Revitalization

Opportunities for Stadium-Oriented Development

By Jason Leach
Published February 20, 2009

As an example of the sort of spinoff development and cooperative work that can be done with an urban stadium, let's take a quick look at a proposed condo development for the Tiffany Block adjacent to the Pan Am stadium site.

Based on the simple sketches of this condo project, I don't think it's too far along in the planning stage, which is a good thing.

You'll notice that this condo development is proposed for the east side of Tiffany Street. Hamilton's stadium proposal (based on previous Commonwealth games proposals) called for a stadium on the west side of Tiffany Street.

Proposed Commonwealth Stadium Plan
Proposed Commonwealth Stadium Plan

The city would be wise to work with this developer and create a streetwall of shops, restaurants and large patio space along the length of Tiffany Street. Tiffany could be cobblestoned and the east wall of the stadium built with a brick streetwall type of feel perhaps with a sports bar, cafe, TiCat store and more patio space.

Tiffany could become a great pedestrian - friendly street full of life, dining and commerce all year round, not just on event days. Based on the city plan shown above, a pedestrian bridge from Stuart Street would link to Bayfront Park.

Tiffany could become a wonderful pedestrian link from Central Park right to Bayfront Park. An established residential neighbourhood exists around Central Park and to the west and east of the stadium site and new condo developments such as the one proposed here would add more permanent residents.

As Paul Wilson mentioned in today's Spectator, this site is less than a ten minute walk from the proposed King Street LRT stop (presumably at Bay).

It would be only three or four minutes from the A-line stop proposed for James North at Barton St.

Copps Coliseum is only six or seven minutes away, helping to create a sports/stadium district in our downtown core as well as linking to the beautiful waterfront.

New development potential is enormous to the west of the stadium site and would surely take off in no time, especially if the city were to take a lead role in working cooperatively with the proponents of the conceptual condo development at the Tiffany Block, and lead the way in urban in-fill with street shops and a good pedestrian-friendly design that could become a model for future projects in Hamilton.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By LRT (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 13:19:10

Why not make the Stadium-Velodrome/PanAm Square the Northern Terminus of the A-Line since it will have to travel that way to reach it's rail yard anyway? Only makes sense. Problem with this City: Logic is non-existent.

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By Randy Reefer (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 14:49:10

There you go getting all starry-eyed Jason. According to Andrew Dreschel and Sam Merulla there couldn't possibly be any spin-off benefits to the area. After all Dreschel said there was a host of high-brow thinkers who believe that no good could possibly come from building a new stadium. Instead, lets keep pumping money into Ivor Wynne until it collapses on top of the mascots - that'll do our economy good!

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 15:37:49

We need a new stadium if we wish to keep the ticats. Perhaps money can be raised from the team, ticket holders and the private sector.

To suggest that a stadium will result in some sort of "development" is utter nonsense. We have two urban stadiums in Hamilton as it is: Ivor Wynne and Copps. One is located in the slum that is downtown hamilton and the other is located in a rundown area close to Barton street.

Jason, I ask you this: where is the spin off development and "cooperative work" (whatever that means) associated with Copps and Ivor Wynne?

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By slum-lord (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 15:56:57


Ahh...it's good to have you back Capitalist.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:01:07

Capitalist, why are you so anti-business?

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By Pigskin (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:04:19

Capitalist, you may be unaware that when Ivor Wynne was built - 80 years ago - it was constructed on the outside of town. Much of the development that occured east of that area followed. It has now outlived its usefulness by 30 years.
You are probably too young to remember what York Blvd. looked like prior to the construction of Copps Colliseum. It wasn't pretty. But how much revenue does the City generate when there is a major event at Copps - whether the Canada Cup, big concert or convention? Yes, Copps isn't utilized as much as it could/should but to suggest there is no spin off just makes my head spin.

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By Pigskin (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:05:58

Capitalist, you may be unaware that when Ivor Wynne was built - 80 years ago - it was constructed on the outside of town. Much of the development that occured east of that area followed. It has now outlived its usefulness by 30 years.
You are probably too young to remember what York Blvd. looked like prior to the construction of Copps Colliseum. It wasn't pretty. But how much revenue does the City generate when there is a major event at Copps - whether the Canada Cup, big concert or convention? Yes, Copps isn't utilized as much as it could/should but to suggest there is no spin off just makes my head spin.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:31:12

Analysis and debate isn't really Capitalist's style. He prefers to swoop in, sprinkle an utterly ahistorical flavouring of received wisdom, epithets and loaded catchphrases, and then swoop back out again. A few weeks later, when he swoops back in again, he simply ignores all the responses to his previous comments and repeats them more or less verbatim.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:58:42

I realize Capitalist won't read this, but for the rest of the participants who are interested, I don't think it's fair to compare a new mixed-use facility with an 80 year old stadium that was built east of the core in a residential neighbourhood.
As for Copps, those of us who live, work and play in this "slum" downtown see the spinoffs every single night when there is an event. Look at all the Bulldog jerseys in Waltz or Toby's before a game, or in Hess Village or Acclamation after a game. A few weeks ago there was a concert at Copps. I (not realizing this) went to grab a bite to eat at Harvest Burger. The line up was out the door with about 200 people waiting to order. I couldn't believe it.

