Sports

Last Chance for Successful Stadium Resolution

By Jason Leach
Published December 23, 2010

I would like to offer my thanks for Council's stance yesterday that Hamilton's interests need to be served if we're going to spend $170 million in public money on a private company.

I am baffled that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are willing to walk away from a beautiful new waterfront stadium being handed to them by the taxpayers. To cave into their every wish would reek of corporate welfare, and as a citizen of our great city I am grateful that you are willing to draw a line in the sand.

Proposed West Harbour Pan Am stadium rendering
Proposed West Harbour Pan Am stadium rendering

With no election on the horizon, it is abundantly clear that City Council holds the cards. Council has consistently made the right decision on this matter and I would encourage one final attempt at the West Harbour now that the Cats realize their options are Ivor Wynne, another city, or West Harbour.

Earlier this year, there was talk of Frank Gehry being interested in the West Harbour stadium project, along with the city's Downtown Development Corporation.

I would love to see a world-class pitch made to the Cats outlining a Gehry-designed stadium and surrounding entertainment district with condos and mixed-use developments that would make their stadium the envy of Canada.

Sure, they won't get their 7,000 car parking lot, but they're getting a beautiful new publicly-funded facility in a great location. I'm sure the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would love to be handed $170 million right about now for their new stadium.

I realize that this is how the 'game' is played in cities all across North America. I'm proud to live in a city that didn't cave to the outlandish demands and threats of our sports team.

Quite simply, most of the public and council understand that our Future Fund money is much too valuable to waste on a big box complex and thousands of parking spaces on the periphery of town.

The Ticats' own ticket-holder survey last year showed a huge interest from fans in using GO Transit and an LRT line to attend football games. The West Harbour can easily accommodate both. Road access from Hwy 403 is much superior than the current situation at Ivor Wynne, and is superior to the road access in virtually every CFL stadium.

Remember: Winnipeg's new stadium is being built on a university campus next to university buildings, a golf course, a river and a couple of parking lots.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have built two stadiums next to each other on their downtown waterfront, totaling 105,000 seats. They have a 5,000 car parking lot and everyone else manages to get to the games just fine.

Their percentage of parking spaces compared to stadium seats is equal to us having room for 1,400 cars for a 30,000 seat stadium. The West Harbour can support that, and much more.

I realize that you can only lead the Cats to a great opportunity and ultimately they have to make their choice, but I urge Council not to lose focus of the Future Fund mandate and the amazing potential that exists at our West Harbour site for a huge, mixed-use development that the Katz group referred to as one of the last great urban waterfront development locations in Canada.

Pittsburgh even used a similar 'winged' stadium design to what was proposed for our West Harbour:

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

The end of the road is near. Council must continue to put the city's interests on the table and let's hope for a resolution that will be successful for everyone.

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 jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:10:16

Here's my question: Hostco has threatened to move the stadium to a number of other cities - none of which have pro sports teams. So why not level the playing field? Why can't Hamilton also build a stadium at West Harbour without the same anchor tenant that Mississauga, Oshawa et al would also lack? I'm confused.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:38:07

Great piece, Jason. You make it hard to really argue. My feeling is that the Cats tried to get what they ultimately wanted, but will say yes to West Harbour if council stands their ground one final time and tells the Cats it's fix up Ivor Wynne and forego the games, or West Harbor. If both scenerios mean you have to leave, than that is an unfortunate result that 'you' can hold over your heads. The majority of Hamiltonian's have spoke I believe. WH or Ivor Wynne, and really, how much of the support they have amongst their fans for CP and East Mountain and Confed Park, is really because that's wha the Cats want and they want what they want. If the Cats agree to either of the above 2 locations, the fans will be happy either way because the Cats are happy. That's my two cents.

One other thing, Ivor Wynne is very accessible to the highway. :) Gage, Sherman, Ottawa St - all lead to Burlington street which is mere minutes from access to the QEW, 403, and Red Hill. It would also be in very close proximatey to both the LRT, and the GO lines. Sorry, just had to throw that in there. ;)

I do support Terry Whiteheads statement. Offer them West Harbor one final time. We are not the laughing stock if we lose the Games. We are city that knows what we want and stands our ground. I think both sides have played some hard ball - balls once again in our court.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-23 11:47:02

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:42:48

@Jasonallan, I think many others here have said it best. We have many small capacity stadiums in Hamilton already, many of which could already themsevles host the event slated for a new Hamilton stadium. Heck, Ivor Wynne could for all intensive purposes. I posed the same quesiton with regards to Varsity Stadium in Toronto recieving money for updgrades for the games, but Ivor Wynne doesn't pose the same Legacy status as Varsity Stadium does?

The upper levels of government funds is nice, but a part of me doesn't want any further involvement in these games becaue the process itself, has been a dirty, confusing, 'flip-flopping' little game. But for the athelets who just want to compete, I think they are worth setting aside our frustration through this grueling process.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-23 11:43:41

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:46:44

WH still has a 50$ mil capital shortfall. The envelope of $ will be around $100mil not including FF$ if the stadium includes a tenant like the TiCats. Without the Cats -- will people get this through their heads -- there is no stadium without the Cats. IT will be 5,000 bleacher seats, that would be just lovely on West Harbour wouldn't it.?

HostCo has told us without the TiCats they will only fund a 5-6,000 seat stadium. Does that need to be repeated a hundred more times or what?

This deal is the same for Mississauga, Milton, Sprawlville, wherever, if HostCo abandons Hamilton, they will offer the same deal they are offering at WH, that is money for a 5-6,000 seat bleacher-style playing field.

HostCo has truly been trying to help Hamilton get a new CFL stadium, the deal they are offering Hamilton isn't the same deal for any other city. Providing the Cats are on-board.

Comment edited by TreyS on 2010-12-23 11:52:47

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:51:25

there is no stadium without the Cats

I've got that through my head thanks. If the stadium has to be in a bad location that doesn't benefit the city I DON'T WANT IT.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:53:50

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Comment edited by TreyS on 2010-12-23 11:55:12

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:59:09

If the stadium HAS to be in a location that the Cats won't play at, I don't want it either, because it will be a high-school football field. Since that's all the money that will be available to it, if the Cats aren't a tenant.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:02:13

Why are you so angry TreyS?

