Sports

Ticats Started Plan to Move to Burlington In Summer 2010

By Adrian Duyzer
Published January 05, 2011

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have been in talks with developers Paletta International Corp. about building a stadium for the Pan Am Games in Aldershot since the summer of 2010, reports the Globe and Mail.

The proposed stadium site [in Aldershot] is on land owned by developers Paletta International Corp., which has been working on a project to build a 9,000-seat arena, large enough to accommodate an Ontario Hockey League team, for two years. The company earlier told Pan Am organizers it would be interested in partnering up to provide some of the facilities for the games, president Angelo Paletta said, but didn't hear anything back.

Last summer, the Ticats approached Paletta about working together on a Pan Am proposal that would see a 22,000-seat stadium built alongside the arena, plus a sports and entertainment complex featuring a hotel, restaurants, athletics-related stores and other businesses. [Emphasis mine.]

This is truly remarkable revelation in light of the Ticats' outrage over the City's negotiations with the Katz Group, as The Spec reported in August, 2010:

City businessman Ron Foxcroft, a friend of Young, said relations between the city and Cats were "almost cordial" until Eisenberger met with the Katz Group during the facilitation process.

"It was the city chasing the phony tooth fairy dream with the (Edmonton) Oilers that lit the fuse, that caused the relationship to explode," he said.

The Katz group expressed interest in running a stadium at west harbour as well as Copps Coliseum.

Enough of the crocodile tears. The Ticats have been planning a move to Burlington for months. We need to put our foot down and tell the Pan Am Games Host Corporation that we have a site and a plan: West Harbour, and a 6,000 seat stadium.

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 mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:29:03

so do we have a legal case to sue these bastards?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:32:44

Don't forget this tidbit from the beginning of July. Copied from this thread: http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/1871/...

In a Globe and Mail article six weeks ago (July 2, 2010), Foxcroft admitted to having introduced Bob Young and Scott Mitchell to mayors and representatives from other cities.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/fo...

And yet, the first thing Foxcroft said in the McCown radio interview on August 10, 2010 was that he was making his first public statement on the stadium issue. Did he not say what he was quoted as having said in the earlier Globe and Mail article? Did he forget about that article? If the Tiger-Cats do leave Hamilton, Foxcroft needs to publicly clarify his role in this stadium saga.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-05 13:33:42

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2011 at 13:36:31

Lot's of planning going on behind the scenes, contingent on this stadium. http://www.berniemorelli.ca/index.php?op...

So what happens when the Pan Am process fails?

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By Lester (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 14:03:35

The Pan-Am process does not have to fail becuase the Tiger-Cats want what they want or else - Ian Troop claified that in his recent comments. Troop is saying the issue for him is the forward progress of the Games planning, and not necessarily the well-being of the Tiger-Cats - hence why he mentioned that a scalable stadium is doable and fundable, and given the time crunch that HostCo is facing, why they will not extend the deadline - their outcomes are now of first concern to them.

We have a chosen location upon which some preparation and progress has already been made, and we have the research to support the reasoning behind that chosen location. The Pan-Am stadium and its amenities can be built at West Harbour and the Tiger-Cats can decide if they are going to participate in that process or not. Still, preparations for the Pan-Am games and the exposure they can bring to Hamilton can proceed without the Tiger-Cats involvement. If they wish to move to Aldershot, that is their choice and it appears they have decided to do so. In the meantime, a scalable stadium at WH is our best choice - if the Cats stay, or go and then return at some future date, or if another sporting entity chooses to consider Hamilton and its new facility, we can accomodate both possibilities AND remain part of the Pan-Am games via a scalable facility, while preserving our political autonomy and protecting Confederation Park, a vital functional and participative greenspace that is a source of our citizenry's wellbeing and a local cultural reference.

Call you councillors and remind them of these things. Our involvement in the Pan-Am games does not have to fail, nor will it, nor should it despite what the Tiger-Cats and their private business associates might say.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 14:38:09

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 14:41:15

HamiltonFan, do you actually stop and think before posting comments? The issue here is not that the Ticats made contingency plans, it is that the Ticats made contingency plans while at the same time excoriating the City for making contingency plans. Surely even you are not so uncritical a Ticat admirer that you can't see this hypocrisy.

Also, for the record the East Mountain most certainly would not have worked, as the City report presented to Council elucidated in painstaking detail.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 14:59:29

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-05 15:00:24

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By red24 (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:00:02


@jason - interestingly, when the Katz thing came out, Bob Young himself started a discussion thread on the Ticats fan site entitled "What's the Mayor up to?", adding inside the thread that he meant it as a "genuine question".

