The Hamilton Tiger-Cats seem willing to 'partner' with the city on a Pan Am stadium at the West Hamilton CP Rail Yard site (and I use the term 'partner' loosely, given that the team haven't actually committed any funding toward the stadium), but City Manager Chris Murray says that even if we close a $60-70 million funding gap, we will end up with a "utilitarian" stadium.
Young told me Miami Arena failed because it was built in a depressed inner city neighbourhood, but the evidence doesn't support this view. The main issue seems to be that it was built on the cheap, using entirely public money. It was widely regarded as obsolete from the day it opened, and its cheap construction materials aged badly.
The replacement, AmericanAirlines Arena, is literally a few blocks away (and on the waterfront, no less), about the same distance from the nearest highway. It's served by the Miami Metromover LRT line, and parking is available off-site in a number of surface lots within walking distance.
AmericanAirlines Arena (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
The main difference is that AA Arena was built to world-class standards - at a total cost of $213 million in 2000 dollars - in partnership with the private sector and benefits from significant private funding (it's even LEED Certified).
I'm not 100% certain the lessons of Miami Arena and AmericanAirlines Arena are transferable to Hamilton, but it should be enough to give residents pause when the City's chief negotiator tells us the best we can hope for is a "utilitarian" facility funded entirely by taxpayer dollars.
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