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:11:15

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:11:26

I'm not convinced that the Cats won't play at WH. This is called negotiations. Sports teams do it all the time:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:17:17

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:20:52

Many councilors actually believe its just negotiations when in fact its reality that the Tigercats won't willingly play at Rheem

That is negotiations. I want this, you want that, if we can agree on something we sign a contract, if we can't agree we walk away. Council finally grew a set and walked away. Now the ball's in the Ticats court. They can walk away too if they don't like the deal on offer. Or they can agree to it and sign the contract. Either way, it's negotiating.

What's not negotiating is holding a gun to the city's head and saying "Give us what we want or else." That's extortion.

nor will they or anyone else contribute financially to the stadium if its located there

No, except all the companies that do want to invest there because they see it's a place they can make money.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:29:17

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:46:09

You call it negotiations I call it failing to listen to what you are being told.

Considering the name of the poster, I did a sizable spit-take here.

: )

"Some problems cannot be solved, because stake-holders cannot agree on the definition."

This situation has long reminded me of two people planning a wedding...and it becomes quite apparent that it's not just the nuptial plans that are revealing differences...but that what they each want and require from the marriage just aren't on the same page.

(Oh, and I see a whole lot of conflation in these discussions. Understandable...but still contributing nothing to a robust dialogue.)

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:54:26

Scott Mitchell's dictionary:

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE - The process that occurs when democratically elected members of Council make a decision that they believe is in the best interests of the constituents that elected them or the city as a whole with which Scott Mitchell disagrees.

OTHER OPTIONS - an ethereal range of non-existent courses of action which, naturally, are never enunciated. See also, threat, empty threat, ruse, shell game, bait and switch, blackmail and confidence game.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY - The sum total of every possible permutation of money, most of it directly from the public purse, even remotely associated with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, mercilessly churned, fully inflated and extrapolated over decades.

JOBS - The perennial justification underlying a scheme that, both on its face and in reality, appears to benefit few at the expense of many (see taxpayers). Usually the last desperate bastion of someone who's really got something up their sleeve.

FRANKLY - A term used as a preamble prior to running off at the mouth both at length and ad nauseum. Sometimes used at both the beginning and during a particularly lengthy diatribe.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:56:54

I agree entirely with this statement "Some problems cannot be solved, because stake-holders cannot agree on the definition." Thats exactly whats happened

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By Policy Guy (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:13:23

Great article Jason! We are in a process of negotiation, and to simply hand the Tiger-Cats Confederation Park and a ton of money to build an out of the way stadium in which the sports consumer can be fleeced while not contributing to city development is ludicrous. Moreover, the creation and continued existence of Confederation Park in its current form represents a triumph of policy by the people for the people over the mugs game of stadium building where a gun is held to our heads - "give us what we want or else". That park and the lands on which it sits, the accessibility to our own waterfront, and the benefits to our entire community of maintaining the park in its present form for uses of recreation, socialization, and exercise, represents our soverignty over the decisions we make in our own city - and in this case, let's approach this from the standpoint of Maitre Chez Nous.

Further, to cave in to their demands now while handing over OUR MONEY would send a signal that we are open to be fleeced by just about any investor who'd be willing to try - that's how we ended up with those wonderful brownfields we've come to know and love, except that the industrialists who build those facilities spent their own money, not ours - they merely left us with the clean up bill, how nice, a fine example of private sector concerns for the people who are left to fix their mess (including our children).

Council must stand its ground on January 14th, push away any remaining notion that Confederation Park is to be given any to any extortionists out there who'd care to try - and let's get a deal that works for everyone, not just a pro sports team. Be it West Harbour, Esat Mountain, or renovation of Ivor Wynne, let's get a deal that works for everyone, or let's save ourselves the Future Fund money and find better way in which to spend what is our money.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:23:56

realfreeenterpriser, you made my day with that dictionary. Brilliant!

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY - The sum total of every possible permutation of money, most of it directly from the public purse, even remotely associated with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, mercilessly churned, fully inflated and extrapolated over decades.

Fantastic.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:29:09

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE - The process that occurs when democratically elected members of Council make a decision that they believe is in the best interests of the constituents that elected them or the city as a whole with which Scott Mitchell disagrees.

I was yelling at my radio last night when I heard him say that there's been too much "political interference" in this process. YES, YOUR POLITICAL INTERFERENCE, SCOTT!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:40:50

except that the industrialists who build those facilities spent their own money, not ours...

...and employed 1,000's for a couple of generations, as opposed to what, the 90 jobs tops that the cats provide?

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 14:44:50

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:10:09

In fact, at this point Mitchell sounds dispirited and disillusioned.

That's because he now understands that he and Bob are going to have to eat a very public dish of crow.

Hold fast Hamilton, the barrage of threats and propaganda (the sequel) has only just started. If Bob can swallow his pride (which I highly doubt) and take another serious look at the West Harbour we all will win.

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By Policy Guy (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:39:37

SayItAin'tSo - Trey's points have already been shot down - see the comments following his essay "The Case for Confederation Park". Not only were they shot down in this forum, they were shot down by the council who have been consistent in their refusal to cave into extortion. The Future Fund money is our money - is does not belong to the Tiger-Cats, and simply giving them anything they want does not guarrantee they will stay for any period of time anyway - taking their "brand" with them - which would leave us with a stadium without a tenant (read TENANT), and the permanent loss of lands that were created as park land for the benefit of all, not just a pro sports team.

I appreciate that Trey has a right to his opinions and it could certainly be said that his input into the debate is part and parcel of how this issue has engendered badly engagement in the status, politics, and outcomes of our city, but in the meantime how about considering another brand - for Hamilton to be known simply as the home of a football team does not say much about the variety of skills, talents, education levels and productivity of our labour force, our investment potential, our entrepreneurialship, our creativity, or our business acumen - but if we simply hand over the money and the keys to the Tiger-cats we might become known as the city that can be fleeced.

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By Policy Guy (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:43:27

A clairification to my last comment - betweeen the words "badly" and "engagement" in the second paragraph, read "needed".

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 16:15:57

@lawrence

Why would fixing up Ivor Wynne mean forgoing the games? I still don't understand why the PanAm Games money isn't on the table for building a nice parking structure and getting new seats and the various other things Ivor Wynne needs to be modernized.

