Sports

The Ticats Launch Their Hail Mary

By RTH Staff
Published August 09, 2010

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have issued a new statement regarding the stadium location:

Mayor Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton
and Members of Council

Dear Fred,

It saddens me to advise you that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club is withdrawing from any further discussions and negotiations pertaining to the siting of the Pan Am Stadium in Hamilton.

It is painfully apparent, despite the best efforts of our facilitator, Michael Fenn, the plethora of information from stadium experts, and our own financial submissions, that you remain fixated on the West Harbour Stadium and without a strong political champion in Hamilton, it is impossible to continue our efforts with respect to the East Mountain proposal.

The need to replace Ivor Wynne Stadium played an integral part in the Pan-Am bid process, and undoubtedly we would not be debating this great opportunity were it not for the history and presence of this great franchise. Legacy in the form of an anchor tenant and a business case were part of the criteria that was generally accepted when the Pan Games Stadium was proposed for Hamilton. Simply put, the facility would have to be "sustainable" with an anchor tenant to justify federal and provincial taxpayer’s money.

You know that the Tiger-Cats have invested more than $30 million into this team and community over the course of the past seven years. We were vitally interested in being part of a stadium solution to replace Ivor Wynne.

Our facilitator, Mr. Fenn, understood these requirements when he advanced the compromise site on the East Mountain. This site was not our first choice. The most sensible location for a new stadium is on a small part of Confederation Park. The highway visibility would have brought the Tiger-Cats to a breakeven situation. The real development potential within the precinct would have brought jobs and real economic value to the City.

For reasons unknown to us, and the general public, this site was never an option.

Inherent in our proposal was the opportunity to work with senior levels of government to build something at the West Harbour that would be consistent with the planning principles contained in your planning document, Setting Sail.

In my view, this would have been a "win-win" situation. We believe that option was made available but has now been squandered.

As the most recent owner of the Tiger-Cats, I have always believed that my primary responsibility to the organization, the fans and to the memory of my family, who I have honoured with this ownership, was to ensure that the team would remain sustainable moving forward. By that, I mean, ECONOMICALLY sustainable.

The West Harbour option which you personally have driven gives the Tiger-Cats no hope of running a sustainable business. Using “best practice” criteria, and confirmed by leading experts around North America, this proposed stadium would rank dead last in North America in terms of usability for its tenants. It imposes a logistical nightmare for fans, particularly the "regional fans" that Mr. Fenn describes as vital to our survival.

As such, I cannot be part of a process that destines us to financial failure before the first shovel goes in the ground.

As owner of the Tiger-Cats, I cannot and will not be party to such an ill-advised concept.

I regret that over the course of the past year, you have not been sensitive to our concerns as your tenant. My major regret is the harsh reality that after next year, there will be no home for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the City where we shared so much success and positive experiences together. We note that even in the city’s own report, that without a tenant you are well beyond $60 million dollars short of building a 25,000 seat facility.

We will play out our days at Ivor Wynne.

I know this letter will be a disappointment to our thousands of fans, particularly those who share our dream as it pertains to a new, sustainable, legacy stadium. We thank them for their continued support and look forward to seeing them at Ivor Wynne Stadium for another great Labour Day Classic against the Argonauts on September 6th.

Sincerely,

Mr. Robert (Bob) Young

68 Comments

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By MajorLeagueSoccer (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:38:53

What a joke. This doesn't even say anything other than that they're done talking. Well, of course they're done talking: the vote is tomorrow.

I for one am sick and tired of the threats and the blatant attempts to hijack our local democratic process. I say we proceed with plans to build a 15,000 seat stadium and if they don't want to play ball, they don't have to. We can go get a soccer team instead.

If the Tiger-Cats are done talking, then I think we should commence negotiations with a Major League Soccer team. Demonstrate our outstanding local involvement in soccer and make the case for a team at one of North America's newest, most modern waterfront water stadiums.

Let's get the Toronto - Hamilton soccer rivalry going. Bring on the world's game!

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By 3rdandgoal (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:41:54

Also - The City should get the CFL to preserve the Ticat name, brand and logo for a future owner.....http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20011030.SFOTO/TPStory/

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:44:58

Wow. What a shocker. Nobody saw this coming eh?

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/

I thought they would wait until tomorrow morning, but I guess they were bored today. We certainly know they aren't busy preparing any financial reports or studies to back their point - there are none.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-08-09 14:45:55

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By tompy (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:52:20

Ti-cats have a deal with Quebec and will be moving there when their deal at ivor wynne is done.

