Sports

The Unpleasant Calculus Of The MIP Site

By Adrian Duyzer
Published August 31, 2010

The more I think about MIP as a stadium site, the less I like it.

As much as a compromise that everyone can coalesce around would be great, it can't be one that sacrifices important long-term economic considerations.

The long-term, 25-50 year vision that we've undertaken at the McMaster Innovation Park is immensely valuable. Sacrificing that plan in the interests of a stadium is something that cannot be done lightly.

I can see two main benefits to the MIP site and neither have anything to do with its suitability as a stadium site:

  1. It has the potential to heal a lot of divisions in the city, particularly if Our City, Our Future backs the location, so it is good from a community-building standpoint.
  2. A successful compromise could potentially seal Eisenberger's re-election bid, thus preventing the great harm that would come to our values and goals for the city that is likely to result from a Di Ianni mayoralty, and perhaps enabling us to persuade Eisenberger to support other goals that are important to us.

If this is the balance then it is one where (short-term) emotions and political fortunes are weighed against facts and long-term economics.

I would be inclined to favour the facts and the long-term economic view but I also see the value of the former, particularly with DiIanni lined up to capitalize on a failed stadium bid.

In April I wrote an article, The Potential of New, High-Growth Companies, where I stressed the economic benefits that could be realized by creating and growing highly innovative and successful companies in Hamilton, rather than just trying to attract them here.

McMaster's plan for the location that is being floated for use as a stadium is meant to be used for an advanced automotive research facility. Suppose that this plan is discarded for a stadium instead. Could that be costing us the creation of a super-successful high-tech automotive company at some later point in the future? A company that could improve Hamilton's fortunes far more significantly than a stadium ever will?

On the other hand, we don't need to predict the future when we consider Bob Young, the Tiger-Cats (both as a business and as a cultural legacy), and Young's other companies. They're here right now, and the prospect of their loss is something that none of our elected representatives want to be accused of being responsible for - even if their responsibility to make decisions in the interests of Hamilton's long-term future ought to outweigh their short-term political considerations.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

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By frank (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 13:47:42

As someone said during the COW meeting today, the TC have nowhere to go! I'm with you on this Adrian. Why capitulate to a failing business simply because they are part of cultural legacy at the same time jeopardizing putting the City in a place where it could be on the industrial/technological forefront.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:20:52

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 13:23:32

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By Jarod (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:43:23

Your family only gets to think what you tell them. If you paint an ugly picture what do you get?

I've had to deal with my family (of whom live in the Niagara region and the London area) and what they think of Hamilton. But here may be the difference that separates us HamiltonFan. I question how much a fan you really are. You see, when I go home for a visit, I tell my family the truth, that I love Hamilton and the many great things that are going on. When they come here, I take them out for breakfasts lunches and dinners in various parts of the city. I tell them of the many struggles Hamilton has (among which are the citizens in Hamilton who hate Hamilton).

But you know what? I've changed roughly 10-20 minds about what Hamilton is and can be like. I tell them what it can be like and let them experience it for themselves. What have you told your family? How many people are standing up and shouting from the rooftops that they love London? I'll ask my friends.

Rant End

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:48:14

Oh, my family loved it when they came to my house and I took them to Mt. Albion Falls and the Confed Park. But when I took them to a game at IWS years ago they laughed at the area the stadium was in and the stadium and said Hamilton was "a hole."

But agree, we have some great areas in Hamilton no question, I agree with that but the perception out there from the millions that drive by on the QEW is that Hamilton is a smelly dirty steel town and don't want to venture into the downtown or near it I'm sure if they can help it.

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By AndreaC (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:51:39

I'm a long-standing Ti-Cat fan, a legacy passed on from my father. However, since attaining adulthood and observing the perennial cellar-dwelling status of said team, I've come to be a fan in a "I realize how uncool and retro this organization really is, to the point where its almost cool again". But this latest debate has rubbed the lovability right off the black and gold for me. And being exposed to the thought processes of die-hard fans like HamiltonFan above has made me increasingly reluctant to identify myself as part of this group, who can be counted on to consistently disparage the city of Hamilton and the residents who are honestly trying to make a difference in revitalizing this great community. I used to think the Ti-Cats were a symbol of civic pride, a place for us to go and cheer with fellow citizens. I mean, ultimately isn't that what sports are for? Or do people really think that throwing a piece of leather through the air and knocking people over has a meaning that transcends the community that hosts, supports and subsidizes it?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 14:55:48

Andrea, I love the TigerCats but there are not enough of us. At least I spend my money in Hamilton, I've spent thousands over the years going to games and don't regret it at all, going to TigerCat games but I know many who were born and raised in this town and know it better than me and laugh at the stadium, where it is and the team associated with it and venture off to Buffalo in the US and spend hundreds of dollars each year on the Bills there. They have no pride in their city or their team or their stadium, they couldn't care less. It's not the "mighty NFL" and Buffalo is just an hour away with the cheapest seats in the NFL, to these people.