I think he was clearly making a contingency plan, which seems like fair game to me, so I don't know what their complaint was about.

But in fact, what was announced in late June is that the City was _extending_ its MOU with the Katz group, an MOU that had been in place for some time already. My guess at the time was that they were worried about it being leaked so they had this (somewhat mysterious) little press conference to get out in front of the issue.

That doesn't reduce the hypocrisy, but it does add to the position that the Katz thing was actually less threatening than the Ticats made it out to be.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:03:05

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:05:33

Are you drinking again HamiltonFan?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:08:19

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:35:37

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 15:47:10

Let me clear the fog from my brain......the Katz group had asked for an extension due to the pending election. They were looking at an agreement to take over HECFI (am I understanding this correctly? corrections welcome). There was dissention due to the stadium debate, the Ticats and the election. The city staff were to put the Memorandum of Understanding on the shelf until after December 31.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 16:01:26

People, please keep in mind that HamiltonFan has remarkable blinders in place.

When Katz was messing with the city of Edmonton, it was shenanigans that shouldn't happen here. When Young was messing with the city of Hamilton, that's good business and the city should bend to what he wants.

When the city of Hamilton negotiates with Katz during negotiations with the 'Cats, that's terrible. When the 'Cats, during negotiations with Hamilton also open negotiations with Burlington, that's good business.

Nothing like consistency to make you smile. ;)

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By synxer (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 16:01:52

Ha. And remember when Bob Young poked in with "how about the Aldershot part of Hamilton guys?" like he hadn't already been working on the deal, and like people of Hamilton wouldn't know any better.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 17:06:41

"working on the deal". I think people who operate organizations and companies are perpetually working on deals through discussions with people. If someone phones you to discuss a possible business arrangement, then that could be working on a deal.

Brandon, you have a point. Both the Hamilton stadium situation and the Edmonton arena situation have been and will continue to be covered by the Field of Schemes site.

My beef here is that the insinuation that the TigerCats were acting unethically by discussing anything besides a WH or "in Hamilton proper" location. If you want to speak about ethics, then I will say that the former Mayor was acting unethically not informing council about his discussions. I believe one councillor was publicly upset although I can't remember which councillor it was.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 17:22:22

My beef here is that the insinuation that the TigerCats were acting unethically by discussing anything besides a WH or "in Hamilton proper" location. If you want to speak about ethics, then I will say that the former Mayor was acting unethically not informing council about his discussions.

wow. so it's fine for the Cats to do it, but not for the city. Remind me who is paying $75 million for this thing and who has 'promised' $10 mil?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 17:53:10

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-05 18:00:52

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By arienc (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 22:11:22

Staff Direction on Pan-Am Ticat Stadium for discussion by council Jan. 6, 2011, 11:30am, City Hall

Since the Hamilton Tiger Cat Football Club and Paletta International Corporation are considering the development of a stadium in Burlington based on the following principles:

1) No capital contribution required from the City (except perhaps for minor off site infrastructure improvements, if needed)

2) No ongoing operating subsidy or operating costs from the City

3) Construction would not be undertaken by the City and all construction risks would rest with the proponents

4) Normal planning processes and community consultation would be respected.

Therefore, staff be directed to report back to the Budget and Strategic Planning Committee at the next meeting providing:

1) A Preliminary analysis

2) A description of areas that would need to be investigated in order for Council to fully consider the proposed stadium and its implications to the City of Burlington and particularly the Aldershot area.

3) And an estimate of staff time and consulting costs to undertake further review

RICK CRAVEN, Councillor, Ward 1

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 22:18:34

Here is the link to an article titled "Ticats remove barriers for stadium to land in Burlington" by Mark Masters on the National Post website tonight. Ticat president Scott Mitchell has apparently assured Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring that the City of Burlington will not have to pay any stadium construction costs or operating costs and that the city would be asked to do infrastructure work in the vicinity of the proposed stadium. The Ticats estimate that the stadium can be built for a cost in the range of $90 Million to $120 Million. http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/01/0...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-05 22:19:04

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By arienc (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 22:21:04

Another piece of news supposedly from the horse's mouth that purports to have more details about the Aldershot situation.

Especially galling is this little snippet:

“Burlington can demonstrate”, said the horse, “that it is a "can do" place as opposed to Hamilton where they roll out the red tape, and not the red carpet for business. The client and A. Paletta will be at Council tomorrow.” Bet Hamilton Council will feel good about the millions of dollars of taxpayer money they spent on studies and land acquisition in support of this stadium project.

