Special Report: Pan Am

Troop: 6000 Seat Pan Am Stadium is Viable, Feb 1 Deadline is Final

Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop confirmed that a 5,500-6,500 seat stadium for community use will meet the Pan Am criteria, and further that there is no time to extend deadlines. On February 1, if Hamilton does not have a plan, the stadium will go elsewhere.

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 03, 2011

Toronto 2015 (formerly Pan Am HostCo) CEO Ian Troop spoke with Raise the Hammer by telephone today about the Pan Am stadium and Hamilton's role in the Pan Am Games.

Pan Am Stadium Legacy

Last August, Toronto 2015 indicated that without a pro sports legacy tenant, Hamilton could qualify for a 6,000 seat scalable stadium at the West Harbour. Mr. Troop confirmed that this is still a viable option for the City, noting that it was the City that wanted a larger stadium.

"When they were deliberating, Hamilton Council said they had no interest in a smaller stadium because it would be redundant with Ron Joyce Stadium in McMaster. If you look at our Plan B sites, they're all 5,500-6,500 seat stadiums that would be predominantly a community use."

Asked to clarify whether Hamilton's bid must be for a larger venue size and a professional tenant, Troop responded, "It doesn't. If Hamilton wanted to go with a 5,500-6,500 seat stadium, we would have gone with that."

He explained that there are two components to the idea of a legacy: that the facility is used, and that its financial model is sustainable.

"When you're dealing with the business side, the smaller stadium tends to be within the capacity of a community to afford. The financial legacy goes away. Dealing with a 25,000 seat facility, you start to worry about it being a White Elephant. A meaningful tenant becomes more important the bigger the facility is."

Clear Criteria, Hard Deadline

For the purposes of Toronto 2015, the location must meet the criteria the Pan Am organizing corporation has already made clear. "It must be a location we know we can build on, it would have to be in a transportation area that makes sense - the same critera we're using for Plan B facilities."

Troop added, "It would have to be ready to start on February 1. That's not a deadline, it's a start line to have our municipality defined by that date."

Asked whether it would be possible to extend the deadline again, for example to reconsider Confederation Park, Troop was blunt. "No. We've tried to be as flexible as we possibly can be, but we're now at a point where we've eaten all our flexibility and any schedule timing. Any further delays will risk or jeopardize our ability to deliver the Games on time."

Ticats as Legacy Tenant

Hamilton Pan Am Stadium plan is based around a 15,000 seat stadium funded by Toronto 2015 and the City's Future Fund. This is the facility for which Toronto 2015 has budgeted.

At that size, the stadium operating costs become high enough that it needs a viable legacy tenant to be viable. The obvious legacy tenant - and the City's partner through its Pan Am Games planning process - has been the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who need a new stadium to replace Ivor Wynne.

Given that the Ticats need a stadium with a 25,000 seat capacity or greater, Troop explained that capital funding for the balance of seating must come from the private sector.

It seemed like a perfect match: the City gets funding from senior government levels for a new stadium and the Ticats get a new home. However, by giving the Ticats a veto on a stadium location, the City also put the Ticats in a position in which they exerted considerable leverage over mostly public capital flows.

Asked whether he thought that was a strategic mistake, Troop responded, "That's an interesting question. I would see it as being part of our mandate to ensure we don't build White Elephants. We need to ensure the municipality knows what it's getting into, and a viable legacy is a used legacy. When you're dealing with a 25,000- or 15,000-seat facility, what's the use once the Games are over?"

That means "designing a facility with post-games in mind. It's an important factor and a reality that those communities [receiving Pan Am legacy facilities] are prepared to step up and finance, and answer questions around who is going to be the tenant."

With a 5,500-6,500 seat stadium, that issue goes away. "That requirement based on the need for a 15,000-seat or CFL-sized stadium and the need to ensure tenants to make it financially viable. When you get down to a 5,500 seat facility, now the municipality can handle it in the context of the annual budget. There's a lower burden of proof."

Troop reiterated a common theme he has asserted throughout this process: "Hamilton remains in the driver's seat of what it wants to do." But once again he warned, "Time is of the essence to make that decision. That's why we're working hard on a Plan B so if the stadium doesn't make sense for the Hamilton community, we won't jeopardize the Games."

Alternate Locations

With Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina musing that it's still not too late to put Confederation Park back on the agenda and the Ticats working with Paletta International to prepare a bid for an Aldershot stadium, there is a lot of uncertainty over which proposals are viable and which are simply wishful thinking.

Troop made it clear that there is no more room to slip on a site deadline. If Hamilton does not have a stadium plan finalized by February 1, Toronto 2015 will move to a Plan B facility in another municipality.

Asked about recent news reports citing the level of senior government funding for an Aldershot stadium at around $100 million, Troop pointed out that its capital funds are already earmarked.

"We have a certain amount of money, capital. Our money is fully allocated for all our projects - if anything, we have more needs than capital funds. It's important to live within our budget. If a smaller facility happens somewhere, that frees us up for something bigger elsewhere, e.g. a Velodrome."

Talking about the stadium financing, he confirmed, "The Pan Am stadium has been designed to be 15,000 seats, budgeted with the city. To build 25,000 costs considerably more. There was no plan to bridge that gap of $60 million (or up, based on acquisition of land costs). No one has come forward with a resolution to that gap."

In any location, the question remains: "How do you make the financing work?" He sees the same issue in a Burlington stadium. "We're maxed out at $70 million in 2014 dollars for a 15,000 seat stadium." Toronto 2015 cannot move forward with a stadium location if the balance of funding remains unknown.

Other Hamilton Pan Am Legacies

Troop also took the opportunity to point out that the Stadium is not the only facet of the Pan Am Games' Hamilton legacy. "Hamilton will continue to be an important part of the Games, regardless of whether we play in the Ron Joyce stadium or in a second stadium."

"People have got to remember that a Velodrome is at play here. It could be a tremendous high-performance sports legacy. The focus on this stadium tends to distract everybody from the Velodrome, which could be a tremendous legacy with great impact on sport in Hamilton."

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.

125 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:08:50

Wow. So the people we pay to represent us handed the reigns over to the Cats on this???

I'm glad Troop mentioned the velodrome. To me, the picture is becoming quite clear. We need to take the 6,000 seat stadium at the West Harbour and build it with future expansion in mind for potential CFL or MLS teams. This would free up money for other west harbour developments with the future fund, and it would free up money for a world class velodrome. People around here simply have no idea what a world class velodrome will do for our sports development industry and image. It would put Hamilton on the international map.

Ryan, one final question - can Hamilton take a 15,000 seat stadium at the harbour, or will it be 6,000? Troop mentioned that they've budgeted for a 15,000 seat stadium whether it's here or in Aldershot.

