Special Report: Pan Am

The Great Stadium Disappointment

The new stadium is an uninspired, boring, half-assed waste of money.

By Adrian Duyzer
Published October 14, 2012

The design for the new Pan Am stadium has been revealed and it's worse than even the most cynical among us expected.

Let's start with how it looks: it's essentially a carbon copy of the current Ivor Wynne stadium. It's like they took Ivor Wynne, rotated it 90 degrees, and said, "Screw it, we're done here." The reaction I've had from every person I've spoken to about the new design is puzzlement: they can't tell the difference between the current stadium and the new one.


The "new" Ticats Pan Am Stadium design.

The new design completely lacks any interesting or unique architectural features. For comparison, take a look at the BBVA Compass Stadium, a soccer stadium built in Houston. It opened May 12, 2012, seats 22,039, and cost $95 million USD - $15 million of which was for land purchasing, a cost we didn't have to bear for the Ivor Wynne location.



BBVA Compass Stadium. Images from Wikipedia.

Or take a look at the Rio Tinto Stadium, constructed in Sandy, Utah, for $115 million USD. It seats 20,213. And it has a roof.


Rio Tinto Stadium.

Given that we're spending $145 million on our new stadium, why doesn't it have a unique design or any kind of architectural flair? Why doesn't it have a partial roof to protect stadium-goers from the rain? Why are the undersides of the seats exposed to the outside of the building - couldn't they afford to put some walls up? Why do the lights look like they're recycling the ones from Ivor Wynne?

Of course, it's not entirely the same as Ivor Wynne. There are some differences:

The entire thing is, in my opinion, a total debacle. And the way the Ticats have slapped their brand all over this is an absolute embarrassment. The video on the site about the new stadium, the images, the renderings with "Ticats" on the end zones, everything is just plastered with black and yellow and Ticats branding.

This is their stadium, even though we paid for it.

We didn't get to see the designs in advance, but they did, even though we paid for them. The community wasn't allowed to participate in the design, and this is the result of that lack of consultation and collaboration: an uninspired, boring, half-assed waste of money.

Matt Jelly put it succinctly, passionately and accurately in a Facebook comment:

I don't get why the success or failure of a privately-owned football franchise should be a municipal priority. I don't get why all three levels of government are investing millions and millions on a Stadium and the Ti-Cats were given so much input on location and construction, without contributing one thin dime to the project. I don't get why we're paying to build a replica of Ivor Wynne, which could just as easily been upgraded for far less. I don't get why so many Hamiltonians are more concerned about pro-football than they are about unaccountable serial polluters, deep and serious poverty, school closures, draconian radial separation by-laws and cleaning up the slow tar spill in our harbour at Randle Reef. Three years ago, if you asked for my opinion on pro-football, I'd be entirely indifferent on the subject. Three years have passed, our future fund has been raided, our council caved in to meaningless threats, and we're letting so many other priorities go unaddressed and unmitigated.

Councillor Lloyd Ferguson is right about one part of the problem:

Scant hours before plans for the new stadium at Ivor Wynne were unveiled, Councillor Lloyd Ferguson used three words to explain why it isn't being built on Hamilton's waterfront.

Scott Mitchell's ego.

Ferguson says the Tiger-Cats president's stubborn refusal to back down from his opposition to the west harbour ultimately cost the city the better location.

"Ego got in the way of making the right decision," Ferguson said. "This one guy killed this thing."

"One guy who isn't even going to be with the Tiger-Cats when this thing opens."

The other part of the problem, of course, is that council let themselves get railroaded into this, even though the community made it absolutely clear we were opposed. And now we're left dealing with the consequences while the Ticats do victory laps.

What a disappointment.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

238 Comments

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:33:46

The design is banal, to say the least. It's proof that the Tiger Cat organization is much better at playing Councillors and citizens than it is at playing football.

We were played. We were robbed. We will suffer for several generations (given that the last stadium lasted over 70 years).

As much as I applaud Councillor Ferguson's directness now, I would have preferred this level of candour when it might have made a difference. I'm simply flabbergasted that the design reveal was the first time that Councillors saw the design. How on earth could the Tiger Cat organization have seen the design before our Councillors. I'm OK with at the same time, but why before? Let's not be dumb enough to say that they are the prime tenant and needed to be consulted to ensure it was configured to suit their needs. At the risk of simply repeating what we all already know, we're the owner. They rent from us, and for a very small portion of the year at that.

For those who say, "It's done. Let's move on.", I say no, not yet. Of course it's done, but why should we just suffer in silence? Why should we not speak to the issues of responsibility and of accountability - both around the Council table and at Queen's Park? Do we really think we learn and become wiser by burying, ignoring, and not analyzing our biggest mistakes? I, for one, am capable of assessing how we got here, while at the same time focusing on where we need to go in the future as a city. All of us, in my opinion, need to do both at the same time. Otherwise, ignorance is indeed bliss.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:43:37 in reply to Comment 81595

It was always going to be banal. We're not paying for flashy design, we're going for seats-per-buck because that's what Bob Young needs to make money off this (and even with that approach we're losing like 8000 seats).

We should've abandoned the Ivor Wynne site the moment it became apparent that Bratina's "half-refurb half-new" plan wasn't workable.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:53:12

WHY is it too late? $150M is a lot of money to commit to something that obviously has absolutely no business case. Is there something that can be done? A court challenge?

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By Turnover (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 11:04:24

I agree with everything in this article except for the second to last sentence. The ticats aren't doing any victory laps but trying desperately to make this a positive occasion to help repair the damage they have done to the only thing that matters: the connection between the team and the community. It was tenuous to begin with and Scott Mitchell has managed to sever the century-old emotional link between football and Hamilton. Good work Scott! Nothing says business smarts like turning off your entire customer base. I can't wait to see what you able to achieve as you "move on" to handle Bob's other companies. While they may want to call this a new beginning, the fact is Bob Young's personal reputation is in tatters locally and Scott Mitchell essentially got fired because of this.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 11:56:38

I agree with article totally, another problem is the removal of the community facility of Brian Timmis stadium and the lack of a place for the Ticats to play in 2013. Why not take a big timeout on the whole thing and get it right. $150 million of taxpayers money is way too much for a facility for a private business that will use it 10 days a year but i it's going to happen let's do it so it benefits the city. In a rush for Pan Am? Too bad, play the soccer at BMO field. An architecturally distinguished design at West Harbour is the only acceptable outcome.
This stadium at the IWS site contradicts every point that the Ticats claimed they needed and portrays Hamilton as a backwards joke at a time when the city is otherwise evolving in a very promising way.

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By davidsfawcett (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:24:08

You've gotta give the Ticats and Mr. Young some credit. He bought the team out of bankruptcy and has learned the job of "sports franchise owner". He was already an experienced businessman and he came up with a business plan.

With the exception of playoff games and Labour Day, only about 23,000 folks are ever going to attend Ticat games. They looked at their costs and the bottom line, and determined how much money they need to take from each supporter. They realized the prices they must charge will require first class amenities and 23,000 seats between the goal lines. As much as I agree with Adrian's assessment of the design, aesthetics are probably irrelevant.

The best part of the deal is that once they're over the one-season-expense of playing elsewhere they get a made to order facility for about what they now pay to rent Ivor Wynne and we, the taxpayers, are on the hook for the cost. I'm a CFL fan and this bothers me. Those who don't care about the Ticats could be rioting in the streets.

I didn't renew my Ticat seasons tickets 4 years ago when they decided to up the cost by 40%, because believed it ought to have been done incrementally and I told them as much. I'm certainly not going to pay $68 a pop, as they do in Montréal, to sit between the goal lines. Oskie wee wee.

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By Slodrive (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 15:01:35 in reply to Comment 81599

23,000...or, really, closer to 25,000 is pretty damn impressive given the decade of horrible football and the PR nightmare of tearing a large hole in revitalization ambitions of the city.

I'm grateful to Bob Young for saving a team that is near and dear to my heart. But, I can still hold him and Scott "the Mouth" Mitchell accountable for turning what could've been something great for everyone into something bad for most.

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:51:05

Let's pick stadium "C" from the generic stadium handbook.

The lack of design, architecture, thought and creativity in this design smacks of a project that never went out for bid. Or went to the absolute lowest bidder. Or maybe there was a golden handshake to the developers. I don't know.

I do know this is the least exciting end possible, to a 3 year+ conversation.

edit: thanks for writing this Adrian. Great summation on all the conversations I have been having.

Comment edited by brundlefly on 2012-10-14 12:52:35

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By j (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 13:31:06

one other issue: the city's commitment is now $54 million not $45 million, a number city staff has repeated was 'capped'. The province has maintained its $28 million commitment and the fed is now bankrolling the biggest chunk. But where is this extra $9 million coming from in the city's contribution???

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 15:07:37 in reply to Comment 81601

Bob Young paid $9 million for naming rights.

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By j (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 09:49:04 in reply to Comment 81611

why would that be included in the city's commitment?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 22:30:44 in reply to Comment 81611

I don't understand naming rights from a business standpoint so is there a difference between paid $9m and naming rights being worth $9m and the Cats and City looking for a sponsor?

If Bob Young 'paid' $9m himself, does that mean he names it and can post his brand anywhere? Which it seems he has done in the conceptual videos/drawings. Ticats everywhere which is smart marketing I would assume and the fans will eat it up. I also noticed 'Ivor Wynne' is used as the name of the stadium in the video. Not sure what that means. Although I was starting to lean more towards a return to Civic Stadium in later months but keeping a name that has stood 42 years I would be fine with. The name itself is strong whether there are still many who might not know who Ivor Wynne was.

I will hold final judgement until we see the finished design but I like it. It's Ivor Wynne turned sideways and in many ways, is the simple Ivor Wynne we loved. It's features are the neighborhood, it's views, it's site lines, it's intimacy. and the history of it's location.

It's bright yet still seems to carry that old brown and it's really hard to see either end and if it's all beams or how the ends are covered. I hoped for a return of the old Beechwood facade from the Civic Stadium facade but modernized.

The architect seemed to understand the existing stadium and it's grounds importance and the early drawings seems to reflect this but it's still hard to really tell the video goes so fast at points.

It has less parking around the stadium which is a good thing for the neighborhood, with ample parking available within a 10 minute walk.

What this stadium will do for the neighborhood is the main value of that price tag. Perhaps as Twitter comments allude to, it won't get hookers off of Barton but will anything? Does any city think they will ever stop this from happening on their streets? I think if you take a closer look you'll see Barton is slowly transforming but it does have a long way to go. The new stadium will help directly around it on King and Barton and I already see so many houses in my neighborhood being bought and substantially fixed up.

Not too mention (even though I am not a fan of big box), how 'clean' the Centre on Barton looks, Ottawa Street is doing great, sewer, road, and sidewalk replacement from Gage to Ottawa St on Bernie Faloney way really brightened up that block and some of those houses are looking sharp!

I see those drawings above and prices and I wonder too. I know the process sucked right up to the end. I feel the Councillors frustration and that of the citizenry, but I can't help but to look at this as a bright light with some serious concerns being brought up to the powers that be about this process to possibly help other communities in their battles going forward.

Like my marriage separation, I truly feel all we can do is look for the lessons, and take them as us being chosen to lead in helping others through similar city building matters. One lesson might be to encourage cities to really survey their existing stadium or facility sites because even if you think there isn't a hope in hell you'll stay at the same place, you never know if you'll end up where you started and you should be well prepared for that option. We never had the time to survey the true costs of staying put from having to tear her down to nowhere to play in 2013 as of yet. If we had looked at Ivor Wynne seriously from day one we likely wouldn't be where we are but I am still glad we are and think that investment is worth the 'entire' package; what this is going to do to change the community the stadium will live on within.

I see the video and photos and I already miss old Ivy, but it's not just that the stadium needs a new lease on life, so does the community it has brightened spiritually over the past 80+ years.

Maybe the past hasn't been proof of the area's potential with a stadium, but the future will be.

I am not impressed by this entire process from many angles, but I continue to be excited about the outcome and the communities future. I won't and I know many others won't forget about the hard, eye-opening lesson's we've learned, but all I can do is learn from them instead of dwelling on them.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-10-14 23:26:30

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 08:48:15 in reply to Comment 81635

Bob Youngs naming wright for 9 mils .... you whatch and see it will be LULU.COM Stadium

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:17:29 in reply to Comment 81894

If that happens it would be the straw that broke Bob Young's back and he'd be putting the Ti-Cats on the auction block. "I can't sell these naming rights to anybody so I'll have to plaster one of my own brands on it" is pretty much a worst-case scenario.

