Sports

West Harbour Wins

By RTH Staff
Published August 10, 2010

Hamilton City Council has voted in favour of the West Harbour as the Pan Am Games stadium location, 12 to 3.

Opposed were Mitchell (in favour of Eeast Mountain); and McCarthy and Merulla (both opposed to any new stadium site at all). Brad Clark was absent for the vote - he'd left to attend a Michael Buble concert.

By the way: we apologize for the technical issues experienced on the night of the vote. We were eager to read the reactions of the RTH community to this news. Thousands of others had the same idea at the same time, and unfortunately our server just couldn't handle the influx of traffic. We'll take some steps in the weeks ahead to prevent that from happening again.

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By Centrist (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 21:17:54

Alright! Bring on the urban renewal.

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By Great White Elephant (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 21:24:07

Monorail, monorail, monorail.....

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 22:01:23

Thank God. Now plug your ears for the crying, wailing, wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth that is about to come will be deafening.

Hamilton council grew a pair tonight, I'm very proud of them. This was NOT an easy decision considering the pressure that was thrown at them from so many different angles. Now we have to support them because the coming attacks will be horrendous. This vote took courage, which Brad Clark does not have as he was not 'present' for the vote. I support the no voters as well, I don't agree with them but at least they didn't pull a Brad Clark.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 22:26:54

Now that Bob Young is out of threats, I'd like to see Council re-approach the Ti-Cats to see if they are willing to come back to the table and work together to make this a win-win for both sides.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 22:59:47

There's a wonderful breeze blowing across Hamilton tonight. It is fresh and new and coming from a different direction. For once, the talk of elections past coalesced into action today and great hope for tomorrow.

I hope that the significant majority vote of Council will send a clear message to Hostco and the provincial and federal governments that the people, through their democratically elected representatives, have spoken loudly and clearly.

Credit must go to Mayor Fred Eisenberger for taking a position and having a very fractious council line up behind it. He stared down all the last minute threats and bully tactics from the likes of Scott Mitchell and Bob Young and their well-heeled cronies and continued to do what he thought was best for our City.

As for Mitchell and Young, it's time to do the honourable thing; either make the West Harbour work or let the Tiger-Cats go to someone who will. If they're truly as unprofitable as they say they've got nothing to lose.

Make no mistake, Brad Clark's absence is strategic. Don't forget, he's the Harrisite who bashed every social assistance recipient he could but doesn't seem to have a problem spending $50-$80 million of public money when it's Bob Young on the dole.

Savour this moment, they don't come very often. Then tomorrow, email the Tiger-Cats and tell them you want season's tickets the moment they move to the West Harbour.

Well done Hamilton Council, well done Hamilton, well done RTH.

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By pharcyyde (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 23:01:17

I think this is a proud moment for Hamilton - the people raised their voices, and the City Council listened to what the people wanted for their city, despite the pressure from external sources.

The question remains - how much does City Council's vote really matter? Will HostCo appeal this? Will the Federal and Provincial Government intervene because of 'outside interests'?

And most importantly - what of the tenant? In the realistic, if now quite likely, possibility that Young removes the TiCats from the picture - which team will take its place?

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By PT2 (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 00:38:39

Congrats Hamilton. In a few years you will have the 2000s equivalent of Olympic Stadium right in your downtown. Enjoy the stadium while the Pan-Am games are on, because right after all you will have is Canada's newest white elephant.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 01:02:18

Brad Clark was absent because of a Michael Buble concert! hahahha. http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/articl...

Congrats on the testicular fortitude, Mayor and Council.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 01:12:13

Council made the right choice. I commend them for there wisdom. RTH and Our City, Our Future staff also deserve praise for their monumental efforts.......

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 01:46:47

Im glad they had the guts to do what they already decided to do months ago ..course people forget that. This ron foxcroft character is a real over the top clown... He thinks most of the alderman are idiots because of this...and of course his suggestion is confederation park..now that is idiotic. You don't put a stadium like that in a park...they are parks for a reason!..not to fill it with a stadium and parking. He thinks it would be wonderful thing for people to come across the skyway bridge and go to that stadium..with that view of all the smokestacks???.....is he really serious?. Just so bob young...can maybe make a few hundred hundred grand a yr off naming rights to a stadium?. All those same people who go by there...thats all they see of hamilton and they cant stand it....and a big reason they dont come here...does he need a slide rule to figure this out??. What makes bob young any more important than the hundreds of people/businesses that go bankrupt..people that lose everything ..including their homes. They lose everything and probably have just as much heart as bob young has..what cause its a sport its different?. The worst thing that may happen to bob young is that he may have to cancel a trip to florida...thousands of people in hamilton cant even afford to go to a game. When bob young first suggested the aldershot side of hamilton...i knew that he didnt want the team in lower hamilton. They want to drive the people who are barely affording going to games out of the equation and the people from outside of hamilton into it. The idea of building a 7000 space parking area was also insane. It was just a simple ploy to add money to the cost of the game without reflecting it in ticket prices, it was just another way to rip off people in hamilton. He wants to put up so little percantage of the cost but have all the benifits on the tax payers dollar and enough is enough.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 02:01:56

If the Tiger-Cats reach an agreemnet to play at WH, then all of us WH supporters owe it to them, to ourselves, and to our city, to step up, support the team, buy tickets, promote the Tiger-Cats and launch a campaign here and on Our City, Our Future to make the Tiger-Cats as successfyul as possible.