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:53:57

is this letter real??? the specs PDF has no signature... this could be as big of a mess as fridays statement from the feds was.

i'm not worried just yet....

JM

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By Off Field (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 15:56:00

> Ti-cats have a deal with Quebec and will be moving there when their deal at ivor wynne is done.

I think what you mean is, the Ticats have a plan to scare City Council into voting their way tomorrow by issuing a vaguely worded threat and starting an unconfirmed rumour about a move to QC. This is how the game is played, ladies and gentlemen.

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By QCTicats! (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:10:28

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:11:52

This is their hail mary?? I thought they might throw around $100 million from so called investors who want the EM, or more government money. This is more like a botched up reverse that everyone sees coming from the time the ball is snapped.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:22:59

We will play out our days at Ivor Wynne.

Will they pay the full costs or is continued subsidization considered a parting gift?

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:27:05

I doubt very much if Quebec City will put up with any b.s.; much less than we have, to be sure. I hate very much to see our Tiger Cats go; it's bloody heart-breaking, but holy crap...so much drama and inappropriate behaviour. Bob, take a hike. Good luck calling QC "our city" without getting publicly humiliated. Let's take a queue from Regina and get our own CFL team - why would Cohon not want more competition?

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By theLastStraw (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:30:37

...and the public threats just keep on coming.

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By Jimmy Tango (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:31:16

So....

Playing at Ivor Wynne will be better than playing at a brand new stadium on the Harbour out of spite?

Genius.

I'm sure it will continue to rain threats right up until tomorrow morning.

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By TaxPayer (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:42:37

QCTicats: You're welcome for saving you from $40-$80 Million in tax dollars!

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By George (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:46:04

As a long time season ticket holder and life long fan (50 years old) all I can say is thanks for the memories and see ya later.

Mayor Fred and council stand firm, do not cave in to this extortion. We cannot afford EM.

"Care"taker? If he follows through on this he will be known as the worst owner ever. The man who killed the 141 year old tradition. If he really were a caretaker, he'd leave the team in Hamilton. Sell it or give it away.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:47:09

What the hell?

http://www.rougeetor.ulaval.ca/programme...

Look at that stadium. It seats 10,000. Does it look there's any room to expand it?

This is ridiculous, they're just trying to screw us over. Let council vote tomorrow as planned. The Cats will either fold or come running back.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:49:08

They guy has done nothing but run the team into the ground. Since hes owned them they have won at most 30-35% of their games. From 2004-2008 they were in last place each year and have played some the ugliest football in history. The problem isnt a stadium or location..its the product on the field. In that 4 year stretch they had a record of 15-57, absolutely disgusting but he wants to blame the city?. The cost of a stadium and other cost at the east mountain could be over 200 million and he wants to come up with maybe 10% of that...and its still the mayors fault?..what planet does these guys come from. Why should we subsidize anyone that way?...Did the city give stelco/dofasco 60 million dollars?...to help save something more important..thousands of jobs..of course they didn't. They have very little financial impact for the city..which is a big myth for most sports teams as it is

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By Bluff! (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:54:00

Just In: Cats have no deals to move to any other Canadian city, including Ott or QC.
This is clearly just more Smoke & Mirrors... the same smoke & mirrors he must have been using on his fans at Ivor Wynn the last 6 years.
"Winning team? Now, now... don't you like the flowers in your washroom? What about the fighter jets? Parasailors? Come onnn... forget about our actual product and concentrate on the distractions!"

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 16:58:19

..if that is a possible location thanks for pointing out that stadium..looks like parking for what 100 cars?. You couldn't even expand it much without taking out those buildings beside it and the playing fields. That can't be right ha ha

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:28:56

I don't understand how Bob Young expects to win public support by simultaneously saying the cities consultant reports are wrong, and his are right, when he's never publicly released anything that contradicts them. And these threats? Seriously?

Bob:

The people of Hamilton are reasonable, just show us the evidence, enough of the smoke, mirrors, conjuncture and rhetoric!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:30:03

So.. Confederation park would have allowed them to "break even". And he admits that EM is a worse business case for the cats than confederation.

So by his own math, the cats will not be profitable in ANY stadium.

So the cannot be considered a legacy tenant anyways.

