Sports

Bratina, Young to Announce Agreement on Ivor Wynne Stadium

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 11, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

The stink of desperation hangs heavy over the Pan Am fiasco as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and their supporters scramble to salvage a stadium deal after their extortion play backfired. As Wednesday's Council meeting fast approaches, we lurch from wishful-thinking rumours to outrageous pleas for "regional" solutions.

Now CHML reports that Mayor Bob Bratina and Ticats owner Bob Young are holding a joint news conference at Ivor Wynne Stadium to "announce a potential solution to their standoff".

Without knowing precisely that they have cooked up, we do know the following:

So I'll close with my prediction: Bratina and Young's joint announcement today will put me in a crabby mood.


Update: Mark Masters of the National Post just reported:

The deal calls for a new stadium to be built where Ivor Wynne Stadium currently is located.

The goal of the agreement is to turn the Ivor Wynne district into a top sports and recreation area for the city.

Masters will host a live chat with Mayor Bratina following the news conference at noon today.

Update 2: the Spectator has obtained a copy of Mayor Bratina's early-morning email to council:

Dear Colleagues

I believe we may finally have satisfactory resolution to the stadium issue. The Tiger Cats are prepared to sign a lengthy lease with the City to continue to play in a rebuilt stadium on the Ivor Wynne site. The old stadium was originally rejected because of the requirement for about twenty acres to include an adjacent warm-up track as required by Hostco. This configuration was not possible on the available land. When the difficulties over site selection continued to the point where the deadline was looming the Tiger Cat management put all options on the table. In our discussion yesterday afternoon I urged them to give serious consideration to rehabilitation of the old stadium, and a long-term agreement with the City as a show of faith to residents and fans. There was no hesitation by both Bob Young and Scott Mitchell in agreeing to a 20 year lease arrangement, pending details of course.

We are prepared now to present this to the public and media, and bring it forward for Council consideration at the Jan 12 meeting.

I would have preferred to speak to each of you personally but thought it best to get this information to you as quickly as possible.

Respectfully

Bob Bratina

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 06:59:29

Good Morning Ryan! Absolutely. The 'save the Ticats' at any cost horn is blowing (or should I say clarinet?) and some of our Councillors want in on the jam.

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By Cripes (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 07:23:11

@MarkCripps is at it again, he's reporting on twitter that the Bob and Bob show will announce that the new stadium goes at IWS. Funny, I thought there was no way the Ticats could make money there.

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 07:25:45

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 07:32:39

As much as I'd be onboard with rebuilding at the IWS site, I can't see it. In terms of the Ti-Cats objectives, the IWS site is even worse than West Harbor.

It's going to be one of two things:

  • We are expected to pay for a stadium at Aldershot
  • A last minute site at Confed. Park/East Mountain/Some other crappy suburban location is hastily thrown down.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 07:37:25

I can certainly live with Ivor Wynne. Central City, accessible by every mode of transportation. I don't see why the Cats would want it there though, but whatever.

Some good use of the land with recreation, mixed-use, sports bars on Cannon etc....and this could be good if it's true.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 07:52:33

The real question for me is: Can we pull together a proposal that meets Toronto 2015's funding criteria by February 1? IWS has some immediate advantages: land ownership, zoning, and presumably soil remediation won't be issues.

However, it's less clear whether that site meets the Pan Am requirements of good regional transit. I've submitted this question to Toronto 2015 so we should have some more information soon.

There are a couple of other questions:

  • Where will the Ticats play while IWS is being replaced? Will they play in a temporary stadium, à la the BC Lions? Where will the money to build the temporary stadium come from?

  • Will the Future Fund money be necessary to replace IWS? Will the Future Fund board of governors approve this use? What will happen to the Barton-Tiffany property?

In any case, it should be interesting to see how much of this Young and Bratina have already fleshed out, and how much still remains to be settled.

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By Vod_kann (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:19:33

If it is true (and you are right Ryan there are still many OKs needed) I can certainly live with it. Of all the "compromise solutions" this actually has the most compromise to it.

It keeps the team in Hamilton- in the urban area and a part of the city that could use some revitalization as well. It would work perfect with a King/Gage or King/Balsam LRT site. Despite the "perceived" issues I have never had a problem finding a parking space or getting in or out because there are sooo many surrounding roads.

The only major downside is no regional mass transit (I live in Bronte so I was hoping for this one).

Still other questions to ponder- Will the site be big enough to hold Grey Cups in? How big will the entertainment district be? What about the noise/concert issues?

Didn't a similar thing go down with new Yankee Stadium? NYC was trying to the Yankees to play right in Manahttan/Steinbrenner wanted to go to Jersey and they ended up staying right there in the Bronx.

Comment edited by Vod_kann on 2011-01-11 08:22:32

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:22:58

I think if the new or refurbished stadium is going at the IWS, this tells me BY is probably thinking of selling the team sooner rather than later since, as others mention above, it's not a site he really likes. So it's an inexpensive solution to be sure Hamilton receives the PanAm money and BB and BY look great for keeping the Cats in Hamilton. Not a paradigm changing solution but probably a very practical solution given as I say, I think BY will be selling the team sooner rather than later if this goes through.

But just guessing, we'll see shortly.

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By jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:23:00

Spec reporting they got a copy of Bratina's email - it's Ivor Wynn rebuild with a 20 year lease from the Tabbies. Cranky yet, Ryan? Incidentally - in the process of 'breaking the news' their website screwed up so that was the only story you could access from the home page. A compelling metaphor, no?

Comment edited by jasonaallen on 2011-01-11 08:24:04

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:48:35

A few quick thoughts while I reorient myself to the latest idea.

Comments here have pointed out that IWS is worse from the public criteria the Ticats have outlined for a stadium site. Given that that is the case, I fail to understand why

If this latest U-turn is being made so Bob Young can save face, I hope it is summarily rejected by council. Because I think the West Harbour site is an objectively superior site both for Pan Ams and for ongoing use.

Otherwise, though, I am not at all averse to a stadium at Ivor Wynne. I like going to Ivor Wynne, even though a West Harbour stadium would be more convenient to where I live in the west end. If we get an enclosed (just enclosed, _not_ domed) stadium, it may even be able to serve as a summer concert venue as IWS never has.

One final stadium thought. A new Ivor Wynne stadium for Pan Ams would actually help LRT get built. That has to be a plus I think.

(And one final other thought. Any comment that complains about downvoting is a self-fulfilling prophecy - I will almost always downvote it. Stop complaining about the site and join the actual discussion about the issues and posts.)

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By arms-length (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:48:47


Will Toronto 2015 pay to refurbish IWS? I thought they would only pay for new-build

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By bitter (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:49:30


I imagine the Ticats will want to call the stadium "Screw You Fred Bowl"

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 08:58:54

Actually bitter I was thinking of calling it that! ;)

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:02:48

@ armslength:

http://www.thespec.com/news/article/319951--rebuild-ivor-wynne-bratina-and-ticats

Ticat owner Bob Young and Mayor Bob Bratina will Tuesday morning unveil a plan to *demolish and rebuild* Ivor Wynne Stadium as a home for the football team for the next 20 years.