This is what we wanted. This is what we believed will help make our downtown a stonger and more vibrant place.

Let's do our best to get people down here, expose them to this part of the city and encourage them to keep coming back!

We may believe that Bob Young was misinformed about the EM. Let's prove him wrong in the most positive and supportive way, because we all know how mcuh he has put into this city and how much he has lost doing so.

With or without WH, all Hamiltonians owe Bob Young a debt of gratitude for the money he has invested in our city, all the money he was willing to lose for our future, and all the tremendous community work the Tiger-Cats do.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 07:00:42

"Brad Clark was absent because of a Michael Buble concert!" apparently to celebrate his 50th chin er birthday. Who could condemn him, it's not like this was an important issue or anything. There's probably more to his absence than we know.

As to Ron Foxcroft; nothing more than a bombastic set of chattering teeth. What a blowhard. Don't forget, he's the guy who packed up his company with great fanfare and left Ontario in protest during the Bob Rae NDP years only to slither back a little while later but not, of course, with the same bravado. An inveterate windbag, he employs empty phrases when describing Council like "the dark side" and "they just don't get it" but never ever explains what he's talking about. (12 of 14 Councillors who were actually prepared to build a stadium at all, could hardly be described as a "side") He has all the answers for Hamilton but never has the parts to run for office. Oh that's right, living in Burlington doesn't go over well when you're running for Mayor in the Hammer. Of course, it's a lot easier to pull the likes of Larry DiIanni's strings from behind the curtain. Blab on Ron, you're ideas are as outdated as the Lincoln Town Car.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 08:28:04

Mayor Fred said this was a bittersweet vote, and I agree. A tough decision and a huge gamble. It could be that there is no stadium at all for Hamilton now and Hamilton will have to continue with the core revitalization on its own. That's okay, but it's still a little sad.

I'm pleased that council supported the west harbour site again. And I'll be in that line-up for two season's tickets if Mr. Young agrees to play at a west harbour stadium. I'll take the bus and walk there.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 08:54:41

...email the Tiger-Cats and tell them you want season's tickets the moment they move to the West Harbour. - realfreeenterpriser

Well said, don't wait for them to agree to play there. Tell them now. It is time for the West Harbour supporters to put their money where their mouth is. If a groundswell of support for the Ti-Cats playing at West Harbour can be generated Bob Young will have a tough time pulling the plug and may just have to admit he was mistaken... wouldn't that be some mighty fine icing on the cake.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:20:06

Damien Cox's opinion

http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2010/08...

Some good stuff in there, "But this was always going to be a negotiation, and while Young can huff and puff, his football team supplies nine dates a year out of 365 days, although if he could organize a team capable of making the playoffs he might manage another one or two. That might make him the main tenant, but running a money-losing team that usually loses more than it wins does not exactly give him a big hammer to wield. That tiny Regina has built a strong team on community ownership during the same period where Richie Rich has turned the Cats into a consistent cellar dwellar doesn't exactly speak to his expertise."

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By Super Nova (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:24:24

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By dwntwninvstr (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:24:29

This might be one of those decisions which in fact, is not ours to make. Don't forget, there are other "partners" who may pull the rug out. There are criteria for funding which we may or may not, meet. We have no control over the back room discussions which will take place among the other levels of government and Hostco (and others). So if we "lose" the stadium - don't be surprised - we'll have to just accept it and move on.

But really, would that be such a bad thing? The velodrome is still a valuable project. Mark Chamberlain said at the rally we could turn Hamilton into a "cycling city". What a great idea! We already have some credibility in that we have successfully hosted an international competition.

If the stadium funding falls through (and i suggest that there is still a reasonable chance that this will happen), we should hold our council's feet to the fire and ensure that reasonable, sustainable development occurs on the west harbour as soon as possible. I actually thought the caretaker's suggestion of an amphiteatre was a good one. Something modelled after the old Ontario Place forum (seating 3500 -5000) would be perfect and the scale would be more in keeping with the size of our city.

The other advantage to the scuttling of the new stadium would be the cost savings. We're talking about a stadium here folks - not a hospital or a school or youth centres. The 60 million or so we intend to put to this project would go a long way to alleviating some pain that people in our city live with on a daily basis and could enhance the quality of life for all.