So why are we even giving them the benefit of our time at all?

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:30:37

Bluff you are right about the distractions and smoke and mirrors, Bob young is extremely lucky he gets the crowds they do because on the field since he owned them..they are the worst team in all of sports...maybe with the detroit lions.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:32:56

I've completely lost track of what's going on. Did the Pan Am Games pull the track and field event from us because we had the Tiger-Cats as a legacy tenant, and now we can't have a stadium without a legacy tenant?

Could moving the Tiger-Cats to Quebec City with a smaller stadium in a colder climate be better than staying at IW? And if a university campus is okay, then why didn't they negotiate to play at McMaster and throw in some money to build a bigger stadium while it was being constructed?

It just grows curiouser and curiouser. Still, what an interesting last few days. I only wish I understood exactly what the devil is going on...

Comment edited by d.knox on 2010-08-09 16:34:04

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By crispy (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 17:44:03

Big bad Bob Young whom by the way is not a Hamiltonian has gone and threatened a true blue Hamiltonian. And now when the good old fashioned Sherman ave street fight is done he is just gonna take his ball and run crying to his Mom! Kick em when he's down Fred. Then EAT HIM RAW!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 18:22:31

Perspective... How about if we had spent 60 million keeping the Siemens gas turbine factory here instead of keeping a spoiled little cap wearing boy here. These were highly skilled workers and their many community contractors that supported them. How about Lakeport leaving, do you think any of those semi-skilled production workers will find something comparable? So the Ti-Cats go, compared to the other manufacturing businesses that have left over the past 15 years does it REALLY matter if Bob takes our team away from us for not taking his orders? Here's another one, there is a very high likelihood that a 8-12 month lockout will occur this year at US Steel (former Stelco) because the workers don't want to give away what they have had for years (not looking for ANY gains). You want to see an economic impact on this city, that will be the real deal.

Don't waste the 60 million on Barking Bob, let's use it to keep our industry here.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 18:32:14

D,knox...The real reason the track events were pulled were because the ticats dont want a track in the stadium and want the close to the action feel you get at the current stadium. So because of that..we get the soccer games (minus the finals) that goes to toronto....also the ticats had the suggestion of the velodrome turned into some some fitness center (which wouldn't be possible because the velodrome is to be permanent). Nobody is saying if this would have been a grass field (which are more expsensive but far better suited to soccer but alot more to upkeep).Of course that doesn't matter to the ticats in all of this. The also think they can take a large portion of a empty field opposite of where the east mountain stadium and put a 7,000 space parking lot for 9 games a yr at the cost of multi-millions (when you could put something real in there and generate millions over the yrs in taxes). He wants a 2nd rate soccer team than may attract 4,000 fans per game (the league average). He basically provides very little economic impact to the city and wants 100% of the say of where 100 million plus (of taxes payers money should go) and i will argue to anyone why he should have all the say.

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 18:51:25

wow. what an a$$hole. seriously, this Bob Young guy totally sucks.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 19:05:29

Still waiting to read their business study 'proving' the WH can't work for them...

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 19:08:36

The cost of a stadium and other cost at the east mountain could be over 200 million and he wants to come up with maybe 10% of that...and its still the mayors fault?

By my examination of the report; in the best case (that is to say some sort of "development" occurs aside from parking lots) that $15 million Bob was going to contribute would be slightly less than 6% of the total overall cost of the EM stadium.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 19:31:09

And yet more Bob antics in The Spec. The entire CFL, AND Mark Cohon should be embarrassed of him; I am (besides disgusted). Holy nerve. Great posts here. Am always in awe of the research and insights provided. And wit. :)

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 19:42:22

Bob can't compete with Katz's money and I guess that's why Brattina jumped ship.

Money talks, sad but true, the almighty dollar could save Fred it looks like, capitalism, pure and simple.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-09 18:42:54

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By Hunter (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:02:07

He drops out the day before the vote? What a p_ssy, seriously. You'd get the crap beaten out of you in training camp if you acted like that.

If he wanted Confed Park from day one why not just go ahead and say that on day one and begin discussions? Planning to con the city and the pan-am organizers with a bait and switch is simply a stupid idea.

I've never been more proud of council and the city. The cats try to blame the mayor solely but as we've seen many times council will ignore him when it wants to. This is broad-based support for the harbour and opposition to the mountain and council has the good sense to reflect that.

