Special Report: Pan Am

Young, Bratina Propose Refurbished Ivor Wynne Stadium

Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young announced an agreement to build a 25,000 seat Pan Am / Ticats stadium on the site of the current Ivor Wynne Stadium.

By RTH Staff
Published January 11, 2011

In a joint press conference at 11:00 AM today, Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young announced an agreement to build a 25,000 seat Pan Am / Ticats stadium on the site of the current Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Ticats would sign a 20-year lease with the City to play at the rebuilt IWS.

Both Hamilton City Council and Toronto 2015, the corporation organizing the Pan Am Games, would have to approve this plan.

The proposal is to demolish and rebuild the south stands, and to renovate the north stands with new seats and other improvements. Young added that there may be opportunities to build more parking on vacant industrial land near the stadium.

Young suggested that the Ticats might play in Toronto during the construction phase.

The Ticats had previously argued that they could not be economically sustainable at Ivor Wynne Stadium, arguing that the location is far from a highway, has poor visibility for naming rights. However, Young claimed today that visibility, automobile access and parking are better at IWS than they are at the City's selected West Harbour site.

The IWS site did not originally the Pan Am requirement to provide a 20 acre warm-up track next to the stadium, but when Toronto 2015 moved Track and Field to Toronto and Soccer to Hamilton, this became a non-issue.

Funding

Young and Bratina say the refurbishment will cost $115 million. That money will come out of $70 million from Toronto 2015 and $45 million from the Future Fund.

It is not yet clear what, if any, capital funding will come from the Ticats or from other private sector partners.

Young said that the team's corporate sponsors, including Molson-Coors and Primus, "have stepped up in a major way".

This plan would leave no money from either Toronto 2015 or the Future Fund to expand the Velodrome into a permanent, full-featured facility. It would also leave no Future Fund money left over to remediate the Barton-Tiffany property in the West Harbour.

Toronto 2015 Criteria

Toronto 2015 has made it clear that the City must present a complete proposal by February 1. The IWS location has the advantage that property ownership, zoning and soil remediation will not be issues.

However, Toronto 2015 has also maintained that the Pan Am stadium money must go to a new facility. It is not yet clear whether they will accept a partially-rebuilt Ivor Wynne.

Another Toronto 2015 criterion is good regional transit access. Ivor Wynne would be much farther from the proposed GO Train station on James North, but it would be much closer to Hamilton's proposed east-west LRT service.

Young believes the proposal meets Toronto 2015's criteria as explained to the team. Toronto 2015 is expected to issue a public statement later today.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:45:32

I would argue that you can have your good regional rail access by putting a station (even a one-sided / no bridges required mini station like GO-Bloor) on the rail line as it passes by IWS about 400m north of the stadium.

Can't wait for the statement from Toronto2015...

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:53:26

Actually that was mentioned in the PC by Bratina, a temporary station like they had at Exhibition Place in Toronto for over 30 years

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:54:54

@myrcurial

While that would be wonderfully convenient for the games, think about what that spot looks like.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?source=s_q&am...

"Yay, I've arrived in Hamilton to see a PanAm games soccer match! Welcome to.... industrial decay, apparently."

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:55:14

GO transit at Gage Ave would be ideal for the neighbourhood.

I like this plan, other than the finances. Now, I worry that we'll get a crappy, temporary velodrome and that the WH will still look like a war zone in 30 years.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:56:55

the spot will always look like that until we re-invest in the neighbourhood. At least there's plenty of land for a station. There's a new bar on Gage - Fat Boys or something. They've got to be excited about this news.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:57:11

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

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

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:58:07

@told you so --- thanks, I'm playing hooky and didn't actually listen in on the pc.

@Zephyr --- ok, you're swaying me.

The remediation costs of the WH site are something to consider for sure... right up there with the Randle Reef remediation which is about 1.2km from Ivor Wynne :)

As a cyclist, I like the idea of a fully enclosed velodrome - even if it's vanishingly unlikely that they'll have roller-rink style "free rides" for non-sporty amateurs like me.

(Damn, hit post too soon -- quickly)

However, with the grand vision for WH, I don't see a response/responsibility for what will happen with the IWS lands.

How do we compromise on future dreams -- one in favour of the other?

Comment edited by myrcurial on 2011-01-11 13:00:18

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:01:37

@Pxtl -- I'd encourage you to have a look at the Exhibition GO station from the same perspective... elevated highway on the south side, industrial wasteland on the north. You can't win them all.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:02:27

"I would argue that you can have your good regional rail access by putting a station (even a one-sided / no bridges required mini station like GO-Bloor) on the rail line as it passes by IWS about 400m north of the stadium."

Better still, continue with GO into the DOWNTOWN Hunter Street Station and just continue on CP right-of-way through the city, have a gameday/Pan-Am stop just east of Ivor Wynne and join up with CN to Niagara just west of Ottawa Street.

We spent millions refurbishing an art-deco landmark right in the heart of downtown, where all the interurban buses arrive and depart, specifically for GO. It's folly to abandon it leaving buses in one place and trains in another.

From a "city-building" perspective (and wasn't that what this was all about in the first place?) GO downtown on Hunter Street is infinitely preferable to any other location.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:02:34

Not only that, why not stop thinking about how it looks today and imagine how it might look tomorrow - lots of potential there!

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:03:57

During the "live chat" with Young/Bratina on the National Post, I asked:

Mr Young, you said the corporate sponsors "have stepped up in a major way". When will we hear if/how much money they're putting in?

The response was:

YOUNG: Matt, Given that those are conversations between two private organizations I cannot assure you the details of those agreements will ever be made public.

This makes me wonder how "major" of a way they've stepped up.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:07:08

@realfreeenterpriser

Obviously you don't actually use GO Train service to the Hunter Street Station.

If you did, you'd know that the restrictions on the line that services that station make it a complete suck job for the people that use it. Due to changing track owners, the train takes FOREVER to get from Aldershot to TH&B. It would cut about 20 minutes off of my commute each way if they were to use the James North station and could actually proceed at speed from Aldershot through Hamilton.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:09:03

@mrgrande --

I again submit (as I did in a previous thread) that according to Scott Mitchell the IWS upgrade will cost $115M. Of that, $45M from Hamilton's Future Fund and $70M from the Feds/Province. This means the stadium upgrade costs will come 100% from PUBLIC money. It also means that all PanAm funds will be fully allocated to keeping the Ti-Cats in Hamilton.

Therefore, I suggest that any private contributions will be towards the Ti-Cats planned "entertainment district". This is what the East Mountain, Aldershot and CP Railyards sites were always about. The Ti-Cats have confirmed NO contribution to the stadium, from themselves or any other investors.

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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:09:32

Dear Mr Bratina,

Once you are finished at Mr Young's petting zoo could please remove your hand from his pants and give yourself a giant facepalm! Hamiltonian's aren't impressed with your lack of vision and constant pandering to the interests of few. Please go back to your old job of keeping the geritols appeased or grow a pair and lead!

Signed,

your ward 8 resident

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:09:41

I like how all these "ideas" are floating around for a temporary GO station, among others.

Tell me, who is going to fund this temporary GO station? Metrolinx? People seem to think that everything we need will just materialize for free. We'll have to buy the land, remediate said land, build a temporary station (probably at the City's expense as Metrolinx has no plans to build a station there currently - it would be too close to the two other new proposed Hamilton stations.

As for LRT, while proposed, my understanding is that they've decided to wait until after the Pan Am games to implement any LRT, so I dont' know how relevant that will be to the Toronto 2015.

And I think the competitive velodrome, the more "unique" of the two facilities because they are so rare in North America, would have been well served by the extra funds, and I'm greatly disappointed that the velodrome might be the next casualty of this stadium mess.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:12:55

Wait... All the money is going to this?

All of it?

cough

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:12:57

@myrcurial
I work right north of the Exhibition Go station, and that "industrial wasteland" is Liberty Village,a bustling neighbourhood of $500k+ condos, renovated brick buildings converted into offices for media, internet, and advertising companies, serviced by TTC, with restaurants, stores and bars. In other words, Hamilton's wet dream!

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:15:08

>...and $45 million from the Future Fund.

Yep... Chewed like it was labeled fun-size. Then "more" will grumble the belly, but... Its $100's of millions to be spent here. And that part is awesome-- Jobs-jobs-jobs!