Some thoughts on how this was handled by city council: Once the decision was made in February 2010 to go with West Harbour - that should have been it! The caretaker was part of the process and was aware of the decision. His 11th hour demands were a classic example of bad faith bargaining and put our elected representatives in a difficult position. But instead of saying "no - the decision is made" council and the mayor tried to appease the owner of "a small retail business". This resulted in delay, embarrassment and additional, significant cost. For instance, any fool could see that the parking was a red herring. Instead, we appear to have hired not one, but two, consultants who , at great expense no doubt, provided detailed traffic flow analyses. What a waste of money - why wouldn't the caretaker provide this info on his own?

One happy by product of all of this is the ascendancy of RTH as a powerful force for civic change. Bravo to Ryan et al for your efforts and the dozens of posters on this site who love this City. No doubt, there are hundreds of others who read these comments regularly and are affected and influenced by them and hopefully, encouraged to act.

There will be other issues facing us as a community. We now have the confidence,courage and ability to make our voices heard. Quoting from Mr. Chamberlain again "this is the day that Hamilton 'Grew Up!".

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:38:35

I have never in my memory had much good to say about the normally dysfunctional, ward heeling family known as Hamilton City Council. Tuesday August 10, 2010 will go down as the day that Hamilton grew up. For the first time in my life I can say I am proud of Hamilton City Council. They did the right thing. This was NEVER about a football team. It was about city building. Private interests hijacked this process and made it about a football team. The architect of this fiasco was not I believe Bob Young, but rather his president Scott Mitchell. Mr Mitchell should do the honourable thing and resign. He painted his boss into a corner and the result is we arrived at where we are today.

The groundswell of public involvement no matter which side you were on is something I have never seen in my 44 years on this planet. It was wonderful. The range of ages of the people that engaged themselves speaks to the fact that Hamilton is in good hands, now and into the future. From Mark Chamberlain, Graham Crawford, Martinus Gelensye, Matt Jelly and many many others. What you saw was I believe a group of people from different back grounds, different political views, come together and fight for The Hammer. We won. Democracy won.

Now the real work begins. We have to demonstrate to HostCo and the upper levels of government that our choice will work. We have to reach out to Mr Young and persuade him to get on this ride with us and help him to be successful. I would encourage everyone who championed the West Harbour Stadium to write the Hamilton Tiger Cats and express to Mr Young your support for him and his business. Lets put our money where our mouths are and make commitments to purchase seasons tickets should he come back to the fold and find a solution in the West Harbour that makes sense for him. We can ALL be successful at West Harbour.

Gregory J Galante Hamilton

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2010-08-11 08:39:19

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By JOBs please (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:43:50

Hamilton needs NOW to persuade Siemens to build their wind turbine plant ( a green industry) here. If according to Bob Young the tiger cats are losing money, and hamilton taxpayers are footing the bill, perhaps it's time to let them go. With many factories closing and major job losess, and an aging infrastructure, the tiger cats are a luxury that the city cannot afford anymore. Revenue before expense. Bring more JOBS!

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:51:05

Wow, wow, and wow. Good gawd, but you are a bevy of great minds! I am of the age (45) where I have never known Hamilton to be without the Tiger Cats. So, yes, it is bitterswet to think of Hamilton not having them as part of the family. And if they do move to Burlington (which was probably the first choice, anyway; EM was just a hail mary at getting a really, really sweet deal, i.e. taking advantage, of our sentimenality), we won't see another CFL team. If the Cats go elsewhere, I'm hopeful that Katz or some other lucrative business person could secure another expansion team. Presumably, when the Stadium is built (I don't want to type "if" - I realize that we still have Troop and GTA hurdles to jump)it will be built with the capacity to add seating for a CFL team. Retractable roof would be grand, too.

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By Super Nova (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 09:57:43

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 10:02:29

some audio. I haven't listened yet, so it might be worthless, but nonetheless.....

http://www.fan590.com/ondemand/

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 10:08:58

Wow, wow, and wow. Good gawd, but you are a bevy of great minds! Yesterday's COW presentations were ASTOUNDING.

I am of the age (45) where I have never known Hamilton to be without the Tiger Cats. Myriad fond memories - understatement. So, yes, it is bitterswet to think of Hamilton not having them as part of the family. And if they do move to Burlington (which was probably the first choice, anyway; EM was just a hail mary at getting a really, really sweet deal, i.e. taking advantage of our sentimenality), we won't see another CFL team. If the Cats go elsewhere, I'm hopeful that Katz or some other lucrative business person could secure another expansion team. Or, the Regina model. Presumably, when the Stadium is built (I don't want to type "if" - I realize that we still have Troop and GTA hurdles to jump)it will be built with the capacity to add seating for a CFL team. Retractable roof would be grand, too.