Also, some basic research of other cities - San Diego, Baltimore, Cleveland, Toronto etc....shows quite clearly that built properly, a stadium absolutely attracts development and surrounding businesses. Those of us who are not anti-business like Capitalist (whatever sense that makes) are excited by the potential to bring new business and development to the huge swath of land north of Barton from Bay to Dundurn Castle.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 17:02:12

If the stadium does end up being built in that location, I hope the design maximizes the exposure to the waterfront. I think it's worth taking out some capacity on the north end by lowering the seating level to achieve that.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 18:20:36

JonC

I think that is the plan for the proposed stadium. Being a CFL stadium of around 30,000 makes it very easy to have a very small end zone section at both ends. The views of the waterfront and the downtown skyline/escarpment would be top notch.

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By Ariel (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 19:39:04

Highwater, why are you so filled with self importance? You think you are the only creature on earth to have sympathy for the downtrodden? Capitalist is right; although we may not like to call downtow a 'slum' look at what's happened in the last few days...a stabbing outside a bar; and sado-masochists in Corktown, not to mention the shootings along James.
That'll attract the outside world to our city!

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By Hopeful (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 23:35:28

I keep seeing the new stadium being referred to as a mixed-use facility but, I must admit, I have a hard time picturing this especially in the setting currently proposed. One only has to consider the problems the Docklands, Kingswood (once at a Canada's Wonderland) and other music venues have had in built up areas to believe that the stadium may be used for sports but little else (many of the great downtown examples being pointed to elsewhere are essentially daytime baseball parks that are used for little else and generate revenues from corporate and television rights via team leases) . This does not seem sustainable to me here. Does anyone know if noise impacts have been considered in the siting process and, if so, how they were calculated and weighed? Actually, does anyone know if a proper siting process has even occured? It's easy to get the impression that everything to date has been decided by political dreams, shenanigans and spite. Trust me, I genuinely want to see this City prosper --- and get the north end back on-line --- but I can't shake the rancid smell of terrible white elephant just over the horizon here.

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By Hopeful (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 23:59:27

Sorry, I meant to add a P.S. to my last post: Herman Turkstra's comments in an article on the Spec.com right now are interesting (see: www.thespec.com/News/article/517482). We should have a museum of forgotten consultation processes here. It could be right next door to the library of rash and politically forced decisions.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 01:49:41

It's a shame that, once all this money and effort are spent on a weeks worth of actual use, our fancy new stadium will end up wasted on a junk team playing a dumb sport.

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By wondering (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 03:29:24

why not build the stadium somewhere near the 403 or red hill xpressway so we can actually get there the way most of us do....driving

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By JonC (registered) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 08:34:21

The idea is that people will participate in the neighbourhood, not just show up and leave. A good example of that is Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 08:58:46

An interesting piece in today's Spec with examples from Manchester:

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/articl...

I realize that some in the north end/west harbour neighbourhood would prefer to put a bubble up over the waterfront and their little neighbourhood and not ever allow anyone else in, but that's not the view of most, who realize that our waterfront is a great asset and having empty warehouses surrounding it doesn't help the image of the area.

I think the 'mixed-use' term comes from current day ideas such as the ones talked about in this spec article. Our current stadium was built 80 years ago. Most Hamiltonians (unless they've travelled or paid attention via the internet) can't visualize a mixed-use stadium.
Add in a commercial/retail/restaurant component as I outlined in this blog post and you've got a vibrant area that will be an attraction all year-round, not just for TiCat games.

I'm also excited about the possibility to speed up rapid transit plans for Hamilton if we land the PanAm Games.
If we do this properly, it would be wonderful for Hamilton's economy and future. Don't forget Richard Florida and the 'Creative Class'. It doesn't just involve art galleries...it's an overall quality of life, great facilities, sporting options etc..... Pittsburgh, PA continually wins awards for it's livability in the US and the vast array of urban sporting options in top notch facilities and beautiful natural areas in the city are always cited as main factors. Hamilton has the same potential here - we've got the natural blessing, but little in the way of excellent facilities.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 14:55:19

Ariel, you must be confusing me with someone else. My post had nothing to do with the 'downtrodden' and everything to do with pointing out the delicious irony of someone who dubs himself 'Capitalist' dumping all over a project that will provide employment and spur economic development.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 22:40:38

What type of economic developmemt will come from this? Will it be service sectors jobs, where the people are paid minimum wage, no benfits?