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-11 13:15:22

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:15:22

This is bull. The Cats blinked and we still handed them the farm. At the very frickin least the Veledrome should be covered with WH remediation.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:17:16

@RobertD - I suspect a permanent Velodrome will be a casualty unless someone has miraculously allocated more money suddenly. I am shocked by the complete lack of vision/negotiating prowess shown by our mayor. Hamilton was completely in the driver's seat in these negotiations as the Ti-Cats were out of options. The Aldershot silliness proved that.

We could chose to build a small community stadium and a velodrome and an athletics stadium on the WH lands and still not spend our entire Future Fund. Or we could blow all the money on renovating IWS.

The choice is STILL there. Just because the mayor chose to hold a premature and ill-advised press conference doesn't mean that this is a done deal. Motions still need to be raised and passed by council. The mayor is not a city dictator.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:20:11

@Pxtl -

As far as we have been told the absolute limit that the Fed/Prov governments will contribute to this project is $70 million. And the city has allocated $45M from the Future Fund. So yes, I think that ALL of the PanAm money is now earmarked for renovating IWS. Do the people of Hamilton understand this? I suspect they do not. And if they did, they would not support it....

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:20:48

@Robert D

Since the decisions on the Niagara line are not yet finalized (at least according to the email I got from Metrolinx this morning) then it is not a foregone conclusion... GO stations are not necessarily expensive or complex... consider the GO "Station" which is located in the parking lot of the plaza adjacent to the Barton interchange on the Red Hill.

And selfishly, I'd love a station at Gage -- a nice easy walk from my house :)

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:23:00

Why do we need to lose the Veledrome? We haven't decided on a location and I beleieve it's between Dundas and the Harbor. I don't know much about Olympic Park in Dundas or how a Veledrome there could benefit that community, but if West Harbor was approved as the location, couldn't we still deal with the land issues there?

The Cats talked about a Legacy fund during CP Railyard talks, that would deal with the Harbor and IWS land ready costs. I wonder if they would still be willing to put together such a program and work with our city to deal with the Harbor issue?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:23:04

Ian Troop told RTH very recently the following:

The Games legacy will be to create much-needed infrastructure which promotes healthy, active communities and high performance amateur athletic development.

Note the key phrase AMATEUR ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT. How does rebuilding IW for the Ticats using the entire Pan Am financial allotment accomplish this goal? I will not be surprised if Hostco says no no to the IW plan.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:23:30

@Ty Webb

A solid wall of brick or sheet tin is still the look if you're standing on the platform.

20 years ago, that area was VERY not nice... it took a lot of focus and a lot of money to achieve Liberty Village... And if Hamilton would focus on brownfield renovation and do the same, the Barton/Gage neighborhood could be as awesome as Toronto's Liberty Village.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:25:48

I agree @mycrucial. My travel time get's cut in half if they implement the Hamilton/Niagara line never mind a Gage/Ottawa Street terminal. I could walk there. It takes me an hour and a half as it stands now, to get to my place of employement off of Burloak Drive. A City bus, a Go Bus, a GO Train, and another city bus. going home is cut by a half-an-hour with every other train coming all the way into Hamilton, but the morning commute is a bugger. I could be in Toronto with those commute times.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:27:31

@lawrence...

The IWS reno would use the entire PanAm funding leaving nothing for the Velodrome.

Previously when the Ti-Cats were proposing a ampitheatre/velodrome for the WH they were proposing that the city take $8M (I think it was) from the Future Fund being used for a new stadium and give it to the WH. They are not proposing this now :) as they seem to want every last dollar.

The Ti-Cats have not proposed spending a penny of their own money on renovating IWS, so I doubt they will be volunteering to support the WH land remediation and projects there...

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:27:37

@Zephyr

Assume that the land at WH was remediated to the point of being "Shovel Ready" -- would we be in a position to better utilize the WH site for something else? Could we create a "Liberty Village" adjacent to James North?

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:30:33

What are the city benefits from this decision ?
The "benefit" of having 10-12 events a year ?
At what cost ?
Can we start thinking from money investment point instead of "where do we spend" ?
If we spend can we spend less to get more ?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:32:48

We MUST save $5-$10 million from the FF for the velodrome at WH. MUST.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:36:56

Why Ti-cats always discuss/count somebody's money and never talk about their contribution, though very clear about their interests ?
Or public does not have interests, they are for spending only ?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:44:26

@transitstudent, but Ivor Wynne is mostly used by the community now, and every other site was supposed to have a community unit to it as well. That was always the plan. Build new or fix up an old stadium, they both accomplish the same thing except this plan is cheaper. It's still in Hamilton, and there is city building opportunities there. A 20 year plan lets business know there is merit to start-ups in this district. Who knows what that message ('20 years'), will carry. That's a long commitment to the community. There are a lot of boarded up factories/storefronts. Who is to say more 'Pearl Company' type projects won't surface because of this commitement to the Ward 3 community. Dare I say a new Barton Street shopping district? I hope so.

This would be a huge victory for our Ward. I suggest we work together to help one another's wards fight their battles and celebrate eachother's victories, instead of putting them down and saying 'what about us.' True, I was saying that too (I won't deny that fact), but the only talks going on about 75 Balsam were of demolishing a crumbling stadium in a dodgy area of Hamilton and build a seniors residence. That's why I wanted to walk people around my neighborhood during my rally. So others could see what I see when I walk with my family around the stadium, and I see much more than a seniors residence.

It's easy to point out what's wrong, but when you allow yourself to be open to what is beautiful amongst what has long been forgotten, you enable yourself to see potential where others just drive by as quick as they can; and I have only lived in the area on and of for 10 years. I'd love to have this conversation with someone who grew up around here. A good long one. I bet they could tell some stories and sell this plan even better than I have. They have seen the hi's and low's, when it was once prosperous, when it wasn't They know why Ivor Wynne works now and always has, and how the current experience can be tweaked to make it even better.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:46:47

So Pan Am funding for the Veledrome is not seperate? I always thought that was something happening on it's own planning and funding wise, seperate from all of this stadium talk? I thought I read recently that HostCo was happy with the way those plans were going?

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:47:48

What about management of the new stadium and its operating costs?

How does this $45m FF expenditure improve the city?

Does anything change? Seems like the same situation.

Not enough detail in this announcement.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-11 14:14:03

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:52:36

Lawrence, there you are. Congrats bro! Folks like you who kept this option in front of council are to be thanked. We could have ended up in Aldershot or the far EM. You must be jazzed. Now, let's stay on them to ensure that it's built well and nicely.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:54:36

@lawrence

  • with travel times like that, you're running longer than I am -- and I work at Yonge and Bloor -- HSR (we don't need no stinkin' schedules), GO Train, Subway

  • seniors centre/residence is proposed for the old Gibson School site at Barton & Gibson - well within electric scooter distance of IWS

  • barton street shopping district -- have you looked at pictures from the day when the HSR had R and step-on / step-off high density living was where it was at? Lovely. Truly a dignified way to live. One of our neighbors (who passed away last year) was born in the house she lived in for 80 some years and told stories of bustling businesses, pro hockey and pro football all within an easy walk of her house. Swoon.

There is so much potential is so much of Hamilton if we could just get the detractors and the whiners out of the way so we could be awesome.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:55:55

Lawrence...

One hell of a ride for you from the start of the roller coaster!

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:56:20

Compare every proposed site and, unless I'm mistaken, this plan equals: the most money from taxpayers and the least money from Bob Young.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:58:58

Great point real. Now you know why BY doesn't really like the site.

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By BS (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:59:17

I call BS like there's no tomorrow on this! What ever happened to not being able to make off IWS? Or WH was not an option because it's similarities to IWS?

BS!

I'm emailing council right now and telling them that West Harbour is still the best/only option for Hamilton. It NEEDS to be cleaned up NOW!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:00:06

@myrcurial,

Yes, I think remediating the land in the West Harbour would do a LOT of good. I think a lot of people would be shocked to learn how quickly the North End is becoming a desirable neighbourhood to live in. People are buying up lots and putting up new homes, etc... several projects on the go right now.

My house is a bit small for me, and worth much more than when I bought it 9 years ago, but I am not willing to leave this neighbourhood as I love it.

By the way, I also want a GO train at the proposed WH site, as I also commute into Toronto for work :)

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:00:08

@Lawrence, your confusion about the velodrome is understandable.

The funding currently earmarked for the velodrome is sufficient to have a fabric over steel frame structure which would not be suitable for year-round use, and likely have a significantly limited lifespan. Toronto 2015 noted that, if less money were spent on a stadium, then they could reallocate the funds they earmarked to the stadium (and the city earmarked to the stadium) to create a more "permanent" year round facility for the velodrome.

