Special Report: Pan Am

City Staff Report on Ivor Wynne Stadium Renovation

The estimated cost of the Ivor Wynne renovation is $156.5 million - $174.5 million. With $115 million on the table, the plan is short $36.5 million - $54.5 million.

By RTH Staff
Published January 23, 2011

The City's Ivor Wynne Stadium Report for the January 24 General Issues Committee (GIC) is now available, and the estimated cost of the stadium renovation is a shocking $156.5 million - $174.5 million, putting the funding gap at between $36.5 million and $54.5 million.

The City is expected to contribute $45 million from the Future Fund and Toronto 2015, the Pan Am Games host corporation, is to contribute another $70 million in Federal and Provincial contributions. The report assumes another $5 million from the sale of naming rights to the stadium.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have not committed any money toward the capital costs of the stadium, but have offered $679,250 a year in operating costs, funded through a ticket surcharge. The report that the City's net operating costs will be similar to today's costs for Ivor Wynne.

The capital cost estimate comes from Toronto 2015 and Infrastructure Ontario, which is the body actually distributing the higher level funding.

It is not clear how the shortfall of $36.5 million - $54.5 million will be covered, and the report highlights several areas of risk to the City:

The report suggests that the stadium "could act as a catalyst for broader neighbourhood devleopment in the areas around the stadium."

Staff note that the IWS renovation proposal has not left time for public consultation, and recomment community engagement in a "resident-led planning process" for the neighbourhood around the stadium that takes into account the social inclusion recommendations prepared by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:03:34

Oh my...

I am without words. What can one say at the multitude of twists and turns in this long and strange saga...

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:06:46

wow - and yet there are still comments to make IWS work...

"Councillor Tom Jackson said if several costs are removed — including the $10 million renovations to the north stands and the $7 million transition costs — the funding gap could be narrowed to the point where the province could cover the outstanding costs."

To be fair, these are TiCat requirements though...

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-23 22:09:39

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:07:02

None of these stadium options should be pursued, none. At this cost it's obvious IWS2 is not a viable option. A 6000 seat West Harbour Stadium at $60,000,000 translates to a cost of $10,000 per seat. Hamilton needs to end this madness now.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-23 22:07:30

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:07:19

Hey I have an idea! Why don't we build a new stadium (both sides new, not just one side) at the West Harbour for the same price??

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:08:53

Brian Timmis Stadium will be demoloished to construct the new south stand and provide parking. This will result in the reduction or elimination of community sports programming time.

This is the type of thing I have a problem with. Exactly how often is BT used for community events and amateur sports? What will replace it? These questions need to be answered and without thorough examination how can council approve this proposal? A few weeks to investigate is simply not enough time for due diligence.

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By Wait (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:10:27

Great idea Jason - there just might be a entire business case already prepared to achieve this. But wait, we need to assemble land - Oh wait, that's already done. But we need public consultation - Oh wait some more, that's been DONE over the past year.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:14:40

Some amateur athletic legacy this plan will leave behind, knocking down BT to make way for the Ticats precious parking.

Its all moot however, with this report in hand I have a hard time believing that council will approve the sight. And the gall of the Ticats' "preconditions" as outlined in the Spectator's article on this report. Just absurd.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:16:28

@transitstudent - agreed!

"And the gall of the Ticats' "preconditions" as outlined in the Spectator's article on this report. Just absurd."

-stadium must have a minimum capacity of 23,500 seats

-the north stands should be completely renovated

-city to build new office space at Ivor Wynne so the team can move their operations from their current headquarters at 1 Jarvis St. to the stadium.

-1,500 team-controlled parking spaces

-assurance that the team will not be “economically disadvantaged” during the stadium renos

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-23 22:19:05

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:18:42

Here are the preconditions from the above Spec link:

In the report, city staff say the Tiger-Cats have identified five “preconditions” to signing a deal with the city. These include stipulations that the stadium must have a minimum capacity of 23,500 seats and the north stands should be completely renovated.
The Cats also want the city to build new office space at Ivor Wynne so the team can move their operations from their current headquarters at 1 Jarvis St. to the stadium. Finally, the franchise wants 1,500 team-controlled parking spaces and an assurance that the team will not be “economically disadvantaged” during the stadium renos. Meeting these Ticat needs would cost the city an additional $18 million, bringing the total stadium cost up to $174.5 million.

http://www.thespec.com/news/crime/articl...

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By Remember (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:19:40

"The Pan Am Stadium is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We chose to build it at the West Harbour. Now IT'S TIME to stand behind our choice."

-Our City, Our Future - http://www.ourcityourfuture.ca

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:26:48

I expected a wave of trolls... silence is deafening.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:27:31

This is a classic "no-go".

The Cats are also demanding an office be built at the stadium. This city is awash in commercial office vacancies and they expect us to build more for them? That is fat that needs to be trimmed. Turning BT field into parking revenue for the team is idiotic. If BY wants to buy property to create parking revenue for his business that is fine, but we should not provide it.

And that "offer" by the Cats to pay $679,250 for operating costs is to be paid for by the fans off a ticket surcharge. It's not an offer at all.

There is no way that this can happen. We just don't have the means to continue emptying our piggy bank for this failing professional sports franchise.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:29:36

Dammit GrapeApe, don't mention them! Its like saying "Candyman" into a mirror!

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:31:24

In the information on Brad Clark' blog the need to replace Brian Timmis is addressed in the staff report; but that cost would not be factored into the revamped IWS.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:36:16

No one should be surprised by this.

Every proposal put forward by Bob Young and the Tiger-Cats has turned out to be smoke and mirrors. Whether it was the East Mountain, Longwood or Ivor Wynne there has never been accurate costing and, of course, no money from the Tiger-Cats and the complete depletion of the Future Fund to their sole benefit. This latest attempt appears to have been calculated by the two Bob's on the back of a dinner napkin and begs the question, just where DID they get the numbers they originally quoted?

It's time to build a scalable stadium at West Harbour; the only site that's been costed by staff, guarantees us Pan-Am games participation, is affordable and uses the Future Fund as it was intended.

One note of caution. This may be a bait and switch; just when many people think a site has been found and drop their guard, create a cost overrun through demands for offices, parking, etcetera and then come in at the last minute with a way out that squeezes even more money out of taxpayers. When everyone's searching for wood, no one's guarding the forest.

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By DavidColacci (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:36:53

I am shocked at the projected cost of this project. I am left wondering where these estimates come from given there are not even design plans for 'city staff' to reference.

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By Scalable (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:37:22

From the report:

"Staff submitted a Contingency Plan for a 5,000 seat scalable stadium to Toronto
2015 on January 20, 2011 as per Council direction."

WH is already in the hands of HostCo...

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By Boomer (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:38:18

Stick a fork in it! It appears to be West Harbour, or nothing. And all this wasted time, money and resources to appease the Ticats. Perhaps council should discuss with Mr. Katz about getting or helping Hamilton get a legacy tenant, as in a pro soccer team (as part of an agreement to manage the city's entertainment facilities), and the 15,000 scalable stadium can be built at WH. A future (new) owner of the Ticats could then agree to play at WH and enable stadium expansion. Perhaps a change in ownership of the Cats, will attract other private investment. After all, would you invest alongside or have confidence in someone who has said he knows nothing about running a pro football franchise, and has conducted negotiations the way he has?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:39:19

David, from above:

The capital cost estimate comes from Toronto 2015 and Infrastructure Ontario, which is the body actually distributing the higher level funding.

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By anon (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:40:28

Wow, I didn't think it was possible for the Ti-Cats to be more objectionable than they have already been... but they somehow managed. Seriously, these are their preconditions? Guarantees against losses while IWS is renovated, a RENOVATION NECESSITATED BY THE FACT THEY REFUSED TO PLAY AT A BRAND NEW WH STADIUM IN THE FIRST PLACE? This is their best shot at negotiation? :) I suspect they will stay at IWS until it rots around them and then fold. Sad end to a storied franchise. But then they will rise from the ashes and we will end up expanding the scalable WH stadium to accomodate the new team when it becomes a real business.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:45:37

Is it starting to feel like BY wants to exit the ownership game without saying so? Me thinks there are still twists to come.

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-23 22:46:51

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:48:47

@realfreeenterpriser, re: your note of caution. While I agree with your intuition, I believe there just isn't any juice left to squeeze from the turnip. I can imagine the Cats using their demands as a negotiating ploy (ie: pull a few things off the table) but that doesn't really close the funding gap and I doubt there is any political will Provincially to pour more money into this fiasco. There is already PanAm funding backlash from the new Ford regime in TO and the Feds would look like fools to step in as they have already denied arena funding to Quebec City. BY maybe be looking to play one more card, but the game may over.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:50:41

From the report, the scariest number:

The revised cost of a brand new 25,000 seat stadium constructed at any generic site is now $217.2 million (based on recent estimates of construction provided by Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto 2015), up from the previous estimates of $165 million used in the last few staff reports. If this stadium was built at the Ivor Wynne site the estimated cost to be $226.5 million.

So someone please explain how we can also afford to build a $217.0 million stadium anywhere, even the West Harbour.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:51:58

Grape, I am starting to wonder. I mean, I realize that sometimes "old boys club" types are too pompous to realize that they have to continue appealing to the masses, however the sheer number of apparent gaffes and incredible public relations bombs that the Ticats management and their buddies have planted over the past few months seems almost beyond belief. Maybe they aren't so dumb after all, and when this is all said and done they can say "We tried our best to find a solution but the City of Hamilton was impossible to work with, thus we're leaving Hamilton, and the sooner the better since the public has turned on us for no reason". Whether with the football team or without is another question.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-23 22:54:00

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:52:37

No one should be surprised by this.