I hope that Council isn't hanging their heads in doubt, thinking that they sent the Ticats away. They didn't. What if they had have built the EM stadium, purely because of the "tenant" issue, ignoring city building priorities, only to have Young complain in two years that he's still losing money, and fold the team? Then...we look for a new owner...and potential new owners say they would have to be crazy to invest in a suburban stadium and environment?

Young/Mitchell were under-handed and back-stabbing, pulling any and all strings that they could to get 7,000 parking spaces built over prime land that will provide millions in City revenue and good jobs (not part-time parking attendants). I truly wish that he hadn't bought the team, or hadn't heeded someone's horrible advice (maybe his own?) in his negotiating style with the City. It's painful to think of losing the Ticats - but my City, and kids' future come first.

Insofar as buying lots of Ticat tickets between now and the time Young plans to take the Cats away from us, great idea. LOADS of fun. Let's do it! But, to my knowledge, ticket sales haven't been a problem. If I'm wrong, and he sees his bottom line improving, then maybe he will re-consider, and take into account that ticket sales will be even higher at WH. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. But has attendance been a problem? Young's marketing team was miles ahead of previous owners (of coures it costs LARGE to effectively advertise).

And if the Pan Am games are taken away from us for whatever reasons, any reason why we can't earmark some of the Future Fund monies to begin the WH vision? Rheem remediation? Amphitheatre? LRT? That's what the investors are interested in, and that's what our vision is.

p.s. - sorry 'bout the piece of a post above - must have hit an incorrect key

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2010-08-11 09:23:36

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 10:33:10

Anyone interested in weighing in here: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=273... - they're looking for clarification on the how's and why's.

I'm not qualified, particularly since it's a sports blog.

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By renegauthier (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 10:46:55

Whether or not it's really a win is too soon to say and still to be determined.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:01:41

Not sure who delegated for RTH at yesterday's council meeting, but I stood up for that one. Very well done and a touching speach.

Congratulations to RTH for all the work you put into Our City Our future and for all those that supported it.

Although I still personally feel we need a back-up plan to make sure there is no way we lose the games or the Cats; and by Cats I mean 141 years of history.

Awesome job guys.

Cheers, Lawrence

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:03:40

I have never been prouder of Hamilton!

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:14:30

Totally agree with Captain Kirk. We, the supporters of downtown renewal and a West Harbour stadium, MUST see this through. That means putting our money where out mouths are. If we want investment in our neighbourhoods, than we must invest in these businesses.

I hope everyone sends an email of support to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. And, like Kirk says, let them know that you'll committ to patronizing their business in the West Harbour.

While the people at the top, notably Scott Mitchell, have proven to be 'of questionable fabric', everyone I've dealt with there has been unbelievably friendly and completely committed to customer service.

My Account Executive there is Alex Indelicato -- a great guy. His email is aindelicato@ticats.ca
(And I sure hope he isn't bummed about me posting this here!! LOL! It is public though!)

I just think that, quickly, we have to become a pretty united front on this and restor the goodwill and partnership that we have had with the Ticats up until Friday. We need to show them that their 'driveway to driveway' advisors have lead them astray and that a great opportunity for everyone lies at the West Harbour.

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:17:31

Just listened to the interview with Bob Young...so apparently, in Bob's eyes, Hamilton's a "Small Town", which is why a West Harbour stadium would never work?

Keep thinkin' like that Bob...if you think Hamilton's a small town, wait to you get to Moncton!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:47:42

Hamilton is a small town in the way it behaves, as we know of course, and Moncton (or another city as such) is a small town that acts like a big town in the way it behaves perhaps is what he's getting at.

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By dirk (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:05:32

Unfortunately, the only way Mr. Young is going to be persuaded to keep the Ticats in Hamilton is if he can be convinced that there is a business plan which will allow him to, at least, break even at a West Harbour stadium. The plan upon which the Ticat corporation has been proceeding involves increasing their revenue stream in various ways. The most obvious example is being able to take 15 or 20 bucks in addition to ticket prices from drivers parking in the 6 000 spaces at the now-dead East Mountain location. I was a season ticket holder until about two years at which time the price of my tickets was increased by about 40%. I thought it was unreasonable to raise the price so much all at once but prices had been held down during the first years of Mr. Young's tenure as owner. I've been back to games since and, after the first quarter, moved to sit in my old seat, which was unsold. Another problem with increasing the revenue stream is that, just as there is but one taxpayer, so there is but one ticket holder paying for their admission, food, parking and team merchandise. And in Hamilton, that ticket holder may very well not have much disposable income. That person may well walk or take public transit to the stadium and spend not a dime beyond what her/his ticket costs and save their money for beer and munchies at home. This whole business is an enormously thorny problem with stakeholders with very different objectives and points of view. I agree with those who say that the city council must now reach out to Mr. Young and the Ticat organization. There's been far too much name calling and intractability on both sides, in large part because the cultures of the two sides are so different: a city government trying to do its best for the citizenry and a most losing business trying to get into the black. The word "poisoned" has been used in the media and an antidote must be applied immediately because, as other posters have said, Hostco must now be convinced that there is a legacy for this stadium or it won't be built at all.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:16:55

Goin' downtown...Burlington doesn't have $100 million lying around to build a stadium for the Ti-Cats. Nor does it have the desire to build a 6,000 car parking lot for Bob Young's personal enrichment.