With the IWS proposal using all the Toronto 2015 funding allocated to it by the city and the various levels of government, the velodrome must look elsewhere (private fundraising?) to try and upgrade the facility to something more permanent.

*****

As for someone talking about remediation in the west harbour now making the area "shovel ready" my sense was the remediation was sufficient for a stadium use, but additional remediation would be required for residential/office use (I think).

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:00:39

"the most money from taxpayers and the least money from Bob Young"
=
all the risk up to taxpayers

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:02:48

@lawrence -

NO, funding for the Velodrome is NOT seperate. As confirmed by interviews with Ian Troop on this very website, if Hamilton opted to build a smaller (6,000 seat) stadium, then the cost savings could be put to an expanded Velodrome/community athletics centre.

But as it stands the IWS reno is using up all available PanAm money.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:05:15

@RobertD - yes, you are right about the remediation costs - less for a stadium, but significantly more for residential use.

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:05:24

I must confess to some confusion. I thought it was clear that Bob Young needs a stadium a lot more than Hamilton needs a football team. Why are we capitulating on our chosen site, giving up the city-building potential of remediating Rheem, and accepting a plan that eats up our entire Future Fund and entails no financial commitment from Mr. Young?

Actually, I'm not confused after all.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:05:49

Zephyr,

But as it stands the IWS reno is using up all available PanAm money

Then I don't understand why a velodrome was discussed during the WH talks. That too (WHS) would have used up all the money according to your statement. I'm trying to follow you but your last post isn't making sense for me.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:08:20

@mrjanitor No, the total cost of a scalable WH stadium with 6,000 seats was to be around $60M. According to Ian Troop, the cost savings could have been used to build a permanent Velodrome (instead of the temporary one proposed for the PanAm games usage).

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:09:59

So over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over - the Tiger Cats, Spec and CHML have been telling everyone the Federal and Provincial contribution was $100 million.

$100 million plus $45 million = $145 million. So I say we take the remaining $30 million and invest it in WH...........unless of course maybe that regurgitated $100 million number was a straight up freaking lie from day 1......

In which case - are you really going to trust the TigerCats and their yes-men now...???

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:10:26

@George wrote:
> What about management of the new stadium and its operating costs?

I would note we already have Ivor Wynne on the books, so that's not new allocation.

> How does this $45m FF expenditure improve the city?

It's all going into the city's existing property value, to create more taxes, which was the goal.

> Does anything change? Seems like the same situation.

By 2016, there will have been a quarter of a $ billion spent in an area of Hamilton that otherwise would not expect an extra dime in that time..
The impact will be enormous, as no other use for the Future Funds could bring in 5x in additional cash to the pot.

IMHO, It's about landing the US Senate pork-size stimulus right here, in the heart of our tax-hole. Instead of being a draw on our city books, it will all add to them... Land value taxes, income taxes, sales taxes.

Comment edited by Wentworthst on 2011-01-11 14:10:48

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:12:00

@PseudonymousCoward -

If you put it like that, it makes it seem like our mayor has no business sense whatsoever :)

Still can't believe he held a press conference to announce that the Ti-Cats are now willing to accept $115M of public money to renovate their stadium, while contributing none of their own money to said stadium.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:12:18

Zephyr,

You are purposely creating confusion and misinformation by talking about a 6000 seat stadium compared to the current subject of a 25,000 seat stadium. Could you please specify which one you are talking about before you post, it will keep the discussion clear.

EDIT: Apologies to Zephyr, there is a specification about 6000 seats.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-11 14:16:32

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:13:06

@Simon - the fed/provincial contribution is capped at $70M, I believe -- as confirmed by Ian Troop. But I might be confused -- who wouldn't be by now?

Can anyone clarify?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:13:08

@Jason. Thanks. I am jazzed - and I love jazz. Gonna add to my jazzy frame of mind and listen to some Slim Gaillard. When do we hear from HostCo?

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:14:00

As Hamilton has limited budget and quite a few problems, my option would be to invest wisely, and where we can get more and faster return for the money.
When we have a stronger financial position proceed with more ambitious projects.
No doubt IW and the neighbourhood needs to be addressed.
But it looks like it's a bit too much of a project, that can eat up all the development money.
And here we back to ground zero again.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:16:54

@Zephyr

I'm not shocked about the awesomeness that is "North of Barton" -- I live there too, and my house is smaller than I'd like, but it's a pretty awesome house that my family has made into a home and has been standing for a hundred years and will likely be standing long after the row house (minimum code standard) we inhabited in Mississauga has fallen down.

So - assuming that the "adults" who inhabit council negotiate and get the best of both worlds... a renovated IWS which has money from Toronto2015 and the TiCats covering more than $0 and Future Fund money to remediate the WH site to "you can build houses and live/work buildings in the style of the rest of North Hamilton" which I would argue shouldn't be higher than that of the stadium level remediation -- ie: they only have to clean it up to the level of the rest of residential Hamilton, not to the 'standard', unless they want to clean up my backyard too :) -- do we have a win/win/win/win for everyone?

Or do we (as someone else said) believe in something so hard and fight to keep The One True Vision for so long that we're left with none of the above?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:17:53

@mrjanitor -- I don't think that you know that my motive is to purposefully create confusion in this discussion -- I can assure you that it is not.

I've been speaking of a 6,000 seat community stadium for the WH the entire time. I don't believe in using public money to build a stadium to benefit a private business, when said private business is contributing no funds whatsoever. AND said private business is already a corporate welfare recipient.

I think we should use this rare opportunity for fed/prov investment dollars into our city to build a more sustainable and visionary legacy for this community than an IWS renovation. If we build a scalable 6,000 seat stadium and the Ti-Cats can come up with a plan to bridge the financial gap through their own money/corporate sponsors, that is the time to talk to them. Until then we should proceed with leveraging the fed/prov tax dollars to build a community stadium/velodrome.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:18:02

If the Ticats kick in $20 million so we can hold back $20 million to remediate Barton Tiffany, count me IN just to get this steaming pile of policy off the table.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:18:59

@Zephr. Thanks for clearing that up. Surely they don't need the entire $115M for an Ivor Wynne reno? We do need to remember where this all began - in the Harbor. If $8M is all that is required to make the Veledrome something to be proud of and leave a sports legacy for more than just football and perhaps soccer if we get a team, then surely there is room in the stadium plans for that. I would think a lot of people could walk away from this whole process very happy if we looked at both the IW and Harbor properties. Cats fans and neighbors get to save their team/stadium, and the Harbor get's a jumpstart to their setting sails plan.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:21:10

Before we start passing around shovels and digging at Balsam, does anyone have any idea how councilors are reacting to this proposal? I ask because I was under the impression that there was a significant chunk of council who were already on rocky terms with Mayor Bob. If that's the case, I would expect that an email at 5.45am informing them of a deal before they've ever had a chance to debate or vote on it, would not go over particularly well.

Compounding this (in my view) breach of democratic process, how will other councilors feel about committing the entire Future Fund to build a less-than-optimal home for a perennial corporate welfare recipient? How many councilors can feel good about this Bob-to-Bob gift of $115M, especially if comes at the expense of a viable Velodrome?

But most disgusting of all is the thought of what we give up in order to placate the millionaire who seems to run the show in this town: the opportunity to clean up toxic land, and the possibility of making an investment in our own community at a time when poverty & joblessness have chipped away at its foundations.

In my view, this latest corporate welfare plan is not just an unsound investment, and a perversion of democracy, but it's also completely unethical. Hopefully tomorrow our representatives remember to whom they are accountable and rightfully shoot this plan down.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:22:44

Borrelli, if it bothers you, this plan, then I would be on the phone immediately telling your councillor to vote this down.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:23:00

@myrcurial,

Perhaps we are reverse NIMBYs ... we both want to see investment dollars (and associated spin-offs) in our respective backyards.

By the way, I like the Gage park area very much - nice houses at great prices and a beautiful park there.

Funny about the housing comment. I've put quite a bit of money into my little 100-year-old brick home -- to some of my relatives' chagrin. But I've been vindicated in my belief in the North End neighbourhood.

I am completely open to compromise. But caving in to the Ti-Cats like this is truly absurd. I hope there are some business people on council. Will you be at the meeting on Wednesday by the way?

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:23:35

Done and done, HamiltonFan. I was just about to edit my comment to suggest the same.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:23:36

Wentworthst wrote:

I would note we already have Ivor Wynne on the books, so that's not new allocation.