I'm surprised by this. I had a hunch that we'd receive a lowball cost estimate - say, something in the range of $90 - 100 million - that would leave some extra funds for Barton-Tiffany remediation and/or a permanent Velodrome. Such an offer would fatally undercut West Harbour supporters and deliver Mayor Bratina a spectacular political win.

I'm frankly shocked that the IWS renovation costs are so high - but I'm even more shocked at the last-minute demands the Ticats have slapped on this proposal:

In the report, city staff say the Tiger-Cats have identified five “preconditions” to signing a deal with the city. These include stipulations that the stadium must have a minimum capacity of 23,500 seats and the north stands should be completely renovated.

The Cats also want the city to build new office space at Ivor Wynne so the team can move their operations from their current headquarters at 1 Jarvis St. to the stadium. Finally, the franchise wants 1,500 team-controlled parking spaces and an assurance that the team will not be "economically disadvantaged" during the stadium renos.

Meeting these Ticat needs would cost the city an additional $18 million, bringing the total stadium cost up to $174.5 million.

It's like they're trying to make the negotiations fail.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:55:57

Well if their end-game really is to say the City of Hamilton is impossible to work with and skip town, they have failed. The city has been much more accomodating toward the Ti-Cats than many people think they should have been. A lot of our councillors will end up looking impressive in the end, as the City of Hamilton is fairly rare in actually not being blackmailed by a professional sports team. So many cities are stuck with huge debt burdens from unaffordable stadium projects. So how much to keep IWS standing for a few more years? Methinks it is not in imminent danger, and will be just fine for this team for the little bit of time they have left in this incarnation.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:56:10

It's like they're trying to make the negotiations fail.

Has the other shoe finally dropped? And if so, what are the repercussions?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:57:43

Forgive my naivete - is part of the ridiculous,inflated cost due to the fact that construction is handled by Infrastructure Ontario? Do they actually put bids out for public tender or just have a plain old monoploy on public projects?

Comment edited by Andrea on 2011-01-23 22:59:35

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:01:37

@Ryan - I think this is a spectacular political win for the residents of Hamilton and for democracy. I could tell from watching the last council meeting and from email responses from several councillors that there just was no appetite for making this IWS stadium deal work. I was not expecting these huge numbers to come in, but I was expecting a report from city staff so full of caveats and unknowns that councillors would not be able to proceed in good faith. I think these huge numbers reflect PanAm and city staff's desire not to have future huge cost overruns pinned on them. There was only time for a rough order of magnitude costing in this short of a time frame, and those are generally +/- 50%. Looks like they choose the +50% route -- rightfully so, and good on them!

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:04:12

Now can we finally get the 6,000 seat West Harbour stadium that is the only option that makes sense?

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:07:23

@Andrea

When it came to light that Infrastructure Ontario handles the Pan Am construction, it was mentioned and I cannot remember if it was an article or an interview that they tend to inflate the construction costs to ensure that he cost come in under. The last thing they want is keep going back to ask for more money. The question is, how much contigency do they add in?

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:08:28

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:09:44

@freeenterpriser, "...how can we afford to build a $217.0 million stadium anywhere..."?

It's pretty simple. We can't. And neither can the Cats. The reality of the CFL is that the majority of their revenue comes from selling TV rights. Network TV is in decline. Ad revenue is down, never to go back up, and no one outside of Canada watches the CFL, so there is a cap on that shrinking revenue. The only way that the CFL can get new facilities is to use emotional coersion to wring tax dollars out of communities held hostage by team owners.

The time has come for the league, it's franchise owners, and fans to expect less, not more. It's time for this business to live within it's means.

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

@drb, bang on.

The time has come for the league, it's franchise owners, and fans to expect less, not more. It's time for this business to live within it's means.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:11:50

Realistically, the WH still can be put in at 15K to TO2015 if the cats come onboard. They can always add the additional seats when it is financially feasable in the future.

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

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:18:38

Ivor Wynne only draws crowds in the hundreds 99% of the time too. We need the WH stadium for four main reasons:

  1. to participate in the Pan Am games.
  2. to have upper government money help us kickstart redevelopment of the area.
  3. to have a replacement for the 250+ events that take place at Ivor Wynne each year once the Cats leave town after their lease ends at Ivor Wynne.
  4. Money. Why turn down a new community,soccer stadium that can be built for future soccer/football expansion and be left owning a decaying, useless Ivor Wynne, when we can get a replacement stadium and then sell the Ivor Wynne lands for urban redevelopment and move the city ahead? Saying no to the WH stadium would be pure lunacy and put Hamilton taxpayers in a great hole for years to come....as well as leave us with two massive eyesores sitting in the central part of our city for years to come - an empty Ivor Wynne and toxic WH.

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

@jason - I'd upvote your comment early and often if I could :) Let's 'get er done as Jason Farr would say (about IWS but we'll paraphrase him for WH)

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:22:47

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:25:03

"the stadium does nothing" if you don't believe in a legacy for high calibre amateur sport. Otherwise, as we have seen from the amount of public engagement, it's a very debatable topic.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:27:27

@say what, I agree that condo residential development is absolutely necessary and is 'the saviour' if you will of the downtown/WH area. I suppose council can just say no to the 6,000 seat stadium, but what about having that venue for community events that will need somewhere to go, as well as concerts, soccer events and the development that will be kick-started if we put the stadium and velodrome at the WH....a new James North GO Station would be bumped up in order to be completed by the PanAm games, and this all works towards opening the doors for condo development to take place there. We already know that Whitestar and Molinaro are itching to go with condo projects. I'm certain that other builders would follow suit once they see a huge cleanup happening and world class facilities being built such as the velodrome and soccer stadium. I'm not certain that condo developers will be as excited about locating their high end buildings next to a Rheem plant, city works yard and boarded up gas station that has no hope or prospects of being redeveloped.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-23 23:28:37

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:27:41

@ PeterF - thanks for the explanation. So build in contingencies that make the project completely financially unfeasible or risk project overruns. Got it. :-)

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:27:44

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By Mando (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:28:50

WH Not flawed at all ... What it does is cleans up a large chunk of unused property that no private developer has wanted to touch with a ten foot pole and leave enough funds to make the velodrome a permanent facility.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:30:04

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:31:49

Yes, and build that stadium where IWS currently sits after the Cats lease is up late 2011

With this one point alone you're willing to tell Hamilton taxpayers that we will make a decision now that will cost us $34 million MORE at the end of 2011 instead of just doing it now while Hostco is offering us that $34 million. How does this make sense??

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:32:27

I feel that jason touched on an aspect of the WH/Pan Am development that does have a track record of directing investment into an area, and that's the planned GO station at James North. He's right that a WH location for Pan Am facilities would speed plans to extend GO service to a James North station. Transit-oriented development is the real deal, so everything else aside the WH Pan Am plan has the potential if nothing else to speed high order transit development to the area, and residential development will likely follow.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:33:56

Look at how well this place has sold even without a GO Station or permanent velodrome in the area.

http://wittonlofts.com/

Residential builders will probably flock to the WH once we get the ball rolling and add that GO Station.

EDIT: I still believe that the velodrome has the most potential to become an integral, 365 day, part of this neighbourhood if we do it right like the Chicago velo campus idea. Condo buyers would love to live next to a facility like that and a GO Station.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-23 23:35:11

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:38:12

With respect to the reported $60 Million cost of building a 5,000 seat stadium at the west harbour, it is important to note that this figure includes the $10 Million land acquisition costs which has already been spent plus an estimated $3 Million for remediation and $4 Million for demolition.

The current estimated construction cost for the stadium is $43 Million, of which Toronto 2015 would pay $24.1 Million (56%) and Hamilton would pay $18.9 Million (44%).

The original amount Hamilton had set aside for stadium construction was $45 Million. If the city only has to pay $18.9 Million, it leaves $26.1 Million in unallocated Pan Am construction monies. Some of those funds, perhaps $10 Million, can be reallocated to help build the permanent velodrome. If there are monies left over, they can either be left in the Future Fund or discussions can begin at some future date as to whether any of the monies should be applied to upgrade Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-23 23:50:27

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:38:23

Jason,

Simple. Build the Pan Am stadium where IWS sits. $20,000,000 minimum to just make IWS usable. A far too big and expensive stadium if the Cats leave. Tear down and re-build the 6000 seat Pan Am there for $15,000,000 according to the Spectator

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:41:44

To leverage as much of the Pan Am money as possible a scalable 15K is the only option left. Our mayor should be on the phone with BY now asking him, your choice Bob, 15K with you onboard or we go it alone with a 6K stadium.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:47:38

I don't know what to think anymore.

Something seems fishy with these escalated numbers for a new stadium anywhere, never mind IWS2.

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By Scale-Up (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:56:37

Agreed George. One route they could go would be to confirm the WH scalable stadium that includes foundations for later expansion for Pan Am games and have that built by Infrastructure Ontario (who is quoting the higher costs and is the Pan Am builder of all facilities) - For expansion, tender out the job to get better pricing for the extra seats.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:08:48

At some point it's gotta be cheaper to just buy the team ourselves and negotiate from a position of good faith and fiscal responsibility.

