Sports

Open Letter to Council: End the Madness

By Graham Crawford
Published January 12, 2011

Councillors,

Each of you are charged with making a very difficult decision on Wednesday. A decision made even more difficult with the presentation of a last minute, on-the-back-of-a-napkin deal cobbled together by Mayor Bratina with a partner who has been less than fair in their business dealings with the citizens of Hamilton.

You have no numbers, except that all of the money from the Future Fund and all of the funding from two higher levels of government will be spent replacing half of an existing stadium.

You don't know who will receive parking revenues. You don't know if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats plan to manage the stadium and how much they will ask to be paid to do so.

You don't know if concerts will be acceptable to local residents in the Ivor Wynne Stadium precinct.

You don't know if the Ticats plan on contributing anything to the project.

You do not know why Ivor Wynne Stadium is now acceptable to the Ticats. You don't know why Bob Young has had a change of heart, when only last week he was trying to move the team to Burlington.

You don't know what will happen in the West Harbour. You do not know how we will pay for soil remediation. You don't know even what will go into the West Harbour, unless you think it's a good idea to stick an office building on prime recreational and residential land.

There's a lot you don't know, and I don't envy you.

What you should know by now is that you should not trust the Ticat organization. If you feel that is harsh or unwarranted, I ask that you reflect on the nearly $12 million Hamilton taxpayers have already invested in land acquisition and on consultants and staff time, all focused on trying to appease the Ticats.

What you should know is that if you vote to move ahead with the Two Bobs Deal today, you do so based on emotion and saving face. I say this because you have nothing else on which to base it. Prudent? Hardly. Irresponsible? Likely.

Despite what one of you have said, the Ticats have proven to all Hamiltonians they are anything but beloved. What they are is not to be trusted. Ian Troop told Burlington as much in his interview last week.

This must come to an end. This is not a debate. This is not a business deal. This is simply madness.

Thanks for your attention.

Graham Crawford was raised in Hamilton, moving to Toronto in 1980 where he spent 25 years as the owner of a successful management consulting firm that he sold in 2000. He retired and moved back to Hamilton in 2005 and became involved in heritage and neighbourhood issues. He opened Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on James North in 2007, a multi-media exhibition space (aka a storefront museum) celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the City of Hamilton.

124 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 07:10:36

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By JonD (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 07:47:16

Well written Graham. Here's the letter I sent to all councillors this morning even though I expect Hamilton Fan may be right. The province has undoubtedly pulled as many strings with Toronto 2015 as they have with Hamilton Council.


Good morning Mr Farr, Mayor Bratina, and all other respected councillors.

Jason, thank you for prompt, and well thought out responses to questions from Raise the Hammer. They are appreciated and noticed by many.

I'm sure you're as keen as everyone in the city to have this stadium issue laid to rest. But the desire to have that happen shouldn't cloud what's at stake. As a tax paying homeowner in Ward 2 I'm against any option that doesn't see a significant contribution from the Ti-Cats themselves. They seem to be suspiciously vague on the numbers coming from their corporate sponsors and think its safe to assume that it isn't much at all. The tactics that saw an announcement of a "solution" through an 11th hour press conference is consistent with their method of negotiations throughout the process. The fact that the mayor attended the press conference doesn't really add to its legitimacy since if there's no time for debate or due diligence then it really amounts to yet another slap to council and by extension the tax payers face. I for one have had enough.

I'm in favour of a small-scale west harbour solution. Especially since it already meets the PanAm Committee's requirements for a viable site. A FF remediated waterfront surrounding a modest stadium and velodrome is a major step in the right direction and don't understand how it doesn't fit in with the Setting Sail plan.

While, the Ivor Wynn solution always seemed like the best of the other options... it certainly is not in its current form. The deal breaker for me is funding. The use of the entire Pan-Am funding as well as Future Fund is unwise and shortsighted to say the least. The taxpayer should not be on the hook for this and if this deal does go through there MUST be something attached to begin immediate WH remediation at the very least. A permanent velodrome was to be the one truly unique aspect to the games legacy for the city and in my view holds the most underestimated potential of all the Pan Am assets. But now even that appears off the table so as to bow to the Ti-Cats needs.