Is it just that nobody wants to play in Hamilton's gritty east end?

I mean, IW has excellent road access thanks to the king/main/cannon downtown highways and the Burlington street overpasses, good size...

why is it every time we talk about investing in Ivor Wynne, it's in the form of life-support instead of rejuvination?

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:18:01

Policy Guy:"Not only were they shot down in this forum, they were shot down by the council who have been consistent in their refusal to cave into extortion."

In fact Council agreed to spend most of the future fund monies in the West Harbour to build a stadium for the Ticats and the city. They were going to spend the same on the CPR site. So, it's not extortion if it's built in those locations but it is extortion if it is built elsewhere. Check out your logic Policy Guy. It's faulty. In fact read today's Globe on this issue. The columnist presents a very balanced point of view, making some of your points but balancing them with a considerable predicament for the city.

My point is this; and I think Trey's point is also this: we should have explored ALL sites, including those liked by the only tenant we have. To close our eyes to the obvious, to shut our ears to the logical, to purse our lips when truth needs to be uttered is uber-insane. It is the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil equivalent of folly and delusion.

And by the way, the Future Fund money being 'ours' is absolutely true. It belongs to those Hamiltonians who are customers of our hydro utility, including people in Flamborough, Stoney Creek, Ancaster and Glanbrook, not just those living downtown.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:30:39

@Pxtl - HostCo has said the money is only for new stadiums. Ivor Wynne doesn't qualify.

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By Policy Guy (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 19:28:29

SayItAintSo - I agree with your point regarding building at WH or CP lands, to get an agreement on those sites would not be extortion but rather a happy outcome. Confed park is a different story...

Bob Young came up with some positive ideas towards the EM site, although they were not nearly completely articulated - and did the same in regards to what his approach would be about getting a deal to go with the CP lands - one felt that were close to deal that everyone could live with and benefit by: now we are back to the narrative of cynical rhetoric and fear mongering from the Cats because suddenly Confed Park was back on the radar, but the council, who are charged with looking after our end of the bargain said no. The Cats had appeared in attitude as though they were ready to make a deal, but then lo and behold, Confed Park re-appears on the radar, so they begin "negotiating" (extorting) again. If that is how they are prepared to negotiate, they should be prepared to get doses of the cynicism, fear and loathing they are dishing out. Iam a seasons ticket holder - I would like to get a deal but not one that costs us more than them

FYI - I don't recall stating that only downtown residents of the city are hydro customers or Future Fund owners.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 19:40:20

"FYI - I don't recall stating that only downtown residents of the city are hydro customers or Future Fund owners"

Exactly but apparently the only place the FF $ can be spent is on downtown sewers and roads. I haven't heard any alternatives where the FF $ could be spent. IT's been what? 5 years now, and no one has come up with a suggestion to where the FF can be spent to benefit downtown and the City.

Maybe if $60mil can bribe the Feds to move the halfway house to the Meadowlands, or if the government is interested in buying and operating a hotel called the Royal Connaught. I'd like to hear actual suggestions, not general ideas; like transit and jobs, actual plans for the FF if not for a stadium, than for what?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 19:44:55

I'll gladly give the FF to the suburbs if they repay Hamilton for all the sewers, roads, highways and water lines that we've built for their sprawl over the past 30 years. Hamilton would be filthy rich.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 21:55:24

"And by the way, the Future Fund money being 'ours' is absolutely true. It belongs to those Hamiltonians who are customers of our hydro utility, including people in Flamborough, Stoney Creek, Ancaster and Glanbrook, not just those living downtown"

Simply not true. The future fund was generated by the "privatization" of Hamilton Hydro which for 99% of its existance was wholly inside the boundaries of the old City. While Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas and Flamborough DID have hydro commissions that amalgamated with Hamilton's in 2000, only Dundas's served the entire municipality. Ancaster and Stoney Creek's served their respective built-up areas, Flamborough served Waterdown and Lynden and Glanbrook was served entirely by Ontario Hydro. In summary, the money generated by the sale of Hamilton Hydro was rooted almost exclusively in the old city. By the way, I live in the country.

Most importantly, however, regardless of where the Future Fund came from, it's been mandated for certain specific uses, one of which is downtown revitalization. Confederation Park doesn't help that at all and in fact does the opposite.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 22:10:15

"I'll gladly give the FF to the suburbs if they repay Hamilton for all the sewers, roads, highways and water lines that we've built for their sprawl over the past 30 years. Hamilton would be filthy rich."

Let's not forget that every development in the suburbs since 1974 had to be approved by Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Council a majority of whose members came from the old city. Hamilton always had the power to restrict sprawl, stop downtown-killing box stores and malls like Lime Ridge and Eastgate. It didn't.

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 23:25:43

Why is it that whenever an intelligent debate is going on, Jason has to put in his nonsensical comments. Stop pitting the suburbs agains the city, Jason. Suburbanites pay more in taxes than you do because their houses tend to be worth more. Also, suburbanites pay for police services in spite of the fact that most of the calls and crime is in the core area of the city. Suburbunites pay for sewer overflow tanks even though the combined sewers are in the old part of the city.

Suburbanites pay for welfare in the city to benefit most of the recipients in the inner core.

And so on and so on....but you know, suburbunites don't overly begrudge this until idiots like you try to smear their noses in it!

Suggestion for Jason...type your rants but don't push the send button. We will both be happy:you for getting it off your chest and us for not having to read drivel.

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By Calgary mike (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 07:56:16

There is nothing more sickening in a democracy than people who use the phrase "our money" when talking about taxpayer dollars. If governments listened to this group of negative short sighted small thinkers nothing would ever get accomplished. The average persons city tax dollars paid over a lifetime wouldn't pave a km of a road.

Great cities need to have leadedlrship that gets things done, if Hamilton loses the tigercats you become a nothing city. I wouldnt even consider moving my family there or even visit. This story also makes you look like buffoons. You can argue the minutia of it all you want but it seems to the rest of the country that having the principle tenant of a building pleased might kind of make sense??

I'm sure there will be plenty of green space left for everyone in 50 years when everyone has left for a place that knows how to get things done

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 08:59:36

RealFreeEnterpriser: "In summary, the money generated by the sale of Hamilton Hydro was rooted almost exclusively in the old city. By the way, I live in the country."


