Sports

Stadium Debate: Something Shifted Behind the Scenes

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 16, 2010

Back on May 14, the Spectator posted a live-blog written by reporter Meredith MacLeod on the Pan Am stadium debate held at the Economic Summit.

I'm struck now, re-reading it, with this report:

[Scott] Mitchell says Ticats love the west harbour, Ticats own property downtown, we understand the west harbour. Submitted a business case to the city, facilitator going to come in. We understand what the city wants to do with west harbour, city understands our position... says he's very optimistic about working this out.

It's pretty hard to reconcile this statement with the Ticats' subsequent insistence that the West Harbour is strictly a non-starter for them.

Something significant shifted behind the scenes between May and July, and I'm determined to figure out what it was.

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 bl (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 09:24:53

May 20 Dave Braley appointed senator, taken off Pan-am committee, conflict of interest evaporates...

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 09:59:59

Nice catch Ryan. Sounds like you ahve some sleuthing cut out for you. Let us know what you find.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:22:30

Ryan,

Something significant shifted behind the scenes between May and July, and I'm determined to figure out what it was.

There is no conspiracy to be found there.

Your quote above is taken out of context of an article that took what Scott Mitchell said out of context. Scott was trying to be very supportive of the Mayor and the City in their city-building projects.

You will note what he did -not- say in that story or the quote you use. Specifically he did not say the West Harbour would work for getting 30,000 people into and out of a stadium there on a regular basis.

Once we recognized that the City was determined to build the stadium in the West Harbour without any plan to address the access, transit, and parking problems with a stadium in that location, we were forced to go public with our concerns over the city's plans.

The Ticats are not favour of suburban locations for stadiums over downtown locations. We are in favour of locations that work for hosting large events over locations that do not work.

Had the City been able to come up with solutions to the access problems with the West Harbour location, such as a deal with CN to use their rail yards for parking and access to the 403, then that location might have worked for a large event business.

But the City were not able to offer solutions to the problems we pointed out to them. When the City went in the opposite direction by assuring the local residents associations that they would not be expanding local streets to accommodate stadium bus and vehicle traffic or build new parking facilities, we were required to point out that a stadium would fail in that location under those conditions.

On the other hand we remain, as per Scott's quote above, very supportive of doing some innovative development in the West Harbour. This development needs to be compatible with the assets that that location features. So the "Setting Sail" plan, to build condos shops and offices there where you have much smaller volumes of traffic that would be spread-out over the course of the day, would make sense.

Cheers, Bob.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:32:38

uh hmmm...regular basis? 10 times a year is hardly regular!

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:53:38

Hey Bob; Just as an FYI, since it's obvious you're going for the EM site, come hell or highwater. I will never, ever set foot in your stadium if you insist on building it in the middle of nowhere. I'm a big CFL fan (go to three/four Ticat games a season), a massive soccer fan and at 38, with a young family, I'm exactly the sort of fan you should be trying to attract. But guess what, I live in the lower city, and have absolutely no interest in driving out to the suburbs and sitting in traffic to watch your team(s) play. We currently take public transit/walk to IWS...(allows my family and I to grab a bite to eat and a couple of beers at Buddy's before the game).

I'm shocked by the amount of ill-will and resentment that you're generating, even amoungst stalwart Ticat fans. Any way you cut it, this is definitely not good for business, and I know for a fact, I'm not the only person who won't be attending your events. You're losing 30 odd years of my family's custom.

I know I've said this before, but I can actually see you drawing less fans, esp. once the novelty has worn off and everyone realizes what a pain in the ass your suddenly obsolete suburban stadium is to get to.

Skully

Comment edited by skully2001 on 2010-07-16 09:55:14

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:09:58

I completely agree with you skully. My family's been watching the Ti-Cats for decades, in fact I'll be there tonight to watch them get some revenge on the Bombers. But I certainly won't be going to any games up on the east mountain. I don't want to sit in traffic for an hour to get there, hunt for parking in a giant lot, miss the last bit of the game to beat the giant rush of traffic, then sit in another hour of traffic to leave.

I'd much rather take transit down, grab a bite and a brew before hand, enjoy the game with out worrying about traffic jams or if that last drink put me over the limit, then take transit back home.

Mr. Young, you are marketing a "driveway-to-driveway" experience to a generation of people with steadily dropping rates of driver's licence ownership. How does that make business sense?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:12:40

Skully, you are dead on. The catalogue is long of cities that have torn down their suburban stadiums due to lack of attendance, and had to turn around and spend millions rebuilding them downtown. Montreal lost their football team because of their suburban stadium. It is unconscionable that public money is about to be used in this irresponsible way.

I don't even think it's a question of urban vs. suburban anymore. The men who are doing this to us know perfectly well a suburban stadium will harm us economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally. The only question left now is why.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:19:51

I feel the opposite of Skully Bob, I feel that you pointing out the issues with the West Harbour has enhanced my view of what the TigerCats are all about, trying to help the city come to grips with their vision for the WH and meld this with the TigerCats. I am a huge TigerCats fan and will gladly watch the team at a very convenient location for me, the East Mountain, since I live in the older part of the EM. But will gladly attend games at WH which is also convenient or anyplace. I will not make excuses not to go to games since I love TigerCats football. Hamilton isn't a large city and I find it quite easy to go from Burlington to Stoney Creek, Conferation park etc. in a reasonable amount of time.

For me living on the EM, neither Dundas is in the middle of nowhere, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Glanbrook, inner city, Confederation Park etc. my Hamilton is all inclusive and I don't discriminate. We have a wonderful city and area wherever that may be in it.

Some say you're generating resentment and that may well be the case for some but not for others. Some have axes to grind, some want to vent and some have legit concerns for themselves, it runs the gamit.

