Special Report: Pan Am

Troop Clarifies Toronto 2015 Position on Pan Am Stadium

Ian Troop reminds Hamilton that the Pan Am Games are to support high performance sport, not provide a Ticat stadium, and warns Burlington to look very closely at the claim an Aldershot stadium won't cost the City any money.

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 07, 2011

On Monday, Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop told RTH in an interview that Hamilton's February 1 Pan Am stadium deadline is final and that a 6,000 seat stadium for community use can meet the Pan Am criteria.

Yesterday he issued a public statement repeating that the February 1 deadline "will not be extended under any circumstances", that the Pan Am Games are intended to create amateur sport legacies, and that the proposal for an Aldershot stadium for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in partnership with Paletta international is subject to the same deadline and the same criteria of being complete, fully funded and ready to execute.

This morning, Mr. Troop spoke with RTH by telephone to provide further clarification of Toronto 2015's position on these outstanding issues.

Keep a Balance

It's not about providing a stadium for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. If that's part of a solution, terrific, but that's not our mandate.

In his statement yesterday, Mr. Troop explicitly and repeatedly stressed that the Pan Am legacy is amateur sport. We asked whether this was in response to the controversy over finding a site that satisfies the Ticats?

Troop responded, "It's important for us to keep a balance. The predominant reason why the Federal and Provincial governments are investing in the Pan Am Games is to provide infrastructure to support high performance sport."

In Hamilton's case, "The stadium debate has to be balanced. It's not about providing a stadium for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. If that's part of a solution, terrific, but that's not our mandate."

Value of a Community Stadium

Based on much of the recent media coverage of this story, it seem clear that for many Hamiltonians, a Pan Am stadium without the Ticats just isn't worth the bother. We asked Troop to share his perspective on the silver lining for Hamiltonians in building a smaller community stadium.

He started by affirming, "Hamilton has to decide what's in Hamilton's best interest. It's not our position to tell the community what is best for it."

Explaining why some cities choose a community stadium, he explained, "A community stadium could be a facility that would be used for regional sports, track and field, high school events, and so on. That's what a community-sized stadium will do. To the right communities that has real value."

He noted Hamilton Council deciding before Christmas that Ron Joyce Stadium already fills that role and added, "If that's the position of this Council, we're not going to second-guess that, but they need to make the decision and we need to work with it."

Funding for a Smaller Stadium

The current draft funding model has Toronto 2015 contributing $70 million and Hamilton contributing $45 million to build a 15,000 seat stadium. Troop confirmed that if Hamilton builds a smaller community stadium, the savings from building a less expensive facility will be shared proportionately by Toronto 2015 and the City.

"A less expensive venue like a community-sized stadium means these percentages [of relative conribution between Toronto 2015 and the City] remain the same but the total money goes down."

He pointed out, "We'll have money to invest elsewhere and Hamilton has more for the Velodrome if it wants."

Velodrome

We also asked Troop for his advice on what Hamilton can do to maximize the legacy value of the Velodrome project. He responded, "City staff are already doing a great job of reaching out to sports organizations and looking at a variety of locations and designs for this thing."

The City is following "a good, disciplined process looking at all options, involving everyone in the community constructively to look at possibilities."

He recommended "supporting that effort and recognizing the value that could have as part of a sports legacy for Hamilton and even the country," calling the Velodrome, "an important part of the contribution Hamilton makes to the sports landscape."

There has already been some debate in Hamilton as to where we should put the Velodrome, with some people calling for the facility to be clustered with the stadium and others calling for a more suburban location closer to most road cyclists.

Asked whether Toronto 2015 has a preferred location, Troop responded, "We have no prefernce from a location standpoint. We're just happy that the process being followed is inclusive and transparent and is looking at all of the options. That will help ensure a really good decision is made at the end of the day."

He added, "It's important to make sure the process listens to all the stakeholders and comes to what would be seen as the logical and best solution for the community and for high-performance sport."

Aldershot Stadium

I would be very skeptical about the claim of no investment from Burlington... When things look too good to be true, they usually are.

Troop raised some concerns about the Aldershot stadium proposal. "We haven't been talked to directly, but I will tell you that it's important that Burlington Council and staff look very closely at the reported costs being talked about for the Burlington stadium."

Noting that The Ticat/Paletta proposal's numbers don't match Toronto 2015's numbers based on the BMO Field model, Troop noted, "I would be very skeptical about the claim of no investment from Burlington. As Grandma said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. When things look too good to be true, they usually are."

He commended Burlington Council for voting to investigate the proposal further. "It's wise that Council has asked staff to look at it. I would look at it with both eyes wide open.

"They're taking a very wise step to look at it, and I'm confident they'll get the information they need to make an informed decision."

Asked whether he thinks Burlington can get a formal proposal to Toronto 2015 ready in time for the February 1 deadline, Troop responded, "I'm in no position to say whether they can meed the deadline. However, we will be firm on the criteria and our expectations of 'what does a proposal mean'."

Navigating Bumps in the Road

Troop acknowledged that the process of organizing the Pan Am Games has had its share of challenges as the host corporation works with a number of municipalities in the GTA.

He closed on an optimistic note. "I try to work backwards from the goal of a fantastic event that galvanizes our communities to the decisions we need to make to get there.

"There are bumps in the road you need to work through, but when we finally see the Opening Ceremonies, it will all be worthwhile."

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 MattM (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:31:03

Words like this from Ian Troop and the Hostco make me wonder why councilors like Brad Clark could be serious about just dropping out of this thing entirely.

Ian said himself that this is NOT about getting the Ti-Cats a stadium. It never was. It was about building a Pan-Am stadium and asking if the Ti-Cats wanted in. We have completely and utterly lost focus of this and have gotten hooked into Bob Young's ultimatums and threats. He has made an entire city's council and residents ignorant of the facts. In this, he has been successful. It may end up being his only success.

I hope and pray that intelligence at council will overwhelm blind ignorance, as displayed by Clark and Bratina thus far. There is no option for the Ti-Cats in Hamilton any more. That is no reason to drop out of the Pan-Am games. This message HAS to get through.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-07 11:32:30

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:32:57

@ Ryan - Question suggestions.

1) If Hamilton decides to move forward with a scalable stadium, what might we expect the funding formula to look like?

2) One of the requirements for the municipal soccer stadium is that the municipality participate in the capital cost of construction. ( see
http://www.toronto2015.org/lang/en/news/toronto-2015-panparapan-american-games-investigates-alternative-soccer-venues.html)

What would the city of Burlington be "required' to pay for their share of a 22,000 seat stadium?

(Too bad I'm too late for today's 10:30 interview, but hopefully these questions could still be asked of Ian Troop some time soon)

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:41:30

Ryan, thanks for all the work you have been doing on this issue, and for bringing more clarity to the different scenarios. I agree with an earlier post that "reading between the lines," Ian Troop is saying: "Take the money, Hamilton, and build the smaller stadium. You deserve it!"

If I am correct in my understanding that the HostCo funds cannot go to renovating Ivor Wynne, then prospects of a community stadium in West Harbour are great. Having more funds to leftover to devote to the velodrome seems very wise as well. The velodrome has been the sleeper in this debate, but it will likely have more impact that any stadium.

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By Serendipity (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:41:47

(Troop) closed on an optimistic note. "I try to work backwards from the goal of a fantastic event that galvanizes our communities to the decisions we need to make to get there.

Working backwards at this point is a good exercise; the only fantastic events I envision involve Hamilton being home to a world class velodrome. Imagine it packed with high school and elementary kids from around the City attending both training and performance activities. What a boost to these young beautiful minds to watch, and have within their grasp, the dream and opportunity of competing one day.

So, how do we make that happen?

Brad Clark, if you're reading, take Troop's advice and think backwards and don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Perhaps the world class velodrome, athletic centre and amphitheatre at WH is what we've been missing all along.

Gosh darnit, it all seems very clear to me now and I'm suddenly happier than I was yesterday.

Trippin' on Troop. Try it, you'll like it.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:43:37

) If Hamilton decides to move forward with a scalable stadium, what might we expect the funding formula to look like?

2) One of the requirements for the municipal soccer stadium is that the municipality participate in the capital cost of construction. ( see http://www.toronto2015.org/lang/en/news/...

What would the city of Burlington be "required' to pay for their share of a 22,000 seat stadium?

For 1) It was said that the funding formula of a scalable stadium would be the same ratio shared by Hamilton and TO2015 but with smaller chunks. I assume the exact costs of a scalable stadium have not been calculated yet, so no exist shares between Hamilton and TO2015 are available.

2) If Aldershot happens, I doubt they will even bother with a soccer franchise. Aldershot will be a Ti-Cats stadium only most likely. The NASL thing was just a hanging apple for Hamilton to buy into Bob World.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-07 11:44:55

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:47:50

So based on the existing funding formula, Hamilton should be able to pay around $20M and get a 6000 seat stadium worth $60M.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:54:14

If this isn't the cattle prod that some of the Bob Young neophytes on city council need to jolt them back to reality, i don't know what is. I was not too sure about Ian Troop before this. For a while I thought he was in bed with Mr Young and Mr Mitchell.

It is perfectly clear now he could care less about what the Tiger Cats want.

"Its about the Pan Am Games".

Please everyone write their city councillor and implore them to do the right thing. I have written Bernie Morelli and will cut and paste the emails I shared with him here.

Subject: RE: Pan Am deadline/stadium issue Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 17:54:29 -0500 Thread-Topic: Pan Am deadline/stadium issue Thread-Index: AcusiGMK6vgGhgXwSUaXGJvphY1l2QBbA2Fw From: "Morelli, Bernie" To: "Greg Galante"

Hi Greg,

Thanks again for your e-mail.

Do not worry, Confederation Park will always be off the table for me. Your thoughts are very much in line with mine.

I would have liked to find a solution and I believe we also need to focus on GO Transit service in the North corridor. I truly believe, if we build it, they will come, as some are already doing that. It will also help downtown.

Once again, thanks for the feedback.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Regards,

Bernie Morelli, Councillor, Ward 3.

-----Original Message----- From: Greg Galante [mailto:ggalante@talonridge.ca] Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 10:27 PM To: Morelli, Bernie Subject: Pan Am deadline/stadium issue

Hi Bernie

Greg Galante here.

Bernie I'm writing this evening as a result of comments made by the mayor today on CHML with respect to the stadium issue and the deadline. Bernie I will state my feelings once again.

There is absolutely no reason that the Tiger Cats cannot be successful at the West Harbour. The fact that to this date they have not produced a business plan that would support their objections to this site only reinforces that probability. They have hijacked what should be soley a municipal issue.

Aldershot is a no go by all accounts. Burlington has no appetite for any more debt.

I implore you to not waste ANY more time on Confederation Park.

It is absolute folly to cave in to the whims of Mr Young and spend $60 million dollars of our money anywhere else than where city council voted 7 times to spend it. West Harbour.