First of all Hamilton Hydro was not sold. It belongs to the city of Hamilton as its only shareholder. Indeed I seem to recall that it was recapitalized and that generated the funds avaliable to the Future Fund. Before this recapitalization could occur Hamilton Hydro incorporated ALL the assets of Stoney Creek Hydro, and the other Hydro Commissions except for Glanbrook, or portions of it which indeed are serviced by Ontario Hydro, as I just found out.

Surely, Hamilton Hydro became richer because of the accumulated assets. To suggest that the money generated for it is only the old city's is shameful revisionism or outright lying...as I suspect is your claim to live in the country. Come on. Out yourself to prove me wrong and I will do the same.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:15:47

Why is it that whenever an intelligent debate is going on, Jason has to put in his nonsensical comments.

Yeah. The nerve of that guy participating in an intelligent debate sparked by his own blog posting.

Great cities need to have leadedlrship that gets things done, if Hamilton loses the tigercats you become a nothing city. I wouldnt even consider moving my family there or even visit. This story also makes you look like buffoons. You can argue the minutia of it all you want but it seems to the rest of the country that having the principle tenant of a building pleased might kind of make sense??

Oh look. Some more 'national perspective' from another sock puppet. Nice try, guys. Funny how they're all from out west. Next time you come concern trolling why don't you try a pseudonym like 'MonctonGuy' or something, just to break it up.

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By SayItAin'tSo (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:36:28

Nice point Highwater. And I was harsh on Jason. But you know, he just doesn't have it although he tries and that should be commended.
As for your criticism of the fellow from out West, look at his intent, not his monicker. What he says has been said before by many people, including citizens in other provinces.

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By Regina kevin (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:40:06

Well I'm actually from Regina and google searched to see just what the hell is going on out there.. The cfl
Needs the ti-cats. Football, because of it's event Ike nature has a stranglehold on the us sports scene and the Canadian summer as well. Of all sports its the best bet for the forseeable future and we are raising a new generation that football will be huge for.

It's obvious too see that your city councillors are falling victim to the public outcry that is guaranteed to follow a large public project, hell Regina has thousands of people who seem to live to bitch about two things. The price of anything and the government.. They wont write a single letter if some potash Corp gets a 500 mill tax brea but god forbid u try to build a cities social scene.

If those councillors had the guts to do what was best for the city , they would, but they are all about themselves and their own future, not your cities. If public support was 90% u think u would have had the same vote?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:43:46

@Pxtl, I agree with you 100% about money being given for Ivor Wynne updgrades as part of the games. I truly think It's about the 'east end' for many - even for HostCo (Toronto).

You know, I grew up on the east mountain. Moved to the downtown east end in my early twenties, lived in the west end for 3 years and did love so many aspects of that area, but I am back in the east end and have been for 5 years and I love so much about it as well. I like Ottawa Street more than Lock. Gage Park is an amazing space. Ivor Wynne of course is a very special part of the east end as well, and they may be stinky and an eye sore, but even the factories have a bit of a soft spot in my heart however sick that may sound. They represent a life line for now 4 generations of my family.

For those that think we are leaning away from being a lunch bucket town, in some aspects maybe - some parts, but look at all those factories and they aint just steel. They also are not going away for a very long time. Ivor Wynne represents so much of what is Hamilton. For many, this entire process is more about trying desperately to rid ourselves of the steel town/factory town persona. Problem is, that is who we are and who we will be for quite some time. I am not sure that is a bad thing. Dofasco still seems to be going strong for one and we are going to still need/produce steel for quite awhile I would think.

We are a hard working town and Ivor Wynne is a hard working stadium. It doesn't need to look like a dump and in my eyes, it isn't. It needs a little love and even perhaps an owner not as desperate as so many others, to build box stores and parking lots and big shiny everything when in fact the best part of this city which we are slowly losing in many ways, is our green space most of all, and our history. Ivor Wynne is a BIG part of that history. BIG!!!! That parcel of land represents one of the biggest parts of our cities history. That fact cannot be denied because maybe there are buildings that are older, business perhaps that are older (perhaps another east end landmark in East Hamilton Radio is one of them or actually about the same age as the old Civic Stadium, but how many of our historic sites have house the same business/tennant for 80 years. I am not just talking about the Cats because they only represent 60 years of 75 Balsam Avenue North's history. I am talking sports. A sports hub.

Red Hill is a big mistake because it was not forward thinking. If we looked at why people go up and down so much, to go see a movie or shop at Limeridege Mall or whatever else is up there that many people flock to, perhaps if we thought of building those experiences downtown or vice versa, we wouldn't need that basement flooding highway. If we could move faster toward people like me who sit in a cubicle all day who has a laptop anyway and if the VPN service at my house didn't suck, I would work from home way more often. We are close to this work from home/less traffic/less space needed in office buildings, from becoming a reality. If I worked from home, I could walk over to Ottawa St for lunch. Instead, I spend my money in Burlingotn close to where I work. Want businesses to survive in Hamilton (restaurants and such), get people working from home - it's not just about bringing in more business in my opinion.

When H1N1 was at it's peak, they started buying us all laptops at work and said if you even have a sniffle, stay home. Funny how that all went by the wayside when the scare was past. Now they just by PC's for replacements. What changed? How much money would businesses save and municipalities save, if we could encourage businesses to find ways for more of their employees to work from home 3 or 4 days a week?

My point, we don't need the NHL, a big fancy football stadium, and the likes to attract more business. We need to think outside the big box. We don't need more technological business in Hamilton although it would be nice I guess. We need more factory jobs, and for the people commuting east to Toronto (or even just Burlington/Oakville for that matter, to work remotely. To stay in Hamilton. Off the roads. Shopping and eating locally while they are working in town.

Then we don't need everythign we want at the harbour. We can keep that a green space with a Veledrome, keep our West end off of Aberdeen as a quiet little community, allow the big box phenomenon that is already spreading like a bad disease on the East (Stoney Creek) Mountain continue to happen on it's own therefore not needing the development of a stadium to occupy that space. Allow the dreams that so many in this city have for Confed Park to become a reality, and not a football/sports experience.