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By Go GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:06:12

I'm not saying I am for or against this.... but something doesn't smell right to me. Could there be a more hidden agenda?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:06:50

Wow...just...wow...

What a waste of a year of everyone's time.

IWS is not a great location, and my impression was that everyone, from the ti-cats, to the residents, to out of town users thought it was a rather poor location for a professional sports stadium from just about every standpoint.

Given the anti-ticat sentiment that I've heard after the aldershot proposal was announced, even among long-time ti-cat fans who began to realize that the ti-cats had been playing shenanigans of their own, I'm really not all that surprised that the ti-cats are agreeing to a compromise site, but I'm honestly shocked that they'd prefer IWS over a new build at the West Harbour.

Is this Merulla's chance to say "told you so" ? (It was Merulla who wanted to rennovate IWS, wasn't it?)

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:09:18

Personally, I'd rather look at the positives of this deal, rather than do the obvious and hammer on everyone for their disappointing displays of playground tactics over the past 8 months (or whatever).

It sure does raise a lot of questions, though. The team brass (read: Scott Mitchell) didn't have many good things to say (..could end it there..) about Ivor Wynne -- specifically it's location and surroundings. Am interested to see how those much ballyhooed shortcomings are going to be appeased.

(We aren't blasting an expressway through there, are we? Are nearby neighbours been shoo'd away? Are big box stores getting shoe-horned in there as part of the deal?)

Anyway, I'm happy about this -- as I love Ivor Wynne. I can only hope Young and, more specifically Mitchell, haven't damaged a relatively fragile fanbase.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:10:13

"It was Merulla who wanted to rennovate IWS, wasn't it?" This won't be a renovate, it will be a demolish and rebuild, lots of $$$. I bet Merulla won't like it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:10:31

Robert, I think they would prefer a WH stadium no question but there are issues there as we know ie. Katz and probably having to put a lot of money into a WH stadium and still having to write a cheque to Katz, perhaps. And the city can't let BY have what they will give to Katz because Katz is dangling the potential of an NHL team and BY isn't.

Hidden agenda here? Yes, if council votes this down then that plays into other scenarios possibly. Council will not vote this down though IMHO.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 09:11:32

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:11:18

CHML:
Mayor was invited, not his idea.

Plan:
Tear down the south stands at IWS and rebuild it and refurbish the North side.

Bill Kelly is pissed about it. NOW he's asking "where's the city-building here?"

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:15:22

Last fall, City Staff reported that a new IWS would cost $90,000,000!

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:15:28

@HamiltonFan - Why would we have to give money to Katz for the West Harbour? I thought Katz was just potentially looking at the area, did I miss something?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:16:28

Bill Kelly is saying the plan is to demolish and rebuild the south stands and renovate the north stands. From my understanding of the Toronto 2015 criteria, this won't qualify as a new stadium for the purpose of Pan Am funding.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:18:44

A new build on the IWS site is a vastly different kettle of fish from a refurbishment or renovation of the existing stadium, though.

Like Go, I do have concerns about hidden agendas here but realistically, the downside here is probably a white elephant - which was always the worst West Harbour downside in the first place. And a longterm lease commitment from the Ticats does mitigate the white elephant concern slightly.

(One could argue that the downside is a half-finished stadium and no Ticats... which is why I'd wait to see the plans before buying in. Hostco's verbal commitments unfortunately aren't even worth the paper they aren't written on).

On reflection I may well end up liking this proposal more - the city can potentially bring a developer in to work on a plan for West Harbour that dovetails with Setting Sail, Pan Am events at New Ivor Wynne can act as a catalyst to finialize LRT on King East, and maybe the Cats can make a return to profitability.

Hey, a guy can dream.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:20:38

@Ryan -- I really can't see the Pan Am boyz, who are likely sweating this a bit anyway, turn their nose up at this plan. This still is a pretty big upgrade in facilities. And, in reality, these games are only sought after to pull off a much needed-yet-underfunded initiative like this.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:20:53

mrgrande, my understanding is Katz wanted to have the stadium at WH with the Cats signing a lease probably to help with the overall success of running HECFI and the downtown facilities and perhaps leading to other development, just an added bonus sort of thing. That's my take on it at least.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:22:08

“I think it’s a crazy idea. It just doesn’t make any economic sense.”

- Scott Mitchell, 22 days ago

http://bit.ly/gfEwLN

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By vod_kann (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:22:24

"Bill Kelly is pissed about it. NOW he's asking "where's the city-building here?"

Proof that Bill Kelly's only motive is to put down whatever the city does (see my sig)

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:26:27

The hilarious part of all of this is that even Bob Young's ardent supporters who might have supported a stadium on the MOON are questioning all of his anti-WH rhetoric now that he's floating a fix Ivor Wynne solution.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:27:52

@Tybalt -- I think you're bang on here. However, I think fears of a half-built stadium with no team, after this, shouldn't be of much concern. I wouldn't think, anyway.

My only fear is that some of the Ticats concerns about the site are correct and it will be a challenge to be self-sustaining there. But, if they made money this year (as reported) then a stadium with a few more wallet-emptying amenities and -- god forbid -- a more-than-mediocre product on the field should keep the team in the black.

Plus, regardless of whether team wavers to-and-fro around the break-even mark, having 22- 30k spending time, money and emotion in the east end of our city is only a good thing.

Ohhh, and we can't forget about the well-being of the Prince Eddie. Previously, no plan factored the Prince Eddie's well-being into it!

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:30:25

Bill Kelly: "This questions the credibility of both sides"

No, this questions the credibility of Bob Young. This arrangement was cooked up by the Ticats and agreed to in principle by Bob Bratina. This shouldn't be hung around the necks of the 15 Councillors who have nothing to do with it (until later today when they try to save face by supporting it)

Council should just hang the Bobs out to dry.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:32:09

Well Ugh, I'd be more excited about WH than IWS, if that's what you're saying and you know I'm a BY supporter. But WH means a more expensive ticket with limited returns for me as I enjoy the area now for walks and that and really don't want to see a stadium there but I was basing that on WH vs Aldershot or EM. If it's IWS or WH, I'll take WH because it's a whole new site.

Aldershot for me represented a chance to really do something big in the future for a stadium and EM as well if the Cats got really popular and would take the team into a new image playing in areas with newer homes and a more classy image, less lunch buckety Hamilton of the past (no offence, I take a lunch to work myself, just trying to say what I mean without dancing around the bush).

But I like IWS from a historic point of view and don't have problems personally with the area. It works for the nostalgia part of me.

Ugh, I wouldn't be concerned about the credibility of BY, he's not getting voted in and a newish stadium at IWS means he will be able to sell the team sooner rather than later, so you may like that I'm sure. ;)

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 09:35:39

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By Go GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:33:30

Where does HOSTCO and PanAm funding come in here? They didn't want to play at WHin a brand new stadium but they will play at IV. Like I said something doesn't smell right.