We need development and the economic activity a project like this can bring DOWN TOWN. Not in the suburbs, not at Confederation Park.

The city holds the hammer here Bernie. We need to use it. If a brand new shiny stadium at WH is not good enough for Mr Young, then so be it. Let's do it without him, build a scalable stadium there with room for expansion and let him play out his lease at Ivor Wynne.

It is absolutely ridiculous that this city would cave in to a privately owned MONEY LOSING business and piss away $60 million dollars with the inevitable outcome being that in 5 or 10 years time he will be back before council with his hand out again. Bernie any sports business professional will tell you that if a team cannot make money where they are playing, then it doesn't matter where they play, they won't make money. Their business plan is flawed.

Bernie it is my ardent belief that this city's future, it's vibrancy and its long term health and viability lie in restoring and growing our downtown. That will not happen if we continue to divest our city's assets to the suburbs and play lackey to private interests.

Thanks for reading and have the happiest of years in 2011

Greg Galante.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:56:02

@ MattM - Thanks. I inadvertently posted to this article before reading it. I thought I was posting to the previous RTH article.

So then, judging by the funding formula answer, and Toronto 2015's requirement that the municipality contribute to the capital cost of construction of any stadium, it stands to reason that the city of Burlington would be required to pay tens of millions to any stadium more than 15,000 seats, just as Hamilton is required to do.

Bottom line, any city awarded the stadium must be prepared to pay their share for it. Burlington cannot get a free stadium

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 11:58:32

Jonathan Dalton,

It won't even cost that much. I think it cost McMaster $23 million for their 7500 seat stadium. It may cost $30-$35 million to build at the West Harbour and the city has already put about $10 million into land aquisition. So basically Hostco will be paying for the rest.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:00:59

@ bigguy11231 - If it is to be scalable, might that not necessitate a higher cost so that it could accommodate future expansion?

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:05:41

This may be redundant, but here goes. I saw this on the White Star Group's website, and have not heard it reported or discussed elsewhere. I may have just missed it, so I apologize if you've heard it before:

"For Immediate Release With regards to the Pan Am Games soccer legacy, the White Star Group is commited to forming the foundations of that legacy in concert with a 15,000 seat capacity West Harbour Soccer facility. In conjunction with the full development of the Pan Am facilities the White Star Group will acquire a professional USL expansion soccer franchise for the city of Hamilton, commencing 2012. -- more to come!"

Should this transpire, there is your professional legacy tenant, which could justfiy a larger than 6,000 seat stadium.

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By Serendipity (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:12:29

In all seriousness, the last thing we need is anymore talk of a stadium at WH, whether scalable or not. Chatter like this will only encourage those like me to temporarily suspend our Trippin' on Troop Think Backwards meditation and jolt us to remind y'all that Setting Sail, Official Plan Amendment, Council-Ti Cat partnership (dating way back to 2003 and the Commonwealth Bid when City said Cats had to be a part of any stadium talk), surrounding neighbourhoods and an Environmental Assessment, and, if you insist, the OMB, in reality kills any chance for the stadium to be built. At this point in time Our City Our Future should get Troopin', think backwards and replace the stadium nonsense with World Class Velodrome, Athletic Centre (with full accessibility for all, including all those living in the Code Red district) and Amphitheatre. Last shot, let's be smart and successful this time.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:18:17

Serendipity,

I agree with you on some of your points, especially about the neighborhood. In light of developments do you or could you support a 6000 seat stadium where IWS currently is to free up the West Harbour for a more community centered vision?

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-07 12:22:55

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:19:26

So a community stadium won't get past EA and OMB but a velodrome will? You can't pick and choose you're facts like that.

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:25:56

I can just imagine David Braley, Ron Joyce, the Fox-40 guy, and Bob Young sitting around the Hamilton Club figuring out how they can screw over the people of Hamilton (yet again). We can't let them win this time!

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By old boys club (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:36:26

"I can just imagine David Braley, Ron Joyce, the Fox-40 guy, and Bob Young sitting around the Hamilton Club figuring out how they can screw over the people of Hamilton (yet again). We can't let them win this time! "

totally. This is what has all been about hasn't it!

My vision of Hamilton includes Brownfield clean-up and development and greenfield conservation. Theirs? Well big box and parking lots it is.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:51:03

Captain Kirk,

It would probably cost a few million more to make it a scalable stadium. You have to remember the beefed up foundations for future expansion would only be on one grandstand. A 6000 seat stadium wouldn't be any more than that. The other side of the stadium in any future expansion would have to start from the foundation up.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:56:07

"I can just imagine David Braley, Ron Joyce, the Fox-40 guy, and Bob Young sitting around the Hamilton Club figuring out how they can screw over the people of Hamilton (yet again). We can't let them win this time! "

totally. This is what has all been about hasn't it!

Is this really what you believe? Is this how you sincerely believe people in their positions frame their thoughts and actions?

I'd be curious as to how you see our Councillors.

Oh, and let's throw in our voting public, just for a sense of overall balance.

You do realize that people who see things differently than you do, who maybe have differing agendas, not-quite-aligned priorities tend not to be 'dysfunctional' or 'evil' just based on these instances, don't you?

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By Serendipity (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:56:29

mrjanitor, your question regarding a 6000 seat stadium at IWS locale needs to be asked of the neighbours and business surrounding it. Here in Ward 2 we had our community involvement and process regarding stadium take place way back in 03 through 05 and City agreed that stadium was a poor fit and it didn't make it it to the Setting Sail/OPA. Sorry, but can't speak for those in ward 3 and what they need/want/desire that best fulfills successful planning there.

Nobrainer...concerts and other 200-plus stadium events, as tirelessly mentioned in all city pan am reports, do not take place in a velodrome. You're comparing apples and pomegranates; you know, apple is the velodrome, with one visible core, while pomegranates are just packed with hundreds of activities that the surrounding neighbourhoods, and city, have agreed do not belong in the WH neighbourhoods.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 13:09:54

Stadium Debt

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-07 13:10:27

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 13:11:33

You do realize that people who see things differently than you do, who maybe have differing agendas, not-quite-aligned priorities tend not to be 'dysfunctional' or 'evil' just based on these instances, don't you?

I agree.

These are people who are the heads of or have significant roles in big companies. Their agenda is to make sure that their companies or the ones they have a part in get the most profit as possible. These priorities are almost always not aligned with any urban development principles, such as those which West Harbor development is a part of.

That's all fine. But when you use it as they do to influence political decisions, that IS wrong.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 13:18:24

@Serendipity - I think a 6,000 seat stadium will fit into the WH nicely. I am a resident of the area who supports remediation of the brownfield site and do not see it happening without the provincial and federal tax dollars (I doubt Hamiltonians have any appetite for a property tax hike at the moment).

This is a fabulous opportunity, not least of which is the chance to showcase our gorgeous WH internationally during the PanAm games. Additionally, I think there is talk with some foundation that we may be on the cusp of attracting soccer to the city as well...

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 13:27:24

Stadium debt

We posted a blog entry about this article when it appeared back in September. Strange that the Spec should choose to publish it today.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 13:51:57

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By michelle (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:00:04

Shempatolla/Greg,

I got goosebumps reading your email to our Ward 3 counsellor, Bernie. THANK YOU for saying so eloquently what I've wanted to say. I'm glad to hear Mr. Morelli is in line with us regarding Confederation Park being a no-go.

Once again, that email was AWESOME.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:01:23

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:10:02

@told you so Hey turbo/Allan, weren't you banned from RTH?

Comment edited by nobrainer on 2011-01-07 14:10:19

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:29:53

@told you so.

IMHO councils direction that more than a 6000 seat stadium was needed was part of the plan to bring/keep the Tiger Cats on board.

Ron Joyce stadium is privately owned not municipally and McMaster charges rates for its use that organizations like minor soccer in Hamilton cannot afford. A smaller scalable stadium in WH fits in perfectly with the Pan Am games intent on leaving high performance sport infrastructure behind.

Mr Troop (also IMHO) has just torpedoed any public funding possibility for Bob and Angelo's Excellent Adventure World in Aldershot by sticking to his guns on Feb 1 and reiterating that HOSTCO would need more than Scott Mitchell's doodles on the back of a napkin to even consider Aldershot.

It is very clear to me that Hamilton now holds the hammer. Pun intended.

We have to implore city council to now use it.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:35:21

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:38:24

Ryan you should send your full interview to all the councillors and include the White Star proposal with it. We need to jog some memories in city hall, this just might do it. Especially the new mayor.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:45:04

I don't believe a 6,000 seat stadium is in the best interests of Hamilton and I don't think there are enough votes to make it happen since there are no benefits to the Rheem site that cannot be achieved with a stand alone veledrome (sic)

Reposting from the other thread for Turbo's benefit:

Newsflash, Turbo. If they approve Clark's motion, we don't get the velodrome.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:56:07

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By smitty (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:01:28

Just to let everyone know I spoke with Bill Kelly on air today and was able to make many good points about a smaller stadium at west harbour too many maybe.After speaking on getting a usable 5000-6000 stadium for our childrens future a possible tenant in the Toronto Nationals lacrosse team and a velodrome/stadium district I was promptly hung up on and dismissed with the "WE DONT NEED A SMALLER STADIUM WE HAVE MCMASTER" thanks Bill for your vision of hamilton!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:10:51

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-07 15:13:07

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:11:14

I applaud you for trying smitty. Apparently the 'voice of the Cats' is more than just a slogan.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-07 15:11:27

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By breeze (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:23:54

@Serendipity -- Oh Gawd. Here comes the North End Nimbys just in time!
"Wont somebody please think of the children!"

Don't you have a perfectly scaled condo development to block? Get your blow horns and signs and make sure you let me know I'm going +1 km/h over the speed limit!

Everyone knows your plan is to keep the North End down so your property taxes don't go up. Give it up already and let this city prosper!!!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:41:11

HamiltonFan wrote, "We don't need a 5-6000 stadium that costs in the millions. That is very obvious and is a waste."

Earl, what is the city to do with IWS? It cost $1.2m every year to maintain it now. What will it cost once the tabbies leave it, and as it ages even further?

Sensible thing is demolition. Then the numerous community uses that it has now, must be accommodated elsewhere.

What better way to replace it with a new scalable stadium, paid for , mostly by the feds and province that allows for future possibilities, especially when you consider Bob Young will not always own the team. Furthermore it cost significantly less to maintain than IWS. So many reasons for Hamilton to so this.

Fact is, there will be a stadium built for the Pan Am games with mostly fed and provincial money. Why not Hamilton?

Little of this has anything to do with the Tiger-Cats. If they give up on the city and collaborating an a stadium with us, then good luck to them. They gotta do what they gotta do. I, for one, am just not sure what that is right now.