Although as a nerd, I'd actually really like the Red Hat Enterprise Linux stadium.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 06:45:47 in reply to Comment 81635

Bob Young's "naming rights" investment amounts to a shell game. It is a similar arrangement to the one that Toronto FC owner MLSE struck over Toronto's then-unnamed soccer stadium in 2006, when they promised to pay $18m toward construction costs, a sum that included $10m coming from naming rights. The next year, they sold a decade of naming rights to BMO Financial for an estimated $27m. And at least in MLSE's case there was a more substantial buy-in: Their $18m commitment represented just over a quarter of the stadium's construction cost, where Young is kicking in around 5% (which may reflect the negligible market value of naming rights at IWS). Where I'm unclear is whether the naming rights have been purchased for the 50-year lifespan of the stadium or simply the term of the initial lease.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:39:50 in reply to Comment 81642

I'm sure this will end up being one of those stadiums that change names every 3 years once the previous company realizes it's a waste of money, and a new one gives it a shot.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 10:25:28 in reply to Comment 81642

The name will also change, says Mitchell. "I think there will be a significant component to the stadium that will honour the Ivor Wynne name but clearly there will be a new name for the facility, " he said.

Just found this on the Scratching Post.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 09:12:12 in reply to Comment 81642

So why put the name Ivor Wynne in conceptual drawings/videos?

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By Jack (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 13:41:06

Lloyd Ferguson is playing this totally ineffectual regret card without offering a single solution. Here's one: breach contract. Result: damages for breach from the contractors. At the moment the loss would be of the minimal work put into the plans so far, plus loss of the higher funding and a reputational blow. The gain would likely be in the order of the entire $45 future fund that could be spent on better things. This is called efficient breach in contract terms and Ferguson could take some leadership for a change and propose it instead of wimpering. The thing probably won't be built for the Pan-am games anyway. Moreover when it's not built for the Ticats 2013-14 season the city will be on the hook for indemnities TO THE TICATS. The worst thing about this farce: it's not even over yet.

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By Rob S (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 13:43:44

If it looks like it was done on the cheap, that's because it was. The projected cost is $30 million under the original approved budget. So obviously they took all the stadium designs and pulled the absolutely lowest cost bid.

For another 4-5 million they probably could have covered the seats with a partial roof. For another 4-5 million they could have put up walls around the outside of the building. But they went as bare bones as possible to save as much money as possible.

It's really unfortunate that this is the route they took and this is the result that we get.

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By JM (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:23:07 in reply to Comment 81603

Although it does seem unfortunate that we didn't get an ultra-modern stadium like in the examples above, I am somewhat (still coming to accept it) satisfied in the "open" design that is shown. In my opinion, it is a true reflection of what IWS always has been - and still might help retain that "feel", including the character of the neighbourhood, when you experience a football game.

I was a big supporter of the WH proposal, but now I am content with the "compromise" solution that sees the tradition continue in this neighbourhood. This stadium, and the team within it, are what have given this neighbourhood its identity (and pride).

My biggest worry, because you can't tell from the renderings, is whether the stands will be constructed of concrete or steel (like BMO field). Even though we are steeltown, a steel stadium will only come off as a cheap solution..........

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 13:43:55

The pan am games are nothing more than a way to build stadiums for Ontario's CFL teams. The Argos will quickly move into the new stadium at York University. This is not so much a story of the TieCats hijacking the Hamilton Stadium agenda but the CFL hijacking the amateur sports agenda of the Pan Am games.

From where I sit the 30 million required to build the velodrome was a far better investment than 150 million for this white elephant.

This has no 'city building' potential in fact it seems to be an attempt to rob Ottawa St. of the farmers market and is the complete destruction of amateur sports field, Brian Timmis (sp?) field.

My only take away; to get all this help the CFL must consider themselves to an amateur league. Remember that next time you pay $70+ for a ticket!

Comment edited by rednic on 2012-10-14 13:48:40

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By +Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 14:10:34

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By zephyr (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 18:01:31 in reply to Comment 81606

This comment is incredibly city. Many of the people posting here have invested their own money in building businesses here. Others are doing what they can to make a better city by holding our city councillors accountable for the way they spend our resources. Even if Bob Young has put more money into this city, he has also benefitted a lot more than I ever will with generous corporate welfare that I helped fund against my will...

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 15:59:01 in reply to Comment 81606

Re: "Bob Young is a great man and has only the very best intentions for Hamilton."

"Ivor Wynne is a drain on the City’s of Hamilton’s budget, and is the cause of the Tiger-Cats financial instability for more than 40 years.... Every Tiger-Cat fan loves Ivor Wynne, but it is simply no longer a viable stadium for generating the revenue required to run a competitive CFL team, much less other sports teams, and even less so for music concerts or other community events. The reasons for Ivor Wynne’s lack of success for anything, even CFL football, is the lack of visibility and the lack of access. Just ask anyone in Ontario where Ivor Wynne is. If they don’t live in Hamilton or didn’t previously live in Hamilton, they’ll simply have no idea. The reason the stadium is still named Ivor Wynne after all these years is no one is willing to pay enough for the naming rights to justify the cost of the scaffolding needed to change the sign." - Bob Young, in rejecting the West Harbour option, May 6, 2010

http://www.ticats.ca/article/caretaker-s-update-pan-am-stadium

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:48:55 in reply to Comment 81613

That quote should be on the front page of the Spec.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 15:50:39 in reply to Comment 81606

Re: "The choice to rebuild the stadium in the same location was a smart one."

“I think it’s a crazy idea. It just doesn’t make any economic sense.” - Scott Mitchell on the wisdom of restoring Ivor Wynne Stadium, 22 days before applauding an even more expensive option (rebuilding a scale model of IWS) on the same site.

See http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/304277--and-then-there-were-two

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 14:39:44 in reply to Comment 81606

So it's the Ticats new Home ...Custom built. I can only think of one organization that builds people 'custom homes' with no money down. Thats called 'Habitat For Humanity'.

Imagine If was inline for a new home from Habitat Humanity and I said 'golly gee whiz, I really don't like that location at Cannon and Kenilworth. I going to sit and pout until you build me a home In Westdale' .

As good an organization as Habitat for Humanity is I think the response would be 'suck it up'.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 14:15:28 in reply to Comment 81606

Hamiltonians Lack Positivity

Well when the thing to be positive about is $145 million pissed away on a football stadium in a city of rampant poverty, pollution and decay, I think maybe there is a reason for that.

This place is starting to just make me sad.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 14:10:54

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 16:13:29 in reply to Comment 81607

Fred and council called their bluff repeatedly. It was the new mayor who brought us here.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:08:55 in reply to Comment 81614

Fred and council called their bluff repeatedly.

They did no such thing. Calling their bluff would have been saying "We're building a stadium at the west harbour, end of discussion, you are welcome to take part" That is NOT what happened. Fred left this open to debate. I voted for the guy, but this is on him.

A strong mayor would have said no to any debate after choosing the West Harbour, Fred didn't. It really is that simple. Fred dropped the ball and started this whole "discussion" which ended, yes under Bratina's watch, with this stadium choice, but the road to this choice was left open by Fred.

I hope Fred finally learned one of the golden rules of politics: try to keep everyone happy and you keep no one happy. That is certainly what happened here.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2012-10-15 10:11:40

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:52:13 in reply to Comment 81654

Me thinks you have it wrong. Fred was the only one who stood up to them and it cost him.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:58:52 in reply to Comment 81820

I realize that discerning what caused an election result is like reading tea leaves, but I'm not persuaded that Eisenberger's support for West Harbour is what cost him the election. After all, Bratina also supported the West Harbour.

Bob Bratina West Harbour Rally

I think what cost him the election was that he ran a dismal campaign. As Adrian Duyzer noted, "The biggest problem with Eisenberger's campaign is that the message is weak."

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 23:19:30 in reply to Comment 81821

I campaigned for Fred. The stadium loomed large in the feedback we were getting at the door.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:53:59 in reply to Comment 81654

Kiely i guesse you have not been following this Stadium debate Fred told Bob Young its the WH ... when the pls in Hamilton saw that they thoung that fred is not changing his mind so they VOTED for the Bratina and he caved in .. because Young told everryone in some way that he is looking to moved the team somewere els .... and couseil droped the ball with Bratina

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:18:25 in reply to Comment 81664

Kiely i guesse you have not been following this Stadium debate

You guess wrong.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 16:18:09

Good piece Adrian. Amazing to see our rendering next to the other two stadiums you showed. About 50 years apart in terms of design. The Balsam side of our new stadium is absolutely embarrassing. It's no different than the current vista on Beechwood.
Horrible.

http://goo.gl/maps/4ELla

Comment edited by jason on 2012-10-14 16:18:23

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 18:19:00

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By Tomorrow (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 18:49:16 in reply to Comment 81617

Actually, all of Hamilton lost. Especially the many people who don't give a rats ass where the team plays and loses, WH, EM, IW. A very small minority will be happy in the end. It's a big waste of money for a bush league team.

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By OAML (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 18:49:15

Andrew's column about Mitchell's ego killing a better location is the single best opinion piece I have ever seen in the Spec. So, so very straight to the point in a City that is very typically plays its cards very close to the chest.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 18:50:00

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By Tomorrow (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:12:14 in reply to Comment 81620

Yes. A very successful heist.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:04:30

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By forever (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:18:40 in reply to Comment 81621

This isn't over by a long shot. How over will it be when the ticats come asking for money to cover relocation...when the lease isn't finalized or when they come asking for the next bailout in 5 years. It will never be over - Young and Mitchell will never live this down and we will have monument to balls for brains for the next 80 years.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:21:06

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By onandon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:24:54 in reply to Comment 81624

I can think of one upside. We now have a name for all those bone-headed mistakes made that hold this city back... It's called a Mitchell

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:34:32

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 19:39:49

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 21:35:19 in reply to Comment 81627

"That is history now": Like the Caretaker's claims of civic duty or the Ticats' claim to greatness. The team passed its best-before date 40 years ago. Bob Young has essentially admitted as much. It's only nostalgia and ticket giveaways keeping this farce in motion.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 20:09:42

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By Tomorrow (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 20:10:09

HAR HAR HAR SCREW THE FUTURE! FOOTBALL! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 20:22:57

I'm sure everyone knows this, but there is a LOT of time to see major changes to this horrible design. Contact council, show them similar priced stadiums that actually look like they belong in 2012. I just pulled 3 pics of stadiums and showed my wife. Her first response to the new Cats stadium - "it looks just like Ivor Wynne. Why are all the steel beams showing?"

It doesn't take an expert to see how pathetic this design in.

Compare:

Rio Tinto - http://www.teamgearsoccer.com/repository...

BBVA Houston - http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets...

Winnipeg CFL Investors Group Field - http://cfl.uploads.mrx.ca/wpg/images/thu...

PPL Park, Chester PA - http://www.wvmetronews.com/images/ppl-pa...

Notice in all of these stadiums, they have exterior streetwalls so they look like an actual building, not a bunch of steel undergirders. Also, they all have partial roofs.
And they all have a design flair that makes them a landmark.

Ticats call this a 'neighbourhood stadium'? I'm pretty sure the neighbourhood would have windows, brick walls and front doors across the street instead of steel beams.

http://cfl.uploads.mrx.ca/ham/images/gen...

Council seems pretty ticked...finally. Let's find out where our $145 million went, and demand a proper, 21st Century design. A lot of deadlines and deals yet to be made.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-10-14 20:23:27

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By John Merriman (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 18:06:58 in reply to Comment 81630

It would be nice to see a forensic audit on this debacle when the dust has cleared.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 20:46:42

We had a rare opportunity to do something exciting, something transformative, something that could help break Hamilton out of the self-imposed constraints that so often hold us back. Amazingly, we seized the opportunity early on and began planning how best to advance the city's community-building goals.

However, a narrow interest that was a major beneficiary of this project realized it had leverage to press for an even more advantageous deal, and at the last minute they launched a high-stakes game of chicken with the city. Our leaders wavered, but held to their principles for a while, buoyed by widespread public support.

However, they ultimately capitulated to the private interest that commanded so much power despite having invested so little, and accepted a compromise that allowed the private interest to save face but discarded the city's goals and aspirations.

This charmless, dismal specimen of civic engineering is the predictable result of a once-inspiring project that was hijacked by narrow interests, dragged behind closed doors and foisted on a community that is committed to blow its Future Fund with no say in how the money is spent.

It surprises me not one bit to learn that the Ticats got to see the plan before the people who are actually paying for it got to see it. It is only fitting that such a vile betrayal of civic engagement should end in such a shameless bamboozling.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 13:00:07 in reply to Comment 81631

Where Does Bad Design Come From?

Bad design continues to haunt Hamilton. Only a few years ago, a similar opportunity to redefine the lower city via the much tauted "brand-spanking new Centre Mall" was lost forever in a sea of scattered stucco boxes.

The true impact of bad design can be seen daily in the vacuous expanse surrounding these boxes.

What could have been the most innovative transit centric, pedestrian oriented and bustling, sustainable/green mixed-used development -- at the hands of inept and greedy buffoons, very quickly morphed into one the most disastrous urban retail developments in North America.