As my mother said, you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:20:28

I'm not saying there's a conspiracy. I'm saying that the Province went very abruptly from being bullish on the West Harbour, with its triple-win brownfield remediation, urban revitalization and transit integration, to recommending and endorsing a retrograde suburban location that goes against all of the Province's rhetoric on intensification (not to mention the city's objectives and the purpose of the Future Fund).

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:24:53

@highwater for now Hanlon's Razor is good enough for me.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:30:21

How can assigning 40+ acres of available inner city property to build a 10-games-a-year stadium be considered urban intensification?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:32:13

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

Thanks for that nobrainer, I'll have to keep that one in my back pocket for future reference. ;)

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:36:15

Dear Bob Young:

I've never been to a Tiger Cat game before but I became interested when I heard about the waterfront stadium. I could walk there, unlike the current stadium location.

I just got rid of my car so I have more disposable income for things like Tiger Cats tickets and expensive beer at sporting events. I would also likely spend even more money at the establishments on James Street after getting primed at a rousing football game.

Needless to say, that interest has all but evaporated in the wake of current events. Count me as one lost potential fan. I spend my money in places that I enjoy. If the team moves to the mountain, I will continue to spend my money downtown, on all the fine entertainment still to be found here.

If I were you, I would be concerned about the future. My story is not unique, as you can see by the myriad of responses on the Our City, Our Future campaign site. Car culture is on its way out. Young people want an urban experience; they'd rather spend their money on fun than being stuck in traffic everyday.

The Tiger Cats can be part of the fun in this city, or they can be part of the slow death of car culture.

I respect your need to fight for your business, and you must respect my need to fight for my city. I wish you all the best but since this is the city's money at stake, that which is strictly dedicated to investing in the city's future, I have no choice but to continue supporting the west harbour campaign.

Comment edited by jonathan dalton on 2010-07-16 10:40:30

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By Osmington (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:42:17

Bob,

Why will you not put facts and figures on the table for this discussion? We haven’t seen one iota of information to back up any of your financial statements as to whether one site will work over the other.

It is increasingly clear that you stubborn refusal to talk about how to make a waterfront stadium work is an indication you are not telling us the whole story. What is the nature of your relationship with Osmington Inc.? What’s the nature of your land development plans on the EM that require over $100 million dollars of public subsidy?

If the city essentially offers you the new stadium for free on the West Harbourfront, why wouldn’t you take it? That seems very odd….unless there is something else at work here.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:48:45

The beauty though is regardless of our varying views, anyone who really cares about Hamilton means that they really should care about the WH, and we all do here. As Bob and others have said, the means to go about showing your caring is different from person to person.

I really hope that Bob's indication of the concerns at WH will be addressed by the city, province and federal governments to make it a strong and viable attractive location not only for a stadium but for all sorts of businesses that can help the WH and downtown. I think that is the strength of communicating here and elsewhere, Hamilton has been neglected for too long by the province and federal governments IMHO.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:58:29

Montreal lost their football team because of their suburban stadium.

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.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:01:39

Of course something has changed. The city has been threatened. The first threat is the loss of the stadium and it's funding if they don't deal with a private business, the Ticats. The second threat is that being made by the Ticats to relocate if they don't get their way.

I would like to know why this city is being held to a different stadard than other cities when it comes to funding for this facility. How many of the other facilities being built have to be supported by an economic plan for the future. How many of the other facilities have to pass the sustainability test before they are built.

They are spending almost a billion dollars on these games and yet we have to justify the paltry amount we are being given to build what will be the showcase facility for the games. How many other cities in this country, that have hosted international games, have had to show a need for the facility or justify whether or not the facility will be sustainable after the event.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:11:21

Just to repeat:

The debate is not between "downtown" and "suburban". The problem is the specific limitations of the West Harbour.

uh hmmm...regular basis? 10 times a year is hardly regular!

A properly planned new stadium will bring dozens of new events to Hamilton. The goal of a new stadium should be to host a dozen events a month, weather permitting.

The problem with residential neighbourhoods such as Ivor Wynne, or Olympic Stadium in Montreal, or the proposed WH, is that in a residential neighbourhood you cannot host music concerts and cultural events much less larger sporting events.

If the city essentially offers you the new stadium for free on the West Harbourfront,

As a Hamilton taxpayer I don't want a "free" stadium that costs the city and its taxpayers millions to subsidize until the end of time. We want a stadium that can host events profitably so we (the Ticats) can pay our taxes like all financially successful businesses are able to do.

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:15:59

increasingly I blame this whole mess on Chad Collins

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:31:30

I'm not saying there's a conspiracy. I'm saying that the Province went very abruptly from being bullish on the West Harbour, with its triple-win brownfield remediation, urban revitalization and transit integration, to recommending and endorsing a retrograde suburban location that goes against all of the Province's rhetoric on intensification (not to mention the city's objectives and the purpose of the Future Fund).

There was a very good article posted here earlier this month about the responsibility to change one's position when the facts change.

The Province never really cared where in Hamilton the stadium was going to be built. They just wanted to see a successful stadium that would contribute the future economic success of Hamilton. When they recognized that the West Harbour did not have the access needed to run a successful large audience event business in the West Harbour they then changed their position on -that- location.

If the City had offered another downtown location that offered both the benefits you list above and the access a stadium needs I'm sure they would have been all over it. But if the choice is between EM and WH, then the province did what your site suggest all intelligent people do, they changed their position in the face of new facts.

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By Really (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:32:53

"The problem with residential neighbourhoods such as Ivor Wynne, or Olympic Stadium in Montreal, or the proposed WH, is that in a residential neighbourhood you cannot host music concerts and cultural events much less larger sporting events"

Bob - Have you actually done an in-depth site visit? Who is saying that you won't be able to host music concerns and cultural events on the west harbour? I haven't see or read that anywhere in the discussion. In fact, as I recall, I think music events were part of the business plan for the stadium. You seem to be throwing out these tidbits with no justification. Also, Aquafest was held for years on the West Harbourfront and you can't seriously say the area is totally residential like Ivor Wynne with the significant existing heavy industry/brownfields, including the huge rail yard which can be noisy all hours of the day, the City of Hamilton storage facility on Barton, that the large scrapyard that fronts on Bay.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:46:23

@highwater for now Hanlon's Razor is good enough for me.