Stop urban sprawl because besides confed park, Binbrook (Tyneside) is one of hte last remaining green spaces/quite water spaces, in Hamilton. If more and more people want to live here, let's work on our downtown living. More condos, etc. Leave our beautiful perimeter and the smell of cows and serenity alone. Our council and business is allowing what is truly beautiful about our city. Open country, and history.

All of this above, is part of why Ivor Wynne has to stay. Scott Mitchell doesn't get it, Bob got it in the beginning (see Vol 6 - Our Gem of a Park), but perhaps only becuase he didn't have a choice then when we lost the Commonwealth bid when he first bought the team, but there are many in this city that do see what I am talking about. Maybe not all for the reasons I have stated, but if nothing else, for the money savings and the need to fix other things in this city they do.

Did you all know that there was once a time where the people of Boston and even the owners, didn't realize the gem they had in Fenway Park. Attendance was terrible, the building was the envy of knowone, and then one day it all changed and now look. It held one of the most amazing sporting events I have ever attended last New Years and people flock to it for the history alone. So much has been modernized, leaving only a few things like the old covered seats off of right field (3rd base), as the original wood seats. The brickwork, Green Monster, but otherwise it's all modernized. Perhaps you didn't know the same people that do concession at Fenway Park, also handle them at Ivor Wynne.

All that it will take for people (the Country and even North America), to change their minds about Ivor Wynne (even though many already hail it to be one of the best football watching experiences around), is for us to realize it's significance. To realize what it represents to Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats, and even the country. THe moment we designate it has having historical significance and put a 10-20 year plan in place to start modernizing it, finding the right owner who has the appetite and money to help Ivor Wynne realize it's place in pro sports, is the moment something special happens not only at Ivor Wynnne and in that east end community, but for our city. Mabye even for the game itself? History sells, the new, bare-bones stadium that we have proposed, won't. Not after the the first few seasons have come and gone anyway.

TLDR. Perhaps, but you all need to stop for a second and look into your heart at everything I and many others are saying. There is something in what we already have. It's just a matter of whether or not we can make others see that. Namely our council, the Cats owner, and it's president. We are stuck with our concil for 4 years, but the owner and president can be replaced if they either don't see the beauty and opportunity in Ivor Wynne, or are not willing to comprimise in West Harbor.

Either way perhaps it's time to see if there are owners out there who would appreciate what we already have and a willingness to make it work in a stadium that is basically rent free, or the gift of a brand new stadium with a mere $30M in investment form the team as I believe that is the shortfall at West Harbor.

That perhaps, is our real problem. Perhaps Bob Young's pockets are not as deep as one might think? I don't know. He is definately a little shortsited and parking lot minded because our current stadium already works parking wise, and West Harbor improves on that a little on it's own. Not to mention what would build around it and the more that is around it, the more people see it and add it to their list of things they would like to do/try in this city. I also think that attraction can be built along Barton Street for Ivor Wynne with King/Wellington like "You are entering the Stadium disrict signs", and reviging the old storefronts along that stretch of road that have been aloud to crumble. I think working with Ivor Wynne and the Barton Business district, does equally as much for our city if not more. People now see the opportunity in the Harbour becuase of this stadium exposure, but little has been done to promote the possibilities in cleaning up and revitalizing the east end.

It's Christmas Eve and a time to think about family right now, but in a few weeks our council will meet again. I wouldnt' mind some people delegating with me, to help our council truly see the potential in what we already have. I know there are people out there that believe in Ivor Wynne too. Let your voices be heard. At least you will have tried to save something you feel strongly about and that holds a special place in your heart. Maybe it's not the best option? I am not much of a money minded guy, but I think standing up for what you believe in is far more important than right or wrong or winning or losing. The only think wrong in my heart, is purposly hurting someone else. Otherwise, it's just following your heart.

What do you believe in? It's time to delegate and let your voices be heard. This is almost coming to a close so we need to revive our involvement over the past however many months for one more month. Feb. 1st is the deadline. Time to fight for what you belive in whether it's Ivor Wynne, West Harbor, or Confed Park, or wherever.

What is your heart telling you?

Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for some great debates and conversation this year.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-24 08:48:22

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By Regina kevin (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:51:37

And I forgot to add that public works that people hate are usually exactly what puts a city on the map, you dont go to new York or la because there's nothing to do,, you go there because there they have the most stuff.

Citizens of Paris we are building a steel tower with no functional purpose on prime real estate how u think that went over with the coffee crowd? Best thing they ever did

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By highwater (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:56:21

As for your criticism of the fellow from out West, look at his intent, not his monicker. What he says has been said before by many people, including citizens in other provinces.

I realize that. I was just pointing out the fact that all the concern trolling around here lately could just as easily be emanating from Jarvis St. as from out west.

If public support was 90% u think u would have had the same vote?

Uh, that's kinda the point of democracy 'Regina Kevin', or 'Sask_Resident', or 'Sockpuppet Dave', or whatever your name is. Council (finally) voted in accordance with the majority's wishes, and the majority doesn't wish to hand over $150m in public funds to a small private interest and get nothing in return.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 10:55:12

With all of the Regina, Saskatchewan, Calgary guys coming here and suddenly showing interest in our stadium I'm going to re-post something I wrote on another thread:

Just an interesting side note. AFI is a security company whose specialty is to manage strike/lockouts for corporations; everything from food, logistics, security and also... blogging on community boards.AFI hires professional bloggers to manage and counteract any anti-corporation sentiments. I know this because I am one of the USW 1005 workers locked-out of US Steel, AFI has been retained by US Steel. The AFI professional bloggers were a huge problem in the very recent strike at Vale Inco in Sudbury.So I guess what I'm saying is be cautious of any new names you see popping up that seem very well informed. Corporations like Bob Young Inc. are very aware and experienced at monitoring and managing their issues on the internet. The new person may be a sincere and interested contrarian, or maybe they are not.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-12-24 09:56:27

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By That's ok Hamilton we have Waterfalls. (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:19:18

Better off making it a multi-purpose facility. Makes no sense and total waste of tax payers money of it's only going to be built for Pan AM and 8-games a year for the CFL Ti-Cats. Besides how many freebies do they give away every year for Ti-cat games? Even with all the freebies they give away they still can't fill up that stadium?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:31:08

Ivor Wynne is used 200+ times a year, and hopefully if a new stadium is built, the community get's the same kind of affordable access. ie. High School football. Cats play 10 games a year and 11 the past couple with a home playoff home date.