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By Bob Young's barber (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:33:57

This is such a joke.... The whole purpose of building a stadium is to attract events such as concerts etc.... Ivor wynne has no parking... no highway access... it's in a crime infested neighbourhood.... another stupid move by bratina and the ticats

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:39:02

@slodrive - I think with Timmis and Scott Park's baseball diamonds taken down and converted into parking, the Cats could make a nice mint off of the parking fees and might be able to attract more suburbanites with a thousand on-site parking spots. Obviously the thousand-ish spots they could fit in that space are only a small scratch of their parking needs - maybe 10% of a full house. But it'll help.

Either way, I'm happy to hear that the Cats are staying downtown.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-01-11 09:40:15

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By TC (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:42:07

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:42:25

We need visibility. We need highway access. We need naming rights revenue. We need parking. We need adjacent development. We need regional access. We need to include concerts. We need your money.

Incredibility.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:43:53

H+H, that's why you'll be seeing Bob sell the team I believe sooner rather than later. This is not what he really was looking for at all.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:44:40

If we'd re-elected Fred we would be holding a press conference this morning to announce a new WH Stadium with the Cats.
The city played this negotiation perfectly the entire time, and now at the 11th hour when (as Bratina put it) 'Cats management put all options on the table', we chose the wrong one. LOL

Having said that. I like Ivor Wynne better than any other site suggested besides WH.
WH only has some housing to it's south. Ivor Wynne is hemmed in on all sides. Mind you, the site is huge and not being used wisely right now. A lot more could be built at the Ivor Wynne site.

I'm pleased that the city didn't cave. I was fully expecting a lame announcement about Aldershot or the stupid racetrack in the middle of nowhere. However, there will always be that lingering disappointment upon knowing that Fred and council laid the groundwork for the city to end up at this point - in total control - and instead of going with the WH site, we chose a site that is probably slightly worse. My biggest fear is that Barton/Tiffany will look identical in 20 years except with taller weeds.

Overall, I'm pleased with this though. Good job by the city to not cave and do a lame suburban stadium ala 1970

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:44:59

@TC Funny enough, Car thieves and crack heads are plenty clever enough to find the stadium no matter where you build it. So sorry your sensibilities were offended when you had to leave your palace, princess.

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By Crazy Eddie (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:46:22

lol.... Rebuild Ivor Wynne... This is crazy....

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:46:23

"I had my car stolen 2 years ago when I went to a ticat game."

yeah, like people don't get their cars stolen at malls. Get out from under your rock much?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:50:23

@HamiltonFan

I think you have a very good point. Without a stadium (new or old), the team is worth nothing. Bob Young has very clearly demonstrated his commitment to Hamiltonians with his antics over the past year.

Given the Cats played and lost a laughable, and very frustrating, game of high stakes poker, Young will accept any deal that ensures his team has our stadium, no matter where it is or how good it is.

Scott Mitchell is just coming on Bill Kelly and can't wait to hear his rationale.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:52:58

Of course maybe when Toronto gets the Olympics down the road and therefore an NFL team after that, this will all be for not. But then the Olympics for Toronto are at least 20 years away anyway and I could very well be dead by then.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 09:53:27

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By Bob Young's butcher (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:53:49

This is stupid.... How the hell does Sam Merulla get his way again.... This city is backwards.... Bob Young is a joke.... What's the problem with the west harbour...

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:57:39

Good for LRT, especially after Brad Clark's comments

Good for West Harbour, community centered developement

Good for Tiger-Cats, otherwise they would not be staying

Good for Hamilton, the Ti-Cats stay in town

Good for Hamilton, it's not being built in a remote area

Good for Hamilton, it's not being built on parkland or potential parkland

Good for Hamilton, the land is already paid for

Good for Hamilton, the lease is 20 years providing stability through ownership changes

Good for Hamilton, Bob Young seems to want other development, could finally help Barton

Unknown for Hamilton, the terms of the lease

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By CrazyEddie (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:57:44

Be Careful Hamilton.... We give the ticats over 1.5 million in subsidies and the ti cats want to keep that gravy train going.... Ivor wynne should be demolished and lets build this at confederation Park.... As for the car thieves and crack heads.... bottom line it's true... until they clean it up there... alot of people will stay away.....

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:59:17

Scott Mitchell of Ticats on CHML stated cost for IWS is $115,000,000

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:59:21

Scott Mitchell on CHML:

Kissed Paletta's ass. Blames HostCo for muddying waters in the media. Blames Burlington's mayor for suggesting that Hamilton contribute.

Re: Ivor Wynne - "This is not about putting lipstick on a bad situation"

Looks like they're talking about using Brian Timmis and Scott Park. Looks like Bob World might be alive and well in the East End.

Bill Kelly pointed out the credibility issue and Scott Mitchell went into denial mode.

My Editorial: What a slimy prick Scott Mitchell is.

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By John (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 09:59:23

Good for Barton St....lol maybe for the prince Eddie Tavern... This is truly crazy

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By john (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:01:02

115,00,000 Sucker dollars... This is a bad move...

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:02:13

WH would have been better for sure. But this is a close second IMO.

No concerts will happen here. Mark my words.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:04:26

Bill Kelly just said that as recently as last Thursday, when meeting with Bob Young and Scott Mitchell, Young told him that IWS just wouldn't work for them. Mitchell responded by saying that they never spoke of Ivor Wynne while Kelly was in the room. Kelly said nothing in response.

The sad thing is, both of these guys are not to be believed. So who's telling the truth? Who cares?

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:05:32

Yeah, Hamilton Fan, that's the first thing I think of when I think of the East Mountain: class. lol...

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By Simon Says (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:05:54

Ottawa guy here. Any chance that this plan is a stalking horse designed to turn over a public asset to private hands and allow frowsy redevelopment on a suburban shopping mall scale akin to what has happened to us here in Ottawa with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group being given the keys to Frank Clair Stadium?

Whatever happens, I will be there the first time our Ottawa team comes into your town and lays a beating on your Ti-Cats and I am buying beer for everybody commenting here. Just say what watering hole to meet up at post-match.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:08:03

Malex, you know what I mean. The area has newer and more expensive homes than around IWS, it's the image based on what is there. I love IWS, love going to the stadium there, we park at Gage Park in our beat up van and walk. The whole area has character even if areas near the stadium are run down. I could own almost any house near IWS but not many near the EM site.

People who live in Third World countries with no money often have more class than multi-billionaires, that is how I think in truth.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 10:09:21

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:09:02

A 20-year lease doesn't buy you protection from bankruptcy, correct?

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By Ugh (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:11:05

More Scott Mitchell:

"You'll never be able to recognize Ivor Wynne, this will be a beautiful new stadium"

"Rip out every single seat that's in there now and reconfigure"

"What didn't work was that it was an old, obsolete building"

"Parking improves when you combine Scott Park and Brian Timmis"

"1000-1500 parking spots right on the spot"

"Does not change major issues" "Had dream and vision of a regional team"

"This is about the community, about keeping the team in the commmunity, this is the only solution left in Hamilton"

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:11:49

The quotes from Scott Mitchell today...oh boy...my raging anger has now turned into knee-slapping laughter and some sympathetic embarrassment.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:11:56

OMG... Keeping Ivor Wynne..? I honestly never dreamed this outcome.