It was for me until very recently as well. Let's just say I've 'shifted' in the last couple of days.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:46:29

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.

It's an ugly old place too. Any dome that doesn't open, is not one I enjoy being in. Even BC place is going the way of the openable dome.

Seen the Expos in their last year of existance there. If there is one thing I think we all agree on, we don't want a big mistake like the big uh-'o'.

One commentor on this site talked about why McMaster and the Cats didn't hook up. I like that partnership in Montreal with McGill. I haven't seen the new McMaster site yet, but sharing a building with the Mauraders would have been great.

As for the WH, if the city/government could say that we will do what is neccessary to make sure this site works for everyone, but we want to try to do it with the current vision first, and if that doesn't work, we gurantee that we will work on the accessibility, would that work?

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:47:09

"Failure is not an option." Perhaps we should change that option to "None of the above."

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:51:29

Also, Aquafest was held for years on the West Harbourfront and you can't seriously say the area is totally residential like Ivor Wynne with the significant existing heavy industry/brownfields, including the huge rail yard which can be noisy all hours of the day, the City of Hamilton storage facility on Barton, that the large scrapyard that fronts on Bay.

Exactly. All this nonsense about WH being in the 'middle of a residential neighbourhood' is just like all the nonsense about it being 'inaccessible'. Newsflash, caretaker, and anyone else making these nonsensical arguments: we've been down there and we have eyes in our head.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:54:26

Also, Aquafest was held for years on the West Harbourfront and you can't seriously say the area is totally residential like Ivor Wynne

I don't get how we can have all weekend concerts at Gage Park well into the late evening that I can hear quite clearly at my home closer to Barton St, yet IWS can't have a concert.

Why on Earth would you buy a house by a stadium and expect it to be quiet or complain about noise? If they had concerts such as this there that didn't create the same kind of crowd that say a Nine Inch Nails draws, or that isn't quite as loud and driving as a heavier band, why couldn't you have a concert that went from say 7-9:30 or 10? Sorry, I just don't get it.

Isn't the proposed WH stadium much closer to it's surrounding neighborhood than the bandshell at Gage Park?

Personally, I think the Gage Park festivals are greate for this city and I love the music, I just don't know why it would be a problem at IWS today or a new WH location?

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By Common Ground (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 12:56:51

So just to be clear Caretaker, you say that you don't want a free stadium that will cost the taxpayers millions to subsidize until the end of time...well that's what we're talking about as well! Finally some common ground! A suburban/greenfield/isolated stadium that provides little to no economic uplift and requires constant upgrades to the surrounding infrastructure on the public dime is a financial sink hole that will leave the City with nothing to show for it's investment. While the offer of a "free" stadium on the waterfront might not make sense to you as a citizen, it does to many, many others who see the direct and indirect benefits and economic improvement that will be brought to the city. However, a free stadium should make sense to you as a team owner - the details of concessions, rent, and parking revenues can all be worked out later, but the essential question of what the citizens want is becoming increasingly clear and just because you don't personally agree with it, doesn't mean your minority view should determine the outcome that will be felt for years and decades to come by Hamiltonians who live here day in and day out.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:06:30

caretaker said:

A properly planned new stadium will bring dozens of new events to Hamilton. The goal of a new stadium should be to host a dozen events a month, weather permitting.

So why not work with us to properly plan WH, instead of giving up and going for a fustercluck of a suburban stadium which will be just as bad for the long term success of the ticats as it will for the city?

I was at the press conference this morning. I'm guessing there were about 100 - 150 people there. Very well-heeled people I might add. Not the usual suspects at all. As skully and others have pointed out, the Ticats have created an enormous amount of ill-will among Hamiltonians. Caretaker, you are alienating the generation of young professionals who you should be madly courting if you are concerned about the long term survival of your team. Your opposition to WH just seems to be more and more irrational and self-defeating. No wonder some of us are thinking there must be more going on here.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:24:05

When the stakes are this high for an event like the PanAms and stadiums and with it road and access issues, I'm sure there is a lot more going behind the scenes. We won't get in on much of this until all is said and done, heck if our great Mayor kept council in the dark with his Katz dealings (I still find this hard to believe, beyond belief actually) so the average person on the street will never know all the things being said behind closed doors.

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By what changed (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:25:21

Something DID change - The Spectator published an article on May 18th that summed up the economic summit and it said that “everyone is interested in the same thing -- a mutually acceptable solution that will meet the city's stated needs of city-building by putting the stadium on the West Harbour and the Ticat objective of a solution that makes business sense.” (http://thespec.com/article/771250)

That's sounds more like negotiations over potential revenue streams rather than location...

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By Chad is Bad (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:28:46

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 UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:36:21

highwater wrote:

Very well-heeled people I might add.

No kidding; I felt under-dressed in my shorts and t shirt, especially when I saw a couple drive away in a Maserati!

What I liked most about the press conference was how it showed how diverse the supporters of the WH are. You had artists mingling with accountants and restaurateurs, most of whom were young, have lots of disposable income, and are presumably exactly the kind of people Bob Young should be marketing to.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:37:19

Chad took an option (Confed Park) off the table and has interests in the West Harbour (Waterfront Trust).

Are you insinuating he has financial interests? The Waterfront Trust is a charitable organization.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 13:54:06

Chad took an option (Confed Park) off the table

While I don't know much about Chad's creditability is with regards to making decisions that are genuinely right for the city and those he represents, Confederation Park is a lousy location. There is freakin' nothing out there. Can't walk there, never taken a bus there, are there any tracks near there? I guess I could ride a bike down there from where I live, and I guess Woodward, Easport wouldn't be terrible to bike down, but really.

