Sports

Remember Why We Chose West Harbour

By Jason Leach
Published August 26, 2010

I want to take this last opportunity to remind Council of the many reasons we have chosen the West Harbour as our stadium site. It's about changing the course of development in our city and laying the groundwork for a future economy that is robust, vibrant and desirable for people to come and be a part of.

As Councillors Pearson and Pasuta so eloquently put it during the last council meeting, an unhealthy heart makes for an unhealthy body. The whole city suffers when our heart suffers. Hamiltonians are tired of hearing talk and grand ideas for renewing our downtown area. The time for action is now!

I believe that the majority of Hamiltonians support Council's desire to make a great investment in our city that will help turn the tide here in the 21st Century.

At the risk of overgeneralizing or marginalizing anyone, I would like to point out the consistent demographic differences that continue to show up in stadium polls or surveys. Simply put, younger people want the West Harbour. That isn't to discredit the fine community of older folks in Hamilton, but Hamilton needs to start attracting and retaining the talented young people who will take our economy into the future. Go hang out on James North or Locke Street for an example of this community that is slowly growing in Hamilton.

Also, many East Mountain supporters are big Ticat fans who have been scared by Bob Young's tactics and threats to leave. There is still no business report has been publicly released by the Cats explaining their opposition to the West Harbour.

On the contrary, West Harbour supporters continue to write letters, blogs and emails filled with studies, numbers, reports and factual evidence supporting the Harbour site.

Even folks in Buffalo are weighing in on this discussion and warning us to learn from their mistakes.

I heard Councillor Ferguson on the radio yesterday and once again I applaud his level-headed comments and discussion on the issue. He referred to a conversation at the recent Economic Summit between him and Bob Young in which they both agreed that failure is not an option. If Young really believes that, he'll provide something, anything, to make his case. Council shouldn't be the only party to bend and cave and give in to demands.

Mark Cohon and the CFL should be ashamed of their attempts to meddle with Hamilton's decision making. Cohon's letter to Mayor Fred was an absolute embarrassment. In 2008 Montreal held the Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium in the middle of a residential neighbourhood without a highway or parking lot nearby and it was the second highest attended game ever in the CFL.

Montreal always hosts their playoff games at Olympic Stadium because they are too popular and tickets can't be found for their 25,000 seat downtown stadium (without either a parking lot or highway nearby).

I've said before and I'll say it again, I love the Cats, but I love Hamilton more.

I realize no one wants to be the council that loses the Cats, and I realize that there has been some serious politicking going on behind the scenes with wannabee mayoral candidates and higher levels of government, but I urge Council to stand firm and continue to do the right thing for Hamilton.

Closing down our Waterpark or paving over the jobs of our future at McMaster Innovation Park is not the answer.

And once again I'll remind you: the Cats have yet to provide their business case discrediting the West Harbour.

Buffalo sits in envy at Pittsburgh and Detroit who have moved all professional stadiums and teams to their downtowns. Hamilton has no excuse to repeat simple mistakes that have been made and are now being fixed in similar cities all around us.

This is a defining moment in revitalizing our city and focusing our attention on building a community that everyone can be proud of - from Ancaster to Stoney Creek.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 09:54:51

Jason, great summary note of the stadium situation.

As a member of the older professional demographic, I realize that city core revitalization is needed to attract and retain young professionals to the City for a brighter future!

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 09:55:04

I sense the public momentum behind the West harbour location has dissipated, given the Ti-Cats recent silence and talk of moving to Milton, Oshawa or Quebec.

Comments in the Spec are now overwhelmingly anti-WH and anti-Fred.
The Cats seem to be holding all the cards at this moment, and are content to sit there and let the city stew and cave in to their threats.

Yes, West Harbour is by far the best location. But it's going to die unless the Cats or some other major tenant suddenly see the light.

If I were running the Cats, I would put my money behind WH.

There'd be no way I'd ever consider investing $30 million to build a 60 acre parking lot.

I'd have to charge over $30/game for parking just to break even on it - never mind collect any additional revenue to support the team.

Add to that increased operating costs and all the things the city is paying for now that the Cats said they were going to pick up at East Mountain...

Forget it, that wasn't going to happen. Bob Young would have lost millions more up there, and he will lose millions more at any location which requires him to connstruct a massive surface parking lot.

But unfortunately the Cats, as well as many businesses in the city, are run by people who don't understand and don't really care about the dynamism of the urban centre, and what it means to the rest of the region. Nor do they have any concern about this continued coddling of automobiles first and putting people second.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-08-26 08:55:37

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 11:47:09

I also agree the Mark Cohon letter was disgusting. Threatening a city like that and saying Hamilton would never get another team if they left. Is this how you treat thousands of your fans?...just because you dont like the decision of a few people?. That is something that is totally out of the hands of your fans and even if i was pro East Mountain i would be disgusted. There is no way i would want to support someone that makes a threat like that. Harold Ballard did the same thing in the 80's and just look how the attendance dropped. It slowly got worse and didnt recover for years after that. Thousands of people stopped supporting the ticats and they never came back. The main reason people haven't shown up is because of the lousy records..i mean only 13 times between 1973-2009 did they average 50% wins or more..its awful. Bob Young has won 30% of his games since he owned them and wants to blame the city/ stadium for losing money. Seasons of 1, 2 and 3 wins...he should be thankful that many people have supported him. Also the clowns at the ticat forum are still doing the old bashing of the downtown, people wont go down there etc...than why the hell does Copps sell out when you get a good act in there. Why did 13,000 people put deposits down on a potential NHL team .All those people going to Copps dont live in Hamilton..but anyway. I guess these people want the downtown to just get worse and do nothing about it and think its a good thing for a city.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 12:10:42

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 12:48:24

@HamiltonFan

How many of the other CFL stadiums have thousands upon thousands of parking spaces?

I don't buy the "people don't want to go there" argument.

People will go to a CFL football game because that is what they want to do.

If Hamilton's core has that problem, then shouldn't we change that?

Shouldn't we want to make downtown Hamilton a place where people WANT to go?

That change is already underway. People ARE starting to go there. I've just made plans to attend my first art crawl on Sept. 10th, and those plans include dinner at one of the many terrific restaurants on James st. N. Four of us are going, three of which have never been.

Putting a stadium, with the Tiger-Cats as a tenant, will draw at least a quarter million people downtown every year.

Sure some will go straight to the game, and straight home. But others won't. Some will hang out before and after a game. Others still might return to the area when there is no game going on.

I wonder about Bob Young's experts? Is their expertise an American perspective that just mihght not apply to the unique CFL dynamic in Canada? One thing is for certain, football in the U.S. and football in Canada are very different animals.

Should he not (if he hasn't) enlist some strictly Canadian/CFL stadium experts if there are such experts?

I can't shake the feeling that he's getting bad advice. I truly believe that Bob Young has an oppurtunity to do something very special here. Another persistent thought is that I don't think enough attention is being paid to what downtown Hamilton will be like in the future 10, 20 years down the line. In that time, the stadium will still be relatively new, and downtown WILL be more vibrant and more affluent. Initiatives like MIP will bring much needed high paying jobs to our city and along with that comes the young urban professional who will populate our core. They are the future.

Add to that the LRT and all of its associated urban intensification.

MIP and LRT are just two initiatives that should have a significant impact on our core, and that resulting impact is something that Bob Young can readily take adavtange of to further enhance that momentum by contributing in the same way, thereby making both the core and the Tiger-Cats/stadium a "must be place". Everyone wins here.

Today's papaer has further indication of this trend with Harry Stinson set to begin contruction on the Stinson School Lofts, and, perhaps more significant, his creation of a "war chest" to finance more condo projects downtown.

It's started folks. Time to climb aboard is now!

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/251519--all-systems-go-for-condos-at-stinson-school



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By kevin (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 13:14:25

Well said, Jason. For me, WH is the only location. I go by it as often as possible and imagine the possibilities. Councillor Pasuta, a farmer with 7 kids, has made some the most reasonable, practical comments on the issue. He drove to both sites with his wife and came to his conclusion. He and Fred have earned my respect.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 13:24:07

I'd like to expand on the business sense of Bob Young wanting to put his (or rather taxpayers') money behind WH.

First off, investing $30 million to build a 60 acre parking lot makes no sense for Bob Young.

As I stated earlier, it would cost over $30/game for parking just to break even on it - never mind collect any additional revenue to support the team.

Add to that increased operating costs and all the things the city is paying for now that the Cats said they were going to pick up at East Mountain...

Bob Young would have lost millions more at EM than he does now at Ivor Wynne if he funded construction of the parking lot.

So essentially the argument comes down to...is the city's Future Fund best spent on providing a giant parking lot for Tiger-Cats fans which Bob Young will collect the revenues from? Or is it best spent on providing jobs?

Fred Eisenberger has made the right choice, which is crystal clear when you look at it in any depth whatsoever.

Any location where parking is not already existing will not fly, either from a business or city-building standpoint.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-08-26 12:25:12

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 13:37:25

Here we go with the parking thing again. Edmonton with a 60,000 seat stadium has no on-site parking period. You also can't park in the neighborhoods like you can at Ivor Wynne. There use to be a time in the 80's when that stadium was packed with twice as many people as Hamilton ever averaged. In fact in Edmonton they get free parking with a game day ticket (at six parking lots, a mall and 5 bus/lrt locations. They also reimburse the bus/lrt people for that service. By doing so they save one car a extra 20-30 dollars per game..basically resulting in one person getting a free ticket. They also do it to lesson the traffic around the stadium and they know how to attract fans..not to build a 7,000 car parking lot to rip then off for $15. No wonder they were able to draw the crowds over the years and been the number one team in ticket sales for years . Why do people say people wont go down there when concerts sell out at Copps and 13,000 season ticket deposits for a NHL team were made..its just absolute bull..everytime i hear it i know these people are on another planet. The richest guy in the area was for something that if it goes wrong could lose you as much money in one yr as a CFL team loses in 10 years.

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By loveforever (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 13:42:03

I've said before and I'll say it again, I love the Cats, but I love Hamilton more.

I realize no one wants to be the council that loses the Cats, and I realize that there has been some serious politicking going on behind the scenes with wannabee mayoral candidates and higher levels of government, but I urge Council to stand firm and continue to do the right thing for Hamilton.

Closing down our Waterpark or paving over the jobs of our future at McMaster Innovation Park is not the answer.

And once again I'll remind you: the Cats have yet to provide their business case discrediting the West Harbour.

Buffalo sits in envy at Pittsburgh and Detroit who have moved all professional stadiums and teams to their downtowns. Hamilton has no excuse to repeat simple mistakes that have been made and are now being fixed in similar cities all around us.


Thanks Jason,

Well said !

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 14:00:54

FYI, this is a copy of an email I sent to all of council this week. Feel free to add in yours. This may be your final chance to make your opinions known on this issue, plus I think council could use some reassurances from citizens as this has been a very heated issue.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:19:32

Would the Longwood/Aberdeen location have good enough exposure to the highway. Bob Young is so big on the naming rights..which who knows that that would bring in. I checked to see what it brings in for Saskatchwan its $375,000 dollars per year...this in the land of the biggest CFL football fans in the country. I read Bob Young's comments on the Ticat site about naming rights...he said Ivor Wynne never has had naming rights because of where it is location. Doing some checking it wasn't until Winnipeg got naming rights in 2001 for Canad stadium did any CFL city have name rights either. They got a deal worth $1.75 million ...for 10 years. Only 3 CFL cities currently have naming rights, regina, winnipeg and toronto. Toronto only has naming rights because of who owns them (and the blue jays)..that really means really only 2 basically. I'm not sure how much Bob Young thinks he would get but its not in the millions...like he is saying. If he runs the stadium like other teams..he could easily lose that stadium naming rights in a year...Winnipeg paid 2.7 million management fees for their stadium and it brought in 2.2 million (2009) a loss of around 500 grand. This location only really has 2 ways in..aberdeen and longwood . If all the parking would be at the stadium i could imagine the traffic crawling out of there. Alot of the naming rights money is for the exposure on TV not just for people maybe seeing it near a highway.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:24:42

Given that the WH location is only a 10 minute walk from downtown, it's a shame that there is no parking available downtown. Maybe we can knock down a few buildings. Hey, is anything happening with that Lister Block?

As far as public momentum goes, I think it's more a case of people thinking that with the council voting for the WH location it meant we were moving ahead with the WH location. How foolish.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:26:25

Brian: "A lot of the naming rights money is for the exposure on TV not just for people maybe seeing it near a highway."

Brian - I completely agree with you. The idea that naming rights for a stadium are somehow connected with highway exposure is ludicrous.

If you need to advertise your business to commuters driving on the highway, you erect a billboard, you don't buy stadium naming rights.

Bob Young's calculations also assume somehow that the eyeballs of the person speeding by on the freeway are somehow worth more than the eyeballs of the people walking or jogging by the Bayfront. I think that assumption would also be a mistake.

Maybe the City should offer to put up flashy LED gateway signs along the freeways saying something to the effect of

"Welcome to Hamilton, Home of (insert corporate name here) Stadium and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats." There's your highway exposure, at no charge to the Cats. Whaddya say, Caretaker?

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:50:42

Jason, wouldn't taking the $60M in Future Fund money and creating a property tax exemption, much like we use for income tax, help poor people more than building a stadium? This tax exemption would make their homes more valuable and it would stimulate the economy in a way where everybody would benefit, not just those who enjoy going to see concerts or sports events.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 16:01:24

Bob Young is dead to me now.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 16:02:36

Thats right...BMO field in Toronto could care less if you go by that stadium....they only care if you watch Toronto FC on TV and see the name. Im going to assume 99% of people in Toronto know there is such an arena called the ACC and what it means, without ever going by it. The vast majority of people going to the ticats games are from the Hamilton region...and im certain most of them will remember where the stadium is and where it is located and what it is called!. I cant remember who said it but they made the point it would have cost next to nothing for BMO just to put a billboard at the side of the highway. That is the exact reason television exposure across the entire country is what its all about. The majority of the CFL fans within 50 miles of Hamilton will know its called "X stadium"..they wont need to drive by it to remember. I can understand...most people going by the highway wouldnt be Ticat fans and the company would be advertising to the none-fan but this obessesion with a highway which might attract a few hundred fans otherwise is puzzling. What will attract people mostly will be the fact it is a NEW stadium..they usually attract more the first 3-5 years (skydome for instance) but actually winning will keep them there. If the ticats kept on the wicked pace of winning 30% of their games since he owned them...guess what will happen. I also think of having a large parking lot to charge people maybe $15 dollars per car is like having 3 people pay $5 dollars more poor ticket, without calling it that.

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By screwthecats (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 18:15:06

I'm sick of this - we've lost more in this city than the ticats - the destruction of Hamilton is not worth keeping this team. Please Hostco - take the stadium away NOW and leave us the Velodrome. Man - I'm tired of hearing about all this stuff...

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 19:13:12

As far as public momentum goes, I think it's more a case of people thinking that with the council voting for the WH location it meant we were moving ahead with the WH location. How foolish.

+1, QFT

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 19:14:42

@CaptainKirk Did you see your beautiful comment on supporting the Cats in the West Harbour was quoted in a Paul Wilson column in the Spec?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 20:13:33

Jason summarized everything in a much more articulate way than I ever could. Likewise, the writer of this letter to the Spec sums up all the reasons why a location on the EM suits only Mr. Young and his development partners. This has never been about football. http://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters/a...

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By ORiTvOnline (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 23:42:59

A good read...

Field of Schemes How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit http://www.fieldofschemes.com

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By ponto (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 23:48:21

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 07:01:04

A Grade 8 diploma.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 07:20:12

uh, cuz the mayor took bribes

[citation definitely needed]

uh he completely ignored the study done by experts who actualy build and run stadiums that says the west harbour is the worst site to put a stadium

You mean the study the Ticats say they have but won't show anyone?

no research was done on any other location

Wrong, the other sites were studied but didn't meet the city's development objectives.

he thought the tigetcats would enjoy moving to a site that would cause them to go bankrupt

No it won't.

they counted all private residential parking within a 5 mile radius and said 'plenty of parking'

Wrong, they counted the commercial parking within a ten minute walk.

they forgot to mention that remediation of west harbour lands would cost 100 million

Try $5 million - from a real study as opposed to the Ticats pretend study.

they forgot to mention that it took 5000 people 2 hours to leave west harbour by car after the canada day fireworks

???

because there was no investors for west harbour

Wrong, Molinaro Group and others were very interested.

nor was there a business plan

Yes there was, again an actual plan unlike the Ticats business plans.

You win a big fat FAIL at making arguments.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 07:26:31

Wow ponto thanks for the piece of comedy we are all rolling here. I read Bob Young's report and reasoning of why the West Harbor wouldn't work. There is this odd assumption that everyone would all park at one spot down there and directly drive to the stadium. Parking lots are spread out much like they are in other cities which helps with congestion. This is exactly why in the more than 35 years attending Ticat games i have never experienced any big delay getting out of there. I can rememember the days when most games where sold out in the 70's and nothing like that ever occured. I've been to events at Copps where it sold out and managed to park right across the street and everyone got out in mins. Have you ever been to Toronto when there is muliple events going on the same night?..i have. Have you never been to Union Station and gone to a event at the rogers stadium and walked all that way from there...i have and so have thousands..I went there for a Blue Jay game..a red hot chilli peppers concert was at the ACC and the theatre district was letting out. Thousands of people poured out into the street in all directions. Thousands parked many blocks away from where they went and others walked back to union station to get a bus or train and others took the TTC. Bob Young was basing this stadium being only 20,000..he was also basing it on the assumption of how many would go there. He came out with a insane number of losing 7 million dollars down there which was nothing but a bold face lie. I've checked the numbers of other teams and how much it costs to run them...it was a fake number to make his point. This crap of parking is nuts some CFL teams have no onsite parking period..notably Edmonton (the biggest stadium, more than twice the size of this proposed one). Whatever experts he got im sure they didnt look at CFL teams, how they are operated..parking etc. Sorry but costing 80-100 million more at another location is a non-starter. Toronto practically on a daily basis has more traffic than Hamilton has ever had at anytime in its history no matter what is going on here and always has events that would easily compare to us having a stadium down there. You are talking 10 game days and a few other events that would get crowds of 25,000..its not really alot of people unless you live in a small town or really cant think for yourself and are letting Bob Young do all your thinking for you.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 07:52:21

Brian- you read a report from Bob Young?? Please do share. None of us, or council has even seen a report from the Cats yet.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 08:24:46

Well maybe i shouldnt have used the word "report" but more his conclusions on why the Harbor site wouldn't work on the ticat website. His so called "expert" information..and financial reports..you are right that is a secret of course..

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 09:31:10

CHML is reporting that Hostco has denied Burlington Pan-Am soccer games at the Kerns Road site because "there's no GO Train service".

  • from the CHML website "No Pan Am soccer for Burlington.

HostCo, the group that is running the Pan Am games, says that city will not host any soccer games and will only be used as a soccer training site.

Seven games were to be played at the corner of Kerns Road and Dundas Street.

A lack of GO Train access was given as the reason"

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-08-27 08:33:46

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 09:45:14

That was also reported on CH Morning Live.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 10:35:28

A lack of GO Train access was given as the reason"

But the province and the feds were trying to shove an EM stadium down our throats. I'm confused. I'm not being rhetorical. Someone help me out here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 11:11:47

Someone help me out here.

you'll want to go speak with anyone in the city who is registered with the Liberal Party and has political aspirations or connections. They can explain it all.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 11:31:15

Whatever happened to the Fed's and Province's "we'll support any decison that Council makes" of about a week ago? I guess that was just as disingenouous as Bob Young's "we'll work with any site, wherever it is" BS.

And PLEASE, spare me the imaginary "if it's sustainable" proviso that doesn't seem to have been recorded anywhere and was clearly not in evidence during Hamilton's application for the COMMONWEALTH games when the Tiger-Cats were completely on board. Are we to believe that Bob Young was backing an unsustainable stadium at that time? Of course not and nothing has changed since then. Nothing except a double-cross fueled by the greed to turn millions of dollars of public money into private gain.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 11:37:44

That is interesting the reason being a lack of go train service..it does make you wonder why they almost forced the east mountain location on us. If they are saying it has to have good Go access..that obviously means the east mountain wouldnt have been good enough...i dont get it either Highwater. The Burlington stadium was going to be alot smaller than Hamiltons so the Hamilton stadium would have to be even more important for transit...(Go service). In other words..are they saying it has to be reasonbly close to downtown hamilton...

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 12:11:38

burlington can't have their events cause there's no GO service, Hamilton can't have it's stadium because we won't built it on a farm field with zero train potential nearby. Let's be honest. The real problem is that our cities' names aren't Toronto.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 12:30:00

The recent events in Burlington make me wonder if hostco really would have supported an East Mountain location...

I mean, I kind of think hostco probably preferred a west harbour location with the ti-cats...maybe they would have vetoed East Mountain as being too far from the train tracks too?

Maybe Hamilton and the Ti-cats should have been paying more attention to hostco instead of sparring with each other...

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 16:01:59

"Let's be honest. The real problem is that our cities' names aren't Toronto." - Jason

So true!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 01:56:34

I'm still trying to figure out 'Hamiltonfan's comment. Doesn't this person mean they are a Tiger Cats fan, not a fan of Hamilton?

Why is it that people will go to Hess St., & Locke St., The AGH, if "nobody from more affluent areas" would attend a West Harbour sight? Do they go to Ivor Wynne now, which is only a few blocks away?

Or do they not go at all to Ti-Cat games but promise with all their hearts & souls that, "If we could only drive for miles & sniff what remains of the country air we would surely become football fans overnight."

There are panhandlers around the Dome in Toronto. There are probably 50 to 80 homeless people a night sleeping across the road from Massey Hall, on the church grounds. Yonge St., has more than it's share of crazies, druggies, hookers, & winos, but people still go there. Grange park behind the Art Gallery of Ontario is usually full of the homeless, day & night. I guess if these same people from 'more affluent areas' lived in Toronto, they would be hunkered up in Rosedale, & require an armed guard to get to work.

I guess they would never attend a concert, a hockey game, the Santa Clause Parade, Caribana, or go to the museum with their kids? No, probably not. They'd probably just go to The Mall, where 'cross contamination' couldn't happen?

They might as well move to a place where there is nothing to do, no where to go, & stop occupying a space that somebody else could actually Enjoy.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 16:56:26

That is true the panhandling and people sleeping in the street in Toronto was far more a problem and right out in the open there. That doesnt mean there isnt problems downtown Hamilton but some people assume when they see a poor person or dressed a certain way they must be a crackhead. Vancouver has ten times as much problems that way, with druggies, homeless people than hamilton has ever had and thats just on one street alone. The downtown eastside there is full of poor people, people shooting heroine in the middle of the day, crack heads you name it. Vancouver is usually ranked as one of the top cities in the workd but Hamilton doesnt even remotely close come to that area.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2010 at 00:01:52

Brian, that's exactly what I'm saying. All cities of any size have their poor, regardless of why they are poor. London, Paris, New York.

I simply don't understand the fear (or maybe loathing, or little of each) that people like Hamiltonfan seem to allow to run their lives.

If this is the case, Where exactly can people like this go, & still feel safe? Nowhere. They can't differentiate between a homeless person, & a criminal.
Hint for HF.: You won't notice the criminal.

(Well, there's always The Mall-?) Can they get all the culture & excitement they need from La Senza? :D

If they feel intimidated by Downtown Hamilton. even to go to a sporting event or a concert, Good Luck to them trying to anywhere else, unless they plan to spend their 2 weeks vacation locked inside a hotel room. (maybe they just think that Los Angeles, or Rio have a better class of homeless?)

You hear this all too often from people who have never been downtown, even if they live a few minutes away. They've never been there, but, "They know what they know.." :P

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 29, 2010 at 18:55:51

Well most of the fear is word of mouth just like anything else. If you tell someone something negative enough times..and they dont really know for themselves...the will tend to believe it. Its kinda like americans trying to tell me people here are saying aboot , when i clearly know im not saying that lol. Actually logically the chances of something happening downtown is less when there is more people around. That doesnt mean things cant happen but its less likely. I think alot of people just dont get out much or something or havent seen the real deal when it comes to real fear. I think alot of is the problem is what is down there (dollar stores etc )and yes it attracts "poor' people...but that doesnt make them dangerous or crackheads..I already posted a link on here before for crime rates for Canadian cities.(2009)..Hamilton is ranked #24. Sure it doesnt break it down to sections of cities but it gives a indication it isnt as bad as people think. Only one CFL city was ranked lower than Hamilton for crime and that was Toronto. Regina #1, Winnipeg #3, Edmonton #5, Vancouver #8 , Montreal #14 and Calgary #18. Other places with higher crime rates were Kitchener #23, Moncton #21, St Catherines-Niagara #20 Sudbury #16, London #15 , Brantford #9, Thunder Bay #7, Saskatoon #2. A few surprises in there but the crime rate for saskatchewan was ranked #1 for 9 years..and Ontario was the lowest for 3 years running. Hamilton has this reputation as the big scary violent place but both Hamilton and Toronto murders rates are low by Canadian standards..never mind American. Hamilton has a long way to go, its a old city and at one point it was the 3rd largest in all of Canada. They let alot of absent owners of buildings let them deteriorate and let go so many great heritage buildings. They never should have let dollar stores and the other crap places right on king street like they have. I agree there is an appearance problem but i really disagree on this overblown hype of violence and crime down there.

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