Great interview, and thanks for uncovering some much needed info.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:11:57

can Hamilton take a 15,000 seat stadium at the harbour, or will it be 6,000? Troop mentioned that they've budgeted for a 15,000 seat stadium whether it's here or in Aldershot.

At 15,000 seats, it needs a pro legacy tenant. At 6,000 seats, it is small enough to be a community legacy. The money saved from a smaller stadium could then go into a more permanent Velodrome.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:12:16

I think the 15,000 seat funding dates from when we were supposed to be hosting Track & Field.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:13:36

What. The. Frig?? Why are we only hearing this now???

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:18:08

Thanks for the reply Ry. Let's take the 6,000 seater please. Concerts, events, soccer etc....

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:20:17

Thanks for the insight provided by this article, Ryan. Let's hope the dunderheads who represent us read it and take it to heart. Despite the fact that the February 1st deadline is looming, I remain nervous about Council making a last-minute play, with, as usual, the taxpayers left to pay for the ensuing damage.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:25:02

Yes, this is fantastic work, Ryan... Thanks!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:37:18

6,000 seat stadium, and put the extra funds into making a permanent year-round fully enclosed velodrome so we can start training world class cyclists.

I always thought the velodrome was the much more exciting of the two projects.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:37:56

Oh, and Ryan, excellent work. I'm so glad we got to hear this "straight from the horses mouth" thanks to your effort.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:51:08

Didn't I hear Mayor Bob say the other day he was confident HOSTCO would extend the deadline. I think he is to busy blowing his horn to keep in touch with Ian Troop and have a clue what is going on.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:51:46

The Cats have been nothing but antagonistic towards the public interest. It's high time the public leave them high and dry.

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By hamiltonthisis (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:52:50

thanks for staying on top of this Ryan.

The numbers still confuse me, as you pointed out about the Aldershot 100 million from the prov/feds. Add our future fund 45 million, and that's a lot of cake for a stadium.

T- 27 days and then on Feb 2nd, we can re-live it as GroundHog Day forever.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:53:36

After all time/money spent on debates and much struggle, Hamilton well deserve the 6k sports place.

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By Jonathan Dalton (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:54:18

If we are going to decide on a 6000 seat stadium, we need some numbers to look at. How much will be contributed by Hostco, and how much will be up to the city? It's not a matter of 'taking' the stadium, it's deciding if it is worth what it would cost.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 13:59:00

I think we need to take the extra money and develop a world class velodrome like they are doing in Chicago:

http://www.chicagovelocampus.com/

BMX dirt track, pool, athletic centre etc..... Build a stunning facility at the harbour lands next to the stadium and have White Star, Molinaro etc.... get working on their condo/mixed use projects and that area will become a huge success in Hamilton.

Here is the list of amenities that Chicago will be including in their velo campus. Hamilton needs to be planning for a facility like this. No more half-baked projects. Let's do this right. How often are any of us in Ivor Wynne? I'm there maybe once a year. Some people 10 times a year? Look at all the uses and amenities that a velodrome can house. It would be a super-busy facility year round. Imagine new condo tower purchasers having this at their front step for their workouts, healthy cafe/juice bar etc.....

http://www.chicagovelocampus.com/10-2/16...

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-03 14:01:42

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By George (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:05:05

jason wrote, "Troop mentioned that they've budgeted for a 15,000 seat stadium whether it's here or in Aldershot"

Correct me if I'm wrong but a 15,000 seat stadium is what you get with funding from BOTH HOSTCO and the city's FF.

HOSTCO alone budgets for a 5,000 to 6,000 seat stadium, so no, Burlington would not get a 15,000 seater from HOSTCO.

Did I read the article correctly?

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:06:27

To me that pretty much confirms Aldershot is a non starter. There is no $100 million coming from HOSTCO and the feds. I have been saying this for weeks. Hamilton city council has the hammer. It's time to tell the TiCats to shyte or get off the pot. If they don't want to participate then fine. We build an initially smaller stadium at West Harbour that is designed to be expandable in future. The TiCats lease expires at the end of 2011 and I'm sure that now "Bob World" isn't going to be happening, Mr Young is going to cut and run and there will be new ownership (ahem ....calling Daryl Katz) that IS interested in making WH work and we can get on with things.

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:07:00

Thanks for the update news Ryan!

Yes, from 5,000 to 6,000 seats Stadium to be build at West Harbour is fine!

The Cats can go to any city that "want" them, after they show their greedy, selfish to our Hamilton City! I am sick and had heard enough of their "bla ...bla ...".

I do not understand why city councilors keep running around after the Cat's ideas to look for other stadium sites! It very funny to know now, when dead line are looming, that Mr. Bob ...still prefer the Confederation Park site!???

Comment edited by whitehorse on 2011-01-03 14:09:07

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:10:12

Great reporting Ryan. A good read that didn't make my blood boil ;)

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:10:56

Well then, let HOSTCO build the 5-6,000 seat stadium at WH and expand it to CFL standards with FF and private money when the Tiger-cats, with or without Bob Young, are ready to play there.

As a Tiger-Cat fan I can't think of a better setting to watch football, and perhaps more importantly, i think it's the single best way to show off our city to the nation on a regular basis.

Are there any other options for the Tiger-Cats?

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:11:21

What about 14999 seats?

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:13:21

Fantastic interview, Ryan. This has got to be massively deflating for the Ti-Cats boosters who have been spamming RTH with massively-flawed predictions of "East Mountain," "CP lands," and "Confed Park" for the past six months.

The way I read Troop's comments:

  • A 6,000 seat stadium at WH is still a strong possibility if City Council wants it;
  • Aldershot has no legs as a potential location because;
  • Troop also sees this process as being hijacked by a corporate welfare case that budded in front of the other municipalities that are further up on the list.

I think the probability that York University gets a new, publicly funded stadium is a lot higher than one ever being built in Aldershot. If getting Waterdown Rd expanded and the one-way conversion of Kerns Rd. caused so much public consternation, I imagine trying to plunk down a stadium a few hundred meters from a Country Club and million-dollar lakefront homes isn't going to fly.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:19:08

Well done, Ryan.

It is nice to see the sky clearing on the Pan Am stadium issue.