Still, the only thing better about Confedaration Park over EM, is the view and surrounding area. Okay, accessibility is there for cars once again, but I don't consider that a better thing.

As I have said in an earlier post, let's give this tree-hugging thing a go because if there is one thing I know for sure, it's damn hot out there and our world is going to haiti in a handbasket very soon if we don't park our cars, get on an LRT line, and find other ways to create jobs other than making steel and other air polutting type occupations.

You know, people every day who don't envy my 1 1/2 bus/GO ride to Burlington every day, are constantly saying 'why don't you get yourself a cheap car. That must suck.'

First, I can't afford one so it's not an option.

Second, if you like to read, write, listen to music, people watch, sleep, relax, meet new people, dream, the time goes by pretty quickly. Our transit system still needs a lot of work as it shouldn't take me that long to get to work, but it's not bad once you figure it out. I think once people started taking transit to a stadium and got good at it, they would be like me last night out having a couple of beers realizing, 'Hey. I didn't drive. I can have a couple of more drinks.'

If you have ever read The Artists Way, my daily commute is like an 'Artist Date'. It is my down time. My time with myself. There are so many benefits to taking public transit, and I think we could sell that if the stadium was put (or remained), in a community setting.

One thing I will agree on though, is that if a game is on a Sunday when most buses are like every hour, that needs to change to every so many minutes from 3 hours before a game, to three hours after to encourage the use and accessibility of transit.

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By frank (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 14:00:17

If they have disposable income could the band together and put 15 mil towards WH? That would take the cold hard cash out of the equation leaving only the airy fairy numbers in the "offer".

Great piece in the Spec:

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

Comment edited by frank on 2010-07-16 13:01:37

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 14:08:38

And not to beat on my whole 'Save Ivor Wynne' mentality, but talking about buses and public transit, I Can take a dozen buses on the mountain that will get me downtown (strike one for the WH location), and than a half dozen choices or more that will get me to IWS. Cannon, Barton, King, Main, Rosedale, B-Line, and probably more.

All that I guess does support WH in many ways, but I still say it makes the current site more and more attractive when you take away the air that everyone has been blowing at us as to why the stadium needs to go.

You know, when I started my FB page to save IW, I didn't think much about it and I still only have a few supporters. But then this guy who wants to run for mayor jumps on board and starts posting links to all these facts as to why IWS should live on and is the best choice on so many levels.

Okay, maybe he is just trying to win brownie points and a vote come the fall. First thing that comes to mind right? Never heard of this guy. Then you start looking into what he stands for and you realize he means what he says and his platform stands by it.

This guy is running for mayor and wants to save Ivor Wynne Stadium. For more than just reasons I talked about in my article. Mahesh was looking around for stories to support my standpoint on this process? I don't know, that is pretty cool in my books. It's a lot of work to win one vote. Although I want to read all platforms before I do make my vote, he has me intriqued and exicted at the possibility of such a Hamilton (a future), for my children.

I think his vision can be summed up by this song that Mahesh, sent me the link to.

Mahesh has made me think, should our vote (if our vote really means anything which I beleive it does), be 'None of the above'?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 14:11:16

Again, the WH is the best location easily for all the reasons people mention here, IF it is promised to get the infrastructure to be able to deal with crowds in excess of 40,000 for a Grey Cup and be able to be attractive enough for businesses like the TigerCats and others to say "hey, this is worth investing in." Right now the promises for those infrastructure needs are not being addressed by the appropriate governments, hence businesses are looking elsewhere. It's pretty simple when you think of it.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 14:40:56

As skully and others have pointed out, the Ticats have created an enormous amount of ill-will among Hamiltonians. - highwater

I'll add my name to the "I'll never step foot in an East Mountain stadium" list.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 14:58:48

jonathan dalton @caretaker: "If I were you, I would be concerned about the future. My story is not unique, as you can see by the myriad of responses on the Our City, Our Future campaign site."

Love the pro-WH pull quote from Rick Court. I assume that's Rick Court, Mohawk College Dean of Business/Media/Entertainment? If so, he would join tough-minded DeGroote School of Business marketing savant Marvin Ryder as another esteemed local business mind who doesn't see the stadium debate in the same light as the same way as Cats’ bean-counter Doug Rye, a member of the CFL board of governors who is doubtless an admirable man, but whose interest in the ongoing earning power of a franchise is potentially less than objective, given his secondary role on the CFL audit and finance committee and the Cats' palsied financial health.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:25:57

People who say things like "I'll never step foot in an East Mountain stadium" I don't feel are truly trying to be proactive to find a solution but rather seem to me to have another agenda in mind.

Why not offer solutions like trying to lobby the government for more infrastructure funds to help the WH become more attractive to businesses? I don't get it. Sure you can say "well if the TigerCats are threatening to pull out of older Hamilton below the mountain, I'm going to threaten them to never go to another game" sort of thing, and that's fine but I don't see any threatening by the TigerCats at all, rather I see them being proactive now that the city didn't seem to address their concerns to try and do what the city should have done in the first place - lobby appropriate governments to revitalize the core and obtain better roads and access, to make it truly a place where businesses want to jump on board.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-16 14:26:27

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By z jones (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:33:02

Dude, the WH supporters ARE being proactive, they're telling council not to make the biggest mistake of their career while there's still time to save this debacle. There's no "another agenda", there's just the one: put the stadium in the West Harbor!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:37:34

People who say things like "I'll never step foot in an East Mountain stadium" I don't feel are truly trying to be proactive to find a solution but rather seem to me to have another agenda in mind.

Here's my agenda: I am not going to spend my entertainment dollars on a type of entertainment I find soulless and depressing, and a pain in the ass to get to. Also, they're already getting all my tax dollars, I'm not going to voluntarily turn over even more of my money to support a planning decision that causes harm to my city. How's that for an 'agenda'?