Its time we act like adults put aside nostalgia and look at the reality of the situation. If they aren't a viable business now at IW how does replacing it with a shinier and more costly version of itself change the equation? If the city and ward 2 didn't have so many other problems I could see a case for the luxury of subsidizing a failing but much loved institution. There's no need to remind you of the problems facing us in Ward 2 and the city in general... the poverty, the neglected properties, the toxic sites, the litter, the pot/sink holes, crumbling infrastructure, etc. There is so much city building to do and respect for tax payers starts with making decisions that benefit the whole, not the few.

These are defining decisions and I wish you all the best and wisdom as you cast your vote.

Thanks for your time,

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Rober_D (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 07:58:50

Well written both of you.

Unless the ti-cats have a final detail-filled contract to present to council for consideration, I think likely the only thing council will do today is ask staff to investigate and prepare a report on IWS for TO2015. I'm guessing there will be a following critical vote on whether to submit IWS or some other alternative. The decision will likely be based on emotion and council will grudgingly endorse IWS.

My hope for today is that they at least direct city staff to prepare a "backup bid" of some kind, or we'll be left with no real alternatives if IWS turns out not to be as good as some councillors might expect.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 08:07:14

S@JonD

Thanks and thanks. Your letter is excellent.

I have been corresponding directly with a few Councillors. As recently as this morning I asked one Councillor to consider getting a financial concession out of the Cats. Even though we both agreed that this deal was madness, I think we should not reward unprincipled behaviour on the part of the Cats. Surely, even die-hard Cats fans will give me that, won't they?

So, what could the concession be? How about the City of Hamilton receiving all parking revenues until such time as the citizens of Hamilton have been paid back their investment in staff time and consultants' fees ($1 million+ according to Rob Rossini) wasted on chasing a stadium location? How about if we insist the TiCats set up a WH Fund based on some formula so that monies from their operation help to ensure the remediation/development of the $10 million plot of land the taxpayers of Hamilton assembled as part of this whole "spin again" stadium nonsense? Without the involvement of 3 levels of government, that site likely will remain a new dead zone for many years to come. How about we insist on getting all of the naming rights money and that all of it go into moving the WH forward?

Finally, for the moment, something else that disturbs me. Mayor Bratina pushed back on the scalable stadium in the West harbour, saying, "Do we really need another 5,000 seat stadium in Hamilton?" Well, if I read the reports correctly, the TiCats plan on removing one of the few we have (Timmis) in order to create more parking. So, not only do we not add one, we take one off the list too. Proving, I suppose, that two Bob's don't make a right.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 08:12:34

"Surely, even die-hard Cats fans will give me that, won't they?" I wouldn't count on it, die-hard Cats fans support whatever the Cats support.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 08:25:38

Unprincipled behaviour on the part of the Cats without even acknowledging that both sides, if you are looking this at a side versus side affair, have made errors in this affair, is totally disingenuous and smacks of hidden agendas.

I acknowledge that both sides have made errors in this affair. BY is not without his faults and neither is council, the current Mayor and the past Mayor and council. As well as members of the media etc.

Yes, I'm a TigerCat fan and very proud of it regardless who owns the team. I enjoy going to the games, enjoy spending my money in Hamilton, enjoy it when I see a high school student working at the game and when I buy a drink or hotdog from them, I know this helps one of my fellow citizens get through school. And the TigerCats do employ some 250-300 people in the city, and I like that my purchases help a local establishment. I'm not racing down the QEW every which way all the time to spend my money in other cities. Every city is different and how stadiums are funded and very few are paid for by public funds. This stadium will be owned by the city. And once it's built or rebuilt and BY eventually sells, the city could purchase the team and eventually make money on the team and stadium in the future depending on TV deals, how the neighbourhood develops etc. We don't know the future. New stadiums and refburbished stadiums are happening in the league, this is a positive sign and bodes well for the future. As well the soccer people should be getting something from this with good quality PanAm matches and a soccer academy afterwards. Again, excellent.

And I wish to thank the past Mayor and council for helping to lay the groundwork to get a new or refurbished stadium in Hamilton, kudos to Fred on that. I think this should be gratefully acknowledged.

This is OUR city, OUR team and OUR league. Let's all work together to see the positives even if football isn't your game or you're not keen on the owner etc. We are all in this together here one way or another.