I might be afraid to use lines like "we could build a whole new stadium for that price" if we hadn't just priced three of them.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:10:46

I wonder if the inflated costs and the continual failure of compromise sites is the latest in a series of moves to contract the geographic area encompassing the "Toronto" Pan Am games.

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1894/host...

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1943/

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:16:53

What the heck is going on?

Something stinks in Denmark.

Hope this points to WH and an eventual expansion to CFL standards.

I remember back when IWS2 broke, Mayor Bratina mentioned something about having money left over for IWS2 if they had the $115m ($70m + $45m)?

Is this the rationale for the Tiger-Cats' extra demands of $18m, or are they deliberately sabotaging IWS, or are they as surprised as the rest of us?



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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:17:36

Let's go!

Full steam ahead to WH!

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By Designed to fail (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:26:35

I think Ryan might be on to something. Those 'preconditions' look really suspicious. They could simply be bargaining tools, meant to be withdrawn at the last minute to make it look like they're negotiating in good faith and willing to sacrifice something for the good of the project.

Or, have the Ticats been negotiating with any of the Plan B Cities? Was this whole Ivor Wynne scenario cooked up to distract us from a scaled-back West Harbour plan? Our City staff appear to have been sent on a wild goose chase.

Or maybe the Ticat management really is even more inept than I ever thought.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:28:58

If BY truly wanted IWS to get passed he would not have asked for the 5 demands. He knew that it would only inflate the cost. Again zero up front capital costs from the club.

Maybe this is a way for him to save face and come onboard at WH. He can rehash "this isn't my first choice, but because I love Hamilton so much, ask Foxy, we will play out of WH."

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:31:16

PeterF wrote:

"Realistically, the WH still can be put in at 15K to TO2015 if the cats come onboard. They can always add the additional seats when it is financially feasable in the future.'


Hmmmm...that would require any legacy tenant, not necessarily the Tiger-Cats.

Maybe the Katz group(soccer and concerts) if they are prepared to sign a management agreement absorbing operating costs, thus absolving the city of any potential white elephant that so concerned Toronto 2015.

Just thinkin' out loud here.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:33:26

@By Designed to fail

If they have been negotiating with plan B sites good luck to those cities. Am I ever glad that we put a back up motion in for a scaled down WH

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:37:17

Designed to fail wrote:

"Or, have the Ticats been negotiating with any of the Plan B Cities?"

Brampton or Mississauga?

That's Argo territory. I think that's very unlikely.

I wouldn't be surprised at all that they thought there would be money left over for such things as offices, parking, and reconstruction compensation.

From http://niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2925314&auth=JENNY%20YUEN,%20QMI%20AGENCY

"Bratina said numbers still need to be crunched to determine how much the rebuild will cost, but there should be "extra left over" from the $45 million from the city and the $70 million from HostCo"

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By zot (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:39:12

If you ask me it's time to for the crack pipes to be taken away from anyone who supports either of these proposals (IWS or WH) and drag them off to rehab.

60 Million for 6,000 seats... Wow, only $10,000 per seat for a minor sports stadium. What a bargain! For that price I expect a heated and air conditioned dome, overstuffed leather seats, complimentary champagne, and to be intimately serviced by a cheer leader during the half time show, after which bring me a warm towel. Thank you very much.

Meanwhile, back on earth, workers freeze on the line as US Steal circles the drain. 5,000 family's sit on the affordable housing wait list (hey that's only 10 years or so, learn a little patience why don't ya!). We under-spend on maintenance of our EXISTING city infrastructure by 25% per year. And tomorrow must be garbage day, because even though its -15 degrees outside right now the scrappers are outside my apartment building digging for cans and bottles.

What is wrong with this picture?

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:46:24

For those of you speculating about the Ticats talking to the plan B cities. Hamilton gets the first right of refusal. Since we have already submitted our own plan B option, the other cities are no longer part of the equation. Unless of course Hostco changes the rules again. But with the political scrutiny that this is under I would doubt they would try that again.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:51:37

Has the city officially handed in their choice? I thought we had until the 1st to do that or is that only for the full size stadium?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 01:00:23

Here are Hamilton's options as layed out in the city report

Alternative A:
Council authorizes the City Manager or his designate to inform Toronto
2015 that the Ivor Wynne site has been selected as the location for the new Pan Am
Stadium.

Alternative B:
Should Council opt to not proceed with the Ivor Wynne scenario for a
15,000 seat stadium; and should Hamilton be selected by Toronto 2015 as the
successful submission for a 5,000 seat scalable stadium for Pan Am soccer, that Council
direct the City Manager or his designate to notify Toronto 2015 that Council has agreed
to the terms for development of a 5,000 seat scalable stadium as outlined by Toronto
2015 in the letter to the City Manager dated January 20, 2011 (Appendix D).

Alternative C:
Should Council opt to not proceed with the Ivor Wynne option for a
15,000 seat stadium and determine that it wishes to opt out of the bidding for a 5,000
seat scalable stadium, that the City Manager or his designate be directed to notify
Toronto 2015 that Council has determined that the City of Hamilton withdraw from the
Pan Am stadium process, inclusive of the 15,000 and 5,000 seat stadia proposals.

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By sbwoodside (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 01:02:00

Hahahah, I'm grinning ear to ear on this news. Awesome! Total failure for the Tiger Cats. There'll be no celebrating in the Tiger Dome tonight!

No councillor in their right mind will support this option.

Now it's game over. There's no more time for plays, the clock has counted down, the WH proposal is submitted, the game is finished. Tiger Cats 0, People of Hamilton 1.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 01:06:52



Also from the report:

"...should arrangements for the use of Ivor Wynne Stadium as the Pan Am Stadium for some reason not be successful, the City of Hamilton prepare a written submission to TO2015 by January 20, 2011 stating a willingness to construct the 5,000 – 6,000 seat scalable Pan Am Games Soccer stadium, and that it be ratified by Council no later than February 1, 2011."

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 06:45:53

Infrastructure Ontairo makes costs go up it seems. Hamilton can do a 5000 seater at WH with PanAm money, Aldershot is still the best site for the Cats and let the Cats work with Paletta and private funding for that site with nothing to do with the PanAms. A regional base for the TiCats out of Aldershot makes the most sense anyways in the long run.

Actually sbw, this would be a huge win for the TiCats to play out of Aldershot and get in on a development there with the Paletta group. As I say, it's the best site to grow the team regionally and be able to draw on private funds and naming rights. And Hamilton gets the Rheem capped with a 5000 stadium that seems to be what a lot of people want here anyways. Win-win I would say.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-24 06:57:59

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By Trolly troll a tron (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 06:55:40

>> At some point it's gotta be cheaper to just buy the team ourselves and negotiate from a position of good faith and fiscal responsibility.

Somebody tell the stop the Unabomber please.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 07:03:47

that the City of Hamilton withdraw from the Pan Am stadium process, inclusive of the 15,000 and 5,000 seat stadia proposals.

That sounds ominous. Where does that leave the velodrome?

Aldershot is still the best site for the Cats and let the Cats work with Paletta and private funding for that site with nothing to do with the PanAms. A regional base for the TiCats out of Aldershot makes the most sense anyways in the long run.

Aw HamiltonFan, you're sweet.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 07:08:18

If we put forth a proposal for a scaled-back WH site, are we in competition with Mississaugua/Brampton/Milton? Or do we just get that (assuming HostCo is cool with it)?

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By geoff's two cents (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 07:34:18

I still have hope that BY will come 'round to the idea of contributing financially to WH as a viable home for the Cats - once he sees that his options have run out.

If he wanted to he could even spin his team's financial contribution as philanthropy, a willingness to contribute to "city building" in spite of the financial sacrifice, anything of course to keep the team in his beloved hometown - all the while reaping the benefits of a gargantuan, once-in-a-lifetime taxpayer investment in sports infrastructure, as well as (likely) the flow of sponsorship dollars to a new venue. Who knows, but that he might even relinquish parking revenues and a flashy new office to make it work.

He may also anticipate better ticket revenues following on an improved, "nice guy" PR image to repair the brand's damage of the last few months, together with the obvious public interest in attending football games at a brand new stadium in a beautiful new location.

Here's hoping anyways. If this isn't possible for him, I honestly have no idea what makes the TiCats so financially insolvent compared to other teams in the league who do contribute significant dollars to stadium construction.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 07:40:18

The only level-headed comment in this entire thread was from zot

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2011-01-24 07:59:06

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By Enterprise (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 08:06:08

Good article, RTH! I suspect you send these articles to the Spec but they don't publish them. I get timely & more detailed information from the articles & comments on this site than I do from mainstream media. Keep up the good work.

Comment edited by Enterprise on 2011-01-24 08:06:40

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 08:59:34

The Ticats radio station is probably a downright riot today. Anyone who can handle it, let us know the better one-liners.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:00:08

HamiltonFan wrote:

Aldershot is still the best site for the Cats and let the Cats work with Paletta and private funding for that site with nothing to do with the Pan Ams.

Do you really think they can finance a stadium without the $70m they were counting on from the Pan Am games?

Even the city of Burlington was looking for financial help from Hamilton.