My favourite place to be bar none is in the south stands of Ivor Wynne but even I think no team is better than this kind of crap. Threatening to leave Hamilton will of course backfire. I think people are realizing there's more to the city than football, and higher priorities. It's time to grow up and move on. Put down the ball and raise the hammer.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:15:12

The almighty dollar wins out Katz has more money to tease Fred with. I'd do the same if I was Fred have to admit, that's how the game is played.

Money wins out.

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By PT2 (anonymous) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:25:10

Hamilton doesn't want the Tiger-Cats and the Ti-Cats definitely don't need to stay in Hamilton. There is a stadium ready for a CFL team in Moncton right now; take the team there and let Hamilton have their stadium. But good luck in getting soccer team; it won't happen for years, not while cities like Atlanta and St. Louis are also in the running.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 20:27:01

QCTicats, you must be kidding (I assume), as PEPS is an urban stadium, near the water, with no on site parking and a solid 3km from the highway.

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:08:54

LOL, Moncton? ROTFLOL, yeah huge profits to be made there!

Comment edited by Centrist on 2010-08-09 20:09:19

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:20:50

So, I'm typing way out of my knowledge zone, but here's the link to the Moncton Stadium: http://www.moncton2010.ca/moncton-2010-s... . So...why can't we do what they're doing (a 10,000 seat stadium expandable to 20,000)? Why is their stadium costing $20 million only? If Young takes the Cats out of Hamilton (chump that he is) then at least we'd be ready for another expansion team (although I read somewhere that the minimum capacity is 25,000 for a CFL team). I'm getting way ahead of things, I know. Would be nice if Young would just be rational, or in the very least, leave the Ticats in Hamilton. I can't believe some people are ready and willing to put the Ticats' future ahead of our City's (interviews on CH, and some posts). Crazy crap.

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 21:51:31

Les Tigre-Chats!

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By bob (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 22:29:07

Moncton! They'll really bag those Fredericton fans. The huge Charlottetown population will come running. Heck they may even get some spillover from Truro or Sackville or Antigonish when there aren't fiddlers playing in town.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:13:10

So I think Bob Young may have actually designed Quebec City's stadium mega scheme. It's suburban, surrounded by a sea of parking, and built at an entirely inhuman scale. He should feel right at home there:

http://www.quebeclnh.com/fichiers/docume...

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:32:21

I saw this at the latest Facebook group to pop up out of this mess and it made me laugh out loud so I thought I'd share.

ICanHaz

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-08-09 22:33:26

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By red24 (registered) | Posted August 09, 2010 at 23:37:25

@kdslote

Yes, the Quebec City plan is alot like the East Mountian site - no plan for funding!

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By crispy (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:31:30

A few points to ponder....

(A) A proffesional sports franchise just can't pack up and leave as we found out last summer with the Jim Balsillie thing.

(B) Professional sports leagues will try to find a local buyer to keep the franchise in it's market before aloowing it to re-locate. As we found out last year with the Jim Balsillie thing..

(C) The Cats are too valuable to the league where they are and are an anchor for the success of the CFL..

The Cats are going no where.(Re-locating I mean)

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By crispy (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 00:37:41

Last summer..... Jim Balsillie This summer..... Stadium discussions Next summer..... Save the TiCats At least it is never boring.God I love this City!!!

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 01:32:55

Geez guys!

...although by nature the successful enterpreneur is by nature a risk taker Bob is being painted pretty badly. I hope this does not adversly affect his future endeavours because he has done other good and chartiable things for Hamilton and elswhere.

But lets not forget the other Ti-Cat people behind closed doors hammering out lobbying strategies, and marketing and advertising plans. They all contributed to a singular direction (some say vision)complete with blinders they willingly put on. The stuff they put out to bully and intimidate is a lesson in ruthless self serving business interests. And a lesson for those who caved, despite the better longterm vision.

As it turns out they were willing to skip town anyhow - or at least thougt they would. But they won't. A little internal shakeup and repositioning and voila - a new franchise, repackaged and rebadged. Buyer be ware.

Bob, willing or not, motivated by being one of the smartest guys in the room (Enron anaolgy here) must have found himself at some point trapped in a collective ideology, grasping at straws and spouting rhetoric to perpetuate a `win - win' at any cost atitude. His words or a mashup of others?

Did the Ti Cat upper managment alienate themselves from fans and the the public. How demotivating it must be for the players themselves. Somehow management will save face and revitalise the team.