There is no more time, money or effort for the City of Hamilton to spend on alternate stadium locations. The west harbour scalable stadium seems to be the only option achievable by February 1, 2011. City representatives need to intensify their discussions with the Canadian Soccer Association to develop a sustainable long-term stadium plan to benefit the national youth developmental soccer teams as well as the thousands of young Hamiltonians now playing soccer. The new stadium could therefore fulfill a long-term role unique from that of the Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-03 14:24:58

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By Naming Rights? (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:22:52

Let's call our new 6000 seater Eisenberger Stadium.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:25:33

or how about Fred's Shed

has kind of a ring to it

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-03 14:26:23

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:29:29

I'd have to echo Jon Dalton's comments on this- it would be good to see some numbers on how much a 6000-seat Stadium would cost, how much HOSTCO will contribute, and how much we'd be expected to contribute from the Future Fund. Personally, I'd still rather not see the Future Fund be spent (especially in the form of a grant and not a loan) to build a Stadium, no matter what the size. I'm not sure how many uses we'd be able to come up with for a facility like this- a pro-soccer team could maybe make good use of it, but as far as I know we have no commitments to date that any franchise will be moving to Hamilton, but we'd have to make a decision by February 1st to build it- still a lot of questions if you ask me.

In a way, I'd rather we ditch the Stadium concept and start from square one at West Harbour and focus on remediation first and foremost- talking to residents during the campaign made it even more crystal clear that they would prefer a more sensible development in keeping with Setting Sail. As karmically satisfying as it might be to build a Stadium without the Cats, I still question the need for us to build a Stadium. Community use sounds great, but will we ever fill 6000 seats without a professional team?

Yes, I'm expecting a couple of downvotes on this one... ;)

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:31:51

Are there any other options for the Tiger-Cats?

@ CaptainKirk:

  • I think the Tiger-Cats can go to any city that "want" them, so we will have no more head-ache about their bullying and whining!!!

@ Naming Rights: Agree! Yes! Let's call our new 6000 seater Eisenberger Stadium, because Mr.Fred always support the West Harbour stadium from the beginning.

Comment edited by whitehorse on 2011-01-03 14:40:41

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By velo-city (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:37:34

I've been arguing for some time that the jewel of PanAm for Hamilton is the velodrome and after seeing that link for Chicago even more so. It would be nice to have MTB and road cycling trails adjacent to the facility as well. The Chicago facility also has an indoor track which Hamilton desperately needs (outside of MAC's). Imagine a year-round community and World Class facility for citizens and top elite athletes to train and race in for cycling, running and other sports.

Save the money from the Cats' stadium and build a velodrome - perhaps with that famous architect making it our Sydney Opera Hall equivalent...

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By simonge (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:50:07

Nicely done Ryan!

What are the obstacles to using Ron Joyce? Wouldn't that allow us to still host some more events, get extra funds for a better velodrome and use FF money for west harbour. This also would mean hostco wouldn't have to stress about timing. The only potential downside is it would truly leave the Cats out of the equation, but they have really set that outcome up already.

BTW - if we did build the 6,000 seater in WH I would go for the Jelly Dome over Fred's Shed.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 14:51:18

@MattJelly wrote:
"Yes, I'm expecting a couple of downvotes on this one..."

Not from here. I've become all for square-one for WH, and think you will hear more now...

Sorry-- IMHO, 6000-seats is what they just spent $20-million on, and think we could save the Future Fund (and do something with Ivor Wynne, other than years of fenced off vacant hazard and deferred debate).

What about a pro Rollerball team for a 35 000-seat velodrome-- Now THAT would work in Hamilton. Oh, wait-- velodromes don't do what I thought they did...

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-03 14:51:47

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 15:18:05

At this point I'm expecting the end result to be two big abandoned stadiums in Hamilton instead of one.

Honestly, at this point I'd be looking to tell the Pan-Am committee "It's Ivor Wynne renovations, a temporary stadium, or find another chump. Without the Cats we're not interested in building a permanent installation we have to babysit and maintain, and the Cats don't want it where we want it."

Otherwise we're looking at a white elephant.

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By dream larger (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 15:26:00

Again, it's not about the Cats... or even a legacy tenant. It's about a community transformation on the waterfront. Taken from another comment thread:

--- "Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association, said if Hamilton positioned itself well, it could serve as home to several Canadian youth developmental teams and Canada's Olympic team."

Yes! This is an excellent idea for our young Canadian people to participate in different kind of Sports when a stadium build at the West Harbour in Hamilton!

Bob Young & his team can stay put at Ivorwyn and stop bullying our city!

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By Road Rules (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 15:52:05

Why aren't we lobbying for the road cycling component of the games in addition to track cycling?

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By Elsie H (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 15:53:59

Fantastic Interview & article!

Demistifying the blunder.

We need those with the ability to land a legacy stadium in the 11th hour to see as clearly.



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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:02:15

Peter Montopoli's enthusiasm aside, it would still be good to have some sort of firm commitment from a soccer team before making a February 1st decision to build and own a Stadium. I just don't think the short timeline jives with making an informed decision on such a significant development. When we start talking about "community transformation", it needs to at least somewhat involve the input of the community that currently exists there- we've spent good money to be told that the residents are iffy on a Stadium, and that should factor in pretty heavily when it comes to the development that takes place there. Up 'til now, those residents feel they've been caught in the crossfire of a giant pissing match. I didn't completely believe that until I heard it directly from so many residents and not from the Ti-Cats- it was hard to separate reality from propaganda last summer.

I feel like we've been chasing a carrot on a stick here, and it would excite me just to see the contaminated properties cleaned up and simple infill housing developed at West Harbour, as un-sexy as that sounds in comparison to a Stadium. After everything they've been through, the residents of West Harbour deserve in the very least to help guide any development on those newly-acquired City-owned properties. Let's re-examine Setting Sail, do a few new rounds of community consultations with the neighbourhood, and finally develop a PLAN for West Harbour. And then a PLAN for Ivor Wynne- maybe that's where Peter Montopoli can come in.

Some open information about what we own, what contaminants exist and some sort of action on the expropriated properties would be a start, Stadium or not.

I could care less where the Ti-Cats play or don't play from here on out.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:13:36

Excellent read Ryan. I've have been reading alot of articles on RTH and this one cleared it up for me on the stadium location issue. I hope Mayor Bob makes the call to go ahead with WH because there really are no options left and time is running out. Ticats have their own interests and need to raise the money themselves and with private interest and a solid plan. I don't have a problem with them building in Aldershot. They already have Paletta on board with $30 Million and they have plenty of time to raise more private money for "Bob 'O World at Aldershot". Hamilton city council should put Hamilton first and create a beautiful community legacy sport centre for cycling and soccer down by the WH surrounded by residential development. That's the real win win in this.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:23:25

@simonge: I will of course change my mind on all of this if we do call it the "Jellydome".

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:23:34

Boy that Jelly guy makes a lot of sense. ;)

Matt's right. We have 4 weeks. No matter how well-intentioned our efforts to cling to Pan Am funding, that's not enough time to rush into any sort of unplanned investment. Sure, we could build a 6000 seat stadium and make modest use of it, but to me that would feel like we were settling for something just because we didn't have to pay the full price tag.