Not likely at all.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:11:09

Honetly I don't know George but they wouldn't be working on their own of course there, you have Paletta and his group and connections.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:20:49

If the Ti-Cats do ever choose to leave Hamilton for another city, I am very certain Burlington is no longer an option. The Ti-Cats left a very sour taste with Burlington Mayor and Council when they abruptly left the table to come back to Hamilton at Ivor Wynne. Furthermore, Paletta may be less willing to contribute capital with the Pan-Am games (and money) out of the scenario. I'd also say that any "regional agreement" is out of the question if the Pan-Am money/games isn't part of it any more... not that I ever really thought that would have happened anyway, though. Selling our city council on the idea of helping to pay for a stadium in Burlington would be disastrous.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-24 09:23:29

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:27:14

Another ominous note (on page 20): "As an alternative, it should be noted that the Hamilton Future Fund has an unallocated balance of about $20 million. So as an Option, Council could fund both the West Harbour land purchases AND contribute $55 million to the Ivor Wynne Stadium project."

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:29:41

The sour taste you speak of Matt, I wouldn't be so sure it's a lasting effect and how this all came out in the press. Money and development talk, these are grown men and as such, men have the knack to tell each other to f_o_ and then 5 minutes later have a beer together and keep talking.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:34:51

The Ti-Cats left a very sour taste with Burlington Mayor and Council

Seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Tigercats. They've burned alot of bridges in the last year.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:34:53

And stadiums do not make money.

There will be no privately built stadium built in Burlington or anywhere else.

There aren't any in Canada, are there?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:50:34

Always a first George but a stadium to make any sense needs to be part of a larger development that adds to the development ie. retail. Stadiums on their own with just 10 football games don't make money, for sure, you need the development as I say and Grey Cups etc. That being said, there is always the community use as well like IWS has for high school sports but that is just use and doesn't make money of course.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:52:51

nobrainer wrote;

Seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Tigercats. They've burned alot of bridges in the last year.

I've noticed comments over at the Spec and TiCats.ca in which fans that have supported the Tiger-Cat's stadium strategy up till now are now giving up on them with the latest news of the $18m accommodation request and zero commitment to capital costs.

Their PR nightmare continues, sadly. I hate seeing this.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 09:57:40

@ HamiltonFan

There is only one city that wants the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton is intertwined with its football heritage. It means something to this community, and not to any other community.

This community has been willing to pay to have the team.

That goodwill is being diminished. I hope it isn't destroyed. I'm a fan.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-24 11:03:38

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:01:59

Let's see how this pans out. Something is going on here, I find this very interesting and I'm not one that is sadly affected by any PR nightmare for the TigerCats as you suggest George, I'm actually very excited with this latest development because it's just so interesting if nothing else.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:05:41

I'm not one that is sadly affected by any PR nightmare for the TigerCats

Yeah, we figured that. Bob Young could take a dump on the council floor and you'd call it an endowment for the arts.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:07:27

That being said, there is always the community use as well like IWS has for high school sports but that is just use and doesn't make money of course.

Burlington only has a population of 164,000. There would be significantly less call for community use at an Aldershot stadium, and if the stadium were privately owned and operated, the fees would be out of reach for those few community groups anyway.

Edit: nobrainer, I love you.

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-01-24 10:08:37

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:10:55

Bratina on Bill Kelly now.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:14:34

"Yeah, we figured that. Bob Young could take a dump on the council floor and you'd call it an endowment for the arts"

Actually nobrainer that's not the issue, it's more the process oriented aspect that interests me with this whole thing. We are living a real live negotiation type process in history here that will end up being discussed in sports administration courses as such at some point if it already isn't.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:27:50

How will Foxcroft blame Council, RTH, welfare recipients, government, treehuggers, labour legislation, hippies, red tape, the dark side, unions, the bureacracy, Bob Rae, zzzzzzzzzzz oops, sorry I nodded off... for this one?

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:33:54

Caught the last bit of Bratina's interview on CHML..."numbers, shmumbers" is basically Bob's approach to the funding shortfall...he said that Infrastructure Ontario is high-balling the $$ estimate to prevent bad press from going over budget...and he remains "100% convinced" the Pan Am Stadium will go ahead at the Ivor Wynne site...

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:45:21

Interesting how for the Ti-Cats it's "numbers, shnumbers. We'll make it work", but for something like LRT it gets immediate uncertainty once the numbers are released. Pretty sure the Hamilton Street Railway has a more illustrious history than the Tabbies.

Not to mention the LRT project would now actually be cheaper than this stadium thing and have a proven ecnomic benefit much higher than this Pan-Am thing could ever create, not to mention mucch longer lasting effects vs. a stadium that will be useless in 30 years.

I guess thats a story for another article, but it still pisses me off to see this blatant double standard in council consideration.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-24 10:49:22

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:53:01

MattM,

Great point. Your comment got me thinking, I'd be a lot happier if we committed the rest of the Future Fund's $100,000,000 to the LRT project and got out of the stadium business completely. Most likely not going to happen but I think that would do much more for this city than an IWS2 or a vacant 6000 seat stadium in the West Harbour.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:59:06

Although I appreciate your opinion, any replacement for Ivor Wynne will hardly be 'vacant' if the current use of IWS was transferred to the hypothetical new facility. "vacant stadium" - It's a broad generalization and it completely marginalizes the amateur sports associations that do need space. Time and time again we have heard numbers from 190 - 250 for bookings of Ivor Wynne that are not Ticat use.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:01:07

I really thought that Hamilton's history was about steel mills, fine architecture, heavy manufacturing, the street railway and the escarpment. Not a crappy football team that has been disappointing us for over a decade now and in all reality, shouldn't have even existed for at least the last few years now. Nobody seemed to give a crap when the team was on the verge of bankruptcy before BY picked it up. What's different now?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:09:17

Andrea,

Yes, and I've written articles about that on this site.

These bookings are extremely lightly attended, no different than the attendance at your kids soccer game. The occasional regional championship high school game or competitive flag football tournaments may get attendance in the hundreds. How are those type of attendance numbers supposed to spur growth in a depressed area like the WH? I have yet to see anything other than emotional arguments and conjecture as to why a 6000 seat stadium will be the cataylst for growth that turns the WH around. In my mind there are much better ideas out there on what to do with the land.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-24 11:10:38

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:10:42

@Hamilton fan who wrote,

I'm not one that is sadly affected by any PR nightmare for the Tiger-Cats

If not sad, then how does it make you feel to read so many anti-Young/Mitchell comments from the fans themselves, and in particular those that have recently been mentioned who have supported their stadium efforts up till now?

They are pissing of non-fans and fans alike, more now than ever.

As a long time fan, this saddens me. I don't like it.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:13:12

Just read the staff report - unless I'm reading it cross eyed - it looks like the TiCats and their sponsor's "significant" corporate "contribution" doesn't even cover the City's operating costs!!!!

How you can call a ticket surcharge a "contribution" is one thing - but the City will still be paying upwards of $1,000,000 per year in operating costs!

I think the whole IWS thing is simply an organized operation by the Tiger Cats management, with the assistance of the Mayor of Hamilton I might add - to limit the legal liability of the Tiger Cats if/when the entire $70,000,000 of funding is lost to another community.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:17:02

That's a good question George. I do appreciate the feelings of people who may feel betrayed or confused by the stadium situation and who are anti-Young/Mitchell as you say. I just have a very different outlook than these people, that's all. Not better in any sense, just different. I'm not from Hamilton, wasn't born and raised here, so that might have something to do with it. As well, there may be other workings going on here that may have some particular interest to me as well that aren't Hamilton centric if you will. I have come to appreciate the city of Hamilton but I'm not in love with this city that much to be honest.

I suppose I should add that if I won the millions in the lottery tomorrow and could live anywhere in Canada, I'd be out of Hamilton asap. The wife is into mountain hiking and we'd probably move out west to Alberta or BC.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-24 11:23:37

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:23:24

Any site only has a chance to revitalize an area if it is a component of critical mass. The stadium alone is not going to be a factor no matter where it is built. I totally respect everyone's opinion and I have read every article on this site regarrding on the Pan Am stadium. @mr janitor - We differ on this opinion and I am not going to rehash it over and over again. :-)
But I will reiterate that my personal opinion is that the WH is a better choice; it's centrally located, it has more potential to be a part of critical mass, it will be a part remediating property that no private investor will touch and coupled with the velodrome it has the potential to become a sports destination. People alreday flock to Bayfront park for recreation and fitness activities so I think it could be complementary to the current use of the area.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 11:56:13

"..."numbers, shmumbers" is basically Bob Bratina's approach to the funding shortfall...he said that Infrastructure Ontario is high-balling the $$ estimate to prevent bad press from going over budget...and he remains "100% convinced" the Pan Am Stadium will go ahead at the Ivor Wynne site... "

"The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby." - Montral Mayor Jean Drapeau prior to the 1976 Olympics that left Montreal $1 billion in debt.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 12:04:57

Just heard Bob say he was 100% convinced that the Tiger Cats would be playing football in Hamilton. Even Bobby B is keeping his options open. I'm 100% convinced Bob will say whatever comes into his head.

I'll be the first to admit I never imagined a budget for rebuilding half a stadium would result in a funding gap (just an ROI gap).

As a result, I have no idea what today's latest twist at the GIC meeting will reveal. But, I will be there. It's like being in a virtual reality mystery novel, though the key difference is a mystery novel has a fixed price, no matter how surprising the ending.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 12:29:22

It will be interesting to see if they punt this report back to staff with no time on the clock or face reality.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 12:40:29

Did Bratina really say "numbers schmumbers"?