Nothing ever announces it is staying here in Ward 3-- what a twist!

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:12:09

I can't even stomach listening this guy.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:13:55

The Cats are going to play in TO for a year??

LOL

http://tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=348918

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:14:07

Why is this about the Ticats?

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By Co Co Puffs (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:16:03

Lol... Scott Mitchell and Bob Young make no sence..... Let's rebuild Ivor Wynne... We are truly Nuts....

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:16:07

Where's the guy who's been on here suggesting we keep Ivor Wynne? He's gotta be pumped.
I can't remember his name. I hope to hear from him today.

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By Bob Young"s butcher (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:19:13

Let's rebuild Barton St....lol what a waste of time... This city is a joke....

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:19:27

If the city is asked to subsidize the Ticats playing outside Hamilton for a season... forget it. I'll be as opposed to this as I was to the East Mountain.

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By Crazy eddie (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:20:23

Hey Jason his name is Sam Meulla the snake oil salesman...

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:21:40

An order of magnitude was requested BTY Group to quote this plan back in February of 2009. I have it if someone wants me to email them, but I won't post it on the site. It's $93M to do what has been talked about above, included demolishing the south stands and building new ones. The plan enables the work to be done in the offseason, so the Cats can pick up where they left off with new south stands. The 2007 city report discusses in some detail, how the south side stand replacement would work to alleviate any play interuptions.

Ryan, I don't think this is a reason to have a bad day. There is no funding shortfall with this plan. It is community building because even the owner of the new National Art College of Canada was talking about an American-style football program. What could this revitalized Balsam Avenue North area do for our community?

There are many who see benefit to this plan. We have all read over and over again the benefits of city building at the Harbor and we all understand so much more about that area and why some immediate attention is required. Even many who don't neccesarily agree with a stadium in the harbor, have been okay with the plan simply because of what it would do for Ward 2. I hope they chose the Harbor for the Veledrome to make sure that area is cleaned up as part of these games in some way shape or form. Would Harbor supporters be okay if two Wards benefited from this proposal? At least the stadium would still go in Hamilton and in the centre of it.

The Arts are alive at this new college, The Pearl Company, and Ottawa Street, and the synergies of art and sports that was discussed about the Harbor, are already in place on Balsam and this could only turn into something pretty amazing. Scott Park arena is fairly old. Imagine a new arena in it's place. Imagine refurbishing the historical Jimmy Thompson to continue the history preservation on Balsam. Imagine a sports hub, where a sports hub of some sort has exixted already for 80 years.

I have had to wake up so many mornings the past however many months in the same kind of mood you are in, but I have taken a step back and re-evaluated the situation and have even had to say 'although I am not a huge fan of a stadium in the Harbor or here or there, I do understand it'. I just took a breath, and kept on fighting. What did I have to lose? There was never any hope to my plans. None, except the people that I had met through this process who did see benefit in what I was discussing, but council didn't see it. The Tiger-Cats didn't see it, and even Sam Merulla and his $20M over 20 years, didn't really see it. It was nice sort of having a council who wasn't even my own on my side, but I did want him to take his refurbish Ivor Wynne just a little further to at least throw the Cats a small bone even.

I hope and know you will not stop fighting for what you believe in. This doesn't mean it's all over, but I can tell you it is nice to finally see Ivor Wynne talked about. I have always said, what harm is there to just explore it.

I never thought in a million years I would wake up to find people tweeting a little about my site and then find that the front page news on TheSpec.com was talking about the Cats and council discussing what I have been writing and dreaming about since last summer.

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By season ticat holder (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:23:37

Just called the ticat ticket office and cancelled my season tickets... The lady over the phone said that alot of others have cancelled today... Love Ivor Wynne but we needed to move to a new site.... Good Luck....

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:24:05

Hey @Jason. Here I am. Let's just say this has been a good day so far. I won't get my hopes up though. It's just nice to finally see some real discussions on this. Up to this point, it's all just been a hypothetically dream. I even emailed that dream to Ian Troop yesterday, asking some 'what if' questions about the Ivor Wynne site.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:25:28

@season ticket holder. Why would you not listen to the press conference first? Do you even know what the plan is?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:28:00

Well said @Hamilton Fan

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By Prince Eddie (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:28:29

Let's sell the naming rights to the Prince Eddie Tavern..... Prince Eddie Tavern Field.... lol....

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:29:28

@Simon says. Take down my email. I drink 50. ;) Look forward to Ottawa back int he league. Hopefully something pans out and there is still a team to come see/drink to.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:30:10

I've renewed my seasons tickets, I don't care where the stadium is from a football fan watching perspective and if it went to WH or any site in the region, I'd be renewing. There's no money for a brand new stadium in Hamilton it seems, for those that want to keep the Cats in Hamilton this seems like a reasonable solution given the time frame.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-11 10:30:29

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:31:28

@Jason. Concerts could happen at IWS. Two major ones were approved over the past 8 years. Faith Hil and Tim McGraw were supposed to play there. It was going to cost $400,000 to get the stadium ready for the show, but although council originally approved of the concert, they did not approve of those funds being spent even though it would have mean the old girl would have been set for future shows.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:34:08

Wow, they finally came up with a plan that makes sense. Can't say I saw this won coming

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:36:37

There's no money for a brand new stadium in Hamilton it seems, for those that want to keep the Cats in Hamilton this seems like a reasonable solution given the time frame.

But this will be a brand new stadium in Hamilton... It doesn't sound like this will be any cheaper than any of the other sites floated.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:39:04

@Vod_kann, the LRT is one plus, and I wonder with the Hamilton/Niagara GO plan, if an interchange could go at Gage, instead of the talked about Centennial one? If the old Consumers Glass could be purchased, it and a parking lot could go there which is right on the rail line.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:40:06

Ryan asked:
> Will the Future Fund money be necessary to replace IWS? Will the Future Fund board of governors approve this use?

Based on the research I did during the election ("So.. What happens when they leave?"), the answer is yes-- this will chew up the Future Fund like it had "fun-size" written on the side.

But... We were looking at having a property tax-hole there you could see from space. Well, another one.

What I opposed was using the Future Fund for an undeveloped area. IMHO, The more we redevelop the inner wards like 3 & 4, the more we will recover in property-taxes-- we have historic areas worth a fraction of the same in Toronto.

There is real land-value movement possible, but it will require buying up a lot around Ivor Wynne. I think we were looking at that regardless.

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-11 10:41:48

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:43:27

Just want to give some kudos (...I'll save the 'congrats' for when this is a reality) to Lawrence. I, like most, didn't give his efforts a great deal of attention. While I applauded them, I just didn't think they were going to go anywhere.

Whether you like the decision or not, I think we can all find some inspiration in Lawrence/ Lpatterson's (on ticats.ca) commitment to the task -- both online and in view of the public.

Tip of the cap to a Hamiltonian who really cares. Hope it spawns more just like you.

(Edit: P.S. - I know you're planning not to get to up about this, but don't hesitate to give yourself a few well-deserved pats on the back!)