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By smitty (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:45:35

"Hamilton Fan" when the cats leave we will have a dinasour of a stadium with millions of dollars of improvements needed to keep it running.Ivor Wynn stadium hosts 250 events a year and is unable to have concerts because of code issues.Why not have a new stadium where our high school & junior programs in football and soccer can play at a state of the art venue?I'm not talking about timbits soccer playing here I'm about getting a training facility for our children a world class stadium that might get national attention and Soccer Canada to notice.With seats on the field it might be a nice place to host outdoor concerts and bring people to our city.We can't let this go to another city!I wish the Cats would stay but I'm not willing to let Burlington steal the Pan AM games over a team that we apparently can't find the private investors to deal with in Hamilton.I think the TI-Cats are gone .I just want somthing good for Hamilton!

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 15:46:58

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 16:21:27

'Including land purchase requirements' The thing is, we already have the land available.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 16:27:41

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 16:49:06

HamiltonFan wrote: "Captain, there are any number of facilities that can replace IWS for those events since they don't require extensive seating. For the cost of one field at a new stadium the city can build many fields including land purchase requirements"

But what about events that need that seating? Open air concerts, special soccer events, etc

There is a need for it.

What about the inclusionary aspect of providing such a facility for the North End, which needs it.

Plus, what about the CFL in Hamilton? Don't you want that option for our city, which has a football tradition of well over 100 years? Why should we slam the door shut on that? It means a lot to the this city.

What if Bob Young can be convinced that WH can work, or a new mutually agreed upon business plan is conceived? What if he wants to sell the team? He will not always own the team.

This is called planning for the future.

Bob Young may want to give up on the CFL in Hamilton, (and I hope he doesn't) but this citizen and fan does not.





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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 16:55:28

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:09:11

The sky is blue.

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By Evelknewifie (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:17:31

Told you so, I did not quote you, I find you have a few points, my replies follow each.

You quoted me 1. no concerts or soccer that needs more than we have at Bernie Arbour. Nope, with respect to concerts we would have a vibrant concert scene there in the summer and that is not the case to my knowledge 2. The velodrome fulfills that. Personally I don't see it 3. The CFL is already dead in Hamilton IMO due to this process. LMAO I agree unless B. Young wakes up and smells the coffee 4. Bob Young won'y be convinced unless the plan includes a perimeter road. That is a Nimby issue, it's been on the drawing board since early 70's 5. The Argos are also for sale, there are no buyers. No Idea, would not buy em or cats assuming I had the free cash to lose 6. 6,000 seat stadium with no purpose may be planning for the future but not everyone thinks its good planning. Purpose? Build amateur athletics in this city beyond hockey, we do a pretty good job of that in my exp, but not too well in others

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:18:02

  1. no concerts or soccer that needs more than we have at Bernie Arbour

Bernie Arbour has 1300 seats and, like Ron Joyce, is owned by Mac. EDIT - No, it's city owned, sorry.

  1. The Argos are also for sale, there are no buyers

Really? Didn't Braley just buy the team last year?

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2011-01-07 17:30:37

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:20:36

No Evil I never said you did quote me. I responded to CaptainKirk

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:22:43

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:25:03

Bernie Arbour is city owned per your link

Bernie Arbour Stadium, located on Mountain Brow Boulevard between Upper Kenilworth Avenue, Mohawk Road East, and Limeridge Road East on the East Hamilton Mountain, provides the McMaster baseball program one of the most beautiful home facilities in the OUA. The City of Hamilton owns and operates the facility and rents the Facility to the McMaster Baseball program.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:29:15

Isn't Braley's standard pain threshhold a three-year limit? I ask this not only because of his gut-wrenching term as Cats owner, but also this non-nonsense approach to emotional business decisions (looking in your direction, BY):

http://www.bivinteractive.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2625&Itemid=39

B.C. Lions coach Wally Buono has similarly described Braley as a “champion” of the CFL, and it’s a small wonder why. Back in 1997, Braley bought the Lions for a nominal undisclosed sum. The struggling Leos lost $2 million in each of the next two seasons before Braley was able to gradually stem the tide of red ink.

He had put the team on a three-year trial.

“If it lost $10 million after three years, we’d say, ‘The people didn’t want it,’ and let it go,” Braley said in a 1999 BIV interview.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:29:31

Sorry, @told you so, looks like you're right, my mistake. I'll edit my post above.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 17:30:13

Bernie Arbour Stadium is owned by the City and is just used by Mac's baseball program.

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 18:17:24

Quote from Burlington Post “I really hope Hamilton figures out a way to have a Pan Am stadium in Hamilton, because it would save us all a lot of time and aggravation.” - Mayor Rick Goldring

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By Evelknewifie (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 18:28:45

I see the rally made the events calendar.

I'm planning on going.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 18:42:04

If only Hamilton City Council had stuck to their guns from the start and insisted on WH with or without the Cats, they would have capitulated or moved to Moncton by now!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 18:49:52

More crap from The Spectator! I guess if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth. This Howard Elliot guy should not be allowed near a keyboard.

Stadium saga near its end

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-07 18:53:40

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By lrt (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 19:39:22

Quick, but important, question: Does an Aldershot stadium mean we can proceed with LRT before 2015?
If so, and if a 6000 seat stadium at the west harbour means LRT will have to wait til after the Games, why are we even bothering to discuss stadiums?

IMO light rail before the games is the biggest priority this City has.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 19:50:44

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the Hamilton Spectator published an award winning series titled “Code Red” about the discrepancies in levels of health and life expectancies of lower city Hamiltonians compared with those in the suburbs.

It would make sense to use Hamilton’s west harbour scalable Pan Am soccer stadium and velodrome opportunity as a catalyst toward improving the fitness, health and well-being of all Hamiltonians, particularly young Hamiltonians living in the downtown area, while also cleaning up a 23 acre toxic brownfield in the north end. It is disappointing to see today’s editorial by Howard Elliott on the Hamilton Spectator website summarily dismiss the need for these facilities in the north end of Hamilton and to not mention the interest shown by the Canadian Soccer Association to use the stadium for national youth developmental team training.

One hopes that Hamilton city council demonstrates more vision on January 10th and January 12th than Mr. Elliott has demonstrated in his editorial today and moves to consider submitting the scalable 6,000 seat west harbour Pan Am stadium proposal to Toronto 2015 before February 1st.

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By Trigger (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:05:28

@RenaissanceWatcher - THANK YOU!!!! I copied your statement to the Spec. Could not resist. Thank you from the kids of the North End and surrounding neighborhoods!

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:31:42

Here's a new article in the Spec:http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/319112--how-the-west-was-reborn

It looks like the idea of a smaller stadium at the WH is catching on with councillors. Even Clark looks to be onboard.

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By pETERf (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:31:43

Seems to me, no matter what council does it is not good enough for the Ticats. One week they need 6000 parking spots then it is 25K stadium. Now they can live with a 22K stadium. Let them go, this is sheer nonsense. Now they are trying an end run to get it Aldershot. Council needs to vote scalable 6K stadium, hook up with Whitestar. If Whitestar can secure a USL team then there is our anchor. Does anyone know if that was a recent press release from Whitestar? Ryan thanks for your hard work throughout this issue. You have done some amazing stuff. Well done!!!

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By pETERf (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:44:52

bigguy1231, just read the spec article about rebirth of West Harbour. Tide seems to be shifting and low and behold the cats will stay at IWS until 2014 now??? What a farce. Hopefully city council will realize they are in control and West Harbour is the logical choice.

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By madams2 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:50:46

Just read the same Spec article. Why is my mayor (although I did not vote for him) giving the Hamilton Ti-Cats away to Burlington? Perhaps next he will offer to pitch in for the Aldershot stadium too. Oh, he doesn't want to be the mayor who scales down the stadium, but he wants to be the mayor that helps the Ti-Cats set up shop in Burlington. What a joke.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:54:33

Ohhh, so now the Cats will play at IWS until 2014! Wonder what changed...

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:57:57

Ryan

I know you're a humble guy, but I think the work you have done in the last 72 hours may just change the face of Hamilton for at least a couple of generations. Really.

I think being creative and designing in the ability to expand the size of the west harbour stadium is exactly what we need in this city. The Ti-cats could be part of that expansion, but I think their pride may get in the way of them doing what is right for their fans, the city, and amateur sport.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:08:04

Much credit also goes to Paul Shaker, whose article on Raise The Hammer restored proper focus on how the Pan Am Games opportunity can still work for Hamilton at the original west harbour site with a scalable stadium.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:08:32

H+H, that's extremely kind of you to say - but I'm just one person among many who has been working toward a happy conclusion to this long debacle.

If this somehow comes together, we need to thank: Paul Shaker's unimpeachably sensible case for a scalable West Harbour stadium; Ian Troop's timely and candid comments clarifying Toronto 2015's position; the Our City Our Future volunteers who organized and issued one final plea this morning; the volunteers organizing a rally for the West Harbour next Wednesday; the large number of Hamiltonians who have reached out to let their councillors know how they feel about this; the Spectator for picking up on the campaign (even if they don't necessarily agree with it) - and of course our Councillors themselves, who after months of trying to find a site that meets the Ticats' needs now seem to be coming around to the conclusion that the West Harbour is our best bet to achieve the community building and legacy potential of the Pan Am Games.

If nothing else, this exercise has confirmed my faith in the transformative power of positive, creative, solution-oriented public engagement.

Edit: Since the start of this year, the Pan Am issue has generated an astonishing 842 (as at this writing) comments on RTH!

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-01-07 21:19:40

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:09:29


@mrjanitor

Ticats only have a lease until the end of 2011. Can't see why the City would want to sign a new lease for another 3 years when the 6,000 seater in the WH may be ready in 2 years. They could just close IWS down after new stadium is built - maybe after at the end of 2012, or early in 2013. Pedal to the metal I say, much cheaper to operate new stadium than IWS. Awfully presumptuous of Ticats to think they would be welcome and that the city would lift a finger to help them after all that has happened.

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By Trigger (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:14:04

Agreed. Ryan you may have just done that! Kudo's to all at RTH!

As for the scalable stadium being first discussed, actually it was John Kernaghan who met with and wrote about Whitestar Group several months ago specifically discussing their flexible scalable stadium design conceptions to suit the changing tides. I hear he is no longer with the Spec?!?!

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:25:48

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:28:57


Amending my post - can't see much reason for the City to sign any new lease with the TCs after the current one expires at the end of 2011. They could just tear down all the seats, leave the field in place for community events and rent a temporary seating for a few thousand - like some of the seats that Empire Field is currently using.

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:39:36

Where does the velodrome fit in with the new smaller stadium at WH? No one ever really mentions it much.

cheers

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:45:30

GoGo

The city hasn't really decided on a site for the Velodrome. Hopefully they will put it right beside the stadium at the West harbour.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 21:57:29

Trigger,
Completely agree. There's lots of thanks that need to be sent out, lets not forget the White Star Group. The designs are amazing!!! How about an article on them by RTH? I'd like to hear more about their work.