It's like rushing out on Boxing Day and buying a 50" plasma at 40% off -- even though you don't really watch TV all that much. Sure it's a good price and it looks nice in the living room, but was it really a bargain at that point?

We only get one shot at this--demolition and remediation aside, that land is a blank canvas and we have a pot of capital to work with. Let's do it right.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:26:42

Too many Jellies! Everybody out of the pool!

(We're still getting the pool, right?)

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By adrian (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:30:55

It's time to write City Council. My letter:

Dear Mayor Bratina, City Councillors,

Ian Troop confirmed, in an interview today with Raise the Hammer, that a smaller stadium is entirely compatible with Hostco's requirements. Troop: "If Hamilton wanted to go with a 5,500-6,500 seat stadium, we would have gone with that."

The Hamilton Tigercats have made it clear that they are only interested in their own profit and disinterested in the clear evidence that the West Harbour was, and still is, a workable stadium location. Now, they are seeking to either move the stadium entirely out of Hamilton's borders, or they're engaging in yet another game of chicken with the citizens of this city.

Given that this stadium will be built with public funds, and that it was always intended for Hamilton, not Burlington, it's time to draw a line in the sand: fulfill Hamilton's city-building goals by building a smaller, more affordable stadium at the West Harbour location, and free up additional funds for a velodrome.

In Troop's words: "If a smaller facility happens somewhere, that frees us up for something bigger elsewhere, e.g. a Velodrome."

I urge all of you to capitalize on Hostco's clear message to Hamilton: a smaller, more affordable stadium that helps revitalize the West Harbour, and a state-of-the-art velodrome, are both within our reach.

Comment edited by administrator adrian on 2011-01-03 16:31:32

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:31:10

What's the problem?

A velodrome, a scalable 6000 seat stadium and a standing offer to the 'Cats that if they want a shiny new stadium, that's where it's going to be.

Soccer teams welcome to invest as well!

I'm sure that if the 'Cats come to their senses in March or April then HostCo will be willing to re-extend their offer of more funding, they just can't afford to be caught with no stadium plan at the due date.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-01-03 16:31:35

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By Journalist (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:34:48

I've got to say, after reading Paul Berton's "What is a journalist" column it was pretty funny to read this here and not in the Spec.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 16:45:45

Matt Jelly is making a lot of sense. Rather than just insist on a stadium of 6000 because we are getting money from Hostco and Bob Young won't profit by it we need to look at whether its something thats needed or even wanted for that matter. As he says there is a piece of property that we can transform into anything we want, why put something there that isn't a good fit. Good to hear some common sense on the issue from this site for a change

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:00:00

A couple points I'd like to add. Brian Timmins Stadium which if you don't know is on the south side of IW, can seat around 5000. Brian Timmins is home field to several local soccer clubs (Hamilton Croatia being one) and used to be home field for the Hamilton Hurricanes junior football team and a womens semi-pro soccer team whose name escapes me. My point being, we don't need to look very hard to justify a modern 6000 seat facility in our community, Brian Timmins is on par with 'Kevin Costners, Field of Dreams' for seating technology, and about as welcoming as Barton Street Jailyard with it's 8 foot compound fencing.
Also we have already spent 8.3 million on the WH lands, those monies and any costs for remediation would be deducted from the local taxpayers share of financing. Based on the #'s we have seen we're probably going to be on the hook for $10 million or less.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:01:41

Told you so said: "As he says there is a piece of property that we can transform into anything we want, why put something there that isn't a good fit."

From what we see now the area desparately needs radical and urgent improvements, not just good wishes. Are you affraid of a velodrome built there ?
For now I am affraid to walk there, can just drive through.

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By time to put the kitty out (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:01:58

This diamond in the rough downtown site is accessible to all. Amateur athletes will benefit, professional teams will benefit, and the city's hospitality, art/culture and tourism sectors will thrive in proximity to the downtown stadium/velodrome and community sporting opportunities all within our grasp. Some of our biggest brown-fields are in the West Harbour and our major cultural institutions and businesses are downtown. Just get a map and draw a circle around them. A tiny little housing project is not a way to build a city and bring in jobs. Sorry. There is no vision in that. Do it right, or don't do it at all. Technology exists to clean or encapsulate those toxic lands -- quite effectively and efficiently.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:10:07

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:16:40

I'm actually always surprised that Brian Timmis stadium still exists... I would've expected that Young would've somehow gotten it knocked down for parking a long time ago.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:26:02

Told you so said: "IMO it would be better to make parkland out of the area and really push hard and use city money to encourage investment in the Setting Sail Plan for the actual harbour front "

But we already know that the stadium did encorage investment without pushing hard. It was just the matter of its price for the city.
The area is too bad and too big for 1-2 investors. You need a coordinated effort there.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:32:57

I believe the answer lies in density. Mixed use commerical, residential, public use. Naysayers and armchair urban planners love to point their finger at edifices like Copp's, AGH, Hamilton Place, Convention Center etc and scream White Elephant. The problem is and has been for a long time that we do not have enough people LIVING in downtown. Imagine some of the swath of surface parking lots within a 10 minute walk of Jackson Square in ANY direction replaced my a mix of low, mid and highrise residential free hold and condominium units full of people living and hopefully working in our own city. What do they need? Grocery stores, market, department store, one off shops, restraunts, entertainment, cultural facilities and destinations. etc.

It's about critical mass and creating the conditions that can make that happen. It involves things like Setting Sail, AND public facilities like a stadium and velodrome, and park land and LRT. They are all tied together and no one single piece of the puzzle will be a panacea.

Unfortunately what has happened is this discussion and evolution of what we are doing down there has been hijacked by a private business whose only concern has been its own bottom line.

My two cents

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-03 17:34:11

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By time to put the kitty out (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:37:54

@Shempatolla - Cheers to that mate! That's how to build a city -- with vision and common sense.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:38:57

If the past 18months hasn't be hard pushing heaven help us all

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 17:49:46

It's about critical mass and creating the conditions that can make that happen. It involves things like Setting Sail, AND public facilities like a stadium and velodrome, and park land and LRT. They are all tied together and no one single piece of the puzzle will be a panacea.

Bravo, Shempatolla!

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 18:42:14

I've never walked through downtown Hamilton and thought, "You know what this city could use? A velodrome!"

Shempatolla is right about the need to get more people LIVING downtown. Too often Hamilton gets caught up in a "let's build a big concrete thing and then downtown will be saved!" ideology. This hasn't worked in the past, and I'm still not convinced that building a sports stadium down by the West Harbour is actually going to do anything to revitalize the core.