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-01-11 10:45:37

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:45:52

So what I don't understand is that Bob Young refused to play at a (West Harbour) brand-new, gorgeous state of the art stadium, complete with private boxes, etc, due to issues with visibiltiy, access, etc, etc, but he's agreed to rebuild a stadium in the same spot that was even worse for all of the previously mentioned issues??? A spot which he swore up and down was the reason he was losing money? I honestly don't get it...the first couple of seasons would've been guaranteed sell outs if only for the curiousity factor alone....

Well, as a Ward 3 resident, I'm curious to see what sort of plans and benefits BY, et al, have in store..let's see, shall we?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:58:56

Well said slodrive. Malex, it's now down to the 11nth hour and if council really thinks it's important for Hamilton to have the PanAm funding, then really this is the only solution possible it would seem.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:02:26

$115M? Seriously? And no mention as yet if the PanAm committee will approve this. Ridiculous.

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By Hipgnosis (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:06:46

I wanted to make a quick comment about the idea of concerts at any stadium at this juncture. If you look at the way the concert industry is going at this moment large outdoor concerts have become a thing of the past. Ivor Wynne, West Harbour or any of the alternatives probably would not have gotten a concert anyway due to the costs associated with touring those sorts of shows these days. It would maybe have one or two in season if that. In the past few years there was a real desire to have shows at Ivor Wynne and from what I understand the only reason they did not happen was that it is not up to fire code regulations to allow for people to be on the field. There are not enough fire exits to allow for that many people to leave quickly and safely.

The idea of a redeveloped Ivor Wynne is a close second to WH in my opinion. My feeling is that if Bob Bratina had pushed it he would have been able to get the West Harbour done. The Cats have folded their cards because they had nothing and are coming back to the table because they realize that Aldershot is a no go. I think that a properly redeveloped Ivor Wynne stadium could be amazing as long as some of the elements that make Ivor Wynne, such as the proximity of fans to the field, are retained.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:08:58

We don't actually know what we're getting for another 5 minutes or so...

But.

As a resident of the Ivor Wynne neighborhood, I do have a bunch of thoughts to share (in no particular order):

1/ I like to walk to games with the family. I like seeing my neighborhood full of people walking to the games. It's good for community building.

2/ It wouldn't take much input money to make a material difference in the neighborhood, so long as it's done with respect to the nature of the relationship between the street occupants and the businesses -- ie: don't permit another Centre Mall disaster again.

3/ To the people who say there isn't highway access, obviously you're unaware of Burlington Street and it's close companions Cannon/Wilson.

4/ To the people who say it's a crime ridden neighborhood - in the words of Cee Lo Green... Eff You. There was more major crime in our lush Mississauga neighborhood than in our not-as-lush Hamilton neighborhood. And as always, if you choose to live a life of fear, you end up with a life not worth living.

5/ The area can already easily handle the crowds that happen about 15 times a year, and the neighbors are already used to the high-speed aircraft overflights, the bright lights and the noise -- or they haven't moved because they've got a particular fetish for complaining (like many of the commenters in this thread).

6/ I don't see that it's any less community building than the West Harbour site which would make for any number of other uses.

7/ There's room for another GO Station on the line between Aldershot and Niagara which would end up being less than the 2 km walk that was proposed for the Aldershot to Burlington site away from Ivor Wynne.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:15:45

Judging from the press conference, looks like we're going to spend the same amount as proposed previously to build a couple of new stands at IWS, renovate the rest, and build some parking spots? And build some businesses (for Bob Young to control revenue no doubt) in nearby industrial lands?

If this happens, this ended up being all about the Ti-Cats.

I hope this is not the last act in this drama.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:26:11

http://twitter.com/#!/markhmasters/status/24864277177311233

#Ticats owner Young: We should be able to get some naming rights fees at new IWS #CFL #PanAm

Somehow I doubt that.

Comment edited by mrgrande on 2011-01-11 11:26:24

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:26:27

@slowdrive, I read your posts hear and on TiCats.ca and coming from you, I truly appreiciate your comments. There were others like you on the Cats forum, who did see some benefit but rightfully so, putting it bluntly, didn't think there was a hope in hell. I felt like I was beating a dead horse and to be honest, I wasn't sure I totally ever thought we would ever be talking about this either.

There were so many days I just wanted to give up, moments of pure desperation, and there were certainly those who really wished I would go away. Every little bit of support and encouragement though, kept me going. Just knowing that there were others out there that seen something to this, gave me a reason to keep plugging away.

You know what really did it for me? Remember that 'paultry turnout' at my rally? Some guy who grew up next to Ivor Wynne, seen me on CH that day and raced down to Scott Park field to see what was going on. Needless to say he was very upset to see the poor turnout. It was last minute and I didn't get a lot of exposure about the event - my own fault really, but that guy turned it around for me. How upset he was and his belief in that if there had been more exposure of the rally, how he felt that Scott Park would have been packed with supporters. He wanted Ivor Wynne to stay and coming from a former resident, I took his dissapointment to heart. I knew I had to be more serious about this, and even knowing that only a handful of people seemed to want what I had envisioned, meant that there were people I was fighting for. Not just a stadium or a football franchise - however storied that franchise was/is.

I don't remember that guys name, but I sat and talked to him for at least a half an hour. His words left a lasting impression.

I also spent a day in council chambers with another forum regular, and we talked in great lenghts about this process. This has been a trying project, but the people I have met made whatever outcome this process presents, worth every minute of it.

Thanks again slo. You made my day. Truly.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:28:49

This is enough to make me move out of Hamilton.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:34:58

What a colossal waste of City time and money – this has been a ridiculous merry go round ride. The end result is the Ticats once again hijack the process ONE DAY before a Council meeting. They have made this entire Pan Am process about themselves. I do now support the use of our Future Fund to rebuild in this location. I also thought that there was a Senior’s Centre slated for the Scott Park area.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:37:13

@Andrea - (nice name by the way -- I was going by AndreaC but didn't want to create confusion so changed my name).

Anyways, I agree with your feelings. This deal quite simply feels wrong, and has sort of taken the fight out of me. It seems like a nod to nostalgia/desire not to change/inertia/old boy's club...the sort of thing that seems to always plague Hamilton.

Where is the vision?!!

I like the Hamilton Ti-Cats as much as the next Hamiltonian, but they do not contribute much to Hamilton's economy, they hijacked this process throughout, but yet somehow it remains all about taking care of the Ti-Cats.

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:37:27

Spec Dec 01 reported: Bernie Morelli, Ward 3: During this term, I would like to see the new seniors-family community centre built in the Scott Park precinct and continue working on the implementation of the Gage Park Master Plan.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:39:12

@rayfullterton. He also said he would involve the community in the decision of the future use of that land.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:42:40

Lawerence,

Congratulations, you've been passionate about this since the beginning. You've done some amazing work. We need to get together for a beer!

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:42:51

@Andrea

As much as it pains me, I'll take any modest gain over continued wallowing self-pity.

Centre Mall is a crappy kludge compared to the elegant community build it could've been - and it's still miles better than what was.

James North is pretty awesome even though the corner of James and Cannon looks like perpetual construction and omgwtfORANGE will forever be it's mark.