Lets not stop until this thing is final though, everybody get to the rally and keep sending the messages to the city. Lets make sure we cross the finish line. Congrats RTH on the great work up til now!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:00:21

OK folks... I posted information for a rally on this site ... 6.30 on Wednesday, Jan 12th in front of City Hall. After which we can go to council chambers at 7pm and watch the fireworks.

But what next? I have written Jason Farr (as Ward 2 councillor) and Brian McHattie (as a long-time WH supporter) to ask if they want to address the rally. I also reached out to WhiteStar Group... I'll share any responses.

But any other ideas? It would be lovely if we generate a bit of interest and get some media coverage to put pressure on our councillors to do the right thing and get a motion in support of the WH proposal raised, ratified and submitted to the PanAm folks by February 1st.

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-07 22:06:41

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By GoGo (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:07:00

bigguy1231

Thanks!

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:12:47

Did anybody notice the Spec has already moved the article about the rebirth of the WH off the front page. Big news like this and they are burying it already.

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By speak easy (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:15:49

Has anyone thought of contacting Fred Eisenberger to speak at the rally? He is the CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute now-a-days.
What about Martinus Geleynse? Also a great, passionate speaker.

I recall many great speakers in attendance at that marathon council session back in August. So many great speakers a couple councilors joked about being worried for their jobs (referring to the upcoming elections).

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:21:40

@speak easy

Eisenberger doesn't start with CUI until February in fact.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:22:04

@speak easy

Awesome suggestions. I've emailed Martinus previously (when he was running for Ward 2) and will do so immediately re: this rally. I will also email Fred Eisenberger -- but if anyone else knows with of them, feel free to reach out to them as well, please.

Also - all I found for White Star group was a web form on their site. If anyone has any connections to them, please do reach out and ask them to attend our rally.

Lastly, do we need a loudspeaker ... anyone able to hook us up?

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-07 22:42:58

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:23:26

@bigguy

I went to the Spec site to find that article instead of c&p the url just for that reason, its always very interesting to see how difficult it is to find some articles over others. I especially liked how during all of the recent developments in the last 48 hours, the "Breaking News" at the top of the homepage had to do with Khari Jones being named Offensive Coordinator of the Cats. Give me a break.

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By speak easy (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:26:51

can't you tap into city hall's forecourt speaker system?
Regardless, YES! A loudspeaker is necessary. Remember that rally at Gore Park? Neither do I because I couldn't hear anything.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:31:53

@speak easy - I am a business consultant and as such fundamentally useless at most anything outside of pushing paper around an office. Tap into forecourt speaker system - what does that even mean :)

How about I volunteer to invite people to come out and support/address us and post the results in the Event listing once I hear anything back.... and we hunt for a volunteer to take care of a loudspeaker solution? There must be someone on this forum who can come through for us.. let's see if crowdsourcing works.

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-07 22:36:53

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By Trigger (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 22:50:41

Talk to the people over at Gallery 205 at 205 Cannon East - Whitestar Group run the place. I read that on another thread. They have some open house thing tomorrow night.

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By Will (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 00:10:49

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 00:21:14

What the heck?

I'm surprised this line from the Spec article is not getting any attention

"If a Hamilton site can’t be found by the Feb. 1 deadline, Troop says he will look not to Burlington but to their other contingency plans in Brampton, Markham or Mississauga."

Why would Troop rule out Burlington Feb 1 when they haven't even started their study?

Did the Spec get this wrong?

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/319112--how-the-west-was-reborn

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 00:27:33

What about Hussein Hamdani?

I was impressed by him.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 01:00:09

Don't know why my post about the Spec reporting Troop will not consider Burlington on Feb 1 was down voted.

To be clear, I do not want the stadium to go to Burlington.

Just wondering why the Spec is reporting that.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 01:09:50

Captain Kirk,

Burlington is not included in the Plan B group. I don't think Hostco considers them part of any group. The Aldershot alternative was thrown in by the Ticats.

The Feb 1 deadline is for Hamilton. The only way Aldershot will be considered is if Hamilton says no to any stadium.

I think there was something on this site to that effect or it could have been said by Ian Troop during his interview on CHML today. There has been so much information lately it's hard to keep track.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 01:15:37

@ bigguy1231

But isn't the idea that Burlington's rushed study might allow them to be included in the B group?

If Troop is summarily rejecting them right now, then why isn't this more public, and why is the city of Burlington even bothering?

Might this just be a last minute desperate ploy by the Tiger-Cats to scare us into reconsidering Confederation Park?

Might this be all they have left considering the growing momentum towards the 6,000 scalable stadium at WH?

Man, I sure hope the Burlington gambit is dead in the water.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 01:25:54

Troop is saying that Toronto 2015 is willing to consider a proposal for Aldershot, but that it must be ready by February 1 and it must be complete.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 01:34:31

Found this.

Thursday, Burlington city council approved a motion asking city staff to investigate a plan to build a stadium in the Aldershot area. Staff is to produce a report by Jan. 18

and

He said the City of Hamilton remained “in the driver’s seat” to come up with a stadium site by February 1, but Brampton, Markham and Mississauga have been asked to submit a detailed plan (confirmation of site, funding commitment and delivery timetable) late this month.

“Should the municipality of Burlington wish to submit a proposal for the larger CFL venue, it will be evaluated using the same standards, criteria and deadline as applied to Hamilton,” Troop said

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/mo...

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-08 01:41:10

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 10:02:34

Looks like the scalable stadium idea is starting to gain traction with council. Congrats to all the letter writers that got this off the ground!

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2011-01-08 10:02:45

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 10:46:15

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 11:02:59

Sorry MAW.

You're way behind on this issue. As early as July staff received preliminary reports from soil testing at Rheem and as then mayor Eisenberger disclosed remediation costs were going to be far less than initially feared... somewhere in the $3-$5 million range which was well within the budget for the stadium construction. Additionally Hazel is on record as saying "sure we'd love a stadium but we aren't going to put a nickel into it". Mississauga is nearly broke. It has spent all of the development money it received during its explosive growth, revenues barely cover expenses and now infrastructure is coming due for replacement. Hazel will be dead and gone when that city learns her tenure wasn't so great after all and Mississauga is held up as the poster child of urban sprawl.

I'm not sure I get the point of your post. The city developing the Rheem site (no matter what gets put there) will only help White Star in its own projects. The city owns much more than just the Rheem site proper. There is more than enough room for what is planned. Really this has to be one of your poorer trolling efforts. Everything you have posted is old news.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 11:10:09

As Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop said yesterday, “In the case of Hamilton, the stadium debate has to be balanced. This is not about providing a stadium for the Tiger-Cats. If that’s part of the solution, that’s terrific, but that’s not our mandate.”

The insistence of Bob Young and Scott Mitchell on removing the track from the 15,000 seat Hamilton Pan Am main athletics stadium after the Pan Am Games played a large role in the decision by Athletics Canada and Toronto 2015 (then known as Hostco) to move the Pan Am main athletics stadium to York University in Toronto on July 28, 2010. Since then, Hamilton has become Plan A for a Pan Am soccer stadium.

Toronto 2015 needs a Pan Am soccer stadium with a maximum seating capacity of 6,500. Without its leftover commitment in its original agreement with Hamilton to help fund a stadium of up to 15,000 seats, there is no mandate for Toronto 2015 to fund anything more than 56 per cent of the cost of a 6,500 seat Pan Am soccer stadium at any of the Plan B sites (Mississauga, Brampton or Markham) or in Burlington.

It will be interesting to see whether the preliminary Pan Am stadium report City of Burlington staff will submit to Burlington city council on January 18, 2011 will take this stadium funding reality into account.

It is starting to look as though Bob Young and Scott Mitchell may have actually killed their chances of moving the Tiger-Cats to a Pan Am stadium in Burlington or anywhere else when they killed the Hamilton Pan Am main athletics stadium in July, 2010.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-08 11:24:39

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 11:14:58

Mark-Alan Whittle,
Mayor Bob Bratina supported WH stadium as recently as this summer.
You'd better stop crying and actually do something. People live there.

It's amazing how wealthy Ti-cats could generate so much sympathy. Relax, they are ok, and will be ok in the near future.

It's the North End youth that needs to be taken care at the moment.
Nothing to say that the land remediation will effect future generations. If that's not enough, huge economic potential of WH will be un-locked.

Just use your analitical skills to solve the problem, council !

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By BratPackk (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 12:22:39

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 12:43:15

As Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop said yesterday, “In the case of Hamilton, the stadium debate has to be balanced. This is not about providing a stadium for the Tiger-Cats. If that’s part of the solution, that’s terrific, but that’s not our mandate.”

Perhaps the most Scott Thompson-ish comments I've seen on this subject have been those coming from the camp best described as being clad in black, gold and white. Stridently insisting that this was always about the Ti-Cats.

And to a certain extent, if you're going to 'demonize' Bob Young et al, then you'd also have to at least 'deputy-demonize' such contributors here on RTH. Because in their obdurateness, by ignoring facts, they've been as 'trollish' as anyone I've seen labeled such here over the past year.

When all of this is said-and-done, I believe there's value in examining 'What happened?', 'What went wrong?', 'How could we have better executed this task?'

I'm looking forward to that day, even more than to the resolution to this situation, because I believe that a better handle on processes such as the PanAm Games stadium site selection will pay off far more dividends than any structure that might result in West Harbour or anywhere else.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-01-08 12:57:13

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 13:13:03

Mark-Allan,
As far as I can tell, the Whitestar property you talk about would only be a neighbour to the stadium, and hopefully the velodrome. I'd say the projects they've put forth are quite creative in finding solutions to some of the issues you bring up and would be a nice compliment to any of the development down at the west harbour...

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 13:36:12

I'm not affiliated with the Whitestar Group, but certainly i've spoken with them quite a number of times throughout this stadium debate. The City does not need their land to build a stadium, no matter its size.

Having said that, the Whitestar Group has at least spent time and money putting forward ideas as to what could be done. Some of it is simply wishful thinking, but in no way do I fault them for that. I think they have helped people to think bigger. What is solid is their ownership of land in the area along Bay Street. They want to use it for higher density residential. For what it's worth, I agree with their plan.

We need more people living in the core and I don't mean the kind of density outlined in the Setting Sail Master Plan. That plan is the Meadowlands minus the big box stores. Single detached houses, townhouses and low rise (4 storey) residential all with setbacks. It's a suburban plan, not an urban one. A stadium, in my opinion, doesn't limit higher density residential in the WH. But kids, that's a whole other battle that is already shaping up, stadium or no stadium.