And enough with this "you should be proactive/offer solutions" BS. Alot of people on this site are already doing just that and don't need to be lectured by you.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-07-16 14:38:59

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:39:10

As skully and others have pointed out, the Ticats have created an enormous amount of ill-will among Hamiltonians. - highwater

I'll add my name to the "I'll never step foot in an East Mountain stadium" list.

Although I agree this process is getting ugly, couldn't we say the same with how city council handled this? Wouldn't that mean we should also say that we shouldn't support the WH stadium and not step foot in it?

Then both sides take the fall when the Pan Am games falls through.

I also don't like EM, but is it right that the Cats have only these two choices on the table?

Just saying if we don't like how both sides are going about it, why not abandon both?

Not sure I want to be that drastic either way, but I wonder.

I'll go wherever the Cats go I guess bottom line (sucking in my pride), even out of town. I'll give anything a try, but will I like it? Will I go out of my way to get there? Will there be that 'pride'? Probably not.

WH I would and of course, the current site I do and would always, but if I ever move out of town, the first time I get stuck at the harbor for a half hour moving nowhere, it would probably be the last time I go. While I live here though, lack of parking (if that was even an issue), or traffic wouldn't affect me. Just means we have to make sure it's accessible locally through transit, so that it can be sustained by local fans/visitors, and limit the need of outside interest - at least car going interest. Not alienate it, but not totally rely on it.

I would bottom line though, attend EM probably less because I like to 'have a good time'. I can already barely afford to go to a game. Add $20 for parking and I haven't even had a drink yet and a decent ticket and parking has cost me $60. Maybe fine for rich NHL/NFL cities, but not for this one.

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:49:03

Hey HamiltonFan: I've emailed every member of City Council numerous times, as I'm sure, have the others on this board. In fact, it was my email that Sam Merulla forwarded to the media (see thread about Merulla: No Stadium Support Without Private Investment). As ZJones said, we are being proactive. Skully

P.S. Highwater pretty much sums it up.

P.S.S. Yeah, yeah, we know: you're a huge Ticats fan and a season tickets holder! lol...

Comment edited by skully2001 on 2010-07-16 14:53:16

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By lukev (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:51:09

How on earth did we end up with these two choices?

What about all the vacant lots in the middle of downtown? All along central Barton Street?

How it came to be WH vs. East Mountain is the problem here.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 15:55:10

I'm not lecturing anyone for pete sakes highwater, god almighty, if I'm allowed to say that on this site. And I'll glady point out to anyone who wants where they can park for free if they can walk a 1/2 km or so if the stadium ends up at EM. Remember, I want it at WH too but I can appreciate the concerns of businesses seeing issues there at the moment.

And it's not good enough to just say "put the stadium at the WH" any more than it's not good enough to say "put the stadium at the EM". Rational well thought reasoning is required by decision makers I think to make the best choice possible given the resources available. That to me just makes the most sense.

Good read there skully. Oh, you want me to repeat that I'm a season ticket... ok, I'll shut my face now, have to get home have a couple brewskies and head on down to the game with my better half, she's like you guys, she tells me to shut up a lot also. ;)

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-16 14:58:12

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 16:09:40

Good read there skully. Oh, you want me to repeat that I'm a season ticket... ok, I'll shut my face now, have to get home have a couple brewskies and head on down to the game with my better half, she's like you guys, she tells me to shut up a lot also. ;)

:)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 16:31:24

Although I agree this process is getting ugly, couldn't we say the same with how city council handled this? Wouldn't that mean we should also say that we shouldn't support the WH stadium and not step foot in it? - lawrence

At least the WH site has some benefits to the city... even if it is just a cleaned up brownfield.

And yes city council shares some blame but the difference is I can put my displeasure with council in to action in November by voting. All I can do with Bob Young and Co. (since they simply don't seem to be listening) is not give them a dime of my money.

It is one of the only powers we as citizens have over corporations... If you don't agree with them, don't give them your money.

People who say things like "I'll never step foot in an East Mountain stadium" I don't feel are truly trying to be proactive to find a solution but rather seem to me to have another agenda in mind. - HamiltonFan

You can read my "agenda" and proposed solution right here on RTH HamiltonFan.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-07-16 15:35:57

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 17:14:50

I'd encourage all, but especially Bob Young, to read Paul Wilson's piece that appeared in the Spectator on Wednesday for which "frank" provided the link.

From my perspective, it's one of the best pieces written so far about this whole mess.

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

Let me add that any talk about residential on the West Harbour site is ludicrous. Bob Young won't even pony up $15 for stadium construction when the taxpayers are willing to put in $120+ million. How can you expect developers and/or taxpayers to pay the full cost of brownfield remediation for residential usage? Maybe if we had ALL of our Future Fund money to spend, but hey, Bob's already counting on that too.

Further, Bob Young has said that because the taxpayers of Hamilton wouldn't provide him with enough parking (CN Rail yard lands), which apparently he would like all the revenue from, or wider roads, he and his pit bull Scott Mitchell got all pouty and said they didn't want to play anymore.

This whole thing started with a focus on money, and has devolved into a civic debate about money. The only issue is whose money and how much.

The Ti-Cats have never bought into the notion of "city building" since this whole thing began. As much as I'm pleased Bob Young is monitoring and participating in this debate, in no way does that soften my view that he is either getting bad counsel (which I believe), or he's determined to get back some of the money he's paid out over his years of ownership of the Cats by forcing a suburban stadium on the citizens of Hamilton that he will graciously "rent" from us for 10 years for $3 million. He also reveals he thinks the stadium could host dozens of events per month. They don't want HECFI to run the stadium. Now we know why. I don't blame him for that, as a businessperson, but I do blame him for potentially killing what might have been a golden moment in the life of this remarkable city. Blog away Bob, but it's clear to me you have a very strange way of showing your love for this city. Eat 'em raw indeed.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 18:03:19

Hey Kiely buddy, I'll buy an extra 50/50 tonight for your "dime". Hahahaha

Go TigerCats Go!! I love spending my money on the TigerCats and Bob Young, don't you Kiely buddy. hahahaa

You do sound like a very, very nice guy I will admit, very sensitive and a very thoughtful mindful sort. . ;)

Cheers.