And yes, council should look at this hard and decide for themselves, I won't tell them what they should be doing, I don't have nearly all the facts they have or perspective as someone sitting on council. If they don't like it, they can vote it down or ask for more information. It is their choice how they wish to act. I just ask that all members of council show due respect and try to avoid acting like children and name calling. I don't see the positives in this type of behaviour from professionals.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 08:39:48

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:00:30

City Staff needs time to perform a detailed financial assessment of the capital costs and the lease agreement ( naming rights, operating costs ( turf, maintenance, utilities), revenue from parking and concessions) before Council can make an informed decision! Need to know the financial contribution of TiCats, Molsons, Primus and TIm Hortons to IWS?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:07:14

It is incumbent upon Hamilton city council to have much more financial and other information on the idea presented yesterday by Mayor Bratina and Bob Young to build the Pan Am stadium as a rebuild of the south side of Ivor Wynne Stadium before it can realistically vote on that idea. While the discussion of the idea is absolutely necessary tonight, staff needs to study this latest idea. It would make sense to hold special council meeting next week with a final vote at the Hamilton city council meeting on January 26, 2011.

As a starting point, the stadium construction cost numbers presented yesterday by Mayor Bratina and Mr. Young need to be closely examined. They suggested a $115 Million stadium construction cost split of $70 Million for Hostco and $45 Million for the City of Hamilton. However, the original agreement with Hostco requires a 56 per cent/44 per cent cost split between Hostco and Hamilton. For a $115 Million stadium, Hostco would be required to pay $64.4 Million, not $70 Million. Hamilton would be required to pay $50.6 Million, not $45 Million. Hamilton taxpayers need to know where the extra money will come from to fully fund a $115 Million stadium.

The ancillary plans plus the actual proposed contributions of Mr. Young, Molson's, Tim Horton's and Primus to the stadium project, as well as who would operate the stadium and how much it would cost to operate, must be known by Hamilton city council prior to a vote on the Ivor Wynne Stadium plan.

Lastly, since Hostco has already approved the west harbour site (it was contained in the bid book), Hamilton city council should also consider submitting the scalable west harbour stadium plan to Hostco as a backup plan to the Ivor Wynne Stadium refurbishment plan just in case the Ivor Wynne Stadium plan does not meet of all Hostco's criteria.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By JMorse (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:07:49

I just sent this to council:

Good morning Mr. Mayor and Councilors,

Having the latest "plan" to take advantage of the PanAm opportunity appear at the end of such a long and painful process is a relief, but more of a concern. You are now faced with possibly agreeing to what seems could please all parties, however it likely still compromises the goals and intent of the PanAm opportunity.

This is not a plan at all, yet. It is an idea, a theory, a concept. Until the details are fully revealed none of us will know the immediate and future costs to the city in both dollars, other sacrificed PanAm projects, and less tangible but most important community benefit. The manner and timing of which the "plan" was announced are at the very least suspicious, and should be regarded as such. Something stinks.

Though this whole subject weighs heavily on our agenda, we must remain more cautious than ever. Please do not be tempted to accept any proposal with carefully confirming we are not sacrificing more than ever to keep this struggling single private business afloat.

This decision must be made in the context of all of Hamilton's PanAm opportunities. I urge you to direct to preparation of two thorough plans before the Feb. 1 deadline; one that includes a scalable facility at West Harbour, and one that includes the latest Ivor Wynne concept. Only with this overall view of what we stand to sacrifice and to gain with either plan will a responsible decision be made.

The citizens of Hamilton are well aware of the undue influence of private interests in this issue. Unless the facts are laid bare during this process, council's legacy for this term will one of outright corruption.

I wish you all the wisdom, patience, and determination to see this through to what we'll all feel is a positive conclusion.

Thank you,

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:09:52

I urge you to direct to preparation of two thorough plans before the Feb. 1 deadline; one that includes a scalable facility at West Harbour, and one that includes the latest Ivor Wynne concept. Only with this overall view of what we stand to sacrifice and to gain with either plan will a responsible decision be made.

Absolutely! Assuming staff have time to prepare both proposals, this is the only responsible course for Council to take.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:21:25

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:23:35

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:25:30

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 09:27:11

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:33:26

Here's my letter:


Dear Council,

The latest Pan Am stadium proposal - a partially rebuilt Ivor Wynne Stadium - certainly has promise, but I urge caution and deliberation. As Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop advised Burlington Council last week, so I advise this week: look very closely at the reported costs being talked about for the Ivor Wynne stadium.