Comment edited by H+H on 2011-01-08 14:33:19

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 14:13:18

H+H, you're bang on. I hate this city's planning documents for the future. They call townhomes high/medium density housing. You'd think we were in Caledonia. I hope Whitestar and Molinaro can help rebuild our west harbour area. It should also be noted that the area falls out of jurisdiction of the North End Neighbourhood which is a huge bonus. I'm a massive fan of community councils, but once they allow one or two people to dominate the agenda and go NIMBY on everything, they become more of a nuisance than a help.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 14:34:08

I'm a massive fan of community councils, but once they allow one or two people to dominate the agenda and go NIMBY on everything, they become more of a nuisance than a help.

"I'm a massive fan of relationships, but once one person dominates the agenda and go NIMR on everything, they become more of a nuisance than a help."

"I'm a massive fan of religions, but once they allow one or more people to dominate the agenda and go NIMR on everything, they become more of a nuisance than a help."

"I'm a massive fan of democracy, but once we allow one or two people to dominate the agenda and go NIMD on everything, it becomes more of a nuisance than a help."

Yes, I'm being facetious. But seriously; if you're going to be dismissive of community councils or associations or the such, then how do you propose to design something that augments the process, allows voices to be heard, to inform how their lives are constructed?

Am I reaching too much to hear this as 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'?

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 14:40:05

IMHO the future of our downtown (and ultimately the future of our city) lies in going UP not OUT. This means a mix of low/med/ and highrise construction. It's about increasing the density of people. The more you have the more requirements there are for the services and industries and amenities that those people require and desire to live their lives with.

Down town T.O. betweeen Shebourne and Bathurst isn't flourishing because of a bunch of single family dwellings and town homes. There are some of those in the mix, but its because of the human density caused by building high rise residential homes. Those people all need to shop, eat, get to where they want to go, pursue recreation and entertainment, and they want to do it all within close proximity to where they live.

Now this may offend some of us who may still harbour quaint notions of small town Hamilton and its past. But I'm sorry if our city is going to flourish, we have respect and remember our past (thank you Graham), while embracing the future.

And the future is up.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-08 14:41:37

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 14:48:41


Fair points by H+H, Shempatolla and jason.

That said, there is an argument for keeping the skyline of the waterfront area lower so that you can build higher behind it and avoid blocking off view of the waterfron. High rise housing, then, could go closer to downtown, or at least further back from the waterfront. In the West Harbour area, the significant elevation drop west of Bay St could be helpful in raising densities without blocking off views of the waterfront.


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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:03:10

Thanks Shempatolla.

The Barton Tiffany area is near the waterfront, but not on the waterfront. As a result, I think it is a good place to build higher density residential. IMHO, there is nothing wrong with say 12 storey buildings that overlook the harbour in one direction and overlook the downtown and the escarpment on the other. As I've said before, I'm not naive enough to suggest St. James Town in Toronto. That was a planning and architectural mistake that Toronto, and the families living in its buildings, are still paying for.

True and well-designed urban density means the area could be home to a few thousand families instead of a few hundred. A few thousand families, as Shempatolla states, means you have the kind of critical mass that is attractive to local merchants. It's also a whole lot easier to keep schools open and healthy, not to mention a library, day care centre, and a community centre when you're drawing on thousands of families in the immediate area and not just hundreds. Like they say, everything connects.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:05:12

mystoneycreek, no sorry if I wasn't clear. I love community councils and think they are vitally important in city life. In Strathcona our council has been instrumental in seeing improvements to the Good Shepherd plan on King West, Rolly Rockets being allowed to locate at King and Locke, a new condo on Strathcona, and preserving the firehall with apartments on Strathcona. Someone from the north end taking the same developer building the Strathcona condo to the OMB for his wonderful looking Bay North project.

http://clarkcerellodevelopments.com/

I love their lower speed limit plan in the North End, but when it comes to development it seems they try to block everything.
I was merely stating that I'm happy the west harbour Rheem site is out of their jurisdiction. In no way was I suggesting that we get rid of neighbourhood associations or community councils. Some work wonderfully, others get too off track, but I'll accept the bad apples as part of a very needed and worthwhile tree.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-08 15:06:04

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:24:56

At the bottom of this article there are some clickable images of a new 7,000 seat soccer stadium being built in England.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gatesh...

I'm not sure if it's being built with future expansion in mind. It wouldn't appear to be. But the point is, a small stadium can still be designed nicely and be an attractive new facility on our waterfront.

Another 6,000 seater in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morris...

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:26:29

H+H, due to the slope of the land down towards Stuart St, I'd be happy seeing some 20+ storey condos there too. Shorter buildings would make sense closer to Bay and closer to Barton, but we need to maximize the land and design an attractive, urban neighbourhood, aka - Vancouver, Portland waterfront, even Burlington downtown/waterfront mixed use neighbourhood by Molinaro.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:32:47

@ arms length

I understand what you're saying. I think I'm just coming at it from a different point of view. To my mind by building up, instead of out you actually make the waterfront and environs with their views more inclusive instead of less. Say for instance you have 3 or 4, 12-20 story condos along Stuart or Barton. Each with say 60 units facing the water. That's 180 "homes" with a water front view all within a relatively narrow scope of frontage. Now multiply that down the length of that stretch of street. There is no way you would get that many single family or town homes along a similar or even greater length of frontage. To my mind this makes the water front much more inclusive and eliminates the possibility of fostering the kind of NIMBYism that could result from unintentionally building a community that comes to see itself as exclusive.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-08 15:33:19

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:37:12

I know it's beating a dead horse however I find it amazing that the owner of the Montreal Alouettes spent 5.7 Million of his own money to expand Percival stadium from 20,000 to 25,000 with boxes.

The stadium's capacity was increased from 20,202 to just over 25,000, with an upper deck added to the south side grandstands, a new permanent section replacing bleachers in the east end zone, and 19 new corporate boxes.

Yes, provincial (19.3 Million) and city money (4 Million) were in the mix however look at the ratios. 19.65% of the funding for the expansion was provided by the owner, up front no less.

And Bob Young was going to contribute 8-10 Million spread out over 10 years for a brand new 25,000 seat stadium.

I am personally starting to think Bob Young is far more broke than he lets on. He's in financial trouble from what I see, do we want to get in bed with this guy?

Alouettes unveil stadium expansion

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-08 15:42:01

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 15:51:46

@mrjanitor.

Mr Young and his lap dog "Scotty" have completely missed the boat there is no doubt about that. Instead of jumping on board with WH and becoming a part of something with truly limitless potential for his team, his legacy and reputation in this city and the legacy that would remain in the form of sports infrastructure, he tried to pull a dippity doo and bully and puff his chest out and scare council into handing him $60 million of our money to do with what he wanted, where he wanted.

Now all of his "monorail" schemes are coming to naught.

Council needs to be the one now that plays hardball.

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 16:12:41

mrjanitor:

I don't know that Bob Young is in financial trouble, but I think this is what he is telling Hamiltonians:

I don’t need you. I don’t want you. I want to relocate to a location that’s easy for potential new fans with higher incomes to drive to. I don’t really care about history. I don’t really care about the heart and soul, do or die fans. They don’t have enough money to buy my tickets, pay my parking rates, pay to eat & drink at the stadium and then at my new restaurant and bar conveniently next to the stadium. We all know poverty rates in Hamilton are higher than average. You are too poor and too unsophisticated for me to care about you. Thanks to those fans that kept the team on life support at times, but I don’t need you anymore either. I only want the team for the ancillary profits I can make; the team itself is a money loser. And I took it away from you, and located in Aldershot, which was always the plan! Who gets the last laugh now?

I would like to be wrong about this viewpoint, but that's what it seems like to me at this point.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 16:25:31

Boomer you're right up until the part about the last laugh. BY can't pull off his 'business' plan without craploads of public money, so he's trapped. Pretty sure the last laugh will be ours.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 16:30:05

@shempatolla

Good clarification. In saying lower height, I did not mean to imply townhouses and single-family dwellings. I meant low-rise multi-family.

But in terms of high-rise, with townhouse/low-rise combined, there's some incredible stuff that's been done at False Creek North / Yaletown in Vancouver.

That reminds me: a 'seawall' (or lakewall as the case my be) is critical

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 16:35:42

absolutely. I'd love to see that happen in Hamilton. Both downtown, and at the harbour.

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 16:57:12

Hope you're right, highwater. I just don't trust a mayor who shows up at a West Harbour rally, only to turn out to be pushing Confederation Park when were in the 24th hour. It doesn't help that he used to broadcast Tiger-Cat games. It doesn't help that he got elected without a real platform. He knew he could split the vote and come up the middle, I guess. From the way he's conducted himself so far, I seriously mistrust his qualifications for the job. Bratina is truly out of his depth, and there's no lifeguard in that pool. He changes his mind, it seems, more than he changes his underwear. Hamilton has a mayor who cannot lead effectively. I know he's only one vote on council, but........Don't you already miss Fred? At least you know the city's interest were front and centre.

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:04:09

Bratina's constant stance that it's 30000 seats or nothing frightens me to no end. How can this guy let it go somewhere else and think he's doing the city a favour? I'm not the brightest apple on the tree but seems like a no-brainer to me, take the 6000 seats and say 'good luck' to the Cats whatever they decide to do and let's see our city begin its transformation in the harbour.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:05:31

Been missing Fred since day one. Sad, sad, sad.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:08:17


Everyone should look again at Ryan's article on negotiating.

An addendum to it: don't fold before you play your last card...you might get to draw another card that changes the game.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:22:40


@jason

There's a problem with the cerello development on Stratcona - totally loses the character of the existing building and replaces it with something milque-toast and an eyesore. It's a pity - gotta retain traditional building materials and styles in lower city, esp WH.

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:45:25

I drove by City Hall at 12:45pm today and saw a whopping 3 people there ready to "rally behind Confederation Park". Apparently it topped out at about 35 max. I don't know if citizens are behind the scalable stadium plan but there doesn't seem to be a lot of support for the Cats.

Plus isn't City hall closed on Saturdays? Why have a rally if nobody is there to see it.

Comment edited by Vod_Kann on 2011-01-08 18:57:51

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 17:56:24

are 'we' rallying on Wednesday eve, is this on?

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 18:04:38

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 18:13:14

Here's more to consider on Bob Young's financial situation. I don't think it's just a game or negotiating tactic, I think Bob has maxed out his credit lines. Here's another thing, money attracts money, and I haven't seen anyone line up to invest in Bob's World in Hamilton. Paletta is leveraging the Cats to get his lots serviced in Aldershot on someone else's dime, not because he thinks the Cats will help him get rich. It's a win-win for Paletta and Young, but I wonder what Bob is giving up in return.