Go TiCats Go!! Go Bob Young Go!!

Kiely, don't mind me, I'm into the brewskies now heading down to the game, don't take anything personal, you can call me a rough and tumble low class football guy, it's ok, I can take it. hee,hee

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-16 17:06:57

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted July 16, 2010 at 18:03:41

The men who are doing this to us know perfectly well a suburban stadium will harm us economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally. The only question left now is why.

I think we can find a possible answer if we read between the lines. From the facilitator's report:

the East Mountain site meets the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' objectives of "ready highway access, 'surge' capacity of local roadways, substantial and convenient proprietary parking, and access to regional transit"

Emphasis placed by me on what I believe is the key objective for the tiger cat's organization: if the stadium is in a place where it is difficult to access by any means other than by car, and if they have exclusive proprietary control over the parking surrounding the stadium, there is a promise of an immediate and substantial parking revenue stream directly into their pockets.

Could it be that their tune changed when it became clear that the city would not provide them with enough ticat-controlled parking? Being the parking provider could put them in a position where parking revenue outshines ticket sales, taking into account the people who need to park for non-football events as well.

Of course, I am speculating here, and open to any ideas about how I could be totally incorrect.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 18:26:05

Emphasis placed by me on what I believe is the key objective for the tiger cat's organization: if the stadium is in a place where it is difficult to access by any means other than by car, and if they have exclusive proprietary control over the parking surrounding the stadium, there is a promise of an immediate and substantial parking revenue stream directly into their pockets.

Well then they bloody well better pony up more than $15m then. If I'm paying for half the cost of the parking, I want half the revenue.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 21:13:49

highwater: "If I'm paying for half the cost of the parking, I want half the revenue."

Over pitchers and wings earlier, one of my co-workers floated a potential win-lose scenario: The Cats get the green light on their desired EM stadium, but the city politely declines the Caretaker's facility management offer in favour of a third party bid; that party imposes a fair and realistic but dispassionate rental rate, the city retains naming rights and splits game day F&B, in-stadium advertising and parking revenues 50/50 with the club. Hamilton would retain the team, and the team would be spared the discomfort of having to fund its own stadium. And if the arrangement didn't make business sense to the Ticats at that point, it would be a striking cautionary tale for any municipalities that might have been looking to adopt.

Dunno if that makes any sense... like I said, pitchers and wings.

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By Undecided (anonymous) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 21:56:35

I'm still up in the air as I've heard arguments from both sides now. My hesitation is that I want to see something that is best for the City, I look at the City as a region and not the downtown verses what you refer to (on RTH) as the suburbs.

My only concern with the downtown location is the white elephant that Copps has turned into. I mean, look closely at it's exterior, it is peeling paint, burnt out light bulbs and utterly disgusting. It was supposed to be the saviour, it is simply a destination that has very little spill over effects.

When I bring my children to Disney on Ice etc, I'm always cognizant of the half way house with child molesters across the street. I go to the event and have dinner on the mountain. Would a new stadium in the west harbour have the same fate?

I've been to Bayfront park many times and don't let my children out of site, not for fear of falling in the water (they know not to go near) but the bums and riff raff around. Just like downtown. Not safe for families.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted July 16, 2010 at 22:38:54

If only there was some way for Joe-Guy to support Bob Young if he decides to support the West Harbour. I would buy two season's tickets to the Ti-Cats to show support for the West Harbour location, and I couldn't care less about football.

I disagree that the Cats can go elsewhere - I've actually been to two games, only because they are the Hamilton Tiger Cats. It's a little bit of Hamilton. For both games, we didn't have a problem getting to a stadium that had no parking - we drove and walked once, and rode the bus another time. Doubly significant, since I have latent antipathy for professional sports, and I hate the bus, but we took the bus, because that's what you do when you go to the Ti-Cats.

Bob Young isn't a philanthropist. We can't expect him to act out of the goodness of his heart. I think the West Harbour location is great, but my ideals won't pay his bills. So why not set up the same thing that Jim Balsillie did and presell season's tickets to the new West Harbour location. I'll buy two and actually go to most of the games. We're the ones in the yellow, right?

Comment edited by d.knox on 2010-07-16 21:40:30

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 00:31:21

I don't know why there was a sudden souring on the West Harbour site, or whether the strange optics add up to anything.

Congrats to the Ticats on their first win of the season. I caught the last quarter or so on TSN and it was nice to hear the name "Hamilton" mentioned on national TV so often. I hope that we'll be able to watch them win games for many years (at the West Harbour).

As with d.knox above, I'd put my money where my mouth is as well. If the Ticats help us out with the West Harbour site I'll purchase seasons tickets. I'll still maintain, however, that if the East Mountain site is chosen that I'll never set foot there for the very reasons I've cited again and again across this site and others.

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By the hound (anonymous) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 10:47:57

WH is the way to go. A promenade between WH and COPPS would offer year round entertainment options - fair weather WH & cold weather (winter) COPPS, complete a lot of eateries etc. along the way between each facility. Also saw the comment for special event liquor license for Bayfront park to tailgate. AWESOME idea.

As to transportation, it is time the city finished the perimeter road. This is now the missing link to the city's expressway grid.

If the stadium does have to go to EM, then perhaps the WH should become a sort of Navy Pier like in Chicago. IMAX, ferris wheel and food, right on the water. Hamilton needs to start thinking out of it usual political box.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:04:53

Well, it was a fantastic night at IWS, gorgeous evening and the crowd was great, I have to admit I love the old girl. Parked at Gage Park and walked to the stadium, fine walk actually. And had numbers on the 50/50 that were close to winning but proceeds going to a youth soccer group and I like supporting kids sports anyways, win-win.

