Sports

Council Reaffirms West Harbour Stadium Choice

By RTH Staff
Published August 12, 2010

It's official.

Council has reaffirmed its choice for a Pan Am stadium location by a margin of 10-6.

Ten councillors voted in favour of the West Harbour at this morning's meeting - two fewer than during Tuesday's vote. Councillors Tom Jackson and Terry Whitehead switched their position, while Brad Clark, Sam Merulla, Dave Mitchell, and Margaret McCarthy maintained their opposition for the site.

The reason for the reversal was mainly due to the concern of some councillors about the lack of participation of the Tiger-Cats. Conversely, others made it clear that the criteria for a "legacy use" is not only defined as a professional football team and that community use is how we should define the business case moving forward.

Full article is on The Spec, which, by the way, has a new design (it looks good!)

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 14:57:18

I believe the city is going to be going after prov and fed gov'ts for more money to upgrade the velodrome facility into a more permanent structure!

When the reps go to Hostco they'll be presenting two business cases, one with and one without the Cats. I'd like to see the Cats stay but I believe Mr. Young owes Hamilton an apology.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:34:18

"I believe Mr. Young owes Hamilton an apology."

Okey dokey.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:36:03

The one interesting thing I would like to see, is how the numbers break down on "losing 7 million a year" at West Harbour.

Follow me on this one for a sec. I think every one can agree that business men, particularly successful ones like Mr. Young think about money in a different way then the general population. Perfect example : Stocks. When a companies revenue is 3.6 million, but their targets where 3.9 million, their stock takes a hit. They look at it like they lost 3 million (that they SHOULD have made).

Now, I am curious if the TiCats will actually be -7 million at the end of the season, or "7 million less then we SHOULD be making at that East Mountain". Big difference. Hard to blame Young either way, but just curious. It is clear that Mr Young had a grand vision for the East Mountain for developing for his purpose (absolutly nothing wrong with that) - Something similar to what we all hope of the WH. Knowing this, I think its going to be extremely hard for the city to come up with something that works for the West Harbour for them. Parking Revenue and the like are small potatos. Young was probably willing to break even or take a slight loss every year on the team, provided revenue was generate from all the other items he (*thinks*) he would have been able to build.

Most likly this is the biggest reason he wont return to the table, what he needs is far and away to much for the city, not to mention that functioning on handouts is not a great way to run a business.

Just sayin..

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By Challenger (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:42:41

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:49:22

So Bob Young has lost 30 Million since buying the team in 2003. I don't understand the thinking you are displaying above Robbie. Probably why I am broke and people like Bob are doing well for themselves, so perhpas you can shed some light on this.

Is ~$4M a year (and I know 2010 isn't over yet but just trying to make sense of all this), a lot of money for a billionairre and for an owner of a sports franchise in general, to lose in one year? More specifically a CFL franchise? Didn't one poster on here state the Riders were the only team who turns a profit?

Just tyring to understand the financials behind this a little further.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:50:00

Mr Young has to open up his business case and identify who these experts are that say it won't work in the west harbour. Where are his investors that he says support his location. Show me the money! I drive and live on the mountain and I hate the EM location. I would rather go downtown where there is more things to go too and see. I'm shaking my head through this whole process because the city is divided about a football team that loosing money and a league commissioner that is very quick not to sit down and work this out before with the city council and the owner. Where the hell are the going to find the money to build a stadium and support their interests is beyond me. They will just waste that community's taxes as well. Hell if this was Bettman running the CFL he would fight like hell and high water to keep the team in Hamilton. I don't want to pay more and more taxes to keep this team afloat...This is crazy!!

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:50:13

thanks for the name calling and linking to that ill informed article, challenger.

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By Challenger (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:56:28

Did you read it reuben. Why is it ill informed?

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 15:58:09

Thank You, Challenger for clarifying the issues that were at stake. Thank goodness TSN has an expert on staff that specializes in city planning. Never have I read an article that so succintly lays out the issues and rationale for Mr. Young's case against the harbour.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:00:04

Haha. That article is a joke. Mr suitor is just reading from an email he received from the cats.
There have been no studies, there is no 10 sites, young didn't offer $15 mil (it was conditional on taxpayers helping him build a power centre).
The list goes on and on...I probably shouldn't even reply to that article. Clearly that's the only reason it was written.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:04:46

What struck me at the council meeting on tuesday, that someone asked: "What if there is an event booked at Copps and at the West Harbour location?"

Answer: "Hopefully they are smart enough not to do that." I put it in quotes but I don't remember the exact wording but it's pretty close I think.

Seriously? When showing parking availability, they are counting on a lot of downtown spaces. Where do Copps goers go if everyone going to the West Harbour chews up the available spaces downtown?

