and simple by the TiCats to try and get what they wanted. Namely a suburban stadium with no other amenities around accessible only by car so you are essentially held captive in Bob World for 3 plus hours and have no options as to where you can spend your money.
  6. This latest hot air balloon about moving to Ottawa, Quebec City or Moncton is also just that plus a healthy load of bull shyte thrown in for good measure.
  7. Here's why. There is no other municipality with a stadium capable of supporting a CFL team in the country presently available or built. Ottawa? Nope. The league is not going to forfeit an expansion fee to satisfy Bob Young so he can move his team to Ottawa where football has already failed twice. Quebec City? Moncton? No stadium and there is no way the feds are going to pony up money in QC for a football stadium AND a hockey arena. Moncton? Again no permanent stadium and no funds to build a new one. A temporary facility a la BC won't provide the revenue stream to support the teams retail sales needs. The Tiger Cats are regularly the biggest draw on TSN (for some reason), the network and the league are not going to allow a team to leave here for any other place, regardless of what they say in public. If for some reason they should? They just killed the league. Southern Ontario is their most important market and needs BOTH the Tiger Cats and Argo's in place. Think about it. Is the CFL going to allow or try to promote an Argos v Mississauga "Hazel's Hellions" rivalry? No. You cannot replace oh 70 or so years of rivalry and hostility. That would be like the NFL allowing the Green Bay Packers to move to Butte Montana and try to keep the rivalry with the Bears alive.

THE CAT'S ARE NOT GOING ANY WHERE. THIS IS PRO SPORTS EXTORTION 101. City council needs to keep the testicles is suddenly grew and tell Mr Young, its West Harbour take it or leave it and if it's leave it? Fine, then we can get on with life and spend our $60 million on more important things than a football stadium.

For the record I am a lifelong Tiger Cat fan and until recent years held seasons tickets for many many years.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-23 11:35:26

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:42:04

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:43:28

Can we please stop feeding this troll? S/he is clearly more interested in baiting people with straw man and ad hominem attacks than debating in good faith.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:58:15

@ Sask

I have no feelings toward BY good or bad. I don't know the man. As a business owner I do know that whether my business makes money or not, I cannot expect a bail out from the taxpayers simply because I say I can't make money here.

Which by the way is utter crap. If the TiCats regularly sold out the stadium they currently played in, instead of having 8-10000 empty seats on a regular basis, they would likely be in a break even, or slight profit situation. That goes directly to the product on the field. The team is has around a .300 win percentage in the Bob Young era. He has done some great things organizationally on the business side, but those things do not sell tickets. Winning does. And the citizens of this city have ponied up money to put deposits on NHL season's tickets twice now at well over 14000 subscibers. However I suspect that any team that came here would have to provide results or it would suffer at the gate too.

Testing markets is fine. Who is going to put their money up to put a team there, pay for a stadium, operate the stadium, etc etc? Is there some secret investor we don't know about? Is Mr Young willing to lose money for at least 10 years in Atlantic Canada while he waits for those investments to pay off? If ever?

Mr Young has not committed in reality one dime of his own money towards the capital costs of building the stadium. The money ( a mere 10 million over 10 years) was to be borrowed from an Ontario infrastructure investment fund at low interest and paid back over 10 years which means that the taxpayers of this province are really fronting the 10 million and then paying interet to pay THEMSELVES back.

Certainly not wanting to lose money is not extortion. The extortion part comes in when you try to leverage 141 years of tradition and emotional affection for an institution like the Tiger Cats to have taxpayers foot the bill to build you an edifice where you want it, how you want it, and then hand over control of that publicly funded project for a period of at least 20 years. Its a bad deal for the city, the taxpayers of Ontario and Canada and if those are the terms we should just say thank you but no.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:37:16

@ Shempatolla

Very well reasoned points you make. However, I think in the mist of your valid concerns lies some lack of concern for the Ticats themselves. You reference the fact that they are not able to routinely sell out the stadium with the product on the field. The past two years the team has been competitive (.500) after building up a base from which to grow. How have those results (along with renovations to IWS) translated at the gates? Is it a certainty that a good team will sell out?

Also this isn't about building a stadium for BY. BY would be a primary tenant in the stadium, he would not have the ability to rent it out to concerts and other events to recoup his loses (as he would if he owned the stadium or built it himself). He is simply an expected tenant. He has said he cannot operate his business successfully in the proposal given by the city. Is that the truth? Only he knows, however, if the city told you that you had to operate your business in a location you personally felt was impossible to turn a profit would you just blindly go along and hope for the best?

You seem to be painting this situation as a Hamilton is building BY a stadium so he should just be happy and take whatever. Why would he knowingly commit to a business plan he totally feels is bad for business? How about looking at it from the perspective that Hamilton NEEDS a long term tenant to help off set the operating costs to make the stadium financially feasible? Without a long term tenant this stadium doesn't make a lot of sense, hence you need to work with the long term tenant to ensure that their needs are being met.

I suppose it comes down to would you be fine if the Ticats committed to a 5-year lease on a WH stadium with the option that they could leave after that 5 year period if they are unable to turn a profit?

In addition to the yearly rent that BY will be paying how much are you expecting BY to contribute to building costs and what percentage of revenues (from Ticats games and other events) will he be entitled to receive?

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:00:26

@Sask

The city has a site they are perfectly willing to build Bob Young a stadium. This city (not the Tiger-Cats or the CFL) was awarded the Pan-Am Money and the city is paying the $60 million from their own pocket to build the stadium, the lion's share of the project. The only thing, the ONLY thing they are asking for is the location be at the West Harbour, so that a major public works project can not only remove a abandoned factory where toxic waste is present, can potentially qualify for additional funding for remediating the location, be directly next to a proposed GO Transit station. We're partnering with the city to clean a brownfeild is a PR dream headline! They've looked at all the other sites, it either breaks the city's bank, takes away land that residents don't want to part with or offers next to nothing in the way of remediation or development fringe benefits.

Fine maybe they are being a bit unreasonable, so what has the Team produced to show that this site won't work. Please, link a public study of which the Cats have done to show it's unprofitability. Ok, what other private sector partners are interested beyond the Cats in another site. Please, link another private sector partner who has even talked about interest, yet alone committed to any other site but the West Harbour. At least some members of the private sector have publically voiced support for the West Harbour.

Last but not least, name one other city who is willing to put up $60 million of it's own money, in one of the worst economic climates since the Great Depression to build a new stadium. Talk of Quebec and Moncton is great, but they, the same as Burlington and Oshawa and Missisauge have all said the same thing. You're more then welcome to come here, but don't expect a dime of city money. Heck, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a bank who'd be willing to loan that kind of money for a stadium. It's a shame yes, but blame for this falls not on the city alone.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2010-12-23 14:03:41

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By facepalm (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:06:52

"he would not have the ability to rent it out to concerts and other events to recoup his loses"

Um that's exactly what he would have under the deal he was making with the city. You're whole argument is based on BS, either on purpose cause you don't care orcause you don't know and didn't bother to check. If you're going to be judgmental you should get your facts straight first, maybe then you won't waste everyone's time.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:12:47

I should also note, the team currently pays around $200,000 for the full season, to rent Ivor Wynne Stadium. That is 1/10 the community owned Roughriders pay for Taylor field. I should also redact my comment. I don't like signalling out Bob Young, because it is the entire organization, not just the owner who is doing this. I like to think Scott Mitchell is floating Bob Young some bad numbers on the West Harbour, but sadly what do we know, the Cats won't show us any numbers.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2010-12-23 14:14:06

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:25:30

@Sask.

Sadly you are month's behind on this debate. Mr Young is not simply willing to be a tenant. He wants to "manage" the facility for the city for a "fee". For this he wants naming rights and revenues for a period of no shorter than 10 years. So yes he does want his cake and to eat it for essentially no capital outlay by himself and a stranglehold on revenues for a minimum 10 year period. Fine. But if those are his terms, he should not expect to dictate to the taxpayers of this city where this facility will be built. He cries foul about West Harbour yet to date has not presented ONE SINGLE PIECE of paper supporting his claim he can't be profitable at WH.

This was and is about the TiCats having a stranglehold on all gameday revenue streams and controlling all other facility revenue streams by becoming a facility manager. That has been the rationale of the TiCats since their eleventh hour refusal of WH. There are (pun intended) rheems of evidence to show that downtown/waterfront stadiums work and contribute to city building and revitalization. The problem is the TiCats want the whole pie to themselves not just a piece.

We have a long term tenant for our current stadium Ivor Wynne. Its the TiCats. Despite what amounts to a 1.4 million dollar a year operating subsidy from the city and all of game day concession sales they are still crying poor. So why would or should the City of Hamilton turn over the keys to a brand new stadium that it paid most of the freight for to Mr Young for a period of no less than ten years when he has shown (or claims) that he cannot make money where he is now? Yes IWS is 80 years old. It lacks certain amenities. But geographically it is at no greater disadvantage than any other stadium in the league and some of them make money. Why? Because the teams win on a regular basis and put an effort in to growing their fan base by winning rather than figuring out how to orchestrate what amounts to a coup d'etat over a local governmental process to get what they want.

Second. I am sorry but two years of .500 records is nothing to crow about. Throw in two first round play off losses to put an exclamation point on fans frustration. The team won the Grey Cup in 1999 and it's been shyte until the last two seasons since then. This is not Saskatchewan. We live in an area where there are many options for people to spend their discretionary entertainment income. Thus putting a winning product on the field EVERY YEAR is vital to the TiCats success.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:48:00

@-Hammer-

I can acknowledge the tough times in Southern Ontario, thankfully for other parts of Canada the effects of the down times have not hit as hard.

My point which continues to get glossed over: It is not incumbent on the Ticats to disprove that they will be successful in the proposed WH stadium. The fact that the business entity itself is completely opposed to moving there should be enough. Are the Ticats shooting themselves in the foot by not committing? Perhaps if their desire is to remain in Hamilton. However, it is not their obligation to disprove that it will be viable. Plain and simple, as a business they are free to enter into contracts and if the CEO of the business feels strongly enough against a business proposal or plan then he should not enter into a contract on it. Are BY and Ticats bad people for not entering into the contract? Of course not, they are simply making their best interest business decisions. It very well could result in the business moving to a more suitable location that fits their plan. However, to say that the Ticats should sign a long term lease that they feel is not in their best interest, or that they are extorting the city by not doing so, is absurd.

The solution? Well from the Ticats, they have stood solid that they don't want to be locked long term into a lease at WH. Whether their concerns are legitimate or fabricated is not relevant to the City or anyone outside the organization. If Hamilton wishes to secure the Ticats as a signature tenant on a new stadium they need to meet their business needs as well, if that is not possible as it seems now, then perhaps the only solution is for the team to leave and find a home elsewhere. I can't think of any CEO that would enter his business into what he believes, perceived or not, to be a money losing venture.

What would producing the numbers prove? Do you not think the second the Ticats opened the books the immediate backlash would be to dispute their numbers and to tell them they're wrong, and that this is actually more realistic?


PS- Regarding Riders, they are the model Hamilton should be pointing to as they too were on verge of bankruptcy before things turned around. There is also a huge difference in circumstances as the Riders are community owned and not privately owned.


@facepalm

My bad, my misunderstanding. I was under the impression the Ticats were going to be tenants in a new stadium, not that Hamilton was going to build a new stadium and hand the keys over to the Ticats.

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By Sask_Resident (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:58:48

@Shempatolla

The constant thread that I hear through the WH support is that it is great for revitalizing the area, I can't comment on this, but based on general history and development that is a fair statement. However, why should the Ticats be forced to settle for anything less than what is a satisfactory business agreement for their business. Again, what would them showing their reports prove? If they presented a report saying WH would not work for the Ticats would you accept it? Or would you begin looking at report and telling them why you disagree and the mistake they made in forecasting this or that? Simply put, if they provided a professionally done independent report that stated WH is not a suitable location for the Ticats would you drop all support for putting the new stadium in WH?

Perhaps it will take a strange hold on revenues to break even in the tough environment. If that is the case, then the city and team will have to agree to part ways if a deal can't be worked out. It would be a sad ending to a great partnership, but in the end it may be the only viable solution for both parties. It would be no one's fault, just two entities that no longer work for each other. I doubt that is the case, and I suspect the Ticats supporters wish to see the team stay. However, if they continue to lose money why would they? If their only option is to enter into an undesirable agreement why sign on the dotted line?

PS- We have plenty of ways to spend out discretionary income (the minimal amount the government doesn't tax us) as well. It is all about making the team a desirable option to spend that money. People here seem to think that the waterfront stadium would achieve this result, the team does not. Obviously, there is some disconnect.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:30:34

Obviously, there is some disconnect.

While I'm tempted to enter into the core of this discussion...having stood back and let the more informed let loose for months now...for the time being I want to correct this seemingly minor faux pas.