At a minimum, you will need to see confirmed funding commitments from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and their corporate partners before you can take this proposal seriously. Right now, taxpayers are on the hook for $115 million to spend ... $115 million to refurbish Ivor Wynne. That is an unacceptable division of financial responsibility.

More broadly, you are best served by keeping the Pan Am Games goals, the Future Fund mandate, and the City's community-building objectives front and centre. A successful plan that fulfills these objectives will:

  • Entail the remediation of the Barton-Tiffany property; and
  • Upgrade the Velodrome into a permanent, year-round, high-performance facility.

These are the two Pan Am legacies that should weigh heaviest in your deliberations, because they will produce the most long-term benefit to the City. As Mr. Troop reminded us last week, "The stadium debate has to be balanced. It's not about providing a stadium for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. If that's part of a solution, terrific, but that's not our mandate."

At this late stage, the responsible course is to request firm proposals on both a refurbished Ivor Wynne stadium and a scalable West Harbour stadium. That way, Council can make its final decision prior to February 1 with the best possible information.

Sincerely,

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By JMorse (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:39:56

The only responsibile course for Council to take is to act as they genuinely feel what is best.

You're suggesting our council should be guided by their feelings? You can't be serious.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:45:02

You're suggesting our council should be guided by their feelings?

When you don't have the facts on your side go for broke on emotion. Fear's usually good for a few votes.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 09:49:00

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:05:59

Sorry, I have to play Devil's advocate here...

You don't know if concerts will be acceptable to local residents in the Ivor Wynne Stadium precinct.

And the local residents of West Harbour? Were they asked about the stadium or the entertainment district? I suspect not. (Especially with the almost-instant injection -in a negative way- on this site of the spectre of NEN into any comment's reference of Setting Sail, etc, or the lazy-assed invocation of 'NIMBY' as counter-salvos to any objections or concerns residents might register...)

What you should know by now is that you should not trust the Ticat organization. If you feel that is harsh or unwarranted, I ask that you reflect on the nearly $12 million Hamilton taxpayers have already invested in land acquisition and on consultants and staff time, all focused on trying to appease the Ticats.

So this is the amount already spent by Fred on a contaminated site? This was spent without a written guarantee from the tenants -which is in itself a bad move by a 1.5 Bil dollar corp- but how did they spend so much money, when nearby contaminated lands were sold much cheaper by the city itself only a few years ago...?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:07:26

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:07:46

@Robert_d, agreed. All great letters. I too, even though I support this proposal and always have even though I never expected an Ivor Wynne project of this magnitude, do strongly agree that a secondary plan should also be presented to HostCo for a 6,000 seat stadium in case the IWS proposal is not approved. Hamilton deserves that funding either way. I also agree that West Harbor cannot be ignored after all that has gone down through this Pan Am process. I will say, and I forwarded the report with my letter to council late last night, that estimates for the work required to rebuild/modernize Ivore Wynne had already been done back in Feb of 2009. The 2007 City report on IWS also outlined how we would replace the south stands without play interuption so the reports exist, the costs just seemed to great at the time but they have obviously realized that they are much lower than new build costs, and there is truly a strong doundation already in place, for a great community project along Balsam Ave N. I don't know that things like soil remediation are even required with the scope of this project, but I am certainly no expert on this type of thing.

I think that the whole idea of an entertainment district is not part of this proposal, is a really good thing. Everything that has been stated revolves around an amaeur sports hub built into a professional football teams home field. I know I love just being in the presence of our old stadium so imagine how are children feel about it. Ever played at IWS? It's quite a feeling to play on the same field as our beloved Tiger-Cats so for these reasons and so many others, I think this is a vision that can only spur some very positive and exciting things for not just Ward 3, but for our entire city. Imagine those Delta High School kids who use Ivor Wynne as their home field, walking into this new Ivor Wynne? Wouldn't mind being a kid for one more day myself, to play on my old Barton Barons team in a championship game in the snow at a new Ivor Wynne against our rival Glendale Bears.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:15:54

The West Harbour site is likely the best solution if only because the process leading to that site appears to be the most thoughtful, rational and well-considered. Last minute switcheroos tend to encourage emotional, unbalanced decisions.