Who actually will benefit from this? As people are losing jbos, who has money to spend at restaurants and bars?

Who will have money to buy tickets to events?

But I guess it is not about the citizens of Hamilton, but who can be brought in from outside.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2009 at 23:43:43

Grassroots, If this stadium lasts 80 years like Ivor Wynne has it will be around for many recessions and boom times. There are many arguments as to why this is the best time to build, but the one I find most convincing is that we are being offered free money to help build the stadium/velodrome.

Sports facilities provide lasting benefits to the community not only for the ti-cats, but the velodrome will provide a training facility for future athletes. Wouldn't it be great if some more Olympians were from Hamilton?

On some of the comments of others:
There is certainly a danger, and a real danger I think, that city council will replicate Ivor Wynne, a single use facility that does not integrate well into the neighbourhood. We have to convince them to create a proper mixed use facility with a streetwall of shops and businesses which can operate and create income and generate street traffic in the area year round. The shops should also be something that will fit into the surrounding neighbourhood and provide services that are needed in the area. Mixed use facilities are the way forward, and I wholly support the idea of a mixed use facility in order to make the most of this windfall of provincial and federal money.

To "wondering" I was just curious if you wrote into your councillor to suggest a 403/Red Hill location?

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By swanway (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2009 at 00:33:16

Discussion about improving the historic centre aka downtown always returns to the need to have more people living there. Not passing through or visiting, but residing there. The land on which it is proposed to deposit this stadium has good potential as residential, owing to its proximity to downtown, to the highway, and to the amenities which the city has provided at the waterfront parks. (Incidentally, whenever they are asked, We the People always say that what we want in that area is more passive recreation -- more green, more trails.)

I can't for the life of me see why Mr Leach thinks that a stadium is the better use for that site. In any case, a glance at the fantastical image he has provided shows no road to get there, and no parking lot. Both of these items must be added to the cost of the project to approach fiscal reality. The last I heard, the road problems included the cost of tunneling through Burlington Heights to get to the 403. Even our resolutely autistic politicians had to acknowledge the whiff of financial doom issuing from that one. As for the condos etc that Mr Leach enthuses about, alas, they will be sacrificed to parking for.. how many games do the Cats play? Rock concerts? Might be a bit of a jam in the revenue stream for Copps. Come to think of it, what if that dream of an NHL team ever came true? What do we suppose the cost of upgrading Copps to NHL standards might be. Oh well, we'll just take it from the Future Fund. Oh.

I too have a fantasy. In my insane dream, we concentrate on making life better for everybody (not just Ellis Don et al) by modest incremental improvements to amenities in every neighbourhood. For Downtown, we would have to start by actually creating the neighbourhood, growing Beasley, Central and Corktown toward each other, filling in with houses and apartments. Every study says the same thing, every time you think it through, the same. Residents bring life and the steady flow of permanent municipal tax dollars, year after year. One-off mega projects have never brought us anything but debt and problems. If this asteroid has to hit, let's at least deflect it to Outer Upper James, where the highway access has been built, or even better, Red Hill. Think of the view from the escarpment. On a clear day, you can see that other city, the one with the historic centre in which people actually reside.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted February 22, 2009 at 01:03:36

Definitely we need to think long and hard about the potential business plan for this stadium.

We know the Ti-Cats will be the prime tenant. What other events will we hold in a 25K+ seat outdoor stadium?

Concerts? Doubtful there will be more than 3 or 4 big name touring acts a year that would need a venue of larger size than Copps. Most acts of that size would prefer to perform in Toronto. Maybe we could host a Palooza or something.

Other Sports? The only one that I can see working is minor league baseball, which would bring about 80 home games a year. But Hamiltonians are not known for fantastic support of minor league sports, nor are they known for being big fans of baseball. What about an MLS franchise? Based on the success of TFC, there may be enough demand for a second team in Southern Ontario.

Community events? What kind? How will they pay the bills?

The business plan needs to provide a reasonable estimate of the financing costs, the operating costs, the costs to de-commission Ivor Wynne, the revenues, and the spin-off benefits. Proponents of the stadium have NOT come up with such a plan. They are simply believing in the Field of Dreams - build it and they will come. Sure that stuff works in the movies, but real life requires hard choices to be made.