What we have here isn't a 'disconnect'. It's a disagreement. Huge difference. (A 'disconnect' perhaps in equitable transmission of stances, of communication. But that would require far too much latitude to be enacted.) I really do believe that this mistake in terminology actually speaks volumes -albeit in a rather oblique way- about how and why the so-called 'negotiations' have gone so terribly wrong.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:43:19

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:46:19

@ Sask

No one here has suggested the Tiger Cats have less than what they need to make their business successful. Quite the contrary. However, because they have insisted that West Harbour does not meet their criteria, yet still insist that public money build their golden goose...... there is more than a little onus on them to prove their point beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally should at this juncture they still insist that they will NEVER play at a West Harbour stadium..... that's fine too, but they should not and I think will not receive any public funds to prop up what is still a private business. Mr Young is free to build his stadium wherever he thinks he can make it work. If he is so insistent on this, then let him use or raise his own money to do it.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:58:19

Sask_Resident

Bob Young doesn't have to settle for anything. If he doesn't like what we are offering he is free to build his own stadium wherever he wants on his own dime. I don't think anyone on this forum would argue with that.

The point with most of us, is that it's taxpayers money and most of us feel it should be spent in a manner that will benefit this city. Building a stadium on the periphery of the city will not accomplish anything beneficial for this city.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:15:03

The purpose should have been to create a better football experience

Creating a better football experience is the job of the team, not the job of the taxpayer and certainly not the job of the Future Fund. As in any negotiation, the respective parties have different interests. The City's interest is revitalization.

If the two parties can find an agreement that serves both of their respective interests, then great. If not, there's absolutely no call for the City to abandon its goals just so the Ticats can achieve a unilateral win.

After trying and failing to make other potential sites work, Council is now upholding its objectives.

The same will happen with the LRT. The proponents are wrapping it in revitalization when it should be based on effiiciently, economically moving people from A to B.

But the goal is revitalization. The evidence from other cities is that this is the way to achieve success. LRT isn't about the narrow goal of movement, which doesn't justify the outlay of $800 million; it's about the broad goal of city-building, which does.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-12-23 17:19:34

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:23:18

Ryan the game on the field is top shelf. The stadium currently is not. this is what the Cats are referring to.

A modern stadium that provides, currently acceptable standards in boxes, f&b, accommodations, service courts, washrooms and seating, not to also mention parking (which isn't a necessary but a nice add-on).

The TiCats and the CFL (for fans thereof) provide excellent game value for the dollar. The problem is the stadium. The team doesn't need to be fixed, the stadium does.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:36:32

TreyS, Yes that's the point I was trying to get across. If the City's interest is soley revitalization than the money would be better spent on many things better than a football stadium.

Ryan, icould disagree with more. The goal of public transit is to efficiently, economically, affordably move people from A to B. You can also throw reducing congestion into that goal. Revitalization results from meeting/achieving the goals.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:54:07

@Sask

I would disagree with your initial point as to what the Cats are required. The Public has very pubically voiced a desire for the West Harbour location and there is a vested interest by the city to remediate the brown-field currently at that location. It's a abandoned and toxic waste site next to a residential area where kids play and close to rail access and parkland. City Council has a duty to the people who elected them to follow through with the desires of their consituents of which the city of Hamilton re-elected nearly all of them, or elected new councillors opposed to Confederation Park (specfically Brenda Johnson and Judi Partridge) in the most recent election.

As a business partner, investor and tennant for such a major project and are seeking to direct it's location, you need to show the math. You can't just say "Well this site doesn't work for us and this site does" without showing why and how one site trumps the other and why your interests outweight the public interest. After all, how can anyone justify a $60 million expediture ANYWHERE without being able to see how they are going to benefit from it. I've never heard of a business partnership where one partner was left completely in the dark and the other had all of their information readiliy available to the other and the public.

Not only has the team not produced any data as far why the West Harbour won't work, they haven't even produced ANY figures or studies as to why the other sites will. They haven't even given us a business plan, a profit by site projection, or any private sector partnership assurances or have even referenced any third party research group or stadium expert. They claim they have performed these studies, but refuse to release them for reasons that certain won't harm their posistion in the negotations if they are even loosely rooted in factual evidence. Even if they are disputed, releasing the numbers publically allows for the general public to vet the numbers and apply pressure on city council if the West Harbour is as abyssmal as they are making it out to be.

The only thing they have produced is they let the city privately see is their current finncial figures, to pretty much confirm they are losing money at Ivor Wynne and comments without professionals to back them and a couple refrences as to how much other cities have made on Grey Cups of which Hamilton's last Grey Cup costed both the team and the city a lot of money and failed to sell out. The city is putting over $160 million towards the effort, that they did the leg work on, not the Cats who have at best promised $20 million, a NASL soccer franchise and an offer to maintain the facility for the first 10 years (the time which maintanace will be at it's lowest).

They also claim, a brand new stadium at the West Harbour will cost them more then playing out of the outdated Ivor Wynne. I don't know how that's even possible given it is a great PR story to fix that brownfield, it is planned to have direct GO Station access, it is a 1km walk from the city's new bus transit terminal at MacNab St. and is right next to a park that has ample room to tailgate at, with more parking then the CP Rail site offered that they were fine with and around 3km from the 403.

The Cats are a business, and they need to make money, I understand. However if they aren't willing to at least work with the city and produce some figures and facts, then how are they helping the situation?

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2010-12-23 18:02:24

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 19:03:57

"Ryan the game on the field is top shelf. The stadium currently is not. this is what the Cats are referring to."

@Trey

You're kidding right? You honestly call a sub .400 win percentage top shelf? How old are you? I mean that in all sincerity. The stadium, it's location, its relative level of amenities through the eras has not significantly changed and if anything has improved greatly. When the Tiger Cats were the "Beasts of the East" in the 60's and 70's the place was jammed week in week out. This was long before the day when you could buy a beer or get anything to eat other than a cold stale hot dog ( which is still the case) or some peanuts or chips. The stadium, where it is, how people get there is not the issue. The quality of the product on the field that people PAY to see is. It is tied directly to revenue and when you play regularly to only 65% capacity you are not going to be successful.

This is about money, who is going to make it, and who is going to pay for a new building for a private business. Mr Young wants you to believe that unless he can use OUR money to build a stadium where HE wants it, hand him the keys for a minimum 10 years, surrender naming rights, limit access to the public's use of the facility so he can sell time for its use for other events, ..... that he cannot possibly have a successful business . Further he wants you to believe (and is doing everything in his power to frighten people into believing) that if City Council does not capitulate to his wishes .... he will pack up his things and move the team.

I CALL BULLSHIT!

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-23 18:07:17

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 19:05:36

@ Justsaying

I agree, and a better football experience then Ivor Wynne is available at the West Harbour or any new stadium. In my opinion, the better Football experience is also better at the West Harbour where nearby businesses, parkland and rail/bus access is present over Confederation Park which has barely enough room for a stadium site and no room for surrounding ammenities. It also suffers from poor air quality and black metallic fallout falling from the sky in the area.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2010-12-23 18:07:49

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 20:33:13

A little more 'national perspective' from another Saskatchewan resident on SSP:

I think that in the end, and this is coming from a Regina boy who's city is also in the midst of a stadium debacle; that your stadium would most certainly be built in West Harbour.

Ti-Cats owner Bob Young shot himself in the foot one to many times in his disastrous gamble to have the stadium built somewhere else; and let's be honest here it's looking more and more likely that Young would be forced to sell the team to someone else, or just simply be booted out of the club. The majority of Hamilton prefer West Harbour, the mayor and City council prefer West Harbour; refusing to accept defeat is only going to cause more anger and more support for a public lynching.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 20:35:48

@Shempatolla

I agree with Trey about being top shelf.................................. If the top shelf is where you keep your crusty old shit stained underdrawers.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 20:52:06

Is there another Hamilton Tiger Cats team somewhere that doesn't suck every year that I'm not aware of??

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 23:03:56

Exactly -Hammer- but the WH supporters have always led with revitalization, city building, whatever you want to call it. They should have sold to the TiCats and Ticats Fans on the football experience.

Instead they chose to sell revitalization which meant nothing to the TiCats, or the TiCat's fans. They totally missed the football WIFM point-of-view of their prospective customer.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 00:19:26

Just an interesting side note. AFI is a security company whose specialty is to manage strike/lockouts for corporations; everything from food, logistics, security and also... blogging on community boards.

AFI hires professional bloggers to manage and counteract any anti-corporation sentiments. I know this because I am one of the USW 1005 workers locked-out of US Steel, AFI has been retained by US Steel. The AFI professional bloggers were a huge problem in the very recent strike at Vale Inco in Sudbury.

So I guess what I'm saying is be cautious of any new names you see popping up that seem very well informed. Corporations like Bob Young Inc. are very aware and experienced at monitoring and managing their issues on the internet. The new person may be a sincere and interested contrarian, or maybe they are not.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-12-23 23:19:54

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 00:31:31

By the same token, corporations like the city of Hamilton could be doing exactly the same for their own purposes. Who knows.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 08:57:29

Lets contrast the football experience between the Cats proposed East Mountain site and the WH.

WH...Hop in the car, drive to the GO station, and take a ride on the GO train (for $5.50 each), exiting at James North station, walking with a few thousand other football fanatics chanting "Oskie Wee Wee" and a few brave Argo fans getting kidded about their poor choice of a football team. Get to the stadium and watch an entertaining football game, with the Ti-Cats defeating the Argos in a thrilling 4th quarter comeback victory. On the way back to the station, stop in at a restaurant and have a beer and some wings, surrounded by my fellow fans reminiscing about how we socked it to those Argos.

EM...Hop in the car, drive across the Skyway and sit in traffic on the Red Hill as all the cars try to file into the massive parking lot. Pay $30 to park. Run to the gate, nearly getting hit by drivers who are frantically looking for a parking spot and arrive in my seat stressed and missing the first quarter. Leave before the end of the 4th quarter as the Cats are down and we need to beat the rush or else be stuck in a long line trying to get back on the Red Hill.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:03:57

They could, or you could look and see who's been consistently on one side or the other. You, for example, don't care about anything but what Bob wants, regardless of whether or not he's proven anything. You seem to view shenanigans by sports teams in other cities as bad, but when Bob does it they're good tactics.

Most of us here seem to want public money to benefit the public, with the 'Cats being a beneficiary of it, but not the ONLY beneficiary of it, which is what Bob's World would provide.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 10:28:18

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-24 09:30:52

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By TOresident (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 10:36:21

Who cares what one person in Saskatoon thinks (if he/she is even from Saskatoon).

The fact remains that the majority of Torontonians STILL don't even know Toronto is hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games, and even more disturbing, have never even heard of the Pan Am Games at all.

Reading your comments, I chatted up a couple friends in Alberta (Hamilton ex-pats) who confirm no one in that province gives a flyin crap what's happening in Hamilton.

Truth be told; NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS FIASCO OUTSIDE OF HAMILTON!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:03:46

Well, I live in Hamilton and don't care really what's happening in Toronto or Edmonton outside of how it affects Canada in some way that may impact on my living here in Hamilton. So I can understand why people in other cities don't care what's going on here. My brother in London though has mentioned to me what's going on with the stadium issue in Hamilton only because he watches and reads sports and it is mentioned on some sports casts like TSN.

I'm sure a lot of people don't know what Pan Am even signifies outside of sports. For instance they wouldn't even understand why there would be a journal like the Pan American Journal of Public Health or why it would be important. Or why the Pan American Health Organization even exists. Which is understandable.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-24 10:06:23

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:09:06

@mrjanitor

Man, I should find this company and see if they are hiring. If people are paying for forum goonage, it sounds like a fairly easy job. lol

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:13:30

-Hammer-

Looking out for you Buddy!

AFI

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:50:11

A comment I added to Jason's piece in response to a comment by @Pxtl http://raisethehammer.org/blog/2029/#com...

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 24, 2010 at 17:45:25

"Instead they chose to sell revitalization which meant nothing to the TiCats, or the TiCat's fans. They totally missed the football WIFM point-of-view of their prospective customer."

@justsayin'

You're missing the point. This isn't about the football experience. A stadium can be built anywhere including WH that has a great football experience (and as an aside I would argue WH would provide the superior football experience of any site discussed.... but I digress), again..... IT'S ABOUT MONEY!, who is going to make it and who is going to control it.

Mr Young's objective is to squeeze every drop of revenue he can out of John and Jane Q TiCat fan. Playing in a stadium that is readily accessible by public transit doesn't work for him. He wants a place that is a terminus for car travel only surrounded by acres of asphalt which he controls and charges to park. He wants to control the adjoining land so he can parlay real estate investments into retail distribution ..... again which he controls. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with him wanting that. It's called capitalism.

From the outset when Mr Mitchell pompously decreed the Tiger Cats would NEVER play at West Harbour , this has had DECIDEDLY nothing to do with "The football experience".

There is one tiny but fatal flaw in the master plan from 1 Jarvis St. WHEN YOU ARE PLANNING TO SPEND THE BETTER PART OF $200 MILLION DOLLARS OF SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY AND NEXT TO NOTHING OF YOUR OWN, YOU BETTER GIVE A GOD DAMN AND PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE WORDS THEY USE AND THE NEEDS THEY HAVE INCLUDING THINGS LIKE........ CITY BUILDING AND REVITALIZATION.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-24 16:45:58

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 17:53:38

Hamiltonfan,

What I'm suggesting is that building the stadium downtown will benefit all the restaurants in the area, all the parking lots and many other stores as people walk by and see them, plus the hotels downtown as its all walking distance. There are also plans for condos and more businesses in the area.