Picking the site is only the beginning. The final outcome is dependent on a creative design process, which has yet to occur.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:25:49

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:26:51

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:34:28

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:35:40

The West Harbour site is likely the best solution if only because the process leading to that site appears to be the most thoughtful, rational and well-considered.

How about "If THIS is the 'most thoughtful, rational and well-considered' of all our options, then maybe we need to shake our collective heads, back away from the table and accept the fact that considering everything before us, we're obliged to say 'No, sorry, no'."

The problem with that line of reasoning is that a 6000 seat stadium is also an act of emotional desperation to salvage something from nothing.

Thank you. While I am not saying that the 6,000-seat proposition is bad in an of itself, I do believe that the final portion of your sentence as applied to how this Act Three has played itself out so far is about as cogent an observation as I have seen in a while.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:45:01

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 10:46:19

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:46:13

@mystoneycreek

OK, I get the Devil's advocate caveat.

  1. I agree, we need to seek the input of the residents of the Central Neighbourhood Association. The North End Neighbours have every right to offer their views on the WH location, but let's be clear they are not the neighbourhood association that represents the WH. They are right across the tracks from the WH, so they are close. I attended the meeting they organized on Monday night. it was well attended and of real value. I told the organizers so. But my neighbourhood association borders the other side of the neighbourhood association that represents the WH, so I too feel entitled to offer my views too. The NEN and I agree on residential as part of the development for the WH. Where we disagree is on density.

  2. We have never had a signed agreement with the Cats, and we still don't. It was the majority of Council that voted 7 times for the WH, not just Fred. He happened to be one of very few of them who took an informed and principled stand. He explained his rationale - city building. He lost. Hard for me to be objective, because I voted for him, but I still have a huge amount of respect for him. Bob Young's stadium revisionism as spouted yesterday at the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bob) media conference is worthy of praise from Josef Stalin.

How's that, Devil's advocate? :-)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By George (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:46:34

told you so wrote,

Vote in favour of the only solution available

Only solution for the Tiger-Cats. They have no other option, no place else to go.

The city has another option. It's the 6,000 seat scalable stadium that can potentially do more for the city.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-12 10:54:06

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:47:04

Mayor and council,

All of a sudden IWS is a suitable location for Bob Young! Sounds like it could be a great compromise.

But what are his motivations? Considering it underperforms WH on every single metric that Young touted as "WH deal killers" before, we should ask some questions before diving in.

First and foremost, is this a sign that the cats have nowhere else to go? And if so, then wouldn't it be prudent to consider that if we move forward with the plan that the citizens of hamilton support in vast majority - the one that we have voted over and over to approve, the ticats will have no choice but to come to the table and play at west harbour - their only other (extremely unlikely) option being to fold completely?

Why is this proposal costing so much on land that we already own - which needs minimal if any remediation?

Are the TiCats providing ANY funding for this? Or are we giving the whole thing to them as a gift?

How much surrounding land will become surface parking?

How much surrounding land will be developed in "big box store" style at profit to Bob Young?

What are the terms of the 20 year lease?

What happens to the WH land we already own? Will BY stand behind his previous promises to help fund that? If not, how will we afford to fix that land if we blow all of our funding on IWS?

Who gets to share in ancillary revenues? parking, concessions, etc?

Is there any tax income benefit to the city under this plan?

Does this accomplish any of our city building goals?

How does this affect Hamilton's amateur sport legacy?

Will we be able to build a permanent velodrome?

We had better get answers to these and more before even considering this last ditch plug.

Short of positive answers to all of these questions, I implore you - please vote for a scalable WH stadium. The Ticats WILL come to the table once we show them our strength as a city.

Don't let your citizens down. How many times do we have to speak before our voices are heard?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:58:47

Well written and presented. However, I'm in disagreement.

From the outset, even the most ardent opposition for stadium building (Merulla) felt that an adequate, potentially sustainable, economically viable solution came in renovating of Ivor Wynne Stadium. Most, self-included, did not feel that this was palatable for the Ticats and discounted the notion rather quickly.

However, now that we've seen what the other sites have available AND a kumbaya-by-the-campfire has been held where, surprisingly, the team is on board with this initiative, then why would we look a gift-horse in the mouth and offer a 'thanks but no thanks'? Especially at this stage.