I think the ship has sailed on football in Hamilton perhaps unless this city builds a stadium by the highway that is state of the art and looks great and brings a better image to the city and football team. Buffalo is just too close. And has excellent parking combined with great highway access.

BY knows this and is ready to fold the tent here and I don't blame him at all and the CFL won't shed one tear whatsoever.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 14:00:10

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By AnneMariePavlov (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 15:15:12

"The long-term, 25-50 year vision that we've undertaken at the McMaster Innovation Park is immensely valuable. Sacrificing that plan in the interests of a stadium is something that cannot be done lightly."

Welcome to our world in the north end! We had a plan for our waterfront (Setting Sail) that had a valuable vision, and council was ready to sacrifice that plan in the interests of a stadium too.

Funny how this city works.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 15:31:05

So maybe Hamilton doesn't need a stadium afterall is what many are saying? Marvin Ryder is correct when he says the TigerCats are really not that important economically to Hamilton anyways and if the cultural aspect of the TigerCats isn't there like it used to be, well really, why build a stadium and let BY go his merry way. A lot of people are thinking like that I do believe.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 15:50:28

Firstly, I think the debate and conflict over this situation shows that the city does care about the Cats and the cities future image without them (loserville I heard one guy say).

And as far as MIP is concerned, Bob B. (not my favorite guy but...) brought up a good point, they poached some viable downtown businesses and located them in the park so it's not exactly following it's own plan is it? Maybe the university can add a sports medicine/sports research component right into the stadium with state of the art athletic medical personnel?

Time to think big when you can and have the desire to do so.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 15:54:16

woody, yes, there is a lot of grant money in sports/recreation/exercise and effects on health issues like cancer and mental health and also in the robotics aspect with artificial limbs and people who have suffered from strokes, paralysis etc. Combining this with elite level training research at the MIP/stadium site might bring a centre of excellence in that respect, I agree, and put Hamilton as a leader in this type of research and development. Example below, this is some of the type of research out there that Hamilton could get in on and try and recruit such researchers. Having a state of the art stadium/research facility right next to all the knowledge workers at MIP would make for a very rich research environment and make recruiting potentially much easier:


CIHR team grant to fund multidisciplinary breast cancer survivorship studies - 1,500 Canadian women to take part in 5-year study

Over the next five years, a diverse, multi-disciplinary team of researchers led by Dr. Kerry Courneya of the University of Alberta and Dr. Christine Friedenreich of Alberta Health Services will conduct a series of five large research projects to probe the impacts of physical activity on breast cancer thanks to a $2.5 million team grant over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Courneya's team is one of just four across Canada to be awarded a CIHR team grant, and the only team from the University of Alberta to do so.

A Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer since 2004, Courneya has been making breakthroughs in the field of physical activity and cancer field for over a decade. This grant gives his team the opportunity to take their work down new paths and using different approaches thanks to a large, diverse research cohort. Courneya will be working in concert with researchers from the U of A, University of Calgary, Athabasca University and Alberta Health Services whose expertise spans behavioural medicine, psychology, epidemiology, endocrinology, medical oncology, exercise physiology, physiotherapy and bio-statistics.

"The really novel aspect of this study is the link between physical activity and fitness, and disease outcomes. There has been limited research examining those outcomes. Women who survive breast cancer are at greater risk for breast cancer recurrence, second cancers, cardiac dysfunction, weight gain, bone loss, lymphedema, joint pain; they complain of cognitive dysfunction, menopausal symptoms, fatigue; some report psychosocial distress.

The five research projects will focus on the potential role of physical activity and health-related fitness in facilitating treatment completion, alleviating treatment side effects, hastening recovery after treatments, improving long term quality of life and reducing the risks of disease recurrence, other chronic diseases, and premature death.

"Our team will look at breast cancer recurrence, death from breast cancer as well as overall survival and whether physical activity and health-related fitness – cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular strength, body composition - are independent predictors of recurrence of the disease and survival," says Courneya.

For the five-year study, researchers will be recruiting 1500 women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer through the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, and the study is set to begin early in 2011. "We have a system set up with the medical oncologists at these centres and all women eligible for the study, up to age 75, will be approached by them, to see if they want to participate," he says.

Besides the major studies, Courneya says, there are opportunities for sub-group analysis, with a large research cohort. "These analyses might include looking at the link between fitness and disease outcomes based on disease stage, or we could look at some of the molecular markers in the cancer cells such as estrogen receptor positive or estrogen receptor negative cancer, for example.