For the moment I will still catch a game but only for the guys on the gridiron. They are the athletes from which this whole tradgedy unfolded and affects. Bob still has money.

This ought to be a case study at McMasters DeGroot and biz schools everwhere.


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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 02:25:10

Quote: goin'downtown: "I know. Would be nice if Young would just be rational, or in the very least, leave the Ticats in Hamilton. I can't believe some people are ready and willing to put the Ticats' future ahead of our City's (interviews on CH, and some posts). Crazy crap. "



I watched Ch news this weekend for news or comment on this story & got NOTHING! Then the news end credits rolled & the Ti-Cats are a sponsor for CH news, & there was a link below their name to their "GoEast" website. Expect more crazy crap!

I'd like to thank The Spec for doing a little upstream paddling for a change! I expected them to be right behind Bob Young, East Mountain, & the usual people.

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By pathguy (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 03:48:18

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By Duke (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 05:04:50

So doomsday is steadily aproaching Hamilton.. For those who aren't updated here's a clue WH location is not viable sorry I know alot of hurts feelings.. why? No access, no visibility, no parking, no road accibility, nothing! it will be another Ivor Wynne and in 10 years from now will be losing money and bleeding it which only the city of Hamilton will buy till they realize they have none!!!!

But lets get rid of my so called biased opinion and see the facts.. Bob Young and the tigercats will NOT play at WH which means no funding from government or future fund cause there is no LEGACY so this site should be scrapped..Yes I want this are of Hamilton cleaned up to but building a stadium is not the answer, Hamiltons own coucillors thought of the setting sail plan years ago!!

Ok so there the facts for the WH it wont happen without a Legacy, so now we go to EM site where Bob young offered tons of money and an alternative plan for the WH front and yes a SOCCER team!! wow what a deal no?? Well fact: Due to recent events he has pulled all that out.. Now I never have liked the EM site.. I know shocking, but with all the things offered and looking at the facts I put my support on it..

Now here we are today looking at doomsday and neither site is an option!!! Yes neither.. So whats left well my favorite site and the one the ticats wanted and the city scrapped for no reason except they didnt think it was as economic viable.. Ok so Fact: Without the tigercats you cannot have the pan am games or stadium. I talked to alot of ticat fans and when I mention Confederation, most agree its viable it has visibility by the QEW, access, a stunning view of the hammer and on clear days toronto, beach development maybe some bars.. But the only FACT that matter is the Tigercats want it there and people from Hamilton should be pressuring council to make this happen cause at the CURRENT moment this is the only option that Mr. Young is appeased with..

Finally Id like to add my own opinion on Mr. Young, I feel he has been shut out by the city.. Was he late with his appeal of the WH? Maybe but he has poured more money and interest into making the Tigercats an actual franchise and ensuring they remain solid for many years not just ten to twelve.. He's lost 30 million, bought a score board, attends games, taken a real hit publically and invested in statistical numbers, experts and support.. Really how many people would risk that? Yes the team hasn't faired well but there'd be no team without him and true fans support a team through the darkest times and this is ours...

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By Steve (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 05:38:14

HA so this vote today is meaningless both sites are dead with the cats pulling out of EM and the WH not going to be funded without them. Only in the Hammer could we lose track and field, the pan am and a stadium and soon a CFL franchise possibly. I agree COnfederation is a solid answer to everything I rollerblade on the strip and I see so much potential..

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 10, 2010 at 07:53:13

Let's keep throwing alternative locations against the wall until one sticks! Great plan.

Or we could step back, take a breath, and realize that life will go on without a stadium at all.

Life will also go on with a smaller WH stadium and the cats staying in a renovated IW.

Both are achievable without bending to the whims of a single private business owner.

Poor Bob threw 30 million at the team. But how much have the citizens of this town thrown in?

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 08:14:47

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 10, 2010 at 08:25:55

Ahh the final death rattle of the fringe commentor - throw a barely relevant post up, include a jab at the RTH community and wrap it up with a plea for downvotes.

A surefire way to get downvoted - giving you ample ammunition for future whining about how unfair the open commenting and voting system is.

Give it a rest.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 09:26:34

MAW reminds me of a kid in a sandbox who, long after the other kids have gone home, continues to throw wet sand balls in the directions they walked off in all the while with a pouting look on his face. FWIW I don't even read his comments anymore, they just get the automatic downvote he so dearly desires and I move on - the sooner they're off my page the better... It's always the same crap anyway.