Comment edited by arienc on 2011-01-05 22:22:10

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 22:25:45

Burlington share of stadium cost: $0

From http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/309442--burlington-share-of-stadium-cost-0



A Burlington Pan Am Stadium consortium has proposed a $90 to $120 million stadium for Aldershot that would not require a municipal contriwbution from the City of Burlington.

That was the offer Tiger-Cat president Scott Mitchell and consortium partner Angelo Paletta made to Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring in a 90-minute private meeting Wednesday.

“I think we tried to provide a solution that mitigates any financial risk or obligations to the City of Burlington,” Mitchell said following the meeting.

Mitchell said as part of the deal, the private consortium would manage and operate the 22,000 seat stadium for the municipality.

“We have tried to give them a compelling business case,” he said. “What we are proposing involves no financial contribution from the City of Burlington.”

“We have tried to give them a compelling business case that will result in tens of millions in revenue for the city and region.”

And Burlington appears ready to play ball.

“How can we not look at this?” Goldring said afterwards. “They have come with an offer we can’t refuse to look at.”

Goldring briefed his council after the meeting and believes he has sufficient support to have city staff explore the stadium offer. And he said that if resolution to do that passes, he will be on the telephone to Pan Am organizers and the province to seek an extension to the Feb. 1 deadline for a site selection.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 22:35:05

Is it possible that the Tiger-Cats, a private enterprise, could actually "steal" our stadium away from us?

It's a betrayal to our city to take away our team, and an even greater betrayal to our city if they were to steal our stadium with tax dollars no less.

That would be completely unbelievable.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-05 23:10:33

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:01:06

Hamilton is still in the drivers seat. Clearly the Cats are leaving town, so we MUST take advantage of this opportunity to replace Ivor Wynne while we can. We must take the 6,000 seat harbour stadium and then redevelop Ivor Wynne. We can't allow an old, decaying tax drain to remain standing in our city with no replacement just to appease one business who wants to leave. What about all the businesses and citizens who are choosing to stay? They are worth FAR more than someone on their way out the door. It's not fair to tell the existing tax base that they'll have to keep propping up Ivor Wynne and then pay the full price for a replacement stadium to serve the community when we are being offered a 'FREE' stadium by HOSTCO. Pan Am is a one-time shot.
The Cats sound like they can work out a deal with Aldershot and Paeletta on their own. We need to worry about our own city and do what makes sense for us.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:05:50

Read more: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/01/0...[/i]

...despite the recent assurances from the Ticats, Goldring believes the stadium plan will not be approved by Feb. 1. He said the Ticats are holding out hope another deadline extension can be secured even though Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop has repeatedly said Feb. 1 is final.

“I think that’s the assumption. Pan-Am has been pushed before by the city of Hamilton and there is a belief they can be pushed again,” Goldring said. “Although in speaking formally with Ian Troop … the deadline is still Feb. 1, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

“I think the Feb. 1 deadline is absolutely important,” said Mitchell. “But I think there are a number of questions that will be answered by that time particularly in light of the funding possibilities.

“When you look at the criteria Toronto 2015 has asked for by Feb. 1 … I think a number of those could be answered by that date while being respectful of the fact there’s a process Aldershot may have to go through with its constituents to make sure there is a consensus this is a positive thing.”

Burlington council will meet Thursday to consider a motion that calls on city staff to study the stadium plan. Goldring expects the motion will pass.“I think this is potentially a tremendous opportunity for the city of Burlington and the only responsible thing for council to do is have staff do a preliminary investigation,” he said.

Councillor John Taylor, one of seven members of Burlington city council, said he will not support the motion.

“We have nothing in writing from the Ticats and the story changed between our first meeting with them and the second meeting. In the meeting right after Christmas they were going to ask us for capital costs and we were going to operate the stadium and now that is off the table.”

Taylor thinks it is unwise to ignore the Feb. 1 deadline.

“In order for us to pay nothing we need that Pan-Am money ($70-million) and additional provincial-government money. But, all that money is connected to the Feb. 1 deadline and that deadline is committed to the city of Hamilton.”

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward is also skeptical of the Ticats latest offer.

"The Ticats, as far as I know, have no authority to negotiate on behalf of the province or on behalf of Toronto 2015 so saying that there are no capital dollars required is disingenuous,” Meed Ward said. “The Ticats do not control the provincial purse strings so there is still a funding shortfall. The province has not told Burlington that the money is available for us and until they tell us that there is still a potential tax impact on Burlington"“I would say the Burlington staff direction is premature, because Hamilton has not made a final decision yet and they may yet surprise us,” said Meed Ward. “And they may decide they can go ahead with something. I think Burlington would be prudent to let that run its course before we dive in.”