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By robertathwdsb (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 19:59:18

I would love to see a community stadium of about 5000-6000 at the WH. I cant speak on behalf of our public school board, but id love to see most of the high school football and soccer and lacrosse and field hockey games taking place at such a site. I know that there is already a stadium at McMaster this size, but that does not help the downtown city at all. As well it is easier for the school board to deal with the city than McMaster. And other events as well? Concerts? This pro lacrosse team that apparently is coming to town? Other soccer like CSL. Just thoughts. I think this is the best solution and the Cats can go build their own stadium wherever they like - or move to Ottawa or Moncton or somewhere else. Im a CFL fan and do attend games but im not willing to use any more taxpayers money and greenspace waterfront land to support a 'private business'.

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By Greg (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 23:11:58

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By Greg (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 23:43:16

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2011 at 23:44:31

@Greg

Can you cite a source that has been offered by either the CFL or Mr Young which can support that claim? Can you provide any documentation that has been put forward by either the CFL or Mr Young which would support that claim? The answer is NO because none have been offered.

What has been provided are thousands of pages of documentation that in fact supports the West Harbour as an excellent location. From traffic studies, infrastructure, interest in investment (Katz/AEG Group, White Star et al), very vocal and active community support.

In July the now mayor then Ward 2 councillor Bratina got up on a dias in Hess Village and donned a shirt that said GO WEST HARBOUR ! Now he has changed his tune. I guess that's what you get when you elect a radio announcer who used to be "the voice of the Tiger Cats" as mayor.

And yes it is Mr Young's fault. He has known about WH for years, never voiced a concern and tried to hijack our money for his gain. I would kind of call that his fault.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 23:50:10

Frankly, Mr Cohon should mind his own business. How many of his other franchises survive without the driveway to driveway, highway visible stadium?

Answer: None!

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By Registered Lobbyist? (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2011 at 23:50:44

According to Mark-Alan Whittle himself, he's Hamilton's only registered lobbyist. Kind of makes you wonder who's paying to have an opinion this week?

"Bob Bratina brought all this to the attention of council years ago, he was ignored."

Maybe that's because they'd rather get geological assessments from trained, paid staff, rather than from a radio announcer.

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By Greg (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 00:00:30

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 00:12:55

@Greg

Mr Cohon is a paid employee of the CFL. That means he works for the owners. That means he does what they tell him.

I'll break it down for ya. Here's how that phone call went right before Mr Cohon sent his letter to the City Council

Ring a Ling a ling!

Mark: Hello

Bob: Hi Mark Bob Young here. Mark I'm having a gosh darn hard time strong arming these bumpkins on Hamilton City Council into giving me their money so I can build my play land dang nabit.

Mark: I'm sorry to here that Mr Young, how can I help

Bob: Well old buddy if you could maybe send a really strongly worded letter about how much the Tiger Cats mean to Hamilton and that the CFL needs its teams to be strong and that they need stadiums with visibility and lots of parking so I can gouge all the people that have to drive there,,,,,,, oh wait leave out the parking bit..... but really make it sound doom and gloom for Hamilton if I don't get my way ok?

Mark: Any thing for you Mr Young. Mr Braley wants it that way.

Bob: Aw shuks you're a good lad Mark. Glad we hired ya!

The CFL and the Hamilton Tiger Cats are both privately run businesses. Neither of them have absolutely any business telling the city of Hamilton how to conduct its affairs.

If a brand new stadium at West Harbour is not good enough for Mr Young. He's free to go play in a bush lot in Moncton

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-09 00:13:31

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By George (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 00:20:50

It does not matter what Mr Cohon thinks. .

This is all about the city of Hamilton, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-09 00:21:51

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 00:24:39

The world Juniors in Buffalo just sent the "access and drive time argument" out the window.

People waited 2-3 hours in line at the border to watch good hockey and most never thought twice about it. Did making it hard to get to keep them away? Not a chance. heck there were even stories about people parking in Fort Erie walking across the bridge and then taking a cab to the arena!

This just affirms that if the product is good then people WILL go regardless of how hard it is to get to.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 01:10:16

Agreed. people with either want to go to the game, or not, because of the product.

Not because of where the stadium might be.

Copps has no problem selling out for popular events.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-09 01:10:33

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 07:45:49

"people with either want to go to the game, or not, because of the product."

Are you listening to that Uncle Bobby? For me, if you put professional dog grooming down at the west harbour, I'll be there. I've personally wanted a stadium there for over 15 years. My father has a boat at Macassa and I've long stood there looking at the Rheem building thinking how good a staduim would look there and how it would truly showcase our city.

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 07:58:07

@Greg

"Mr. Young has invested heavily in the future of the franchise, and his goal in this matter is simple, straight forward, and heartfelt: he wants the Tiger-Cats to succeed"

Questions: what has BY done to invest heavily in the "future" of the franchise? Buying the latest in Spalding pigskins? and you can't answer by saying he wants a free stadium where he wants it because that would just be too funny. And by "wanting the Cats to succeed, he needs our dime to do it? Any business person I know and have talked to think it insulting this guy assumes it's his right to free money and location when they (other business owners) have to present a viable plan to a bank in order to get money let alone property and naming rights.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 08:06:37


@mrjanitor
"Here's more to consider on Bob Young's financial situation. I don't think it's just a game or negotiating tactic, I think Bob has maxed out his credit lines. Here's another thing, money attracts money, and I haven't seen anyone line up to invest in Bob's World in Hamilton. Paletta is leveraging the Cats to get his lots serviced in Aldershot on someone else's dime, not because he thinks the Cats will help him get rich. It's a win-win for Paletta and Young, but I wonder what Bob is giving up in return."

Paletta is looking for anybody to come and build something that will attract visitors to his patch of land, so that he can build up ancillary services around it and make money off those things. He apparently offered land to McMaster to host its Burlington campus - the one that was intended for downtown Burlington, but ended up on the S. Service Rd. near Appleby Line. So let's not buy any suggestions that he is doing something magnaminous for the 'community'.

Note that I said "build something that will attract visitors to his patch of land" - same strategy applies to Rheem - build even a small stadium and local businesses will benefit, new ones will pop up, etc.




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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 08:13:04

arms-length,

So let's not buy any suggestions that he is doing something magnaminous for the 'community'.

When did I ever suggest Paletta had any intention of doing anything other than gain for himself at the cost of Burlington taxpayers?

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By JonC (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 09:08:02

@Greg I also believe Cohon said a 30,000 seat stadium was required to host the grey cup, which I haven't heard them say in reference to this Aldershot bid.
Short story: Cohon says a lot of things.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 09:48:00

Overall, it's absurb to me that this entire issue has blown up to this scale. There has never been any private funding for the budgeted 15,000 stadium to be expanded to the required 25,000 seat stadium for post Pan Am Games Ticat use. Not once have any corporate sponsors come forward with hard dollars for building in Hamilton. The amount of time and money wasted pursuing a stadium for the Ticats is mind boggling (IMO). Without a solid plan and guarnateed dollars this saga should have gone down the Plan B road a long, long time ago.

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 11:18:17


@mrjanitor

"When did I ever suggest Paletta had any intention of doing anything other than gain for himself at the cost of Burlington taxpayers?"

Not you - others in the media. Sorry for the confusion.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 13:28:29

Hamilton city council will make a once in a generation decision for its citizens on January 12, 2011.

Council has three options:

  1. To bring and pass a motion to submit a proposal to Toronto 2015 before February 1st to build a scalable 6,000 seat west harbour stadium and a velodrome;
  2. To withdraw from building the stadium and to build only the velodrome;
  3. To withdraw from the Pan Am Games altogether.

The following seven factors, in no particular order, need to be considered carefully by city council in making their decision:

  1. The cost and complexity of remediating the 23 acre west harbour brownfield lands to build residences would be much higher than the cost and complexity of remediating the lands to build the Pan Am stadium and velodrome.

  2. The risk of future liability to the City of Hamilton in trying to sell remediated brownfield lands to developers to build residences on these lands would also be higher than the city retaining ownership of these lands.

  3. Federal and provincial funding is available right now for 56 per cent of the construction costs of a scalable 6,000 seat Pan Am stadium and a velodrome on this property. If the City of Hamilton passes on this opportunity, how many years will it take to secure private and/or public funding to build anything on these lands?

  4. As noted in a previous post, the west harbour Pan Am facilities would provide Hamilton the opportunity to become the home base for a number of Canada’s national soccer youth developmental teams, a possible soccer hub for southwestern Ontario, an indoor cycling hub for eastern Canada and the northeast United States, and facilities for community use by all Hamiltonians and young Hamiltonians in the lower city in particular.

  5. The reduction of the stadium seating capacity to 6,000 will greatly reduce the traffic impact upon the surrounding neighbourhoods in comparison to the originally contemplated 25,000 seat stadium.

  6. The construction of west harbour Pan Am facilities would probably expedite full GO train service to Hamilton.

  7. Having the Pan Am facilities at the west harbour will display our restored waterfront to out-of-town Canadians and visitors from the other 41 Pan Am nations and hopefully provide some much needed esteem into the Hamilton community as well as a renewed interest in downtown development.

We have now reached a crucial moment where Hamiltonians must decide what is best for Hamilton. The construction of the scalable west harbour Pan Am stadium and the velodrome (Option 1) is probably the best use the city can achieve for those brownfield lands given the limited resources this city has. Equally important is that this option recaptures most of the city building benefits envisioned by the City of Hamilton in February, 2009 when it first decided to financially participate in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid.

Good luck to Hamilton city council in making the decision that brings the most benefit to its citizens.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-09 13:33:54

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By Avenger (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 14:47:41

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By J Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 15:21:31

Agreed. Be smart council. Don't let the opportunity go... don't leave us with 100 yrs more of scorched brownfields in the NE. Don't let this be your legacy for our community, for our City.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 15:22:51

so we should screw up our own community just so another community can have a free ride??

Nobody is trying to screw the Cats. I'll still cheer for them at Aldershot. But I pay taxes in Hamilton. I don't want to be left holding the bag on Ivor Wynne in 3 years with no replacement when I've got a special international games offering to pay the bulk of the cost for a new stadium to replace Ivor Wynne. I'd also like to enjoy the Pan Am soccer events and west harbour redevelopment as well. Now that we know where the Cats are headed I don't see how anyone is screwing them. Are we supposed to pay for their stadium if they choose to go to Moncton, London or Burlington??? Considering they see themselves as such a valuable, hot commodity, they should have no problem getting those cities to open the public purse for them.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-09 15:23:39

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By J Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 15:30:19

Yes, I couldn't have said it better. And I'd see the Cats regardless if they play at WH or Aldershot. However, I'd prefer to see a soccer game played at WH knowing that our city made the right decision. I'd like the Cats to go home, and figure out what they're next move will be, on THEIR dime. I've had enough of their leadership/ownership/caretakership/management.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 15:51:44

@ RenaissanceWatcher (registered)

Or Hamilton could decide to build another type of public building or park that meets the same remediation standards and costs the same or less money than the city portion of any additional costs that a 6000 seat stadium and velodrome might and still brings benefits to the area. Such a project might be an amphitheatre and adjacent community sports park. It might not work but it is an option

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 16:04:29

@RenaissanceWatcher

Excellent post. I hope you have sent it to each member of Council and the Mayor. It really is an outstanding summary of the pro-scalable stadium position.