Bobby, thinly veiled threats and manipulation hasn't paid off so far so why continue to do them? Buddy, grow up!

Fred, good on you for coming up and throwing your support behind something even if it was a little late in the game.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:01:29

Mark-Allen Whittle said "Thanks to Mayor Fred, we are now stuck with a $15 million dollar coal-tar contaminated Brownfield unfit for anything to be built there, accept a cement capped Park" and then followed up with "all this information is factual, let the down-voting begin. It's as predictable as clock-work, here at RTH."

Sounds to me like that's an OPINION not a FACT. In fact, the only things that you wrote that appear to be facts were the things about debt, interest and credit ratings. The rest was straight opinion. Memo: maybe that's why you're getting downvoted, people don't agree with your OPINION or perhaps they wish you'd propose some alternatives rather than simply bashing the Mayor.

Sounds to me like you enjoy the attention and are a bit of a literary masochist. But in any event, while your comments may fade, don't worry, they never disappear. Other readers will still be able to have a laugh.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:10:10

Mark Allan Whittle is correct in stating that debt is a big issue for the city of Hamilton. However pointing out the obvious doesn't help with the issue..how about proposing some realistic solutions instead of whingeing.

It's hard to reconcile that concern about the city's debt load with support for the East Mountain location. That location will cost the city $millions more, and require a significant capital expenditure to be funded...by debt (as the Future Fund board has said no).

Give Mayor Fred some credit...he's trying to take the brownfield, clean it up and get something useful to the community built there, without running up the city's debt. If it's a stadium fine. If not a stadium, that's OK as well.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:38:42

If debt and taxes are an issue, then there's a clear answer: no stadium at all. There is no way we'll get the kind of value for money from this we see in real infrastructure.

If visibility is an issue (and is this really an issue?) then something which can stand out on the city's Waterfront Skyline is clearly the winning choice, rather than off some highway interchange? All else fails, just build a big stupid tower like all those other stadiums.

And if a big toxic brownfield in the middle of a field is a problem, then let's use some of this massive chunk of public money to fix it, instead of leaving it to rot and leach like Randle Reef.

Oh, and as for the parking issue, how about a garage rather than just sprawling blacktop? Or perhaps a bus line? How exactly are fans going to get to the East Mountain?

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By No cats. More Jobs! (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 14:20:39

No Cats. More Jobs!

Siemens is building a wind turbine plant in Burlington. This after they closed a plant in Hamilton.

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By Jay (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:04:40

Well since over 80% of fans drive to games not very hard Undustrial... WH site needs alot of work you cant just build a stadium and expect everything to be good the fact of the matter is the roads are terrible and conjestion would be a major problem aswell parking would be a nightmare.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:28:05

When we went to 'Jay's games in Toronto, we took public transit, in both the Exhibition Place & the 'Dome locations to avoid gridlock.

At the old Exhibition Place site, we also had our baby, baby stuff, & a folding stroller, & it wasn't a big deal.

When we go downtown the Main & King transit works Just Fine!

Get with the program people. You Can get to there from here, without using a car for the whole trip. (unless you are going to a cornfield in Outter Stoney Creek.)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:31:50

Well since over 80% of fans drive to games not very hard Undustrial... - Jay

Sure, now they do. Will they when gas is $2+? Will they if gas is $2+ and there are public transit alternatives?

If we are being mandated to make this a "legacy" stadium (my scoffing at that notion aside) than we need to be looking beyond next year and the year after when considering the sustainability of this stadium. You, Bob Young and many other EM supporters are simply not doing that or are doing it with the belief nothing will change in the next 20-30 years; which is foolish to assume.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 15:36:36

.a 7,000 car parking lot with everyone coming out at once would be far more congested than parking lots spread out. That's why even in a sellout at the current stadium its relatively easy leaving. There also is alot more parking downtown near the harbor than at ivor wynne. If the stadium was to be on the east mountain you are pretty much forced to park at that parking lot for $15-20 with no real choice. Jim Basillie wanted a hockey team downtown had no real concerns about parking for something that would draw around 19,000 per game..a few thousand more for 9 dates(football) (compared to 40 dates -hockey)..only a few blocks away..its a myth. Thousands of people manage to get to the acc and rogers with parking spread out all over in a much larger city...