Building at CP where there is no supporting infrastructure means that Bob Young gets to control all the parking and he's going to build restaurants and maybe a hotel and other stores. WE are not interested in investing in Bob's venture so Bob can get all the revenue. WE are interested in investing in the city so that many businesses can benefit.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 19:03:29

Oddly enough I think this short article sums it up very very nicely.

http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=346786

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 08:59:12

@shempatolla, You miss my point. If you don't sell the benefits of a product, service, stadium location to the prospect (TiCats & Fans) and sell how those benefits will add additional attendance/revenue, then you will fail. That point is now fact!

Never once did the city outline to the TiCats could (would) make additional revenue from the WH. They didn't say the enhanced football experience would increase attendance, the better football experience would allow for the sale of more memorabilia, more beer, etc. All revenue streams the Cats are desiring.

I don't know if you actually go to ticat games, but the 2 games I attended had a few thousand seats empty. Most likely, the Cats looked to WH are said; "We'll have the same attendance, and no other benefits/revenue streams, so forget it". And all the city could say was but it will revitalize an area, which they completely failed to see had no benefit to the Cats.

And in case you've missed it, your point-of-view has failed, at least to this point. Singing the same tune won't change that fact. Unfortunately, you aren't open to others POV in the face of failure, so status quo rules.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 26, 2010 at 09:59:31

@justsayin.

How engaged have you been in this process? Have you not seen the many renditions of what a WH stadium could look like? Have you not seen White Stars virtual tour of what a WH stadium could be like? It's not the City of Hamilton's job to teach a private business how to "sell" itself.

I will try to spell it out for you again. Bob Young and Scott Mitchell are clearly NOT INTERESTED in participating in any stadium that they do not have %100 control over revenue streams and site selection. This was a powerplay and a badly constructed and managed one at that. Someone somewhere has convinced them that the only way to make money is by clinging to a decades old philosophy of building sport stadia on the periphery of cities, near highways with acres of parking. Its a dead exercise in urban planning unless you are Jerry Jones and are prepared to finance a billion dollars on your own. When you are using essentially 100% public money to construct a stadium, you should just say thank you and go about the business of planning how to be successful there. Particularly when despite all of your protestations to the selected site you have still yet to produce A SINGLE DOCUMENT SUPPORTING YOUR ARGUMENT.

The West Harbour site has been voted on SEVEN TIMES by council. It won SEVEN TIMES. Mr Young was "caretaker" of the TiCats for the majority of those votes. If he had an issue with the site he had ample opportunity to lobby for another. The Future Fund money that is/was available IS CLEARLY EARMARKED for city building initiatives and particularly downtown renewal. Let me ask you. WHAT PART OF THIS EQUATION HAVE THE TIGER CATS NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIGURE OUT? Yes that was rhetorical, and I will answer. Of course they knew what the deal was. They decided to try and end run and bet that public attachment to their team would pressure council into making a bad deal for the city at the benefit of the TiCats.

They fumbled. They presented various absurd concocted schemes to try and buy off council. Remember the waterfront amphitheater? The soccer academy?, the $10,000,000 towards construction (borrowed of course and paid back over 10 years). What they failed to produce, were ANY private sector partners or investors, ANY plan as to how much if any public access would be available to the stadium.

I attend games. I have been in the past a season ticket holder for most of my life. You partly answered your own question and defeated your own argument with your statement. Why did you only attend 2 games? Is Ivor Wynne so awful you couldn't bear to go again? Could you not buy a beer? Get something to eat? Park within a ten minute walk? Or was it because the team had a better than even chance of stinking the joint out? I would argue that THAT is the reason there were and ARE regularly a few to more than a few thousand seats empty on a regular basis. Have you been to Molson stadium in Montreal? It's a dump. With NO onsite parking at the top of old Mount Royal in the heart of the city. IT'S PACKED EVERY GAME. Something like 84 consecutive sellouts. Why? BECAUSE THE ALOUETTES just win.

My point of view has failed? I don't think so. My point of view has been WH or no Future Fund money for a new stadium. Should either happen I'm ok with it. My city and what happens here is more important to me than the Tiger Cats (despite the fact I bleed black and gold). And please don't prattle on about civic pride blah blah. I am proud that council is apparently not going to cave to a private business that has not a large economic foot print on the city. Based on simple fact, there are about 22,000 people (including myself) that regularly attend TiCat games. There are 500,000 plus of us that live in this city. Council is responsible to all of them.

If and until the Tiger Cats are willing to participate in this process with honesty and integrity not one dime of public money should be utilized to satisfy their needs.

If and until the Tiger Cats can regularly sell out the building that they play in..... not one dime of public money should be used to satisfy their needs.

If and until the Tiger Cats can show the city they have private partners willing to invest in their business .....not one dime of public money to satisfy their needs.

The Tiger Cats are a private business that already recieves a more than generous arrangement with the city. They should perhaps spend more time and effort building that business than trying to execute a coup d'etat over public policy

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-26 09:07:07

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By try again (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 12:28:27

Whitestar didn't propose to build or fud any part of the stadium. They proposed to build a retractable roof after the stadium is built with someone else's money

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 12:54:58

Wow, you shempatolla, I think you should read a little more closely. I'm on your side.

My point was that council/staff bungled the entire process by not addressing the TiCats and selling them on the WH site. They instead to 'tie their cart' to the revitalization horse and that horse died... Never did I propose the blank cheque to the Cats.

As you know (and everyone else knows) the HostCo money was tied to a tenant the Cats were that tenant, so they had what amounts to a veto on site selection. Eisenberger, council, staff whomever (all of the above) believed the Cats when they said they'd play anywhere (prospective customers lie to me all the time too), and Hamilton took that as a deal. Rookie mistake.

BTW,
1. Only 2 games because I'm just a casual fan (as are the majority of Hamiltonians)
2. Both games were not close to sell-out and announced attendance numbers are regularily 'juiced'. One was a beautiful July day, which should have been a sell out, and the other was the season finale. Another one that should be sold out.
3. I don't park for Ticat games, I walk 7 minutes from my front door
4. I agree that you don't need parking to sell out. You need to put quality on the field and market the experience properly. Both of which I think the Cats have failed to do.
5. Congrats, you are going to win - No WH and no FF money used. Somehow I can't see how not getting the stadium you want can be a win, but you spin it.
6. I highly doubt 22,000 average attend TiCat games. More like 18K - 19K.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 26, 2010 at 14:59:57

@ try again. I don't believe I said or suggested that White Star planned on building anything with all of their own money. I simply referenced their concepts and proposals as a rebuttal to another poster who suggested no one had tried to sell the TiCats on the site.

@just sayin

I have to disagree. Staff and council proceeded with a site that had been selected for years. Until the TiCats tried their powerplay at no point whatsoever had there been ANY suggestion that the team would be contributing ANY capital at all to the project to the best of my knowledge.

I find it interesting that HostCo has only tied a legacy tenant to Hamilton and not any of the contingency municipalities even though the dollar amount is not changing. I have argued from the begining that The City of Hamilton is the legacy tenant and not the Tiger Cats. That fact being derived from the principle of leaving high level sports infrastructure for community use as a legacy of the games. In my opinion the TiCats are a major but supplementary tenant. This fact would not change even if they formed a management company to run the facility for the city. I don't see the city believing Bob Young as a rookie mistake. I believed him too. Why wouldn't they? Mr Young's team was about to be handed the keys to a brand new facility without having to fork over hardly anything. The "revitalization horse" was the only one living in the barn. All parties knew it and the Future Fund money and access to it was contingent on the stadium playing a major role in that initiative.

So we agree that the product on the field is the key to success both on it and off of it. It's only Mr Mitchell and Mr Young that don't seem to get it. My disappointment in the stadium not going into WH is tempered by the fact that 60 or 45 million $ of our money won't be going to build "Bob World" at a highway exit ramp near you. I also would not totally right off WH. Ottawa has already said that they are not interested in relocating the Cats. QC and Moncton have no stadium and no money to build one. Milton? Burlington? Nope, neither of those municipalities have the cash or would borrow the cash to fund an enterprise such as this. Same with Hazel's automobile paradise. The lease at Ivor Wynne runs to the end of next year. Mr Young's choices are these. Play in and agree to a renovated IWS (not really palatable to him), agree to participate in a stadium at WH and make it work which is entirely doable. Or.... play out the season and move to where?...... NOWHERE. Sell the team to someone who believes in WH (and do it fast.......ie) Katz group) and get out of Dodge.

So yeah with either of those resolutions I think the taxpayers in this city win. I can live with that.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-26 14:12:02

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By Justaying (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 15:37:10

@shemptolla, I'm just saying you seem to be debating/arguing something completely unconnected to my posts or pov.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 26, 2010 at 15:58:53

@just sayin'

If your point was that City Council, Staff, the Mayor dropped the ball in trying to "sell" WH to the TiCats. I couldn't disagree more. It's not their job to do so. This location did not come out of left field, it had been on the docket for years. Mr Young, Mr Mitchell both knew this. It is patently clear they tried to ramrod their own vision and hijack a strictly municipal process to their own benefit. Their gamble lost and it looks good on them.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 20:50:13

@Shempatolla , (I am not saying I agree) I think his point is that the city did not do enough to convience EVERYONE that WH was a win all around. From a city building/core/brownfield perspective they did a good job, but I think My. Saying is suggesting that they did little to win the football fans on the location.

It is very obvious from the postings here and on the spec and ticats.ca that a lot of people that are opposed to WH are doing so simply because BY is. If they too were onboard about how great it could be from a football standpoint, that would go a long way. Call it Marketing it if you will.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 22:29:12

Robbie K, Thank-you for getting the point.

Shempatolla, selling the primary tenant on the location is definitely the job of the city, council, mayor, etc. If there not their job then who's? It has to be someones. Simply saying the location was on the table for years and everyone knew is simply not enough. That is apparent by the situation we now find ourselves in today.

I'm guessing you aren't in sales, at least not sales that is leveraged with a large commission component.

I agree BY, SM and the TiCat organization tried to hijack the process, gambled and lost not only a new stadium but also lost the respect of a large segment of the population.

Unfortunately, there are no winners in this process. It's a lose - lose. I don't know if either side had a BATNA, and that again is a rookie mistake.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 26, 2010 at 23:02:45

Guys. I am Bob Young. My team plays in an 80 year old facility. It has a lot of history, great ambiance, great sight lines, but it's lacking in amenities and modern facilities. The city that my team plays in is going to build a brand new facility that can be the jewel of the league. It's not going to cost me much if anything out of pocket. I am going to have a very similar deal to the one I have now which by any account in the sporting world IS A SWEET HEART DEAL. I know that if I press things a little more I can even make it sweeter guaranteeing I can take in some parking revenue from the city. So what do I do? Say thanks guys lets make this the best facility in the CFL bar none?

NO I ALONG WITH MY IDIOT PRESIDENT BEGIN ISSUING ULTIMATUMS OVER THE LOCATION THE CITY PLANS TO BUILD ME THIS FACILITY. We attempt to hijack the process, ramrod at least two other locations that would cost the city even more money, AND THEN TRY TO LAY BLAME WHEN IT ALL BLOWS UP ON THE CITY AND THE MAYOR.

It's called looking a gift horse in the mouth. Greed clouded the TiCats judgement and now they will likely get nothing. And it's the city's fault? I DON'T THINK SO.

There was nothing for the city to sell. The city is putting in $60 million the other levels of government somewhere over 40-50 million. The Tiger Cats by definition are not even a partner in this venture. They are a tenant. They are in no position to dictate anything. Were they a major contributing capital partner....sure then that changes the game. But they aren't. They need to worry about putting a better product on the field, building their brand and then they wouldn't have to worry about profitability. Ask Bob Wettenhall in Montreal how that works.

And yes if the city end's up keeping its money instead of spending it on Bob's folly, then we( the taxpayers of this city) win. Enough interest and positive energy over WH has been generated that it will get developed.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-26 22:08:46

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 09:01:59

@justsaying,

I've got to agree with Shemp here. Essentially all the money that came in from the public purse was conditional. The Federal and Provincial money were tied to a legacy tenant (because they were offering more money than they would offer to cities without a legacy tenant for a smaller stadium) and the city money was tied to downtown revitalization and brownfield restoration.

The 'Cats looked at the pile of money and said to themselves "How can we make the most of this?" and decided on a high pressure last minute approach to hijack the money and claim all revenues generated around the stadium. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that BY wasn't willing to invest a penny of up-front money in the Stadium but was perfectly willing to invest $15M building beside the stadium.

They tried, they failed and now hopefully they'll smarten up and realize that the only way that this pile of money can benefit them is if they meet the conditions that the money comes with and that means the WH location.

If not, BY tries to shop his team at another city, of which none seem terribly interested right now, or he has to make do with a renovated Ivor Wynne and live with the fact that he could have had a brand new stadium if he'd been willing to eat a little crow.

Ahh, pride.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 09:28:58

@justsaying, I agree with you there. I don't fault the city at all for choosing WH, but certainly sitting down with the ticats and going through some numbers the city has based on attendence and what they will charge for rent perhaps they could come up with a case for BY. If BY comes back with different numbers that show a loss, well then now its discussion time.