Honestly, when I think about what this city needs, "new sports stadium" isn't on the list.

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 18:46:31

That being said - I suppose if we've already bought the land down by the Harbour, and there is government money available to develop it by building a stadium, then we might as well choose to go with the 6000 seat idea, IMHO.

Comment edited by Centrist on 2011-01-03 18:47:43

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By George (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 18:56:53

The scalable option is the best because sooner or later, the Tiger-Cats will be playing

From the city report Ryan linked in his article, "With the facts as they currently exist, it is likely that Host Corporation would recommend a scaleable stadium for Hamilton."

That city report is dated August 31, 2010.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-03 18:59:45

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 19:04:42

Honestly, when I think about what this city needs, "new sports stadium" isn't on the list.

I agree, but we're involved in this PanAm thing and are earmarked for one, so I say let's take one that we can afford, and will bring the most public benefits. You're bang on - more people living downtown is what we need. West Harbour is sure to be a hot residential neighbourhood for condo purchasers as many units are developed and brought on stream.
Check the Chicago velodrome proposal I linked to. It's more than a cycling facility. It acts as a high end workout club for local residents and hosts many events, places to eat/drink and high level training for athletes.
It would be like putting Mac's new health/athletic centre downtown at the harbour. Talk about a huge draw for prospective home-buyers and loft/condo purchasers.

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 19:14:54

By adrian (registered) Posted January 03, 2011 16:30:55

It's time to write City Council. My letter:

Dear Mayor Bratina, City Councillors,

Ian Troop confirmed, in an interview today with Raise the Hammer, that a smaller stadium is entirely compatible with Hostco's requirements. Troop: "If Hamilton wanted to go with a 5,500-6,500 seat stadium, we would have gone with that."

The Hamilton Tigercats have made it clear that they are only interested in their own profit and disinterested in the clear evidence that the West Harbour was, and still is, a workable stadium location. Now, they are seeking to either move the stadium entirely out of Hamilton's borders, or they're engaging in yet another game of chicken with the citizens of this city.

Given that this stadium will be built with public funds, and that it was always intended for Hamilton, not Burlington, it's time to draw a line in the sand: fulfill Hamilton's city-building goals by building a smaller, more affordable stadium at the West Harbour location, and free up additional funds for a velodrome.

In Troop's words: "If a smaller facility happens somewhere, that frees us up for something bigger elsewhere, e.g. a Velodrome."

I urge all of you to capitalize on Hostco's clear message to Hamilton: a smaller, more affordable stadium that helps revitalize the West Harbour, and a state-of-the-art velodrome, are both within our reach.


Excellent said! I love to write the same letter to our Mayor & City Councillors!

Thanks Ardrian!

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 19:27:22

Send the letter to Mayor Bob and all the councillors, finally some common sense/cents!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 19:35:45

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-03 19:36:59

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By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 20:24:26

I'm impressed with Ryan and his initiative to pick up the phone and interview Mr. Troop. The Hamilton Spectator, CHML and CHCH could learn something from your style of reporting.

On another note I do not think the reported $30M from Palleta Int is real.
The Aldershot location is a non-starter.
The Cats are bluffing and need to be put down!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 20:37:01

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-03 20:45:40

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By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 21:03:18

@hamilton fan,
If the Hamilton Tiger Cats contributed so much to the Hamilton Economy why are our propoerty taxes on an exponential increase?

I understand that you are passionate about the Cats, but I am passionate about keeping my hard earned money. We are Taxed Enough Already!!!!!

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 21:20:18

From the sounds of it, Burlington Council may not even pass a vote to have their staff do a report on it. (from the Spec.com a few minutes ago). Seems taxpayers have no interest in "monorail salesmen" knocking on their doors. If Hamiltonfan thinks HOSTCO is going to fund a 6000 seat scalable stadium in Hamilton AND a 25000 seat stadium in Burlington...... I have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I can sell him ...... cheap.

He clearly did not read Ian Troop's interview with Ryan ..... or did not comprehend what was said.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 21:25:35

HamiltonFan,
Putting down any side does not help. All the best to the team, but this city needs to be taken care of as well.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 21:48:37

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-03 21:51:49

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 21:57:19

I must say, I still share a lot of doubt that a stadium of any sort is really necessary. The West Harbour neighbourhood has already been through extensive planning (Setting Sail) and no pressing need for a stadium was ever identified.

I do find it kinda ironic, though, that after the stadium plans have gone around and around, that the Velodrome idea is still going strong. It's inspiring, though. I don't know that I've heard a single cyclist I know say that they wouldn't love to see one, or that downtown would be a bad place for it (much better than the East Mountain or Aldershot). Even the idea of a smaller stadium which got more use from public sports warms my heart. I'm totally in favour of spending public money on things which enable us to PLAY sports, I just don't know that we need to spend any more money helping people watch them.

P.S. Jelly-Drome?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 22:16:56

@Hamilton fan,

I'm curious as to how you think we've lost face? I'd love the 'Cats to stay in Hamilton, but not at the cost of financing Bob's World for him.

If he's not willing to accept that the city won't build him exactly what he wants and where he wants it due to the fact that he's holding his breath, then I welcome him to shop for other opportunities for the 'Cats. That being said, finding another city that's got the money and wants a stadium right now is going to be problematic.

The most important thing about negotiating is being willing to walk away and apparently that's what the city is doing. Bob's World is fortunately a non-starter right now, but the option is still there for him to come back to the table and get himself a shiny new stadium. If he doesn't want his big stadium, Hamilton ends up with a velodrome and a smaller stadium that can be expanded, which means that if Bob comes back or another team comes asking, we've got something there to build on but at least something to use and enjoy in the meantime, and most importantly, we get some development downtown.

Ball is in Bob's court now, take it or leave it.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 22:38:15

HamiltonFan,
Every investor knows, to make money, you need to invest first so that your investment will make money you need to spend. Social programs are important, but investment should come first, or you will run out of FF money without return. WH land is in its worst use now, from what I've seen. The location itself with its million dollar views has a huge potential to be the city's money generator and pride. PanAm event and at least some money + local effort is a way to give this area a start of. Stadium, velodrom or whatever needed asap, because we need to fund social programs asap as well.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 23:09:12

I will admit, I'd love to see this Rheem building torn down and the adjacent brownfield put to some positive use. My wife and me were down at the harbour today and took a walk out to Princess Pt. and back and then went to Pier 8 for a skate. And looked at the harbour. Very beautiful. This area does not deserve that ugly Rheem building if it's not being used any longer.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-03 23:09:47

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 23:26:44

Ryan...Maybe tomorrow you could call the Mayor and get a comment from him on this development. The MSW are neglecting any coverage.