"We may find that fitness is a strong predictor but only for people who have estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. In the sub-groups we can examine if it's the same across all patients or if there are certain medical and demographic factors that make exercise a strong link for some groups and potentially no link for other groups, like estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. Maybe we'll find that exercise doesn't reduce the risk of recurrence with that type of cancer," says Courneya.

"We can look at and determine what role exercise is playing depending on other medical co-morbidities or depending on your fitness level at the time of diagnosis and those types of things. Then you can give more targeted recommendation about what the best bang for the buck might be in terms of an exercise prescription."

Courneya says the true value of the team grant is the legacy of research projects it will spawn.

"The real goal of our CIHR team grant is to build this cohort so we have a beautiful resource, a living laboratory, 1500 women with all the gold standard assessments of exercise and health-related fitness tracked over many years and followed for all these disease outcomes.

"And once you establish that, there are an endless number of questions future students and academics could potentially look at."

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 15:04:39

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By FenceSitter (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 16:30:26

HamiltonFan - Who you are and what are you ties?? This is not a question for you to answer (I am anonymous after all), but a question which many will ponder when trying to interpret your comments.

Your last comment was very important, if not a little sad.

You say the ship has sailed?? While I hate to say you are right, maybe we do tend to forget the recent history of financial instability of the Ticats. If the Cats were a regular business, they probably would not have survived the last 10 years. If the only thing that may save the Ti-Cats is a new stadium (but not guaranteed to save), then it is a pretty big risk of taxpayers money.

You mentioned people with no pride in city/team/stadium. Should we add country to that mix? This is our CFL. No one should be embarrassed or ashamed of the CFL. It is not the NFL, outside of the Grey Cup, you will not replicate the experience of 80,000 fans watching a Bills game. You will also not replicate the experience of Labor Day at IWS. (HF - I congratulate you for spending you money here).

We should all be looking at the roughriders for inspiration, not the NFL.


Bob Young once admitted his mistakes after a few years at the Ticats helm. He mentioned he tried to run the team like a business. The team is still paying for those mistakes. Business logic tells me (and Bob) to find a higher paying customer. Well, like it or not, football logic says otherwise. The Ti-cats have a solid blue coller support base. Try to change that overnight in a new stadium and we will all be fucked (WH or EM !!).

Do not try to chase the money going accross the border, or the money from some guy in London who answered some telephone poll and said he would come to a game if there was a new stadium. Nurture your current fan base, these are the fans who currently spend money and will continue to spend money in the future.

Rant over

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 16:39:41

I liked the MIP site when I thought that Careport Centre was owned by Steelcare... I didn't realize it was part of the Mac Innovation Park's plans and land. I'd wager most of the supporters feel the same.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 16:59:52

FenceSitter, what we all need to do is answer how important is a new stadium and how important are the TigerCats to the community? I don't have answers for that. Yes, I a big CFL fan and love the TigerCats to death, I'm biased. But I'm not so sure that Hamilton can support a team any longer, 2 CFL teams in a close proximity to each other combined with, as I mentioned, the Bills with so cheap NFL ticket prices, well, maybe the ship has sailed.

I don't need the TigerCats in Hamilton as much as I'd like a team here, as long as Toronto or the Golden Horseshoe area has a team, I'm fine with that, just like going to a Jays or Raptors game, just one team in the area anyways. The CFL knows this. Hate to say it but Toronto is more important to the CFL than Hamilton and I want a stronger CFL before a team in hamilton. A WH stadium will not enhance the team or city much nor attract new types of fans IMHO and the team will continue to lose money and be on the verge of extinction year to year, on life support. And yes, a stadium even in the best location from a stadium point of view as BY mentions is no guarantee.

So, to play the devil's advocate, why don't we pack it in and give Toronto the money for the stadium and like most of us do now anyways, support their teams (BTW I'm a Habs fan in the NHL ;) ) The CFL might actually be better off for it and a lot of people in Hamilton don't give a rats you know what about the Cats, their team, the league they play in, the trophy they vie for, nor their tax money used for a stadium. Hey, I grew up an Argo fan in London Ontario anyways since I didn't want to associate myself with the city of Hamilton, that is the honest truth although I shouldn't say it but it is the truth. But I've learned to love the city in many respects and the team here but easy for me to jump on the good ship Argonaut or a merged team any second.