Good design was available for the asking, locally, provincially or nationally - but instead, poor design was selected by the 'MBA centric suit' mindset, with little real-world experience of "civic duty" -- the stuff from which good design springs.

Our politicians at every level will refuse to learn from this debacle - because, they continue to look at such large developments as a convenient vehicle for re-election.

Boosterism, buzz, and lies is what drives such mega projects. Our politician are least interested in the reality of the outcomes - which is too distant in time for it to be of any strategic political value. It is in the 'now-ness' of the hype that they thrive on.

For them to become curious about good design, or invest time to investigate its lasting positive impact on the culture and economics of the city would require a sensibility that simply does not exist among the present breed of politicians and designers of such projects.

The Discovery Centre on the waterfront was one such hyped up project designed for political capital, and having achieved its intent within five years, was unceremoniously hacked into a commercial enterprise.

If Centre Mall was underwhelming, wait till you see what will be sprouting soon on Main and Bay.

For the proposed IWS, many community consultations were held by an American architect, only a few months ago. This got many in Ward 3 communities energized. The visioning process of the neighbourhood that was undertaken at these meetings was stellar, and the hopes generated, very high.

One thing visibly missing from these community consultations was the Stadium design. And rightfully so!!

God forbid, had this pathetic caricature of a stadium design been presented to the community at these meetings - all hell would have surely broken loose two months ago.

What the community was told at these meetings was that the social, cultural and economic impact of this $150 Million investment would be felt for many blocks surrounding the stadium in Ward 3.

The unveiled arcade of exposed steel columns on either side of the stadium silently begs to differ.

The community in good faith accepted the logic presented at the consultations. And it is possible that most went back from these meetings with mental images of a grand development befitting their neighbourhood.

So, what went wrong?

In fact, nothing. On the contrary, things went extremely well - as planned!

"Bait and switch" is the operative word in Ontario in our times, and Hamilton is no exception. It is the only way left, after a decade of plundering the treasury at every level.

The protocol is simple. Overwhelm the senses with grand talks, buzz words and patently false/misleading renderings - and call it the "vision"; then micro-manage the community input process. And then, fatigue the community with banalities of the restored grandeur, and quietly slam them with a hyper-controlled leak of an underwhelming - affordable design with a - this is what you get for the budget you have.

Such a protocol virtually assures that fifty percent of the population will continue to believe in the false buzz created by words and renderings, while the other thirty percent will turn around and justify that "bad is better than none". The remaining twenty percent may cringe, scream, and kvetch but eventually, will go silent.

Politicians continue to reward and dance around the virtues of sole-sourcing designs/projects of such types that devastate the identity of the community and the psychology of its people. It works for them politically and helps maintain the balance of power - and that is all that matters to them.

So where does bad design come from in Hamilton/Ontario? It comes from greed, ignorance, arrogance and conceit - the stuff from which "civic duty" most surely cannot grow.

The proposed IWS stadium design needs a 'street wall' on its periphery. Without a scaled down street wall, it is nothing but an ugly exposed skeleton of a simplistic steel-frame structure, just waiting to deteriorate in 20 years.

Fortunately theExaminer.com has stated that: "The stadium is expected to be completed for July 2014, one year ahead of the 2015 Pan Am Games."

This would imply that "One Year" is still available to redesign this colossal misstep.

The city mandated 'site plan approval process' also controls the city directed 'architectural & design guidelines".

This is the only point in the process where the architects could be sent back to the drawing board legally.

So, it is imperative that the city planning staff shows foresight in correcting the wrong path presently taken by the IWS design. It is also critical that community groups and individuals inform the city planning staff that the IWS in its present form defies universal design guidelines which could directly revitalize the local community.

A twenty to thirty feet mixed-use wrap of three/four floors, on the rear side of both the "glorified bleachers" would not only give the required street scaling and street wall with a street life -- but could also, if smartly done, provide a regular flow of much needed revenues to the city.

The vacuous front plaza also needs to be set amidst a grand entrance that defines the stadium precinct. This is the place where Hamilton's sports legacy for the coming generations can be defined - or as in the current design scheme, destroyed for ever.

It is a myth that "good design" requires tons of money, and that you get what you pay for.

Design Like you Give a Damn by Architecture for Humanity shows us very clearly that it does not take pots of money to create legacies through good design.

Do we have a culture that gives a damn? let alone design like it gives a damn?

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-10-15 14:33:27

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 16:15:09 in reply to Comment 81673

The protocol is simple...fatigue the community with banalities...Overwhelm the senses...

Exactly! I am dismayed that so many of my fellow citizens are consumed with bread and circuses although this is a very good digest of rants nonetheless.

Come what may, I'm pretty confident we'll never see anyone play in this stadium except perhaps some hunger games, prescribed as the masses opium.

Do we have a culture that gives a damn?

Good question man: "A symbol of survival and redemption, human hands capable of so much harm, can also heal." Time will tell.

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-10-16 16:50:21

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 13:58:16 in reply to Comment 81673

From: http://www.newstadiumnewexperience.com/t...

Cannon Design's presence is anchored in Canada with offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.

Canon Design's work is wide reaching and diverse, from the celebrity of the Richmond Oval for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the renovation of BC Place in Vancouver to Landsdowne Park in Ottawa.

Cannon Design has earned international recognition and trust for insight and invention in planning and design of facilities for sports and recreation in both the public and private sectors.

Cannon Design calls itself as "An Ideas based Practice".

In light of the IWS stadium design that has been unveiled - Cannon does need to explain to Hamilton residents as to what exactly do they mean by "Ideas".

Cannon's management needs to be clearly told by all tax-payers in Hamiltonians that such design BS is simply no longer acceptable in Hamilton: http://www.cannondesign.com/practice/cul...

If you believe this stadium design is a local/provincial and national embarrassment, then send an email to Cannon's CEO and President to let them know exactly what you feel:

Co-Chairman and CEO, Gary R. Miller, gmiller@cannondesign.com

President, Cannon Design North America, M. Kent Turner, kturner@cannondesign.com

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-10-15 14:15:09

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 14:31:06 in reply to Comment 81677

How much will this design change aesthetically by the December deadline? It's hard to tell exactly what the west and east street walls will look like from what has been shown so far. The 360 pan around looks like steel top to bottom in structure, but is the base of the seats themselves concrete as another questioned, or also just steel like the supports?

Some brick would be nice considering the entire neighborhood including the school and pool and Scott Park, are all brick.

I don't mind it being simple like it's predecessor but the street wall should be well thought out. How do you envision the street-facing Melrose/Balsam gates?

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:44:30 in reply to Comment 81681

Lawrence, there is ONE year still available to fix the design. The deadline you mention is nothing but smoke to rush things without public scrutiny.

When over $30 Million is allocated for soft costs which including design, engineering etc - it is one hell of a steep price to pay by any community for such abject mindlessness.

The architects and engineers owe it to the people of Hamilton to give a detail breakdown of all the costs for this design.

Every resident of Hamilton is a financial partner in this venture, and they need to be told how in hell could such a bare bone stadium end up costing $150 Million.

Lawrence, it is not our job to help them re-design the stadium. Cannon Design is being paid a huge amount for this - not you, me or anyone else in our city.

If Cannon Design is incapable of designing something that meets the aspirations of this community, they need to do the honorable thing and resign and Ian Troops needs to call for an Open and transparent design competition that is managed by the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA).

All of this can be achieved within six months, leaving sufficient time for construction.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-10-16 01:11:08

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 21:44:45

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

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

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By shck (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 07:39:08 in reply to Comment 81633

I don't know about fancy words, most of the words I want to use about this stadium are 4 letters long.

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By basil15 (registered) | Posted October 26, 2012 at 05:22:10 in reply to Comment 81645

I agree, pathetic. How embarrasing, look at Winnepegs new stadium. Now thats a pro stadium built with less money. Im considering becoming a Bomber fan thats how pissed I am.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 22:15:51

Don't blame Scott Mitchell. Yes, he's a bully who was so stubborn that, rather than admit he was wrong, chose to forge ahead with a site that featured none of the amenities that he had previously framed as "deal breakers". The ONLY reason he "succeeded" was the fact that gutless, spineless Hamilton Councillors folded in the face of the threat that the Tiger Cats would move. They didn't even have the parts to ask him "where?"

The West Harbour stadium was Hamilton's "once in a lifetime" opportunity to tie the downtown to the waterfront in a viable manner that would benefit countless stakeholders including the Tiger-Cats but most importantly taxpayers. While every jurisdiction in North America that has a waterfront was doing or already had done just that, our shortsighted Councillors bought in to a profoundly empty threat from a football team that won't even exist in twenty years.

It's no wonder that Hamilton continues to be seen as the joke that our Council keeps proving it is.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:21:05 in reply to Comment 81634

Scott Mitchell playing to win...

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.

“He is an offensive lineman exploding off the line in the middle of a china shop,” says one city hall source.

...

There’s little question that an extreme competitiveness has been a driving force in Mitchell’s life and approach to his job as president of the Ticats. It has been a key element in the success of the team in recent years, and to his personal success.

In pro football, a win-at-all-costs mentality isn’t considered a liability. ... But there are drawbacks to this mentality, particularly outside the environment of pro sports. Few around city hall were willing to comment on the record, citing the delicate nature of ongoing negotiations and the upcoming vote on Ivor Wynne renovations. But the sentiments from city hall were almost universal.

“His style of bringing a gun to the meeting doesn’t work in the political environment,” said one insider. “You can’t bully people.”

And yet another said: “He doesn’t live in this community and he doesn’t have any loyalties to this community. He’s certainly rubbed people the wrong way.”

...

Mitchell says he has regrets.

“Everyone has made their fair share of mistakes, and I’ve certainly made mine during this process.”

But remains unapologetic for his approach.

“I certainly think I’m blunt. I don’t believe in dancing around issues, particularly something as important as this,” Mitchell says. “My job is to protect Bob Young, to protect the team and to protect the league. Sometimes that’s going to conflict with city-building.”

That's most of what you need to know about what went off the rails.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 13:02:28 in reply to Comment 81656

What confuses me about all this is that they didn't "win" anything.

All the problems that they highlighted about Ivor Wynne and why they needed a new location were met by the WH location and are most certainly not met by a rebuild.

So, congratulations to Scott Mitchell for pissing everyone off and accomplishing none of their stated objectives.

Bratina really dropped the ball as his primary goal should have been what benefits the city, not what benefits Bob Young and he lost sight of that in his desire for the label of "the man who kept the Tiger Cats in Hamilton".

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By argo (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 20:33:23 in reply to Comment 81674

agreed. I'm currently taking a course in negotiation and I can confidently say that Scott Mitchell failed big time, broke every rule. This is almost a case study of what to do when faced with a certain kind of person. There is some blame to go on whoever was negotiating for the city. Michael Fenn also did a very bad job. But if Bob Young has indeed promoted SM for 'winning' here then I would immediately pull any investments I had in BY's companies.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 22:37:02

I'm fairly certain they made it clear from day one this was going to be a budget project. $150 mill sounds like a lot, but they're prioritizing maximizing the number of seats over any other aesthetics or anything.

Really, as much as we were all sick of arguing it, the Ivor Wynne site should've been dropped the moment it was revealed we couldn't save half the existing structure as a cost-saving measure. That was the only positive asset to the old spot, and when it was gone the location should've been gone too.

Wasn't obliterating Timmis supposed to get us a 500-1000 parking spots?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2012 at 23:19:40 in reply to Comment 81636

The 500-1000 parking /event vehicles and such, spots is for the Pan Am games I believe. After that they will continue to build what we see in the promenade design. I am pretty sure that is still how it will be done.

One thing they have yet to mention is where they are going to put Brian Timmis?

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 08:30:34 in reply to Comment 81639

actually, the lack of surface parking is one of the few things I like about this new design. The Cats should become champions for LRT in Hamilton considering a station is proposed at the stadium. Not to mention it would be a great PR move on their part...which pretty much all but guarantees they'll do the opposite.

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By transformative change...delayed (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 22:46:39

Big opportunity for real transformative change has been lost. Or perhaps delayed. There is always next century right!?

Seriously though something has to be done and be done fast.

Didn't Cohen argue that the stadium had to be 25,000 or TiCats would leave.
Didn't Bratina support West Harbour ...once
Didn't Young say no to Ivor Wynne
Didn't they say we were just renovating one set of stands so it was financially viable then it ended up being two.

Didn't we originally start with a west harbour location and a velodrome and a track and a community facility?

and now we have an ugly stadium that fits the neigbourhood that is branded with yellow and black of a poor team in a poor league.

This has only been a subsidy for a league and team that are both dieing. Hmmm, wonder if Braley had anything to do with this.

We need our taxpayers money back. Imagine the parks and recreational facilities we could get for that much money.

I will never pay to watch the ti-cats again. I only did because I love this city. Now all I think about when I hear the Ti-Cats is the lifetime delay they have caused in Hamilton's transformative change.