In doing so perhaps they would have (or still can) come up with some other incentives, such as a parcel of tax free land for BY close by to start Bob World, a parking surcharge on all lots that goes directly to the TiCats on gameday?

Perhaps they had the first part of the discussion and it got them no where.

At the end of the day the way I look at it is that is is the cities job to entice business to Hamilton. Just because a company already exist's in the city does not mean the effort should be any less. If the business is struggling for a suitable location and the city thinks it has one (yes yes, I know its a free location..) then it should be doing its best to sell that location to the business.

Of course if the business wont listen, nuts to them (which is where we are now).

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 09:41:30

Robbie K

I don't fault the city at all for choosing WH, but certainly sitting down with the ticats and going through some numbers the city has based on attendence and what they will charge for rent perhaps they could come up with a case for BY. If BY comes back with different numbers that show a loss, well then now its discussion time.

If Bob Young shared all of these mystery studies he has with the city this discussion would have happened years ago.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:18:54

Shempatolla

I think your assessment of the stadium debate is absolutely correct. Thanks!

I would, however, agree with others that the city could have done a better job of negotiating (in private and in public) a WH scenario that might have caused the Cats to see the writing on the wall. The truth is, I'm not sure they didn't try to do this. What I do know is that a number of weak Councillors caved when they should have stood firm, which did not help the city's bargaining position. The Ti-Cats saw the weak link and played it, badly I might add.

It's not too late to negotiate a WH win for citizens and the Cats, just very unlikely. If it is pursued, I'd suggest asking Scott Mitchell to stay at home. His strategy failed. We're well past his bullying and cheap theatrics. At least I hope so.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:49:46

At this point I'd say the only stadium Hamilton will get will be maybe the velodrome and maybe some 6000 seater stadium at WH. Maybe both or maybe just one. The TigerCats will play out a few years at IWS as Mitchell has alluded to and then whatever happens after that, who knows. That's my guess what will happen. The city will put a few million into IWS to keep it so it passes safety inspection until such time that they even say it's not worth it any longer.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-27 11:50:19

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 27, 2010 at 13:23:37

@ H&H: Great observations...but from what I've been told, this whole process actually fell apart a long time before it seemed to.

(No matter how many times WH had been given the Council's stamp of approval, either. Some critical stages in a cogent, reasonable decision-making process were entirely missed.)

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 13:44:17

@Shempatolla, So what you are saying is when someone doesn't agree with your pov, then YELL AT THEM. Whew, my caps lock released....

BTW, you missed one item in your original scenario.

My team plays in an 80 year old facility. It has a lot of history, great ambiance, great sight lines, but it's lacking in amenities and modern facilities, but loses money based on current attendance... I know that a new stadium will boost my attendance for one, maybe 2 years, but after that I'm back to 80% and losing money even when I put a .500 team on the field...

Remembering the Cats were not selling out in 2010 with a .500 record. While not a great record, certainly not disasterous.

I know the TiCats have not been even remotely transparent with their books, but I don't think anyone would disagree they are losing money. Now this is where the city's "sales" job needed to come in on the WH site, and outline how those sold-out crowds would continue past the first 2 years when BY wasn't getting the parking he was wanting.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 27, 2010 at 21:43:00

@justsayin

If he isn't selling out at IWS, he isn't going to sell out past the first few games in a new building. Parking revenue from a half full stadium isn't going to help him. How much money can he be losing when the city pays the operating costs from IWS every year to the tune of $1.4 million, he keeps the revenue from beer, alcohol and concession sales and his rent on the stadium is about 27K a year?

It's all about the product on the field. The Detroit Red Wings played to cobwebs at the Joe Louis Arena in the 80s when they sucked. The stadium is in downtown Detroit. Down town Hamilton on its worst day looks like Shang Ri La compared to downtown Detroit. They started winning and guess what? Same building, same down town, full stadium. Profits followed.

It's not a hard lesson to learn.

And now we have the denouement. The " WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A NEW STADIUM IN ALDERSHOT" Gambit. Suddenly Mr Young has an investor willing to put up $30 million? LOL! Sure. On city owned employment lands in Aldershot? Right. They are having problems building a pier. You're telling me a community of 165000 is now going to build a CFL sized stadium? Can you say Glendale Arizona ?

God bless the fools if they actually try to do it.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 22:05:29

And now we have the denouement. The " WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A NEW STADIUM IN ALDERSHOT" Gambit. Suddenly Mr Young has > an investor willing to put up $30 million? LOL! Sure. On city owned employment lands in Aldershot? Right. They are having problems building a pier. You're telling me a community of 165000 is now going to build a CFL sized stadium? Can you say Glendale Arizona ?

God bless the fools if they actually try to do it.

Well...I've already e-mailed the mayor and councillor to let them know that we are going down that path. Doesn't make sense that a city that is trying to forge its own identity decides to basically make it clear to the world that it's just a suburb of Hamilton. Nor does it make sense that it would spend taxpayers money to do it...even $15 million (with Paletta's $30 million contribution, assuming we aren't on the hook for other costs like road improvements) for a stadium for which there is absolutely no need in Burlington.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 00:08:27

Aldershot is a weird location, but I guess if they are going to up and move, it really is the best spot. TiCat fans get their team close by, Hamilton still gets the exposure of the name

Meh.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 00:10:37

I'm good to go with it and one of my favourite all-you-can-east Chinese restaurants is right in Burlington on Plains Rd. They'll be seeing more of me if this goes through. Hamilton, Burlington and area hotels and motels will be happy if it goes through for Grey Cups in the future. Easier for TigerCat fans who don't live in Hamilton and hate driving in downtown Hamilton and parking here as well. They won't have to navigate this anymore.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-27 23:12:31

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By George (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 00:22:46

Okay, that's $30m + $56m from the province and feds (& maybe more from the prov)

That's $86m.

Just how much more will be needed for a 25,000 seat stadium, parking and "revenue capturing" complex?

Maybe Burlington should be focusing on how to build a pier.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:03:15

Shemptolla, At .500 it means there is a competitive team on the field already, a competitive that has been unable to draw 95% attendance. Back to marketing and selling the team on the field.

Also, it is worth noting 2 of the games were lost in final play and only by 1 and 2 points respectively (the 2 games I attended). Winning those would have significantly changed the TiCats win %.

Now you seem fixated on BY and parking for TiCat games, you have completely overlooked that BY would want the parking concession, period. That means not just during TiCat games, but also for concerts, festivals, whatever else gets booked into the new stadium.

Now there's a money maker when you locate a stadium in suburbia where pretty much everyone has to drive. Aldershot is just a shot in the dark, and one more example of how BY and his crew have mis-managed this entire stadium issue. But that doesn't absolve the City of Hamilton from the fact they never once sold the benefits of a a site that wasn't preferable to the TiCats. The City choose to operate based on their needs exclusively, seemingly not understanding the guys with no money in the game (Tiger Cats) had veto power. Tying back to my original assertion, "rookie mistake".

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:03:38

"Well, I think Bob said that fairly flippantly in a private setting and it was probably misconstrued," Mitchell said.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=4831106&postcount=523

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:31:41

I'll copy a comment I made in another thread about this new location. Someone checked out the distance from the closest highway ramp from the 403 to this site and it comes in at 2.9km.

Guess how far it is from the York Blvd/ 403 ramp to Barton and Caroline? 2.7km. So, as we all expected, many of the Cats so called 'wish list' was nothing more than a mirage. This site is furthest from a highway ramp than any other site they've looked at and it is right next door to new houses and subdivisions. Is has potentially good transit access for GO and VIA, but local bus service is bound to suck based on my experiences everywhere else in Burlington. Plus, GO/VIA was to be located 2 blocks from the stadium at the WH. The only site worse than this was the East Mountain one. That is, for anyone left in this city who believes a word out of the Cats mouth about what they are looking for. We've known all along it is all about owning a parking lot. Not a sports team, stadium or entertainment precinct. Perhaps we can get them to locate at WH and as a tradeoff give them ownership of one of the hundreds of parking lots downtown. Seems that's all they want.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:32:50

Now that Burlington is in the mix it should be obvious to even this board that the Tigercats hav no intention of relocating to the Rheem site. This has never been an idle threat, its been a reality all along. Rheem cannot work for the Tigercats and they won't partner in any fashion with the city at that location

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:40:42

@told you so, then they can have fun building a stadium with their own money somewhere else. No problem with me. If they want to keep their fanbase and stay in Hamilton, and use Hamilton tax money, it's WH or bust.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:03:12

after the way this process has played out it will be decades before the senior levels of government offer any extra funding to Hamilton for special projects even if a miracle happens and all parties come to an agreement that doesn't result in loud uncomplimentary comment from the fringes of society that have driven this debacle to this point

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:22:38

after the way this process has played out it will be decades before the senior levels of government offer any extra funding to Hamilton for special projects even if a miracle happens and all parties come to an agreement that doesn't result in loud uncomplimentary comment from the fringes of society that have driven this debacle to this point

I think this is a very intriguing comment. To me, it begs for the entire 'situation' to be deconstructed. To break it down to facts. Because in this brief paragraph, at least the way I'm reading it, there's a) anger towards anyone and everyone involved on the City of Hamilton end of the process, b) anger towards 'the fringes of society that have driven this debacle to this point'. (I'm rather curious as to why Bob Young et al aren't mentioned, but there ya go.)

"Some problems cannot be solved, because stake-holders cannot agree on the definition (of the problem)."

What if the absolute best, most-considered, most-examined choice had been made by City Council, one that Hamiltonians cheered, one that, for the sake of argument, had virtually no nay-sayers stamping their feet over...

...but this choice was kyboshed by Bob Young et al, presumably because his required revenue stream just wasn't accommodated by this universally-celebrated choice?

How would those people who currently have their knickers in a knot regard things? Would the above comment still be valid, as Council had to regretfully inform HostCo that Hamilton was having to back out of its PanAm Games commitment?

Mostly, I'm very curious as to just how close to the truth perception will cleave, once the dust has settled. (Some very picante RTH articles will come out of all 'this', I'm hoping...)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-12-28 09:41:02

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:43:55

The fringes include pro Young and anti Young pro west harbour and anti west harbour and the fact is that many don't understand you can be both pro Young and anti west harbour or anti Young and and anti west harbour of pro Young and pro west harbour or anti Young pro west harbour. The fringes have broken this down to a factually incorrect assumption that you are either pro west harbour or pro Young. These are the people that have torpedoed the process with their crusades of misinformation that has shaped the debate

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:52:19

one thing that I'm enjoying seeing play out in this new development is further proof of my assertion for many years now - that Hamilton's 'big business' community and old boys club members do little more than flap their gums when it comes to issues like this. Sure, they'll host rallies and call WH supporters unemployed bums, or go on CHML and have a big love fest with their various Ticat hosts, but not ONE of them was willing to put up a cent. It shouldn't surprise us that an out of town land holder is the only large private investor to come on board with some actual money so far. Our 'bigwigs' are nothing more than corporate welfare recipients, all yelling and screaming for a location to be chosen next to their properties so that gobs of tax money can prop up their businesses a little more.

Of course, none of Hamilton's old media will report this angle, so I thought I'd post it here.

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By B Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:04:54

Is there really a possibility of this Aldershot stadium being built? If it is such a deal and such a money maker with all the private investment why didn't Bob Young do it 5 years ago. Sentimentality? Please. It is all about making money and he is doing it hand over fist while using the Ticats as a money-losing smokescreen to hide his other lucritive businessess. Well played sir. Well played.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:07:13

These are the people that have torpedoed the process with their crusades of misinformation that has shaped the debate

OK.

So how could this have been prevented?

And who did these 'crusades of misinformation' affect? Are you referring to City Council? Bob Young et al?

I'm curious as to who you feel is so vulnerable as to have been so affected in a 'torpedoing' way by the 'crusades of misinformation'.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:10:31

@justsayin

.500 over the last two years doesn't even come close to a "winning culture". Competitive doesn't cut it. The Washington Generals were competitive with the Harlem Globe Trotters every night but we knew what the out come was going to be. Two .500 seasons doe not come close to bring up the win percentage in the Bob Young era. The record is somewhere in the vicinity of 45-83 -1 . That sucks. Two playoff games with two losses in the last two years doesn't cut it either. Think Edmonton Eskimos, Montreal Alouettes, San Fran 49ers, NE Pats, Pittsburgh Steelers. Those are the kinds of teams who currently or in the recent past have put the kind of product on the field where there fans have a reasonable expectation that their team is going WIN and challenge for a championship. Consistently winning and contending is what builds fan bases, and leads to greater attendance, not two .500 seasons after a decade of embarrassment.

I am well aware the BY wants "all the revenue all the time". The question is why would the city toss him the keys when he has no experience in facility management, and has not shown an ability to build the brand of his team and make money where he is? Might as well let HECFI lose our money. This was a powerplay and scam from the get go and continues to be one.

We are just not going to agree on your "rookie mistake" issue. When one party is putting up the lion's share of the money and the other just about nada. Just say thank you.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:22:56

The "Crusade of misinformation" was put out by the TiCats. They were involved from the beginning of the process yet WH still passed 7 votes. The fact that just before an election and just before the final date for a decision for HOSTCO they pull this "We won't play there" crap is all the proof that's needed.