You think organizers are going to care about parking? They just want events at their venues.

I just thought that answer was brutal. Is that the answer we have in our proposal?

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By Challenger (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:10:52

I see Jason. You're our savvy business expert on this issue. All you want to do is bash Bob Young. What have you done for the city?
Post your credentials and lets have a look.

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:12:21

And to continue to beat a dead horse, but when Council questioned where the 15 million was coming from, the answer was that the Ticats were looking at a government program, that subsidizes infrastructure programs, in effect, more public money, for a private enterprise.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:15:43

Sorry guys, what I was trying to say was this (not related to the Past. I have no reason to believe he hasen't lost 30 million) :

For Simplicity sake I will make up some round numbers.

Lets say Expenses = 4 million a year (at either location).
Lets say Revenue at EM = 12 million a year (5 million from Football, the rest from all the other great things BY was thinking of doing).
Lets say Revenue at WH = 5 million a year (5 million from Football, nothing else).

So...

Two ways to look at this :

Bob Young Profits $1 million a year at WH.
Bob Young LOSES 7$ million a year (yes, he makes $1, but he SHOULD have made 8 million).

It's an opportunity cost type approach. Why should I play at WH only making 1$, when I could make 8$ elsewhere. It really all depends on how you phrase it.

I am not suggesting he would absolutly profit at WH, what I am questioning is if his 7$ is straight loss, or does that include opportunity cost of what is believed to have been obtainable at EM.

It just seems everyone throws the number around, but without the analysis, it means very little.




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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:16:27

I ran across this image as I was playing FreeDroidRPG on my shiny new Vector Linux Deluxe Operating System. . There are more than a few characters in the game who appear much like this pixelized man in a red fedora.

As a hamiltonian, the only thing I have to say to Mr. Young is take IT or leave IT, sayonara

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2010-08-12 15:22:41

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:20:17

Lawrence , Re: Parking @ Copps. That is a pretty craptastic answer. I wonder how many extra spaces are within the "Acceptable" walking distance to Copps that are not from West Harbour.

But to a certain extent I suppose they think the same way at ACC/SkyDome. It is pretty rare to have events at the same time (considering the amount of activity down there). When they do it is a complete cluster F. You see a lot of "something at day" and "something at night" type of deals though.

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:24:03

I was at the Jays game last night.... there was also a sold out Michael Buble show at the ACC.... I'm sure there were many other events scattered throughout the downtown. MY god, where did everybody park!?

JM

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:31:26

Thanks for that Robbie. Nothing to appologise for. You could probably explain what you are talking about a 100 times and it still makes not sense how they get to these types of conclusions or where they get these numbers from.

I talked to the Cats about Ivor Wynne and they said it was going to cost $93 million to fix her up. Why does a city report say $16m? Why do the engineers say she'll last another 45 years? One poster on the Tiger-Cat forums, highlighted that CN Tower is only 5 years newer than the south stands at Ivor Wynne and it will last another 100 years.

Parking isn't an issue at Ivor Wynne so why do we need 6,000 spots on the mountain and why is parking an issue at West Harbour and why do we really need a new stadium then if parking isn't an issue. Its all a big circle.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:32:05

Challenger,

Glen Suitor works for TSN. TSN has the exclusive rights to broadcast CFL games. What would you expect him to say. It's is his own best interests to tow the company line.

His comments are self serving and irrelevant.

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By Robbie J (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 16:33:54

JM, hard to compare I suppose, really depends on what percentage of people drive to those given TO has a much larger population and transit system.

But, case in point. The Jays finished at, what 10? Buble (fun name to same) most likly significantly later.

Although arrival would be around the same time.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 18:03:24

Challenger, I'm not sure why you're being so angry about this. Perhaps just worried about losing the Cats? I am too, so I can sympathize.

The only credentials I need to make my above post is the ability to read and pay attention.

I've been following this issue since the start, many months ago.

Remember, Bob Young went from "build it, we'll play in it" to "NEVER at the west harbour".

The question we must ask is "what happened?"

Young says they found 10 sites around town and WH was the worst. Yet to this very moment, the Cats have produced NOTHING. I believe Bob Young is a very smart man, and I really like him. I don't think someone as smart as him could make a mistake so big as to not publicly release info that results in him changing his mind when he knows that the public is paying for the project and that the public's councillors are the ones voting on the project.