Hamilton is in tough economically as we know, luxuries like new stadiums and teams might not be there any longer unless there is someone or a corporation willing to give a huge gift to the city. BY is a businessman as we know and he doesn't have the money of an MLSE nor a team as popular as the Leafs. He can't afford to put millions into a stadium or team, he'll be bankrupt sooner rather than later, he needs help from the city and developers and other interested parties.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 16:05:53

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:23:57

A bit amusing that people in London think that Hamilton is a hole, considering the battering the recession has given that area, plus the fact it pretty much is the Hillbilly Heroin capital of Southern Ontario. I'd bet on Hamilton over London right now. Just look at the average house prices.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:33:04

Anyone else wanna take bets on how many years the Ti-Cats will play in Hamilton in their "shiny new stadium" before they come to the city asking for a subsidy of some sort?

I'm thinking 5 to 10 years.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:34:53

According to Bob Bratina in a Toronto Star article, "Hamilton changes course on Pan Am stadium project", posted this afternoon:

'"Innovation Park hasn't been fulfilling its mandate...so they're probably just as happy to look at alternatives to the (prescribed) land use," Bratina added.'

One would have expected more tact and statesmanship from a person who might run for mayor of Hamilton.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/c...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-08-31 16:35:34

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:37:17

"he needs help from the city and developers and other interested parties."

He sure as hell doesn't act like it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 17:37:35

Watching Marvin Ryder on CH now, and he's right, he's basically saying that there is an issue of the TigerCats losing money regardless of stadium site. He's basically saying the CFL in Hamilton might not be a good idea long term and I completely agree with the professor. And he's much smarter than I am.

random, just to let you know, London has a nicer arena than Copps, for the Knights in the OHL, and packs it 9000 every game and every game is an event there and I've been to games there and it beats the Bulldogs hands down for game experience but the TiCats are still no. 1 for me even if we don't have a JLC in class with either Copps or IWS. London is a city not based as much on heavy industry like Hamilton, more white collar than here. Which isn't good or bad but just maybe a bit more consistent in terms of employment.

But Marvin Ryder is a smart man and we should listen to him. Hamilton is too close to Toronto for it's own sports teams I think except for possibly an NHL team and only that because there is so many NHL fans in southern Ontario willing to travel for that league.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 16:42:55

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 18:05:58

The Ti-cats have a solid blue coller support base. Try to change that overnight in a new stadium and we will all be fucked (WH or EM !!).

When you ignore class in social issues, you usually miss the point. When you ignore it in economic ones you simply fail entirely. People use a lot of euphemisms to get around this, but at the end of the day, it's all about class.

Football is not a high-class form of entertainment. You can put the stadium beside Westdale, but at the end of the day all that'll mean is the working-class support base from the north end will have to trek further to get there (if they still decide to come). For these reasons, the West Harbour, Ivor Wynn make the most sense. Not that parts of the East Mountain aren't very working-class, but this isn't a terribly accessible location for anyone who doesn't drive. If it were at Fennel and Upper Sherman, I might feel differently.

Likewise, we shouldn't expect any magical booms in real-estate prices from hordes of millionaires who want to live next to a Ti-Cats stadium. If Westdaliens think Mac is bad with 20-25 000 students total (and associated housing, establishments etc), imagine that number of football fans being let out onto the streets at once.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 18:12:17

"Football is not a high-class form of entertainment."

Tell that to the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones. You do know Unindustrial that the team in the NFL worth the least is still worth more than the Toronto Maple Leafs, last time I checked, just to let you know. Not saying money is class necessarily but it is an important factor I believe.

Just checked, the least in the NFL - Jacksonville at $720 mill and the most in the NHL - Toronto - $470 mill.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-08-31 17:15:47

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 18:41:41

Also, while not directly linked to what someone would call "form of entertainment", I was both honoured and privileged to have as a professor while at Western Dr. Frank Cosentino, from Hamilton. What a wonderful and intelligent man who combined athletics and academics. He has written many books and scholarly articles on the history of football and sports/athletics in Canada. He would lecture for well over an hour and not look at his notes once, wonderful person in character and mind.

http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca/index...

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By S. Woodside (anonymous) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 20:04:26

I've got a lot of experience with the Waterloo "Research & Technology Park" which is the equivalent of the MIP. That experience tells me that it's not nearly as easy to build this kind of park as you might think, it takes a LONG time, and the location may not matter that much. For example, at the R&T park, the 2nd phase of the technology Accelerator Centre (of which my company was one of the original tenants) has actually been deployed far across the city in Kitchener from the ruins of an ancient tannery. There's a parallel there for moving MIP lands from longwood to West Harbour.

In short, the loss of MIP lands doesn't concern me, because the MIP is as much a concept as a place. They don't need to be in the Longwood location particularly, it's where space was made. So long as a new space is made available (and why not the west harbour) as part of this compromise, that's fine.

