Sports

Is City Offering a Deal to Ticats or Not?

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 03, 2010

Yesterday, Hamilton Mountain News ran a story by Kevin Werner titled, "Hamilton luring 'Cats to west harbour", which begins:

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said city officials are expected to offer a last-minute deal to convince the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to accept a stadium at the west harbour site.

"Without getting into specifics, I would say yes," said Eisenberger. "Discussions are ongoing, and have been for some time."

Then, today's Spectator ran an article by Jenni Dunning titled, "Talks ongoing, but cats still shun west harbour", which reads in part:

Eisenberger said: "There have been meetings and discussions all the way through. We've been in an ongoing facilitation process."

He did not confirm what areas of discussion the city and the Ticats are focusing on in their talks.

Their latest discussions have not been about a last-minute offer from the city, added Eisenberger, after media reports last night suggested otherwise.

Did Werner reporter overstate the story or is Eisenberger now backtracking to save face?

On the one side, the Mayor's office replied to an email request for clarification by stating, "the city is not planning such an offer. The Hamilton Spectator's report is accurate."

On the other, the Mountain News stands behind the story. Eisenberger "was asked the question and that was his answer."

It should be interesting (that word again) to see how this - yet another wrinkle in the Story That Never Ends (Until August 10) - unfolds.

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.

19 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By Katmandu (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 14:05:49

Whatever. If you want this city to move forward, stand up to Bob Young. He's clearly only in it for himself. He has delivered little in his 7 years but turn the Tiger Cats into a huge embarrassment, and if he gets his way, the city will receive nothing in return but a perennial loser. He's all hot air. All his other judgements surrounding the team have been disasterous. He even admits buying the Ticats was a misjudgment. Don't let this guy push you around Fred. He isn't worth it. Send him back to North Carolina where he belongs. Let him threaten to leave and good riddance already. The Tiger Cats are not worth saving at the expense of the future of a whole city and for the benefit of only a handful of fans left who still care. Maybe if they'd win once in awhile they would be more of interest. Better no team at all then one owned by a guy who doesn't even know what time it is. Tell him to shove it, Fred.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 14:16:04

I love reading well articulated and civilized debate on the issue. lol

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 15:06:03

the city already offered the Cats a deal. WE'RE offering to build THEM a $102 million stadium!

Should we throw in the firstborn of every Hamiltonian too??

Comment edited by jason on 2010-08-03 14:07:35

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 15:18:07

But a $102 mill dollar stadium that many predict will end up as a white elephant being built in a bad location for the team and therefore a bad outcome for the city wasting precious land in a area by the waterfront that could be used for uses bringing people downtown more often than a stadium. And if the stadium is just about cleaning up the Rheem and brownfield, surely there has to be other ways of doing this as have been suggested.

Bob Young does not want the city to make a mistake and while I know many of you here have the view Bob is someone who doesn't care about the city or anything but his own pocketbook, which is your right, perhaps you should listen to his message.

The minute Fred combined the PanAms with the WH, you knew this was about his career on the line for cleaning up the Rheem and brownfield. And this is what this is about with the electorate I believe, the TigerCats or a future soccer team will never have the power of the electorate like what the Mayor has now pointed out to all Hamiltonians - we have a toxic and ugly mess that needs to be cleaned up. Fred has to get this cleaned up now as his mandate for re-election or he's toast at the ballot box I believe. If he get's this done, stadium or no stadium, he has my vote because I really do care about that more than any football or soccer team or stadium.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By PantsonFire (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 15:49:37

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.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 15:58:58

I'm not a Mayor Fred fan but if he gets the Rheem site and brownfield cleaned up asap, he has my vote. This IS his chance in my books to get my vote and as I say, stadium or no stadium.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Katmandu (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 16:47:08

It is about his own pocket book and nothing else. All he cares about are the naming rights to the stadium and calling himself a Caretaker after threatening to pick up his ball and go home, is a complete misnomer. Throw the term Saviour in there too. Only thing he wants to save is money. Good for Fred if he tried to wine and dine Katz. All the power to him to keeping his options open. $800 a night for a hotel is peanuts for the potential return. It would be so cool to see him stand up to Bob Young and that goof, Mitchel.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 16:51:57

Ryan, what you are seeing in the Spectator is Mayor Fred's damage control, pure and simple. Kevin Werner is an award winning Journalist, you should respect that. To question his integrity and ability is a bit much, even for you. Let the down-voting begin.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 16:52:36