So, we have some options here:

  1. There never was any reports done.
  2. There was a report and it concluded that all 10 sites were almost identical with very little margin of difference
  3. Behind the scenes politicking changed his mind, not any reports
  4. Reports may have been whipped up after the politicking was complete, basically affirming this new position.
  5. The whole thing is a show and a typical sports team tactic www.fieldofschemes.com
  6. Young really did have independent reports done and they are the only reason he changed his tune.
  7. He's not nearly as smart as we've all though if those reports exist and he's willingly kept them private.
  8. He's sadly gotten in with the wrong bunch of folks in Hamilton's old boys club who are now playing him as they look to land 100's of millions in taxpayer money near their current businesses. In other words, some friends who are only looking out for themselves.
  9. Ontario Liberals are looking to pull our LRT funding and give it to a GTA area Liberal riding in order to buy votes at the next election - hence Fenn, ORC and Troop

Don't get so angry because someone dismisses a useless rant on TSN's website. Like most of the national media, they come along and pick up a story at the 11th hour and talk as if they have any clue what's going on.

Poor Bob McCowan yesterday had to wonder if he was being lied to by Foxcroft - "one lane in and one lane out" to the West Harbour. I'm sure McCowan was thinking "this can't be true".

As it turns out, there are 44 major traffic lanes within 1,000 metres of the WH site and 16 lanes within a 1,000 metres of the EM site. Those are facts. You can choose to believe them, or some guy yelling and making stuff up on a radio interview.

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 18:34:34

A little levity for Ward 8 Waffler Whitehead:

NEW! Whitehead Waffles

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By FlipFlop (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 18:36:56

Whitehead/Jackson...two days ago you vote in favour of West Harbour...and now two days later (with no new information brought forward by either side) you flip flop and remove your support. How exactly are you making your decisions on such an important issue??? How can you so easily are you swayed in only two days? Are you taking this stuff seriously??

I'm not surprised that of all the councillors voting in favour of West Harbour on Tuesday it would be these two that caved-in today. It's this kind of weak leadership on our council that needs to be replaced with councillors of vision, passion and DECISIVE COMMITMENT...enough of the wishy-washy say I.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 18:41:51

Everyone needs to relax. The Cat's aren't going anywhere because there is nowhere for them to go. Ottawa has an expansion license and the league is not going to forefeit that $12 million dollars. Milton????? Please. Let's see what would happen with a place that has a tax base of 70000 people starts getting the lowdown on how much it will cost to subsidize Bob Young's big mistake. What is going to happen is that Bob Young will not own this team by the time the lease at Ivor Wynne expires. If you can't read the subliminal signals he's sending out ("please somebody help me out of this mess.... I will sell cheap") you aren't really listening.

And if HE DOES ACTUALLY LEAVE WITH THE TEAM????? Good riddance, and god help the poor bastards in the place he moves to.

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By Bill (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 18:42:26

To A 60's Tune

How many times can a Council "Screw Up", Before The Electorate gets fed up, The answer is now the "Ti-Cats" fiasco, Now its time for the "Losers" to go, They have just been Blowing lotsa Hot Wind, Next Election we will see them "Twisting In The Wind, And the "Taxpayers" will have their Revenge.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 19:04:07

All this talk about the next election we need to vote out the current council...who are the new council canditates that will solve everything. You, me the neighbour down the street. Ya I agree some have to go but their is no assurances that they will be any better... Just saying!

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2010 at 20:37:47

Any one notice that as council grew a pair of big ones and did the right thing the whining and hysteria and fear mongering from the other side grew louder, more vitriolic and more hysterical by the hour. This East Mountain option was about of already rich people trying to fleece the taxpayers of this city to the tune of 200 million or so and make themselves richer in the process while sticking it to the rest of the city. Period.

In my lifetime (44 years) this is ONE OF THE FEW THINGS that council has done right.

The Tiger Cats are not going anywhere, this latest whining and hysteria (Hamilton is going to lose the Pan Am Games, the Stadium and The Tiger Cats).

As if.

There is no where for the Cats to go and if they do god help the poor bastards who pay taxes where they end up. What is more likely to happen is that some one will come forward and purchase the team off "The Caretaker" and we get on with this.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 21:20:53

Lawrence, perhaps the 16 million is simple to keep it up to snuff, but the 93 million is to make it profitable. Most likly, 5-10 k more stands, proper concession areas, more boxes and the like.

Who knows..

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 21:28:01

Someone asked what happens if there are two events at the same time? Copps and W.Harbour? I think we'll survive, here's why...

Last Saturday, I left Gage Park near the end of the Hip performance (supposedly 25000 people) while the Ticat game was letting out (24 000 or so). I walked leisurely about 700 m to my free parking spot and thought about driving down around the stadium to get back to the West End. As a totally non scientific experiment, I was curious to see what would happen if I drove past IWS as it let out. It was brutal by normal Hamilton speeding standards. Going west, I had to drive about 35 km/hr for a few blocks (much less than the unwritten and encouraged 65 km/hr) past the Delta and Ivor Wynne, occasionally stopping so Ticat fans didn't get mowed down trying to cross King St. Once I got downtown, traffic, sped back up to normal. In total, the events added probably 5 - 10 extra minutes to my trip.

