Sports

Ticats Insist on Mid-20th Century Stadium Location

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 06, 2010

The Spectator reports that Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young has rejected the West Harbour stadium location and wants the city to take a 90 day moratorium on developing the stadium to consider other options.

Young claims the Ticats will lose up to $7 million a year at the West Harbour location.

Young proposed three alternate locations:

In reasoning that won't be surprising to anyone who saw the Ticats' recent push-poll, Young prefers the first option on the basis of its easy motoring access and highway visibility. As the article reports:

Young said the west harbour site is effectively landlocked.

It's bordered by a residential neighbourhood that lacks sufficient roads to move fans in and out of football games and hemmed in by water, rail yards and the cliff at the High Level Bridge.

It also lacks visibility to make sponsorship feasible for the team and the city, he said.

How on earth do the poor, unfortunate owners of all the successful "landlocked" stadiums in vibrant downtown locations across North America survive such awful conditions?

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By JM (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 10:30:36

great........ i was afraid this was going to happen. i'm not surprised either. so does this mean that the ti-cats will be building their own new stadium? ...or making an ultimatum for the City to provide one?

sadly, based on our municipal leadership.... (i'm sure you've all ready about the decision for the Tims drive through in Binbrook - which btw is similar to putting one at King and James) ....I can forsee ALL of this falling apart, including the Pan Am Stadium being anywhere in Hamilton - or even the Ti-cats.

Sigh....when should i make my move to Burlington? (don't worry i'd only be interested in living in old/urban Downtown Burlington)

JM

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By crycat (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 10:42:37

When is the last time the Ticats actually made any money? And we're going to listen to these clowns for their business acumen??

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:01:23

The Ti-Cats attitude towards the West Harbour stadium plan and actions to derail it are going to prevent them from getting my money more than the stadium location will.

Corporate welfare "Emperors with no Clothes" should be laughed at, not listened to.

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By frustraTed (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:18:16

Arrrgh! So typical of this back asswards city. Is it too much to hope that council won't just roll over again like they did with Tims? Mayor Fred sounded pretty Tough Guy a couple of weeks ago, let's hope he doesn't lose his nerve.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:19:55

I challenge Bob Young to purchase millions of dollars worth of stock in the Pontiac Silverdome if he thinks it's such a great business model.

And please invite the owners of teams who have spent millions on downtown stadiums to visit Hamilton and learn how wrong they were to tear down their highway side boxes in favour of urban locations.

The Houston Astros owner on their new stadium location debate:

Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. said a downtown stadium would be best for baseball because it would generate excitement and put the team closer to the center of the region's population.

What a moron this guy is. Doesn't he know that stadiums in the middle of nowhere surrounded by parking lots and highways are far more exciting and engaging places??

Oh, and did I mention that the Houston Astros are located in Houston, Texas? Yes, sprawl loving, oil loving, car loving Texas.

http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/nation...

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By Vod K (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:29:25

"The Houston Astros owner on their new stadium location debate:

Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. said a downtown stadium would be best for baseball because it would generate excitement and put the team closer to the center of the region's population.

What a moron this guy is. Doesn't he know that stadiums in the middle of nowhere surrounded by parking lots and highways are far more exciting and engaging places??

Oh, and did I mention that the Houston Astros are located in Houston, Texas? Yes, sprawl loving, oil loving, car loving Texas."

It's beside a highway though! If the Skyway Bridge didn't exist and the 403 ran right through Downtown Hamilton there probably would not be an issue with the location. I'm not saying that's right, I just think that's the answer that would be thrown back at you.


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By valour (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:35:50

I posted about this on my blog that is usually about art and music. http://www.chrisvalour.com I was pretty mad when I read the article in the spec and couldn't not write something.

Anyways..... This is what I wrote. I am by no means a good writer

First off, I should mention that I am not really a football fan. Secondly, if I was a football fan, I sure as hell wouldn’t be rooting for a the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Not only are they not a very good team, but for months they have been battling the development of a new stadium in the Hamilton West-Harbour. The West-Harbor location will benefit the city as a whole for years to come, not just the 10 days a year that the Ticats would be playing there.

In a private meeting this morning, Ticats owner Bob Young told a group of Ticats supports (yes, apparently they exist) that the franchise could potentially lose up to $7 million a year if it were forced to relocate to the city-preferred west harbor option, and urged the city to explore other options.

These “options” include the intersection of the QEW and the Red Hill Valley Parkway (near Confederation Park), on the Hamilton side of Aldershot (What the heck does that mean?) and finally Chedoke Park.