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-05 23:09:15

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:12:58

I'm glad they noticed how much the story changed in the last 2 weeks. The Cats will say anything just to sucker these guys into agreeing with their plan. As one of them said a couple weeks ago, the stadium will have to be expanded to 25-28,000 in the near future...guess who they're going to approach about paying for that?

Hamilton - take the 6,000 seat replacement for Ivor Wynne. It's the smart, sensible thing to do. We can't be left caring for an aging money pit stadium with no money for a replacement.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:26:34

Yes, the only way for the city of Hamilton to replace the aging and costly Ivor Wynne Stadium is to accpet the 6,000 seat scalable stadium option.

The Tiger-Cats' refusal to play at IWS will stick us with a white elephant. How else is the city of Hamilton going to be able to replace IWS wihtout HOSTCO's Pan Am stadium money?

And, any new 6,000 seat scalable stadium will cost much less to manage, especailly if Katz is interested in managing it.

And further add the synergies with WH and promoting our cities most beautiful area.

It's getting easier to see how this stadium means more to the city than just the Tiger-Cats.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:29:39

OK, Burlington is probably going to take the Ti-Cats bait of 'zero' costs, so where does that leave Hamilton. This is an inventory of Hamilton's situation as I see and remember it.

-The Ti-Cats are going to leave come hell or highwater

-The Ti-Cats leaving changes IWS from an strategic asset to a liability that will have to be torn down or renovated to the tune of 20 million

-IWS maintenance costs will give little to no return on the expenditure compared to the low 20 year maintenance costs on a new stadium

-A city of 500,000 will need to own and control some of it's own stadium space. Ron Joyce stadium DOES NOT satisfy this

-We own the West Harbour land

-We own the IWS land

-We have a once in lifetime opportunity to access Federal and Provincial capital for a stadium

-A small West Harbour stadium frees up Future Fund money for other projects, such as spurring development of the old IWS lands

-Nothing is stopping Hamilton from building a small Pan Am stadium on the current IWS site. The Ti-Cats lease expires in 2011, Hamilton is under no obligation to re-sign that lease after 2011. After 2011, where the Ti-Cats play until their Aldershot stadium is constructed is NOT our problem

-Ian Troop has clearly stated that the Pan-Am stadium is Hamilton's to give up. Hamilton has the power to decide to keep a 6000 seat stadium within it's city limits no matter what Burlington and the Ti-Cats desire

So what conclusions can we come to looking at this inventory? My personal opinion is that IWS will have to be replaced fairly soon. We can replace it using Hamilton's capital or we can replace it with help from the Federal and Provincial government. For me, it's a pretty easy decision, Hamilton needs to build now accessing HostCo funding.

I would like to propose that IWS stadium be torn down and the new Pan-Am stadium be built on the same location instead of the West Harbour. There is even room for a velodrome on the IWS lands. Lets re-imagine something bigger and better for the West Harbour. The real hard part of this path is Hamilton will have to cover the Rheem remediation costs. That is a tough proposition to consider. Please share your ideas and thoughts.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-05 23:34:01

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 05, 2011 at 23:57:13

"Is it possible that the Tiger-Cats, a private enterprise, could actually "steal" our stadium away from us?"

Only if Hamilton Council fails to seize the moment. The stage is set. The opportunity beckons. Hostco has given its blessing.

A scalable stadium at the West Harbour allows us to access public funding, host the games AND begin the long process of further opening up the waterfront and revitalizing the downtown.

All we need is 9 Councillors with vision, character and guts.

Let's get on with it!

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 09:15:44

I've emailed city council. Have you?

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By chuck (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 05:56:19

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 14:07:54

It was the Katz gambit that proved beyond doubt that Hamilton could not be negotiated with and that a plan B needed to be put in place to save the team. Looks like it will fail as well and all the obstructionists will have accomplished is to drive the Tigercats out of town or out of business while achieving nothing else that might be considered worth while by anyone

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By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2011 at 16:10:24

Building stadiums for predatory businessmen has always been a chump's game. I'm proud that Hamilton has not yet fallen for the con.

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By LMFAO (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 20:10:44

LOL Remember when the Tiger Cats wanted all the revenue streams from a stadium built on the public dime? LOL

"YOUUU build it and pay for it, and as a graceful gesture, WEEE will own and operate it! We'll deal with all those pesky profits from poopy parking and creepy concessions!"

How stupid did they think Council was?
Or how stupid do they think Burlington council is?

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