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By ex hamiltonian (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 17:49:47

I have to side with Bob Young here. Without him, there would be no team. And for those who think this letter is a personal attack on themselves and the downtown really need to chill and think about this. Today's (or tomorrow's) decision at city hall will have profound repercussions for the city and any future prospective sports franchises.

Confederation Park should be the location. Why it wasn't considered is a telling insight of Hamilton's management. City hall is a frustrating mess and has been for quite some time. It's partly the reason why I fled the core to the burbs years ago. The location considerations should be quite simple- where does the team have the best chance for success? Talk of lost parking revenue from front lawns to "the greedy Tiger Cats" is absurd. This is the 21 century people. A Park here $10 sign is not indicative of a first class sporting venue.

Also using this opportunity as means to clean up the toxic mess in the West Harbour is also absurd. While I don't know of one person who wouldn't like to see years unabated industrial pollution cleaned up, it should not be the responsibility of a sports franchise owner. Even if the Ontario government kicks in extra, do not use Tiger Cats as a means to clean up other companies mess. Is it not enough that Young has tried his best to revive the Cats?

And as for the "vision" of turning around the core. Young is not turning his back on Hamilton. His vision after all, has filled the stands once again. To say he is holding the city hostage is ridiculous. People of Hamilton, from an ex-Hamiltonian- you expect too much and too easily pass blame. The Tiger Cats cannot be the saviour of your city. The problems are years bad decisions coming from City Hall. And they are about to make another bad one.

You should be thanking Bob Young for reviving the Cats. And, if Hamilton had truly any vision, be celebrating a new stadium with good visibility, adequate parking and a beautiful location down by the lake. The city has already spend money to turn the beachfront into a gem. Why not add to it?

Some are talking about a hockey and or soccer team in the city. What kind of example does this send to other prospective club owners? Be thankful hamilton for what Young has done and at the same time pull your head out of your arse.


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By mike (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 17:50:56

I have to side with Bob Young here. Without him, there would be no team. And for those who think this letter is a personal attack on themselves and the downtown really need to chill and think about this. Today's (or tomorrow's) decision at city hall will have profound repercussions for the city and any future prospective sports franchises.

Confederation Park should be the location. Why it wasn't considered is a telling insight of Hamilton's management. City hall is a frustrating mess and has been for quite some time. It's partly the reason why I fled the core to the burbs years ago. The location considerations should be quite simple- where does the team have the best chance for success? Talk of lost parking revenue from front lawns to "the greedy Tiger Cats" is absurd. This is the 21 century people. A Park here $10 sign is not indicative of a first class sporting venue.

Also using this opportunity as means to clean up the toxic mess in the West Harbour is also absurd. While I don't know of one person who wouldn't like to see years unabated industrial pollution cleaned up, it should not be the responsibility of a sports franchise owner. Even if the Ontario government kicks in extra, do not use Tiger Cats as a means to clean up other companies mess. Is it not enough that Young has tried his best to revive the Cats?

And as for the "vision" of turning around the core. Young is not turning his back on Hamilton. His vision after all, has filled the stands once again. To say he is holding the city hostage is ridiculous. People of Hamilton, from an ex-Hamiltonian- you expect too much and too easily pass blame. The Tiger Cats cannot be the saviour of your city. The problems are years bad decisions coming from City Hall. And they are about to make another bad one.

You should be thanking Bob Young for reviving the Cats. And, if Hamilton had truly any vision, be celebrating a new stadium with good visibility, adequate parking and a beautiful location down by the lake. The city has already spend money to turn the beachfront into a gem. Why not add to it?

Some are talking about a hockey and or soccer team in the city. What kind of example does this send to other prospective club owners? Be thankful hamilton for what Young has done and at the same time pull your head out of your arse.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 18:51:35

I have to side with Bob Young here. Without him, there would be no team.

Actually, it was the citizens of Hamilton who snapped up season tickets and saved this team long before Bob Young came along. You all may recall that great day when we almost reached our season ticket goal and then Fortinos came along and snapped up the final tickets to save our team. Hamilton has shown up and saved this team when it's been at risk. Being one of the worst teams in the CFL for the past 35 years sure isn't helping our cause, but the Cats had no reports, no financial statements, no study to show us how the West Harbour would hurt them and how the EM would help them.
Clearly those documents don't exist or they would have produced them. That means this has all been political, and backroom politics have no business hijacking a public project with public money.