I'm a bit more concerned about the imposition of a stadium into that space, but that's more of a NIMBY reaction since I live near there, and I'm not sold on the idea of a stadium in the first place.

http://simonwoodside.com

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 20:56:30

I do know that some research groups from McMaster have been scattered in different locations in the city. One such research group I'm familiar has published world class research and were working from downtown buildings at one point.

Yes Woodside, while I'm actually into a stadium for Hamilton, maybe a bit more than you, I'm still someone who would most likely have a NIMBY reaction to one truth be told.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 21:17:55

I live close enough to the MIP site to walk to it. While I'm not opposed to having a stadium in the neighbourhood, I'm deeply concerned about the tradeoff.

Replacing an abandoned industrial site that has no other development path with a stadium seems like a prudent investment of public money that has a decent chance of yielding returns.

Replacing an industrial site that is an integral part of a long-term high-tech employment strategy with a stadium just seems insane.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-08-31 20:18:55

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 21:28:55

I've been going to 3-4 Ti-Cats games a year since I moved here 17 years ago. I am done, I am not going to see a live game for a very long time, maybe even never. I am beyond sick of the Ti-Cats, I now hate them for the damage they have done to our city. I hope Bob Young rots in hell.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 23:37:23

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 31, 2010 at 23:47:33

Ticat Records since 1950-2009

1950-1969 169 wins 94 losses 6 ties = 63.2 %

1970-1989 152 wins 159 losses 9 ties = 48.75 %

1990-2003 99 wins 151 losses 2 ties = 39.2%

2004-2009 (Bob Young) 33 wins 74 loses 1 tie = 30.5%

I disagree Hamilton cant support a CFL team.I know that cant fully explain some of the bad crowds over the years but it sure goes to show how bad a team they have been since 1970. For most of those years the stadium has been regarded as a dump by many people despite the great view you get. It wasnt to the 80's they had anything decent of a scoreboard and that ballard era scoreboard was absolute crap. The concessions up into the last few years were disgraceful so were the bathrooms, press box, lighting and most of the time the field was worn. All that in my opinion has been the crowd problems not that Hamilton cant support a team. Except for a few seasons here and there all they did was get progressively get worse. In the 80's ballard threatened to move the team and the newspapers (mostly toronto) did nothing but bash the CFL for years. It was a almost weekly thing to bash the CFL in those days..of course the CFL owners and decisions didnt help things much. After the coming labor day game the ticats will be averaging 25,000 per game this year..that is close to where they need to be but altleast since 2009...they have actually won 50% of their games...

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By MisDustrial (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 03:55:40

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 06:54:18

I thought this read was interesting citing some research in the area of stadiums in urban areas:


In determining what is best for a city, however, the impact on the metropolitan area as a whole is not the final consideration. There are good reasons to expect the impact of sports stadiums on the particular city in which they play to be different from their effect on the metropolitan area as a whole. Fans may come from the suburbs surrounding the city to spend time and money near the stadium, in the team's home jurisdiction. These expenditures reflect disposable income that will not be spent in other parts of the metropolitan area. So it seems possible that a stadium could benefit a city or town, while having no impact on the economy of the entire metropolitan area. This possibility has not received much attention, but a recent article by Mark Rosentraub finds that sports stadiums generally do not fuel the economies of cities.

Rosentraub chooses 12 cities in the South and Midwest thought to be similar in ways relevant to the question he poses.22 He questions whether such downtown sports facilities met their intended goal of reinforcing the centrality of the central business districts and slowing the gradual erosion of jobs from the central city to the suburbs. Comparing the experience of the seven cities with downtown facilities to the five cities without, Rosentraub finds that this strategy does not seem to be working. The cities with downtown facilities lost more population than those without, both in the central business district and in the balance of the city. The cities with downtown facilities had a smaller share of metropolitan area jobs in the central business district in 1985, and this share declined almost exactly as much as in the cities without downtown facilities between 1985 and 1995. Rosentraub does not argue that sports stadiums hurt the economies of the cities in which they locate. But the evidence he gathers does suggest that they have not had an appreciable economic benefit.23


Source: http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/doub...

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By renegauthier (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2010 at 09:22:58

Ryan,

Land can be traded and the city would obviously have to make it worth their while for sure. There is lots of other employment lands that can be put to use. There's lots of it on the waterfront, apart from the west harbour.

And if Bratina is right that MIP isn't even fulfilling their own mandate, perhaps there are other questions to be asked here.

All we can hope for is a deal that makes everyone happy. After all, why should we say no to $50 million from the Fed and province since it will go somewhere else if we don't take it? It might as well come to us, because after the last 10 years, it's time we got our due for a change.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 10:11:46

The whining has already begun on CHML which seems to regularly report anything the Tiger-Cats want as "news".