I heard a news clip today while out and they played a Bratina clip. Here was the gist of his comment:

'Let's ask ourselves if Hamilton is better off or worse off with the Ticats? I think we're better off with them, and therefore council has to find a way to make this work.' Ummm, Bob, where you been the past year? Council has been chasing sites and wasting money all over town trying to make this work. Feel free to act like the mayor of HAMILTON anyday now and demand that the Cats put a cent into the project and stop being such corporate thugs.
It's like we elected Pigskin Pete for mayor....brutal.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:09:39

Mayor Bob ran for election on a Platform Schmatform. Can we expect more from him now that he wears the chains of office?

I wish I had been a fly on the wall at his all-nighter with BY. I'm starting to think there was a drinking game involved.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:22:41

... why does half a stadium cost more than double what other cities have built entire stadiums for?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:35:58

Glad to see that the cost to replace BT has been incorporated.

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By Rumplestiltskin (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:46:02

Bratina Schmatina...the voice of the Ticats speaks again.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:53:40

So the Cats want us to build them a new stadium AND new office space now! wow. They need to get out of town quick. I'll call the moving van for tonight if they'd like.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 13:55:25

If both the Ticats and an NASL team were using a new stadium or renovated IWS there would leave little room for community use. Some legacy for amateur, high level sports.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:08:41

Am I being dim... or are the Ti-Cats seriously proposing to give the city a $3 ticket surcharge as operating costs towards the new stadium -- an estimated $600,000/yr., which includes ticket sales for a soccer team we don't have? And then the city is proposing to pay the rest of the $1.2M/yr. operating costs?

So we will STILL be subsidizing this team to the tune of $600,000/yr.!

After investing $55M of our Future Fund and foregoing many, many other projects that could actually build our city.

This very proposal is an insult. I will not attend another Ti-Cat game as long as this team is in its present incarnation. Disgraceful.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:19:01

HamiltonFan wrote:

I do appreciate the feelings of people who may feel betrayed or confused by the stadium situation and who are anti-Young/Mitchell as you say. I just have a very different outlook than these people, that's all. Not better in any sense, just different. I'm not from Hamilton, wasn't born and raised here, so that might have something to do with it. As well, there may be other workings going on here that may have some particular interest to me as well that aren't Hamilton centric if you will. I have come to appreciate the city of Hamilton but I'm not in love with this city that much to be honest.

With all due respect HF, I was not asking about your feelings re: this debacle and what it means to Hamilton.

I was asking what you thought about even more fans abandoning the Ti-Cat ship as a result of this latest news.

The Tiger-Cats had split their fan base, and now seem to be losing even more of their existing support.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-24 14:19:35

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:22:17

I suspect it will be easy work for council to vote this down. But the scary part is we now have a mayor with no discernible business sense setting direction for this city for the next four years. Not to mention my Ti-Cat cheerleading Ward 2 councillor.

It is very disillusioning.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:34:49

This was doomed from the get-go wasn't it.

I don't mean Ivor Wynne. I mean making any 30,000+ seat stadium for the TiCats, anywhere. East Mountain had too much infrastructure cost. West Harbour has rehabilitation costs (albeit ones we should pay either way). IWS has Timmis relocation costs and whatnot.

Is it even possible to build a stadium that size for under $100 mill?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:37:41

if you don't mind sitting in a bucket like BMO Field, yea, it can be done for around $100 million. The place is barely nicer than Ivor Wynne.

This is going to be a loooooong 4 years.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:42:40

I've noticed a fair amount of strawman attacks from trolls and Bob Young partisans accusing WH supporters / urbanists / latte-sipping granola heads of "hatred" toward Bob Young and the Ticats. I can honestly say that I have never hated him. When I met him he was extremely engaging and I liked him immediately.

What I have said - and still believe - is that Young unfortunately surrounded himself with people who gave him very bad advice. They told him he'd never make money at the West Harbour (sports economics experts disagree) and that by digging in his heels and threatening to take his toys home he would be able to convince the city to give him a stadium on favourable terms at his preferred location.

Last summer, he and his advisers grossly underestimated the sheer level of public backlash against the "compromise" proposal to put the stadium next to the RHVP and a sea of surface parking. They underestimated the robust, evidence-based public debate that exploded around this issue and undercut their emotional appeals. They underestimated the capacity of most councillors to stand up to the team's extortionary tactics, even as Council dutifully voted to investigate alternate site after alternate site.

Last Saturday's profile of Ticat president Scott Mitchell by the Spectator's Drew Edwards was highly insightful in this regard:

For Mitchell, his approach to the proposed Pan Am stadium was consistent with his win-at-all-costs mantra. In the hypercompetitive world of professional sports — into which Mitchell was born and has lived his entire life — this wasn’t unusual.

But the stadium discussions weren’t a competition — at least in the athletic sense — as much as they were an inherently political process, involving a Byzantine array of agendas. “Winning” in this arena has a more complex definition and getting there is often an exercise in subtlety and negotiation. This was the world in which Mitchell found himself now. And his natural instincts have upset more than a few people along the way.

Mitchell tried to force the City into a box because he sees this issue not as an opportunity for win-win collaboration but as a battle - a scenario with a winner and a loser. Either the Ticats win or the City wins. It has been the team's relentless drive to win at the expense of the City's objectives that has led to the string of failures to find a mutually-agreeable site, as well as the steadily eroding public goodwill toward the team.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:47:11

@Zephyr, what frightens me is that BB's first test as mayor was struck without staff research, costing, or community input. He made an agreement with BY for the full amount of the PanAm funding, informed council of his deal by e-mail at 4 am, then goes public with a press conference!?

Yesterday he did an interview on CHML to pluck our heartstrings.

Today his deal goes before council and he goes silent.

Bizarre.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 14:57:01

@drb

Of course he's silent. He was proud of his deal, his single-handed brokerage of a way to keep the Cats downtown, and now this estimate has completely screwed it.

There's nothing he can say beyond an apology or aimless seething rage.

Both of which would be appropriate.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:02:43

Bratina said something to the effect of "Let's ask ourselves if Hamilton is better off or worse off with the Ticats? I think we're better off with them, and therefore council has to find a way to make this work."

Is he really saying it's the Tiger-Cats at any price?

Let's replace "Ticats" with "Stelco" or "Firestone" or "Proctor and Gamble" or "Otis"; all private businesses that actually employed people with real jobs. Would he be saying the same thing?

It's pretty sad when the mayor of a city burdened with poverty and the highest welfare load in the province, not to mention taxes, takes up the fight to further subsidize the hobby of an intransigent multi-millionaire who's already looked a gift horse in the mouth and made our City a laughing stock on the national stage.

Shame on you, Bratina.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:06:20

That was so well-freaking-said. Tell this "Ti-Cats at any price" nonsense to the guys freezing their asses off on the picket line at US Steel. Picture the abandoned Firestone plant off Burlington Street, the vacant Otis/Studebaker plant on Victoria, the mostly vacated Stelco Tower, the vacant Rheem plant or the soon-to-be-empty Westinghouse/Siemens plant at Barton/Sanford. Why weren't they worth it at any price?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:08:33

Interesting message on twitter:

Marvin Ryder on @CHCHtv 2day, says he knows the #TiCats wld get onboard w/ #WestHarbour if #HamOnt council moves 4 a fullsized stadium

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:09:35

Found this tweet

"Marvin Ryder on @CHCHtv 2day, says he knows the #TiCats wld get onboard w/ #WestHarbour if #HamOnt council moves 4 a fullsized stadium"

http://twitter.com/DavidC83/status/29629735327760384

Anybody know anything about this?

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:11:26

That sounds way, WAY too good to be true. I call BS.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:14:29

Partridge is asking about the Grey Cup, since the CFL asked for 45,000 seats before.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:16:44

OK, at risk of sounding poncy I have to say that this saga is becoming positively Dickensian. We have the billionaire Bob Young and his silver spooned henchman Scott Mitchell, along with sundry synchophants (Paletta, Carmen's banquet centre boys, Foxcroft, Bratina, Tom Jackson, Jason Farr). All plotting and scheming to funnel the city's Future Fund into their little hobby for billionaires football club.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 15:18:12

But... there is a serious funding gap for a full-sized stadium at the WH regardless. And a hard stop February 1st deadline.

Still say decide on a scalable 6,000 seat stadium now, and let the Ti-Cats come crawling back proferring actual cash before this goes any further...

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:01:55

Re: the Marvin Ryder tweet. Are the Cats actually trying to negotiate through the media at the same time that their current "offer" is on the table at Council? Have they learned nothing from their behaviour to date? I'm tired of their "business plan by trial balloon" tactics.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:05:00

I love that expression about how you really don't want to watch either sausages or legislation being made. Because I'm really struck by how we're witnessing a lot of pretty off-putting 'sausage-making' in today's meeting.

It's not so much the usual slow-as-molasses back-and-forth, procedural faffing about...it's that it's all taking place at this late stage of the game.

Hardly confidence-inspiring, huh?

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:16:12

Firstly, what a positively plugged-in, articulate bunch of people we have participating on RTH. You never cease to blow my mind.

And then...presuming that we have truthful, factual information (which could be a real stretch amid back-room deals)...I truly feel the only option is "re-submit" to the Pan Am Games for the scaleable stadium. That way we're in the Games, we're ready for them on time, we have $ for a velodrome, venue for NASL team, we kickstart the clean up and development of the WH, the Cats can continue to play at IWS with no game/financial interruptions, the Cats can continue to negotiate with the City regarding upgrades to IWS, and the Cats can join the WH (with money in hand) at a later date. My fear of going with the larger WH stadium at this point in time is the Herman Turkstra's - we've already experienced delays of an unforseeable nature, and he hasn't even begun. Énough crap, already!