Like it or not, there's a deadline of Feb 1st that carries valuable infrastructure and facility money with it. Sure, we'd all prefer upgrades closer to downtown. But, to me, any improvement to the stadium area is some consolation.

This would also ensure the Ticats continue playing -- and, hopefully thriving -- in their traditional home. Regardless of whether you like the team, sport, or sports in general, this is a 130 year old institution that brings upwards of 28,000 into the lower city 10 times a year. It also provides strong, and emotional, exposure of the 'Hamilton' brand (and all that goes with that) to an additional 600,000-1.5 million eyeballs around the country each time they play.

If another institution did that, and was in need of facility upgrading, I'd sure hope we'd support that as well.

Looking at this as objectively as I can, I don't foresee a better deal arriving on our plates. Turning it down would really leave citizens and onlookers questioning how we value one our strong community and cultural ties.

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-01-12 11:01:47

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By George (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:01:30

Rober_D wrote,

... direct city staff to prepare a "backup bid" of some kind, or we'll be left with no real alternatives if IWS turns out not to be as good as some councillors might expect.

Great idea!

I just emailed councilors to that effect. Submit both plans. Plan A the preferred plan (whether it's the 6,000 seat scalable WH or new IWS), and the other as plan B to ensure we secure all that Federal and provincial funding. Sure wouldn't want that money going to another municipality in case Plan A falls apart, just as the original WH plan did when the Ti-Cats bailed at the last second. (and also their last second bailings out of EM and Aldershot. Pattern?)

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-12 11:02:22

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:02:38

So opponents of a WH stadium are concerned about the residents in the area?

I am a North End resident. One of many younger professionals who have fallen in love with the area and have bought up an older home and am currently renovating it. I am excited about the future of this community and completely support investment into the WH, including a stadium. There are lots of people like me. The NEN, bless their hearts, seem to be against any sort of progress or development in our neighbourhood. I recognize their right to a voice in the future of our community. But they are no means the only voice and I suspect represent an increasingly smaller demographic. The North End is changing.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:04:17

I'm not sure that voting for a 6,000-seat stadium at the WH is an emotional act of desperation. The WH is the approved location, by both the City and HostCo. The stadium was the anchor of the WH dev't. I don't think getting a tenant will be a problem, not based on the soccer info that I've read over the past 3/4 year. We retain our enviable role in the Pan Am Games, get another sports & ent't facilities, kickstart the WH dev't (which can only be a gem if done right), and get a new soccer team. I don't perceive any white elephants there.

An internationally envied Velodrome would certainly attract a desirable audience to our City, inclusive of cycling events and new residents. tons and tons of economic spin-off, not to mention the increase in cycling culture on Hamiltonians. Very progressive. With all due respect, very un-Hamilton (and I say that as a proud Hamiltonian).

I do worry about sound levels at the WH, if there's been no provision for that yet, but then again...no one has shut down IWS or Gage Park. Not sure I'd want to live right beside any of these venues, though, even though the sound issue wouldn't occur probably more than a handful of times (tell a colicky baby or shift worker that).

As much as I like the idea of re-developong an existing stadium and re-invigorating an existing neighbourhood, logistically, with all emotional ties to IWS and the Cats aside (which is a struggle), IWS is not a great location for a 30,000-seat national team stadium - difficult to access and quite honestly, not our best visual foot put forward. The WH has location hands down in that regard.

Don't you wish the $115-million would cover a 5,000-seater @ WH, a mind-blowing Velodrome and upgrades to IWS? Too bad all three venues couldn't be brought into the Pan Am Games fold for events.

Meanwhile...time to piece together myriad pieces of info and missing info into a cohesive letter to Council...

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By George (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:07:06

@ slodrive good post. Although I disagree with...

slodrive wrote:

where, surprisingly, the team is on board with this initiative

Not surprising at all. THEY HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS, and this is another free ride. How is this surprising that they would accept this?

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-12 11:07:21

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

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

Zephyr wrote;

But they are no means the only voice and I suspect represent an increasingly smaller demographic. The North End is changing.

This dynamic is exactly what has me excited about the future of our city's downtown!

Proactive progressiveness is much better than the stagnant status quo that has palgued the city's core for the last few decades. Change is most certainly needed in our core.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:20:47

We have indeed reached a bizarre stage in the public process, when calmly reinforcing a plan made after years of study constitutes an "emotional act of desperation"; whereas jumping on a plan hatched overnight with no details attached to it less than three weeks before a final decision must be made constitutes "the only responsible course for Council".