I was very moved by the delegations that sopke on behalf of the WH...especially by Matt Jelly's presentation and the young boy (who looked about 13), their passion, and their vision for their city.

This is the heart and soul of Hamilton. Not the football team. The people.

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By historyrepeating (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:17:26

Toronto has been making right decisions since the '50s. What took us so long?

(Check the article on the far left)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/63/Toronto-1955-transport-plan.png

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:24:19

I'm happy at the West Harbour Site selection, although I know it means we might end up losing the stadium altogether if we can't put together an anchor tenant.

Still, I've always thought the velodrome was the more important of the two. There are only a handful of velodromes, and I believe we'd be the only one on the eastern side of North America (unless someone can correct me on that).

When you have something so rare, people will come to you.

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By Long Gone (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:39:28

Bye Bye Ti-Cats! Good job Mayor!

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:40:25

And once we get this new highway, everybody will be happy...

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/5AB94776-4B1C-4A2D-97C2-986BDB273FA7/0/SSAPR1404PERIMETERRD.pdf

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:53:33

If we end up losing the stadium, am I correct in assuming the city could/would put more $$$ towards making the velodrome a more permanent, world-class structure? Again, wouldn't be a bad thing...

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By OMG (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:00:45

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:09:08

Arienc, thanks for the reasssurance!

A Smith, I contacted Councillor McHattie a week ago regarding the Perimiter Road, and he said that it's a dead issue. I also read recently somewhere (here? Hamiltonian?) that any new transportation corridors along the water would be LRT; would make sense. There was a RTH writer that spoke of the Vancouver downtown stadium, and how little of a deal it was getting in/out, with less options than we have now. And David Adames yesterday spoke to the option of converting one-ways to two-ways at even time. That was also reassuring!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:09:16

@Hamiltonfan:

No, Bob is just a sore loser lashing out, which blows my mind because if he's half the businessman he's purported to be, he would have seen that there was absolutely no economic case to be made for the EM from the city's point of view, and for council to support it they would have had to betray their duty as our elected representatives. No rational person could have seriously expected them to vote otherwise.

The fact that Lloyd "pave it and they will come" Ferguson couldn't support EM, tells you everything you need to know.

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By dirk (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:19:03

edit to my previous post: "money" for "most"

There's been far too much name calling and intractability on both sides, in large part because the cultures of the two sides are so different: a city government trying to do its best for the citizenry and a money losing business trying to get into the black.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 13:34:54

Actually I agree with the comments about an excellent velodrome. A stadium is a large project that I don't think the city can afford but a velodrome might fit in nicely and bring a legacy and high class training centre to the city. It might be just what is needed after all.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 14:13:36

Anyone who thinks that it's right that a City is only identified by it's sports teams needs a lesson in civic pride & probably a tour of the City of Hamilton.

I listened to about 3 hours of Committee presentations last night. GREAT STUFF!! Matt, Sarah, the young man, & lots of people I didn't know. Thank you so much for taking the time to present your cases.

One thing became apparent. Many of the E.M. supporters had only one thing to say & that was, "ME! E.M. will benefit Me." They backed up their claims with past mistakes, like the Red Hill Creek Expressway. No wonder this City has been in such a mess! City Hall has in the past, spent billions catering to the 'Me's" & not nearly enough helping the bigger 'We'.

I know where my vote is going on election day. Go Fred!!

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 14:14:08

The "anchor tennant" can be the city itself. The city uses Ivor Wynne over 200 dates a year for various community events outside of what the TiCats use. With construction of the stadium and development of the stadium precinct as is surely to evolve, the resulting increase to the tax base, the demolition of the old girl on Balsam and the redevelopment of that site with its resulting tax revenues would more than offset the cost of running the stadium. Then there is the Katz Group factor. They did not approach the city without a plan ready to execute. Could this mean an MLS franchise?, hotels, commercial space? Who knows. There is no need to panic. I have stated before, although I love the Tiger Cats, this community is so much more than a football team and steel mills. The team has over played its hand. If they leave..... it would be a sad day. But my city is more important than Mr Young's bank statement.

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By AnneMariePavlov (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 14:42:41

"The "anchor tennant" can be the city itself."

That's the best idea I've heard yet. Assuming that the anchor tenant has to be the Ticats has never sat well with me, being female and all! Soccer and football both exclude the participation of women (unless we are scantily clad bouncing around cheering for men), and we are half the population and half the taxpayers!!!