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 22:13:15

Someone asked what happens if there are two events at the same time? Copps and W.Harbour? I think we'll survive, here's why...

As I mentioned previously, in Vancouver BC Place (~50,000 seats) and GM Place (~20,000 seats) sometimes let out at the same time due to a football and concert, or football and hockey, or concert and hockey. The surrounding area has similar levels of surface roads as West Harbour and no highway access for 7 whole km's. With the exception of the few who decide to pick foolish routes, the massive crowd adds at most 15 minutes to a trip to the suburbs. I've done this trip to the eastern Vancouver suburbs literally hundreds of times, as I was a season ticket holder.

With the 403 so close to downtown and the green-wave thing, it doesn't surprise me at all that the number of fans doesn't bring a significant slowdown to downtown Hamilton.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 12, 2010 at 22:56:28

what happens if there are events at Copps and the WH stadium at the same time??? We'll actually feel like a real city for once.

Any one notice that as council grew a pair of big ones and did the right thing the whining and hysteria and fear mongering from the other side grew louder, more vitriolic and more hysterical by the hour. This East Mountain option was about of already rich people trying to fleece the taxpayers of this city to the tune of 200 million or so and make themselves richer in the process while sticking it to the rest of the city. Period.

This is so true. We CAN'T let our guard down and stop being involved on this issue. There is some serious pressure coming from the above mentioned people to our council and through their own personal soapbox - CHML. Don't think that citizens were responsible for the switcheroo by two councillors. It's the old boys club. They aren't going to let up until after the election and neither can the rest of the city that wants to see this decision stick and drag us forward into the 21st Century. Don't let your guard down folks.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 04:53:43

I spoke on CHML on the Scott Thompson show the other day. I was put on hold for over 33 minutes while they waited for me to hang up in frustration. They vet the callers to see what side your on. I am positive that some of the Kool Aid drinking Bob Young worshippers who called after me got on before me. DO NOT STOP SPEAKING TO THIS ISSUE FOLKS. The mayor and council need our support.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 06:23:50

Shempatolla - I heard you and you made the case for the West Harbour passionately. CHML IS the voice of the Tiger-Cats so we shouldn't be surprised of the coverage.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:28:41

I totally agree with the above statement as well. CHML has vested interest of course in the Ticats. Why would they not support their decisions. That Bill Kelly is something else though.... but I encourage everyone to have their opinion of course. We will see who wins out in the end. Hamilton needs vast improvement in many areas and investing in downtown is a great start not to save a football team. We need all the support we can get for downtown revitalization and if that is in expense of the Ticats LEAVING then so be it. That is the sacrifice that the mayor and many others are willing to take.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:05:53

I have to confess a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I watch cable 14 and Bill Kelly. I wathched the conversation Bill had with Martinus Gelensye and JP Mercanti yesterday. I have to say that I was impressed with Martinus' courage going into that hostile environment. This young guy is a breath of fresh air in this stale Harbour town. Bill was actually polite, although his bias to Mercanti's position was glaringly apparent.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:57:51

I have to confess a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I watch cable 14 and Bill Kelly. - Henry and Joe

Nothing wrong with that, you have to check to see what these people are saying occasionally. It is sort of in-line with keeping your friends close and your enemies closer : )

Heck I've watched the 700 Club before and found it enlightening... not for the reasons they would have wanted though.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:30:33

There is apparently no bottom threshold to which the Bob Young brigade is unwilling to walk under. This in the Spectator this morning. Mayor Fred has received death threats over his position on the stadium. Fred: stick to your guns there are thousands of us behind you and the councillors who have chosen vision and what is right over greed and corporate welfare.

It often seems darkest before it is light and these developments are a testament to the fact the other side ( sad to have to put it that way), is desperate.

Bravo Fred

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:44:29

What is it with the people who frequent this web site? The commentary is full of gross distortions and delusional thinking.
How, pray tell, did you contract these mental disorders? Working in the mills? Something at home?
You're all a psychiatrist's dream!

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:54:27

Frustration and not getting your own way is a bitch isn't it Iron Balls!

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:20:44

Cityfan, How much cash has your camp set aside for clean-up and de-toxification of your West Harbour site?

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:34:53

@Iron Balls. If you have at all been following this issue which clearly you haven't. You would know that preliminary soil testing has already been done by the city and the MOE and samples came back substantially better than first thought. Remediation costs are expected to be between 3 and 5.5 million which is far less than what was first expected.

I would also add that since the city plans a stadium on the site the standards for a civic building are less stringent than for residential.

