On their new website, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats call the proposed Pan Am stadium location on the East Mountain the "financially responsible" choice. It's hard to accept that an automobile-dependent stadium and massive parking lot built on a greenfield at the top of a parkway that already has a stormwater flooding problem qualifies as "financially responsible".
Similarly, if you look at the parking issue - which is clearly a major hurdle for the Ticats - the East Mountain location doesn't seem like the responsible choice. The West Harbour has over 4700 parking spots within walking distance, plus excellent local and regional transit connections.
The East Mountain will have 6000-7000 spots in a single surface parking lot adjacent to the stadium. However, there are no other realistic options for fans to get there. Given the average vehicle occupancy of 2.6 people per car traveling to pro sports events, a game with 25,000 fans will generate over 9500 vehicle trips.
Where will the 2500-3500 vehicles that can't fit into the parking lot go?
That's not to mention the congestion on the Linc and Red Hill, which can carry a combined maximum of 6000-6500 vehicles per hour, or the additional bottleneck at the interchange.
Speaking of which, the city needs to build a new highway interchange to access the site. It will also need to widen neighbouring streets, and re-route a hydro line that cuts across the site.
The city will also need to do something to manage the additional storm water runoff that will occur when the wheat field currently on the site is replaced with a nonporous parking lot. The Red Hill Valley Parkway is already plagued with frequent flooding as it is.
The main benefit to the East Mountain site for the team seems to be that they will be able to collect all the revenues from ticket sales, concessions, entertainment and parking with nothing left over for the rest of the district.
The Ticats insist that it would be irresponsible to locate the stadium at the West Harbour because the Ticats cannot achieve profitability there, requiring large and ongoing public subsidies.
Yet the East Mountain location also entails large and ongoing public subsidies in slightly different form, albeit without the public benefits that would accrue to the remediation of a significant brownfield and the establishment of a mixed use entertainment precinct in what is now an industrial wasteland.
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