Wilson Two Way is a half complete semi-disaster of "traffic planning by finger-painting" which begins and ends with all of the ceremony usually reserved for bike lanes, but at least it's not still a one-way highway.

The new Farmers Market and Library complex has issues with stall appropriation and EVERYONE (Ryan and Wayne) thinks that signs would be helpful for the Library but at least we still have a library and the possibility of buying food that comes from relatively nearby.

I don't hold any misconceptions that the Ivor Wynne redevelopment will be anything wonderful or honestly even half-assed -- but it's better than a stadium on the East Mountain, or Longwood, or Burlington, or Confed -- and there's a certainty that it's going to be better than yet-another-brownfield-in-my-neighborhood should they have moved off of the site and left it to decay in the fashion that has become popular in our city.

I, for one, welcome our new-old tenants back to the middle of The Hammer.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:43:08

so, Young just said that with $70 mil from PanAm and $45 from Hamilton they can do it all. Now it makes sense. Not a dime from the Cats. Isn't $45 the entire future fund?? I say we offer $20 from the FF and let the Cats cover the other $25 million.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:45:58

Mr. Janitor, I am all for a beer. My email is attached. I wouldn't mind waiting to see what happens though before I raise a glass to anything.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:47:44

Very prudent Lawrence, considering the wild ride it's been so far.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:49:58

@myrcurial --

Why must Hamiltonians always live with seriously lowered expectations? You are telling us that you are happy with something you expect to not even be "half-assed" -- and to spend $45 of our Future Fund and $70 million of Canadian taxpayers to achieve it?

If I were a Canadian taxpayer that did not live in Hamilton I would be quite seriously shocked and appalled to learn that $70M of my tax dollars just went to renovate a stadium to keep the Ti-Cats in Hamilton. All while the Ti-Cats paid not a single dollar for said stadium.

So apparently the Ti-Cats have signed a 20-year lease - on what terms??

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-11 12:15:26

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:51:25

Went down to IWS in my Ti-Cat coat and Ti-Cat hat to see the conference, got the bums rush. "Sorry, no room for fans".

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:52:22

Myrcurial wrote:
> As a resident of the Ivor Wynne neighborhood, I do have a bunch of thoughts to share..

Please keep sharing. Nothing beats the voice from eyes on the ground, and it sounds like you are "resident fan"... I defer to what you think.

As for the perception of crime... Agreed.

Nothing about Barton St. is down to the negative hype-level. People talk about the whole Ward like its just Morlochs, not your fellow Canadians-- most of which pay a mortgage too (and have a fraction of the personal debt of "Code-Green" living).

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:01:45

I lived at Gibson and Barton for years before moving. I loved the area and my home but the house just didn't work for us anymore. When I moved my new neighbors looked at me with either sympathy or disgust when I told them where I came from.

I loved walking from the old house to a game. Seeing and talking to the other fans, the full buses, the buzz of anticipation everywhere. People not going to the game on the street and in cars would see the Ti-Cat gear and stadium seats and would ask, "So you think they got it today?!" "It's a tough one!" "It'll be a blow out!" Where else would you get that, only at IWS or the WH. Nothing like that would happen at a remote stadium.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-11 12:31:58

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:03:21

@Mr. Janitor. Let me re-phrase my last post. Whatever the outcome, when all is said and done, there are many people I would like to get together for a bear with either way. Some I have met, and some I have just emailed back and forth/chatted with on forums. I will actually post an event on here/FB/SIWS, about a gathering place. Thanks for the idea.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:04:37

Brilliant Lawrence, I'll be there!

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:04:43

@ lawerence Good point re public input ( ... lack of) re Scott Park Community Centre!!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:09:21

As far as I know this is an idea dreamed up by Bob Young out of sheer desperation... then our mayor jumped aboard and emailed council this morning.... then they went straight to press conference.

Before planning celebrations there is the little matter of a council motion and vote.

Perhaps it would also be good to know the terms of the lease agreement that the Ti-Cats wish to sign. If the PanAm Committee approves. If we are still to get the much-discussed Velodrome as it seems we are blowing our entire Future Fund and provincial/federal funds allocation in order to renovate IWS and keep the Ti-Cats.

I suspect this is NOT final.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:12:28

Zephyr,

Very true. No details, no numbers. I'm still hopeful and excited no matter what, but I felt that for the WH as well!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:14:06

@mrjanitor -

It just doesn't make sense to me. If Bob Young can accept IWS as a site, he can accept the WH. Something smells wrong about this.

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By beasleyfireworkstechnician (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:15:01

@lawrence - I'll buy the first pitchers. We did a RTH Angry Drink on Augusta back in fall 2009. Good times.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:17:45

What baffles me is why the Bob(s) did not wait until Wednesday to bring this out in the open. To have a press conference on basically just another option doesn't make sense. I am not against this at all, I just question how this was presented. It still may be WH when council votes, who knows?

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:17:45

@Zephyr

If you're going to get angry about taxpayer mega-bucks being spent or misappropriated foolishly, I give you Skydome and the 407 to rant about first, and then I'd encourage you to rant about every other dollar spent by Greatest Generation and Boomers in Hamilton over the last 40 years. Then you can rant about the G20 summit and when you're done with that, you can get all up in arms about the latest.

The Future Fund money is going to get spent on things that are not of import or interest to GenX and younger (ie: the future)... that's the way of it. We've entered the first period of human history where the demographics are well and truly upside-down and the same people (Boomers and Greatest) who've been mortgaging the future are STILL making the decisions on how things shall be. There's effectively nothing that can be done about it -- we don't have the votes necessary to out-democratize the seniors -- even if we all came out to vote (which we generally speaking don't).

My generation and the already completely impoverished generation spawned by Xers like me don't have much of a choice but to accept that we're going to get half-assed spending like this and we need to find a way to be at least content with 'half-assed' because at least having a stadium that is NOT a 'suburban destination' is 1,000,000x better than what could've happened.

When life gives you lemons, you can either suck a lemon and make the face that you and Andrea have, or you can make lemonade and sell it to people walking to the stadium enjoying a neighborhood that has just a little more pride in itself than it did yesterday when it was trying to figure out how to take the latest in a long series of kicks-in-the-ass.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:19:40

@wentworthst, @Myrcurial

Some of the negative talk about the IWS neighbourhood is from the loud minority. I bring a lot of visitors to Cats games and everyone loves the neighbourhood atmosphere. The homes, for the most part, are nicely kept and the whole place feels festive with everyone out on their porches. There's a unique atmosphere there -- hard to compare it to anywhere.

But no one I know has ever worried about their safety, or even negatively commented, about that neighbourhood.

In fact, one of the coolest experiences we had was doing a unique 'neighbourhood tailgate' (...who says you need acres of paved parking lot to do that..) on some guys front lawn. He was super cool -- was the corner of Beechwood and Melrose...the place that flies a Haudenosaunee flag from the garage -- great meet n' greet with fellow fans while enjoying a few beverages in nicely dense neighbourhood confines while whipping it up with all the fans as they walked to the stadium.

That's an experience.