Again had you been paying attention the whole time and not simply trolled this site to cast dispersions you would know that.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:51:33

@Shempatolla thank you for clearing that up for Mr Balls

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 13:54:55

Shempatolla, the work cannot be done at that price. How much it will finally cost will not be
known until work is well underway. Clean-up is a huge, strategic weakness in the overall plan
re-develop these lands.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 14:07:50

Iron Balls must have some insight that no one else including the MOE has on the clean up process. Care to share?

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 14:25:16

Working in the contracting business I can tell you the MOE and MTC rarely come in under budget.
There are always cost overruns. Although your group has had recent success at City Hall, I doubt
that you will prevail in the long run. The Mayor and Council are under tremendous pressure and
without an anchor tenant at the West Harbour site, your funding is in jeopardy.

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:11:21

Iron Balls I've worked in the construction industry for a long time including being involved with MOE and OMB issues. While it's possible that an application and remediation might come in at a higher price I doubt that city staff low-balled the number in this case.

Quite honestly I could care less what happens in the future. What I DIDN'T want was a stadium on the East Mountain. I got that. If the funding falls through and the Pan Am games are pulled so be it. At least it couldn't be said that it fell through because council didn't vote with a vision or a city who can't see further than the end of their driveway.

I think you underestimate the gravity of the choices BY has to make. He thought he had an ace in the hole, turns out he didn't. He thought that he could coerce (and I would have no problem classifying his heavy handed tactics as coercion) this City into doing something that would profit himself and put the city back yet again and he turned out to be wrong. It's time for him to eat some humble pie and get back to the table with his tail between his legs...or pack up his toys and go home!

addendum: let it also be clear that it's the city who has best chance of clearing an MOE or OMB hearing quickly

Comment edited by frank on 2010-08-13 14:13:42

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:13:51

Iron Balls, do you have any actual examples? Yes there are usually cost overruns on the dollar figure shown on the line-item budget, but a 20% or 40% cost overrun on cleanup isn't going to blow a hole in the budget here.

And where there is a range, it's more common than not that the cost comes in under the high estimate.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:25:44

"OUR GROUP" as you like to call it is every single citizen of the City of Hamilton. This project was never about a money losing football team. It is about the city being able to leverage its Future Fund along with provincial and federal partnership the Pan Am games to build some legacy sporting infrastructure in this community, and begin long over due revitalization projects in our core. The fact that the Tiger Cats were going to get a new stadium to play in was a bonus. They signed the original bid book that went to the Pan Am selection comittee with a stadium in the West Harbour as its focal point. They signed the Pan Am 2015 master plan when Southern Ontario won the games with a stadium in the West Harbour as its focal point. Bob Young is on record as saying he doesn't care where its build "we will make it work". He has yet to provide the city with one single document from his so called "experts" supporting his now contradictory tone on WH. He has yet to bring forward a single "expert" to back him up.

I run a my own contracting business. The key to bringing in a project on time and on budget is doing your due diligence and your homework, and building contingencies and flexibility into the project budget.

The MOE is a regulatory, standards and testing body. They don't build anything. The MTO (isn't that what you meant) THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION, likewise does not do any of its own projects they are put to tender and delivered by private companies.

The City of Hamilton is in fact the defacto anchor tenant as it uses Ivor Wynne over 200 dates a year. This fact will not change at WH and meets one of the criteria that creates a legacy facility. Mr Young's vision of Bob World on the East Mountain would become an Island to Capitalism with no benefit to the larger community which does not meet Pan Am legacy criteria.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:29:10

Concern about the cost of cleanup is another pointless argument... The site needs to be cleaned up stadium or not.

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 15:53:10

O.K. gang, some very well thought out answers. I'm impressed with the feedback. I may have to
reconsider my opinion in certain areas.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:20:59

Those are some Iron Balls ;)

It still kills me a little bit at the Bob Young attacks. Trust me, I am no super fan of him. But I can appreciate the complexities of the entire issue. He went for what was best for his business. Although you may scoff at the offer he tabled to help out WH while keeping EM, you have to admit it is not like he was completely blind. And really, you never hear about that part of his offer.

Could this have gone a whole hell of a lot smoother? Sure! There is tons of information/meetings none of us are privy too. I don't envy ANYONE in this situation, it is a complete mess. Everyone entered in with good intentions of trying to find some common ground while looking out for their intrests (which is only natural). Now, no matter what happens, 50% of Hamilton hates you. At the end of the Day, we absolutly need the WH/DT helped as much as possible. Its just a shame that the TiCats can't be a part of it.

My only issue now with the TiCats is that, okay, fine no new shiny stadium on EM, and they are not being FORCED to play at WH (if it actually gets built). So, aside from some hurt feelings, aren't they in EXACTLY the same spot of the PanAms never showed up?