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By not so new info (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 23:53:38

I believe that this isn't such a great revelation. Hamilton's involvement in the Pan Am Games and getting a stadium has always included getting the Ticats a new stadium. That is why, I believe, why this has always been tied to the Ticats. I'm not sure if having a 6000 stadium will inject enough of a spark. How much of the future fund would we have to contribute to a 6000 stadium??

So I do not believe the info coming out of this interview in any way is a revelation. It is however a tool to use in greater bargaining with the Cats. Accepting a 6000 seat stadium is the hammer that the city needs to put down - but we need a lot of activity there...

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 23:54:33

This is great news! Why didn't The Spec do this? Have a read.

What is a Journalist?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 08:36:55

Hamilton's involvement in the Pan Am Games and getting a stadium has always included getting the Ticats a new stadium. That is why, I believe, why this has always been tied to the Ticats.

This fragment of a comment speaks volumes, no matter that I might be listening to the words with admittedly biased ears. '...and getting a stadium has always included getting the Ticats a new stadium.'

Uh... No.

What we have here is conflation. (And were I to let loose on City Council for their part in how all 'this' has been allowed to unfold, I would start with how it didn't maintain the focus for its residents' consumption and comprehension of the issue.)

Because the focus has always been the 2015 PanAm Games. The prime directive has been to bring about a stadium suitable for the Games' needs...while keeping in mind its use post-Games, its contribution to the community. (And if there were no Ti-Cats, if they weren't a consideration, then this process would have proceeded in a far less dispiriting way.) The fact that some of us are now 'remembering' the velodrome aspect, an element I seem to recall being far more regularly discussed more than six months ago, speaks volumes.

Again, all the components of all 'this', the way they've been tossed about, the way so many casually hijack the discussion according to their own mandate, is the stuff of a theatrical production. That it should be a musical is how I'm leaning...but I'm still not sure about whether it's best served as a comedy...or a tragedy. I do see a high wire and trapeze bits.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-01-04 09:48:59

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By ComeOn (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 10:17:42

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By Chuck (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 10:40:32

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 10:48:27

McMaster is a privately owned facility. The University owns it, not the City of Hamilton. In May 2010 my brother and I attended a 'user group' meeting at Sackville Seniors Centre and the local soccer association indicated there is a shortage of facilities relative to the number of youth playing soccer in Hamilton and that the cost of renting McMaster was too high. A new, smaller soccer facility in Hamilton would be used.

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 10:50:16

From Hamilton Spectator, Jan 04th/ 2011:

Looming deadline threatens Burlington stadium

[...But Meed Ward, who wrote about the stadium on her online newsletter over the weekend, suggests it’s a 50/50 proposition whether the city stays in the Pan Am stadium sweepstakes.

“I would say it is pretty close to the wire,” she said. Meed Ward said no one is clamouring for a stadium. Burlingtonians want council to finish its capital projects and keep taxes low.

“Let’s stick to our knitting is what I’ve heard since I moved here.”

Burlington Councillor Jack Dennison has stated previously the city already has too much on its plate.

“Our constituents agree our mouths are full and we have to stop chewing before we go and stick any more in our mouth,” he said.

Perhaps because of the community rumblings since the Aldershot stadium issue broke last week, the Tiger-Cats said Monday they could meet with Goldring prior to Thursday’s pivotal meeting.

Doug Rye, the Ticat’s executive vice-president, said proponents would try to offer more specifics and clarify some issues for the mayor at the meeting.

Rye rejected the suggestion the Aldershot pitch is just a ploy to get Hamilton council back to the bargaining table before the Feb. 1 deadline to settle a site.

“This isn’t some kind of power play to try and force people’s hands in Hamilton,” he said....]

Rye rejected the suggestion the Aldershot pitch is just a ploy to get Hamilton council back to the bargaining table before the Feb. 1 deadline to settle a site.

“This isn’t some kind of power play to try and force people’s hands in Hamilton,” he said....


  • Is that mean clearly that Burlington city had said: NO STADIUM for Tiger-Cats because: "“Our constituents agree our mouths are full and we have to stop chewing before we go and stick any more in our mouth,”???

  • Can Hamiltonians believe the Cat's just made a ploy to get Hamilton council back to the bargaining table as state above??? How many more tricks that the Cat's can throw at our city ???

    • Somebody must wake-up before it's too late!

I am so sick of these tricks!!!

Comment edited by whitehorse on 2011-01-04 10:56:21

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 10:51:05

Hmmm, trying to imagine a use for a soccer stadium in Hamilton's north end. Gosh if only I could think of some kind of use for such a facility...

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By Lester (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 11:13:51

Ian Troop and the doubters among Burlington City Council have just strengthened the position of Hamilton City Council. Call your councillor and tell them it is time to drop the notion of selling out our own poltical, economic and social autonomy by building "Bob's World" at Confederation Park. No, not ever, and definitely not with our money.

The Council has already decided on a site - West Harbour. While I do wish the Tiger-Cats well, at this point it is West Harbour as the location for a scalable stadium. The rubbish of the hardball play that the Cats attempted is done - put a fork in it and let's get Bob Young to the table with West Harbour as the site with planning considerations for future use of the stadium - or we build at West Harbour for the Pan-Am games and Bob Young is left out of the process period.

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By smitty (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 11:17:46

Great location at west harbour for field lacrosse.The Toronto Nationals were reported to be trying to relocate and were in negotiations with McMaster to use Ron Joyce for the up coming season.With the average attendance at Lamport stadium being around 3500 this sounds like a perfect fit!

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 11:18:26

Hmmm, trying to imagine a use for a soccer stadium in Hamilton's north end.

Maybe we should consider building it in a neighbourhood that is passionate about soccer.....

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/256/j...

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 12:15:48

Doug Rye, the Ticat’s executive vice-president, said proponents would try to offer more specifics and clarify some issues for the mayor at the meeting.

Rye rejected the suggestion the Aldershot pitch is just a ploy to get Hamilton council back to the bargaining table before the Feb. 1 deadline to settle a site.

“This isn’t some kind of power play to try and force people’s hands in Hamilton,” he said....


Yeah, sure! I believe the Cat's "...bla...bla...".

  • Please pitch-in to build our Hamilton city future stadium at the selected site: West Harbour - so you can leave some good things for our young people if you really care about sports!

  • Please stop running around and whinning like a lost cat in the middle of the night and make Hamilton a joke for North Americans!