Yet committing scarce capital to building a new stadium for Pan Am and later the Ti-Cats could prevent the city from realizing other important goals, like getting an LRT system running. When your financial options are limited, you need to make priorities. As far as I'm concerned, LRT comes first. Until funding is in hand for that, you just don't fund stadiums, especially if we are in fact heading into a Depression.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 22, 2009 at 08:38:44

Man, would I like to see an MLS franchise here. Would be awesome. We've got a huge immigrant population like Toronto that would flock for some footy. I mean the pubs and bars all over town open up at 8am Saturday mornings so ex-Brits (and others) can watch the EPL.
Not to mention the instant rival with TFC would be great.
I'm getting ahead of myself though....first it would be nice to have a football team that wouldn't get run down by Cathedral High School.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 09:12:15

Henry Turkstra's piece is just about a frustrated man who believes that his toes have been stepped on because his proposal was nixed while this one can go through. I think one of the guys at CHML is wondering whether or not private investment is something that can be attained by choosing a site like this.

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By lowbrow (anonymous) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 09:18:20

"Man, would I like to see an MLS franchise here. ... ex-Brits (and others) can watch the EPL. ... the instant rival with TFC..."

Aaaargh! TLA overload!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 09:41:00

lowbrow, LOL. sorry friend. Too many in one sentence.

Frank, i'm not sure who you're referring to on CHML but I'd love to hear anyone explain how a site by the airport will result in private investment, while a beautiful waterfront location mere steps from downtown filled with empty brownfields won't.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 12:47:11

While I support the stadium and the location by the west harbour, I'm not sure one will see anything from seated inside. Nothing but sky, so I like the idea of a bubble.

Our skyline isn't exactly Chicago, and even Cincinnatti has an amazing view from their stadium and others built directly in the core of the city. Bc they're built downtown rubbing shoulders with other buildings a spectator knows they're somewhere because of the tops of the skyscrapers are visible.

The water for sure won't be seen. It'll have nice aerial views from tv broadcast helicopters, but spectators inside won't see anything. At best when going to and from their seats they'll have a quick view of the surrounding geography but nothing from their seats.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 16:09:06

Trey, you've never been to Ivor Wynne?? Or any football stadium?

If it is built on the north/south axis as proposed, the views will be incredible.

I usually sit in the north stands at Ivor Wynne and can see all the way out past Stoney Creek to the east and the entire downtown skyline and Niagara Escarpment to the west. The proposed location of the stadium (I posted a drawing of it in another blog) would give amazing views across the entire harbour and of the entire downtown skyline from the west stands and great views of the western edge of the harbour/high level bridge and west end of the skyline and Niagara Escarpment from the eastern stands.
The views would be phenomenal.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 16:09:44

correction. I posted the link with a proposed drawing in THIS blog. Lol.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 23, 2009 at 16:29:02

some of the current panoramic sightlines from Ivor Wynne:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gore84/2569244175/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/14413615@N0... http://www.flickr.com/photos/gore84/2708...

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 08:26:39

Robert D: Ok so we build a stadium and most are saying the economic development will be shops and stores and bars and restaurants. The fact is that many of these jobs are usually low paying, minimum wage jobs that offer no benefits to the workers, so just how is this making it better for the citizens if they are still left struggling?

You failed to address this in your previous post or does it really matter to you per se, if others are left struggling while those at the top are making the money?

Who cares about the Olympics, I don't, I don't even watch the fiasco. It is the playground of the rich, the corporations and not of the people.

Since Hamilton has over 100,000 people struggling now and with the downturn in the economy, that number is going to grow and this is the best path that our leaders can come up with? A misuse of taxpayer funds where we see the system that penalizes those at the bottom, think of the grandparents of ROCK for one, can't use taxpayers funds to help those at the bottom, yet it's ok to use taxpayer funds to build a stadium for a week of games???

There are many people out there who are opposed to this but then if it was a really a democracy every person would be given the chance to vote.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 08:41:16

I think every kind of economic development ties into poverty reduction. I'm a big believer in Richard Florida's concept of a livable, creative, dynamic city that will draw the best companies and workers. There's a huge intangible called 'quality of life' that is at the top of the list for 21st Century companies and employees. Arts, culture, greenspace, sports, recreation, vibrant downtowns, attractive neighbourhoods, transit etc.... all play huge role in drawing new companies, and therefore, new wealth into the city. Hamilton should know this by now. We've spent the lions share of our tax dollars on road/highway/sprawl infrastructure for the past 30 years and where has it gotten us in terms of becoming a magnet for well-paying jobs and companies?? nowhere. Because, it's an old, outdated model from the middle of last century that doesn't work anymore, and hasn't for a couple of decades.

Quality of life and the livability of a city must be the number one goal of our city council. Things like LRT, bustling commercial districts through the city, and especially downtown, along with recreational facilities, sports/arts venues, an active population, walkable/cyclable city and well-maintained greenspace is the way forward if we ever expect to see poverty begin to be reduced in Hamilton.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 09:05:12

Jason: For poverty reduction to happen there are number of things that must occur and one is assets, so if people are not making a living wage where then can purchase assets, where does it leave them, no where.