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By chubacabra (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 19:58:23 in reply to Comment 81637

Something that I think often gets overlooked is that the city was looking for investors for West Harbour...and they couldn't secure any. The West Harbour Stadium idea wouldn't have had enough money. I'm not sure why, I guess it's because of the soil remediation? I don't know. The land costs?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:16:38 in reply to Comment 81691

Who were the investors for the IWS location?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:17:15 in reply to Comment 81637

This comment expresses eloquently exactly what I too feel about this process. I too was a Ticat fan because the team was a beloved part of this city. I now not only don't attend games, I also do not watch them on TV. In the end the children of this city were robbed of a promised opportunity to promote amateur sports among the youth of Hamilton. I would infinitely rather have seen a velodrome/community sports centre that kids could have been involved in.

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By exactly (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 22:48:24

"the Ivor Wynne site should've been dropped the moment it was revealed we couldn't save half the existing structure as a cost-saving measure."

exactly!!

It just shows how much the 'fix' was in with the football buddies in Canada's Senate, the Pan-Am committee, Bratina, Mitchell and Young...

It's sickening.

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By ProgRockFan (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 01:49:45

Chad Collins has indeed ducked under the radar (or his desk) on this one! He made absolutely certain that the Confederation Park site be removed from the site list. He was Chair of the Waterfront Trust at the time, and was very obviously looking after his own interests in this whole thing, not to mention anyone else involved in his waterfront projects. Even when Mayor Bob Bratina tried to get Council to reconsider looking at Confederation Park, the looming TO2015 deadline made it a non-starter, much to Chad Collin's relief.
Most people point to Scott Mitchell, the Ticats, and other members of city council for blame in making this whole process a dirty shame, but I will always remember how Chad Collins so subtly sabotaged the process right from the start. I will never forgive Collins for it and will never vote for him. He happens to be my ward councillor, but I'll never call him for any help with any municipal issues. There's a rumour that Collins is considering a run for federal politics (he hinted at this while Justin Trudeau was visiting Hamilton recently). I certainly hope that he does go for it. That would mean that he would have to give up his council seat and more than likely lose his bid for a federal seat, with the end result that we're all rid of him.
As for the new stadium... it doesn't matter how nice it looks. It will still have the same negative issues as there are currently, not to mention I'll likely not be able to afford the new ticket prices any time soon. It will be a very long time (probably 5 years) before I get around to checking out this new mistake of a stadium.

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By ThisIsOurHamilton (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 06:53:38 in reply to Comment 81640

Chad Collins has indeed ducked under the radar (or his desk) on this one! He made absolutely certain that the Confederation Park site be removed from the site list.

As he bloody well should have.

The whole stadium discussion is a real piece of work, befitting a city that has no keel and no engine. (Further, it would make a great play; Brian Morton, where are you...?) The 'factions' that intractably believe what they will, the absolute dearth of either common sense or leadership, the lack of genuine process (read that as: engaged discourse, discussion and debate)... On and on it goes.

For me, the fact that this gem notion about Confederation Park is invariably hauled out just points up how far we have to go before we can even begin considering that real thoughtful progress in the city might be possible.

Comment edited by ThisIsOurHamilton on 2012-10-15 06:54:31

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By So... (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 08:50:00 in reply to Comment 81643

Why don't you state your opinion rather than just commentate the obvious and string together buzz words? You always bemoan the lack of 'true debate' like Hamilton isn't sophisticated enough for your enlightened mind. So, you intractably believe Confederation Park is a bad location, but seem to criticize others for holding strong opinions? Such a troll.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:28:42 in reply to Comment 81648

Actually I think this was pretty accurate:

The whole stadium discussion is a real piece of work, befitting a city that has no keel and no engine.

Yes, a bit of a "down-his-nose" tone to it, but certainly not a "troll". What passes for debate and discussion in this city really is just factions on soap boxes. I won't argue with that.

We ARE a city without keel or engine... this "ship" is manned by a multitude of oarsmen all paddling in their own direction.

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By mistake (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 05:38:17

mistake of a stadium is being viewed that way on national sports discussion boards, it is just solidifying people's perceptions of Hamilton. Remember that initial drawing of the Commonwealth WH waterfront stadium with parks, a track, sunken hill slope seating one end and view over Harbour on the other. I can't get that image out of my head and when I see where and what we got I feel that 'mistake' label the city is stuck with is well deserved thanks to a pseudo pro football team and their former play by play announcer of a Mayor.

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By Traffic Sports (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 08:22:33

According to Wikipedia, during its early-1970s golden age, Ivor Wynne Stadium had an audience capacity 17,000 seats higher than the above Pan Am Stadium.

At the time of its naming, IWS could accommodate around 13% of Hamilton's population. The new stadium will be able to accommodate around 2/3 the number of Ticat fans and just 4% of Hamilton's population.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 09:20:43

well, I hope they figure out a way to tap into the next generation. I haven't gone to a game since this farce began...my kids are growing up not even knowing we have a CFL team. Cats better figure out how to get to them on their own.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:10:32 in reply to Comment 81651

Same here. I was a lifelong ticat fan. I took my son to a game. We had a great time and I was contemplating season tickets when the ticats threw their little tantrum. I chucked all my ticat memorabilia, and my children have not heard so much as a word about the team ever since. The ticats are simply not on their radar screen, and won't be playing any part in their developing identity as Hamiltonians.

It's sad really, but how can anyone be expected to show loyalty to an organization that made its contempt for this city so clear?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:22:54 in reply to Comment 81651

I too haven't been to a game since the whole joke of a process. I have a 4 year old that will not be raised either watching the Ticats on TV or going to games. The Ticat fan base is aging fast, and the team has alienated the next generation. By the time this stadium is built, there are going to be so many more options for spending scarce entertainment dollars than paying for overpriced tickets to watch a heavily-subsidized team play (not very good) football. IWS2 offers no amazing game-day experience - who wants to sit in a roofless stadium in the cold, staring at heavy industry? Seems rather bleak to me.

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By DrAwesomesauce (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:23:51

The ideal stadium...if you were a high school football team from Texas.

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By Traffic Sports (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:49:32

“A new stadium means new opportunities. The new stadium will be unique in it’s ability to stage concerts. Hamilton has now set the stage to be the cornerstone in the Southern Ontario region for outdoor concert stadium tours. As the concert leaders in the market over the last 20 years, we are very excited in having the opportunity to be working with the Tiger-Cats to bring world class entertainment to Hamilton.” - Riley O’Connor, Chairman, Live Nation Canada

“Having just worked with the Tiger-Cats and city of Hamilton, we were able to create a wildly successful and truly memorable Tragically Hip concert to celebrate the closing of Ivor Wynne stadium. The unique location was part of the attraction and provided a great experience for the band and fans. The location and this new world class facility, along with the fact that this is the only stadium of its kind in Southern Ontario that can host large scale music events, positions it as a likely favorite stop for the best bands in the business. We see great things ahead for Hamilton and this stadium and look forward to working with the Tiger-Cats to make it happen.” - Jeff Craib, Senior Vice President, SL Feldman & Associates

http://www.ticats.ca/article/reaction-about-hamiltons-new-stadium

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To be honest, the market for outdoor stadium tours seems pretty marginal to me. Amphitheatres are generally favoured because they have their own stage and acoustically sound set-up, whereas a stadium show requires both be brought in by the act, meaning bigger cost. Gas prices have already forced a decline in large-scale tour activity and a spike in ticket prices. This is arguably also reflected in the proliferation of large-scale multi-day festivals.

Live Nation/Clear Channel does control most of the regional market for these bookings, but bookings they tend to be split between Molson Amphitheatre and Six Flags Darien Lake. (LiveNation was also behind the summer's Radiohead concert, but I don't know if they have an ongoing event management arrangement with Downsview Park.) The Amphitheatre hosted around 16 shows this year, and most of these tours also stopped at Six Flags; it is not clear how radius clauses would impact local options.

BMO Field's track record for outdoor shows doesn't give us much to go on. That seats 20,500-capacity open-air stadium hasn't hosted a concert since Sept 7, 2007.

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By Cc (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:06:41

This stadium is an embarrassment and I'm ashamed as a fan and living in this city to see this eye sore being built. Things could have been so much better and I now refuse to buy tickets and go to this stadium.

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By Hamilton's Mother (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:14:48

Smarten up! You cant play anything until you clean up your room! No football or casinos or ANYTHING until you clean up your toxic sites.

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By Thepulse (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:38:03

What a disaster ....Great Article... I feel the same way about this stadium design....No Parking, Terrible design features, exposed stands to the rain and sun which was one of the requirements requested by the ticats and cfl, steep stairs...If anyone has taken a look at the pictures their are a thousand stairs, It looks like Ivor Wynne, exposed steel beams, steep, views of Dofasco and an asbestos filled Scott Park, Not to mention the wrong location.....What a disaster...Thanks to Scott Mitchells ego were stuck with this for the next 100 years as beautiful stadiums like Winnepeg's are being built....What a total disaster.... I would have love to seen the other 2 designs from the other bids.....

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By Freiburger (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:46:36

Saying this is the fault of one individual is bullshit. Councillor Ferguson has negotiated large projects both in his civic position and privately. His last-minute pull out should be viewed as valid as every teenage father who's surprised he's gotten his prom date pregnant despite employing the same tactic. Own it Lloyd. We're going to be paying child support for decades.

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By Ancaster (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:47:11

My question is how many season tickets did they sell after this announcement.....0....In winnepeg they had over 5000 calls the following week of their stadium announcement...Bob Young's Legacy

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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 14:15:36

So let me get this straight…the new Ivor Wynn is basically the old one turned sideways? And it costs $95 million? !!

Crikey.

BMO Field in Toronto cost $63 mill – it looks like crap but it is at least serviceable and BMO kicked in $27 mill for naming rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMO_Field). If Hamilton is going to aim low it might as well get a good deal in the process. Seems to me the town is aiming low and getting screwed all at the same time. Nicely done!

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 17:49:32 in reply to Comment 81679

I really wouldn't use BMO Field as a reference for anything. That place already had some major servicing when all the bolts started falling out.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 15:16:13 in reply to Comment 81679

"Seems to me the town is aiming low and getting screwed all at the same time."

BMO's visibility from the Gardiner probably helped increase the value of naming rights... but Toronto let those naming rights go to MLSE for $10m. MLSE then flipped it for $27m.

http://raisethehammer.org/comment/81642

Hamilton let the naming rights go to Bob Young for $9m... and they might actually turn out to be worth $9m.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 15, 2012 at 16:29:37 in reply to Comment 81684

No highway visibility, ugly area (sorry Gibsoners, but you know it's true) and it's in Hamilton?

The only value of the asset is going to be that the name will get dropped in televised CFL games.

$9m might be a bit high even.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2012-10-15 16:29:56

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 15:48:36

I think if you read about the Quebec corruption hearing you may have a good idea why 150 million builds so little in Hamilton. The abject dismissal of amy corruption by the Ontario government should really raise eyebrows.

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By billsmith80 (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 18:33:23

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

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

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:15:23 in reply to Comment 81689

I don't downvote because of a difference of opinion like a lot of low thinkers. But, I do disagree with you about it being a great stadium at a great price, not even close on either point.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:05:33 in reply to Comment 81689

The anatomy of a down-voted comment:

Part 1: An opinion stated in one sentence or less with do description or reasoning.

Part 2: A sarcastic call for people to down vote the comment.

Part 3: A quick jab at RTH, or the author, or another commenter, or a moderator, or all of the above.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:21:49 in reply to Comment 81689

I downvoted you because you didn't contribute anything of value to the discussion. Perhaps you could explain why its a "great stadium"? I can (and have) given many substantative reasons why its not. You are not debating anything, and you are complaining about the forum that you are posting on to boot.

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By billsmith80 (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 18:57:10

So Young and Mitchell are greedy and selfish because all they want to do is pad their own pockets. But they then (according to most on this site) are also busy alienating all their customers.
I doubt it. I for one increased the number of season tickets I bought this year because I know my friends and family will have a lot more fun in the new stadium than on the old wooden benches of 1950's-era IW. I suspect there are people who know that the Ticats season ticket sales are increasing -because- of the new stadium. But we'll never know this since their posts will have been down-voted off the site almost instantaneously.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:23:25 in reply to Comment 81690

Wow you have deep pockets and low expectations. New seats=fun to you.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 20:10:35

All the fighting. All the hand wringing. All of the political intrigue. All of the careers started or ended. All of the city boosterism. All of the shrill, panicked screaming of fans. All of the money. All of our future plans mortgaged. All of the location debates. All of the writing dedicated to the subject. All of the studies. All of the promises. All of the threats. All of the regrets.

And we end up with these glorified temporary bleachers.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2012-10-15 20:12:42

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:24:42 in reply to Comment 81692

How do a handful of rich white guys on the wrong side of middle age hold a whole city hostage? And what are we going to do about it? Are we really that pitiful?