But shouldn't we be trying to change that situation? Why invest $45m if we're still going to pay for the Tiger-Cats to play there?

It's all going into the city's existing property value, to create more taxes, which was the goal.

How? All I see right now is $155m of public funds going towards demolishing and rebuilding the south stands. Granted we need more details, especially about the private sector investment.

By 2016, there will have been a quarter of a $ billion spent in an area of Hamilton that otherwise would not expect an extra dime in that time.. The impact will be enormous, as no other use for the Future Funds could bring in 5x in additional cash to the pot.

Quarter of a billion? All I've seen mentioned is $115m. Where is the other $135m coming from?

IMHO, It's about landing the US Senate pork-size stimulus right here, in the heart of our tax-hole. Instead of being a draw on our city books, it will all add to them... Land value taxes, income taxes, sales taxes.

What am I missing? All I see us landing is $70m from HOSTCO.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-11 14:24:54

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:23:49

@nobrainer & @lawrence

Great Minds Think Alike --- but do you think that our (re)elected representatives have that level of vision?

@Zephyr

What say you to the "Clean it up and Set Sails AGAIN" plan for Bartany... or is that Tiffton?

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:24:22

Oh ya - Prov and Fed contribution is - and always has been $70. But that's not what the TiCats, CHML, the Spec et all have been repeating over and over and over everytime the newest greatest stadium location was announced.

I would just like Bill Kelly et al to explain what happened to $100 million dollars???

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:27:28

@Borrelli --

I, like you, expect that the Mayor has stepped on alot of toes on council with this trick. It is just not on to call a press conference to announce a deal before a motion has been raised at council.

I suspect the mayor thinks he's clever. Get the people of Hamilton behind him and then council won't dare oppose it for fear of looking like they are the cause of costing the city their beloved Ti-Cats.

But anyone with a rudimentary business sense understands that the Ti-Cats have nowhere to go anyways.

Perhaps the Mayor's stunt will backfire. I will be a proud Hamiltonian tomorrow if our council decides to support the residents of Hamilton rather than corporate interests.

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-11 14:33:56

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By Aaron Simpson (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:27:36

Let Mayor Bratina know how you feel about this

Rate My Politician - Hamilton, Ontario

http://www.squidoo.com/rate-my-politician-hamilton-ontario

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By BS (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:29:07

Scott Park area needs to be transformed into a new way of thinking, residential-wise.

I know I'm crazy for thinking like this in Hamilton, but why not a Regent Park type re-development for the Ivor Wynn lands?

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/regentparktwo.jpg

Last thing we need is for Scott Park to be paved over so Bob Young can monopolize parking.

West Harbour is still the only choice!
TiCats have caved! Now it's our time to dictate this fiasco! FINALLY!

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By vonacle (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:29:10

I just sent this to McHattie and Bratina, what do you think?

Dear Mr McHattie, and Mr Bratina, I heard the news about Ivor Wynn being the apparent solution on the stadium debacle. At first, I thought it sounded like a great solution, but having thought it through, and having read this article and especially the comments below it, I really am even more concerned about the way this whole matter has been handled. http://raisethehammer.org/article/1281

I really do think Hamiltonians, as municipal, provincial and federal taxpayers have been treated with contempt in all of this. If, as it would appear, this is being funded with 100% public money, then I believe Bob Young OWES it to Hamiltonians to at the very least come clean about what his corporate sponsors are coughing up. If it’s “major” we, as owners and financers of this thing, are entitled to know how major.
I sincerely hope they have not bankrupted our future fund in all of this. If all of the provincial, federal and future fund monies are to be used up via this route then at the very least it should go to public ballot. Considerable municipal money has been spent already on the west harbour site, and Bob Young’s last minute bombshell about the “unsuitability” of that site still has most Hamiltonians stinging. We feel as if the whole process has been hijacked, and our opinions have been made to seem unimportant at best, an irritating noise at worst.

WE should be allowed to decide between West Harbour and Ivor Wynn. There are pros and cons to both sites (and I count the TigerCats as both a pro and a con!) but please ask for citizens to be shown the respect we are due.

Many thanks, A Proud Hamiltonian

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:29:45

@Borrelli wrote:
> Does anyone have any idea how councilors are reacting to this proposal?

That made me smile... Good point, sir. I'd bet even they don't, so...

Yesterday, 11 of 'em had Mark Cripps voting us East of Eden. But, these are The Bobs talking in unison, and at least one of them has power, right?

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:30:29

@george -- I think @wentworthst was referring to not just the money to build, but the money that will be spent by attendees at the PanAm games... The lineup at the Barton&Lottridge McDs (recently renovated and looks pretty good) is going to be epic.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:32:36

@myrcurial,

I say build a community stadium and let the Ti-Cats and their "major corporate sponsors" make up the difference. The PanAm funds are for a lasting amateur athletics legacy for this community. Hamilton's Future Fund is to build our community, especially focussing on a strong and vibrant downtown. It should never have been about the Ti-Cats.

The WH is the logical choice. But if the majority of Hamiltonians want it to be at the IWS site, that's fine with me. But what is NOT fine is that my tax dollars and Hamilton's Future Fund be used to renovate IWS and build a parking lot, and then let any Ti-Cat contribution be for an entertainment precinct that would benefit them and their corporate hangers-on. I cry foul and corruption if that is the plan. And I see nothing to indicate that it is not the plan as there is not a dollar of contribution to the stadium refit committed by the Ti-Cats or their corporate sponsors as yet.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:35:35

>@george -- I think @wentworthst was referring to not just the money to build, but the money that will be spent by attendees at the PanAm games... The lineup at the Barton&Lottridge McDs (recently renovated and looks pretty good) is going to be epic.

Well, yes, likely in just gross... But people tend to forget in economic math, money gets spent more than one. We spend it on the materials, the builders, they spend it on... And it was about raking it back in taxes eventually, which happens through-out to the pork.

Really-- its either have a little more or a little less faith in Hamilton; we will get paid on this white elephant, its not coming from inside. (Sorry Oakville & North York, but, its spent already now.)

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-11 14:36:49

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:42:52

@Zephyr

Violent agreement is a good thing.

Either way, I think we need a commitment to build on one site and make the other suitable for homes.

And I'd go as far as saying that they need to assume the old Consumers Glass site and make it part of the plan either way. This ensures that the Future Fund is used to do the right thing wrt remediation... making huge swaths of Hamilton habitable again.

It's all rather tangled in my mind at this point... we're at a cusp as a city and we NEED council to do the right thing.

  • be appropriately supportive of the stakeholders (taxpayers, citizens in need of a little additional pride, even corporate (-:|3 )
  • remediate the property that isn't used for a stadium to make it suitable for a matched housing development (not popup or mcmansions, but homes that blend in to the surrounding neighborhoods and maintain the street grid)
  • virulently enforce the property bylaws - if it's commercial streetwall, it should be in rent-able condition, you can't use your land for an industrial dump, etc.
  • be transparent for a change

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:42:52

I do hope Scott Park field isn't paved over. There insn't a lot of parkland around there, minus kids crossing a couple of major intersections to go to Gage Park. The tailgating experience is exceptional the way it is. Look to see if Parkview can be bought first, for a parking garage, before paving over all that parkland. I know beggars can't be choosers, but just because there seems to be a solution, doesn't mean we still don't want to be involved in this process. Take a step back and see what needs to be saved first, what people cherish about the current experience, before paving it all over/demolishing it. South stands I can see. East endzone I can see. Brian Timmis I can see. Scott Park, not so fast.

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By Hipgnosis (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:54:36

Isn't this a brilliant way for Mayor Bob to make it seem as though he didn't lose the Cats? Wasn't he on record as stating that he didn't want to be the Mayor who lost them? In my mind it seems as though Bratina is trying to position it so that if in the end Council says 'NO' or if HOSTCO says 'NO' then at least he wouldn't be the one seen to be at fault. The reality is that he has flip-flopped from one location to the next. This is the 4th(?) location that he has supported. At least guys like Merulla, as much as I hate to say it, and McHattie have been consistent throughout.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:57:03

Well I respect flexibility and open mindedness with a project of this magnitude and order rather than bull headedness ie. no thinking, just this way and that's it. I call that neandrathalism but to each their own on how they wish to view behaviour in this situation.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 14:57:43

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:59:29

I'll stop singing about why I like gov-pork (when we're paying to feed people already-- its a philosophy). And I agree it could go the other way when we aren't careful or responsible. Its why the public debate itself is healthy.