Every argument against WH put forward by the 'Cats, not enough parking, too far from a highway, not enough access, etc..., was significantly worse in the sites put forward by the 'Cats.

The only benefit those sites had was lack of development around them, which meant Bob's World or some variation of the theme could come into play and Bob could use the 'Cats to generate further revenue streams. WH allows for less than complete capture as there is existing infrastructure which would absorb some of that revenue.

Now, to restate my position, I have nothing personally against Bob Young. I have nothing against the 'Cats. If Bob wanted to build his own stadium he could put it where he wanted and collect all the revenue from it, that's the purpose of investment! That being said, I am completely against the idea of all this public money going to primarily benefit Bob. Public money should benefit a large number of beneficiaries, an area, if you will, as opposed to an individual.

If Burlington is willing to donate a pile of money to Bob and Bob's World, more power to them. I'm glad that council finally realized what was happening and put the ball back in Bob's court. If he wants a new stadium to showcase the 'Cats and bring the Grey Cups and support a Soccer team, he's either got to pony up some cash of his own or he can take the public funding with the strings attached that it has to benefit the public.

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By told you sp (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:24:46

I believe both sides have misstated the financial costs of their positions. Both sides have misled each other in their financial commitment to the stadium itself. Both sides have done a poor job of explaining the benefits of their plans. Both sides have refused to listen to the concerns of the other and there has been little effort towards real compromise. The worst offense however is the city's acceptance of the Pan Am bid money without a firm financial commitment to their chosen site. We can debate the facts until the cow come home but there will never be agreement on how things unfolded prior to the Hostco offer to Hamilton and who promised what or who suggested what. Its the period PRIOR to the awarding of the games that is critical and the only fact that is verifiable is that the city accepted the bid without a detailed financial plan agreed to by all parties

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:36:33

@ Brandon and told you so:

I get your explanations of who was perpetrating the 'crusades of misinformation'. Not that I agree in toto.

But any misinformation is only a weapon if there is a sufficiently vulnerable recipient.

Are you saying that City Council (and all its lawyers and advisers) were so vulnerable as to fall 'victim' to what the Ti-Cats perpetrated?

Don't you think this take on things frames the entire enterprise a little 'dramatically'? Never mind what it says about Council and Company.

Is it possible that you're conflating things here, that the 'victim' has been the public, and that your anger and frustration has re-directed energies, re-labelled components? The public, who, let's face it, isn't actively involved in any of this; that's why we elect Councillors.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:40:54

@ told you so.

Excuse me but just what exactly are the benefits to the taxpayers of Hamilton of any of Bob Young's plans? The financial commitments by the city and two upper levels of government are hard dollars. Mr Young have fronted various vaguely worded proposals that amount to either borrowing money from government infrastructure plans (us again), to grandiose proclamations that he will spend $74 million dollars over 20 years blah blah when broken down really just amount to the operating costs of his business.

The only financial question mark in the entire process has been the TiCats. In hindsight you could say it was foolish for the city to progress with WH. However when the TiCats were present at all meetings and votes prior to last May and their now infamous "we will never play there" statement, I can understand why the city would assume all was well.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:49:15

the vulnerable recipient was city council in an indirect way. Let me explain before you blow up. All of the misinformation was greedily swallowed up by the generally uninformed general public who formed an opinion based on faulty information. The level of screaming by both sides was received by the public and there was little chance that any reasonable logical well thought out opinions would be formed but rather 2 equal and vocal radical groups began to swell until they reached a point of critical mass that even the disinterested formed a rigid position devoid of reason. Since this is a political process council members who might be inclined to listen and base their decisions on fact had no choice but to weight the political ramifications of appeasing the ugly electorite. Thats why any decision was delayed until after the election. All sides recognized it was political suicide to act on the issue during an election campaign. This process was doomed to the special interests framing the debate early on and the reactions that caused which ultimately led to an engaged city divided equally making a resolution impossible

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:56:42

@ told you so

1) I think you're assuming that Councillors travel the same paths that you/we/RTH readers do, that they're taking in stuff in the same way. They don't. Have you spoken with any Councillors about this issue, gotten their take on it?

2) While I agree with you that it might have been 'political suicide' to act on the issue before the election, the truth of the matter is that if we live in a city where a decision about a stadium is the pivotal issue of the day...especially when the average person (and only 40% of which actually vote) really does not have an informed opinion on the issue...then really, the brunt of the 'fault' with our city is with us.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2010-12-28 10:57:19

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:57:09

Shemp, that is the type of misinformation I was referring to. At no time did the Tigercats make a firm financial commitment to the Rheem site. It was that period of time when BOTH sides were being dishonest. The Tigercats were told that West Harbour was merely a place saving site to get the bid when thats not what they meant and the Tiger Cats said they would contribute to any Hamilton site to the public while saying something quite differently to Mayer Fred privately

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:59:20

Yes it is us that are to blame. I don't really think I've said otherwise

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:02:51

The Tigercats were told that West Harbour was merely a place saving site to get the bid when thats not what they meant and the Tiger Cats said they would contribute to any Hamilton site to the public while saying something quite differently to Mayer Fred privately

That's the line of BS Young and Mitchell have been feeding the propaganda machine as damage control. I for one do not believe Bob Young's "Placeholder" explanation, some here seem to buy into it. My choice and your choice.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:04:32

Regarding 'crusades of misinformation'...

I don't think this term applies. It's not an accurate representation of what's unfolded. (Just like 'disconnect' isn't the same as 'disagreement'.) This hasn't been 'misinformation' so much as 'obfuscation', the sort that most business entities engage in, whether it be corporations, unions, etc. It might not seem 'upstanding behaviour', but it is the current way of the world that we've constructed.

I think that the anger towards how things have played out, how certain parties have conducted themselves, is causing some real fuzzy language to be used. And considering we don't really have a say in this, that our part is merely to understand and comment and then feedback to our Councillors our feelings once it's all said and done, don't you think we need to at least get it right when we're describing things from our perspective?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 13:08:19

I'm really bothered by the way certain people here, like Told You So, as well as in other forums (like the Spec) continue to characterize civil society and public discussion as some sort of negative social force in this town. Every time something like this comes up and doesn't work out, from the Maple Leaf plant to the Expressway, groups of concerned citizens are blamed. We're "spoilers", "meddlers" and "fringe" groups, no matter how well educated, informed or rooted in the community.

The blatant admission that councillors avoided this issue at election time because they knew there'd be consequences says a lot. Democracy is not about avoiding tough issues - it is about hearing them out. If citizens are not entitled to a voice on these issues, why should we vote or pay taxes at all? If a private business wants hundreds of millions of public dollars, they are required to make a compelling case for it. And we are allowed to disagree and ask questions. This is exactly what has been missing from so many of this town's bad decisions in the past few decades (eg: AEGD). If people are tired and cynical, this is why.

We are all shareholders in the Corporation of The City of Hamilton. It is our business.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 13:31:41

"The Tigercats were told that West Harbour was merely a place saving site to get the bid"

Wasn't the WH the specified venue in THREE separate bids for the Commonwealth and Pan-American games? Does anyone really believe that the Tiger-Cats had the wool pulled over their eyes for about 10 years and 7 Council votes? Pullease! Even if that happened to me, I wouldn't admit that I was that stupid.

This was a powerplay, plain and simple. A battle between Bob Young and his Chamber of Commerce types who embrace an "all for one" mentality and a more enlightened group who embrace the "some for all" approach that should be the basis for PUBLIC expenditure:

Jason said it best "Our 'bigwigs' are nothing more than corporate welfare recipients, all yelling and screaming for a location to be chosen next to their properties so that gobs of tax money can prop up their businesses a little more."

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-12-28 12:32:49

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 14:19:15

@Shemptoll, Or just say "Thanks, but no thanks"

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 14:48:24

@ Justsaying

Or just say "Thanks, but no thanks"

Which Mr Young is entirely free to do. But if thats the case then why all the histrionics and rhetoric and attempts at basically extorting well over $100 million in public money?

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By Topher (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 15:03:39

Bob Young + Scott Mitchell = Dog and Pony Show

Burlington can have 'em! Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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By shutthefuckup!! (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 16:27:34

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

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

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 18:46:34

I can't wait for the day when I can watch my TigerCats in a new stadium outside the city limits of Hamilton. That day cannot come fast enough for me.

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By George (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:01:38

And your name is "HamiltonFan"?

Methinks you are a tad confused.

What exactly is in the koolaid, stupid potion?

Comment edited by George on 2010-12-28 18:02:40

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:08:19

You're right George I did the screw up of all screw ups calling myself Hamilton Fan when in reality I should have known much better. You are so right on this one. I've learned my lesson, just like Bob Young has as well.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:21:50

Hey Shutthefuckup. Im here. my email is there. just mail me when you want to try to shutmeup?

This is a discussion forum for ALL opinions. I;'m sorry if your thin-skin absorbed a different perspective... this is the point of RTH, so for you, stfu

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:52:55

More awesome funding fun outlined in the Spec. Turns out less is more!

---------

The Aldershot picture could shape up as follows:

$140-million, 22,000-seat Aldershot stadium

• $100 million from federal and provincial governments through Hostco
• $30 million from private sector
• Donation of land from Paletta International
• $10-million funding gap

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/306705--cfl-backs-aldershot-site


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By George (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:58:27

Oh looky. A free stadium for Burlington.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 20:23:37

Why doesn't Burlington just put the stadium on Spencer Smith Park? ;)

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 21:25:02

"Donation of land from Paletta International"

Yah, I guess that would be from the charitable arm of Paletta International. That's how that corporation got so rich; giving away prime real estate to other multi-millionaires.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 21:47:52

Don't believe everything you read in the newspaper.

I'm guessing The Spec listing $100M from HostCo is actually the combined HostCo and Hamilton Future Fund money. Meaning their math is totally out of line, and the shortfall is significantly more when you take out the HFF money.

I can't believe HostCo would suddenly have additional funding for another municipality.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 28, 2010 at 22:05:34

Burlington........prepare to bend over. lol

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 22:21:19

Shempatolla,

Thanks for the outstanding arguments you've been presenting, they've been brilliant and relentless.

First I thought the Burlington play was just another monster conjured by Bob to terrify Hamilton into capitulation. Second, after seeing this just might have some legs I was angry at the Ti-Cats yet again for shafting Hamilton. Third, after removing any emotions I've developed over this fiasco, I'm really OK to see Bob leave town. I'm done with the Ti-Cats anyways (was a 4 games a year fan), so what's the difference? They will remain 'The Hamilton Tiger Cats' in name, Hamilton gets to use the West Harbour and Confederation Park for better things and we save a fortune in Future Fund money. I really have to ask myself, "So what?".

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By Slacker (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 22:39:14

Burlington is a non starter for the simple fact that Burlington will not be able to politically sell spending tens of millions to subsidize the development of prime real estate - along with a whole bunch of other obvious reasons.

No doubt everyone involved knows the same thing.

As the Tiger Cats seem to be getting ever more desperate and embarrassingly obvious in their subterfuge - I think the City of Hamilton really needs to take a serious look at suing the Tiger Cats to recover the tens of millions the City has invested over the last several years of actual due diligence to develop the West Harbour Stadium.

AM talk shows and headline journalism aside, the City of Hamilton has spent years and millions of taxpayer money to develop a stadium site.

Financial analysis, preliminary engineering, transportation analysis, legal investigation, permit applications, zoning amendments and property acquisition have all been completed in good faith by the City - and all cost real money. All of which was nuked by the Tiger Cats at the last minute through no fault of the City.

At this point - I think it would be very hard to argue that the Tiger Cats have acted in good faith.

In my mind - that is a very real tort that needs to be remedied.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 22:52:05

Actually IMHO the TigerCats have acted in outstanding faith. I'm more of a TigerCat fan all the time. But that's just me.

Here's a good read on the Paletta group and what they've been up to with the site.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/201...

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 23:46:06

I think mr. Mitchel is a little out of touch if he thinks we fans will hop in our cars and drive to Burlington to see OUR Ti-Cats. If 80% of us drive then why o why is the west harbor so bad?? So much parking closer to that spot than where I park now to get to ivor wynne. We, the fans, have been bamboozled by the cats and now have to accept they really don't care about Hamilton or the TRUE fans. It will not work in Burlington, just like confederation park would have failed once those October/November winds blow and people stay away.

Instead of looking at the foolish, mega million, suburban stadiums in the states. Why not look at the rest of the world where walking from a few kilometers is the norm. Or inner city transit is close by.??

Poor bob is getting some bad advice.

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By Slacker (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 23:52:51

From Sportsnet...

"Angelo Paletta, the president of Paletta, said for the past three years he has envisioned developing a 125-acre property that the company owns, into a full centre of excellence for sports, entertainment and recreation. It would include a hotel, offices, residential condominiums, restaurants, retail stores and a 9,000-seat hockey arena, which has already been zoned."

Et la pièce de résistance...

"Paletta said the plan for the football stadium would not cost the taxpayers any money."

If that were true - FANTASTIC....but its obviously not true is it?