The policies of workfare and Elect to work must be eliminated period, those that struggle, struggle more because of these policies. Does it make sense to you if we have someone who is on either ODSP or Ontario works, who are trying to make the transition to employment, when the system forces them into temp work, where ones employment rights are basically non existant? Let me put it to this way, so a person takes a temp job and then they make a complaint about a health and safety issue in the workplace, what happens. The person that makes the complaint is dismissed, there is no recourse and at present there is no law that protects a worker from this happening.

I got into a debate with a unionized worker over this issue who said the law protects workers from being dismissed, which is a fallacy , as the MOL does not protect ones job, a person who is low income cannot afford a lawyer, there is no legal aid.

Yet here we have our wonderful system that pushes people into these types of jobs, which can be an endless cycle of poverty, so if the policies are not changed, nothing will change. It is bascially the equivalent of slavery.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 24, 2009 at 09:34:36

Grassroots,

You make important points, but these are all provincial policies and hence provincial issues. There's not much the City of Hamilton can do about the fact of Ontario Works other than to register its disapproval. (Citizens, on the other hand...)

Municipalities have fewer poverty-fighting tools at their disposal; but a major tool is creating an environment that encourages the growth of decent jobs.

A few years ago, Richard Gilbert recommended that Hamilton aim to make energy production and conservation its economic Plan A. Among the many benefits to this proposal are:

  • A wide variety of jobs, from researchers to skilled labour (e.g. installing energy retrofit systems in buildings).
  • A large number of smaller individual employers rather than a few large firms with monopsony power.
  • Lots of opportunities to revitalize under-used downtown sites and bring jobs within travel distance for people without cars (as opposed to the airport).
  • Close ties between public policy, public school, college and university programs and industry to encourage skills development.
  • The outcome of the plan is to help insulate Hamilton from energy price volatility, which impacts low-income residents the most and threatens the viability of economic development projects like the airport employment growth district.

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By Six (anonymous) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 13:10:59

Ah, the joys of dream and insult. Just look at us. In today's Spec Bob Bratina tearily invokes Barak Obama to influence public opinion. I mean, holy leapin' logic Bratman, how can we expect better of our representatives if our own discussions deal mostly in what-ifs, coulda-bins and the ever fantastic behaviours of "they". Can't we get down to earth and consider what is most likely to motivate us?

TEN QUESTIONS WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES
ABOUT THE NEW STADIUM LOCATION

1. I am a visionary RaisetheHammer blogger. What is attractive about the drawing way up at the top of this blog? Is it the stadium or the greenspace and residential development around it? How will people get to the stadium? It looks like they will have to walk through residential neighbourhoods. If there were more parking spaces (less parkland and housing) wouldn't people then have to drive through residential neighbourhoods?

2. I am a resident within Paul Wilson's 10-minute walk to a proposed 25-30,000 seat stadium. How much longer will it take me to get home when there's an event in the stadium? What is the extra risk to my children from additional traffic? While most people are orderly and well behaved, will there likely be more noise, vandalism and drunkeness among those walking past my front porch after a stadium event? Will it be better for me to have more events or fewer at the stadium?

3. If I live within blocks of a busy stadium, will I want to invest more in my home? All things being equal, will future home-buyers want to live next door to a busy stadium, or will my property's value decline? Will I be motivated to discourage holding many events in a neighbourhood stadium?

4. What will do more the for existing businesses in the area, more local residents, or an occasional-event stadium?

5. I love football and rock'n'roll, and I'm still a nice guy. The game/concert just ended. Do I:
a) head to James N. to visit the art galleries?
b) head over to Hess Village for dinner & a few beers, keep the party going?
c) rush the exits to beat the traffic because the nearby residential neighbourhood is in decline and kinda scary?

6. I am CEO of one of the few corporations fortunate enough in this economy to have the money to consider naming rights to a brand new stadium. Which will give me the most bang for my bucks--which alternative would I be willing to pay more for:
a) a stadium in a residential neighbourhood that is either run down and/or where the homeowners actively resist frequent use of my named facility?
b) a busy stadium next to current commercial development, highway, GO and future rapid-transit lines where thousands will see my name in lights every day even if there isn't an event in the stadium?

7. I'm a good guy owner of a small sports franchise. Making a go of that is a constant struggle, what with all the entertainment options available to the public these days. I need to take full advantage of every possible revenue stream even if only to show I'm not deliberately running a tax write-off scheme. How much business am I willing to give up due to limitations in public access and because I've alienated potential nearby ticket holders?