You could build a seasonal bubble for the winter for it to be used all year round I would assume for fairly inexpensive. Like the Tennis courts at Gage Park or the old ones at Mohawk College and many other places. Could do the same at a new stadium of course as well.

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By some people just don't get it (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 11:41:45

All of the so called trolling is as a direct result of many people thinking people on this site are wingnuts who don't get it and are holding the city back. I'd say the majority of people but I'd be guessing at that every bit as much as RTH would be guessing that they represent the views of the majority

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 12:39:02

SayItAin'tSo - First of all, I know that Hamilton Hydro wasn't sold, that's why I put "privatization" in quotations. My point was and still is that the suburban parts of Hamilton Hydro are extremely minor when compared to both the number of customers in and the hydro consumed by the old city over decades which is what generated the majority of the value in the first place. That's why I said it was "rooted almost exclusively in the old city" as opposed to, speaking of "shameful revisionism", your innaccurate characterization that I suggested "the money generated for it is only the old city's".

Somehow you also missed, or to be charitable, possibly didn't understand, my final point "Most importantly, however, regardless of where the Future Fund came from, it's been mandated for certain specific uses, one of which is downtown revitalization. Confederation Park doesn't help that at all and in fact does the opposite."

I'm not sure what the acknowledged mandate of the future fund has to do with where I live, but, in any event, I'm registered with RTH and my e-mail address and a quick cross-reference with a telephone book would reveal both who I am and that I do, in fact, live in the country, not in the suburbs, but in the country on a century farm.

I'm intelligent enough to examine a situation and come up with a conclusion based on the facts not where I live. My subsequent post regarding suburban development reveals that. Just because I live in the country doesn't mean that I can't see that a revitalized downtown has benefits for everyone regardless of where they live. I'm also sufficiently wise to avoid the us versus them, city versus suburbs, selfishness that clouds the more important issue of what's best for the City as a whole.

As to suggesting that I was lying about my residency, what are you prepared to do, publicly, if you're wrong? Outing youself as an anonymous poster would just indicate that you've somehow now got the guts that most of us have already displayed.

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2010-12-24 11:43:04

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By Critical Mass (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 12:56:09

Kevin in Regina: "And I forgot to add that public works that people hate are usually exactly what puts a city on the map, you dont go to new York or la because there's nothing to do,, you go there because there they have the most stuff."

Hold on, wait a minute. Are you telling me that if a city concentrates most if not all of its attractions in one dense area, that it's a higher likelihood said attractions would be more successful than a stand-alone attraction surrounded by parking?

That's insane! If only some civic leader had such vision to mass all the critical city building elements together... oh wait, Fred Eisenberger did!

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By the reality is (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 13:19:53

Actually the Hamilton Hydro money clearly belongs to the entire city equally and Confederation Park fills that bill as much as Rheem does (not more than $20M worth and all repayable)

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By multi purpose (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 13:48:14

Yes we are better off making it multi purpose and that was the original goal with the Track but the TiCats killed that opportunity. IWS is not used 200 days a year anymore but the TiCats will tell you it is. Most of the highschool football has moved to Ron Joyce Stadium at MAC. A much better facility for the high school scene.

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By That's ok Hamilton we have waterfalls. (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 15:07:58

Exactly a multi-purpose facility. 200 times a year that Iver Wynne gets used for is great as one of the posters was pointing out BUT even better if the stadium can make money 200 times a year. I don't think that currently happens with Ivor Wynne Stadium. Unless there's something that I'm not aware of with all the high school events that go on in there.

We can still turn it into a multi-purpose facility if you incorporate some film studio space below the stadium. Last couple of seasons 40% of all the TV and film shoot in Ontario have been in Hamilton and we still have no film studios to speak of in Hamilton. Mind you it would have to be something that some entrepreneur looks afetr and not the city because the city has bad track record when it comes to running facilities. Look at HECFI for an example there.

I know for a fact that Mayor Bratina would look at the film studio option seriously because I remember from working on the set of the Incredible Hulk couple of years back he was on the sidelines watching very closely. He was very much interested in what was going on around the downtown with that particular film shoot.

Just my 2 cents Canadian.

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By That's ok Hamilton we have waterfalls (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 15:11:59

...and one more point I'd like to make is never let the Hamilton Ti-Cats dictate where we should build the new Stadium. Like I said earlier many of the fannies that sit inside Ivor Wynne Stadium for football games are there because of all the freebies that are given away. Personally I don't think the CFL team makes a profit in Hamilton. In recent years the city has a bad track record in supporting it's own sports teams. The citizenz would much rather invest their free time in the Arts. The Arts is the way to go for Hamilton. Of course we need new stadium but make it multi-purpose, add a film studio below it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 16:41:46

The arts are important and Hamilton Place and the Studio Theatre, part of HECFI and our tax money, are very nice and plush. IWS is not very nice and not very plush. Copps for the Bulldogs, a team that averages about 3000 or so a game and rarely gets on national TV, plays in a plush arena they didn't have to pay a dime to play in. It's interesting that a nice arts-based amphitheatre was proposed for the WH site but was rejected. Again, this would have added to arts facilities in Hamilton.

Also, if Hamilton is able to host Grey Cups, and this will require a new stadium, Hamilton's arts scene can be showcased during a pre or halftime event at the game, on national television to millions of Canadians. Forget bringing in a group from outside of Hamilton, we have many fine musical groups right here in Hamilton and the theatre people could do a performance of some sort showcasing whatever, dancing with costumes that might reflect some aspect of Hamilton in pioneer days or what have you. It could be a wonderful celebration of Hamilton.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-12-24 15:44:04

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 17:08:37

For those that see art and sport as completely separate, check out this book. This is something we can do here for a Grey Cup Festival, remember it is now a festival as opposed to years past where it was marketed more as strictly a sports event, albeit the word culture and Canadiana have been synonymous with the Grey Cup since it's inception in 1909::

"The Forgotten Olympic Art Competitions"

History of the Olympic Art Competitions of the 20th Century including data tables and selected competitor biographical sketches. This is the history of one of the most important cultural collaborations of the 20th Century, the joining of art and sport. Here is the story of the inclusion of the Fine Arts as competition events in the modern Olympic Games.