In other words : What was the TiCats plan to try to make money, say, 3 years ago? Was it fix up the current stadium? I doubt it was sitting around hoping 100+ million of free money was going to show up. We maybe back at square one sooner then anyone cares to admit (Although thankfully, with downtown high on the radar , FINALLY), but I doubt the plan was to "up and leave".

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By Iron Balls (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 16:38:03

Robbie K: Lets put it this way. When I entered the website I was shocked at the vilification of Bob Young.
Upon leaving the website I have a different perspective that has to be considered.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 17:00:22

@ Iron Balls:

You may be surprised to find that many West Harbour supporters are also Ticat fans. These two passions are not mutually exclusive. :-)

@ everyone:

For most of my lifetime we have lived with the constant threat that the Ticats will be leaving town or going bankrupt. In a city of 500,000 people, surely, the Cats can have a sustainable business by putting a winning team on the field and having 25,000+ in the seats on a consistent basis.

We certanly csnnot let our emotions rule this matter. It gets very frustrating when listening to the pro-Ticats/Bob Young/EM folks constantly harp about how long they have had seasons tickets or how much the team means to the community. Everyone knows the Cats are beloved. We are not debating the cultural significcance of the team, however, this alone is not a business case. Put some imperical data on the table and work WITH the city council to move forward so that everyone gets some benefit from the Pan Am games.

One other issue that has been frustrating to me are all the harbour haters that haven't set foot down there in 20 years plus. I respect everyone's opinion, as long as it is informed.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 17:08:09

Well get ready to glue your eyes and ears to the halftime show on TSN tonight between HAMILTON/WINNIPEG because Bob Young has something to say and annouce. Could he possibly have a deal to move the team?? who knows. there are rumours and speculation says he might move the team to Aldershot... oh brother!

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 18:18:26

Where in Aldershot exactly? La Salle Park? The hydro easement that runs along the highway? In what stadium?

They aren't going anywhere. Bob can huff and puff all he wants. No other municipality in Canada is going to build him his stadium and stadium "precinct" with public money.

And if he does ..... then he is even more foolish than his impulsive move to buy the team in the first place demonstrated.

He needs to ratchet down the rhetoric and hammer out a deal that makes sense with the city.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 20:06:50

Does anyone know where I could find a) a detailed timeline of the Pan Am Stadium site adventure, and b) the long-list of possible sites?

Thanks in advance.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 20:16:08

Google Hamilton Common Wealth Games bids.

As for the "long list of possible sites" I think it only exists in Bob's mind.

The airport Confederation Park ( taken off the table ..... BECAUSE ITS A PARK) West Harbour Sir John A MacDonald highschool (Bob Bratina's favourite....but would have meant major alterations to York Blvd) Chedoke Golf Course (try and get that one by the Niagara Escarpment Commision)

are the one's I know of. Maybe some of the other posters can fill in some more.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 20:58:09

@IronBalls, Agreed. I don't think either one (Bob or Fred) really came into this expecting this outcome. Bob is (rightfully so) looking to make some cash, Fred has a grand idea of what downtown should be, it takes a ton of work and sacrafice to build a downtown with some "critical mass to it". It really is a shame it dosent all line up nicely (right now at least).

Its hard to say what gets said behind closed doors, but Bob "appears" to be pulling a lot of last second tricks. I totally understand the viewpoint of "hey guys, this west harbour is not going to work", but when he presents it, it just dosent seem genuwine. I understand hes not trying to threaten , hes just being realistic and honest, but his delivery is EXTREMELY poor. Funny, the last couple of days he has been so much better.

Fred on the other hand, is stearing the ship towards the WH, really honestly wanting it to work. I really hope it does, it's great for the city, just DAM, wouldent it be nice if it worked for the TiCats, we totally would not be in this mess. I guess to say it a final way. If the TiCats liked the WH, I think you would have ALOT more acceptance of the spot. There are very few that prefer the EM because it actually is a better spot, its more because they want to support (not loose the TiCats) - Nothing wrong with that.

I just hope everything aligns.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 21:18:03

I think the Bob Young attacks are from people fed up with his MASSIVE flip-flop that really started this whole mess. Yes, I'll play were you build it in January then no, I won't play there in June when it was really too late. For someone we are told is so smart why would Bob do that? Also, Bob, Scott Mitchell and Mark Cohon threatening this city instead of negotiating made the whole situation just even more sour. Everyone criticizes Mayor Fred about being inflexible, it has been my observation that Bob Young has been far more inflexible. Most business owners would be thrilled to be subsidized as the centerpiece of a re-vitalization project on a city's waterfront, why isn't Bob?

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 21:47:10

@mr janitor, I completely agree. Things aren't exactly so cut and dry. I think the entire quote was something like "we will play wherever, as long it is financial feaseable".