Borrelli is right; what about council? Any speculation on the votes with Bob Bratina on this? When I think about it, I can't see how Wards 2 & 3 aren't a Yes at the end on Ivor Wynne.

Anyone better at guessing the others have a strong hunch?

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-11 15:01:37

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:01:32

lawrence wrote

Look to see if Parkview can be bought first, for a parking garage.

To be used how often?

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:12:28

Demo Parkview School? check out this article

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/9048--parkview-gives-city-s-poorest-children-hope

speaking of thinking about people...

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:17:25

goin'downtown, sure it's a school now, but wouldn't it better serve the community as a parking garage?

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:19:19

I do hope Scott Park field isn't paved over. There insn't a lot of parkland around there

From what I could tell, Scott Park and Brian Timmins, are going to be demo'd for the "sports precinct."

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:21:40

@mrgrande -

Parking is absolutely key in planning high-density urban neighbourhoods. I used to live in San Francisco, for example, and it used to take me 20 minutes to find a parking space every time I ventured downtown in my car... and .... and... San Fran is one of the few cities to escape the housing downturn in the US. Never mind :)

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:23:22

Interesting comments from Drew Edwards live coverage this morning:



Young:"Confident that will put the Ticats on firm financial footing in the future."

Young: "It would have been really nice for Hamilton to build a new stadium... but we do not have the funding."

Young: "I'm excited to announce that our corporate sponsors have stepped up in a major way."

Young: "More and more revenue is coming from broadcast and over the internet."

Young: "It is the whole district we are talking about renovating." Mentions nearby nearby industrial lands.

Hostco reaction: Young: "We have had long discussions with them. They have given us parameters as to what they would accept. This falls within those parameters."

Young: Infrastructure Ontario will build it.

Grey Cup: "An absolute requirement." says Young

Young: "I give Hostco credit for being very clear."

Drew Edwards: Here's the situation as I understand it:

- Project with be a renovated northside stands and new south side and end zones.
- money comes from PanAm ($70 million) and city of Hamilton ($45 million) as well as undetermined Ticat contribution.
- parking spots about 1,500 according to Mitchell
- footprint includes existing IWS, Scott Park and Brain Timmins Stadium.



http://www.thespec.com/news/article/320016--spec-live-future-of-ticats

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:23:27

What is a "sports precinct" anyways. Does it mean sports bars with lots of big screens where people can consume beer and high-fat foodstuffs while watching other people play sports on their behalf?

If so, great amateur sports legacy for our PanAm dollars....

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:28:25

I guess I am just confused, I thought Scott Park was privately owned. So do we have now to pay to expropriate Scott Park? If we use all the Future Fund money on this, then the Barton/Tiffany property is just going to sit and rot for another ???? years?

Again, an eleventh hour 'solution' with barely time for true due diligence...all with a very narrow focus.

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By Al C (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:40:15

BMO Field cost $63 million to construct. The figure being thrown around for a new IWS is $115 million. Why the huge difference? If they use the existing North stands, a significant portion is already built!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:46:04

Bratina on CHCH at 5:30 on Square Off

Also, MPP Sophia Aggelonitis was just on CHCH with Donna Skelly and she said, more than once, that it is now up to council. So it seems to me that Toronto 2015 (formerly HOSTCO) is on board with this.

Council has to approve this. If not, what are we to do with the ailing IWS?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:46:09

@Andrea - they could be referring to Scott Park (the park with three baseball diamonds on it) not Scott Park (the school). The park is still city land, and is about half the land the school resides on.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:46:32

@Andrea wrote:
>I thought Scott Park was privately owned. So do we have now to pay to expropriate Scott Park?

I was wondering about that part too; this came up in the election here, and it wasn't simple or we would have worked it out by now.

It may have been land-speculated for just this reason, and our existing humble plans for Scott Park couldn't cover the that kind of commercial pay-off.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:47:57

At Al C - Do we want a rickety BMO like stadium ?

I don't.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:49:44

Thanks for the clarification, now I must definitely get on the phone to my Coucillor to inquire about the Seniors' Centre that was slated for that space.

http://www.berniemorelli.ca/index.php?op...

New Scott Park Seniors/Family Complex A major proposal to construct this Centre in the Scott Park/Ivor Wynne area was presented by me to City Council and was recently unanimously approved by Council. The initial cost of $1.2 million for feasibility, planning and design work has now been alocated and work has now started. Neighbourhood consultation with various stakeholders (i.e. Seniors, Families, etc.) will begin in Winter 2010/2011. This new Seniors/Family Centre will be a state of the art facility for the people and families of the Lower Inner City core area.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:50:20

So if the Scott Park parklands were to become a parking lot, I wonder where the Scott Park baseball teams would play? Particularly the baseball players/t-ball players/moms/dads who walk there now, which is how joining a baseball league was made affordable for them.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:51:22

Zephyr wrote:

What is a "sports precinct" anyways. Does it mean sports bars with lots of big screens where people can consume beer and high-fat foodstuffs while watching other people play sports on their behalf?

If so, great amateur sports legacy for our PanAm dollars..

From what little is known so far, I gather that the $115m of public money goes towards the stadium, and that the other "sports precinct" stuff will be private ventures.

If so, that's cool.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-11 16:06:46

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:53:06

@goin'downtown

Same place all those soccer clubs that play at Brian Timmis Stadium are going. They're the eggs in this omelette.

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:53:40

"the Barton/Tiffany property is just going to sit and rot for another ???? years?"

Andrea...welcome to ward 3's world.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:57:32

I'am going to reserve judgement on this latest proposal. Having said that, I'm encouraged by the idea that this could include re-development of vacant and underutilized lands from King Street to the CN rail line.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:58:44

@George -

But it seems that all we are getting for our $115M is.... a prettified Ivor Wynne. And then Bob Young is leveraging that investment to lure some "major corporate sponsors" to partner up with him to build this mythical "sports precinct" in which they will collect all revenues.

Wondering if they really believe that building a few bars and sports stores will really suddenly attract the hordes of eager spenders, when 80 years of IWS have failed to do so previously.

My argument is that a significant investment on the WH WOULD lure hordes of investors eager to build condos, offices, etc. Because no matter how optimistic your vision is, I don't think anyone really envisions condo-dwellers and young urban professionals hankering to live near Bob's Sports Precinct. Whereas young urban professionals are eager to live near the beautiful harbour.

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By Al C (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:10:28

@CaptainKirk,
I could accept a rickety BMO type stadium, if it meant freeing up $30M for brownfield remediation and community sports facilities.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:12:15

Zephyr wrote:

But it seems that all we are getting for our $115M is.... a prettified Ivor Wynne. And then Bob Young is leveraging that investment to lure some "major corporate sponsors" to partner up with him to build this mythical "sports precinct" in which they will collect all revenues.

I'm ok with that. Especially if it leads to private investment in the area such that the it's financially feasible for the tiger-cats to assume operating costs. In that case we all win to a degree.

Wondering if they really believe that building a few bars and sports stores will really suddenly attract the hordes of eager spenders, when 80 years of IWS have failed to do so previously.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

My argument is that a significant investment on the WH WOULD lure hordes of investors eager to build condos, offices, etc. Because no matter how optimistic your vision is, I don't think anyone really envisions condo-dwellers and young urban professionals hankering to live near Bob's Sports Precinct. Whereas young urban professionals are eager to live near the beautiful harbour.

Agreed 100%. That is something I would like too, but the sad fact remains that there is not enough money to build a CFL sized stadium there. How was that to be resolved?

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:16:07

Worst decision... ever!

I heard BY speak for the first time today. Am I the only one that thinks he sometimes sounds like the Comicbook Guy from the Simpsons? Is it an accent? I'm confused by the downvotes. I don't mean this as an insult. I'm asking, out of curiosity, if others notice the same thing.

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-01-11 16:31:28

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:16:32

@Zephyr

The city has made significant investment in the west harbour area already, and despite massive investment we're seeing basically rejuvination based on normal housing markets, because of people not businesses. No massive corporate investments other than one mid-rise condo. The business world doesn't give a crap about downtown Hamilton, and no amount of government potlatch is going to change that. They're too busy squabbling for office space alongside the Queen Elizabeth Wall-of-traffic.