Today's headline was all about how Confederation Park isn't even on the list of "mutally agreeable" sites. Bill Kelly and Bob Bratina (Mr. Downtown Booster) were both lamenting its exclusion.

My guess is that it's not on the list because:

a) it's a park, you idiots and b) it's not mutually agreeable.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 10:43:33

Hamilton needs the Tiger-Cats more than it needs Marvin Ryder.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 11:01:12

Yes realfree, CP has had a plan for quite a while that never had a stadium in the mix from the get-go. Agree no need to discuss it at this point really.

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By renegauthier (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2010 at 11:17:40

Marvin's looking at the bucks, not the intangibles. He's a DeGroote boy. What did you expect?

Comment edited by renegauthier on 2010-09-01 10:17:51

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By renegauthier (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2010 at 11:21:42

But I think Fred's chances are hurt mostly because he prolonged the debate and divided the city. He should have at least shown some signs of negotiating to Michael Fenn and we could have ended up at MIP before this whole debacle began. He is vulnerable because people are figuring out that he can't deliver or show any signs of diplomacy. And diplomacy is a leadership trait that is being severely underused in this day and age.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 12:49:12

From what I have heard, a certain large donor to Mac has told them if they don't deal with the city on this issue they will withold any further donations.

I am not sure it is true but maybe someone in this city should be investigating that shameless interference in the political process. But then again they are rich and powerful so nobody in this city has the balls to call them on it.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2010-09-01 11:57:52

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 01, 2010 at 12:57:47

He should have at least shown some signs of negotiating to Michael Fenn and we could have ended up at MIP before this whole debacle began.

What on earth do you think the city was going with Michael Fenn, if not negotiating? Where do you think the East Mountain came from - some kind of refusal to negotiate?

The participants considered MIP through the facilitation process but rejected it because the land ownership issue was complicated and they didn't think they'd have time to pull it together. The EM, in contrast, had a single owner - the Ontario Government - that had a direct interest in facilitating the sale.

The EM site emerged as an alternative because the Ticats strongly supported it during the facilitation and undertook a massive promotional campaign to convince Council and the public to approve it.

The Ticats' enthusiastic support notwithstanding, the reason the EM went down was because it's a terrible location, period. Citizens spoke up about it to an unprecedented degree, the staff report clearly highlighted the extra costs and minimal spinoff benefits, and council overwhelmingly voted against it on August 14.

It had nothing to do with Fred's leadership skills or lack thereof, and it's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

Further, the only reason the MIP site is on the table now is because of ongoing negotiations between the city, province, HostCo and the Ticats over the past couple of weeks.

I'm highly skeptical that the MIP will turn out to be a good deal for the city, but no one can accuse the mayor of not doing enough to make some kind of deal possible.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-09-01 11:58:15

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By brian (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 19:50:45

If they do some kind of land swap which is being suggested it could possibly work. If you have to build 8 floor buildings instead of 4 floors for any more innovation additions..do it just build up. We dont have to like it but we know politicians and rich people could care less what we think. I dont think a few weeks is enough time to investigate another location, Confederation is out and so is the East Mountain. Even if the Ticats arent 100% certain that will be the right location i dont see them saying no this late in the game. If Mcmaster is on board and another vote happens (what would that be 8 now?) and they agree to it...oh well what can we do about it.

realfreeenterpriser a) it's a park, you idiots and b) it's not mutually agreeable ha ha exactly (confederation park). On that note im hoping they decide on Gage Park..they should put that to vote it would make almost as much sense to me.

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By brian (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 21:24:45

If Marvin Ryder investigated the history of the Ticats involving their record the past 40 years and the fact the stadium was substandard for most of them to the point of embarrassment..he would understand the attendance better. People also assume because the Bulldogs dont get the crowds Hamilton couldnt support the NHL. Well the Toronto AHL team has worse attendance and they obviously can support a crap NHL team. When Montreal moved to Molson stadium from Olympic it saved the team from disappearing a 2nd time. Of course part of the reason was people didnt want to go to that stadium but after the moved to molson they were also doing something different....winning. If the played like Hamilton all that time..would they be so popular..i doubt it

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By tripleseq (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 22:01:40

Kitchener - Waterloo seems to do pretty well without a CFL team - imagine that! It's actually amazing how maleable council are to what really is a very minor interest in the economic sense.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 01, 2010 at 22:46:19

And Hamilton is doing pretty well without a NHL team. Professional sports teams in any league are not necessary for any city to be excellent and enjoyable to live and work in.