In terms of Copps, while I'm no really big hockey fan, I will say that if Hamilton ever did get an NHL team, an NHL team will attract families and people and corporations with money so getting 17,000 or so 40 times at least a year would be good. Of course the city put the cart before the horse and built this white elephant without actually having a NHL team so the stadium has never been used for the team it was supposed to get. I don't blame the fans for generally not supporting the OHL over the years and this monstrosity of an areana, or for hockey fans not supporting the AHL much there, it's just too cavernous and big for such leagues.

Anyways, that's a different issue. I just hope the province and feds as I say make it, the WH, attractive enough for businesses like the TigerCats and others to do business down there. The NHL was looking for any way out of having to put a team in downtown Hamilton way back when when Ottawa won out. Downtown and anywhere near downtown Hamilton has a big stigma to it, unfortunate but true. I remember Bettman saying with a smirk on his face how could he sell a Hamilton named team in the US of A dominated NHL? He probably mean't a Hamilton downtown based arena named NHL team in all liklihood.

The feds and province should pay the full cost of cleaning up the WH and adjacent brownfield and running a perimeter road to it. Just what I think and hope for. We do have a jewel at the harbourfront there but need Rheem and the brownfield cleaned up and more importantly easy access from the 403 and Burlington St to get people down there for the attractions that would need to be built to attract people there, reasons for getting people there. The perimeter road needs to be a priority.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-17 11:30:54

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:27:13

I've been to Bayfront park many times and don't let my children out of site, not for fear of falling in the water (they know not to go near) but the bums and riff raff around. Just like downtown. Not safe for families.

Bayfront Park, are you kidding me? That's the first time I've ever heard Bayfront Park being called dangerous. As for downtown, let's hear from the readers who live and raise their families downtown.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:42:22

Kiely, don't mind me, I'm into the brewskies now heading down to the game, don't take anything personal, you can call me a rough and tumble low class football guy, it's ok, I can take it. hee,hee - Hamilton Fan

Trust me I don't take anything personally. I've been called worse by better ; )

I'm glad you enjoyed the game, it was a beautiful night for football.

In the end Hamilton Fan what I am trying to say is the value of what Bob Young is trying to sell us is for us all to individually decide. But we need to do so with the understanding that all we are buying is what Bob Young is selling us. Rejuvenation is not guaranteed, economic benefit for anyone besides Bob Young is not guaranteed and nor is the future success of the Ti-Cats. Currently, we are buying entertainment with $60 million in Future Fund money. All the talk of money from The Ti-Cats is meaningless. Look at what the city is going to spend and decide if entertainment warrants the cost. If it doesn't let your representatives know, if it does let them know as well.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 13:09:39

Hard to argue with what you're saying Kiely depending on how one looks at the situation. Difficult decisions. San Diego is going through a somewhat similar discussion right now, here's an excerpt from an article (link below for the full read):

"Well, they’re absolutely correct. And, in fact, every single report that’s looked at Qualcomm operations over the last couple of years has come to the exact same conclusion, which is simply that taxpayers are losing millions of dollars every year just by subsidizing the stadium. The Chargers pay very little in rent due to the agreements that they have with the City, and there aren’t enough events there to make up for that fact. And so, you know, we put the estimate at $12.2 million is the amount the City loses every year. The grand jury report actually had a couple numbers. Mark uses the $17 million number. I spoke with them and I prefer an $11-point million dollar number they have in there. But the fact of the matter is, no matter whatever number you use, it’s a heck of a lot of money that taxpayers are simply using just to keep Qualcomm operational."

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/may/24/new...

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-07-17 12:10:39

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 14:46:45

I'll third that. If they end up at WH I will definitely buy season's tickets. I took my son to a game last year and was hoping it would become a tradition like I had with my Dad. It will at WH, but never at EM.

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 14:50:03

Undecided: Your comment about Bayfront/downtown not being safe for families has to be the most asinine opinion I've heard in a while. Seriously. My wife and I bring our daughter to Bayfront/Pier 8/downtown all the time, for dinner, ice cream, picnics, shopping, etc, and not once have we ever felt threatened or unsafe...in fact, my wife and I are going out downtown tonight for dinner, drinks, etc...better have 911 on redial just in case, eh!?!

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 14:58:29

@ Undecided

I missed the issue on rampant child abductions downtown and at Bayfront Park. I guess I better not take the West Harbour trail downtown with my niece and nephew any more. Thanks for that useful bit of information! But since I go downtown for 90% of my entertainment, I will need your suggestion on a safe place to go in this dangerous city of ours.

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By The Real Damon Allan (anonymous) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 15:34:48

Better get your ducks in a row and all of us run against this "comfy" city councillors. West Harbour makes the most sense. I've been a season ticket holder for 9 years and it's easy to get to the games at IW. Traffic jam bonanza for the EM site for sure. I am a Box J Boy and some of the boys are for the EM but that`s because of the ease in driving (believe me it will be in an and out and no money spent on area businesses). They (some of the boys) have long been outside of the core and never come downtown. They are suburbanites. Many others are for the WH. None of us have ever complained about access to the game. Create the destination and they will come. People would be willing to park farther and walk. I believe that the WH can work and something is going to happen behind the scenes to make it work. It just has to. I will hate going to games at the EM...hate it!!! I lived on the mountain for 32 years and moved to the lower city 2 years ago. Never looking back. I could never live on the mountain again. Maybe this whole mess is about ideology. I don`t know. I do want Bob to make money but I also want for our city to prosper. There IS a solution at the WH. We`re smart enought to find it.