8. I'm a rock'n'roll, or other special-events entrepreneur. Where am I likely to make more money with fewer problems:
a) in a stadium with public access problems in the middle of a residential neighbourhood?
b) in any number of existing and potential sites without such limitations, between Niagara Falls to Oshawa?

9. I'm a bright, creative public representative in a satellite South Ont. city enjoying the confidence of my constituents and with confidence in city staff. I know running a city comes down to bread and circuses, and I'm willing to spend some bread on the circus in town, especially when other levels of government will pitch in. Why are better locations for a stadium deemed too complex to develop before even being considered? What does THAT say about me and the competence of city staff? When it comes to location, why am I only given a choce between bad and worse rather than among good, better and best?

10. I'm a citizen of Hamilton. What is most likely to make this burgh look smart, modern, competent and on the go:
a) a busy, multi-use stadium close to multi-transit access surrounded by industrial and commercial development?
b) a city that has post-poned investing in circuses to put its limited financial resources behind improving public health, education, residential communities and environmental/energy industry growth?
c) a city that risks current residential and commercial growth to build a stadium that is used a dozen times a year and has a good view of Aldershot?

I know there will be many who will respond differently than I have to these questions. For them I offer the following bonus-point make-up:

Have you, or are you willing to invest all your savings to buy a home or open a small business near this proposed Tiffany St. stadium?


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By woody10 (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 18:37:39

Lets face it, for years this city has said no to many, many development proposals. Far more than ones that they have approved. And what has happened?? Has the decline stopped, has poverty dissapeared, have the potholes and roads gotten filled/better?? No, they're worse. It is time to try the other route, build something that will leave a legacy and will be built with alot of money that doesn't come directly from the city coffers. Yes alot will, but alot has already gone to filling pot holes, poverty etc. Maybe some of those kids who live with welfare parents can get jobs by or in the stadium and change the cycle of welfare breeding welfare. I still can't believe the negative attitude of some people. For the first time in 30 odd years, I'm actually excited about the possibilities for the future of this "behind the times city" that I love.

And I hate to be truly negative but, if we don't get awarded these games and build the stadium. There is little hope for this city. We will always be looked at as the steel town dump.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 19:44:05

Six, great post. You had me chuckling out loud. Perhaps we should ask your same 10 questions (really, it was just the same question over and over in slightly different terms) but change the context.

Ask those same questions of Wrigley Field, Chicago; Yankee Stadium, NYC; Fenway Park, Boston; Skydome, Toronto; Copps Coliseum, Hamilton.

Not only am I a "legendary" blogger. Lol. But I also own a home within a 5-10 minute walk of the stadium site. And I hope to heck it goes there. Keep a few things in mind regarding Hamilton's number one priority- parking: 1. 6 storey parkade at York Blvd that is never more than 2 floors full. 2. New parkade planned for Bay St at the entrance to Bayfront Park. 3. LRT is coming. 4. Underground parking will likely be included in this development under the stadium or adjacent velodrome/track complex on Barton Street.

I've been to ScotiaBank Place in the sticks of Ottawa (yawn). And I've been to Fenway, Yankee Stadium. Property values in Boston's Back Bay seem to be doing just fine thanks. And that's a stadium filled with just under 40,000 at least 81 nights a year. Guess what. There's NO parking lot! Heaven help us!! The tour guide told us that some people pay $1,000 to park in small nearby lots during Yankee games. He suggested that we all use our brains, pay the $1.60 and take the subway. That's the difference in the mindset between a real city (one that is booming, and filled with great jobs/universities etc....) and Hamilton.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 24, 2009 at 22:51:05

Woody10: Talk about negative attitude, how can you make assumptions about those on social assistance? You talk about the kids getting jobs but what about the parents that must support them?

What you don't realize is how the system keeps people in dire straits but one would have to experience it, to understand it.

Do you realize if someone gets sick, say who has cancer or some other dilibating disease that a person languishes on ontario works getting around 550.00 per month for about three years before they can access ODSP, which is no picnic either. I challenge you to live on the that amount for a few months, just so you can get the taste of it. Go stand in line at the foodbanks for hours, to get food that does not meet nutritional needs, it is sometimes rotten, filled with vermin, sometimes you get nothing after standing in line for hours. But what do you care about that, right. Is a person to be blame because they get sick? Should they have to live in extreme poverty?

You cannot label all into one catagory.

I advocate for living wages, if not living wages then at least add benefit packages for those who earn low wages, at least that would help when their children get sick. Provide for education, real education not the crap that some of these agencies push people into that do NOTHING. I guess you did not read the article in the Star on on LMR's and how it failing those workers who have been injuried. But as long as the consultants are making money off the backs of those less fortunate, everything is ok.