"but no one can accuse the mayor of not doing enough to make some kind of deal possible."

Very true Ryan, even with a 5000 seater at the WH should it turn out as such, the Mayor will have won the PR game on this one among the populace. Rheem will be cleaned up and the footprint of a potential larger stadium for a professional tenant at some point in the future, whenever that could be, will have been established.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-09-01 21:51:58

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By Apologia (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 08:43:38

Ryan says, "I'm highly skeptical that the MIP will turn out to be a good deal for the city, but no one can accuse the mayor of not doing enough to make some kind of deal possible."

Even now Fred is on the media saying the WH is a viable site in the same sentence he says the MIP site is worth looking at, in the same sentence he says he and Bob Young share the same vision, in the same sentence he says it's all HostCo's fault anyway, in the same sentence he still insists that no offers came from other sources to clean up WH, in the same sentence he says that developers want to invest in the WH, in the same sentence he says that he will swap land with McMaster, in the same sentence.....Get the picture? He is all over the map, rudderless and confused. Ryan, stop apologizing for him.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 08:47:06

I read in The Spec that they are considering a land swap for portions of the MIP site in exchange with some very close city-owned land. It occurred to me that maybe a swap could work if MIP just did a complete land swap to West Harbour. An innovation park at West Harbour might actually be better than one on Longwood & Aberdeen.

Longwood & Aberdeen is actually not a bad location for a stadium, just that it would be pushing out 2 vantage-points for the city. One being West Harbour revitalization, another being MIP intensification. If MIP were located at West Harbour that might actually work in the favour of all.

I know MIP already has a heavy footprint at Longwood & Aberdeen, so that is unlikely to happen. Just a thought.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 08:58:41

From another article in the Spec:

Two members of McMaster University's board of governors said the switch would undermine the MIP plan.

One of the two, who both requested anonymity, said the highly-visible site overlooking Hwy. 403 was seen as a big attraction to major corporations looking to boost their image while partnering on research and business projects.

@Apologia: if Fred is still saying that WH is a viable site, it's because it's the only viable fallback site at this point, should negotiations with Mac fail. Judging from the Mac official's remarks, it would be pretty foolish not to have a backup plan. And no, flailing about and trying to get EM and CP back on the table is not a backup plan.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:06:10

@Apologia - You are correct. Very confusing indeed. I think it is meant to be that way. Fred is trying to play carefully on all sides. Sad situation, that. But I'm still pulling for him. And YES, WH is really the ONLY truly viable site on the map. In just less than two weeks left, Fred and countless others know this to be true. But I can't help say that something rotten smells in the state of Denmark.

What a waste of a waterfront commercial/residential/entertainment (work/play) development opportunity if there is a land swap with MIP. That would be a seriously backwards move to make. WH is a jewel in the rough, prime real estate, and many developers & architects see its potential. WH should be used to turn the City around. Dense residential development needs to happen, not bland buildings designed to house scientists, researchers and MAC admin. If MIP can be anywhere, then choose "anywhere" but here. Leave WH alone.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:16:31

I agree westonguard. I still think the Lafarge site is an excellent place for the stadium. I don't have a problem with a small stadium at WH if it could fit in with the commercial/residential/entertainment model as you mention but a large stadium that would need to be expanded to around 45,000 for Grey Cups would detract from that environment I think. And while stadiums can be done to look nice, even nice ones might be only a step up from the bland type buildings you describe I would say.

I'm still trying not to make the stadium issue a 'city' vs 'TigerCats' battle as I believe it should be about a synergistic opportunity to work together for both. So I believe in Fred and I also believe in trying to keep the TigerCats viable in Hamilton as I am a fan. But it might not be possible actually in the end with such a short time left to get something done.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-09-02 10:17:56

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:37:06

Right HamiltonFan. I don't have a problem with a small stadium (with a 3-4 phase growth implementation) at WH either. 5000-7,500 seat stadium expandable to say 15,000+. Be perfect to attracting a soccer legacy tenant for future use. Having said that, designs like the White Star 45,000 seat retractable roof stadium built with lots of glass, condo towers, connected waterfront paths, restaurants/shops and other features (including the GO/LRT rail connections) I've seen in their video don't look bland to me -- actually they look very inspiring. This shows there is some creative visionary thinkers/designers in this town who believe in WH potential. I've met that designer, asked him many questions, and he is a HUGE Ti-Cat fan.