Saying "ooooh, maybe we'll get corporate offices if we build a stadium there" is absurd.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-01-11 16:17:06

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:18:54

" don't think anyone really envisions condo-dwellers and young urban professionals hankering to live near Bob's Sports Precinct"

No one thought that anyone would buy condos or anything in Regent Park in Toronto either. 100x worse than ward 3. But that ideology is beginning to change as well.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:20:08

I'd rather have a proud world class re-purposed re-constructed IW that preserves history and invests in a Code Red area than a velo. And a stadium that keeps the cats and allows us to remain in the big leagues.

Go to the Forest City Velo in London if you want to ride around in circles. and keep in mind the rules, you can't take you road beater on the track.

here's on rule from their website..... Can I use my own bike on the track?

A bike acceptable for use on the track cannot have brakes and must have a fixed gear. There has to be enough clearance for a 2x4 wooden stud set on its end to fit between the bottom of the pedal and the ground when the bike is upright and the pedal is in its lowest position. The bike must have dropped handlebars. And if it has quick release hubs the levers must be taped to the frame. Track bikes of various sizes are available for rental. A track bike must not have brakes, Ya like lots of you cyclists have bikes without brakes. You'll need to buy a special velo bike.

It costs $20 to ride around it and if you don't have a proper velo bike you can rent a track bike for $10. $30 of maybe a one-time thing you'd do but not a successful community venue. Perhaps elite races, but it would compete with Toronto and London's velos for events. With 3,000 seats how much money would a race bring in? It would be such a white elephant in Hamilton. It's for competitive cycling not riding around on street beaters. Or if you're serious you can buy a bike exclusively for velo racing and spend the $100s plus track fees.

I'd forego the velo and build a super awesome IW. and continue with Setting Sail Secondary Plan at WH.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:20:42

Since Bob Young mentioned specifically that nearby industrial lands would be involved, would the remediation of Consumers Glass and the potential that might bring be equal to a similar remediation of the Rheem property? As a ward 3 resident I'd be doing cartwheels if thats the case and the Barton Gage area were to see a major financial commitment by anyone

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:24:56

George, I don't want to see anything happen to Parkview either. I know one of the teachers there. Our band performed there recenttly. The teachers and students were great to us. The talks seem to be that it is closing, so if that is true, that land could be encorporated into the stadium. I agree with the quesiton 'to be used how often?' I don't know the answer to that one. It doesn't have to tower above the houses. Even just a few levels for players, coaching and stadium staff, reporters, etc.

My question is where do those students go? That was a very touching article that makes it even more obvious, that that school is needed. The minute I heard of it's closure I wanted to know how that school could be saved. I know it doesn't seem like it with me jumping on tearing it down and building a parking garage. I know I took offence when people talked about ripping down Ivor Wynne and buildig a seniors residence. Nothing against seniors residences, but it just didn't seem to be the proper replacement. Just like I am sure to many, a parking garage wouldn't be the replacement of Parkview they had invisioned. At 300 students, do they need a school that large? Cna't invision how much of that lot is Parkview, and what is actually part of the school behind it off of Gage?

I think there is great value to that school being across the street, but it seems to need a lot of work so let's do something with it. When you read that story, you realize it ads something to the community. It highlights the stadium being in the middle of a community, the churches making money for their charities from Cats games, etc. It all creates a nice synergy in a very special way. Community is truly alive and well in that neighborhood, so this stadium project if it comes to fruition, needs to encorporate as much of this as posible. Embrace it all.

That story reminds me of the book 'Twas' (sequel to Angela's Ashes), by Frank McCourt. Great novel by the way.

There was a lot of hootin' and hollering going on when our band played at Parkview. Not for us mind you (laughing). They were just a fun bunch of kids, and the teachers put on an entertaining show as well. I have never seen so many guitars and amps in one place. I wish we could have stayed for the whole show to see what kind of talent was in that room.

I apppoligize if I offended anyone with talks of clearing Parkview. I certainly meant no disrespect. The principle sounds like an amazing man. I have had compassionate teachers like him. They truly do make a world of difference. John Wismer was one of those teachers for me. He might have just saved my life in a round about way.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:25:45

I actually live in Ward 3 - and not ALL of the area should be painted with the broad sweeping stroke of ghettoization :-)

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:28:12

Thanks for that Trey. I don't know much about Veledromes. I used to love cycling and running around our old Barton track. Now that was world class. :) Actually, Hillpark was a great track to ride/run around. Is that still there? Been awhile since I have been up to that kneck of the woods.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:32:12

Parkview needs to be closed. My daughter-in-law's sister goes there and I've voted there several times. That building is beyond repairing. Its outlived its usefulness. Granted you can't just close a school and not replace it but given the size and location of the property plus the need for major investment to keep it useable its unlikely that IWS will have much to do with the relocation of Parkview's student body

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By George (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:40:28

Has anyone heard any details regarding this?

Young: "It is the whole district we are talking about renovating." Mentions nearby industrial lands.

What industrial lands? DomGlass? For what exactly?

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-11 16:41:12

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:42:28

I very much like the idea of investing in and redeveloping an institution and neighbourhood that we already have. No, any housing developments that are created won't resemble what would be built at the WH, but...we're just not there yet. It's still a got great neighbourhood vibe and historic charm. And when there's so much adversity about an issue...it drains the spirit as well as the pocketbook.

On a positive note, all those wonderful design plans a la White Star et al sure got people's juices flowing, whether they be creativity or funding. I think condo's and an amphitheatre and ent't district are on the horizon, just not this one. And as much as I'd also love to see the beach revitalized, maybe it's just not the right time.

The downtown is revitalizing itself, with or without the Pan Am Games (which I think is an excellent opportunity for Hamilton to get some much-needed attention).

I am worried about the price tags the IWS re-design incites; my gawd, from whom are we receiving quotes?

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By Steve (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:45:09

@Andrea,

Let us know what you find out about Scott Park from the councillor.

The councillor has always been vague on these plans for a Seniors/Family Complex (Also, I guess single people don't get to use it). There was, and has not been, any ask of the community for input on such a project.

I'm betting this IWS rebuild plan has thrown a big wrench into his longterm plans, that he hasn't shared with anyone in the community.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:48:52

Building a velo is a specific single use, type of style of cycling. It's like a building a bobsled track at WH. Would the everyday Hamiltonian take their toboggan to an elite bobsled tack? No. First they need to have the proper equipment and insurance. Buy track time and treat it seriously like you're training for a competitive sport. It's not a fun day riding your bike in circles. A velo like a bobsled track is not a real 'community use' venue. It's for serious athletes who are training for big competitions.

This velo would be a huge drain on taxes, much more than HECFI is. Think I'm wrong? Wait if it gets built and I will bring thic comment up, when we close it down, just like the white elephant Discovery Center on WH. At least the land will be clean and we can begin again with Setting Sail.

Forget the velo and use the money to clean the Rheem site and to seed Setting Sail.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:55:42

The velo is sexy, sexy, sexy...no argument there. I'd like to see it in Hamilton however it is not a deal breaker for me. I agree that it is a very specialized discipline that won't be open to the average Hamiltonian. I can envision many competitive cyclists coming from the Golden Horseshoe 10 years after construction, but is that reason enough to build it.

I don't see it as a huge attraction at all, but I do understand and respect that it is something unique and amazing.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 16:56:10

First of all, to repeat again what I stated before, the Pan Am investment was designed, in Ian Troop's own words, to provide a legacy for amateur sports development. Now, not only are we foregoing investment in a unique facility in a permanent velodrome, we are going to bulldoze Brian Timmins field in order to placate the professional sports tenant? Brian Timmins field, which incidentally in case you've all forgotten, was one of the stated reasons why a smaller stadium at WH was unnecessary because we had similar sized facilities in town already (a half truth since McMaster's stadium is privately owned btw, to re-repeat).

No one has adequately addressed this concern about abandoning amateur sports legacy in the IW plan.

Secondly, there has been (at least to me) a surprising lack of comment on Bob Young's lack of firm financial commitment in any way to this scheme. I suppose this is just business as usual from BY so perhaps we're all numb to it. But lets be clear once again, that BY is getting $115 Million of public dollars given to him for free in order to attract ancillary investment and corral all of those profits into his own pocket. And our visionary mayor Bob, who recently commented that "you'll see more and more traditional events leaving the downtown", is complicit in all of this.