If the Cats truly want to leave and/or if BY truly doesn't want to own them any longer, then, honestly, there's not much that anyone can do outside of handing over the City bank accounts and wait for municipal bankruptcy.

And, if TO2015 doesn't want Hamilton included in the Games (and turns down our resubmission), again, there's really not much anyone can do. We all know that if we re-submit for a scaleable stadium, the proposal will be a hands-down winner, if not purely from our experience over the past year or so - not to mention TO2015 is already intimately aware of what we have to offer. But if someone wants you out...they'll make it impossible if not unbearable for you to be "in."

Fave quote (although almost impossible to choose) by drb: drb: "Mayor Bob ran for election on a Platform Schmatform. Can we expect more from him now that he wears the chains of office? I wish I had been a fly on the wall at his all-nighter with BY. I'm starting to think there was a drinking game involved."

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:16:54

@Ryan, Your observation about attitude and language when approaching negotiations is appropriate. There have been too many sports analogies used in this process. The most common is "Win/win", but unspoken is "Win/lose". TiCat cheerleaders on council were guilty of this, but I've noticed that this type of language hasn't happened in today's meeting. Reality has put a chill on partisan passion. I can't wait to hear Jamie Farr! ;)

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:23:51

Farr asks about the corporate sponsors that had come forward in a "big way," according to Bob Young. They aren't doing anything for the city, only the Ti-Cats, surprise surprise.

He also asked if the scaled back stadium is ready to go, 100% and received the answer of "basically, yes."

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:32:24

Those are positive comments for the WH. I am curious what extreme last-minute stuff the Ti-Cats will come up with now that Ivor Wynne is dead in the water at council. Will they eat crow and go back to a full stadium at the West Harbor or just pull out and let the city proceed with a scaleable stadium? I couldn't even guess, personally.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:38:58

I think a full size stadium anywhere is dead at this point. My guess: The Ti-Cats will either play at a duct-tape'd IWS, or leave the city.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:45:15

From Joey Coleman:

Ferguson makes the motion: That GIC receive report, tell HostCo that IWS is #HamOnt site and city will only spend $45-mil on stadium. #PanAm

The motion also include rescinding Plan B option of West Harbour. #HamOnt #PanAm

Edit - Wow, Clark is ragging on the Ti-Cats for not coming forward with any money. Paraphrasing, "They kept saying they were coming to the table with money, and so far, they've coughed up nothing but a hairball." Now he's saying that every single organization that they give money to opens up their books, except the Ti-Cats, and they're the largest recipient of those kinds of grants. "I don't know why Hamilton is being shown as the Bad Guy that they can't find the money to make the Tiger Cats work."

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2011-01-24 16:48:48

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:46:42

Clark talking about being TROLLED by the Ticats.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:48:30

Clark: The Ticats were to cough up the financial discrepancy/additional funding, all they've coughed up is a hairball"

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 16:54:26

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:12:47

Bratina - 'keep the Ticats and don't raise taxes.' WOW - no regard for the Future Fund.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:13:53

Our Mayor is offended when disgraceful things are said about the Ticats. Unbelievable. This is our Mayor?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:14:57

Bratina speaks, I vomit.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:15:03

What is Bratina doing?! This is our Mayor? So frustrating to listen to him speak right now.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:17:31

@Andrea, And BB is playing loose with the numbers, "70,80,90 million dollar infusion..."

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:18:06

Great minds think alike Andrea.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:18:21

I know, I am appalled.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:21:31

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:24:49

I've been in and out during the LiveStream broadcast of the meeting, so can anyone tell me if the whole issue of the former Scott Park school has been brought up by anyone? (In terms of whether an expropriation would be made, or regarding the rumoured 'tax arrears' situation.)

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:26:00

I think West Harbour Plan B has been rescinded.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:26:57

So WH is now dead? But we have a $38M dollar funding gap to renovate Ivor Wynne.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:29:32

The main motion may not pass, making the passing of previous amendments moot?

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:30:02

Thank goodness for Councilor Johnson! She's actually making sense.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:39:00

West Harbour rescinded as preferred site, but scalable stadium submission to Hostco not rescinded.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:47:08

Well thats it then. Congratulations Tiger Cats - you have just screwed yourselves over.

  1. IWS goes to Hostco as the ONLY option for the City of Hamilton with our commitment capped at $45 million - leaving a multi-million dollar funding gap.

  2. Hostco cannot approved the City of Hamilton as the stadium location because the cost is not fully addressed and appropriated.

  3. Stadium goes to Brampton or Mississauga - or City of Hamilton & McMaster submit Ron Joyce as soccer venue, City of Hamilton applies for additional funds from Hostco for a permanent Velodrome, Hostco re-appropriates the remaining portion of $70 million.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:51:09

So basically we just gave up the Pan-Am games without literally saying so (by submitting a plan that doesn't have full funding commitments). I am truly disgusted by my city right now. Really. This is one of the most monumental screw ups Hamilton has made in decades.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-24 17:51:49

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:51:12

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-24 17:51:35

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:53:20

I love how you just insulted me with the wrong name. I was no more for WH than I was for Ivor Wynne. What is appalling me is the fact that my elected representatives just bent over and took it all. If they'd done it at the West Harbour I would have been just as disgusted.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-24 17:55:59

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:54:34

Not sure how this plan gets approved by Hostco since the city is essentially saying "pony up". Also pretty sure this will be a long, interesting week and the story isn't over yet. Just another twist.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:56:18

Agree trans. Matt, take a step back, remember I love the WH, just don't believe the WH actually only needs a stadium to be even better than it already is.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:56:37

Towards the end of the session the question was raised about what rescinding WH meant exactly, and I think I THINK they said that rescinding WH in this context meant only that WH is no longer the preferred option. It was still confusing after the attempts at explanation.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 17:59:34

Wow. After months of conducting themselves in a wonderful, professional manner our council just flat out embarrassed themselves and the entire city. What a joke. I hope this funding gap can't be solved and we just put this plan on the shelf until a new owner without morons for advisors comes on the scene. What a waste of our FF. And wow...I hope all the Bratina voters were watching. What did I say earlier about it seeming like we elected Pigskin Pete as mayor??? I was only half joking. Not now.

That was a pathetic display.
Anyone who thinks the mayor is only one vote is dead wrong. the entire tone and mandate of council is now 180 degrees from where Fred had it. The city of Hamilton's interests don't mean a thing now and apparently we're all supposed to bend over and send the Cats however much of our hard earned money they want because our new mayor used to do play by play?

When's the next election?

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:00:32

WH not the preferred site, but remains as a Plan B. IW is Plan A with $45 million local cap.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:01:36

someone will have to clarify, but my understanding from joey coleman is that WH as plan B was removed. In other words, there is no plan B.

Time to get your email pencils sharpened people. Council needs a massive earful after this pathetic display today. Your letters and passion worked in the summer when they were about to go down the wrong path. It's time to smack some common sense into them before they make a horrendous decision with our FF.

Please keep this in mind- Ivor Wynne isn't the problem (at least not to me). The financial terms of that disgusting contract are the problem. A BIG problem. That is OUR money!

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:03:41

My understanding is that the Plan B has now turned into simply a scalable stadium with no actual location. For whatever reason, West Harbour as a location has just been dropped entirely.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:04:43

@transitstudent

WH was voted on 7 times and remained the preferred site even when they went through all the other sites CP, EM etc. What they have done now is to vote an eighth time and this time it is IWS. HOSTCO already has in hand (Jan 20th) that we want to be considered for a a 5K stadium at WH.

I suspect Thursday if the gap is not made up IWS comes off the table and they will revert to WH or no stadium at all.

This could be a way to get the cats to finally pony up or walk away. Then WH becomes a fairly easy choice.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:07:38

So McHattie wanted an amendment which said should sufficient funding not be secured for the IW plan, that Hostco continue to consider the WH proposal as submitted. It was defeated mostly on the grounds that councilors didn't want to send mixed messages or sound undecided.

Ferguson's main motion included a note about rescinding the West Harbour plan as part of the motion to direct staff to pursue the IW plan up to a cap of $45 million from the City. In discussion on this point, I believe it was concluded that this was separate from the submission sent last week to Hostco for the WH scalable stadium, and rather places the IW plan as the preferred plan currently.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-24 18:08:18

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:10:12

What I got from the tone of the debate/questions at council is that the motion and the resulting vote is meaningless. The funding gap remains for all options. BB may think he came out with a win on this, but I think that many councillors knew that there was little difference between a yay or nay vote. Staff now has 2 days to go out, cup in hand, and close an impossible funding gap. BB just got "punked".

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:11:12

My understanding was that Part 2 of the motion they just approved kills West Harbour with IWS proceeding as the only option - capped at $45 million contribution from the City of Hamilton. They also selected Alternate B - which does not include the "conditions" (office space, corporate boxes, parking etc..) imposed by the Tiger Cats.

This is a lose-lose for all - even the Tiger Cats.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:12:16

@transitstudent

I think that is correct. Actually I think this puts the gun barrel to the cats, feds and the prov., by Thursday come up with the gap. Cats promised money haven't seen it, Feds and prov. claimed they would help out etc.