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By SEason Ticket Holder (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 20:24:53

What a total dissapointment for Hamilton.....It makes me ill thinking about this stadium I'm 74 years old and a 42 year Ticat season Ticket holder and by the look of this stadium and all the stairs and no shelter from the rain and sun I'm going to have to give up my season tickets....Wake up Bob your core fans are seniors

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By Season ticket Holder (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 20:29:03

Sorry everyone but I also needed to mention that its getting hard for me and my wife to fight for parking and walking long distances to this stadium.... I wish Bob considered the srs and veterans....It's a sad day for Hamilton

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:19:20 in reply to Comment 81694

Please send a few letters, he needs to hear it directly.

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By Jack (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 20:48:18

if city council wants to right this impending wrong plus the many other things that could go wrong with this incredibly tight deadline, and for which the city will be accountable, they have an option. They can still pull out. The effect will be a lot of threats from lawyers and bureaucrats and a few rounds of condemnation in the press and then everyone will forget about the sorry spectacle. The Ticats will threaten to sue but as they have contributed nothing they have nothing to threaten with. The only cause of action will be from the winning bidder in the sum of the plans they have developed.

If city council feels like it has been the victim of a con job, there is still time to right the wrong. If councillors are fed up with being lied to and swindled, they can affix the blame on the people responsible: Ian Troop, Scott Mitchell, Bob Young, Mark Cohon, and Dave Braley. If they don't do this they will endure the reputation of being pushovers who had city property stolen from them via a pretty obvious con job. If they don't do this they can be confident they will continue to be pothole fixers who higher government and industry can confidently sidestep through a few sweet words and a threat or two. Now is the time to show leadership.

It feels like it's too late, but there is just enough time to salvage their reputations.

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By Waterdownguy (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 21:30:21

Agree with most posters here that this Stadium design is terrible and just reinforces the image of Hamilton across Canada as a low class, poverty stricken community. I am a big CFL fan and had Tiger-Cat season tickets for many years in the 1990's. However, I will not be attending any games at the new stadium as I have lost considerable respect for Bob Young and the Ticat organization.

As a financial analyst, I cannot understand how this stadium will be financially viable in the long-term for the football team. Within 5 years, I suspect the Ticats will be coming back to the City looking for another handout (e.g. rent reduction, loan or grant to add additional seats to the stadium). Also, the City's $50 million contribution sounds significant but when you amortize this over the life of the stadium (50 to 75 years), it is really not that much money.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:29:28 in reply to Comment 81697

We sold a money-generating asset - a utility company -and sunk the wad into a stadium. Stadiums are assets that depreciate quickly and are in reality only an expense. There is no cash flow here. $50M IS a lot of money, that invested properly in city building could make a huge, positive, lasting impact on this city for generations to come. It is a tragedy and a travesty. I am a Business Analyst/Consultant. This project would be laughed at in private business. There is no business case at all.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:10:12 in reply to Comment 81705

We sold all four railroads and bought Baltic Avenue. Smart.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 21:41:24

What a completely underwhelming, uninspired, obsolete looking building. This looks like it was designed 50 years ago and is lacking on many fronts - partial cover for the stands, the visibility of the east-west walls (I liked the idea of the brick - instead of Rick Zamperin's "the Fenway Park of the CFL" moniker we could use "the Wrigley Field of the CFL"), the almost complete lack of a concourse that allows for seating, merchandise, TVs, and so on...

I am sad to see that we're pissing away $100M on this. Why we can't have something that looks modern is beyond me. Why we couldn't get a better location like the west harbour is beyond me. Why we can't get something nice is beyond me.

I had been seriously considering seasons tickets up until the way the team handled the stadium placement. My dad and me (who have been going to 5-6 games a year for the past 10 years) were just so turned off on their thumbing their collective noses at the city and the residents and fans, just put us over the edge. This year we bought 1 flex pack and a single ticket and are going to 3 games total. I am just so disappointed in the mismanagement of this stadium placement soap opera that I don't know if I will go to any games once they move in.

Not to mention that if they consider .500 football a 'win' they have some serious problems!

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2012-10-15 21:44:27

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By Stelco Retiree (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:19:36

This is an open letter to the ticats as a 79 year old I stll attend games on a regular basis. I can tell you that it is getting harder for myself and my grandson to park and walk long distances to the stadium. As a previous senior indicated their is no shelter from the sun and rain for us seniors and the steep stairs and double tiers will make it harder for us seniors who usually are on a fixed pension and get seats higher up in the stadium.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:53:56 in reply to Comment 81700

There are 8 elevators in the new stadium

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By Concerned citizen (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:27:42

Bob Young you should read these comments and be ashamed. I'm banning the ti-cats forever. I admire these seniors passion....Think about it Bob everyone in this city hates the location and stadium design....I admire these seniors speaking up against this classless organization....Sell the team to an owner that cares about making the fans and people of Hamilton happy. You should want people to love the location and stadium design not hate it......

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By basil15 (registered) | Posted November 19, 2012 at 03:01:23 in reply to Comment 81704

I hate it also and think its embarrasing. Look at Winnipeg's new stadium, now thats state of the art BOB YOUNG!!!! not that shit heap you want to build.

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By John sailers (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:34:08

This stadium is the biggest mistake that this city has ever done. Let's stop it and move the location and come up with a new design.....Another fan that won't attend games at the new Ivor Wynne

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By Downtown Supporter (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:41:25

Mike on Holmes will do a show on this stadium in 3 years....and he'll say what were they thinking.....lol

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By Hess Village Owner (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:45:48

I'm proud of the people of Hamilton standing up against the Ticats and letting them know that we don't like the location and stadium design and the way they treat their fans. Raise the Hammer Hamilton and you did...Ban the Ticats

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By Craig (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 22:59:01

Reply to the eight elevators...Usually the elevators are for the press box and luxury boxes and not the real fans...And your expecting hundreds of seniors to wait for an elevator to get to their seats...give your head a shake....the stadium is a fiasco look at the steps...

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By Gary (registered) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 23:10:07

No wonder why McMaster doesn't want the cats at Mac. The rumour going around is that Giles can't stand Scott Mitchell's ego.

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By Dave (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 23:17:38

One word DISASTER

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:12:13

Gee I'm glad we didn't get this after all. /sarcasm first rendering

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 08:46:21 in reply to Comment 81718

turn around the other way, and the view is the entire downtown skyline and escarpment.
Wow. This looks a million times better now that we see what has actually been designed.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:23:20 in reply to Comment 81726

It had only 15,000 seats and 'Cats fans were angry about the way the running track pushed the stands away from the pitch (IW is famous for having some of the best sight lines in the CFL).

Then again, with the cost overruns we're expecting on IW2, we probably could've bolted an extra 7,000 seats onto that design.

God dammit.

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By Locke St Merchant (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:24:18

Great view...Instead we have Dofasco on one end and a asbestos filled Scott Park on the other end...Hamilton's Biggest mistake ever....Let's fix this fast email your counsillors and Mayor to inform them about this blog and what the people of Hamilton really feel about this stadium. We are the taxpayer paying for this and have to live with this for the rest of our lives.....

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By Mike Sanderson (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:28:48

We have become a world wide example for future cities on how not to design a stadium and pick a location.

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By Ticats Fan since 67 (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:37:05

I invite Bob Young the caretaker to read this blog. I wish that he would admit his mistake and agree with the rest of Hamilton that IWS is in the wrong location and the stadium was a terrible design. This is Bob Young's Legacy. Where's Jim Basille when you need him. Remember the Copps Colisium plans for an NHL team....Everyone was excited because of the redesign of Copps...

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:20:58 in reply to Comment 81721

Bob Young waded into RTH back in the peak of the stadium debate. We were, of course, less than kind.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:56:13 in reply to Comment 81731

We were, of course, less than kind.

I'll note that the average score for the comments that Bob Young posted was positive. Anecdotally (I haven't conducted any systematic content analysis), the comments directed at Young were generally quite respectful. See, e.g. the comments on this blog entry.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 08:44:37 in reply to Comment 81721

they keep trotting out this line about how most people love it including the national press.
First of all, who cares what out of town press thinks. Secondly, go look at the Spec poll or listen to the callers to CHML yesterday - this is their demographic bread and butter....old Hamiltonians. Only 14% on the Spec poll like it. Most callers on CHML didn't like it either. Of their 'next generation' I'm guessing about 95% hate it.

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By Prof (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 00:45:49

This quote is taken from Bob Young's wikipedia page. "Today the Internet connects every single one of your customers, not just to you but to each other. So you produce a lemon of a car and you won’t know where to hide because your customers are going to tell each other about it and then the rest of the world about it" The stadium is Bob Young's Lemon...

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By Stelco Retiree (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 09:41:10

Great comment from the prof. Ivor Wynne's new nick name can be the Lemon Stand....

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By EastEnder88 (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 10:18:55

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

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

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By Jay (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 11:15:43

Maybe the Prince Edward Tavern can get the naming rights of the stadium....

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 11:28:03

I do so love how a site that consistently screams against the destruction of our arcitectural heritage, expresses such outrage that the new stadium will look somewhat like the old one and preserve many of it's arcitectural features, such as the exposed steel girders. I guess modern architecture's neigh universal ugliness only applies to residential, commercial and school developments.

What this article leaves out is the widest seats in North America, 200 concession stands, 30 private suites, one of the highest seat to bathroom ratios in North America, a rentable club/hall to hold other events, the potential for a permanant NASL team, updated player facilities, and that the Ti-Cats will be paying the highest rent of any CFL team. All mute points, because it involves Bob Young the greedy capitalist swing who was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee award last Friday for his many philathropic works.

I can't really say I blame the Province and the Feds for shutting the city out on this one. After how poorly they handled the debate, the last thing I would want is them to get their inept paws on the build.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-10-16 11:35:58

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:30:34 in reply to Comment 81740

Your positive points are correct and I agree but wouldn't they have been nicer in a better looking stadium in a better location with the absolute, so called "musts" that B. Y. wanted??

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 21:41:31 in reply to Comment 81828

I'm a Ti-Cat fan and I was for the West Harbour but the team said it wasn't feasible and they wouldn't play there, which I felt was wrong. Then mayor Fred said "Too bad" which also wasn't the right thing to do, and because he couldn't/wouldn't make a compromise happen, there or anywhere else I feel it costed him the election, and we got stuck back at Ivor Wynne and with a bumbling, poor excuse for a mayor.

It's over though, it would have been nicer in a different spot, but it wasn't in the cards because, lets be brutally honest here, the city itself was split dead down the middle. Fred's justification for his position was an opinion poll which showed 51% supported the West Harbour, which is not the kind of numbers that justify a hardline stance. (As a side note I feel referencing ourcityourfuture as a sign of overwhelming community support is disingenuous, given it's 3000 supporters in our 720,000 sized city)

As far as a better looking stadium, maybe, but I think it's important that the new Ivor Wynne keeps the spirit of the old Ivor Wynne, just without the ridiculous lineups for food, bathrooms and having to deal with wooden bench seating. I think tough Steeltown football and soccer as well should be played and watched exposed to the elements and not from in a dome like the Argos, who are suffering for it because of a lack of atmosphere and good sightlines. I think that if we are keeping the location in an historic location, surrounded by old buildings with a view of the steel mills, the aesthetic should compliment that. If it was in a modern area, like the East Mountain, then yes, I'd want to see a much more modernized design.

However, I don't expect most to agree with my sense of aesthetics. I for one think that the Board of Education building is a tired, structure that looks like a malformed harmonica, with very limited history behind it and gladly want to see it replaced with something new. Also because the downtown area is a mishmash of architectural styles, so furthing the mishmash works with the aesthetic of the area.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-10-17 21:49:06

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 08:07:43 in reply to Comment 81867

A barebones stadium could be a good idea. But not with that price tag. (And I would argue, not in that location)

What kind of renovations to IWS1 could we afford with that kind of cash?

And what could be possible with the savings? Perhaps using some future fund toward randle reef cleanup? Or building a first leg of LRT from mac to IWS? or something else positive for our future?

It's just so wasteful and benefits almost no one. I guess the players will have a fancy new changeroom though (I noticed that feature listed n the flyby. who is that marketing plug targeted to? I find that symbolic of the entire debacle. a huge project for almost nobody)

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By Fixed (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 11:50:36

Let me fix that last sentence for you:

I can't really say I blame the Province and the Feds for shutting the citizens out on this one. After how enthusiastically they engaged in the debate, the last thing I would want is them to get their chance to have input on the build.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:06:08

The City does have one recourse still available - they are the owners and the Tiger Cats are the tenant. The City controls the lease and the usage rights.

I am a life long Tiger Cats fan - but my lifestyle and ultimately my income and property value depend on the viability of the City of Hamilton.