This is not about picking one ward over another, as was suggested about my earlier post. This is about getting bang for our public buck, in particular the Future Fund. I think that despite what I've said, reno-ing IW is actually not a bad idea, and it does have potential to boost the area, and in that I can support it. However that's not the whole story and the whole story leaves a very very bad taste in my mouth.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:00:41

Trey S, the Discovery Centre was opened by the Federal Government, and they turned the lease over to the Hamilton Waterfront Trust. I wasn't aware city funds had been used for it?

In my mind, the importance of the velo lies in exactly what you stated: It's for serious atheltes training for big competition. What if Hamilton attracted cyclists? What if Canadians who were serious about cycling and wanted to do it competitively had to come to Hamilton to get their training experience? How much more would that put us on the map? Suddenly we become a cycling city. This leads to more competitive international cycling events being held in Hamilton (and we benefit from the associated spinoff).

Talk to someone who cycles professionally, (most of those organizations are closely involved with the velodrome planning) and ask them why they're so excited about it, and what it has the potential to do. Then maybe you'll have a more balanced view of things.

I'm not saying such a discussion would win you over completely, but it would allow you to understand the other side more than I believe you currently do.

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:04:18

> “Although this may be a solution, I must object to the process. Holding a press conference to announce an agreement that has not been received or presented to the elected councillors is disappointing and premature."
Brad Clark
http://www.thespec.com/news/article/319951--ticats-choose-ivor-wynne

I'll take that as undecided. And not happy tomorrow.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:11:24

From the National Post chat:

Hi, I'm from Hamilton and the problem I see with this is the same problem you had before. People don't want to come down to that part of Hamilton, the North End it is not a nice area - people from Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Burlington and Oakville (i.e. people of affluence and means) do not want to venture into this area. - Andrew

Response from BY:

YOUNG: Andrew, True Hamiltonians embrace our blue-collar brand in this city. I don't know any Hamiltonians who have ever expressed concerns about the neighbourhood.

F this a-hole. Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth. For months anything lower city was unthinkable to these snake oil salesmen, now that they're out of options and their "regional team" BS didn't get them what they wanted, they're back to sucking our collective you-know-whats.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-11 17:12:25

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:15:11

Where did this idea that the 'Velodrome' is dead come from. Short on funding for a more permanent structure, but far from dead. Future Fund earmarked $15 for this venue if I'm not mistaken.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:27:24

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

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

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 17:27:49

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By Mando (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:39:58

There was a plan put together by city staff regarding the IWS site which would include mixed residential commercial and recreational properties which would in turn generate up to 7 mil into the city's hand what I can't remember is if this included tax revenues to the city. With the velodrome we have a unique situation with the right design as was brought up through the consultation process this facility would actually put Hamilton on the world map especially after the success of the World Road Cycling Championships. Council approved a $60 mill commitment $55 mill for capital and site costs for the stadium and $5 mill for capital cost towards the velodrome the original planned for a temporary velodrome at an estimated cost of $11.4 mill the other 6.4 mill to be provided by HOSTCO at the present time with the permanent velodrome being proposed there is a $15 mill shortfall not including land.
As far as I can see the WH site still provides the most return for our dollar the only thing it doesn't do is provide the $0 commitment from the Tiger-Cats because we could only build a 15 000 seat stadium has been said that it could be up to 20 000 with the currently allocated funds.

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 17:44:23

It's just a too rosy picture to beleave.
IW and the neighbourhood revitalization would be great, if not the price of this project.
Also the city will be committed, but what about Ti-cats, when they do not invest their money ?
Can un-load their team on taxpayers anytime ?
Will it be too much load too soon ?

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By ScottPark (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 18:13:25

The Former Scott Park school:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/14610--international-college-to-focus-on-arts-and-football

Not sure how serious the school is, but this was from the spec last May.

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By 3Hunded and un (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 18:14:27

Call ur alderman. WH or bust! Nothing less.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 18:19:06

agreed....email your councillor. This deal stinks.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 18:20:43

I heard Scott Mitchell say on the radio that Bob Young has made a "tremendous sacrifice" with this deal. If I got a free $115 million dollar facility for my business, i don't know if "sacrifice" is the word I would choose!

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 18:45:11

Bratina said in the National Post chat today "Details are: demolish south stand, renovate north stand, do it with the Pan-Am budget ($120-million). Construction to start in 2012."

I hope that was a typo. I hope Bratina just meant that the money would come from the $120-million, not drain it entirely.

Using the entire $120-million is absurd. I asked before, and I'll ask again...what's with these outrageous quotes? Is this the greased palm detail that we don't know about? The successful company that gets the new IWS contract?

Analogy - I received quotes from plumbing contractors to replace the lead pipes leading into our home. I told them that I wanted to use the $2000 loan program in place via the COH. Guess what the quotes were? Surprise! $1700 plus tax. In other words...$2000.

So we have an allotted $120-million in Pan Am funding, and...the IWS retrofits/renovations will cost...$120-million. Coincidence?

Moncton built a state-of-the-art 10,000 seat stadium (expandable to 20,000) for $23-million this year.

And http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl... This local architect quoted looks to a figure of around $50-million to expand IWS.

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2011-01-11 18:47:38

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 19:10:31

What do all private businesses in Hamilton have in common? They all are funded by people who don't have the luxury of asking taxpayers to bail them out if they make a bad investment. What other things do all businesses in Hamilton have in common? They all want to make money and will invest IF they think that doing so will earn a poitive return on their investment.

Knowing this, what do you think the chances of a stadium/renovation built with public money will be cost effective?

In other words, if this stadium had to be built entirely with private funding, would it be able to charge enough to turn a profit? If not, that tells us that a stadium is not an economic investment, but is rather a political investment. Unfortunately, when investments are made for political reasons, the only people who benefit are those with the best political connections. Everyone else in the city is worse off. That's Hamilton's economy in a nut shell, based on politics rather than rewarding business success.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 19:19:01

A Smith - the Canada Bread factory was a huge, up-front bail-out. And all the environmental laws that ArcelorMittal Dofasco breaks but doesn't get held accountable for are a form of bail-out. In both instances, I believe that they are given breaks because they are investing in Hamilton and employing a good amount of people (in the latter, a huge amount of people). I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying...

Insofar as a city investing in a publicly-owned stadium, I believe that there are pro's and con's and I don't know who's right. Personally I think having a national team holds a certain cache, e.g. Moncton is beautiful city, but most people don't know squat about it and it isn't top-of-mind. So an investment towards a national sports team could be deemed an investment in marketing the city for business attraction and retention.

But all in all I agree that our city has serious problems with political connections. It's quite a dark situation.

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2011-01-11 19:19:42

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By Greg (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 19:34:16

This development is not going where you guys wanted it but it's going to be amazing for that area. It's going to clean up a lot of garbage dumps down there and completely revitalize this area of the city. The private development will create a lot of assesses for the city.

West harbour was pie in the sky as far as a stadium for the tiger cats. The 115 million dollars (70 + 45) was only going to be enough money to build 15000 seats at the harbor instead of the 25000 that we are getting now. There would not have been any money left over there for the permanent velodrome anyways.

How much would it have cost to tear down ivor wynne and re-mediate that land? where was that money going to come from?

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 19:40:58

How about the architectural aspect? It will be very hard to have an attractive, cohesive, stadium design incorporating the butt-ugly, plain north grandstand. Practical, yes, pretty no. It screams bush-league to have basically oversized bleachers on the side of the field.

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 20:26:37

I wonder if Burlington council is sitting coy. They already have soccer stadium plans. Appelby Line Sherwood area was planned out last year then shelved because the community thought the stadium was too big.

Burlington was never interested in a football stadium. They are more forward thinking and only entertained the idea diplomaticaly. Burlington may have just invited themselves back in to the party.

Appelbys Sherwood area is already a soccer locale but the surrounding community balked at seating for 10,000. Now that seating for only 6000 is being bantered around and tentative plans were already in place, Burlington just may scoop Hamiltons legacy funds through PanAm 2015 / Hostco for a fraction of the cost.

Unless there are some backroom talks, Hostco / PanAm 2015 is adamant about the legacy concept for amature sport. Everything I have read in the last 24 hours has been about football and ticats and only a passing reference to soccer. This is stupid talk, as they were when the ticats suggested they rip out the legacy track and field facility to make room for more football seating.

The PanAm organisers are reading the same thing we are. Hopefully there is more going on than what the journalists are writing.

Burlington can build a stadium for a fraction of the price the games are willing to dole out, thus leaving money for other sports if not saving the government and taxpayers money.

I wonder...

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 20:50:38

Where did the $115 million price for the stadium at Ivor Wynne come from? Did the two Bobs guess or do they have some knowledge that the total cost will be around 115 million?