Will be a very interesting week.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:16:42

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:17:51

@Simon

I do not think WH is dead yet. Remember HOSTCO already has our Jan 20th letter, so McHattie's motion was moot. I think if council would have picked the scalable 6k at WH today, it would be ours. If on Thursday IWS fails i.e. gap is not filled, I think we compete against the other cities for the small stadium.

Comment edited by PeterF on 2011-01-24 18:19:48

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:21:53

Can I just reiterate again how much joy it brought to my heart listening to Councilor Clark talk about being TROLLED by the Ticats? I swear to Christ almighty he did, he must read RTH!

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:30:31

Hammy, if you can find 1,260,000,000 nickels by Thursday, I'm sure BB would be very appreciative.

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By What (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:34:47

So if they are willing to go blindfolded on the budget and build at IW, why not WH where they are at least more assured of some spin-off pay back?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:39:57

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-24 18:41:02

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By Rober D (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:55:05

If we can't figure out exactly what their vote means I strongly suspect they don't know either.

I'm curious as to how the councillors voted.

It seems that, assuming they move forward with their submission capped at 45 million, someone other than the city better offer some money.

Was the velodrome discussed? Is it part of this submission or does it have a different timeline? I've heard both from different sources.
L

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:56:54

HF, weren't you supposed to be moving out west??

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-24 18:57:11

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:57:01

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:58:56

Now the city can get to work and make realistic plans for the site

Why? So it can sit empty for 30 years with no funding to clean it up?? This IW deal completely kills any chance of anything happening at WH by draining the FF and redirecting HOSTCO money away from WH. Take a good look at how Rheem and it's surroundings look, cause it ain't changing anytime soon based on councils direction today.

We can also kiss the world class velodrome goodbye too. The far greater facility of the two has been sacrificed for a corporate welfare bum.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 18:59:18

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:00:02

To clarify - a scalable 5,000 seat stadium on the WH was submitted today (January 20th) as Plan B. The larger stadium option at WH has been rescinded and the preferred site for that is IWS. What is unclear is if we are actually allowed to submit two sites....

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:01:20

Was the velodrome discussed?

Briefly, and this is another bone of contention with me. The finance manager told council to prepare for sticker shock when they are told the 'real' cost for the velodrome shortly. Apparently it's way higher than $14 million. If he knows this info, why is he not giving it to them NOW. They are setting up council to make an uninformed decision and then when they find out the velodrome is $20+ million they'll all throw up their hands and say "we can't afford that. We just drained the FF for the stadium". I was really ticked listening to him tell them all that the cost has gone up for the velodrome, but not tell them by how much. Clearly BY has friends in high places at city hall (other than the mayor)

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:01:37

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:02:53

To clarify - a scalable 5,000 seat stadium on the WH was submitted today (January 20th) as Plan B.

Is there any written info stating this? According to Mark Mahsters and Joey Coleman, it's IW or bust. No plan B.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:03:50

say what, tell us where money is going to come from for the land remediation?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:06:55

Folks, things will look better in the morning. Council SHOULD have laughed at this "deal", but they didn't. Nevertheless, I was speaking to Brad Clark after the meeting today and another councillor walked by. I said "this is not how things work in the business world. This can't happen." And the councillor said, "If they don't close the funding gap, it won't." SO what I suggest is we ALL get writing our Provincial MPPs and our Premier and ensure that the province doesn't do something silly and actually pony up the money. And they just might with an upcoming election and votes to buy. McGuinty strikes me as silly enough to think "oh those crazy Hammer people and their crazy love of those 'Cats. Better help them out with their problem"... voila a little fairy dust and our Future Fund AND our tax dollars get sucked into IWS....

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:09:09

@Jason - McHattie confirmed in response to a question by Councillor Johnson in the meeting that the WH scalable stadium was submitted January 20th.... I assume that there are minutes of these meetings? Are the publicly available? Otherwise you will have to trust my eyewitness report :) I was at the meeting from 4.45pm onwards today...

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:10:09

After months of conducting themselves in a wonderful, professional manner our council...

Wow, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit after reading that

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:10:43

Both the city manager and the finance dude (not sure his title) seemed very supportive of the IWS deal. They were not giving "just the facts, ma'am"...not at all. There was a lot of spin, especially from the finance guy.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:16:52

The FF has money left in spite of what spin you are hearing. It will only take 8 M to make a park there and use bio remediation methods

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:19:13

I didn't catch all of the finance guy's info (Rob Rossini) but I thought I heard him tell Council that there isn't a financially viable CFL team in Canada, and that he's researched them all, including Saskatchewan's publicly-owned team who had to ask the Province to bail them out ($80-million? - I could be wrong).

Also...and I'm being a bit of a jerk here...our Mayor said something to the effect that he has a solid understanding of what the financial implications are just now, but he certainly doesn't have a solid understanding of geography - Glendale (in reference to the home of the Phoenix Coyotes) is in Arizona, not California.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:21:14

@goin'downtown - but...our mayor is in the Football Reporters Hall of Fame.... so can't be expected to know much about hockey, right?

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:24:13

@Zephyr - :) Ah, yes, playing the fear card - "Hamilton, don't lose this team like you lost the team that you never had."

@saywhat - about $23.4 million left from original $137-million if Pan Am Games take up $60-million

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2011-01-24 19:24:40

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:27:49

thanks for the reports zephyr. much appreciated.

say what - the LAST thing we need at the waterfront is another park. How about some actual development?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:29:06

Forgive the Mayor, there IS a Glendale, CA as well.

Here's how I know this:

@2:50

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ7HjzZLp...

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:30:30

I also noticed the massive spin being put forth by the two dudes answering questions. I saw that part of the meeting, but missed the debates and motions.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:31:24

Fine find some other sucker.... I mean investor. The stadium is the worst of all choices. A park is infinitely better and its achievable. Try 4 soccer fields. Theres your amateur legacy and without even spending more than $10M

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:31:44

This just in

After today's council meeting the Hamilton Tiger Cats owner Bob Young announced his latest plan for a new TiCat stadium. It will be a 25,000 seat pontoon boat that will host games at the West Harbour, Confederation Park, the Burlington Pier, and eventually Ottawa, Moncton, and St John's. The club will be renamed "The St. Lawrence Seaway Manatees". Major sponsors include Chriscraft and Canada Steamship Lines. The stadium will be funded from a $10 surcharge on seasick bags. ;)

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:36:06

@drb

SEND ME MY SEASON'S TICKETS!

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:36:32

Im not happy with removal of wh, but i am glad council capped their contribution. BYs additional demands are laughable. All this to refurb a stadium for a team that won't front a dime. I hope council reconsider a 5-6000 seater with velodrome. the bioremediation is sounding like a good option too.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:36:43

@drb - you rock!!!

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2011-01-24 19:36:55

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By kevin (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:40:14

drb: I'm with those guys. Your comments made me spit beer out my nose. Thanks.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:44:50

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-24 19:56:20

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:46:11

Thanks. This whole thing has been getting me down. We have been dealing with so many important issues (city building, poverty, recession, transit, elections) and then a Fellini movie breaks out. I needed a smile today.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:52:27

You guys lost and lost big

Yes, we know. Our FF drained. No real city-building. A massive subsidy to a clown owner etc.... Obviously you don't live in Hamilton or you would have said "we lost big". We're the ones paying the taxes here....don't pile on.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:57:08

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-24 19:57:46

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:57:42

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 19:59:16

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:01:43

The decision made today by Hamilton city council to approve Ivor Wynne Stadium as the only Pan Am stadium site and cap Hamilton’s contribution at $45 Million is bizarre.

Over two years ago, the City of Hamilton signed a multi-party agreement with the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid Corporation to pay 44% of the construction cost of a 15,000 seat Pan Am Stadium.

Toronto 2015 and Infrastructure Ontario have pegged the current cost of a 15,000 seat Pan Am stadium at $125 Million in 2012 dollars. To comply with the multi-party agreement, Hamilton would need to contribute 44% of the construction cost. That calculates to $55 Million as a starting point.

Any construction costs above that to satisfy the additional requirements of the CFL and the Tiger-Cats would fall upon the City of Hamilton if no financial contributions are made by the Tiger-Cats and their sponsors and/or additional monies are not forthcoming from the federal and provincial governments.

The proposal being sent by Hamilton city council to Toronto 2015 seems to be:

  1. To build a Pan Am stadium at Ivor Wynne Stadium;

  2. To cap Hamilton’s contribution at $45 Million (36%) of the $125 Million cost of a 15,000 seat Pan Am stadium instead of the required 44% thereby breaching the multi-party agreement between the City of Hamilton and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid Corporation.

So how will Toronto 2015 respond to Hamilton’s proposal:

  1. Accept the proposal but require Hamilton to pay 44% of the construction cost to which it is committed under the multi-party agreement, or

  2. Reject the proposal because it breaches the original multi-party agreement.

Today's decision by Hamilton city council will probably result in community sized Pan Am soccer stadium being built in Mississauga or Brampton.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:09:38

Well summarized Renaissance, thanks for bringing us back to the original deal.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:15:35

Yes RenaissanceWatcher, "breach of agreement" didn't come up today at all. It seems to be the crux of the matter. Good catch.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:38:26

RenaissanceWatcher

Excellent post. Sadly, an excellent and accurate post.