How about a workers center that actually advocates for those workers who are wronged and cannot access legal services. A person could lose their job due to wrongful dismissal, especially those in the temp industry of which there is no protection, some aren't even entitled to EI, even though they have the hours.

No, our system sends people to learn how to do a resume, what does that have to do with employment rights, nothing. It just keeps feeding the poverty industry, those who earn in access of 100,000, telling others to live in dire straits.

Let us hope that you do not lose your job, exhaust EI, then have to depend on the system, or maybe you should. Maybe you need to experience being told that you must work at a job for a few weeks, yet not get paid.

I want for people to be self sufficient, to live in dignity, to have hope but if the policies are not changed, then the same old patterns will continue. Quit blaming those at the bottom for the wrongs of those at the top.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 10:23:29

Hit a nerve Grassroots?? Not really, just wanted to set you straight that you know nothing about my past/present life so you shouldn't try to tell me how hard it is. Telling me I need to experience working for nothing for a few weeks, ha! You are one arrogant .......... Yes there's a lot of blame at the top, most in fact. But I am one who believes (and has proven in my little corner of the world) that working very, very hard will get you somewhere in this world. And please don't assume I don't care about injured workers or the rest of the truly unfortunate. Maybe you should think a little before putting words to screen. That's all I was trying to say.

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By Captain Logic (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:32:37

I really hope Parking (or lack of) does NOT become a debate for the West Harbour location.

Although I have not heard of a proposed structure at Bay/Strachan (any more info on this, Jason?), there really is NO need for it.

With AMPLE parking available at Bayfront Park itself, not to mention Hess Street School (which could rent space for fund-raising), Sir John A High School (they constantly use their field for events at their Auditorium), and lets not forget the multitude of surface lots in Downtown itself (all within a 10-min walk)... Parking should NOT, I repeat, ***NOT*** be an issue here!!

Also, the Ti-Cat Express Buses seem to be a huge success from the hordes of people I saw last season using them. The new 60ft-long buses had standing room only! So park at Limeridge or Eastgate and use this FREE service!

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:38:56

absolutely right Captain Logic. Hamilton has to be one of the most parking lot-addicted cities I've ever seen. Plus, if we get LRT, it carries far more people than the 60-foot buses.

info on that parking structure is here:

http://www.myhamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/80...

Quote: A.6.3.5.1.5 An above-grade parking structure is permitted on the parking area for Bayfront Park, immediately south of the Combined Sewer Overflow tank. The design of a parking structure in this location shall be of a high architectural standard and shall not obstruct vistas of the harbour and waterfront from Bay Street.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 23:53:57

woody10: you wrote "Maybe some of those kids who live with welfare parents can get jobs by or in the stadium and change the cycle of welfare breeding welfare."

That is a pretty broad statement, is it not? You were implying that if the parent is on welfare then the child will be, maybe that is not what you meant to say but those are your words.

Maybe you need to think before you set words to screen as well. You were sounding pretty arrogant yourself.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 01:10:05

Grassroots - How is that arrogant?? I have seen many families continue the welfare string, that is why I said it. I'd love to see some stats on it because I bet I'm not far off in my assumption.

sounds to me you don't like my responses cause you have no real rebuttal.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 26, 2009 at 08:55:01

woody10: you see things your way, I see things in a different way. But the way that you think goes along with a real life story about a poverty stricken neighbourhood and those predetermined perceptions about those who are poor that I heard from a pretty prominent person in this city at a poverty meeting, who would have more information about the topic then you.

So please answer my question from yesterday, have you ever had to access Ontario Works? I know you said that you were laid off from your job but no give no real time frame as to when this happened, was 20 years ago or recently.

I met a person on the bus one day, the mother, lives with chronic pain, her child, was at the time striving to further their education in a chosen field. The system itself punishes the parent by cutting off funds when the child works to earn money for the tuition, the child is limited at around 100 per month.

So I guess my point is that if you have not had to access Ontario Works or ODSP since 1995, the Common Sense Revolution, then basically I think you are blowing smoke as you do not know the rules and regulations that thwart many in their pursuit of a higher education and how affects those families and their children that struggle.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted February 27, 2009 at 02:10:38

Grassroots, I accessed UI before 95 so I can't speak personally about it since then. I do know that when my wife went back to school in 98 she got a student loan paying for ALL her schooling and that is with me earning a decent wage at the time. If she was alone they told her she would have gotten twice as much. I have a friend who lives with an injured parent (single) and her benefits were not changed due to the sons earnings. Also, I know many university students who get massive loans even though their parents make good money.

Lets face it, everybody cries poor me when they have a willing ear. I thought you seemed smarter than that. People Lie, that's why the world is in such a S^*# now. Many of these advocates can twist events, situations, words around to suit their needs. Get people like you to jump on one bandwagon or another and then all hell breaks loose again.

maybe you should start up a company and employ all these willing and able people, pay them at least $20 an hour, and see how long your company lasts when they don't show up to work or come late every day or.......