It seems like quite a coincidence that the fee to build a new stadium at Ivor Wynne just happens to be the exact amount of the maximum Hostco funds plus the maximum Future Funds.

115 million seems like a tonne of money for a half assed solution. As a tax payer, if we're not going to be using the money to remediate a brownfield, I'd rather pay a bit extra to have an amazing facility to be proud of or have no stadium.

It really bugs me that the two Bob's and the media are presenting this as if it's the only solution and that it's a great solution and pretty much a done deal one day before it's even been voted on and before we know any of the real details.

Without knowing more details, it's pretty hard to tell if this idea is absolutely horrible or potentially good. I have a feeling it will turn out to be the former (for the Hamilton tax payer anyway).

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 21:06:44

goin'downtown >> an investment towards a national sports team could be deemed an investment in marketing the city for business attraction and retention.

Taking money away from people and giving it to government to spend, decreases consumer spending, decreases business investment and leads to distorted incentives.

Instead of telling businesses to compete with good products, it tells them to make the right political donations. If you want an economy that can build stuff that people want to buy, not just in Hamilton, then you want to promote an economy based on free and voluntary exchange/competition.

However, if you want an economy based on politics and who you know, then you shouldn't expect to create world leading companies or world class careers. I think it's obvious how Hamilton's economy has been moving the past fifty years. We have traded competition and freedom for security and stability.

Ask yourself this, why has Hamilton lost almost all of our good manufacturing jobs? Just look at our fastest growing industries, government funded healthcare and education. Do either of these industries promote competition? Not so much. In either of these industries can smart people sell directly to the public at prices they choose? Not so much. So where is the incentive to innovate? If I do save costs delivering health care, how am I rewarded? By having my budget reduced by the health care minister.

Switzerland is a nation of 7.78M people that embraces personal freedom and limited government. It has 15 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list. Canada is a nation of 34.3M people that touts government health care as our biggest accomplishment and we have 11 companies on the same list. On a per capita basis, Switzerland's economy is more than 6x better at producing world class companies than we are.

Perhaps the lesson here is more government spending does not equal more business success.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 21:52:56

A Smith, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Switzerland doesn't share a border with the U.S.(and we all know about the "Swiss Bank Account"). IMHO if individual Canadian cities and provinces, and the country itself, didn't market themselves aggressively - we'd end up another state of the U.S. I believe Hamilton lost a good chunk of its good manufacturing jobs because they went to the U.S., Mexico, or Asia due mostly to cheap labour. Our local public and medical sectors have grown since our intense losses of the '80's, to be sure. And, no, they don't replace those manufacturing jobs in the least. No new money, and some inordinately fat administrative salaries. I would love to see a slew of niche, state-of-the-art (state-of-the-art includuing environmentally responsible) manufacturers here. How do we reach out to them? How do they learn about Hamilton as a potential location? And why would they locate here?

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2011-01-11 22:27:30

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 00:59:10

goin'downtown >> I would love to see a slew of niche, state-of-the-art (state-of-the-art including environmentally responsible) manufacturers here. How do we reach out to them?

From 2000 to 2009, total government spending in Ontario, including fixed infrastructure (buildings, machinery, etc), went from 18.68% of GDP to 25.31%. In other words, the government sector, the part of our economy that does NOT try to make profits, has taken a 35% bigger role in our economy over the last decade. The result of this spending by politics, rather than by "can this make me money", has resulted in less "can this make me money" types of businesses/jobs.

If Hamilton wants more creative and world leading businesses that create wealth, we need to base our economy on just that, private sector businesses, not government funded industries like health and education.

For example, if we had fixed government spending levels as a percent of the economy at 2005 levels, provincial spending in 2009 would have been $120.5B, rather than the $146.4 it actually was. That works out to a savings of $1,992 for every citizen of Ontario.

In fact, from 2005-09, government spending in Ontario increased by an average of 6.9% every year. If inflation was around 2%, real government spending grew by almost 5% from 2005-09. With all of this spending dedicated to producing free stuff for the people of Ontario, how did the private sector respond?

From 2005-09, the non government part of the economy, the part dedicated to rewarding innovation by allowing people to make profits, it only grew 1.5%. After inflation, that works out to -6.5%, or -1.63% per year from 2005-09. The crowding out of the private sector by fast spending by the government meant less business competition, less innovation and slower private sector job growth.

To get back to 2005 levels of government spending as a percent of GDP, 20.84% of GDP, Ontario's economy needs to grow by 21.4% from 2009 levels (assuming government spending levels of 2009, which are likely even higher today). That's how much our private sector has shrank in influence due to the crowding out effect of government spending on free stuff. In this case, free is the stagnation of Ontario's private sector for 4, 5, or even 6 years. There is no free lunch.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 02:08:47

I really have to object to Trey's incessant velodrome-bashing. Track cycling is gaining enormous popularity in the cycling world today. Ask any bike shop in town, especially the co-ops. Furthermore, the few dedicated fixie-riders in this town (and yes, a couple of my bikes fit the rules you posted) don't compare in any way to how popular it is in cities like Vancouver, or more importantly, Toronto. London's velodrome is tiny and distant - the initial proposals for ours were to be one of the nicest on the continent. A velodrome here would produce a steady stream of GTA hipsters and veteren riders.

As for those rules, they've been the standard rules of track cycling for the better part of a century. A fixed-gear bike on a wooden track can get up to near-highway speeds - virtually every major speed record (at least those that don't involve recumbents or hills) are set this way. When people are literally above you because they're going so fast they can climb the banked walls, do you really want them to be able to brake hard? That's how everyone gets splinters.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:37:52

A Smith - I see a lot of data that agrees with my comment that, put simply, we need an economy based on more wealth-generating businesses/manufacturers, and less public sector/public funded businesses. But I see no answers to my questions. I think, if you have a plan that could replace current government economic development, that there would be many readers interested in such a post. I just don't think that this thread is the place for this specific discussion.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:01:50

@industrial How many Hamiltonians have $3000 for a bike they cant ride every day plus the hundreds if not thousands that it will cost to use the facility? I'm not sure that it does anything for local athletes either. The community centre aspect of the plan has potential but realistically unless there are events at least 10 times per year that sell out there really doesn't seem to be a business plan that won't require a large funding grant from the city that only benefits a very small number of Hamiltonians

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:46:25

An interesting design concept for a 25,000 seat stadium in New York. Cost - $120 million

http://www.slideshare.net/guest5a0f8c6/r...

Enlarge the second image here. A concert stage built right into a 25,000 seat stadium:

http://www.iconvenue.com/portfolio/red-b...

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-12 11:01:40

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:09:06

$3000 for a track bike? I wish! The standard model at London was the KHS Flite 300, which is more like a $5-600 bike, which is pretty standard for a bike in that range (Fugi track, etc). For far less you can convert an old road bike (which would be allowed by the rules trey posted). Oh, and given the number of messengers who ride such bikes every day (such a a certain infamous old Hamilton dude with this exact same track bike), I would have to say that it is indeed possible.

This whole argument is beyond ridiculous. What kind of competition-grade sporting facilities would not require specialized eqiupment? You wouldn't be allowed out on a Hockey arena to play in your sneakers, nor would they let you play soccer in high heels. Perhaps Formula-1 races should start being more inclusive of Tempos and old-school VW Bugs? Racetracks need rules, and as much as I'd like to see a "random bike night" at the 'drome, I sure as hell wouldn't want them on the track when I was trying to seriously ride.

The requirements for track racing really aren't any more stringent than most mountain or road races, many of which do require $3000 bikes (I don't know that I'd try to compete with serious road racers with anything under $2500). And moreover, bikes cost money. You don't get racing-grade bikes for $200 at Canadian Tire - it's not economically possible. Would you buy a $1000 new car?

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:37:47

I wonder if, in light of revised construction plans, we'll revisit the 25,000 seat capacity.

It isn't the craziest proposition, IMHO. The Ticats' home game attendance averages out at 21,339 from the 1970-2010 seasons.

Admittedly, attendance has been recovering in recent years, but not monumentally so. Only six of the Cats' last 30 seasons have averaged home crowds in excess of 23K, and average IWS appearance during that period was just 19,796.

http://goo.gl/6G7YZ

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By Sean Valjean (anonymous) | Posted April 19, 2013 at 00:24:52

Where is a good place to start when looking for plumbing contractors mississauga? I've got some big issues if you know what I mean.

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