I was there today and it was clear just how unclear Councillors were about the numbers. This is a sickenly awful deal. So, what do our Councillors do? They cap our construction commitment at $45million, regardless of the funding gap or the future operational liabilities, and toss it into the lap of the Province, effectively saying, we can't make the numbers work, so you figure it out. They have washed their hands of their fiscal responsibility. It's appalling that the majority of them thought this was a good idea.

Worse, they kill their own back up plan by dropping Plan B (WH).

I hope HOSTCO is offended and sees this vote for what it is and says to Hamilton, take a hike. This is bad leadership by our Councillors, and even worse by BY.

We deserve each other, I guess.

Comment edited by H+H on 2011-01-24 20:38:56

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 20:40:56

@Andrea, I re-read a portion of last night's posts on this thread and I want to thank you for the wealth of info you provided. Most of what you wrote came out at the council meeting today.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:07:05

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:11:01

The original IW stadium was approved/designed approx 1927, completed by 1930 according to Merulla's reply to my letter, just in time for Depression 1. The parallel is eerily unsettling. I hope RenaissenceWatcher is right that we won't have to worry about this scheme, only about the two other money pumping schemes still in the queue.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:16:55

Wow! This whole situation is toxic. What a missed opportunity for a real statement by Hamilton with a beautiful downtown stadium on the waterfront like the ones in Pittsburgh, Seattle, etc. If only council and mayor had a backbone and stuck to their guns, we would have saved this ugly debate and millions of dollars. This debacle has set Hamilton back in a big way and eroded any goodwill towards the Ticats for an awful lot of people. The blame lies first with Bob Young's inner circle and then the spineless council and mayor. Makes me want to move back to Toronto, and that's saying something considering the boob in charge there now!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:30:42

So... we need to all write our MPPs and McGuinty and tell them this albatross is not the kind of gift we need for our fair city.... in case they do reach deep and close the funding gap. The thought makes me shiver.

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By itsallOVER (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:52:43

Hamilton politicians voted 10-to-6 in favour of a motion tabled by Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.

The motion forwards a renovated Ivor Wynne Stadium to Pan Am Game's officials, as the city's preferred stadium option.

The option calls for a 15 thousand seat re-build of Ivor Wynne. combined with renovations to the "southside stands" that would meet what are called "Base CFL" and/or "Base Tiger Cat" needs.

Monday's decision also officially takes the west harbour off the table as a potential stadium site.

A lawsuit is now being considered by several law agencies against the city of Hamilton for the "forceful and unlawful" way they went about securing properties at West Harbour, expropriations which "had no backing or merit" and resulted in a overrule when challenged in expropriation court. An expropriation order is rarely overturned, a result that may support further legal action against the city.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:53:25

Ty Webb,

Remember the vote was 10 to 6, so I wouldn't call council as a whole "spineless". Give credit where it's due.

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By Brightdaysahead (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:54:43

This is fantastic news! When the logic and intelligence of Sammy M and Bobby B prevail, you just know that our mediocre future is just around the corner.

In all seriousness, we will have to see what actually happens in these last few days, but if you ever wanted to know why Hamilton is always talking about potential, but never achieving it, look no further than the decision that was made at City Hall today.

It’s not that we don’t have the money to spend, we do. We spend hundreds of millions every year. It’s how we spend out money - Signing blank cheques for projects that achieve very little and have no inspired vision. Heck, they aren’t even risk adverse. They are willing to go against all the best evidence (that they paid for themselves) and pour the city’s saving into a plan that has giant red flags all over the place. It’s also not a matter of a grand plan that they have developed, and have confidence in (unless you take Bratina’s mantra of “Save the Ticats, don’t raise taxes” as our civic guiding light). Whether you agree or not with the outcome of the vote today, their decision-making makes no sense.

I can only conclude that there is an element of idiocy in this – literally, the definition of idiocy is, “utterly senseless or foolish behavior; a stupid or foolish act, statement, etc.”

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 21:57:50

Thanks Bright, After reading your post, I feel less guilty about saying that Mayor Bratina acts like an idiot.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:03:08

About the lawsuit. I think it's horrible news and the last thing the city needs now (obviously), but can't say I blame the residents who got booted out. I'm relatively new to the whole stadium thing. I guess Council was pretty certain about WH in the past?

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:24:28

Yes it was pretty sure and should still be. I know people who were investing in the WH area but aren't anymore. And they definitely won't be in the IWS area.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:38:40

it's a long story space monkey, but some liberal insiders, wannabee politicians who ran in the last election and high ranking political/business big wigs stuck their noses into the discussion and tainted BY and his crew for their own personal gain.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 22:56:36

Ok, so where do we send the emails to let the McGinty gov that there are those of us that don't support the sole goal of "keep the Ticats and don't raise taxes."

h o l y c o w! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/poli...

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-24 23:00:00

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:03:58

by the way, I was at the LRT open house tonight and found out that Metrolinx has delayed (yet again) any funding for our LRT line until AFTER the next election. This, if you'll recall, is now 4 years of delays from these morons.

I would suggest that we email McGuinty and his crew to let them know that we would much rather see LRT money flow before any stadium money. At least that's the angle I'll be taking with my letter. One is clearly all about city building and transforming Hamilton. The other has become a corporate handout.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:04:28

There's still a glimmer of hope for a velodrome at the WH, isn't there? And if Brian Timmis stadium gets levelled for parking, maybe a small stadium at the WH would fill those needs and anchor WH dev't? I hate the fact that people's homes were expropriated for what was to be a Pan Am Stadium (can you imagine being one of them???), but there will be development at the WH at some point.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:07:37

It's game over guys. Feds are proposing to buy votes... er I mean, closing the funding gap for stadiums.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/poli...

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-24 23:08:42

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:14:58

@GrapeApe, thanks for the G&M link. I saw the Saskatchewan stadium plans earlier today while surfing other info - those numbers are insane, particularly for a province whose entire population is only double just that of the City of Hamilton. The comments echo what so many say here in Hamilton insofar as inappropriate funding of private sports franchises. I'm all for the intangible marketing benefits that can be acquired through a major sports team, but not when the investment is perverse.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:20:43

Wish now more than ever that council stuck to their guns on WH or at least kept the WH as a option. The timing of this stinks.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:27:20

Random ramblings, in no particular order: This is what you get with another 11th hour 'proposal' and insufficent time to properly research all the variables. As a resident of Hamilton I am 100% against the use of the Future Fund towards a renovated Ivor Wynne. It's a personal opinion, but I don't feel that this use is in alignment with th City Building mandate. By using this money for Ivor Wynne we are basically handing it over to the Ticats. Let the Ticats negotiate with the School board for additional parking; as they are getting all the revenue. We (th City) should not be assuming the administrative costs of brokering the deal unless we are charging the Cats for the City Staff time. Additionally, I am concerned about the WH lands and what will happen in that area. Millions in property that cannot be resold to developers for residential use without millions in remediation costs. The fact that Brian Timmis can be rebuilt for $2.3 M is well and good, but there is no current site for this in Ward 3 and there is no money to purchase land if there is no City owned property available. Having to pay for an alternate location for the Ticats to play during the construction - another $7M??? WOW. And they are proposing McMaster WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING WITH MCMASTER AS TO THE FEASIBILITY OF THIS IDEA. Unbelievable. As a resident of Ward 3 - I don't think that pouring money into the current stadium location will have any spinoff developments that are not directly related to the Ticats. It's already been there for 80 years and look at the area; Dense residential, pinned in by schools. The stadium is not a part of a critical mass for commercial development. It's like putting a $65,000 kitchen in a two bedroom bungalow -no opportunity for return on investment. At work I draft strategy proposals for my business development team on a fairly regular basis and the lack of detail in this proposal is alarming. I have no words for the lack of concrete answers to some of the councillors questions today. One final point - both Rossini and Murray did appear to be less than impartial today.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:31:36

@Andrea - agree with all your points. As for McMaster's stadium, the Cats won't be paying for it anyway so who cares if they've just shafted the city's bargaining position on that.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:34:41

I am just so thoroughly disappointed that despite Ian Troop's clear statement about this NOT being about the Ticats, it has clearly become ONLY about the Ticats.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:43:40

@Andrea... and we have a recreational/soccer field deficit that is only going to grow larger because of the Ticats demands.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:54:21

I guess after all this we have learned that the CFL does qualify as high level amateur sport.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:55:42

Hahahahaha!!!

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 23:55:58

@Andrea - hahaha, that explains everything :)

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 08:55:42

the feds are going to go around the country dolling out money for new stadiums and Hamilton is going to be the only city that asks for half a stadium. What a joke.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-25 08:56:10

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 09:08:02

I really hope that for all the money we're putting up, we can rename the stadium "Bob's World". In honor of our benefactors.

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:25:12

When's the next meeting - doesn't yesterday's motion have to be ratified?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:28:31

The next regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Jan 26th (tomorrow) http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/C...

However, there was talk of another General Issues Committee for Thursday to get an update from Staff as to the progress with the Ticat negotiations and plea to the Province for more $$$. (did I get that right?)

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:43:57

The ratification meeting is next Monday, the day before the February 1st deadline.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2011 at 12:08:15

From a reliable source: 'With more info coming from CH staff on Thursday, the final decision -hopefully- will be made then.'

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 29, 2011 at 13:28:27

Give up, WH is dead. It also had millions$ in shortfall funding. Unless it's a useless 6k bleachers.... which was never planned for the Setting Sail plan. Setting Sail is what WH supporters should be concentrating on now, and not wasting efforts and licking your wounds over WH not getting a stadium.

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