Thanks.

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By J Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 16:07:55

The point is NOT to deny the opportunity of 70 million dollars of Fed/Prov tax dollars coming to us -- this injection is a gift. Pan-Am 2015 is far too important to lose now. Was all this effort for not? In this and any future economy, if Hamilton were to say NO to this "gift"... I'm afraid that never again will we be let down on that crappy decision. For any future government, be it Provincial or Federal, they will look back at how Hamilton truly screwed it up. We'll never see this kind of "gift" again. The rest of the country will be correct, in how it see's our City. Hopeless. We are on the National, no, World Stage right now. Time to be adults about this and do the right thing! 16 people need to do the right thing for 500,000 souls living in our community.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 16:13:45

@told you so

It is agreed that an amphitheatre or adjacent community sports park are alternatives to a Pan Am stadium and velodrome but Hamilton would probably have to go it alone and pay 100 per cent of the construction cost to build those types of facilities. The amphitheatre is a nice idea though. Perhaps the city, if it wants to incur the additional cost, can try to incorporate improved acoustics and flexibility for staging and on-field seating into the design of the Pan Am soccer stadium.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-09 16:14:59

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 16:51:18

@RenaissanceWatcher

I agree, we would have to go it alone if we opted for an amphitheatre. There would be zero dollars from Hostco. Zero from Hostco means saying no to somebody who wants to give you 56 cents on every dollar you spend. That's no bargain if what they want you to spend it on is not what you need, but I'm with you.

Let's try to be creative and make our 'scalable' structure also a 'conformable' structure. I realize that flexibility may cost more than something that is single purpose and/or fixed, but it doesn't have to be hugely more with the right architects and engineers.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 16:52:41

It truly is time for our City Council to secure this opportunity for Hamilton. West Harbour represents the only viable option remaining, given the impending deadline.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 18:07:45

Shempatolla,

My apologies, I deleted the entry and submitted it to Ryan for consideration as a blog entry. I had hoped it hadn't been read yet. Once again, sincere apologies for pulling the entry, hopefully it will go up in the blogs section.

mrj

Edit: and yes, I am assuming that there would be no pro sports at the scalable stadium, hopefully we can flesh out opinions on this in the blogs

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-09 18:10:46

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 18:16:10

Somebody needs to tell council that it isn't that easy to get time at RJ field at Mac. They are obviously going to put their sports teams first leaving limited time for rentals. Also, now you are talking very limited traffic flow into the campus. Is there nointeligence out there anymore???

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By J Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 18:17:11

I so wish people had more vision for ALL the possibilities that West Harbour invites to our community, and to the outside world -- city building is part of a cultural policy mandate. Turn the city's slow beating heart into a high energy pulse by making it attractive for hi-density maximum capacity residential commercial city building, with all the amenities discussed over and over again on this site. WH is worthy as THE newest latest hottest investor/developer destination in Southern Ontario. They are standing by for the City to go green on Pan-Am and a stadium/velodrome destination. WH is the ONLY spot voted 7 times. Now, look around at some of the most successful cities who are lucky to have such beautiful waterfront... many that were former industrial brownfields. We have the potential for so much more than contrary limited thinking. Linking downtown we can have a hot mixed of Pro/Amateur Community Sports/Recreation, entertainment, arts, music, eateries, pubs, galleries, markets, libraries, parks...linking to downtown/waterfront. It's so obvious I can throw up. (no shortage of people who want condo/apts on the water IMHO). But you need to give them the amenities.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 19:27:36

What now for the west harbour?

From The Spectator

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By Avenger (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 19:44:41

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 19:49:02

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 20:03:37

@Avenger

"perhaps the Tiger Cats".

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The only party in this travesty that has not committed ANY hard dollars to this project, has subverted the will of city council and the democratic process and you think perhaps they may be at fault?

Please.

Burlington is not even on the Plan B list for Hostco. If they want to submit a plan..... as Mr Troop indicated it would have to be complete, with costings, and by Feb 1.

The only place here there is to lay blame is at the door step of 1 Jarvis St.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 20:37:49

I keep hearing everyone talk about the HostCo monies like they were a gift from heaven. Every one of these dollars come from our tax base and is much OUR money as the Future Fund. Just because it is diluted by provincial and federal tax input, it is all still OUR tax dollars. Our elected council should decide where it goes not the TiCats and CHML.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 20:49:06

Our tax dollars and those of the rest of the province and country. For once they are helping us, not the other way around.

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By Avenger (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 22:30:57

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 22:50:47

3rd actually

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 22:56:07

Avenger wrote, "I fear Council and RTH as well as the Spectator are only focused on one thing: how can we screw the Tiger Cats?"

Of course not!

They are all concerned about what's best for the city. It's called priorities. the Tiger-Cats come after the city, not before. Spending tens of millions of city dollars MUST do much more than just make the Tiger-Cats sustainable. There MUST be significant benefits for our city. Any other approach would have be irresponsible. Council has done, and, is doing, a very good job of protecting our interests. the same applies to protecting Confederation Park.

The city of Hamilton could have had a 6,000 seat a while ago. The ONLY reason, and I repeat, the ONLY reason there have been so many deadline extensions granted by HOSTCO was to allow for the city to try to accommodate the Tiger-Cats. No other reason.

Again, the city, if it wanted, could have already gone ahead with the 6,000 seat stadium option, but they did not for the sake of the Tiger-Cats and its fans.



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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 22:57:45

Avenger, 10mil over many years for a location that would cost us more, isn't a significant investment if you ask me. Saying any location "we will make it work" and then backing out is not good faith bargaining. Hostco wants a stadium for the pan-am games, not the cats. And they said they would go with a smaller stadium if that's what council wants. They don't care, they just want our idiotic councilors to pick a spot and move on. Don't comment till you do some research, god it's everywhere and you still can't get it right. We know they don't have to play there but we want a Hamilton solution and Burlington is more of a pipe dream than the cats playing at WH one day.

The problem with this whole scenario is that the sheep are listening to the wolves, and the wolves tell many a tale to get there needs met. It's very easy to get sucked into believe retoric if you aren't willing to question or research, especially the obvious.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:00:03

Avenger also wrote, " The stadium is for a pro sports team like the Cats. It isn't to revitilize the WH."

A private stadium should look after private interests first

A publicly owned stadium should look after public interests first.

What's so hard to understand about that?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:01:58

"Again, the city, if it wanted, could have already gone ahead with the 6,000 seat stadium option, but they did not for the sake of the Tiger-Cats and its fans."

No, rather it was more that it was for the sake of making themselves, council, look like they weren't driving the TigerCats out of town. It was in their best interests to appear to have an accomadoting appearance IMHO.

Captain, a stadium publicly owned but with some private investors funds should have both public and private interests at heart first. The mix should be a win-win for both whatever the mix of results.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-09 23:04:17

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:26:30

@Avenger

The Tiger Cats put up the GRAND TOTAL of $10 million dollars for the CP location PAID OVER TEN YEARS AND BORROWED FROM AN ONTARIO INFRASTRUCTURE FUND...... WHICH IS US. So we actually pay his share too!

Any other reported sums that were bandied about like the $74 million dollars over 15 years were on examination determined to be operating costs that Mr Young would have had to pay no matter where the team played.

The city is in the position of building its projects where it's elected officials after years of planning chooses to build them. Perenial corporate welfare recipient professional sports teams are in no position to dictate to the city where it will spend what will amount to $60 million dollars of taxpayer money. And no he doesn't have to play there. He just won't be getting any of our money to build his play land with its "driveway to driveway" experience.

THIS IS A PUBLIC PROJECT NOT A PRIVATE ONE.

And part of the legacy of the games, the intended use of the Future Fund, is to provide high performance sports infrastructure and if possible help achieve goals in city building. It can be easy to miss these things when you jump into a debate at the last minute so I can excuse that. The stadium project WAS NEVER intended to be purpose built for the Tiger Cats. They were going to be the lucky recipient of a brand new facility because HOSTCO selected Hamilton as the site for athletics and track and field.

Who is a scalable stadium inadequate for? The Tiger Cats? Who cares? It is evident now that they have been talking out of both sides of their mouth since this drama began. As for being unnecessary says who? Andrew Dreschel? Bob Brattina? Hardly urban planning experts either one. Ask Bob tomorrow he may have changed his mind again. Ron Joyce stadium is privately owned and operated by McMaster University. They are under no obligation to provide time and use of that facility to anyone. We are not talking about a bunch of temporary bleachers here. Rather a modern, expandable facility with multiple uses.

What rock have you been hiding under? Ian Troop twice this past week both in an interview with RTH and with that twit Bill Kelly at CHML said if Hamilton wants a smaller scalable stadium at WH its a done deal. Again, try to keep up and stay current. You're making blanket statements about peoples "bases" and intentions and you have no clue or idea of what or who you are talking about.

I have been until recent years a long time season ticket holder of the Tiger Cats. I have both on this site and others applauded many of the things that Mr Young has tried to do with his team.

I am a business owner and avowed capitalist. I have no problem with him wanting to make money with this enterprise. ( I may question his intelligence and business acumen in thinking he was ever going to make money owning a CFL team.) but I have no problem with him trying.

What I have a problem with is a money losing private business, who has been a corporate welfare recipient courtesy of the taxpayers of this city for decades trying to bully, threaten, extort, misrepresent facts, lie, manipulate the democratic process to essentially abscond with $60 million dollars of this community's money to do so.

Lets remember. Had Toronto 2015 not won the Pan Am bid. We would not be having this conversation. What was Mr Young intending to do then? Build a new stadium where? With whose money? He wouldn't be going anywhere, he would still be playing at Ivor Wynne Stadium in 2015 or have sold the team.

He has nowhere to go now. Aldershot is not going to happen. Ottawa is getting its own team not a relocated Tiger Cat team. (The league is not about to give up expansion money to placate Bob Young). Quebec City is more interested in building a new hockey arena because if they do they know they are getting an NHL team back. The Feds aren't going to be contributing ANY gov't money for a foot ball stadium as well as a hockey arena. Moncton? not anytime soon and same thing, no stadium.

So once again. I CALL BULLSHIT. The Tiger Cats never did and do not now have anywhere to go. You think the city is trying to screw them? Give your head a shake. Hmmm lets see. I'm Bob Young. I pay less than the cost of a Ford Fusion to rent Ivor Wynne each year. I get to keep the proceeds from the concessions and beer and alcohol sales, the city pays $1.3 million to operate a stadium it wouldn't have to if my team didn't play there. AND SOMEHOW THE TIGER CATS ARE GETTING SCREWED?