Trust me, I am 100% pro WH, and not particularly a TiCats fan. Seem like that quote can be taken out fo context very easily. The strange thing is, either Bob tried to tell Fred behing closed doors for a long time, go fed up, and went public, or Fred did not make Bob aware that was the "final" location untill it was "too late". The third option may be the City telling Bob that long ago, but he did not get the "financial analysis" till right before the initial decision and flip flopped (of course I am refering to the first date we were supposed to have this Ironned out for, not the extension and ensuing "stadium-gate").

Supposed to be a big announcement at half time of tonights game? I do think it will be anything outside of Hamilton that just come up (no way would they commit to Milton SOOO quickly, or really anywhere). No super rush for the TiCats , they have a little time to figure out whats best for them (WH or otherwise).

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:04:50

Well, the Ticats game tonight has been a blast because of the 32-14 halftime lead (on the road! It's getting turned around!) but not so fun because of Glen Suitor's continuing stream of misinformation. Very annoying - time for Carefaker Bob now!

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:07:56

aside, regarding the new Spec site - they've got comments! The Spec just jumped forward about 10 years in one day!

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By Windermere is the best choice (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:08:42

The Windermere site is the best choice. It will clean up the waterfront and will provide better a better deal for the Ti-Cats. Hopefully city council gives this site another look.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:19:38

Not exactly a particularly enlightening discussion during half time. Bob does seems a little "overwhelmed" right now. Perhaps not the correct word. Maybe exhausted, just taking notes, getting ready.

It was rather interesting that when asked if he would return to the table, he did not say NO. That could be the typical BY double speak, but basically I said "a little subsidy is not enough. It is going to take something significant.".

How you know if its significant without listening is beyond me. His main gripe was Transportation.

So, I wonder, how do we improve the access to the WH site significantly. I don't think its a problem personally, but what do I know. Could they perhaps put an interchange off york/qew. "TiCats Way"? Who knows. Super expensive. But honestly, if you want to have even MORE activity to the downtown (this stadium is just the start right?), and this is just the START, then it should be required at some point, no? Maybe speed that up a little? Perhaps it can't be completed 100% before the stadium is built, but at least commit to the action plan?



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By brian (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:33:30

Except for the score i think the comments coming from glen suitor etc is a bit sickening and shows bias without even knowing the facts. Bob young was just on there with his stance that the east mountain location would be his choice, which is fine but...he never told them it would cost 80 mllion more to put it there. That is what im really at a loss as why anyone would suppport that...also neither the city or bob young have stated where this extra missing 25-35 million for 25,000 seats is coming from!. He basically said 25,000 seats would be the break even point...well ok...who in the hell would spend a extra 80 million dollars at the east mountain location, just to break even. Have people lost their minds???. If it is true that he is a billionaire...i really dont know..but a billion dollars is equal to the entire budget of the city of hamilton for a entire year!. If that location got picked taxes would go up as well, there is no way around it and it could be 4-5% for a city with thousands of people who can't afford it

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:43:57

Bob is looking pretty worn down on that TSN halftime interview. It just seems like he is torn as to what to do. I say move the team and try to expand the league to whatever wherever I don't care. It's his choice. He had a sweetheart deal to build in Hamilton but he will not negotiate with the parties at council. I'm not afraid if he goes because the CFL will learn it needs Hamilton just like it needed Montreal and Ottawa. I beleive another investor with deeper pockets will see a great opportunity with a pro soccer team as well.

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By madams2 (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:44:15

We need to pledge to Bob Young that we will buy tickets if and when they play at the West Harbour. We supported this location - now we need to support it with our $$$$.

Let's start a new campaign - Our City, Our Ticats

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 22:46:56

Tabbies are up 32-14 at half time.

Should anyone care, in my humble opinion, Drew Edwards has had some very interesting information on his Tiger Cats Blog all throughout this Great Stadium Debate, from a refreshingly different perspective.

His most recent entry at game time mentions #51; Yorkton's Jordan Matechuk of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats saying of Hamilton becoming"...a little bit more of a booming city, like IT was maybe in the forties and thirties..." When asked by Craig Stein from GX94 - 940 AM Stereo - Now That's Country, if he was confident he would be a Tiger-Cat in H2amiltOn for awhile he replied:

Oh Definitely Yeah, we're not goin' nowhere!

BTW - On a thread I'm tracking, there are 600+ PageViews and an average Vote per Comment ratio of somewhere between +10 and -12. That's about 2%.

We're concerned about 37% voter turnout in the last election and we bloggers cannot even maintain a decent ratio.

Get registered with Raise The Hammer as well as the new Hamilton Spectator people. Get out here and vote on comments. We are a force to be reckoned with folks and we don't even show our confidence.