However, Paletta does make a good point - there is no reason $100 million plus of public subsidy needs to be spent to develop this property for a hotel, offices, residential condos, restaurants, retail.....

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 04:54:50

woody, stadiums have no place near residential areas. Crowd noise and noise from large PA speakers at games is horrible for people who live near a stadium and want nothing to do with this pollution. I always feel bad when going to IWS and seeing houses so close and knowing many can't stand a stadium so close to their homes. The WH, while not as residential as IWS, still has this problem. Aldershot doesnt. Can everyone live near where they work to walk to work? Of course not.

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 07:32:13

Hamiltonfan, don't feel bad for us. The vast majority of us love the stadium, and every single one of us knew the stadium was there when we decided to move into the area. No surprises!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 09:01:19

woody, stadiums have no place near residential areas.

And as I stated to a dear friend in a heated exchange yesterday, "I'm fundamentally against suburban stadiums, period."

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By ImproveTheHammer (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 09:26:34

@ slacker:

At this point - I think it would be very hard to argue that the Tiger Cats have acted in good faith.

How so? Here's a blow-by-blow

  • Ticats involved in internal discussions, publicly say they are supportive of the process

  • when it becomes obvious that the city only has one site in mind, they go public with their objections

  • they sit down with mediator, and make their case for East Mountain (not their first choice, but the only other alternative offered)

  • council indicates they still only have one site in mind, they go public saying they do not plan to play there -- and will play out their days at Ivor Wynne

  • City proposes compromise location, near MIP -- Ti-cats agree, and propose business pan for that location

  • City votes down that location, and chooses not to investigate any more locations

  • Information is leaked saying Ticats considering a location outside Hamilton -- but close enough that they can justifiably keep the Hamilton Ti-cats name

Maybe I am naive, but I firmly believe the Ticats would prefer to stay in Hamilton, and would prefer to have negotiated a location that was mutually acceptable. I also believe them when they say they believe they will lose money at the WH site.

And while it was extremely painful process it looks like the "right" decisions are going to be made. The future fund money will be spent at West Harbour, and it won't include a 20,000+ seat stadium that sits empty most of the time.

(edited to try and fix formatting)

Comment edited by ImproveTheHammer on 2010-12-29 08:28:59

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By CaptainKikr (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 09:48:57

"Hidden" at the bottom of an article in today's Spec, this quote from Bob Young,

“There are still several options in and near Hamilton that can work.”

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/306815--burlington-stadium-talks-in-high-gear

"Several" options?

Add to that the reported interest of other buyers. This team does not have to turn it's back on our city at all.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:19:53

Thinking of Aldershot as a suburban stadium ignores the fact that the Golden Horseshoe is anything but one isolated city of Hamilton and nothing else. It would be different if we were talking about London, Ontario and a stadium was to be built on the other side of the 401 there. But the region of the Golden Horseshoe is different. Cancer patients from Burlington most often go to the city of Hamilton to the Juravinski Hospital for treatment and I know staff there try and make all patients from the region feel "at home". We are a region with limited resources and I think it's best we start thinking as a region. Again I made a mistake with my username here although I'm coming to think of 'Hamilton' in a much broader context.

Perhaps I'll start a blog and name it 'Raise the Community'.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:23:31

please do

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:27:32

please do

LMAO

Ah, the double-score of snarkiness by way of pithiness.

Quite the accomplishment. Well done.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:42:40

"when it becomes obvious that the city only has one site in mind, they (the Tiger-Cats) go public with their objections"

Would that be when it became public that the WH was the city's chosen site before its first, second or third international games bid?

Either the Tiger-Cats were asleep for the last ten years or they're really stupid or, oh yah, maybe this was just a last-minute powerplay to get taxpayers to fund a private, restricted-access cashbox all along and they're just lying.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:49:28

Also in the Spec today is the piece by John Kernaghan stating:

"By July, sources say, Ticat officials were meeting with Paletta executives about a joint stadium/commercial development."

Is this the same Ti-Cat organization that cried fowl when the City of Hamilton was meeting with the Katz Group as part of pursuing other options in case the deal with the Cats didn't work out? I think so. Meetings in secret? Wow. Who would have guessed?

Remember fellow taxpayers, it was in August that Council voted to spend a ton of time and money to investigate the Longwood/Aberdeen site, which consumed months and many hundreds of thousands of dollars. All this while the Ti-Cats were continuing to meet with Paletta but didn't mention it to Council?

Kernaghan continues in his article,

"In the meantime, Aldershot emerged as the "lead option" in Toronto 2015 documents obtained by the Spectator through the Access to Information Act."

Are we to conclude that also in the July/August timeframe that HOSTCO knew of the Aldershot site and had determined that it was the lead option? Lead option for whom? How did they even hear of the Aldershot site? Did Council know that HOSTCO had already put Aldershot at the top of their list, even though our elected officials in Hamilton knew nothing of this and voted to invest more money trying to reach a compromise the the Ti-Cats?

Lloyd Ferguson should be even more pissed at Young and Mitchell than he is at CP (for the amount they want for their site) for once again playing us, and him in particular. He took a very public stand for a compromise and he claims he put the CP site on the table. I guess if you enjoy the feel of egg dripping down your face....

And in the face of this, we have people like HamiltonFan who continue to tell us BY is a great and trustworthy guy who is simply misunderstood by people like me and many others on RTH. Really? Like almost every single one of us have said from the beginning, this has always been about money. That's OK with me. But having suffered through the maudlin writings of one Bob Young about train tracks and railcars and the Ti-Cats as the essence of Hamilton's culture, I'm am so glad their Aldershot plans have been outed. Now the legion of Ti-Cat fans who need to drive to the game can still do so, either by the Skyway bridge or the 403.

Good luck to the taxpayers of Burlington who will have to put up money for the stadium, including infrastructure. There isn't $100 million of provincial and federal money available for a stadium. If there was, this thing would have been settled a long time ago. Think in terms of $55-$70 million max. Even with Paletta's contribution, the shortfall will still be $30-$50 million and likely much more when you start building access roads. Good luck Burlington. I, for one, am not feeling any pier pressure.

May I suggest we all get back to focusing our energies on our vision for building the kind of Hamilton we can all imagine? May I also suggest that we not spend another minute worrying about the Ti-Cats? They have played their last game using taxpayers as their football.

Comment edited by H+H on 2010-12-29 09:52:17

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:09:23

@H+H

Young told us that he was looking for options elsewhere, and that he liked Aldershot. I can fault him for a lot, but you really can't blame him for this one - he's made his plans crystal clear.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:22:52

@Pxtl

Actually, I can. He did throw Aldershot out to test the waters some time ago, but I heard him backpedal so vigorously the very next day on the radio that he could have been an opening act at the velodrome we're supposedly still going to build.

There was nothing crystal clear about his plans for Aldershot when all of the local media (such as it is) jumped on him the next day. Meanderings are not plans, that is unless they're spun as meanderings but are, in fact, real plans. Given the news that just emerged (Paletta and HOSTCO both), I guess it's just another example of BY's discomfort with being straight up with Hamilton taxpayers.

At some point, you BY acolytes will have to admit you've been taken by a charlatan of the first rank.

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By Another Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:23:51

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:26:21

@H+H

I am not a BY acolyte. I wanted the stadium at the west harbour or downtown, like most of the posters here.

I just got used to so many stories of "he'll take the team elsewhere" that I had gotten the impression that he'd outright stated he was looking for other options. I didnt' realize his only official musing on the subject had been hastily retracted.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:33:35

One thing I will say is that I really do appreciate going downtown and to the WH. My wife and myself enjoy strolling through James St. N after checking out Dr. Disc where we buy CDs and we have a favourite restaurant downtown we love to go to. And then over to WH for a stroll on the path. And the last couple of weeks we've gone skating at the new skating rink, awesome.

I realize that for many people in the area downtown is a place they don't go and neither to the harbourfront and the people that do enjoy it are most likely in the minority. But they are missing out I believe.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:38:32

@Pxtl

Fair enough. My apologies, I did make it personal and shouldn't have. Like you I suspect, I'm just so fed up with the actions on all sides in this mess.

@ Another Capitalist

Please remember that this so-called business to which you refer is a small ($15 million in gross revenues in a good year),money-losing, taxpayer subsidized "business" that paid zero $ in municipal taxes. I guess that makes the Ti-Cats part of the poverty industry to which you refer.

I agree with you, we need to work harder at attracting and maintaining wealth-producing businesses. Sadly, the Cats are not one of them. Just ask BY, if we're to take him at his word on this point.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:42:02

Early Twitter chatter...

Serious questions about Hamilton Ti-Cats moving to Burlington - including $30m shortfall for stadium. Not a done deal. http://t.co/c3Ku4Hc
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/19769581186846720

@MariannMeedWard no more taxpayers money used, if it is a good investment guys with money will build it and run it.
http://twitter.com/Doug1947/status/19821633137020928

So @RickCravenWard1 and @RickGoldring are showing interest in bringing the ticats to Aldershot?? Worst idea ever.
http://twitter.com/hellamoet/status/19935897852055552

@hellamoet @RickCravenWard1 @RickGoldring agreed. Aldershot doesn't have the infrastructure capacity to support a stadium. Terrible idea.
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19937771766415360

@hellamoet @RickCravenWard1 @RickGoldring as a reference point, how has Ivor Wynne helped property values in the immediate area around it?
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19938172460867584

@hellamoet @RickCravenWard1 @RickGoldring I would love to see traffic and environmental impact surveys. Noise pollution? Wildlife?
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19939413073072128

Dear Hamilton, take your stadium & team and kindly f**k off. Sincerely, Burlington. #TiCats #CFL #PanAmGames
http://twitter.com/The_Road_Guy/status/19849313345609729

Do you not think some community discussion is required on this Ticat/Pan Am invitation into our neighborhood? @RickCravenWard1 @RickGoldring
http://twitter.com/hellamoet/status/19947025130852353

So new mayor @RickGoldring, we in Aldershot would love to know why you're volunteering our community to host the #Ticats sans consultation.
http://twitter.com/hellamoet/status/19956686747869184

@hellamoet Don't forgot the "Financial Contribution" Burlington would have to make. Burlington; worst allocation of govn't funds in memory
http://twitter.com/SeanPalmer905/status/19957773856931841

Why would Burlington need a 9,000 seat hockey arena? Who's gonna play there? In the music biz Burlington is like an F market.
http://twitter.com/SeanPalmer905/status/19958639078940672

The idea of the Tiger Cats moving to Aldershot is just an "idea" at this point. We are a long way away from any decisions. City to study it.
http://twitter.com/RickCravenWard1/status/19825446078119936

@RickCravenWard1 Why is this being considered? How would this "idea" benefit? I've lived through game day congestion. Not fun.
http://twitter.com/michellegate/status/19827127545233408

@RickCravenWard1 Please ensure there is public consultation on the stadium discussion. Don't let this just be something that happens.
http://twitter.com/megan_m/status/19952238818496512

@RickCravenWard1 @hellamoet We, as residents of Ward 1, hope the decision is more than just financial. Ward 1 has character worth keeping.
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19952092630220801

Burlington's history of construction projects gives me lots of hope for this #Ticats deal. We need 1/2 a stadium to match our 1/3 pier.
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19959750795988993

@Dr_Grinch I think we could fit the size of football stadium we could afford onto the 1/3 of pier.
http://twitter.com/SeanPalmer905/status/19960338078244864

@SeanPalmer905 You're right! And then the whole thing would collapse under the weight of it's own suck. This whole deal reeks like kickbacks
http://twitter.com/Dr_Grinch/status/19961666401734656

TiCats are deaf, no sense in pointing out the obvious to them. RT @DavidC83: Aldershot neighbours will NEVER (cont) http://tl.gd/7p8lkc
http://twitter.com/Taiter86/statuses/19868474767581184

My take on the Aldershot site? STILL STUPID! Bob Young wants parking revenue & couldn't care less about regionalism. #cfl #TiCats #HamONT
http://twitter.com/AndreDarmanin/statuses/19914685314760705

Laughable analysis in so many ways. RT TSN's Suitor blasts #HamOnt council for mishandling #PanAm stadium http://bit.ly/hX9QRp #Ticats #CFL
http://twitter.com/UrbanHealthProf/statuses/20149710622826496

Now THIS is worth reading RT FAN590 Blog The Deacon’s Pulpit: An Iconic Franchise for Aldershot? http://t.co/nFZ4xao #HamOnt #Ticats #PanAm
http://twitter.com/UrbanHealthProf/statuses/20156411489034240


And Rick Goldring's most recent pro football musing?

Going to the Bills/Pats game today with my daughter Lisa and her friend James. The line at the Peace Bridge goes all the way to Fort Erie.
http://twitter.com/RickGoldring/status/19051683711557632

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:03:58

@H+H

Cheers!

@Mr Janitor . Thanks. I have not intended to be so argumentative on this issue but in the words of Peter Griffin .... "this really grinds my gears!"

This is anecdotal. A colleague of mine from Toronto Fire who lives within a Paul Osbaldiston punt of where the proposed "Bob World brought to you by the Paletta Group" is to go, facebooked me and asked me if I thought this could happen?