I was really moved to hear the testimonies of 40 citizens last night at the Committee of the Whole meeting - I was never more proud of Hamilton. I also couldn't believe that P J Mercanti could discount the opinion of the Future Fund board of Directors so flippantly. He stuck out like a sore thumb with his "ME! E.M. will benefit Me" nonsense.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 15:47:59

@Pavlov Seriously, now. With all due respect, we have to give our heads a shake. If we build a stadium without a pro-sports, nay, CFL tenant, I will be absolutely livid. In the wake of declining social service, this would be a gross misappropriation of funds. The value of a dollar isn't to be sneezed at. We need the Ticats to make this work.

Together, we can make this a better place. Divided we all fail miserably.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 15:57:58

@slodrive. I beg to differ. The city currently operates Ivor Wynne at a cost of $1.3 million dollars a year to the taxpayer. They supply all of the food services, buy the food, beer, etc, pay the staff, at the stadium, the police on game day. The TiCats recieve the revenue from that. The TiCats pay $27500.00 per year in rent. That's less than I can lease a storefront in Lime Ridge Mall for. So if by offesetting costs by increased development and property tax fees both at the old Ivor Wynne site and in the West Harbour precinct, it is very realistic to say the city does not need the Tiger Cats. They have a sweet heart deal. They are not likely to get one as good anywhere else, aside from which there is no where for them to play.

Additionally the games are not until 2015, the stadium must be ready in 2014. I would argue that is ample time to secure another "anchor tenant". Be it the TiCats or something else.

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By dan (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 16:26:50

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By Msgr Bubbles (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 16:33:29

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By TheLastStraw (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 17:00:24

I can't express enough how proud I am of our city council ... last night they protected our democratic process despite all of the intense outside influence and back room lobbying. Even those that voted against it should be commended for standing up for what they believe in and having their vote recorded...that's the democracy. Brad Clark is another story - it's shameful that this guy isn't present to have his vote counted in one of the biggest decisions in our history.

Still more hurdles in front of us but this is a big step in the right direction. If the tcats can't be convinced to play at the West Harbour and we ultimately loose funding for a stadium - well I'm good with that. too...still much better that throwing our future fund at the east mountain.

PS: great presentations as many have already noted.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 17:06:17

I overheard Mercanti talking to CH outside the council chamber, and then talking to a small group of businessmen including the chamber of commerce, and he continually prodded at West Harbour supporters, accusing them of being bums with no jobs and nothing better to do than show up at city hall during business hours.

He claimed that the reason that there were fewer EM supporters at the meeting (and in general leading up to the vote) is because "everyday working, taxpaying citizens support the EM" and they were all too busy working and paying taxes to bother showing up anywhere to support the stadium.

I am sorry PJ, but you are a weasel. Lucky for you, daddy lets you run your little business out in the boonies. Sorry that the TRUE taxpaying citizens decided NOT to subsidize your banquet hall and hotel by throwing their hard earned dollars at you.

What a load of crap.

I have three jobs. THREE. None of which were handed to me on a platter. I have put MY money where my heart is and opened a business in the retail heart of our city. As if that is not enough work, I have a computer consulting business that I started from scratch at age twenty. And to round it off I work part time at a mid-level position at a post secondary school - a position I earned through my experience gained from being employed continuously since age twelve when I delivered papers.

On top of all of this, I am renovating my house in downtown Hamilton with my own two hands in order to show pride in my home and neighbourhood, and build equity and value not only for myself but for my friends and neighbours nearby.

I still made time to support the harbour stadium, both online and in person.

I am a West Harbour supporter because I am a Hamilton supporter.

I will be damned if my hard work in this city is undermined by your money-grubbing leeching tactics.

Stay on the fringes. We don't need any more charity cases downtown.

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By Democrat (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 17:32:31

TheLastStraw says "they protected our democratic process despite all of the intense outside influence and back room lobbying"..... um, ok. Be sure to remember those words when it is revealed who and whose money was influencing the West Harbour decision. Don't be a fool.

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By Kourt (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 17:36:50

I won't forget how Mercanti/Carmen's played their hand in this whole story. There's no better indication of the character of this guy than the quotes seancb refer to.

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By TheLastStraw (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 17:45:57

Democrat - I'm all ears...what do you have?

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By TS (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 18:03:33

CH News have been pitiful through all of this. They've allowed some absurd comments on air.

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 19:06:56

I couldn't agree more, some of the things that have been allowed on air, are absolutely insulting. I watched the CH reporter yesterday, run in and out of City Council all day, completely unengaged in what was happening, asking spectators in the crowd for updates on what was happening. Then to top if off, watching her on the news last night, back up P.J. Mercantis comment by stating on air that he made a good point when he said that East Mountain supporters were noticeably absent because the council meeting took place during work hours. Alot of West Harbour supporters made a point to be there (taking time off work), because they realized what was at stake, this meeting has been on the agenda for quite some time.