On another note, the Box J Boys were threatened by arrest by a rookie cop at the game last night for throwing fans up after each score. This has been a tradition of ours for years. We`ll all go to jail if that`s how the police and ticat personnel want to play. Something tells me however that the cats will straighten this out. Not sure what the motive is behind backing a police officer on this one. Check out the commotion or lack there of at the next game ;)

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By adrian (registered) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 15:54:30

substantial and convenient proprietary parking

The City could work out a deal where the Cats received money from all the city-owned lots in the core on game days - perhaps 50% of the revenue or whatever was deemed a fair assessment of the number of people the Cats were bringing in.

I'm totally in favour of the WH site but I'm also entirely in favour of pushing Council to make some concessions that help Bob and his organization change their minds. We can get creative here!

I don't think extending Burlington Street to the 403 is going to work - no way are we going to destroy our waterfront with an expressway ala the Gardiner - but surely we could come up with other creative ideas, which may include some new roads or adjustments to current traffic patterns, as well as innovative revenue sharing arrangements, which would sweeten the deal for the Cats.

How about a ferry that would take people from Burlington to the game? We've got a boat, right? How fun would that be? How about ponying up for live entertainment / busking on the streets leading to the stadium on game days, to turn the experience of coming to the game and walking for a bit into something people are really excited about?

How about a liquor license for Bayfront Park on game days so we can throw North America's best tailgate parties?

I think many supporters of the WH site would be willing to put their voices behind some reasonable, creative, and innovative changes to the WH plan that result in us getting the stadium we want while also ensuring the Ticats are happy.

Note the second half of the motion on Our City, Our Future:

That an invitation be extended to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to be a community partner on new terms that allow for the financial success of the football club at the West Harbour location.

Bob, it's time for you to work with the community on identifying those terms. You could end up with a great deal and an outpouring of community support.

Comment edited by administrator adrian on 2010-07-17 14:56:36

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By Commn Sense (anonymous) | Posted July 17, 2010 at 16:57:34

I agree with the sentiments being expressed by Mr. Young. He is being criticized and threatened with non-attendance when in fact he is saying he wants to help build a successful stadium AND a successful West Harbour. What is wrong with that? What am I missing in this debate?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 09:36:39

What about some parking towers on the derelict scrap yard sight?

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By A Real Fan (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 10:39:35

I love the Box J boys but the contributor above does not represent all of us.

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By Pigskin PPP (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2010 at 12:19:21

Caretaker: “A properly planned new stadium will bring dozens of new events to Hamilton. The goal of a new stadium should be to host a dozen events a month, weather permitting.”

It’s important to have big goals for an open-air stadium, but I would respectfully contend that the notion that the stadium would realistically be hosting a dozen events a month is a stretch.

First, the venue is at best good from April to October, a time when average lows would only be in single digits at worst. So let’s say 214 dates. Of those, the Cats account for 10 and a USL franchise would take 15, amounting to about five dates a month at peak. That leaves about 88% dark days. And a lot of sub-capacity dates as well: USL-2 is a perk but potentially not a cost-effective solution. The Charlotte Eagles play in a 6,000 seat facility and draw an average 1,200 people a game, and the Carolina RailHawks play in a 7,000-seat facility and draw an average 2,100 people a game. Dump those gate numbers into a 30,000-seat stadium and try to put on a happy face.

Many people think back on Pink Floyd’s legendary June 1975 IWS date and imagine that the Pan AM Stadium would be a natural for concerts.

New car, caviar, four-star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team.

But the same geographic considerations that hamper us for dates at Copps (and, arguably, NHL expansion) hit us on the open-air front. Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre and Buffalo's Darien Lake Amphitheatre are the busiest open-air facilities in our immediate area, and they routinely feature the same acts, and no more than a dozen of them a month. We would be in the unfortunate position of having to outbid those markets as well as negotiate the sticky traps of non-performance radii, while possibly eating into the revenue of taxpayer-funded Copps Coliseum. (Monster truck events are a better fit for an open-air facility, if only because of superior ventilation.) Not to mention that there’s a vast difference between the concert configuration between a stadium or amphitheatre show and a straight-up open air stadium concert. Think of the sheltered portion and video screen configurations at the Molson Amphitheatre, and then imagine the work that has to go into making that happen in an unadorned stadium... you're possibly looking at a day to build and a day to strike each show.

Maybe there’s a latent demand for more old-fashioned stadium shows that hasn't found a home yet, but riddle me this: With the business-savvy and connected MLSE at the helm, how many concerts has BMO field hosted since Genesis christened it in September 2007?

Oh Superman where are you now?
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

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By call2convivtion (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2010 at 20:37:34

How on EARTH did Bob Young (ONE PERSON) get so much power in this situation?? It's almost an ABSOLUTE power, which by definition is dictatorial. This is a DEMOCRACY! Our City's future seemingly rests in the hands of ONE MAN, who, for all intents and purposes, is a very old-fashioned businessman. This Stadium should be decided by us CITIZENS, and not ONE private business. Pathetic.

Putting the stadium on the East Mountain would be a grave mistake... but the sad thing is... Bob Young will NEVER back down, ever, because if he does he will look pathetic for putting up SUCH a fight and then backing down. It would be a truly sad day for all of Hamilton if this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was lost, this incredible opportunity to actually brag (and not be ashamed) about Hamilton.

BOB - YOU'RE CURRENT STADIUM IS ALREADY DOWNTOWN! If this is all about parking, we're all damned. Sure there is room to pave over greenbelt land for 6,000 parking spots, but HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT knowing you destroyed so much, just to turn a profit. We've already got massive drainage issues, why add to the mess?

Stadiums in the middle of tarmac and a sea of cars (IF they're each willing to pay $20-$30 to park there) is UGLY, and I for one would be ashamed if that was the view of Hamilton the world got come Pan Am time.

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By Kevorkian (anonymous) | Posted July 20, 2010 at 06:30:07

Pull the plug on Pan Am Stadium. If the Ticats are going to die, they may as well die at home. Council should do an end run on the head games and let Bob Young decide whether to put them under or put them on the market.

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