I would have listened with ears wide open had Bob Young held a press conference 3 months ago sharing some very alarming and detailed studies. Instead, we read quotes from him about how he would "make any site work".

This trump card of leaving town could have held some serious weight had we not already known that they were just making stuff up and were playing political games and most likely being played by politicians at all levels of government.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 19:23:01

this vote is a landslide. Bernie Morelli had some of the best quotes so far:

"it's much easier for folks in the suburbs to come in than it is for inner city residents to go out". So true. Mobility of suburbanites coming into the city is far easier than the mobility of inner city residents heading out there.

"inner city residents seem to have more patience than suburban residents in that they've settled with much less amenities for years".

He clarified that he wasn't picking on suburban folks, just sharing observations in living in the inner city and seeing all the new growth and amenities always being built in the suburbs while they get no investment in their neighbourhoods.

Some great points from Bernie today.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 20:13:16

Sports franchises are cash sinks and this city cannot afford the level of subsidization being demanded of it. Tough pill to swallow perhaps but it is the truth. If we want to talk pure economic reality, the Cats, the games and the stadium all offer marginal or even negative ROI.

The most economically sensible decision is to scrap the stadium idea, clean up the west harbour site and put a more cost effective rejuvenation project there. Take the rest of the Future Fund money and continue to clean up brownfields and update our aging infrastructure (basement flooding anybody?). This council should have made environmental stewardship and responsible government the city's "legacy". Unfortunately though this is a decision that seems destined to be made by hearts instead of minds and that is a recipe for wasteful spending... no matter the location.

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By bob (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 23:14:47

Are these thoughts off topic?

I was sailing in the Bay last night and there were seven kids swimming off of Pier 4 park- not in the blue-green algae areas. 1) I will enjoy seeing more of the harbour being cleaned up. Stay away from the new karst Conservation area on the mountain-http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/area-information/conservation-areas/area-information/eramosa-karst.

2) The Hamilton Harbour site should be a good place to get fans in and out of; cars= park on lawns, bus= HSR for free, train for out of town guests= special GO trains stop at the historic Liuna Station?, the rest of us will walk, bike, or rollerblade (great trails).

3) I can see the chosen site from T.B. McQuestion's High-Level Bridge , therefore people can see the stadium from a busy street (build a bigger sign if you want the QEW to see it and put statues in the empty bridge spaces.)

4) A new Track and Field in that part of the city would be great for the young athletes in our city. The Mountain already has a good track (OFFSA 2010) and McMaster ripped up their track for a football stadium.

Oskie Wee Wee: Oskie Waa Waa: Holy Mackinaw: Tigers... Eat 'em RAW!!

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By synxer (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 11:01:43

So the CFL commish lobbied a few times right around when the stadium debate was at it's hottest. So what, right?

Joey Coleman writes:

In public records released online yesterday, it was revealed that CFL Commissioner Mark Cohen meet with four cabinet Minister during the lead-up to the Hamilton vote: * Atlantic Gateway Minister Keith Ashfield; * Finance Minister Jim Flaherty; * Minister of State (Sport) Gary Lunn; and * Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay.

But after reading Joey Coleman's great piece, my irrational, paranoid side manifested this thought:

  • Bob Young was cool with whatever site Hamilton chose.
  • Cohen was not. Perhaps thinking he would be preventing another Ottawa-type stadium issue.
  • Cohen lobbies Bob Young.
  • Bob Young must stay hum, so he makes a business case out of it, knowing our team might be on its way to Atlantic Canada or part of an overall expansion announcement.
  • Cohen also lobbies for government affirmation of East Mountain, citing a 7 team league isn't much of a league; losing a team may squash an Atlantic expansion investment.

I can't help but imagine something a little more elaborate, perhaps not nearly as elaborate as my paranoia.

There are a few sudden movements in this whole stadium debate that smell icky.

Comment edited by synxer on 2010-08-12 10:11:12

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By thehound (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2010 at 22:42:37

By bob (anonymous)
Posted August 11, 2010 22:14:47:
I can see the chosen site from T.B. McQuestion's High-Level Bridge , therefore people can see the stadium from a busy street (build a bigger sign if you want the QEW to see it and put statues in the empty bridge spaces.

It is also true that Copps Coliseum is clearly visible from the Skyway bridge. The WH stadium will be even closer to the bay shore and a huge Tigercat logo would have great visibility, even more so illuminated at night.

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