Comment edited by whitehorse on 2011-01-04 12:18:05

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:10:45

I find it interesting that Doug Rye is the person talking to the media and not Scott Mitchell. I wonder if Bob Young has finally realized that Hamilton has a hate on for Mitchell and has been muzzled by the 'taker'.... oooops, I mean 'caretaker'.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:14:14

I don't see this as a Tiger-Cat vs. Us, or Hamilton vs. Burlington. What I see is ' Hamilton's Opportunity to loose.' Before us is up to $70 million in Hostco funding to build a stadium at the only approved site in Hamilton. What remains to be seen is whether or not our Mayor and Council have the wherewithal to grasp the prize and use the remaining timeframe to maximize the opportunity.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:14:29

I honestly don't think anyone has to worry that Confederation Park will be reconsidered. Hamilton council won't go there for whatever reason or reasons. It is up to council now if they want a stadium facility of some sort at WH, it is in their hands. If they don't want it, then my guess is that Mississauga will get the funding from HOSTCO for a soccer/cricket facility. Just my guess.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:20:24

Soccer? North Hamilton? Nonsense. The area's full of immigrants. And all they care about is "football";)

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:24:08

For sure, the WH area is ideal for a soccer team and facility as you say Unindustrial.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:27:10

You do realize that if WH gets a soccer facility, that this won't be happening:

Aldershot will happen, Hamilton will only be receiving a portion of the full HOSTCO money. You heard it here first. Both Burlington and Hamilton will be receiving HOSTCO money.

That IS the way it will turn out. Like it or not.

And Bob Young and the TigerCats will not be put down only people that don't think that this is EXACTLY what will happen. You will proved to look foolish and deserve to be put down. Get on board, the ship is leaving soon... You still have time to save face...

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:33:13

Oh Highwater, you should know me by now, I say things at the heat of the moment (or when I've had a few too many) just to hear myself speak. ;)

Also, apology Undustrial, just noticed I was referring to you as Unindustrial. Didn't mean this at all, honestly.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-04 13:34:35

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 13:46:00

Oh I know HF, which is why I put it relatively gently instead of letting you have the full force of Highwater's Dripping Condescension. :-)

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:18:51

Just reading on the Spec that someone indicated that the Mayor said on the Bill Kelly show today another 5000 seat stadium in Hamilton doesn't make any sense. Oh boy, some people aren't going to like this I bet! It is posted on the CHML site now.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-04 14:21:51

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By george (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 14:49:45

The way things stand right now, a scalable stadium at WH is the only hope for a new stadium for the Tiger-Cats, whether Bob Young changes his mind sooner, or later or sells the team to an owner willing to play at WH.

Seems to me that the Tiger-Cats need a new stadium more than the city of Hamilton does, and that gap is widening as more and more Hamiltonians appear to be getting sick of this and want to scrap any new stadium altogether.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 15:23:55

Hey Mayor Bob, I've got another "regional solution".

How about the city of Burlington and Halton region sharing the cost to develop WH to Bob Young's liking?

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 16:38:38

First off -- I'm more than exhausted by this entire thing. I blew my wad on it a month or two ago and am pretty spent.

I will ask this...do those in that neighbourhood really want a 6,000 seat stadium?? I mean, grandstands aren't the most visually appealing things at the best of times. Or, is this more just to remediate the land -- and, who cares if the structure is still standing a year down the road?

Anyway, I find this whole thing beyond disappointing and frustrating -- and I lay blame pretty evenly around the table. As a 'city-building' Ticat fan, this whole thing stings from both ends.

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-01-04 16:38:59

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By NortheastWind (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 19:40:58

Report on CHML today:

"Bob Bratina says Hamilton has to decide whether it wants to stay in the big leagues as a city.

This, as the February 1st Pan Am Stadium deadline looms large.

Hamilton Mayor tells CHML's Bill Kelly he doesn't want to be the mayor who diminishes Hamilton -- taking it from a 30-thousand seat stadium to a 6-thousand seater.

He says either we're going to be in the game and play off the tradition that the Tiger Cats are a part of, or not.

Anything in between, he says, doesn't make any sense to him.

As for where the stadium should go, he says a regional solution in Aldershot is not out of the question, but adds that there's no way all parties involved could meet and decide who will pay for what in less than a month."

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:04:21

Thankfully Mayor Bratina has only one vote on council. He needs to be reminded of that. I would rather be known as the city that refused to be dictated to by a money losing private business than the city that caved into the whims of a biased mayor and a bunch of flip flop councillors.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-04 22:05:38

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By hmmm (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:07:50

Politics!

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By NortheastWind (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:13:32

I hope the people here who are advocating a scalable stadium can speak up at the next Council meeting. Let your voice be heard!

Comment edited by NortheastWind on 2011-01-04 22:33:50

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:14:12

I checked and the Future Fund does not have to spent on downtown.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:35:12

@Trey

You are correct. It also doesn't have to be wasted to satisfy the whims of an expatriot billionaire( who won't put up his own money to build his play land to support his money losing football team), who has hijacked a public process to basically get something for nothing.

Any sports business professional can tell you that if a team is not making money where they currently play. Their business plan is flawed and it won't matter where they play they will still lose money. Keys to this are i) a winning product on the field ii) highly targeted and concentrated marketing and merchandising iii) product linkage across a broad spectrum.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-04 22:36:05

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2011 at 22:43:15

remember two months ago when all Hostco was talking about was legacy tenant, legacy tenant? And that day McMeekin and Aggelonitis said the province would not fund a stadium without the ti-cats, and the next day when they turned around on that? So what we're finally seeing is that this was a crock, beginning to end. No legacy tenant necessary, or rather, the community use is the legacy tenant. Now Troop's just struggling to save his ass.
What I ask is how we ever had a chance with this project when Young, Troop, Fenn, Braley and hell why not throw in Foxcroft somewhere are working their soft magic.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 02:13:16

Just listening to the replay of Bill Kelly's show. Once again he used his favourite phrase "I've heard" then spitting out something dumb without saying who he heard it from. Just like his claim 160 million was available for the CP rail yard. He also hinted the mayor said some study of Confederation Park has begun. Is that not illegal since council voted to not do a study?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 06:29:19

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 10:17:37

"Hamilton Mayor tells CHML's Bill Kelly he doesn't want to be the mayor who diminishes Hamilton -- taking it from a 30-thousand seat stadium to a 6-thousand seater."

So the Mayor wants something grand for the Hamilton but he cannot or does not have the means to do that.
Can he at least do the best from what we have for this city, meaning future grand results, like "straw-by-straw hen has a nest" ?
Make it scalable then, so if Ti-cats go somewhere anyway we do not have a white un-used elephant.

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By whitehorse (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 10:34:16

Bob Lee quote: remember two months ago when all Hostco was talking about was legacy tenant, legacy tenant? And that day McMeekin and Aggelonitis said the province would not fund a stadium without the ti-cats, and the next day when they turned around on that? So what we're finally seeing is that this was a crock, beginning to end. No legacy tenant necessary, or rather, the community use is the legacy tenant. Now Troop's just struggling to save his ass.