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-01-11 12:20:56

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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:20:41

SHOWTIME!!! Wednesday January 12 7 pm City Hall Council Chambers ..... get there early for a good seat for the final chapter of the roller coaster saga!!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:20:45

@beasleyfireworkstechnician. Thanks. Perhaps we should do it at the Prince Eddie so the locals can walk home as they would from Ivor Wynne.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:23:19

Zephyr,

As I have wrote in The Spec and here there was a soft underbelly to any of Bob Young's plans, that being the expiry of the IWS lease at the end of the 2011 season. Nothing was stopping the city from demolishing IWS, then where would they play during construction of an Aldershot stadium. Now you will still see games moved but you will also see games played in the stadium during some SAFE phases of construction. I wonder if someone leveraged the lease expiry to get concessions, and I'm sure concessions will be made from the city. Good or bad, we just don't know yet.

Edit: I also think Hamilton Fan is right, there is a good chance the team will be up for sale within the next 5 years or so.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-11 12:24:42

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By Frustrated (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:24:43

Has everyone forgotten about the funding gap? West Harbour won't work because we can't afford it. Renovating Ivor Wynne is much less expensive because we own the land and the infrastructure is there. This stadium won't cause an increase in taxes. The parking situation isn't ideal, but I'd rather see brown fields redeveloped into parking lots than wheat fields. The neighbourhood is fine, I've walked to games with my 6 month old and had no problems at all, & Burlington street provides great access. Ward 3 can certainly use any boost in income that it can get.

Instead of complaining, why not consider this decision a win for LRT?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:26:02

@myrcurial -

Good post, thanks :)

I'm not sucking lemons - this is not a done deal. No motion has passed council. West Harbour remains an option. People who think Hamilton can do better still have the option of writing city council (I already have) and still have the option of attending the council meeting tomorrow.

As for the boomer argument, interesting. My father is a baby boomer. He initially fell for the "driveway to driveway" argument and supported the EM option. But when presented with the benefits of the WH, and examples of other communities that have successfully built on their waterfront (like Pittsburgh), he bought into the WH vision. He no longer supports using this PanAm opportunity solely to keep the Ti-Cats in Hamilton.

In fact my father - like many, many other boomers I have spoken to-takes great exception to the way in which Bob Young has held this city hostage.

Let's not insult the intelligence of an entire generation. I think many are smart enough to see through this charade. If IWS works for Bob's business (as far as highway access, signage, etc. that were so vital a few short months ago), then so would the WH. Perhaps this was never about - gasp - highway access and signage. Perhaps its about parking lots and entertainment precincts being controlled by a private business, while public money builds a stadium to attract fans to these spin-off businesses.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:28:27

What's really interesting is that the new IWS has sponsors lined up, what other Hamilton location had that?

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By rednic (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:29:25

If ( as ryan states above) there is no contribution from tie cats ... Why does the city have to move from it's original WH plan when IWS has pretty much the same short comings. Really seems to have turned into the BY show ...

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:30:16

Not building the Ti-Cats a stadium IS an option. I suggest if they want a stadium (and associated revenue streams), they need to confirm their own financial contribution to this venture asap (so far they have confirmed $0 in financial committments).

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:31:32

@slodrive wrote:
> Some of the negative talk about the IWS neighbourhood is from the loud minority. I bring a lot of visitors to Cats games and everyone loves the neighbourhood atmosphere. The homes, for the most part, are nicely kept and the whole place feels festive with everyone out on their porches. There's a unique atmosphere there -- hard to compare it to anywhere.

Thanks for posting that. And isn't that Hamilton, in nut-shell? (Sure, a thick, nutty exterior to most... But very good inside!)

Some homes and commercial property needs work-- my street, Ivor Wynne's, maybe yours), but they are all good streets and neighbourhoods.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:32:37

Zephyr, If IWS wins in the end so be it. I will always believe we have lost a transformational opportunity at WH for the generations to come. You are bang on, this was never about location etc., it was all about public money feeding private business and who controls the profit.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:35:23

@mrjanitor -

So do you really think if the two Bobs had gotten together today to announce a shiny new stadium on the WH lands, no sponsor would have come forward in support? In esssence they are behind an IWS renovation, but not a WH build? What does the IWS site offer that WH does not?

Let's break down the numbers. Scott Mitcell is saying the stadium will cost $115 million, of which $70M will come from the fed/prov governments, and $45M from our Future Fund. So the stadium is fully funded according to their numbers.

Therefore, what will these sponsors be contributing towards (I suspect a stadium precinct that will be owned by Bob Young/corporate sponsors? Also, what is the Ti-Cat contribution to this project?

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:36:05

What's really interesting is that the new IWS has sponsors lined up, what other Hamilton location had that?

It does?

Excuse my ignorance, but I haven't read this. So far the only two plans I recall having private investors lined up has been West Harbor and Aldershot.

Edit: I take my comment back. A careful re-reading of the spec article answered my question. Molson, Tim Hortons, Primus apparently. It is not clear however what part of the funding they will be providing.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-11 12:40:24

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:39:16

@Zephyr

(I can't get over how often discourse turns to 'awesome' here, despite the substantial number of (-:|3 (asshats) here)

Ok, so you managed to convince one boomer that it's better to have something that is neighborhood integrated. Well done, except you've still lost. As a strawman - I wish I had time to do the research now but I don't - there are 2 boomers and 1 greatest voting against your one vote.

I challenge you to tell me why the West Harbour site is better in any dimension than the renovation of IWS? Given the explanation that it was only due to the warm-up field requirement 20-acres (which I argue has always been available in brownfield land adjacent to IWS) that kept a renovated IWS out of the equation until 90 minutes ago... why would we choose to let the IWS site go fallow and further depress the area?

Has not the real red-herring in all of this been the West Harbour site (which I supported publicly) given that the requirement for warm-up fields hasn't been a requirement for a while?

And very selfishly, why can't we all choose to be happy that at least we're not facing 'yet another departure from Hamilton'?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:42:10

I heard on CHML, Bill Kelly, (never have done that before) that Molsons new owner, Tim Hortons and someone I can't remember (sorry, I was driving) were on board as sponsors. I still don't recall any stadium within Hamilton getting corporate sponsors, even the WH. Who was involved that I don't remember MattM? Also, these sponsors (still need to confirm them) are on board BEFORE any vote even. You can cheapen or question this , but I think it is a very interesting and important development.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-11 12:43:20

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By WHAT!?! (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:44:09

This has to be a joke, right? So I guess the ongoing mantra we've heard from the Ticats all along is what we all expected right? Total BS!!! So now they can live with a renovated Ivor Wynne, but not a brand new state of the art facility on the waterfront making the stadium a destination. The unfortunate thing about all of this is that it will take up the entire Future Fund and the west harbour will continue to be a toxic wasteland for years to come, I mean, just look how much has happened there over the last 20 years! NOTHING!!! We spend loads of money on bayfront park and the waterfront trail, and when we finally have an opportunity to put in a beautiful and complimentary project which would also clean up a total mess, we now go with this. Don't get me wrong, I love Ivor Wynne, I grew up in section 22, but this has to be the worst idea yet. The New City of Hamilton Slogan..."We'll settle for Mediocre!"