Comment edited by scoop9 on 2010-08-11 18:08:02

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 20:29:32

I think some of the people here actually like being bullied by Barking Bob. Nothing like having someone dominant let you know your place in life, its sad but the majority find this kind of behavior from a so called leader re-assuring. Read Escape From Freedom by Erich Fromm written in the 1940s. Stand behind Barking Bob and his laundry, I mean team, for when he and they are strong that makes little worthless scared me strong as well! So so sad... My Hamilton is much more than this bullying, threatening man... and your Hamilton could be so much more too.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 21:17:39

@Shempatolla -- if you think the only value the Tiger Cats bring to this city is in the rent they pay at the stadium, you're sadly mistaken. No other brand carries the equity of our city like the Tiger Cats do. If you asked a media person to calculate the GRPs that they give 'Hamilton' the numbers would be astronomical. Sure, you can question the results -- but it might be better to determine what it would be like without them.

They do a lot of good in this community and represent a lot of civic pride. That cannot be replaced.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 21:56:00

@slodrive.

Thats my point. This city is so much more than the Tiger Cats and steel mills. Bob Young tried to leverage the city's emotional ties to the team to gain the keys to a $100 million plus facility for ten years. The problem is civic pride doesn't pave roads, build schools, or grow the tax base. The Tiger Cats need Hamilton more than Hamilton needs the Tiger Cats. They have a sweet heart deal at Ivor Wynne and likely would garner another at WH. Ottawa seems to have done fine without a foot ball team. But don't worry they aren't going anywhere. Where are they going to play?

Today it was Burlington. Please. No stadium, no money for a stadium and a tax base of 165000. Do you think the taxpayers of Burlington are going to hand out cash every time the TiCats stick their hand out? Ah No.

Quebec City? Have you google mapped Laval's stadium. 10000 seats and parking for about 20 cars. Again no money for a stadium and and a tax base more hungry for hockey than CFL football.

Moncton? Nope

Bob Young's, Marc Cohon's and the rest of the CFL's problem is that Southern Ontario is their most important market and for some reason the Tiger Cats are their best draw on TSN. This team isn't going anywhere. They are under lease until the end of next year and don't be suprised if the team is sold well before then.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 22:13:53

What do you expect from the likes of Mercanti, Foxcroft and the rest of them? They're always quick to denigrate the people who don't embrace their greedy, grasping, inwardly focused approach to life, especially when they don't get their own way. They're all about regular people "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" but don't subscribe to that theory when they need our public money to be funneled into their private profit.

After yesterday's whining diatribe it's pretty clear to me that if it wasn't for family money, P.J Mercanti (how many adults have a name like P.J.?) would be bussing the same tables that he now manages for Daddy. Ron Foxcroft has been ranting about how the "city takes twelve years to do what the private sector does in 12 minutes". Well Ron, if the private sector is so great, how come it's coming to taxpayers for a handout?

All this time I thought Mark Chamberlain was a multi-millionaire but, based on what Mercanti has said, after Chamberlain showed up at City Hall and gave such an eloquent speech in favour of the West Harbour, I can only assume he’s just another bum without a job.

In truth, the difference between the Mercanti’s of this world and the Chamberlains is that one of them hopes to get rich only by taking out and the other by putting in. We need more of the latter.

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By NK (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 22:19:31

Dave Mitchell was the best, I saw a box of hammers in the corner that was smirking

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 22:22:16

There is a lot in play here right now. Had some interesting conversations with people today that I can say are somewhat in the loop.

Prediction: Less than a year from now Bob Young is no longer "caretaker" of the Tiger Cats, WH shovels will be going in to the ground on schedule, the Tiger Cats will be on board and a lot of the pissing and moaning coming from certain individuals will cease.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 22:39:07

Did anyone see any members of Council in the Tiger-Cats' box at Saturday's game?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 11, 2010 at 23:37:55

In truth, the difference between the Mercanti’s of this world and the Chamberlains is that one of them hopes to get rich only by taking out and the other by putting in. We need more of the latter.

Absolutely bang on!

Dave Mitchell was the best, I saw a box of hammers in the corner that was smirking.

Dude, he was awesome!! I was howling watching on my computer. At times he looked like Bill Murry doing some world class physical comedy. When the camera was behind him he looked like Mr. Steinbrenner in Seinfeld, waving his arms and legs everywhere but with no view of the face. He was one of the highlights of a long tedious meeting.

Prediction: Less than a year from now Bob Young is no longer "caretaker" of the Tiger Cats, WH shovels will be going in to the ground on schedule, the Tiger Cats will be on board and a lot of the pissing and moaning coming from certain individuals will cease.