I will be able to put the stupid location fiasco, my current loathing for the Tiger Cats management, and this ridiculous cookie cutter high school stadium design behind me -

IF

Council for the City of Hamilton learns from its mistakes and DICTATES the terms of the lease to the Tiger Cats.

The lease MUST make the Tiger Cats 100% responsible for the FULL 54 million the City is contributing, mortgaged over the 50 year design life of the new stadium.

This is not a Pan Am stadium. The Tiger Cats hijacked the process, The Tiger Cats are clearly a partner with the Federal and Provincial Govn't while the City of Hamilton is not - so if they are made to pay their way - I will be able to move on and look forward to seeing the Tiger Cats playing in a Grey Cup at IW2.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have mortgaged $85 million to pay for their share of their new stadium.

It is up the the City of Hamilton - and wholly within their right as the owner - to offer a lease to the Tiger Cats that will pay for the FULL 54 million the City is investing over 50 years.

It is up to the Tiger Cats to accept the lease or not.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 16:46:06 in reply to Comment 81742

Trolls aside...

$54 million amortized over 50 years at 5% interest is only $245,000 per month - or about $3 million per year.

Bob Young said that when he took over the Tiger Cats their gross revenues were $5 million and he has built that to $15 million.

$3 million a year for a property lease does not seem unreasonable for an organization with $15 million in gross revenue.

A small business owner with a gross income of 150k and an office / storefront lease of $2500 / month would be paying the same ratio - which is a bit high - but doable.

Of course the point of a new stadium is to increase the Tiger Cats gross revenue - so the more money they make the less of a burden their property lease would be.

And the City would eventually make all of its investment back - PLUS interest.

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By youarekiddingright? (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 14:06:13 in reply to Comment 81742

Whoa, with "life long Ticat fan"s like you no wonder the team lurches from bankruptcy to bankruptcy.

The Tiger-Cats must be so grateful for your support - with friends like you, who needs enemies.

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By Balsam Ave Resident (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 13:13:17

This design is terrible, I live right across the street and agree that the steel structure will make the street scape look bad. We as residents on Balsam Avenue already have a petition that is going around to stop this stadium build on the basis that the stadium is an obstruction to the sun and the height of the stadium will cast a shadow on our homes and the exposed concources will create more noise and as for concerts...No way are we dealing with the noise, trash and all the intoxicated people. If you live in this area sign the petition.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 19:44:14 in reply to Comment 81745

Yes, I've noticed in the rendering how massive an impact this new design will have for Balsam Ave residents. Right now there is only a low end zone stand and then open space and Brian Timmis field across from you. Incredible in a city that flips it's lid if someone proposes any building higher than 3 floors and makes the developers do wind and sun analysis for miles around before finally crushing the project, that they would allow a 10 storey slab of steel and girders be located immediately across the street from single family homes. You will never see the afternoon sun again once this is built.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:35:12 in reply to Comment 81771

Really good point on the height restriction in this city. Bring this one up and listen to the excuses, lol.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:02:45 in reply to Comment 81745

You need to check into whether there is a proper variance in place. Were you not consulted or informed and given a chance to contest the variance in advance? In my neighbourhood (North End) I was given a chance to object when a builder applied for a variance to build a duplex without a standard-size lot. This seems a bit more impactful than that to your neighbourhood :) You may be able to do a lot more than sign a petition.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 13:58:14 in reply to Comment 81745

There were shadow studies done when the height variance was applied for but were there when it was decided to turn the stadium sideways? Were neighbors within the 100m radius consulted about this?

Can I ask how long you have lived on Balsam Ave?

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By Austin (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 13:25:14

One of the box J boys took a pee on my flowers the last game against BC Lions....

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 13:41:05

Who is benefiting from this stadium build? It seems like no one - not even the cats really. So why are we doing this?

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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 14:17:28

The design reminds me of the old saying, "A camel is a horse designed by committee" The new Ivor Wynne is a stadium designed by noobs

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 14:46:04

I just received the latest issue of "Perspectives", (the official journal of the Ontario Association of Architects) which is dedicated to the topic: Why are some buildings so Ugly.

A fascinating and timely read for all, especially Hamilton's politicians, bureaucrats, city staff including local journalists, media talking-heads and pundits who help form public opinions on architecture knowingly or unknowingly.

And for those interested in knowing more on why buildings/structures end up being ugly and how designers or public opinionators could prevent such things from happening, this would be a fascinating read/watch.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-10-16 15:05:59

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By Ticat Fan (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:12:02

The guy who had the idea to name the stadium the Prince Albert Tavern Stadium. It's a great idea I go their everyday....Cheers

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By James St Artist (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:19:05

Sounds like the outside of the stadium doesn't have washroom facilities for the box J boys. Thank god they have those kilts. Cheers to the Box J boys

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By Prince Eddie (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:23:20

The prince Edward tavern should set up shop at the stadium that would be great....maybe in the party zone...

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:38:32 in reply to Comment 81760

A long as it's not a Prince Albert party zone I'm in!

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 15:36:35

Before I begin full disclosure:

-Lifelong Ticats ticket holder probably been to 200 games (with plans for 200 more)

-Resident of Bronte and not a Hamilton taxpayer (but a Provincial and Federal one)

-I am not an architect, stadium designer or sports manager, nor do I pretend to be.

Now in defense of the design.....

I don't know how many times I have sat at IWS and thought "If only my seat was bigger, had more legroom and an armrest and I didn't miss a quarter of football to buy a pretzel, this place would be perfect. I think they were simply trying to keep the sightlines, coziness and intimacy that makes IWS as good as it is.

I guess I am not the only one- During the location debate the Spec took an informal poll of fans at a Ticats game as to which location they liked and there was a large contingent that answered "doesn't matter where but don't mess with the sightlines". (Now I realize that for the sake of player safety we will never be as close in the new place but the effort to get it close as possible is there).

The other thing I love is everybody is there to watch football. There's no corporate deals being made by suits, nobody goes to a Ticats game "to be seen". When the cats are doing well, the place is euphoric, when they struggle, it oozes with angst and frustration (There's a reason why I haven't been to a Leafs or Jays game in many years).

I have this worry that the new place will become too (I hate using this word because it is labelling) "yuppy-ish". Too much of the trendy "place to be". That could still happen but the design makes me hope that we will still have that Ivor Wynne feel when I sit in my seat. When this started 3 years ago I never thought we get remotely close to that.

You probably think I'm crazy and don't get where I'm coming from and I'm fine with that. I just don't think everybody realizes what a special place IWS is to many of us (and that's OK because I'm sure there are buildings in this city others hold dear that I don't think twice about).

If you don't like the design blame me- I'm the one who e-mailed the cats and told them "Don't mess with a design that works". Blame people who told the spec that sightlines mattered more than anything else. Blame the sports announcers who state that Ivor Wynne is the best place to watch a football game in Canada.

Comment edited by Vod_Kann on 2012-10-16 15:41:03

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 19:56:08 in reply to Comment 81761

I'm no expert either, but I'm pretty certain that it's possible to build a stadium with good sightlines AND have the exterior not look like crap.

I mean, it's 2012. Are any stadiums built with bad sightlines anymore?? Is anyone intentionally installing posts in front of seats like it's Fenway Park? There's only a few options that factor into sight lines - angle of the stadium slope and how far from the field the seats begin. That has no bearing on whether the exterior is a mess of steel beams and ugly siding or is built as an actual building with street frontage that would fit better into the neighbourhood.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_tiIdttUtmKQ/TI...

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 23:57:02 in reply to Comment 81772

It's not a case of not having bad sightlines it that IWS has the BEST sightlines- ask just about anybody in the know. "Insert corporate name here" stadium won't be as good but it can be really close. In terms of watching a football game the IWS design works.

I was thrilled when I saw the rendering- it was like IWS and a modern stadium had a child.

Like I said, you can think I'm crazy for having an attachment to an old football stadium and seeing it come back to life in modern form I am OK with that.

Comment edited by Vod_Kann on 2012-10-16 23:58:52

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:41:56 in reply to Comment 81784

Ok, but again, wahat about a partial roof, a closed in (one) end for less wind and more stands? It could have been better with all that you like as well. In mho.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 16:16:47 in reply to Comment 81761

Good points, Vod, and well-presented. But...

I have this worry that the new place will become too (I hate using this word because it is labelling) "yuppy-ish". Too much of the trendy "place to be".

Don't you worry, Vod--this is extremely unlikely. Through this taxpayer funded mess, the Corporate Welfare 'Cats have done very little to enamour themselves to Hamilton residents. They already depend heavily on driveway-to-driveway fans from the surrounding 'burbs (including beautiful Bronte), and it could be that in 5 or 10 years, there'll be only a smattering of young people who know who the TiCats are, let alone care enough pay to see them play.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2012 at 16:41:49 in reply to Comment 81766

Yeah, that. The complaint about "yuppies" reminds me of folks who complain about all the "hipsters" in James North, as if the neighborhood was better off before they came along.

I'm not looking forward to seeing this thing get built, Bob Young getting a few years of profit in the wake of the rebuild, and then him packing up and calling it a day after the new-stadium-smell is gone, leaving us with another white elephant of professional sport to go with Copps.

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By Prine Eddie Patron #2 (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 17:33:12

Let's get this stadium renamed the Prince Edward Tavern Stadium....I'll drink to that.....The guy who had the idea of the prince Eddie Party zone was a genius....Let's go Tiger Cats....See you at the Prince Eddie Tonight

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By MainStreet (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 20:40:56

Perhaps this unit could double as a casino.It will still be drab and chintzy but at least the bingo will be exciting,relatively speaking of course.

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By Stoney Creek Boy's (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 20:58:57

This has been a total disaster. Bob Young and Scott Mitchell are to blame for this disaster. Another Ti Cat Group of Fans that won't buy tickets....Get the idea in your head Bob and Scott this stadium sucks....

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 22:07:26

Have we ever had an article hit 200 comments?? We're well on our way.

by the way, was anyone else watching Sunday Night Football this week? They did an aerial flyover of Rice Stadium in Houston. The announcer mentioned how it hosted the Superbowl in 1974. Laughing he said, "yep, you used to be able to host the Superbowl in a stadium that looks like that. haha".

My wife turned to me and said "Hey, it looks just like our new stadium!" I had just showed her the photos earlier in the evening.

See for yourself....we finally found the prototype for our brand spanking new stadium.... http://az100346.vo.msecnd.net/content/im...

Absolutely cutting edge..... in 1950

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_Stadiu...

Comment edited by jason on 2012-10-16 22:08:12

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 06:41:36 in reply to Comment 81777

Have we ever had an article hit 200 comments?

We've had four articles with more than 200 comments - and three of them were about the stadium.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 22:51:04

I won't comment on the design just yet - to me, that reveal didn't show enough to comment either way. I want to see more before I form an opinion. In some ways I like what I see, in some ways I would have hoped for more.

I mean, really - a 3-D fly-around that shows the structure... but is that meant to show the "guts" or the entire look? A series of glamour shots showing the stadium experience? From this I'm meant to envision how this thing will fully appear from the street? The video seems to show complete walls with glass on the west side in one view, the high-angle shot exposes east stands marked by steel girders at street level (and banners?)... what is it going to be? What about some real elevation drawings? Have they done that? Or are the so-called "soft costs" paying for that kind of attention to detail? Press releases note a "masonry base". It's still pretty vague, in my opinion.

I'm a CFL and Tiger-Cats fan, and will continue to be, and I'm glad they've concentrated on the fan experience because it IS important - form should follow function. Roof or no roof is not important to me - I will sit closer to the field so rain is likely to hit me no matter what.

The look from the outside is important in an everyday sense, but to be honest that's very subjective (I'd rather not, for example, see something akin to the BBVA Compass... it's like the Michael Lee Chin Crystal on steroids - does that fit with this neighbourhood? Rio Tinto, however, would fit very nicely even without the roof structures)

I also have to wonder how the combined bid affected things. Nobody here has commented on the fact that this bid was selected to build several facilities (IWS2, the Milton velodrome, York athletics stadium, and one other I believe). Maybe the Ticats had a hand in all the submitted bids, maybe not, but how much did the bundling affect what we may be getting?

My hope is this starts a conversation about final design details. We won't be getting a "bowl", or an architectural dream, for the money. Is there more to share? If so, when? Is there time to consider the subtle details?

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2012-10-16 23:00:42

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By Greg (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 23:09:43

Heard about the petition going around the neighbourhood just signed it today. I agree with the homeowners on Balsam this will impede on their sun and have people on the concourses looking in their living room windows. I live 2 streets away and don't mind game day but will support my neighbours. I also agree that their should be no concerts.... This neighbourhood will fight this till the end.....

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By Dundas Resident (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 23:14:29

Let me sign that petition this stadium needs to be stopped and moved from this neighbourhood and to the west harbour and change the design. Let's put this petition on raise the hammer....maybe adrian Duyzer can start another petition for us to support those residents in the balsam area......