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:44:20

For sure @Mr. Janitor. Odd that all of a sudden sponsors are lined up? Maybe because for the first time in awhile, Bob Young mentioned Fenway Park again. Perhaps becuase IWS is already a very unique experience and now they are talking about modernizing and building on that. That is when Fenway Park turned around and the fans started flocking to it back in the 60's I believe it was. All it takes is for the media, owners, and others to see the potential and to 'sell' it, for others to say, 'Hey, you are right. This is really cool.'

Fenway/Wrigley/Lambeau Field north. For Hamiton, it's more the land and the nieghborhood, that makes this piece of Hamiton's history worth preserving. Ivor Wynne would look a little different no doubt about it, but what makes it valuable to fans and the community, will remain the same. No matter what they do to the surface.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:48:05

@Anonymous_Coward...

Regarding your "The New City of Hamilton Slogan..."We'll settle for Mediocre!""

Dude/Dudette.

That's been the slogan since they dropped "The Ambitious City" in the 60s. Where the hell have you been?

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:49:18

Ryan posted a new story - are we going to continue to rant here or move the rant there or cross post?

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:50:23

@myrcurial,

I am naughty for not working right now but this saga gets curiousier and curiousier every day and I can't help myself.

I assure you that I am not setting up strawmen for you to tear down :) Just saying that some people of different generations grew up with a car/suburb mentality and may not see the writing on the wall that those days are rapidly coming towards an end. In fact, judging from the line-ups to buy suburban McMansions in Oakville/Milton many people of our generation have yet to get that message as well. They will. (But that's a seperate discussion, of course).

I am suggesting that when those people are presented with facts and truth they tend to catch the vision. Unfortunately Hamilton's traditional media has not been very stellar in reporting the facts in this whole stadium debate and people like my father were not given the opportunity to understand the vision that WH proponents have.

I think the WH vision is superior to IWS because it is an area crying out for private investment. However, the land needs remediation and there aren't many private investors able to do it. These PanAm dollars are a once-in-a-generation gift from the province and feds that we can use (augmented by our future fund) to remediate the land and build a community stadium/velodrome. Once we do this, there is a huge opportunity to attract condo developers and attract young professionals into Hamilton's Ward 2. Thus increasing urban density and attracting the spin-off private businesses that entails.

I don't think many will argue that renovating IWS will attract condo dwellers and private investors (outside of those associated with Bob Young's entertainment precinct).

If a stadium-based entertainment precinct was such a brilliant business idea, there already would be one surrounding IWS. The fact is that there are not that many home games in a year. There needs to be more than a stadium to attract people -- the WH offers that.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:51:17

@myrcurial,

I will rant anywhere... but let's move to the new site and rant there... but please read my latest first :)

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:02:43

I wouldn't start making lemonade yet, it's a proposal, not a done deal, and Andrea and Zephyr can't be criticized for being upset about the way Bob Young and our Mayor have handled this latest chapter in the Stadium debate. Sure there are other things we can be upset about when it comes to misuse of tax payer money, but as a result we don't lie down and let everyone just walk all over us. If you are passionate about an issue, you fight as long as you can, until nothing more can be done. The idea that GenXrs having no control over the future due to demographics is ridiculous. If you are trying to present yourself as an optimist I suggest you take another look at your post.

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By Mrs. Janitor (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:30:34

Has anyone even taken a look at the cities track record in doing projects?

City Hall: Insult to Roscoe's memory

New Bus Hub: $8million and behind schedule

Lister Block: Private company screwing city for funds

Wilson Two Way: How far behind schedule was this simple plan?

RedHill: Need I go on?

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By tnt (registered) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:33:55

@Mrs.Janitor That is a very negative way of looking at things. Who is to say that any of these things didn't go smooth out of unforeseen issues. Surely, the stadium and Pan-Am would be smoother do to larger government involvement. Also, I think LRT is something that is overseen by a larger body than city council. I hope.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:35:50

@scoop9 --- you need to look at the math if you think that GenX has anything other than a marginal amount of input into how our future has been spent.

We're going to have to rebuild all kinds of infrastructure that Boomers/Greatest have either ripped out (LRT) or simply failed to build with their own money (water treatment, lead pipes, etc.) and we're going to be supporting Boomers/Greatest as we try to do that.

Yay us.

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By scoop9 (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 13:56:39

I understand that our financial burdens will be greater because of our aging population, but that doesn't mean that we don't have a say, it means that we need to become more actively involved in politics, and hold our leaders accountable for the decisions they are making or are about to make, we don't just sit on a porch selling lemonade just being thankful for whatever "half assed" thing we get.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:08:06

@scoop9

And we're right back to the math.

As long as my 90+ year old grandparent and 60+ year old parents continue to vote for the same bread and circuses they've enjoyed for the latter half of the 20th century, my vote doesn't count - I'm always in the minority -- it's 3:1 on every single vote.

The same "whoops" that had boomers ready to retire in 2008 deciding to keep on working (why the hell did you have your entire retirement savings in mutual funds w/ 90% equity) and continue the upside-down situation in the workplace is going to affect the political 'workplace' as well.

I am whining. I know I am. However, I'm also watching the incumbency parade known as local politics in Hamilton and I'm happy as hell when they keep the screwups to a minimum.

I hate the way this stadium debate has taken centre stage over much more important parts of community building like transit/LRT, two-way streets, livable city, best place to raise children, lead pipe abatement process that isn't fundamentally insane / is available to renters, etc. --- however, I'm glad that Hamilton is likely not going to lose the only professional sports team we have because we seem to have lost everything else that would allow us to take pride in who and what we are -- defined by statements that are not semantically equivalent to "we're not Toronto".

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:26:13

What about the Hamilton Bulldogs?? They're also a professional team...and wholly deserve more of our support.

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2011 at 14:28:22

@Malex

Perhaps I should've been more clear...

In my (and other not-sports-fans) minds, professional team is "NHL"/"MLB"/"NBA"/"CFL"

I'm not going to be flipping on TSN or ESPN and hearing much about the Bulldogs, despite the fact that they may well be the best thing on ice since scotch.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 15:15:08

From 2001-02 to 2009-10, program spending in Ontario (primarily health and education) went up by 76.6%. In that same period of time, the amount of stuff that Ontario's economy produces has increased by only 25%. In 2000, government spending on goods and services comprised 16.5% of Ontario's economy, in 2009 it was 21.9%.

Since the government has taken more control over the economy, the result has been a weakening in our ability to compete. In 2000, Ontario's competitive economy had an export sector that made up 72.7% of GDP. In 2009, Ontario's big government, more centrally planned economy has an export sector that was only 48.8% of GDP. By looking to government for freebies we have forgotten that what creates wealth in the first place, competition and the free market.

Instead of any money going to a a stadium, Hamilton should either cut taxes and/or increase cash to poor people. Both of these things would reduce the role of government in allocating resources and would also increase the amount of business competition here in Hamilton. More competition equals more innovation and more wealth for everyone.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 00:51:41

I have an idea. How about we get rid of the union jobs and start paying everyone what Chineese busniess pay their workers. Over time we would be able to attract new busniess to open here instead of them going to China as they have this past decade.


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