Boy, I hope you're right.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2010 at 23:38:16

Did anyone see this? http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Ti...

Some great quotes:

Young told Toronto radio station the Fan 590 that he is not interested in reopening talks with Mayor Fred Eisenberger and city officials regarding where a new stadium should be built.

Uh - those talks are OVER. The talks now are, do you want to get on board for a new sweetheart deal at a new stadium or what?

Young was asked directly if he had received offers from other Canadian cities to move his club. His answer: “Don’t I wish.”

So I guess he wasn't bluffing after all then!

Outside of the eight cities in the CFL, no other Canadian municipality currently features a stadium large enough to accommodate a professional football team, and Young said he has not received any offers from cities that may be interested in luring his team away from Hamilton.

“I don’t know what happens next, to be honest,” he said.

And here I thought there was a line up of cities drooling over Bob's winning team!

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said any talk of relocating the franchise is premature, even though the Pan-Am Games organizing committee has expressed a desire to move forward quickly.

“Remember, we have almost five years to build this stadium, so there’s still a lot of time here to work through this,”

Hey Mark - YOU brought up moving the franchise. THAT'S why everyone is talking about it.

But hey, they are willing to work through this after all. What great guys!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 00:29:59

In an age of ever diminishing resources, large publicly funded sports venues belong where they will have maximum economic benefit. Which is why Hamilton’s proposed new stadium should be downtown in the West Harbour, where it can fuel urban revitalization.

But the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who would be the “anchor tenant,” have yet to grasp that simple fact. The team and its owner, Bob Young, prefer a suburban greenfield site on the East Mountain.

http://www.thestar.com/article/846346--h...

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 09:34:13

http://twitter.com/lobbywatcher

Min. of State (Sport) Gary Lunn was lobbied by Canadian Football League on Aug. 03 http://bit.ly/aVvk8J about 16 hours ago via lobbywatcher.py

Min. of State (Sport) Gary Lunn was lobbied by Canadian Football League on Aug. 03 http://bit.ly/bwWRNg about 16 hours ago via lobbywatcher.py

Finance Min. Jim Flaherty was lobbied by Canadian Football League on Aug. 03 http://bit.ly/93jarf about 16 hours ago via lobbywatcher.py

Atlantic Gateway Min. Keith Ashfield was lobbied by Canadian Football League on Jul. 21 http://bit.ly/apLl69

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-08-12 08:35:12

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:03:26

Defence Min. Peter MacKay was lobbied by Canadian Football League on Aug. 09 http://bit.ly/96rim0 about 19 hours ago via lobbywatcher.py

This is an amazing tool, but its also pathetic what the CFL is trying to do...

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-08-12 11:04:08

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 14:33:16

Bob young and everyone else supporting him are forgetting one simple thing that he isn't willing to say. There is no money for a 25,000 seat stadium period!!. He and others keep hammering the city for making a decision on the harbor but he doesn't have the money or developers to help him either. That is the bottom line and he is going on speculation that if he gets his way...than developers with money will follow. If he had them he would come out and say he had a few (without mentioning names). People think he is right..but he is basing this on absolutely nothing but opinions from others..without even having money to secure a 25,000 stadium. He keeps repeating the same thing that a 15,000 seat stadium isn't enough for the ticats but still this late in the game he doesn't have the money or help either.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 14:40:37

Now the part where all these little cities and towns start getting reported as "reaching out to the Cats" on a whim, as if there was any kind of realistic chance that their tax base would be able to cover even a small portion of the cost of such a massive project as a suburban highway stadium with 6,000+ parking spots.

First out of the gate...Milton, Ontario.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 14:48:37

Someone mentioned about this mercanti character...what a shameful disgusting display he put on the other day. Fuming and frothy at the mouth with dollar signs bouncing in his head. The only reason he even cares is the location of where the stadium would be and he would obviously fill his hotel for 10 dates and more for other events. That just shows greed and if bob young wanted harbor and the city wanted that location, he would side with the city in a heartbeat. A character like that doesn't give a crap whether it costs millions more or your taxes goes up, he only cares for himself.

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:28:54

Hey UrbanRenaissance,

Can you elaborate more on lobbying in this whole scenario. I have followed the politics of this sport and development endeavour at the City level but have lost track at and beyond the provincial level.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:19:29

waterboy,

There isn't really that much to say. As you can see from this Spec article, 2 days before the feds and province announced that they weren't going to fund a WH stadium CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon was meeting with several high-level cabinet members about "sports". All the involved parties say that they didn't discuss the stadium but personally I find the timing more than a little suspicious.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:17:05

UrbanRenaissance, just to be clear it may not have been Cohon himself meeting with the cabinet ministers. The lobbyist registry lists only the registered person from the organization or corporation in question (in this case the CFL). This is usually the CEO, whether or not the CEO actually does that particular lobbying or any lobbying at all.

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