Nice try.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-09 23:32:30

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:31:26

HamiltonFan wrote: "...a stadium publicly owned but with some private investors funds should have both public and private interests at heart first. The mix should be a win-win for both whatever the mix of results."

Agreed 100%.

It's a shame the two can't come together right now.

But, as far as this Pan Am stadium goes, it will be publicly owned and mostly financed with public dollars, so...


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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:33:42

if it happens. Thats hardly a slam dunk at this stage. Its less than 50/50 at the moment that any stadium will be approved in Hamilton or Burlington by either council

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:40:51

@Hamilton Fan

Your premise is correct. Problem is in this instance the private party made no one aware of his aversion to the selected site until the eleventh hour. At no time has his signature appeared on any document representing a financial contribution amounting to any kind of percentage worth mentioning.

So guess what? He doesn't get a say where it goes.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:48:04

Through this whole thing I still can't decide if the TigerCats management is nefarious or simply incompetent.

The same goes for this City's usual suspects of rich mouthpieces and daytime talkshow hosts.

In a lot of ways, I would rather believe that there is an elaborate, dubious plot afoot.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 23:50:23

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a the shortfall number being taken up by the cats to make the stadium 25 - 30 000 seats. This was pre-award of course, you know, when the whole country thought the Cats were on board with the WH because they said they were happy about it. I'm going to have to look back and see if that's correct???

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 00:27:43

that was the plan. The number was $50M

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 00:44:13

Ok, sooooooo?????

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 01:16:31

I dunno it was your question

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 08:25:15

@Avenger:

1) 'Cats are willing to invest beside a new stadium, not in the stadium itself.

2) City is putting up $60,000,000 of Future Fund money, that gives them a bit of say in where the stadium goes.

3) The stadium is for "high performance sports", which does not mean pro sports. Hostco was willing to kick in more money for a larger stadium if the 'Cats were going to play there. No 'Cats means they'll fund a 6k seat stadium.

4) As far as whether it's unneeded, Ron Joyce is more expensive than this would be for people to rent. Soccer is hugely popular in the area and IWS won't be around for much longer.

5) If the stadium is scalable, it means that when Bob realizes that no one else is willing to fork over millions of dollars to fund his sports team, he can invest a little in it to build it to the size they need it to be to play.

6) Ian Troop has already said that a 6k seat stadium is a done deal. The last mayor lost because Bob Young pulled a fast one on him and hung him out to dry in an effort to divert public money to his personal gain.

@HamiltonFan:

What private investor was willing to invest at CP beyond Bob?

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By Avenger (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 08:46:29

@Brandon who said:"What private investor was willing to invest at CP beyond Bob?"

Fair questions. But here is the thing as I see it. (Shempatolla is out to lunch by the way; he is so off base with his analysis, I think he really is hibernating until Groundhog day....but I digress)

Here is the thing: no other investor has stepped forward with one exception because the location to this day hasn't been settled. Who in his/her right mind would invest millions with such an unknown hanging over the process. The exception is Aldershot where the private sector is in big time because the location is certain. The other exception is the WH where no tenant exists; and no privatte investor has stepped up because of it. See? Economics of Investment 101. Please someone explain it to Shempatolla.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 09:25:26

@Avenger,

Aldershot is great, except for the following minor issues:

1) There's now a $60,000,000 funding drop, unless you expect Hamilton to fork over Future Fund money to build a stadium in Burlington.

2) Burlington is being told that the stadium won't cost the city anything. Heh.

3) There's 21 days to make the decision, not nearly enough time to get any facts together.

4) Hamilton would have to agree to not get anything so that the Hostco funding could go there instead.

As far as WH goes, Whitestar already owns a lot of property in the area and is waiting for a green light on the stadium to begin development on it. There have been some beautiful plans put forward by them for the stadium and the area surrounding it.

http://www.whitestargroup.org/

As far as Bob Young is concerned, the only problem with the WH location is that he can't capture all the revenue around it, which is what he's after. He's welcome to that money if he builds his own stadium with his own money.

It's closer to the highway than some of his other proposed locations, it has more parking available than some of his other locations, it has easier access than most of his other locations if you assume parking downtown and a few minute walk to the stadium. It's right next to a train station. Downtown is the main hub of public transit. It's all there, except for that little facet known as revenue capture.

My suggestion is to build the scalable stadium at WH and if Bob wants his shiny new stadium and finally accepts that the days of sports owners holding cities hostages is gone, it's there for him to invest in.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 09:32:32

@Avenger.

Nice to be speaking in hypotheticals isn't it? I'm out of touch?

  1. Burlington is not even on HOSTSCO's plan B list. There are 3 other municipalities in the queue before they will even talk to Burlington. Mississauga, New Market, Toronto (York U)

2.Aldershot is an idea. NOT A SELECTED SITE. It was put forward by an opportunistic developer looking to have Burlington taxpayers foot the bill to build infrastructure into land he owns NEAR a highway but with no ACCESS to a highway. There has been no public input, no city staff time to research the proposal. Angelo Paletta is the ONLY other investor besides Bob Young interested.

  1. The only reason the site hasn't been settled in Hamilton is because Bob Young and his lap dog "Scotty" Mitchell have seen fit to torpedo a public process at the eleventh hour. They played the classic pro sports card of trying to extort a municipality by threatening to move. Only this is an empty threat because they have nowhere to go. If they did and the deal was so much better than the one they have now they would have been gone by now. They have bungled this from the moment Scott Mitchell uttered "we will never play at West Harbour". Which by the way is the stupidest and most amateur thing to do in any negotiation. The Tiger Cats have painted themselves into a corner and they are going to end up with nothing.

  2. If Aldershot is SUCH A GREAT SITE. Why haven't any other investors besides Paletta lined up? Why hasn't Bob Young put more money on the table? Because it isn't going to happen.

  3. You're going to have to do better than insult me and put forward weak arguments. I've been called worse by better people.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-01-10 09:35:26

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 09:32:37

Brandon, I hear you on point 5 above - Young joining in at WH to add to the scalable stadium, but I've long since given up on that. I believe that a CFL or MLS team will arrive there one day (unless Aldershot gets built, then it will keep CFL). Young is simply surrounded by folks who think it's 1970 and the Pontiac Silverdome model is cool and profitable.
I would be stunned to see the current ownership of the Cats join forces with Hamilton to build one of the coolest and most attractive stadium districts in the country. They want a parking lot, not a 21st Century stadium.

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 09:39:42

Avenger = Scott Mitchell, perhaps?

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2011 at 09:51:14

@Jason

You've hit the nail on the head man. Someone somewhere has convinced Mr Young that his only salvation is in tying his future with the team to a decades old philosophy that is being abandoned all across North America. Rather than being bold and forward thinking and becoming profitable by putting a winning product on the field and buying into an urban centered, destination venue. Mr Young for some reason believes that thousands of 10x20 pieces of pavement with white lines painted on them are going to generate revenue for him. Thing is if the team stinks, the experience stinks, and people don't think the drive, the tickets, and the $25 to park at Bob World is worth it..... those parking spots won't be generating any revenue because they will be empty.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:02:34

The exception is Aldershot where the private sector is in big time because the location is certain.

Hilarious! I think you're right, Boomer. Only Mitchell could make such an absurd statement with a straight face.

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By Sweet Irony (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:20:05

The refrain from pro-EM-Confed-CP folks -- including the Ticats themselves -- has always been that the stadium will be used for more than just 10 Ticats games per year. The constant rhetoric was that it would host 200 events a year, etc, etc. The irony is, that now that we're looking at a 6000 seat stadium, it's that Ticat's "200 events" assertion is what might ultimately justify building a small venue and ending their Aldershot dream.

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By Spectator (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:34:42

Just read Dreschel. He and Sam Merulla make sense. The so called scalable stadium is a waste of time and money. I also agree with Avenger on this even though I don't like his name.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:46:20

Poor Andrew, he seems upset no one invited him to the party when he used to be the centre of attention.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:53:34

Yeah. He really phoned that one in. All he's got to prove his point are thoroughly discredited claims about the other stadia in town, and Merulla. Oh, and a dated quote from Whitehead. And for this he gets paid?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:13:14

Avenger=professional blogger?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:21:43

Let's lay this out for real now:

-IF council passes a first vote (remember there is always a conformation vote later) to put the Pan-Am at IWS

-THEN the Cats have no where to play locally for 4 years

-WHICH throws a horrible monkey wrench into their business plans, like the cost and loss of fans while playing in the Rogers Center for 4 years for Aldershot to be built

-THIS pressure will flush all of the BS down the toilet and force Bob Young's to reveal if he will eat the cost and fan loss or if he will sit down and really negotiate the West Harbour

-GIVE Bob 3 days before the IWS stadium conformation vote to conjure up a deal

-IF he doesn't play we get a nice IWS replacement (after a conformation vote) and if he does play we get a nice new 25,000 seat stadium at the west Harbour

This is using the kind of pressure tactics that Bob has been using. He took the gloves off without warning, let's use the sudden rule change to our advantage.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:29:44

Avenger wrote:

The other exception is the WH where no tenant exists; and no privatte investor has stepped up because of it. See? Economics of Investment 101.

So then by that reasoning, once the Tiger-cats say OK to WH, then private investment will follow.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:07:52

Rather than being bold and forward thinking and becoming profitable by putting a winning product on the field and buying into an urban centered, destination venue....

Heck, it's not even bold and forward thinking anymore. EVERYONE is doing it. lol. It was bold and forward thinking when the Baltimore Orioles did it. Now, it's just common sense.

As Darryl Katz says "it has to be downtown"....

http://revitalizedowntown.ca/answers/#Wh...

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-10 16:08:21

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2011 at 16:13:47

FYI, as early as May, Young was already talking about 'the aldershot side of Hamilton'.

http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/News...

And the city negotiated in bad faith. As if.....

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:30:31

OMG, more of the same, you guys have been jumping all over Troop for this WH site. I am sure he is absolutely fed up with the RTH and many of its members.
If you were actually paying attention to what he said, you might understand.
City council has already decided there is no need for a 6000 seat stadium in the city since Ron Joyce is already filling the need for a stadium of that size.
Da, WH is dead in the water before they even look at it. Troop knows it, city council knows it. The majority of the citizens know it. When is the RTH going to stop reporting what they want to happen, and start telling its members the truth.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 23:31:40

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:42:37

Ron Joyce belong to McMaster University. It does not belong to the city and the Cats only use it for training camp. So McMaster's needs are met, the Cats training campe needs are met - where do amature atheletics events go?

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-20 23:44:00

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:46:03

I'm just ready what Troop and Council said. I am sure Mac is the owner of the stadium. I'am also pretty sure no one else needs a second stadium of this size in the city.
Especially one that will cost a fortune to build at the WH location with almost zero access.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 23:48:36

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