Recounted within these pages for the first time are the ideas and techniques that briefly created a union of these disparate worlds. Follow themas they conducted what were the Olympic Art Competitions of the 20th Century.

In this volume you will meet the people who forged that union and those who destroyed it. You will also discover why you never heard of these competitions. Here too are the results of the art events and your opportunity to meet a few of the artists who pursued their quest for Olympic Gold.

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Olympic-...

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 18:29:30

According to this article on the Edmonton Journal website, Jeff Hunt, who is one of the partners in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group holding a conditional CFL franchise, has stated that his group will continue to pursue their CFL expansion team pathway rather than considering a move to Ottawa by the Tiger-Cat franchise: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Ti...

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 20:01:32

So I'm getting voted down for trying to show some connection between art and sport. Sad.

Have a very merry Christmas everyone. (thumbs down)

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By That's ok Hamilton we have waterfalls. (anonymous) | Posted December 25, 2010 at 11:23:12

The Arts and Sports are two different things BUT when combined together it might just be the thing that saves the Sports in town. All you have to do is borrow a page from Vince McMahon who runs the W.W.E. (World Wrestling Entertainment). He doesn't call Wrestling "a Sport" instead, he calls it "SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT."

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By That's ok Hamilton we have waterfalls (anonymous) | Posted December 25, 2010 at 11:32:01

...maybe we need a new stadium but we also need a film studio too. Combine the two together and build a Multi-purpose facility. They see they need an "anchor tenent" for the stadium? I got one. Make it whoever goes on to manage the film studio. Film shoots are about to make a major spike upwards in town for the simple reason that Hamilton gets alot of the spillover work from Toronto. Just a couple of days ago it was announced that Pinewood Studios who runs the film studio here in Toronto that houses the world's biggest sound stage will be home this upcoming film season to the remake of Schwartzenegger's "TOTAL RECALL" with a shooting budget of $200-million. This will make it the biggest film production ever shot in Ontario. Now that we have the Mega Studio in Toronto they will start attracting big budget productions like this one more and more and Hamilton stands to gain simply because we lie next door and when film companies decide to shoot their films in Hamilton they get extra tax credits kicked in by the Ontario government because Hamilton lies just outside what is called "The Toronto Film Zone." The government recognizes that Toronto is the film hub of Ontario so what they try and do to encourage filming to other parts of the province outside of Toronto is offer film companies tax credits/ tax breaks.

Here's a link to an article discussing the Remake of "Total Recall" for Pinewood Studios:

http://www.thestar.com/article/911197--total-recall-remake-to-be-filmed-at-pinewood-toronto-s-waterfront-studio

Build multi-purpose complex...Sports Stadium/ Film Studio for the West Harbour.

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By RickCordeiro (registered) - website | Posted December 25, 2010 at 16:03:38

I concur with the above post. ;)

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 18:12:10

And now it looks like the Ti-Cats want to take the stadium nightmare to Burlington...
http://hamilton-on.ca/2010/12/news-tiger-cats-want-a-burlington-stadium/

"The Tiger-Cats have their eye on a parcel of city land located in Aldershot between the railway tracks and Hwy 403, just west of King Road."

Comment edited by Wentworthst on 2010-12-27 17:15:40

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 18:53:07

I can't help but chuckle at the fact that the piece of land in Aldershot is RIGHT next to nice, new residential subdivisions. Yea, they'll really be excited by this idea. haha. What happened to the Cats wanting blaring concerts and all sorts of events, meaning the stadium can't be in a residential area?

This could actually be a good solution for the team in that they stay 'in Hamilton' and don't have to move to a new city and develop a new fanbase, and for the city of Hamilton, we get to keep all of our money and end the ongoing annual subsidies as well as all FF money and other stadium related expenses. In other words, our team gets a new stadium minutes from downtown Hamilton and we don't have to pay a cent.

I'd be shocked if quiet suburban residents allow this plan to gain any steam, but it's worth exploring.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 19:53:44

Well, it's still early days. Hamilton can still run out the clock. And also as of Feb 1, Hostco will be keen to expedite a stadium situation for the good of the Games. Beloved as they are, the Tiger-Cats are probably not the prime consideration for Toronto 2015 planners.

http://www.insidehalton.com/community/burlington/article/921901

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 19:59:34

"Shocked" is a bit strong, don't you think?

After that half-bridge out on Lake Ontario..? Seriously-- they commissioned a $10 million piece of obsolete port-infrastructure modern cities pay to have removed.

A stadium that will never pay for itself sounds like a perfect match for that Council. After all, they have all the suburban tax money to do it, while we carry their poverty...

I'm liking this idea, over us paying for any of the stadium with meager inner Ward property taxes.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 20:42:18

I'm referring to the residents in Aldershot who will live across the street from the stadium. No chance they'll sit back and allow a stadium next door.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 21:38:50

From Mayor Rick Goldring's Inaugural Address, December 1, 2010:

"So, what has to happen for Council to believe it has been successful four years from now?

1. Trust has to be re-established in our community.
* Council is committed to dramatically improving the relationship between itself and citizens. I believe that over this term, many if not all of the recommendations of the Shape Burlington Report will be addressed and implemented in some form. Individual Councillors are looking at alternatives to connect with citizens of the wards they represent. I support this. Trying different things and learning from each other will help us find new and better ways to work with citizens.
* Council is committed to working more closely with citizens and will start with the Strategic Plan for this term of council with particular emphasis on identifying through consultation the desired outcomes and priorities of the community.
* At the Regional level, a Citizens Panel has been approved as part of the Regional Strategic Plan Process and we will consider this as a tool for the Burlington Strategic Plan.
Part of regaining Trust with the community will also include more transparency and improved access to information.

....

#3. We must focus, prioritize and live within our means.