Hi Bob Lee,

I like your statement! Ha ha ha ...

The Fed, Prov and Municipal government should focus more on creating activities which benefits to Early ages, Youth Canadian ...to keep them out of troubles later, if they do not want to build more jails, which cost a lot more to tax-payers!

  • A scaleable stadium at the West Harbour also benefit to poor kids, who can walk there than have to pay for bus to go to Aldershot.

  • A foot-ball team is just a business, who love profits, they only care about $$$ but benefits to Hamilton's communities and Hamilton tax-payers.

Comment edited by whitehorse on 2011-01-05 10:44:41

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 10:58:32

"The Fed, Prov and Municipal government should focus more on creating activities which benefits to Early ages, Youth Canadian ...to keep them out of troubles later, if they do not want to build more jails, which cost a lot more to tax-payers!"

So true ! They are the future.
I like the scalable concept, because it can be updated, expanded, modernized more effectively, and according to community wants and needs.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 11:43:50

I do think this approach is the right thing for the WH rather than trying to construct a large stadium off the bat there. And didn't WhiteStar say they wanted to be involved and run a soccer academy out of it. Seems to me that was in The Spec a while back.

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By time to put the kitty out (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 12:13:08

Yes I remember reading that as well. I just looked on their whitestargroup.org site and see a design on their front page for a 6,000 expandable seat stadium with the velodrome and residential developments around it. They own the land on either side of the Rheem property. Were they not linked up with the Molinaro Group?

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 12:48:52

CHML is pulling out all stops now before the Burlington vote. Kelly's guest today was Scott Mitchell. Will it be Bob Young tomorrow? It's a shame to see the decline of CHML from being a trusted unbiased source of news into the Rush Limbaugh type of journalism, pushing their own political agenda.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 12:53:14

Speaking of which, is there live coverage of the Burlington city council meeting?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:44:03

is there live coverage of the Burlington city council meeting?

Are you free that day?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:46:39

I most likely am free that day.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:48:43

Feel free to drop me an email if you're interested in being deputized as an RTH live correspondent!

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 16:18:13

I just checked out the Whitestar group's webpage for the first time. Wow! It looks amazing. Have others seen this? I can't imagine anyone thinking WH is a bad idea after seeing what they've proposed. Here is a link to the video virtual tour of the plan. Here is a virtual video tour of the velodrome. Come on council.. make it happen.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2011 at 16:24:48

"Bob Bratina says Hamilton has to decide whether it wants to stay in the big leagues as a city.

I know there's always a danger taking material out of context...but I have to say that this sounds like it was ordered from www.rhetoric.com At a discount. Given how poor the tradition is for good and open communication from our Council, this is precisely the kind of stuff I'd hoped would not be uttered from the Mayor.

Hamilton Mayor tells CHML's Bill Kelly he doesn't want to be the mayor who diminishes Hamilton.

Man, this is what inspires great comedy routines. Or maybe the full quote was "...doesn't want to be the mayor who diminishes Hamilton any further."

He says either we're going to be in the game and play off the tradition that the Tiger Cats are a part of, or not. Anything in between, he says, doesn't make any sense to him.

I don't want to be a Negative Nelly (in fact, I went on record as having a hunch that Bratina was going to surprise people...in a good way), and the Mayor is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but in these declarations, he sure isn't striking me with inspiring confidence. Nor does he come across as a particularly 'big thinker'.

Maybe it's early-days, he's just finding his feet?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 16:53:05

Space Monkey, those Whitestar images were published in the summer. They are spectacular, and perhaps now help you understand why the passion was ramped up so much from the West Harbour supporters. How can anyone watch those videos and not get excited at the prospects of a crummy, old industrial brownfield turning into that??? Other than Young and Mitchell, probably nobody - of course one of them lives in the US and the other in TO, so no surprise that they could care less about Hamilton.

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By KittyTown (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 17:42:24

Whitestar Group (Marino Rakovac and group) are responsible for restoration development of a large neglected building at Walnut street between King and Main in downtown Hamilton (a massive undertaking and an amazing transformation of an abandoned building in the core). It was once the historic Langley Parisian Laundry. Now they are fully rented studio lofts with additional commercial office and work space avail. They are also behind the recent Gallery 205 development project. A bunch of us had an opportunity to visit the gallery down on Cannon St East last month just before xmas and were impressed by their ambitious project. Converting an old abandoned auto dealership. I'll be visiting it again. The art show is great btw and a new cool creative hub has been started down there. I encourage others to visit.

Whitestar have done plenty of other development projects. They live here and work here. They've partnered with some of the top leading construction, engineering, architectural, and investment firms and have been blocked by the City of Hamilton from continuing with their hi-density condo/residential/commercial plans for WH for many many years. Why? I ask why? Even Bob Bratina stated these plans sat on his desk for years as councilor, and this goes back far far earlier than him. Can't seem to find the truth - and city staff are not answering questions. Lot's of double talk. I know Whitestar purchased land in tandem with Setting Sails and the City land aquisitions... but have been prevented from doing anything with them. Wonder if RTH can do some investigative journalism on that story.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:02:50

Where is this Gallery 205? Sounds interesting. On Cannon, no less...makes it even more interesting.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:36:24

I'd guess Cannon st E and Cathcart?

Try streetview http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=205+cannon+...*:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7GPEA_en&safe=active&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=205+Cannon+St+E,+Hamilton,+ON+L8R+1M5&gl=ca&ei=VEYlTaW_LsOinAeXrsnhAQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ8gEwAA

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:53:54

gallery 205 is at 205 Cannon Street East. Holding open houses every saturday night usually starting around 8 or 9. Come on by.

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By sarah b (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 00:00:47

That's right. Near the Wellington Tavern. Something special is going on there. My husband and I have been to a few of their events. Great space. Great vibe. We'll be calling the babysitter again this Saturday night. So glad they stuck it out. Beautiful sculpture, paintings, photography. Lot's to look at. Really interesting group of people. Bring your own wine is part of their concept. They really should consider having a cash bar, but bringing in something of your own is a good idea too. It's not a "bar". More of a cultural hang out. A meeting place for creative folk (and those who just want to be around them, support them).

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By Chuck (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 13:31:37

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 00:55:36

Good post Chuck, I prefere raise the hampster for a new site name for this bunch.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 06:40:28

Troop says what?? Frankly it sounds like he will tell anyone, or group what they want to hear.
Chances of a WH pan am site?? Zero to none!!
Chances of losing 70million?? Getting bigger all the time thanks to the NEN and RTH retoric.
Its IWS or bust at this precious moment.

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