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 23:28:27 in reply to Comment 81781

We need a new campaign in support of Balsam residents. Perhaps "Our Neighbourhood. Our Future" :) As I understand it, the stadium area residents were misled. They were promised a gorgeous stadium that would integrate with and transform their community. They were not given details of the design. They did not realize that the stadium would loom over their homes and blot out the sun.

I wonder if the proper due diligence was done by the stadium cmte - are the necessary variances in place? Any lawyers in the house?

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By Johnny (anonymous) | Posted October 16, 2012 at 23:17:59

This is another vote for the prince edward tavern party zone at the stadium.....

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By Legal Advice (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 08:27:53

Yes the residents due have a recourse especially when they were not shown the designs of the stadium and the effects that it would have on the community. At issue also would be privacy issues of exposed concources, traffic, noise etc to the neighbouring community.

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By Waterdown Farmer (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 08:35:43

This stadium is going to have a huge impact on the residents of that neighbourhood in a negative way. The city had a opportunity th knock down that stadium and build a beautiful park for the families of that area.....That's what urban renewal is about not builing this terribly designed stadium ina residentilal neighbourhood. Where is Sam Merulla and others on council read these comments and respond. Their is an outcry of Hamiltonians who want this stadium moved and the design changed...We are the taxpayer footing the bill. Let's get an online petition going people at raise the Hammer....We need you.....

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By Taxpayer (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 08:42:36

Here's my question to the city of Hamilton. Their is a double standard in this city. Why is it that the City allows Homeowners to park their cars on every lawn in around the stadium when it's illegal, but the city guys ticket every car on lawns in around Mcmaster University. I want the the city counsillors to answer me this question.....Maybe Sam Merulla, Bernie Morelli, Brian Mchattie can answer this question.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:18:21 in reply to Comment 81799

Looking like the Ticats and City agreed to amend their own parking bylaws to give the TiCats parking revenue. This from the MOU:

Point 37. "The Ticats intend to seek out opportunities to provide off-site parking for Stadium events. It is recognized that such opportunities may require amendments to bylaws or City regulations in order to come to fruition. The City will carefully review any such information with an objective and open mind and will consider amending necessary bylaws or regulations if such amendment is properly justified. Shoudl the offsite Stadium parking plan be implemented, the Ti-Cats will pay to the city 50% of the net earnings from the event parking".

The next paragraph (38) indicates that the City will use the parking proceeds to fund the "Ivor Wynne Community Fund".

SO according to the above the Ticats plan to benefit from amended bylaws to collect revenue from parking for ALL STADIUM EVENTS.

This would offset their paltry $450K annual rent payments.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 08:10:36 in reply to Comment 81856

THis is very bizarre. What are they planning here... metered parking in residential areas on game day? Parking on city owned land somewhere?

I love how these crappy clauses need to be added when we could have had a stadium located within walking distance of vast seas of surface parking lots - and within walking distance of multiple transit modes.

What a fiasco.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:37:46 in reply to Comment 81890

More likely the ticats are looking to buy some cheap real-estate nearby, level it and build some more surface-level parking that Hamiltion is in such a dire need of :P.

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By j (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 13:53:06 in reply to Comment 81900

if that's true then we need to be ready.

"the City will carefully review any such information with an objective and open mind and will consider amending necessary bylaws or regulations if such amendment is properly justified."

This means nothing. This is what they are supposed to do anyway. There's no change to the OP or zoning bylaws which say no new parking lots. We need to make it clear that any action like you're proposing will result in massive opposition.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:26:59 in reply to Comment 81900

What a bunch of idiots.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 08:46:44 in reply to Comment 81799

And when church is in session, people can park wherever they want - even in a no-stopping zone! But when class is in session the normal rules apply. It's a great question.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 23:37:17 in reply to Comment 81800

It isn't students going to class who are parking on the lawns in Westdale, it's the students who live in those houses who don't think they should have to pay for an on-street parking permit like the rest of us.

There's a big difference between parking violations 10 times a year, or even once a week, and student residents using front lawns as permanent parking spots.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 08:01:11 in reply to Comment 81877

I'm not saying students should be allowed to park wherever they want. I'm just saying it's a double standard.

Comment edited by seancb on 2012-10-18 08:02:26

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:20:02 in reply to Comment 81888

It isn't though. The difference is in the case of ticat games, the lawn parking happens very occasionally, vs. the practise of using your front lawn as a permanent parking spot.

Admittedly, parking enforcement near the university in general is very proactive, but that's because illegal parking cuts into the university's and the city's revenues. While parking on lawns during ticat games is illegal, at least the people doing it are paying. Violations in Westdale are due entirely to people trying to avoid paying, on a daily basis.

Comment edited by highwater on 2012-10-18 09:31:24

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 16:16:16 in reply to Comment 81897

This is the definition of a double standard. Different rules for different people.

I'm saying there's no point in a rule if it's not uniformly enforced.

Ticat games aside, anyone travelling through durand on a Sunday can see blocks of illegally parked cars surrounding every church. This city is full of churches. Why is anyone driving to church? Most residents probably live closer to a church than to a bus stop! Students tend to be targeted more than most people and I don't think it's appropriate. And not only for parking either.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 21:27:01 in reply to Comment 81944

It's not different rules for different people, it's different rules for different areas. Complaining about stepped up parking enforcement around big institutions like Mac is like complaining about increased police presence in Hess Village.

There is more proactive enforcement around the university because there is more demand for parking in that area, and more people trying to avoid having to pay. All illegally parked cars are ticketed - students, staff, residents, contractors, you name it. The officers neither know nor care about the occupation and/or residency status of the owners of the cars in question.

Also, I imagine the lack of enforcement around churches has more to do with the fact that few, if any, bylaw officers work on Sunday.

Comment edited by highwater on 2012-10-18 22:08:57

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 16:32:11 in reply to Comment 81944

Why is anyone driving to church? Most residents probably live closer to a church than to a bus stop!

Because church-going people are very particular about which church they go to. Even minor variations in doctrine are enough to cause major schisms. My parents regular drive for close to an hour, IIRC, to attend a church that fits with their particular religious beliefs, even though there are several Christian, Protestant churches within walking distance.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 21:29:08 in reply to Comment 81946

Not to mention the fact that churchgoers tend to be older and less able to walk any distance.

Comment edited by highwater on 2012-10-18 22:14:36

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2012 at 02:40:31 in reply to Comment 81961

I prefer the burritos in westdale to those on the mountain, but that doesn't mean that I can double park while I eat at Jimmy Gringo's.

If church parking is a problem and the city is OK with street parking on Sundays then the proper solution is to change the parking bylaw on those streets to "no parking monday-saturday" instead of just "no parking".

Or, since it doesn't seem to cause any actual traffic problems, just allow parking all the time...

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By Bob (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:00:36

This city needs to enforce their own rules. If it's illegial to park on lawns give them a ticket. What's fair is fair...

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By Stoney Creek Builder (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:04:11

Here's a fact the 180 parking spaces will be eaten up by Players, coaches and media. The fans will have no access to any of those spots. Just like previous comments seniors and veterans are going to have to fend for themselves and walk long distances to the stadium and be exposed to the sun and rain and climb a 1000 steep steps in this stadium.... What a shame

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By Matt Jelly Fan (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:06:36

Let's get Matt Jelly to start this petition on-line. Come on Matt the people of Hamilton need you for this cause....

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By Priceless (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:20:12

Watch This Priceless... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npRDngfeQjU&feature=relmfu

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By Watch This (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:22:01

watch This even better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z6lxDLVHOk&feature=relmfu

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:22:08

if only we had a stadium location steps from a new GO Station, and future LRT line, with thousands of municipal parking spots within a 10 minute walk and not directly across the street from family homes.....

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:02:54 in reply to Comment 81807

To be fair, the new all-day-GO train will be running within a stone's throw of Ivor Wynne.

There's just no platform there.

LRT will also be running close to Ivor Wynne.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:57:28 in reply to Comment 81903

It would not take much to add a platform or a track siding used for gamedays only. No ticket booth required - just one of the automated machines they have now, and a few PRESTO readers.

GO runs special trains when there are events going on in Toronto. No reason why the same could not be done here, especially during the Pan Ams. Or even just extend the trip of a few of the "regular service" trains once the James St. station is open and being served (though they'll eventually run to Centennial and points east of that anyway)

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2012-10-18 11:58:56

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:25:40 in reply to Comment 81903

Then let's make LRT part of the pan am construction process! Oh wait we're too stupid to insist on that, instead we'll waste all of our begged dollars on this pathetic excuse for "city building"

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 17:31:33 in reply to Comment 81920

ahh yes, 'city building'. The whole reason we started a future fund, and signed up for the Pan Am Games. While our poor, downtrodden neighbour to the east uses PanAm as a means of revitalizing empty, inner city land and building new LRT lines, we get two grandstands across from houses.

http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/explore_p...

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:51:07 in reply to Comment 81807

Hmmm, ya, but where??? lol

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By Ticats Fan since 66 (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:27:03

Season Ticket holder since 66.... Called today to cancel and to take my name off their list... This stadium needs to be at West Harbour and we need a new design....

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By shilson (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 09:43:18

The Money Play by play (and the revenue goes to ...)

Ticket Sales - Tiger Cats Sponsorship Sales - Tiger Cats Concession Sales - Tiger Cat VIP Suites Sales - Tiger Cats Club Lounge Sales - Tiger Cats Club Seats Sales - Tiger Cats All four group hosting areas Sales - Tiger Cats End Zone Patio (Party Deck) Sales - Tiger Cats Market Place on South Plaza Rentals - Tiger Cats

And the cost goes to ... City of Hamilton

Stadium for a community - think not

What legal recourse do residents have through the courts to stop this "suspicious" use of public funds?

Comment edited by shilson on 2012-10-17 09:48:13

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By Waterfront Resident (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:21:14

This stadium is a total fiasco. Let's move it to the West Harbour...Thanks for the west harbour videos did you see Bratina pounding the pavement saying the west harbour is the best location. lol

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By Ticats Booster (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:24:34

Bob Young and Scott Mitchell listen to your fans we don't like this location and stadium design. I will also sign that petition for the Balsam Area residents...

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:41:43

where is this petition??

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:53:54

RE: Parking, can anyone confirm that the Ti-Cats have committed to providing parking to all season ticket holders? I heard that these fans will be entitled to parking within a 10min walk, but I wonder where that (Ti-Cat owned?) parking will be.

Also, Megs and I have done some (light) net-searching, and we still can't find evidence of this council decision that Scott Mitchell says empowered the org. to sell off pieces of IWS memorabilia. He said it was Feb 2, 2011 council meeting, and I've tried some basic search terms, but would love to know if anyone else has hunted down the record of this decision.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2012-10-17 11:54:19

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:10:22 in reply to Comment 81834

In the Memorandum of Understanding: https://plus.google.com/photos/102848329... the city agreed to work w/the Ti-Cats to sell off pieces of the stadium, and to use it to fund an "Ivor Wynne Community Fund"... details of how this fund will be spent are sketchy. It is to benefit the community - perhaps it is paying for the patio stones around the stadium?

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By Prince Eddie (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 14:43:50 in reply to Comment 81834

You can take a shuttle bus fron the Prince Edward Tavern....lol

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:04:10

I would have absolutely no problem renegging on this 'agreement' we (Bratina) entered into, pay the fines to the developer and use OUR part of the money left over to go toward proper city building that we were all on track for before this second rate sports franchise began threatening the city they claim to care about and our mayor caved in to because he didn't want to see past their idle threats. And speaking of idle threats: I am so at the point that if this team really did have a place to go I would let them go in a heartbeat. Part of me would be sad if that day ever came as a part of my childhood and early adult years would be gone but to patronize Uncle Bobby any more is a slap in my face and I want him out of my sights for good. Further, we are a city of half a million people, with the Tiger-Cats gone do you really think another owner of another team wanting to get out of their city for whatever reason wouldn't want to give us a try seeing that we're without a professional franchise: ie - minor league baseball, perhaps AA? Just thinking out load in this regard but the Cats?? Never again for this Cowpoke! Having ranted about this, if he did an about face and simply agreed on WH. I would buy 4 season tickets.