* Various members of Council have spoken about improved measurement, accountability, saying no to certain initiatives and getting value for money. Council must be more focused, must set more specific priorities and deliver recognized value for money.
Stephen Covey, Author and Speaker said:
"The key is not to prioritize what is on the schedule, but to schedule your priorities."
* We have to start acting this way. There is general agreement with Council members that we cannot continue to increase taxes at the rate of increase experienced last term. I have proposed a cap of 10% over the term. I believe that Council will support initiatives that will result in achieving this objective.
* Much of Council is in agreement that we need to better focus and prioritize to achieve this. Council has to practice what it preaches and work more cohesively to resolve issues and come up with solutions that work."

http://cms.burlington.ca/Page6602.aspx

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 22:48:46

Triton...getting sucked into this stadium debacle certainly doesn't sound anything like "focus, prioritize and live within our means" to me! I predict an absolute failure once Burlington taxpayers get wind of the rumour they'll have to part with expensive land they own plus cough up millions of dollars for a stadium they have no use for.

But hey, forever identifying Burlington as "Suburban Hamilton" is worth the price, right?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 27, 2010 at 23:08:40

So, I guess this proposed stadium would be just off the 403 at the King Road exit? Oh, that's right, there isn't a King Road exit.

So that would mean that, if you were on the 403 or 407 or the QEW, sooner or later you'd have to wend your way along Plains Road or Waterdown Road or the North Service Road to get to King Road.

If you check out google maps, this site is about the same distance from a major highway as, you guessed it, the "inaccessable" West Harbour site.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 01:03:22

If you check out google maps, this site is about the same distance from a major highway as, you guessed it, the "inaccessable" West Harbour site.

2.9 km on foot.

note: Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-12-28 00:05:44

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 08:56:42

arienc: "2.9 km on foot."

But only 1.9 km from the mid-point of the BG&CC (and you might be able to use a golf cart).

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 09:29:15

LOL. Guess how far it is from the York Blvd/ 403 ramp to Barton and Caroline? 2.7km. So, as we all expected, many of the Cats so called 'wish list' was nothing more than a mirage. This site is furthest from a highway ramp than any other site they've looked at and it is right next door to new houses and subdivisions. Is has potentially good transit access for GO and VIA, but local bus service is bound to suck based on my experiences everywhere else in Burlington. Plus, GO/VIA was to be located 2 blocks from the stadium at the WH. The only site worse than this was the East Mountain one. That is, for anyone left in this city who believes a word out of the Cats mouth about what they are looking for. We've known all along it is all about owning a parking lot. Not a sports team, stadium or entertainment precinct. Perhaps we can get them to locate at WH and as a tradeoff give them ownership of one of the hundreds of parking lots downtown. Seems that's all they want.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:19:16

Jason..they also want a sign on the highway. As you know living in Hamilton, people in cars matter, people walking and cycling do not.

Perhaps the citizens of Hamilton would be willing to throw in a billboard.

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-12-28 11:19:53

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By LoveIt (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 13:00:26

"Perhaps the citizens of Hamilton would be willing to throw in a billboard"

Sure give it to them, so everybody finally happy. Gardiner in Toronto is all billboards.

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By ImproveTheHammer (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 17:50:56

but they're getting a beautiful new publicly-funded facility in a great location.

Except they have laid out explicitly the criteria for a successful stadium. It doesn't matter that it is "beautiful" or "publicly-funded". To remind everyone:

1) Multi-direction highway access within 1km of the stadium Fail. And the city has explicitly said they won't EVER build better highway access.

2) 4-5:1 ratio capacity for parking within 10 minutes Fail. And the city has paid only paid lip service to this requirement.

3) Multi-directional aerterial road (min. 2 lanes each direction) directly into/out of the stadium. Fail. And the city has explicitly stated they won't ever address this.

4) Suburban commuter train, directly to the stadium Check!

5) Subway/LRT stop within 1 km of stadium Fail.

6) Located in high visibility location (e.g. highway vantage point or major downtown core) Fail.

If you want to get the Ti-cats on board -- just address their criteria. East Mountain only met four of the criteria, and they were willing to compromise on that site. Forget the talk of a beautiful looking stadium. Because a beautiful empty stadium, is still an empty stadium.

You bring up the example of it "being better than Ivor Wynne. Well, quite frankly that's a low bar to set for "success". It's in a residential neighbourhood and meets none of the Ti-cats criteria.

You bring up Heinz field. It looks like it meets 3 of the criteria. Poor public transit access. Limited parking. But I guess it works.

Having said all that, it looks like things are working out as one would have expected. The future fund won't be spent on a stadium. And that probably makes sense. And the Ticats won't be playing in a location that doesn't make sense.

Comment edited by ImproveTheHammer on 2010-12-28 16:54:08

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 18:34:18

Mayor Rick Goldring, December 17, 2010:

"We want to come up with a complete review of the services that the city rides and the priorities that citizens have. What I want to do first is engage members of council in a very specific exercise and list the 90 or so services that we have and show them the dollars that it costs for each service and ask members of council to rate the performance of the asset or the service, how important it is to them, how important they think it is to the community and see how we all come out of that. And then we can take that kind of information and bring it to the community and do a complete service review of how we deliver services and prioritize the services that we should be delivering....
I believe for the 2011 budget we're going to do our best. We're going to do our best to be very careful and prudent and if there's any fat we're going to cut it out."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldzSpoQzwxA

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By ImproveTheHammer (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 20:34:16

LOL. Guess how far it is from the York Blvd/ 403 ramp to Barton and Caroline? 2.7km. So, as we all expected, many of the Cats so called 'wish list' was nothing more than a mirage.

Or, perhaps the Ti-cats are willing to concede some wish list items in favour of others? It's called com-pro-mise.

Looking at their checklist (and admittedly all the details haven't been flushed out), it looks like the Burlington site satisfies 4 of their six criteria.

We've known all along it is all about owning a parking lot.

Can we kill this strawman once and for all?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 29, 2010 at 09:59:07

@ImproveTheHammer

I don't think it was ever about getting perfectly convenient highway access. It's more that Young wants to offer the same experience to fans that they get from shopping at the Medowlands or commuting to work in Burlington. He doesn't care about how crappy the traffic gets, but that they don't have to do the scary job of navigating Hamilton streets.

Just pull onto the 403, get off an offramp, and then drive up North Service Road, then park at the stadium. That's it. The fact that it's an hour of bumper-to-bumper traffic isn't the point, or the cost of parking, or the inability to access it by car... it's the simplicity that's important, so he can get suburbanites that are used to that kind of driving and are willing to pay more to see a game than impoverished Hamiltonians.

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