I told him, well Sean... does Burlington have $60 million or so (low side) they have nothing better to do with? Can a community with around 60000 households take on the tax burden of subsidizing to the tune of $1.4 million a year a private business? Or conversely pay this business maybe $500k as a "management fee" to run this facility with absolutely no experience in doing so? Further I said, Can a city of 170000 with no more room to grow afford to take 125 acres of employment lands out of its inventory ? Are you willing to see your property taxes rise to subsidize this?

I asked him if he could say Glendale Arizona

Needless to say he was stunned and not impressed.

Someone please correct me if I have misread, but I also believe there is another fly in the ointment of the Aldershot salve.

I believe HOSTCO has stated that the facility must be public owned and leave a community legacy of access to high level sporting facilities. The noise coming from Paletta seems to infer that this will be built with already committed public funds and his land. Now forgive me if I am missing something. But does it seem likely that a large corporation is going to donate 125 acres of prime real estate, build a facility and then just turn it over to the City of Burlington?

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-12-29 11:07:40

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:04:27

I guess Deacon doesn't realize that Burlington is smack in the centre of the geographical region known as the Golden Horseshoe with a huge population. Putting down our region by indicating a name or a community in our area as some Arctic outpost or perhaps worse in his mind, is not called for at all.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-29 11:06:58

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:13:05

http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=347179

The Ticats hired an independent company called the Altus Group to do an economic impact study on Bob Young and his group of companies and what a new stadium would bring to Hamilton, and the total came back a staggering $1.4 billion over 10 years.

Wasn't that study shown to be 80% bullshit? If memory serves, it estimated attendance of 10,000 to NASL games. I think it also stated that there would be two Grey Cups in the next ten years that would both be huge sellouts, even though the last time Hamilton hosted a Grey Cup (in 1996) there were empty seats, and one of the worst-attended Grey Cups in recent history. I can't find the study anymore, so correct me if I'm wrong...

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2010-12-29 11:19:20

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:17:04

@ mrgrande

I think its also been shown that Glen Suitor is 80% bullshit on this topic and is stunned that council didn't lay over and do as it was told by the football team.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:29:18

Ah yes. Mr Glen Suitor. Professor Emeritus in urban planning and social studies.

Idiot.

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By Another Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:33:13

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:35:28

once again proving that you don't need to know a single fact to write a piece for TSN. That story could pass as the top story on http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/ and nobody would bat an eye or think it's out of place.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:44:50

Too bad it seems there's no option to comment on Mr Suitor's opus on tsn.ca itself.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:53:40

I am beginning to realize that everyone else was right about us.

I would love to call for a moratorium on any and all reactions to events in this city that take the form of self-loathing. The really sad thing is that everyone does it. When the West Harbour got sidetracked, alot of WH supporters said "typical loser Hamilton". When the Ticats threaten to leave town, alot of Ticats supporters said "typical loser Hamilton". Its our ingrained reaction to any decisions in this city that we disagree with, regardless of what that decision means or what direction it may take this city.

(I don't mean to paint with such a wide brush and if you personally avoid this tendency then good for you, but its the single most frustrating thing I hear in this town.)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:57:01

@transitstudent

Funny, since Robbie linked to a TSN article that more severely criticized B.Y. for missing the opportunity with Hamilton: http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=346786 - this article includes comments, and the comments are the usual "Lol stupid Hamilton city council, you can't have sports without a hundred-acre parking lot".

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-12-29 11:58:07

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 13:44:36

The overall message is that in Hamilton you cannot do business. Plain and simple.

The message is plain and simple, folks. If we do not grant a small number of influential businesspeople everything they ask for, we are destined for nothing but permanent poverty.

This tripe gets peddled every time somebody wants tens or hundreds of millions of our dollars. It grossly oversimplifies issues of poverty, as if poverty is a result of a lack of highways, stadia and aerotropoli. It completely ignores history - as our city's leadership does have a long history of going along with these schemes, and none so far have brought the promised benefits. Most of all, it makes a blatantly mathematically incorrect argument: that taking more money from people who don't have much and giving it to people who have far more is the exact opposite of "dealing with the problems of poverty".

Just because somebody, somewhere, within city limits, is making money, doesn't mean that anybody else is benefiting. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't - it's not a claim that can be made without evidence. Awarding Bob Young control over and revenues from everything near the stadium will only increase the amount of money which flows upward. Decisions like locating far from urban centres and charging high parking costs do nothing to benefit us. They simply create massive wastes of resources (space, gas, time) in ways which can be capitalized upon by Bob Young. And while they'll certainly be calculated as "economic growth" rather than costs, that's only going to further skew these numbers and decisions.

Net, not gross, value, folks.

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By Long time TiCat fan loyal to Hamilton fi (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 13:52:07

Posted on the Tiger-Cat message board:


email response from Terrry Whitehead;

The facts are

The Tiger Cats signed on to the West Harbour site for two commonwealth bids (did they do their own assessment)

Tiger Cats signed on for West Harbour for Pan Am Bid (did they indicate it would not work)

Bob young is quoted in the Hamilton spectator as stating he would work with any site the City came up with.

The only reason the council added additional sites was to have a plan B if West Harbour costs became prohibitive.( Again as far as the council was concerned we had no idea that the Tiger Cats where not on side for the West Harbour)

When confederation park came up council looked at alternatives just in case west harbour was to costly. Confederation Park just went through a Master Plan public process where the public indicated they did not want to see any more development on the those lands. Since at this stage of the process Tiger Cats where on side for West Harbour as far as we knew it was a know brainer to take an alternative site that has conflict of the list. ( The decision may of been different if we knew that the Tiger Cats where not on board for the West Harbour)

The Tiger Cats in the early stages suggested Aldershot. The spec indicates they have been in discussions for a year. The reality is the Burlington site is a good site and that has been their real focus

The Tiger Cats pulled from the West Harbour three months after the site was confirmed. City consultants stated the site would work.

The Tiger Cats withdrew from the east mountain site before. Council could consider it.

The taxpayers are on the hook for 120 million dollars the Tiger Cats 10 million for the building of a new stadium in Hamilton.

The City of Winnipeg commitment for a new stadium is 12.5 million while the community non profit organization that own the Blue Bombers are on the hook for 88 million dollars.

The proposal in Burlington has the city paying five to ten million.

Hamilton taxpayers are on the hook for almost seventy million Dollars.

It is clear from staff that Confederation park would be a very difficult sit to develop and costly because of the proximity to lake ontario and the abundance of environmental sensitive areas that are protected. Servicing this magnitude of development would also be very expensive.

So you see some of the facts we are dealing with you should now understand That the Tiger Cats either fumbled the ball early by not informing the city council early in the process that they where not interested in the West Harbour or their intentions all along has been to develop in Burlington this might be another reason why it has been so difficult to satisfy the Tiger Cats.

So you see the city council are the ones that have acted responsibly

Respectfully


Terry

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 14:04:27

http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=...

A link to the above-mentioned post, if anyone's interested.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 14:09:57

Those twitters pretty much exhibit the attitude I expected from Burlingtonians. Smart people. The team means nothing to them. Aside from a few CFL fans, why should it, really?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 14:36:25

I commend Terry for trying to educate the koolaid drinkers over there with the facts. Don't bother though.....

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 15:06:42

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 17:18:11

If that really is Terry Whitehead it's a very good summary of the stadium process and timeline. Is it time to pursue a lawsuit, City of Hamilton vs. Bob Young? How much money and city staff time was spent on the West Harbour? Let's sum it up and go after the little P*^%K.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-12-29 16:18:42

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 17:55:18

I cannot believe the amount of Bob Young/Scott Mitchell prepared Kool Aid that has been consumed at CHML. What a bunch of pathetic, mindless, unoriginal paid off lackies the on air and programming staff at that radio station are. It is embarassing.

I could not stomach 5 minutes on their website and reading the email comments. Just brutal. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story I guess.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 18:09:29

like it or not CHML represents a larger number of this cities citizens than this site does.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 18:17:38

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-29 17:25:37

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 18:43:48

"like it or not CHML represents a larger number of this cities citizens than this site does."

I doubt it. What they do is vet anyone who has a contrarian point of view and either remove or block their email postings. They do it on air as well. I was put on hold for 35 minutes one day when speaking to the stadium issue because I would not tow the CHML/Tiger Cat line. They eventually had to put me on and I basically made Scott Thompson look like an idiot because he could not use fact to deflect the points I was making.

I guess I shouldn't expect anything different from "the home of your Tiger Cats"

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 19:54:56

@pxtl

The problem with Dave Naylor's article on TSN is that he vastly overstates or infers incorrectly that Bob Young is financially committed to something akin to par with what the city is fronting toward this development. He is correct in his summation that this could very well likely be a lost opportunity. Where the article falters is in suggesting both parties bear equal blame. I suppose this could be due to the pro sports slant of a sports writer on a sports network.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 20:01:14

Burlington's Ward 2 Councillor weighs in again:

30 yrs of peer reviewed research indicate sports stadiums are little more than a drain on taxpayers pockets. No thanks http://t.co/buTqllk
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/20158715655094272

Financing for Ticat stadium a moving target. $70m from feds is now up to $100m. Really? Burlington needs to take a pass http://t.co/OBreUTH
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/20159764184961024

All the reasons why Ticats leaving Hamilton isn't a disaster are why Ticats coming to Burlington is a disaster. http://t.co/aBcFkWN
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/20160527003033600

Ticat stadium in Burlington is a "nice-to-have" if there ever was one. This is fiscal lunacy. Burlington, just say no. http://t.co/GAcKVeF
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/20163362268651520

Make no mistake Ticat stadium in Burlington will cost us, rather than bring in $. If Ticats could make $, they would've done so in Hamilton.
http://twitter.com/MariannMeedWard/status/20178897156968449

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 20:16:37

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/307154--burlington-council-skittish-over-aldershot-stadium

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 20:42:12

"Burlington Council Skittish on Aldershot Stadium"

They better be.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 21:16:59

No No Noooo...

It's all gooood guys! Really...

You'll LOVE Bob and Scott, they are great guys! Made for Burlington!

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By George (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 22:35:23

Anyone familiar with Doug Faraway (aka the deacon from the FAN590) know him to be a true blue Hamiltonian through and through.

From his most recent blog:

To the taxpayers of Burlington. Are you sure you aren’t bighting off more than you can chew? What exactly are the benefits of a team called the “Hamilton” Tiger Cats playing on this strip of land in Aldershot, a strip hemmed in by a highway and by a rail line. What are the positive economic impacts for the area. If this building is designed for the purpose of attracting the automobile outside of a new gas station being built just what do you anticipate the ripple effects will be?

To Bob Young. Good bye. Some might say good riddance but that would be catty and childish. You pumped money into this franchise and saved it. You happen to have a different vision of what is most beneficial for yourself vs the city you proclaim to love, but so be it. You and I don’t agree, but hey, that’s life. I hope you don’t lose seven million in Burlington because you would then have compounded the assessment you have already made of yourself and the business decision you made six years ago to pour your money into this franchise. I believe you called it the worst business decision of your life.

http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/deaco...

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 22:44:57

Wow. He nailed that.

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By George (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 22:50:53

Wow, his previous blog from Dec 23 is even stronger.

Here's an excerpt:

"Folks the City of Hamilton saw opportunity. We, meaning the City of Hamilton saw 1 hundred million dollars in Federal and Provincial money being handed out in a one time gift to those with enough guts and vision to step up to the plate and stick out their hand. Mayor Fred Eisenberger (now defeated) accepted that challenge and the leadership required and cajoled, prodded, encouraged and coalesced a majority of Council votes to accept West Harbour for all of it’s potential benefits (and challenges) for the downtown core. He not only led Council to vote once, twice, indeed seven times in favour of West Harbour the consensus best choice for the City and citizens of Hamilton. His fate because of the obstinancy of the owner of the Hamilton Tiger Cats was defeat at the ballot box in November. Yes, the Hamilton Tiger Cats owned and operated by ex pat Bob Young (does he have any taxable property in this City?) said no to West Harbour, in fact like little babies the owner and his subordinates, jumped up and down screaming until they were purple in the face that they would never play a game in that location."

http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/deaco...

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:01:09

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:10:53

Faraway's article/blog was bang on!

I don't think this is going to fly in Aldershot either, and if it does god help the poor bastards because they are going to get fleeced.

The City of Hamilton for decades has bent over backwards to help the TiCats. The selection process for WH was open and transparent and was voted on 7 times. The Tiger Cats were aware of the location. They said nothing until May.Those facts are not in dispute. It's time to put this to bed.

Yes the Hamilton Tiger Cats are a 141 year old institution in this city. They are also a perpetual recipient of corporate welfare. Enough is enough.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:20:07

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:27:30

All of those facts are in dispute

umm, no they aren't. The timeline is very clean, simple and easy to follow. Regardless of what side one may take, the facts can't be disputed.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:34:18

Burlington mayor Goldring said on CHCH news ( at 11) that Burlington does not need the Tiger-Cats, and the fact that the city of Hamilton has paid so much over the years to accommodate OUR team is a clear indication that the Tiger-Cats mean something to this community, and this community only!

It is our team; Hamiton's team, and I hope caretaker will take care of it for us Hamiltonians.