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By Craig (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 14:38:28

What happen to the soccer team that Bob Young was going to bring to Ivor Wynne....No mention of this during the announcement.... Let's hope the Canadian Mens Soccer team doesn't come to Hamilton...especially after losing to Hondurus 8 - 1....Yikes

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By Traffic Sports (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 07:49:29 in reply to Comment 81840

Bob Young seems to have divested himself of an NASL franchise two weeks before the January 2011 Pan Am Stadium announcement:

"...the current owners of the RailHawks—Selby Wellman and minority partners H. Paul Singh, a Cary physician, and Bob Young, founder and CEO of LULU.com and former CEO of Red Hat—are both unwilling and unable to continue bankrolling the club themselves.

http://www.indyweek.com/triangleoffense/archives/2010/12/20/railhawks-prez-brian-wellman-responds-to-ims-article

http://www.indyweek.com/triangleoffense/archives/2011/01/11/railhawks-future-in-limbo-as-owners-file-dissolution-papers-with-state-of-nc-3-players-head-to-mls

http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2011/01/13/traffic-sports-usa-to-take-over-carolina-railhawks-next-week/

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 15:17:36 in reply to Comment 81840

At council in the morning that friday, it was mentioned that Bob young has a year to bring a soccer team to Hamilton. He has signed something making him financially responsible of sorts. I have it written down but I am not at my desk and know littlw about the doc or terms or what it all means or when the year starts but it was brought up and it was promised that council would receive a breakdown of the MOU that would be open to the public.

EDIT: If I said an IC has been filed, would that make sense to anyone. Sorry, not a reporter. That's what I wrote down. 'Cat's have a guarantee to bring soccer.'

EDIT 2: Nevermind, this document, http://www.farallonlaw.com/images/Farall... seems to cover what an IC is. Again, not sure of the terms of the IC or if these details are included in the 4 page MOU.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-10-17 15:30:30

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:02:42 in reply to Comment 81847

I just read the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ti-Cats and the city (photo of the document posted by Joey Coleman): https://plus.google.com/photos/102848329...

Seems that the Ti-Cats have until December 31st, 2012 to get a professional soccer team (NASL) franchise. If they do not, the city has the right to pursue a team. Without a professional sports team in place, there will not be a youth soccer team. The Ticats were also to pay $150K a year in rent if they landed an NASL team.

According the the MOU, Bob Young has NO financial responsibility, he just loses the exclusive right to bring an NASL team. Which I expect is a right he is not exactly pursuing very hard at all.

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By Movie Star (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 14:41:55

The Big Stadium Disaster....We can make this into a Hollywood movie featuring Bob Young, Scott Mitchell, TC , City Council, The Mayor, The Province, The Feds, The people of Hamilton....

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By Ticats Sec 25 (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 15:25:52

Add me as another Ti Cat fan who called today to cancel my season tickets. Im just so dissapointed in this whole mess.... Good Luck Bob Young you'll need it....

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By basil15 (registered) | Posted November 19, 2012 at 02:58:03 in reply to Comment 81848

I'm with you I'm not going to that bushleague stadium either.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:09:31

Quote from Bob Young (as caretaker) on the blog entry Ryan referenced earlier:

"The Montreal Olympic Stadium you are referring to was not "suburban". It was built in the middle of a residential neighbourhood with very poor access. As a result is has been a colossal financial white elephant to the City of Montreal ever since it was built. This is -exactly- the risk a West Harbour stadium poses to the taxpayers of Hamilton."

So what did you force us to build where Bob?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:10:59 in reply to Comment 81853

Ironically, that description applies much more strongly to IWS than it ever did to the WH.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:21:54 in reply to Comment 81855

Exactly! I included the WH reference in the cut and paste because I didn't want to warp the original context. I can't remember how to link to the comment directly, sorry guys.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:19:17 in reply to Comment 81855

Ryan, can you possibly confirm if that was really BY commenting?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2012 at 21:01:41 in reply to Comment 81857

Yes - "caretaker" is Bob Young.

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By McMaster Engineer Student (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 16:59:09

Heard that they found the old blue prints of Ivor Wynne and dusted them off and just said let's rotate this 90 degrees and add a farmers market out front for 150 million there you go Hamilton....Voila

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By Soccer Fan (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2012 at 22:35:50

Why is that when their is a euro cup or world cup of soccer and when it's time to build a new stadium the design is alway's beautiful.

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By Hwy Networking (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 08:39:43

http://www.raisethehammer.org/comment/70553

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:19:25

There seems to be little to no generally "positive" reaction to this stadium.

People either hate it and think it's a disgrace, or they are disappointed but feel it's the best we can do. I'm sure neither of those reactions reflect what the Ti-Cats were hoping for.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 07:44:23 in reply to Comment 81896

Do you actuly think 500,000 pls care what the other 25,000 think !

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By disappointed (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 09:36:00 in reply to Comment 81896

Much like how we feel about the Ti-cats themselves.

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By mainstreet (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:24:02

If you use a little artistic imagination,Its plain to see its a giant empty lunch bucket.Its the new iconic trademark,the only part missing is the spinning white elephant in the middle of the feild.You know the one, its wearing a fleece pullover and its doing the famous Hamilton city hall spin.So I guess its "off the table" too.

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By Al Czervik (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:50:09

It sucks to regret something that hasn't happened yet. If only council had said we have decided on West Harbour, if you don't like it then take your minor league football team elsewhere and we can use the future fund money on something that will actually benefit the citizens of Hamilton.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 07:40:26 in reply to Comment 81910

Sorry to say Al but thoses kinda things has been said allllll along this Stadium debate and look were we are at now !

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:33:31 in reply to Comment 81910

Is it really too late to say this now?

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted October 24, 2012 at 09:20:56 in reply to Comment 81924

OMG i guesse you havent been falowing this debate ... its going at the IWS no matter what we say now

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted October 25, 2012 at 14:02:08 in reply to Comment 82113

You guess wrong

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 20, 2012 at 22:16:26

After just watching the most horrid game (again) tonight, and they way they lost, this pathetic organization, from top to bottom, should never have had a say where WE were putting OUR stadium. They will survive (or not) no matter where it's built. I'm hoping, and I say this as a fan of the actual team, that someone comes to their senses and changes are made for the good of the people not the fools who forced this upon us.

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By Mahavolich (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2012 at 17:57:49

Despair not! Hamilton still has 50 months left atop the REIT property speculation charts before the pixie dust wears off. And as this whole tawdry drama goes to show, you can do anything in Hamilton!

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted December 16, 2012 at 10:47:58

LET'S ELIMINATE SPORTS WELFARE
http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40595178/

Perhaps you’ve heard the news: America is barreling toward a self-induced “fiscal cliff” of federal tax hikes and spending cuts, largely because Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on how to make the nation’s budget moderately less unbalanced. On one side, President Obama wants to raise money by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans; on the other, House Speaker John Boehner wants to reduce costs by slashing social welfare programs. Both men and their respective parties seem stuck at an ideological impasse -- think who’s better, Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith? only with the world economy at stake -- and yet each camp is ignoring an obvious way out.

Well, maybe not a way out. But definitely a way forward. An easy, overdue fix to the nation’s fiscal woes. A course of action rock-ribbed liberals and hardcore conservatives can agree on. A policy shift that would not only save cash, but also act as a trust-building, goodwill-generating building block toward larger, harder and more essential partisan compromise.

Ready? Here goes.

Eliminate Sports Welfare.

.....

Consider stadium subsidies. When Kubla Khan built his stately pleasure dome above a sunless sea, he did not strong-arm the Xanadu County Board of Directors into funding the project by threatening to move to Los Angeles. His mistake. He wouldn’t last five minutes as an American sports owner. According to Harvard professor Judith Grant Long and economist Andrew Zimbalist, the average public contribution to the total capital and operating cost per sports stadium from 2000 to 2006 was between $249 and $280 million. A fantastic interactive map at Deadspin estimates that the total cost to the public of the 78 pro stadiums built or renovated between 1991 and 2004 was nearly $16 billion. That’s enough to build three Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Or fund, in today’s dollars, 15 Saturn V moon rocket launches -- three more than the number of launches in the entire Apollo/Skylab program. It’s also more than what Chrysler received in the Great Recession-triggered auto industry bailout ($10.5 billion), and bigger than the 2010 GDP of 84 different nations. How does this happen? Simple. Team owners ask for public handouts and threaten to move elsewhere unless they get them, pitting cities against in each other in corporate welfare bidding wars -- wars rooted in the various publicly granted antitrust exemptions that effectively allow sports leagues to control and maintain a limited supply of teams to be leveraged against widespread demand.

“It’s like this magic alchemy where we take all this public money and it morphs into private profit,” says Dave Zirin, author of “Bad Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games We Love.” “The most egregious example of this is the Seattle Sonics going from the 14th biggest [media] market in the country to Oklahoma City, a market that is No. 45. Why did that move make sense? One place offered corporate welfare and another didn’t. The NBA punished a city for not giving them hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Of course, you probably know this already. You probably know that of the reported $100 million Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay deigned to spend on Lucas Oil Stadium -- opened in 2008 for a cool $720 million, with the public picking up the bulk of the tab -- nearly half came from taxpayers buying out the team’s lease on the old RCA Dome. (When it comes to double moves, Reggie Wayne has nothing on The Mad Tweeter.) You probably know that Minnesota Vikings owner Ziggy Wilf -- a man personally worth more than $1 billion -- just negotiated ransomed his way into $498 million in state and city funding for a new stadium. You probably know that Miami-Dade county ponied up roughly $500 million for the Miami Marlins’ new stadium -- including $2.5 million for an animatronic outfield fish statue -- by issuing bonds that eventually will cost the public $2.4 billion, a deal so resoundingly popular and transparently above board that, a) the Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation, and b) Miami mayor and stadium advocate Carlos Alvarez subsequently lost in the largest recall of a local politician in United States history. Heck, you probably know that as of two years ago, the good people of Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis and New Jersey were still paying off dark caves and holes in the ground -- that is, NFL stadiums that already had been decommissioned or demolished.

What you don’t know is that the actual costs of stadium construction -- like the estimated $500 million to $4 billion in public subsidies that went into new stadiums for the New York Yankees and Mets, two supposedly private projects -- are even higher than typically reported.

In her book “Public/Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities,” Long calculates that the average public subsidy for the 121 sports facilitiies in use in 2010 is actually $89 million higher than the $170 million figure commonly reported by the sports industry and the media. How so? Think land giveaways. Infrastructure freebies. Tax breaks. Government subsidies enough to make an ethanol-producing Iowa corn farmer feel, well, hosed. The Colts don’t pay rent. The Vikings’ new stadium reportedly will be property tax-free. In the late 1990s, the city of San Diego was buying unsold San Diego Chargers tickets as part of a sweetheart lease deal -- does your landlord make up the difference when you don’t hit your sales targets at work? -- while from 2002 to 2010, the state of Louisiana gave New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson $186.5 million in straight cash, homey, just for keeping the team around.

“Rather than pay for a new stadium, it was, ‘let’s just give you cash every year,’” says Brian Frederick, executive director of the Washington-based fan advocacy group Sports Fans Coalition. “He took that, and took money to get the Superdome renovated, and then when Hurricane Katrina hit he got more renovations. Then he turns around and buys the [New Orleans] Hornets. Well, guess where he got the money?”

Then there’s Paul Brown Stadium, both the newish home of the Cincinnati Bengals and quite possibly the single greatest boondoggle in the history of public-stadium financing. Completed in 2000, the building was supposed to cost $280 million. The Bengals estimate that it cost $350 million. Hamilton County, which assumed more than $1 billion in debt to pay for the stadium, puts the price at $454 million. Long, on the other hand, estimated in the Wall Street Journal that the actual cost to the public was roughly $555 million, once parking garages and other expenses were factored in. Moreover, local residents are on the hook for Paul Brown Stadium’s security costs, as well as most current and future operating and capital improvement expenses -- including, and this is not a misprint, a potential future “holographic replay machine.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, a voter-approved stadium-subsidizing Hamilton County half-percent sales tax increase remains in effect, while once-promised additional public school funding and a property tax cut do not. Oh, and the Wall Street Journal also reported that Hamilton County’s annual stadium debt payment two years ago was $34.6 million -- nearly 17 percent of the county’s total budget, and a big reason local lawmakers had to slash spending on schools, police and a program that helped troubled adolescents.

Meanwhile, the Bengals collect parking revenue from the stadium.

Still, at least the county gets to enjoy the job-creating, local business-boosting gold mine of 10 NFL games a year, right? Wrong. Numerous studies have shown that the local economic impact of stadium construction is nil. Dennis Coates, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, calculates that “the professional sports environment” -- that is, having stadiums and teams in a particular area -- may actually reduce local incomes. “Our model shows that average income is a little bit lower, about 40 dollars a year for a family of four,” Coates says. “Now, why might that be? There are a number of possible explanations. One of them -- and I think this is the most plausible -- is that a large amount of the money spent inside a stadium simply leaves the community. Think about the revenues generated. Fifty percent is player salaries. In most leagues, players don’t live where they play. So they take an enormous amount of money generated in the community and take it to south Florida or southern California and spend it. If that same money was spent on a movie, dinner, bowling, the theater, a locally owned bar, tips for bartenders and waitresses, all of that money predominantly stays within that community.”

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By basil15 (registered) | Posted December 23, 2012 at 20:11:20

Is it too late for the design to be changed?

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By Ticats forever (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2015 at 16:02:24

Every game sold out, Ticats more popular than ever. So much for negative consequences

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