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:23:13

even the most ardent opposition for stadium building (Merulla) felt that an adequate, potentially sustainable, economically viable solution came in renovating of Ivor Wynne Stadium...

Keep going and finish that thought:

...renovating of Ivor Wynne Stadium for around $20 million.

Can you spot the difference in yesterday's snap proposal?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:25:17

Ryan, a tenant that has some pull with the ability to attract an average of at least 20,000 for at least 10 times a year, is a must first before the city embarks on some plan without such a tenant. "Build it and they will come" mentality I don't believe is the wisest choice in many, probably most, instances.

Scalable means you are looking for a larger facility in the future, that you don't seem to see it, a 6000 seater, as an end upon itself, if I'm reading this correctly.

Also, I don't believe yesterday's proposal was snap in the purest sense. I know of reading an article in the Spec from at least a year or so ago where this idea was floated about and I'm sure the city and the TigerCats have had more than just some "ok, that's an idea" type discussions of it.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 11:28:13

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:27:04

@George

I too am optimistic about the future of this city. I have lived in the North End for 9 years (time flies). In this time, I have observed a slow-building momentum in the James North/North End neighbourhoods, and it is starting to reach a critical mass. It makes sense to invest our Future Fund (and the fed/prov funds) where they will do the most good - an area where people are already investing in and clamouring to start businesses. An area of natural beauty that is already an athletics destination with amazing rollerblading in good weather and an outdoor ice rink in the winter.

The reason I bought a house where I did is that when I was fresh out of university in the 1990s I had a job interview that was held in the Yacht Club building at the North End, and thought to myself that this was the most beautiful area of Hamilton (I had never been there before). I ended up living in England for many years, but when I returned with a house downpayment, I immediately searched the area and bought the first decent house I could find. The point of my story is people WANT to live and play on waterfront areas. In any city you can name. Hamilton has the opportunity to continue to develop its waterfront into a destination for all the people of Hamilton (and not just a few lucky condo-dwellers). Incidentally I worked in San Francisco for a couple of years and brought my husband back to the North End a few years ago, and he is amazed at the beauty of where we live and the incredible unspoiled potential of the area. Too often Hamiltonians do not realize what we have here!

We need COMMUNITY amateur athletics facilities, as well as the velodrome which will leave a legacy for high-performance amateur athletics for our city. I believe Hamiltonians are some of the least-fit of all Canadians according to surveys I read last year. This is an opportunity to build a healthy alternative for all residents of this city.

Or we can blow the entire PanAm games windfall on renovating a stadium for a failing business, and make that our legacy.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:27:17

@George

You are right. If this situation proved anything, it's what we all knew from the outset. This is THE market for the team. But, initiatives like the Paletta group, to me, is a relocation. Whether it was feasible or not, it would always be a dark cloud hanging over the team.

The team is also, like it or not, one of the key faces of this city's identity. Why not do what we can, within economical reason, to showcase that?

Trust me. There's nothing I want to see more than the revitalization of our downtown. And, in my opinion, the Cats had a chance to both accelerate that and reap the rewards of that. For some reasons (some valid, I think), they didn't take advantage. That, before this new lease expires, will be their regret.

But losing the team and chunk of provincial game funding would not have helped matters either. Financially or psychologically. I'm hoping that through this initiative we will still get our West Harbour remediation (though, less than originally thought), keep our 130 year old franchise, and get a substantial upgrade in our most iconic and attended sports facility.

Comment edited by slodrive on 2011-01-12 11:27:48

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:27:41

@H&H

Push a proposal into someone else's neighbourhood, wrap it up with the flag of 'community benefit', draw upon the resources of a well-meaning, intellectual lynchmob, and slam anyone and anything that gets in your way into submission.

Then when the last-minute-desperation sets in, let the name-calling begin.

Hmm...

Here's something for all to think about:

1) FInd out if Fred can present the community with the due deligence report done on the Rheem property before it was presented to Council for an approval.

2) Find out who the realtors were and see if you can show the communty the MLS listing which highlights the site conditions.

3) Get comparables of similar properties for sale and show the community the price of such properties in relation to the Rheem land purchase price.