I am sure the first two of the three listed options will eventually be developed into Wal-Marts or parking lots in the near future, so building in that area doesn’t really bother me. But the the third option is Chedoke Park.

Chedoke Park is under the protection of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and I don’t understand the logic behind building a stadium and giant parking complex on environmentally sensitive land, for less than 10 games a year.

It seems that the two main concerns of the Ticats are parking and stadium visibility for sponsors.

I don’t really understand the parking issue. I mean half of downtown Hamilton is a parking lot already.

And I don’t mean to stereo-type, but have you seen the average Ticats fan? They could certainly use a short 15 minute walk to the game. And I should add, a good portion of them stumble out of the game and into their 1986 Chevrolet rust buckets, ready to swerve their way home. Is obese drunk driving really something that should be encouraged?

As for visibility for the sponsor…. Buy a billboard on the QEW. Or better yet, sponsor a team that wins a game once in a while.

This shouldn’t even be a consideration. In fact, I am still trying to figure out why this stadium is not by default named something like “Hamilton Pan-Am Place”. We are the ones paying for it, why sell its namesake to some giant company that has nothing to do with the city or the Pan-Am games for a drop in the bucket of its construction costs.

Also, why should the Ticats have any say in where the stadium is located anyways? Are they competing in the Pan-Am games? Are they covering the majority of the construction costs?

If they don’t like it, they should take their ball and go home. They were fine playing in crumbling Ivor Wynne Stadium (which also lacks decent parking and sponsor visibility) until the chance of a heavily subsidised new stadium came into the picture.

Why do the Ticats feel that the city should have to choose from their list of options anyways when the city clearly gave the Ticats two options. Contribute, or build your own stadium. Seems simple to me.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:37:32

I think Bob Young would have absolutely no hesitation on supporting a stadium for the Ticats in downtown Hamilton if a location like that of Houston's baseball stadium was being presented. The Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park is downtown, but also happens to be immediately adjacent to the Eastex freeway.

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By JM (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:37:55

The 403 DOES run through (ahem... beside) Downtown Hamilton! AND it's just a short drive down YORK BLVD (already a 6-lane expressway) which is steps from the West Harbour Site.

Do they REALLY need an onramp into a giant parking lot? They're not going to be able to avoid congestion after games... especially when there are no other options to get there and home!

JM

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 11:57:14

Last time I checked, all those tall light standards you see sticking above the High Level Bridge are lighting up Hwy 403 beside it.

The logic against West Harbour can be used for every other location:

Confederation Park - landlocked by water, industry, industry and more industry. Chedoke - landlocked by the escarpment, residential, residential and Hwy 403 Aldershot - landlocked by the harbour, residential, residential and Hwy 403.

They need to just come out and admit it - they didn't actually do their own business case on this. They simply borrowed the business case from the Detroit Lions for the Pontiac Silverdome.

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By alrathbone (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 13:32:48

I notice they didn't talk about the results of their "survey".

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 13:49:43

I notice they didn't talk about the results of their "survey". - alrathbone

The people I know who took it (including myself) all support the West Harbour location.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted May 06, 2010 at 16:34:06

If you're paying for your own stadium, Bob, great.

If not, how about understanding you have to take what you can get - especially when the benefits of the current site are not all targeted at you?

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By Windfall (registered) | Posted May 06, 2010 at 17:34:54

Older Hamiltonians will remember when Ivor Wynne Stadium was plain old Civic Stadium, a peoples place for all large community gatherings and events like a Military Tattoo, School Sports etc. Mayor Copps held a referendum to have the Taxpayers install artificial turf. When it was defeated Copps went ahead fundraising and the turf was installed against the wishes of the people but narrowly supported by the business council of the day. We started to lose our Civic pride just as we lost the Downtown market. In the early eighties when John Munro MP, Bill Powell Mayor and Harry Greenwood, Labour leader and Joyce Mongeon and some others gained money and support for the building of Copps (ironical) Coliseum the Tiger Cat's boss, Harold Ballard made noises to his friends on Council to have the funds used for upgrading the Ivor Wynne Stadium but the above mentioned stalwarts won the day over the likes of Aldermen Merling, Bethune and some others who would have given away more to Ballard. Let the Tiger Cats pay for a new venue and let the City pay to restore our Civic Stadium and our Civic pride.

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By the other tom (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2010 at 17:13:47

Actually the Ticats survey results were overwhelmingly negative against the site.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 10, 2010 at 19:34:47

So let's see the results...

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By m (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:15:51



Who would have ever thought Ballard would be remembered fondly?LOL!

Lay it to rest folks.The man was a joke.





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