Unfortunately I think the Ti-Cats have made this much more about them then it needed to be and the City along with its citizens got rounded up in high emotions. The Club played on that spell very well. The City voted on WH 7 times over the years, and they should say WE BUILD IT, WE PAY FOR IT, we have a plan, we have a vision, here is your amazing wonderful new home we've created for you -- now play the game for your fans so "we" the collective, can move on to more important issues of the day. This is surely a great compromise to living out your days in Ivor Wynne. Enough is enough. There is no time left.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:51:13

Had the Mayor offered the TigerCats a deal at WH that was like what MLSE has for the Toronto city owned but MLSE managed BMO stadium, I think the TigerCats would have been singing a different tune on the WH stadium. Sadly, from what I can see, such an offer never came forth from the city to the TigerCats and was likely never to come forth and they knew that.

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By westandonguard (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 11:59:43

There was a push for soccer. Here is something can came across my desk from a highly respected member of the Hamilton Soccer Community, former Olympian, World Cup Team member, and Inductee into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame to assist in ensuring the future of Hamilton’s Soccer Legacy and establishing HostCo requirements for a legacy tenancy. I'm going to publish it because I think it says something.

Mr Mayor and Council

It is my firm belief that an opportunity exists that could propel soccer in this community to the level of any major city in Canada. The Pan Am games if utilized properly could leave the City of Hamilton with a lasting legacy that would be to the benefit of over 28,000 soccer players. To those who have never had the great honour and privilege of representing Canada at the International level could be easily be persuaded to downgrade this great event to fit the needs of another agenda. What must not be forgotten is the tremendous possibilities that would be afforded to our soccer community if this stadium is built at its original specifications of 15,000 seats. Anything less would be a missed opportunity. What would a stadium of this size bring to our tax paying residents. Remember, 28,000 soccer players when you include parents, grandparents ,uncles , aunts and friends you are actually talking about 200,000 voters in this city. Every player at every level has a dream to play at the highest possible competitive division and the original Pan Am legacy would satisfy this dream. How you may ask?

A 15,000 + seat stadium would satisfy the needs of a professional soccer franchise as well as a National, Provincial and local player development Academy. What does this mean. Every soccer player and more importantly inner city soccer players who find it difficult to travel to Toronto which has the only Pro Academy, can take public transport within our own city to attend a first class player development school in Hamilton. If this is not a lasting Pan Am legacy then I do not know what is.

Anything less than a 15,000 seat stadium will also loose the potential for both male and female International World Cup soccer events, Olympic Qualifying soccer and International touring professional soccer games such as we experienced in Toronto this past summer with Manchester united and Glasgow Celtic. There is also negotiations taking place to bring the Women's World Cup to Canada in 2015 with Toronto being the central hub. Hamilton would be a certainty for hosting a number of these games. How great for not only the city but for women's soccer here in Hamilton.

A 5,000 seat stadium would derail all of the above. Too small for professional soccer team, Too small for hosting any World cup or Olympic Qualifying games and definitely too small for international touring teams. If this does not take place then our opportunity to develop an National and Provincial player development will disappear. Building a 5,000 seat stadium is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of money . It is a sad testament to the rich soccer history that we posses that I, John McGrane is the only Hamilton Player over the last 50 years to be Inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. We have a collective chance to change that. Give an opportunity to our children today that same dream that I achieved some 30 years ago. An interesting footnote is that at 18 years old I travelled to B.C. to get noticed because that was not possible here in Hamilton. Please do not let this happen to our children today. You have a chance to change that.

Thank You

John McGrane Soccer hall of Fame - Class of 2008

Note: edit by site admin to fix formatting

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-09-02 12:49:49

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 12:07:21

I think the TigerCats would have been singing a different tune on the WH stadium.

"We will never play at the West Harbour." Hard to start singing a different tune when that's you're refrain. The city would of gotten creative on a stadium management plan if the Cats were willing to come to the table but they painted themselves into a corner when they took their big gamble that Council would cave into their demands.

MIP isn't a good location for anyone, it's just a way to not lose face. I'd laugh my ass off (if my tax money wasn't going to pay for it) if the Ticats actually agree to play at a MIP stadium, since all the things that were supposably bad about WH are just as bad or even worse about MIP.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 13:26:18

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.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-09-02 12:28:27

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted September 03, 2010 at 14:56:32

You'd have to believe that the sun revolves around the Earth to accept your interpretation of the 'Cats negotiating tactics.

You appear to have your nose so far up and in that you can tell what Bob had for breakfast!

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2010 at 16:31:38

Why would the city offer the TiCats a "BMO" type deal at WH when in the Bob Young era his management team has shown no ability to build the brand of the Tiger Cats to a point where they exceed around 65% attendance at Ivor Wynne on a regular basis? They have no experience in facilities management and promotion and they aligned themselves with Osmington which is a real estate trust investment developer not a sports and entertainment facility manager and promoter. Kind of tells you where their thought process and priorities lie doesn't it?

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