Their is virtually zero enthusiasm coming from Burlington with regards to OUR team.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:37:14

@told you so.

They are all part of the public record. You can view the documents if you like at city hall. The Common Wealth Games bids, the Pan Am Games Bid book, the transcripts and vote records for I don't know how many City Council meetings. NONE OF IT IS DISPUTABLE, despite the spin Mr Mitchell and Mr Young would like to put on it. This process has been very public. Period.

The process has been ugly because the corporate welfare recipient who was about to be handed a brand new facility courtesy of the taxpayers of this city and province decided he wanted to pull a Kansas City shuffle and try and slow hand a different location by city council at the last minute. His gambit failed and now he has adopted a scorched earth policy. That's it thats all.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 29, 2010 at 23:56:17

just because someone disputes something does not mean they are correct Jason. Whether I believe you hold the truth or whether someone else does isn't important. The fact is that everything is in dispute in the great stadium debacle and thats why its so ugly. Both sides fundamentally believe that the other side is misrepresenting the truth. Thats the only thing thats not disputed actually

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 09:08:54

I'm not aware of any legit concern brought forth by the Cats where they believed the city was intentionally misrepresenting the truth. The city has simply done due diligence for over 7 years now, including WH votes with Cat brass sitting in the room, excited about it. It wasn't until election time when BY received some less than ethical advice from someone that the Cats began this process to manipulate the entire project. Considering they are nothing more than a feel good welfare recipient in our city, I'm personally tired of their charade and hope Aldershot works and I never have to hear about them again.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-12-30 09:09:35

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By Justsaying (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 10:22:00

Burlington doesn't want the Cats, they'd prefer the HPO and have a Performing Arts Centre almost ready for them...

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By George (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 11:14:07

Don't forget a pier. They're still working on that too.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 30, 2010 at 12:16:40

I really don't see the disputed facts here. Facts are only disputed until effective sources are provided, and they have been.

Money and space are real, and if we sacrifice them for a stadium, they will not come back. The people of this city have other concerns, and have no real need for a stadium. Argue all you like, but this was never a blank cheque. Not from Hostco, not from the Future Fund, not from higher levels of government, City Council or from the citizens of Hamilton.

"The internet connects each and every one of us...so if you produce a lemon of a car, your customers are going to tell each other about it" - Robert Young, explaining (unintentionally) why groups like RTH are now able to derail his stadium plans.

http://www.yourbusinesschannel.com/show/...

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 30, 2010 at 13:21:05

"The internet connects each and every one of us...so if you produce a lemon of a car, your customers are going to tell each other about it" - Robert Young, explaining (unintentionally) why groups like RTH are now able to derail his stadium plans.

This presumes that online 'discussion' (here, there or elsewhere) has a direct influence on the process in play involving Hamilton City Council and Bob Young.

Is this your belief?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 15:40:24

From another post-

Coming in tomorrow's Spectator:

BURLINGTON WELCOMES NEW YEARS GOOD NEWS

Burlington residents will wake to a 2011 full of good news thanks to the Tiger-Cats/Paletta decision to build a new stadium on King Road between the 403 and the CN. In keeping with their longstanding tradition of portraying nothing for something as something for nothing, both Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young and Paletta International executive Angelo Paletta extolled the virtues of a shiny new free stadium. When reached for comment Young said "my family has exploited hard-working Hamiltonians for decades. Whether it was working them to the bone in a cotton mill or just using their taxes to subsidize my hobby, where would Hamilton be without us?" In his typical "aw shucks" manner, the Caretaker said "Aldershot provides us with an opportunity to take our life's work regional". Paletta was unavailable at press time and was said to be scurrying around the Halton Land Registry Office hurriedly donating land to all and sundry as is his habit and in the same manner as he will be "donating" the land on King Road.

In a related story, Tiger-Cats President Scott Mitchell revealed the results of an economic study of the proposed King Road location. "when we add it all up, the new stadium should generate enough economic activity to wipe out the national debt, provide Burlington taxpayers with an annual $3,000.00 rebate and create enough jobs that everyone in Burlington will have two of them".

Newly-elected Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said "Hamilton taxpayers basically told Bob Young to take a long walk on a short pier. Well, Burlington's got just the facility to do that."

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 21:52:56

This presumes that online 'discussion' (here, there or elsewhere) has a direct influence on the process in play involving Hamilton City Council and Bob Young. Is this your belief?

Yes it is, is it not yours?

Look what happened with the Market. People here suggested it would be a good idea to have the city rent space with Yale for displaced vendors and look what happened. Jason Farr made the motion to do just that. I really don't think he came up with that himself, I think he pulled that from RTH.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-12-30 21:53:20

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 30, 2010 at 22:56:37

Yes it is, is it not yours?

Not in a million years would it be.

If you're happy fashioning a correlation between a minor situation regarding the market and the PanAm Games stadium site selection process...good luck with that.

I believe in the power of this medium.

I believe in the power of people using this medium to educate themselves, to find common ground, to generate productive discourse to address problems.

But I do not, as some here do, feel any compunction at all to ascribe powers to RTH or any other site sufficient as things stand currently to hold any appreciable amount of sway over City Council. (Using Mr. 'Greenhorn' Farr as an example actually tied me up in stitches for a spell, so I thank you for that.)

Here's what I'd suggest to anyone believing otherwise (after they've done a solid check on their objectivity; just because you feel enlivened by the lay of the land here, don't think for a second that the rest of the half-million people in the city share your mindset. It's whole different world out there.): talk to your Councillors. Ask them a) how much influence they're currently feeling as a result of what's going on here, at The Hamiltonian, in Comments sections at The Spec, and b) whether or not they'd be more inclined to do the job they were voted in to do based on their own sense of propriety and conviction, or on what kind of Upvoting is taking place online.

I applaud genuine interest in civic governance. I encourage everyone to get involved. But from my perspective, it's a sad development if participants afford RTH and other sites more 'power' than they've genuinely garnered. There's tons of work to be done before we reach that point.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 23:26:29

@Told you so,

You claim that all facts are in dispute.

Which ones?

The one about the 'Cats being at the table since day 1?

The one about 7 votes for WH?

The one about BY waiting till the last minute before refusing to play at WH?

The fact that there are Flat Earthers out there doesn't put the issue of the Earth's roughly spherical shape in dispute, it simply means that some people won't accept the truth no matter how much evidence is provided.

Please provide specifics if you want to have a discussion about the issue, otherwise you appear to be a simple troll.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 23:47:40

mystoneycreek,

Where did you ever dream up this position?

But from my perspective, it's a sad development if participants afford RTH and other sites more 'power' than they've genuinely garnered.

from what Undustrial wrote,

"The internet connects each and every one of us...so if you produce a lemon of a car, your customers are going to tell each other about it" - Robert Young, explaining (unintentionally) why groups like RTH are now able to derail his stadium plans.

And from what I wrote,

Yes it is, is it not yours?

When did I or Undustrial ever state that RTH has some magical influence to steer and direct council? Why did you infer this? I stated my opinion that Jason Farr pulled an idea out of this web site, why is that so wild and unbelievable to you? Why are you so high and mighty and enlightened that you decide to mock me for my opinion?

(Using Mr. 'Greenhorn' Farr as an example actually tied me up in stitches for a spell, so I thank you for that.)

Do you not think these politicians are constantly looking not only for metrics but opinions to gage what is on the mind of the population? Are we too lowly a life form to be considered by your high and mighty councilors? I really don't know what the %#@$ you are talking about with these out of the blue esoteric considerations you throw out randomly on these threads.

I'll tell you something else I wrote about before.

Just an interesting side note. AFI is a security company whose specialty is to manage strike/lockouts for corporations; everything from food, logistics, security and also... blogging on community boards. AFI hires professional bloggers to manage and counteract any anti-corporation sentiments. I know this because I am one of the USW 1005 workers locked-out of US Steel, AFI has been retained by US Steel. The AFI professional bloggers were a huge problem in the very recent strike at Vale Inco in Sudbury.

Please explain to me why AFI offers this service and why Vale Inco and US Steel use this service? Is it because community web site have no influence on a community or it's leaders? People are reading, people are listening.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 31, 2010 at 08:29:12

Are we too lowly a life form to be considered by your high and mighty councilors?

..and this statement unwittingly speaks volumes, illustrating something of a foundation nature, an underlying 'Us vs Them' dynamic. (And I suspect maybe a little of the 'Hamilton Can't Do' malaise, too) Fascinating how those people we elect to serve us (and how many incumbents were returned this past election? Hmm...?) seem to elicit so negative a mention, that you chose to frame them in this way. (For the record, if you're so inclined, you'll find scads of posts on my site tagged 'Civic Engagement', dealing with my belief that things will only get better in local governance when we see a paradigm shift on the part of the citizenry, a wholesale increase in 'the relationship of engagement' with its Councillors. And I'll add once again that this passion of mine was inspired by something Editor Ryan had included in a private email to me this summer, eventually posted here on RTH by him just before the election.)

From a recent chat I had with a friend: "I think that you should keep in mind that this stuff is all 'online'. Meaning there's no 'oomph' behind it. A rally? Yes. Demonstrations? Yes Their own town-halls? Yes. But in and of itself? No. No power. Not when a very small number of people are actually posting, and very little actual dialogue or discourse takes place, but rather willful territory-marking.

There's no 'power' on sports message boards. No power on film message boards. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I suspect that in a strange way you've been caught up in the same wave as those who fervently cling to their social networking as being The Electronic Way. And then point to examples where Facebook made a change in some effort. But they fail to acknowledge that there has to be a transfer of energies to the 'real world'.

For me, the truth is that RTH is (at the worst of times, which are far more prevalent than most might concede) the electronic equivalent of a pub. A village piazza. A barbershop. It is a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas, share perspectives...but it has no value at all (at least none anywhere approaching what some of its more ardent 'echo-chamber enthusiasts' believe) unless something is actually done. You know, in the real world and not merely in cyberspace."

(By the way; if Councillors have become 'high and mighty', if that's the way people regard them, then I lay the blame at the feet of the people. They're the ones of whom only 40% vote, 60% of which do so as a result of 'name recognition'. They're the ones who effectively shrug and don't make any effort to get involved in the process. They're the ones who just...can't...be bothered. They're the ones who have, by dint of apathy, created this situation. Hence all the editorials on my site addressing the problem.)

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 09:49:04

mtstoneycreek,

I think you are confusing RTH with your blog, from which this is found,

Consider it a localized travelogue, a veritable barbershop/hair salon musefest, a Speaker's Corner indulgence for a good rant...or a seemingly endless -though segmented- Op-Ed piece.

If that is the choice you decide to make for your blog so be it. I choose to make RTH much more than what you envision for your work.

but it has no value at all (at least none anywhere approaching what some of its more ardent 'echo-chamber enthusiasts' believe) unless something is actually done. You know, in the real world and not merely in cyberspace."

Much is done here, you just don't think so because your only concern is 'political engagement' with councilors. Well your way is your way, not the only way. Why you think your way is the only way belies the incredible arrogance in your writing. And if cyberspace has so little value at all then why do you bother to write a blog? Is it because what you are really interested in is a forum for something as trite as a "musefest"? Who really is the ineffective one here?

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 11:48:10

I know for a fact that councillors ARE listening and using news media comment boards and communities (such as this one) to gauge public opinion.

A posting that I made to a board recently has been quoted in the stadium debate. Councillor Whitehead has also taken the initiative to test the waters on the Ticat blog. I'm sure Ryan has countless examples of how RTH, and the Our City, Our Future campaign have contributed and influenced the political process. To claim that blogs, online forums and social media are ineffective would be naive. To claim that they play a dominant role would also be naive, but there is enough evidence to indicate that people in positions of responsibility do listen.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 12:21:12

To be clear.

Councillor Whitehead did not post on the Tiger-Cat board.

A poster there copied one of his emails from councillor Whitehead to the board.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 14:04:20

mystoneycreek,

Funny how The Hamilton Spectator mentions RTH in an editorial on how alternative news media drives public opinion.

hmmmmm....

the spec

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 14:32:04

And this Hamilton Spectator titled "Stadium issue scores as Newsmaker of the Year" contains input from stadium location facilitator Michael Fenn:

"Michael Fenn, who had a unique perch for a critical juncture in the process, called the stadium debate unprecedented locally.

"I've never seen anything quite as animated in public dicsussion, certainly within Hamilton.", the veteran public administrator said. Fenn was the man charged with finding common ground for the city and the Tiger-Cats in the facilitation process last summer.

He added what struck him was how "social media made it a big issue and kept it there.""

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-12-31 14:38:08

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By hmmm (anonymous) | Posted December 31, 2010 at 16:16:12

In other words, the agenda is being set sometimes by those with an agenda.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 01:03:56

@STFU I'm still waiting for your mail/response. It hurts to be bitter doesn't it....? And to resort to name-calling, that I think I doesn't need a comment.. it's too embarrassing for you.... anon....

Why don't you just sit in your office and huff and bitter puff and continue to proof-read my old copy, that was lite-years ahead of you. BTW did you learn the use of a semi colon yet? or a en– em—space hyphen. ? just wondering? Retire already and learn to bake cookies.

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