I appologize to those following along, I know there is problems with the sytem and I know there are people who are left behind, I'm no fool. The system is broken and needs fixing, but bashing everybody who stands up for development (stadium) and the jobs it WILL create just drives me nuts!!

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 27, 2009 at 09:14:18

Woody10: Maybe your friend is or was collecting WSIB benfits which is not the same. If your wife was alone and had to access Ontario Works, she would get OSAP but with changes in Ontario Works, once OSAP is given , then they are cut off OW. They must live on the amounts given from OSAP which does not taken into account all the living expenses necessary, which means that your children may have to go without items.

Did you read the articles in the spec this morning, one about the welfare rolls increasing and this is due to many of those workers who are precarious and also due to the downturn in the economy. The second article is about the hydro and the limiters, so those who are the working poor must make choices about whether they should pay the hydro or say buy food.

Anyways who said I was bashing the stadium, I have questions that is all about what type of jobs are created, at what wage rate, meaning would they be a living wage, or if they cannot be a living wage at least to provide benefits for those low income workers and this item is particularily important.

A living wage in Hamilton was deemed to be 12.96 in 2006 by the Living Wage and Fair Employment Coalition.

Here is a true story for you buddy, a person who worked their whole life, not great work but worked, had a job with their partner. The partner died and the job was gone. The person had to put all their belongings into storage and wallowed on OW for months and months, couch surfing until CPP kicked in. The amount received from CPP is not really liveable and this person could not afford to get the belongings out of storage, the person asked for startup to get a lifetime of belongings back, the person was refused. Yet we have our leaders with a wave of a hand at the provincial giving themselves 27 percent raises, while denying the people any dignity.

If I had the money, I would start up a workers center to help those to advocate for justice. There are many bad employers out there, who do what the f$%^& they want, the system does not provide for justice in many cases. And in fact I know of a story of a so called worker giving out false information about the arbitration and grieving process and then threatened to have the person cut off EI. And in fact when I called this so called worker and asked by what authority do you have to threaten someone off their only source of income, I was met by silence on the phone. Some of this idiots who worked for the system are unqualified on issues pertaining to labour rights, they are paid union wage rates, covered by benefits and are entitled to pensions, all the while stomping on the rights of others they feel they are entitled to. You have no idea buddy, really you don't.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted March 02, 2009 at 01:28:01

Well, well, Grassroots. You are one angry dude (dudet??) Anyway, I'm tired of arguing about who knows who about how they are on welfare or WSIB etc. It's not the point. I agree with you that the government is screwed and can't figure out who desreves what and who doesn't. No argument there, and I wish they could fix it but, you know as well as I that they won't put any effort into that one. I knew one girl who was a single mom on welfare, new condo in Oakville, full education (degree) and was refusing $40 000 a year jobs because she felt she was worth more, lol. Then my buddy moved in with her and she still continued on welfare even though the government knew he was there and he was making good coin!!!! The unfairness of it all is astounding. I also agree about the bad employers as well. That is fairly common in most places wouldn't you say?? I've experienced a few personally. So whatever you think you can do just realize the crap that's gonna hit you head on in the process. Both getting the good people help and the bad people being helped caught! And I do have an idea buddy, I do!

So can we end this little discussion now with a semi-agreement withstanding.......??????

Three cheers for Hamilton, it's new stadium and more jobs (of all kinds) for those that need em'. Oskie wee wee!

I'm tired now, goodnight.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2010 at 10:48:13

I'll stop my back-reading at the reference to a crappy team in a crappy sport or however that comment was written. Not worth looking back to quote it properly.

The sport has a storied history, and the team is rebuilding as sports teams have to do at certain points over their existance. This sport/this team, bring this community together in ways not many other things can.

I challenge you to actually attend a game to see this for yourself. It'll be a a good year to be a bandwagoner as rebuilding comes to an end and the product on the field continues to display the results of all the hard work both from the organization, and the owner to revitalize not only our image, but the presence on the field.

And Jason, great piece. I just seen Fenway Park for the first time on New Years, and it sounds like your vision isn't far from what exists in that beautiful area in Boston. I'd like to see a little character go into the new site, and not just a bunch of concrete.

There have been some great discussions about design and location on the forum at Ticats.ca, one being the idea of having soccer played at the new stadium instead of track and field, so we can do away with the track design which takes the fans too far away from the field.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2010 at 10:54:48

And further to your response to capitalist, Jason, I find that most people who constantly bash the downtown or east end, either don't live there or don't ever go there.

James St N and Ottawa St are just two examples of streets in our community that are changing for the better - changing this city and it's image.

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