Well, I disagree that it is nothing else Katmandu but you are entitled to your own opinion for sure. And on this politically sided site, you will have lots of backers no question.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 16:56:16

HamiltonFan, you say your main priority is to get the Rheem site cleaned up. You also worry the stadium will be a white elephant. Ok: with a harbour stadium the site gets cleaned up. Your main priority is met. With a Mountain stadium all we get is 1.5 million from the cats for the harbour. But the future fund will be severely depleted, the likelihood of the harbour getting cleaned up is low. The stadium on the mountain will be used for Ticats 8 times and, maybe, an NASL team that will get 500 fans per game max. White elephant at the harbour meet white elephant on the mountain. There is no third option, this stadium is getting built at one site or the other. The only point we might argue on is whether or not the Cats will play at the Harbour, and I think it's very likely they will given that they've played at a stadium just like the harbour for 60 years. But aside from that, knowing that you only have two options and your main goal is to get the Rheem site cleaned up, how can you support the Mountain?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 03, 2010 at 17:59:54

This is Fred's chance to prove he's a "man". Whether he stands up to Young and tells him to sit down and shut up, or puts his reconciliation skills to work, it's a very short road from here to the election.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Oh Gawd (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 18:28:47

Seems there has been fuel added to the Stadium debate fire... According to CHCH news at 6 Ticats have just found out that West Harbour is zoned residential and say this will cause huge delays time wise and that it would probably have to go in front of the OMB.

Will it never end??????

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 19:15:31

Arcadia, the Rheem site needs to be cleaned up. That is my priority. How it gets done I don't really care and I'm not an expert in the best way to achieve that. Since, for me, Fred has put this on the table as a main election issue, I will judge him on whether he gets this done or the process started very soon, before the election. If he can't deliver on this, then he will not be receiving my vote. I don't care if a stadium is built or not to achieve this.

Bob Young has put forward a plan for an ampitheatre and velodome/fitness centre afterwards to get the Rheem site cleaned up. Yes, much of this money is from the FF but that is fine by me.

And I'm worried about Hamilton supporting a CFL or MLS team so if we are going to possibly have a white elephant in this city, please have it at the east mountain and not in precious land at the WH, that would be a crime to me.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By JonC (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 20:04:45

I'm not sure what part of the Rheem site they think will be a problem, but everything except the recently acquired residential properties on the outskirts is zoned industrial. Hence the brownfields. Additionally, the city is on charge of zoning. The OMB would only be involved if either environmental or heritage issues. They couldn't give two shits about rezoning for the stadium.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By OH Gawd (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 20:43:00

"I'm not sure what part of the Rheem site they think will be a problem, but everything except the recently acquired residential properties on the outskirts is zoned industrial. Hence the brownfields. Additionally, the city is on charge of zoning. The OMB would only be involved if either environmental or heritage issues. They couldn't give two shits about rezoning for the stadium"

I was wondering the same thing. The news made it sound like a big deal. Just passing on information I heard.
They said to stay tuned to the 11:00 news for more. I am sure we will hear something from the Spec as well.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 21:12:34

Wow! That Scott Mitchell is quite the Renaissance man. First, he apparently knows better than the Future Fund board how our FF$ ought to be spent, now he knows more about zoning than city staff! We could sack the FF board and half our staff and just hire Scott Mitchell! Think of all the money we'd save! Why with all the money we'd save, we might be able to pay for the other half of the Ticats' parking lot, that is if the Ticats wanted to be subsidized, which they don't, of course.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 22:25:06

they might as well hire another senior staffer who DOESN'T live in Hamilton. It's been working real well for us so far....

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By tool (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 22:51:07

Werner's conversation with mayor is on tape. fred claims he misunderstood the question? again, i reiterate, fred's comments are on tape and spec reporter was there and heard same conversation. spec reporter actually re-asked the question. why isn't the spec reporting on this story? why did they backtrack? answer is easy - because they support the west harbour site. think about this - if you're a member of council and the decision becomes this - west harbour and city throws more tax dollars at the cats, or east mountain and the cats put something in for both the east mountain and west harbour. no wonder fred is in damage control. his statement could sway the votes the east mountain.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 23:10:07

... or east mountain and the cats put something in for both the east mountain and west harbour.

Except that isn't the case. What the Cats are doing is offering us our own money to build something that we don't really need (an amphitheatre). Even then, they aren't offering enough, since they aren't including the remediation costs. It's nothing but more smoke and mirrors.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds