Sports

HostCo Rejects Burlington Soccer Field: Too Far from GO Train

By RTH Staff
Published August 27, 2010

To all those people still saying Council made a mistake not voting for the East Mountain, take note: Pan Am HostCo just denied Burlington's case for a soccer field at Kerns Road and Dundas Street because it was too far from a GO Train station.

Mayor Cam Jackson confirmed the pull-out yesterday and advised Burlington will instead be designated strictly as a soccer training site for the 2015 event. The lack of GO Train access to the northwest park was cited as a reason for the decision.

Jackson also pointed out that HostCo is still shuffling events around, and Burlington still might end up gaining a different event or facility.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:10:13

What a interesting development. No GO train access. hmmmm HostCo just put the stamp on who is in charge in all of this. Maybe Bob should have been talking to HostCo instead of the city to get his new stadium. I wonder if he would have still walked away from the table. Neither him or the city is in control if this. Remember this is for he Pan AM Games!!! not just for him, opps!

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-08-27 12:11:04

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By paulhart (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:11:43

So, does HostCo actually have a plan? They know they need to put on a number of events, but they can't decide where they're going to happen. Seems very random.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:13:04

As I posted to another thread...here's what we know:

  1. Bob Young is blind to the potential of the WH and refuses to budge on it. He is content to stay away from negotiations as long as there apears to be a chance that some city might give him the deal he wants.

  2. We know that Hostco needs

    • a public transit component (such as GO train access), and
    • a business plan that includes a major tenant after the Games end.
  3. If the City cannot fulfil both A and B, - by remaining steadfast on West Harbour, or even compromising on a Longwood site or some other site that has little wow factor to bring the Cats back to the table, Hamilton will only receive enough federal/provincial funding for a 5 to 7 thousand seat stadium.

  4. No stadium capable of replacing Ivor Wynne means the end of the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.

  5. Losing the Tiger-Cats guarantees the end of the political career of most members of City Council, including Fred Eisenberger. Say hello Mayor DiIanni, and goodbye downtown revitalization.

  6. If Hamilton does stay the course, Hamilton would get the preliminary games and Parapan games that were originally slated to go to Burlington, and nothing more. We'd still have Hostco looking for a venue for the bigger games and the Ti-Cats looking for a new home.

  7. If Hamilton were to re-open East Mountain, the Cats might be onside, but Hostco would not. East Mountain is dead.

  8. Which leaves Confederation Park as the only site if Hamilton wants to bring the Ti-Cats back to the table and fulfil Hostco's requirements for funding.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-08-27 12:19:08

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:31:29

Seems very random.

/s/random/political

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:45:48

Mayor DiIanni..you mean the same guy who was for the West Harbor for the Commonwealth Games while he was mayor..that guy?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 13:55:45

WHAT!!? No "driveway to driveway experience' required? : ) : D

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 14:17:40

I think maybe there is a third option that gets the full-size stadium location at West Harbour.

However, that option effectively spends the entire Future Fund on the Cats and the stadium, and is likely not the best use of these funds.

I would expect that given the strong position he's in, (see Ryan's piece on negotiating) if the City were to offer to purchase the team from Young, he would naturally demand a very high price.

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By geoff's two cents (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 14:24:15

arienC, I respectfully disagree with #1 and #8. See my comments here: http://raisethehammer.org/article/1154/#...

More specific to your comments, we don't know whether or not Bob Young is "blind to the potential of WH." He hasn't released any data. We do know that he won't admit that there's any potential in the site. It seems to me that he's just using the commotion to leverage an even more optimal profit margin for himself at the city's expense. In this respect, he's simply using good business sense.

My hunch is that it is Young's back-up plan to co-operate with the city on the WH site if the city goes that route. FF dollars, together with private investment, could accomplish the necessary expansion.

Btw, we also don't know if Young would support any other "compromise" sites - Confed. Park or elsewhere. Without any data on his end, a HostCo-funded 5-7,000 seat stadium, expandable to CFL Grey Cup specs once Ticats owners (Bob or otherwise) come around, is the safest option from the city's perspective.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 16:27:37

geoff's...maybe you're right.

However I do believe Bob Young was deliberate in dropping that hint recently, saying East Mountain was not really being their preferred site, it was Confederation Park all along.

While I think Young's blinded by seeing things from the window of a car as many residents of the city are, what he wants is a parking lot, a freeway, and some development opportunity. The mention of that site should bring him back to the table. I don't think Longwood/MIP would do that.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Cats and the Province have been working with Hostco and certain coucillors to make this happen behind the scenes ever since the vote for WH. The Burlington pullout is just too convenient to not be part of a plan.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 23:47:08

Quoting arienc: "However I do believe Bob Young was deliberate in dropping that hint recently, saying East Mountain was not really being their preferred site, it was Confederation Park all along. "

WTF!!??? Is City Hall & everyone else supposed to Guess what Bob Young really wants?!
"If you don't know, then I'm certainly not going to tell you, & you're sleeping on the couch until I say different!"

OH FOR PETE'S SAKE!! What is wrong with these people!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2010 at 10:22:50

arienc, I think #4 is a real stretch. If no stadium, they will continue playing at IWS. It may mean the end of Bob Young with the ticats but to say no new stadium = no more ticats is a HUGE assumption based mostly on BY's babbling

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 11:19:52

If in fact Bob wishes to sell, if not, I doubt he will be signing any lease to play at IWS past 2011 when the current lease expires I believe unless perhaps the city dumps huge money into the stadium and they could do that but then they better get a tenant .

Who knows what will happen with the TigerCats after that. Anyone's guess really. It's in the city's hands now, Bob's offer with one of Michael Fenn's sites was rejected by the city so now the city can figure out what they want to do. We'll see this coming Tuesday what their plans are.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-28 10:38:35

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 11:32:26

Yes they can continue to play at Ivor Wynne but they could also fold. Ottawa is getting a team for 2013 and its possible Hamilton plays to the 2012 season but after that Bob Young folds the team . He can get compensated a little bit somehow..maybe the 7 million Ottawa expansion fee or some other way. Once the team folds the players would be subject to a draft for Ottawa..and players they dont want can be picked up in a supplimentary draft by other teams after. Its not totally out of the question for that to happen..i realy dont think Bob Young wants to pack the team up and head to another province..if this stadium doesnt happen i think he will have enough. We can disagree about stadium location with him all we want but he only bought the team and kept them going because it was in Hamilton, he wouldnt have purchased any other available team. Bob Young said the West Harbor location would be no worse than the current stadium and he rejected it...why would anyone think he would want to stay after the 2011 season at Ivor Wynne. Maybe the city will get desperate and do something like Bratina mentioned and buy up any unsold tickets to make it atleast a break even situation but i realy think Bob Young is finished if the doesnt get a new stadium in the location he wants.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 11:41:00

Agree, Bob will be finished as you say brian and perhaps that is best for all involved, it's not like the city of Hamilton NEEDS any pro sports team really. And there are enough people in this city that feel Bob is telling the city what to do and is one big you know what so I'm sure a lot of people won't care less if the Tigercats fold or move on whatever.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-28 10:41:22

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 12:53:36

Makes me wonder if the East Mountain site, even if approved by city council, would have been vetoed by hostco.

Who would the cats blame then?

brian said:

"Maybe the city will get desperate and do something like Bratina mentioned and buy up any unsold tickets to make it atleast a break even situation but i realy think Bob Young is finished if the doesnt get a new stadium in the location he wants."

I don't see how that will help, Bob Young has said they will never play in the West Harbour, and he will not negotiate any sort of terms for playing there and has shown on willingness to explore "alternative forms of revenue generation" at that location. I think the city buying all unsold tickets at the west harbour is a non-start for the ti-cats. Which is really pretty silly because if you think about it, their preference might be "not west harbour" but their reason for it is "we won't make enough money" You think they'd be willing to negotiate wasy to "make enough money" but yet...they've publicly said they won't.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 28, 2010 at 14:52:33

..well knowing the city it wouldnt suprise me if they tried something like that atleast. If you were to offer insentives it would have to be reasonable and what it would be worth to the city. They are already losing a few million running Copps, Hamilton place per year, If the Katz people take that over that money could be used to entice the ticats by paying for certain things, like advertising on Tv, radio, unsold tickets, whatever. I'm not saying they should do something like that but i bet what he loses per year is close to what the city loses operating copps/hamilton place per year. Maybe Bob Young should consider his win/loss record and stop blaming the stadium for his loses and own up to the fact that the ticats most years since he owned them have been absolutely disgraceful. If a stadium was built ten years ago and in a good location/parking etc..i got news for him...his winning percentage of 28% would still have resulted in losses!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 29, 2010 at 09:38:03

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 11:27:53

If they picked the East Mountain and it cost 80-100 million more...your damn right i would blame Bob Young. Sorry but there is no other business but sports that can put in less than 10% of the cash and get 100% of the say. If it was any other kind of business he would have been laughed out of town because of that kind demand. What the hell is it with sports i just dont get it. Why are people so much more willing to give into demands to sports teams but they wouldnt even remotely close give into demands to anything else. Explain to the vast majority of people that dont even go to the ticats in this city that yes your taxes will could go up 5% but its because we gave into demands of a sports team. Im a fan of the cats i watch every game and have been going to games longer than 35 years. I watch almost every single CFL game every year but there is a limit as to what should be acceptable. If he had another city in mind and they had 5 locations for a team but one cost more than 50 millon plus the answer would be flat out NO. Sorry but they would just hand over 80-100 million to the old stelco or dofasco or any other important company..all with city money that doesnt even exist.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 30, 2010 at 11:32:56

  • Sorry but they (wouldnt) just hand over 80-100 million to the old stelco or dofasco or any other important company..all with city money that doesnt even exist.

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By soccergirl (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 22:56:56

I've been up to Burlingtons Kerncliff Park area where soccer was to happen - what a dumb ill thought out site. I don't know how the Niagara Escarpment Commission caved in the first place to even consider it.

In addition to being a logistically nightmare, even for a scaled down 5000 seat venue what was Burlington council thinking? I think they wanted out. Fortune smiled when Hostco pulled the plug, citing an essential requirement - ease of access.

If the city had any incite they would have considered renovating an inner city sport park stadium at Nelson Highschool or worked better with the Sherwood forest community of Burlington... or...?

Does anybody have any incite as to how or where soccer could have worked in Burlington?

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