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By skully2001 (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:09:01

So even Toronto Mayor David Miller thinks the Ticats need to get on board the West Harbour train...and he has some pretty harsh words for putting the stadium on the East Mountain...atta boy Davey!!

Here's the link: http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/84...

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:31:26

Bob's argument says traffic will be better at EM, worse at WH.

Really? How about asking some traffic engineers. here are some basic facts about traffic movement.

EM location facts: 1. Maximum capacity per lane is 1800 vehicles per hour (1 every 2 seconds) and every factor that is suboptimal reduces that number (stoplights generally cut it in half). 2. Linc/Red Hill has two lanes in each direction so maximum capacity is 7200 per hour. 3. 7000 vehicles are expected to park at EM stadium

-Assume on a friday night baseline linc/RH traffic is 40% of capacity, or 4 lanes x 0.40 x 1800 = 2880 veh/h, leaving 4320 veh/hr capacity for special events such as a CFL game. -assume, generously, that there are the equivalent of 1 southbound lane and 2 eastbound lanes in addition to linc/rhce. e.g. upper mt albion (southbound lane) can maybe handle about 0.3 x 1800 veh/h due to the short green light at rymal. -assume again 40% capacity, leaving 60% remaining, so 0.6 x 1800 = 1080 veh/h sounthbound and 2x0.6x1800 = 2160 veh/h eastbound. -assume all the east (linc) and north (RHCE) feeder lanes are at capacity leaving the stadium, and there are two accesses at full capacity (e.g. mud street and dartnell, with no stoplight controls, i.e. lots of traffic cops facilitating movement

therefore there are 4320 + 1080 + 2160 = 7560 veh / hr capacity leaving the stadium. 7000/7560 = 55.5 minutes just to empty the EM stadium parking lot. this is, i believe, a conservative estimate and will in reality be longer.

The WH case would be way too complicated to calculate, but like IWS, parking would be distributed in a large area with multiple streets in and out. 403 access is main and king (2.5 km), york (2.8 km), aberdeen (4.3 km), also multilane rounds such as main eastbound, burlington st, and 4 sounthbound mountain accesses. More importantly, they lead to where the fans live, unlike the southbound roads from EM.

What this means in english is that, without a shadow of doubt, the WH stadium, like IWS today, will have much less of a problem than EM moving vehicles in and out of the stadium.

I suggest we get Hart Solomon and the city traffic dept. to weigh in on this, correct my numbers, and compare the two sites.

And don't get me started on financial viability, as the most relevant CFL comparison stadium to WH - Percival molson in montreal, has sold out for the last 10 years despite being downtown with poor parking. Bob conveniently evades this comparison. And the economic spinoff benefit for the city favours downtown, by a factor that likely exceeds the Ticat's losses that so concern Bob. However, this is all just guessing until Bob releases the economic viability numbers, which he probably does not have the balls to do.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:43:49

Ted: The traffic consultants retained by the city concluded much the same. At the COW meeting it was easy to see after their presentations that the WH because its parking would be dispersed in a widening arc away from the stadium would flow back to main arteries and highways faster than the bottle neck at EM. Additionally the study for the WH showed that upto 39% of season ticket holders would take advantage of public transit like GO and the HSR and hopefully LRT. This is a no brainer.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2010 at 23:53:32

I was honestly shocked at how cheap season's were when I look. Granted, its only 9-10 games, but sheesh, a couple hundred bones? really? I spend that much to go a single leafs game JUST at the gate. Granted those are the cheap seats, but still.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2010 at 03:48:39

Google Hamilton Common Wealth Games bids.

As for the "long list of possible sites" I think it only exists in Bob's mind.

Shempatolla: Thanks...but no, Googling Commonwealth Games bids doesn't provide me what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a timeline of the selection process for the Pan Am Games stadium. I'm looking to understand what happened, to generate context. You know, 'the Reasons behind the Reasons'.

And there's a difference between a 'long list' and a 'long-list'. The former is merely a casual descriptive, while the latter is the preliminary aggregation before a 'short-list', which comes before the 'final selection'. You know, as in the Man Booker Prize, which this year has 13 on the long-list, with this being whittled down to five for the short-list...then the winner. But again, thanks.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:20:39

@Shempatolla: not only did 39% of season ticket holders say they would take the GO train if there were a station nearby, but an eye-popping 53% of single ticket purchasers said they would take GO.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 16, 2010 at 17:37:13

I am watching Bob Young stumble all over his interview with CHCH TV Live at 5:30, Tough questions but not great answers...Donna Skelly is my favorite interviewer now! Bob your entitled to your decision but I don't agree with your answers. This is about control and money not about location and parking. I stand behind Mayor Fred and council on this one 100%!

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-08-16 16:46:27

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