4) Ask yourself what the real reasons may have been to force a project onto this land.

If we manage to do all of this successfully, maybe we'll find a whole new appreciation for the role of a true 'community builder'. Who knows; maybe along the way we'll also also develop some respect for ourselves and for how little we might actually understand about a situation.

Maybe.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:27:47

Scalable means you are looking for a larger facility in the future

Scalable means the option of a larger facility if a professional tenant is interested. In the meantime, it means the current facility is small enough to be economically self-sustaining without the need for a professional tenant - as Ian Troop has repeatedly and painstakingly explained.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:29:22

@HamiltonFan -

The Bayfront Park area already has 500,000 visitors a year. The new ice rink is packed with skaters every day, you can barely ever find a seat at the Williams Coffee Pub, and the roller blading trails are a zoo every day of the spring/summer. So its not a case of "build it and they will come"... they are already there!

People in Hamilton WILL support more options for entertainment on the WH, as the current options are already maxxed out....

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:31:23

Will such a facility at WH, if it remains 6000 for years to come, be a drain on city coffers? Already they are looking at HECFI and how much it loses and thinking of privatizing it. To use the term "failing business", that would seem to apply to what the city owns and operates now in HECFI.

Zephyr, then people need to develop a written business case and present this to council and quick if it's not too late. I love the WH as I've said all along, went there for a coffee and skate this past Monday, the skating rink has added to our enjoyment, we go for a walk first, coffee and end up for a skate and then check out Dr. Disc for some CD's or stop at Giant Tiger on Barton I think it is (they have some stuff the mountain location doesn't have) etc., lots to do downtown I agree. The library as well, Farmers Market etc.

The WH is truly a hidden gem, I fully agree. But building something takes a business plan and buy-in with the city.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 11:36:24

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:35:59

@HamiltonFan

The WH business case was done many years ago, the WH was part of the PanAm bid book, and the site has been ratified 7 times

How about the IWS business case :) when will we see that? The cost, terms of the lease, and Ti-Cat contribution would be a great start.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By George (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:37:29

@ slodrive - Agree with your last post.

But, initiatives like the Paletta group, to me, is a relocation. Whether it was feasible or not, it would always be a dark cloud hanging over the team.

To that I'd say, any move out of the city would be the team's death knell judging by the fans' backlash furthering the point they have no choice.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Avenger (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:38:47

Graeme's letter is articulate but offers no solution. At least this time Mr. Crawford isn't vexatiously appealing to the Integrity Commissioner as he did once before.

The IWS solution is a half baked idea but it's better than an Aldershot or Mississauga solution. Hamilton would never have lived it down. If they approve the proposal currently before them, by 2014 everyone will have forgotten the debate and only see a refurbished stadium with an invigorated team owned by someone other than Bob Young.

Here is the caution. The package is nicely wrapped in fancy tinsel only to get Hostco (sorry Toronto 2015) and Council support. Once the construction starts, you will see the cost over-runs multiply. That is the unfortunate part. What is a good news story for Brattina now will come back to bite him because of the cost over-runs. They will try to get Lloyd Ferguson to assume the construction controls and they will spin it positively, but it will be as much of a fib when they do as the city hall renovations which were supposedly on time and under budget. What we were not told is that there were 1600, yes count them, 1600 deficiencies to the city hall when staff moved back in....many are still now being dealt with.

I would be very cautious going forward.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:39:13

For starters the TigerCats bring around 20,000 or so 10 times a year to a location.

Look, I agree if council thinks the TigerCats aren't worth it, and they wish to explore WH further, then do it. And who knows, maybe the TigerCats are bluffing on WH. I don't know. At least with Bob Bratina there is more of a chance the TigerCats will listen.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 11:42:26

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:41:07

slowdrive: “this is a 130 year old institution that brings upwards of 28,000 into the lower city 10 times a year.”

The CFL’s average home game attendance is upwards of 28,000.

The Cats’ average home game attendance was about 28,000 for the first two BY seasons; average home game attendance under his stewardship is below 25,000. The team’s average home game attendance for the years 1979-2009 is approximately 19,500.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:43:11

Scalable means the option of a larger facility if a professional tenant is interested. In the meantime, it means the current facility is small enough to be economically self-sustaining without the need for a professional tenant - as Ian Troop has repeatedly and painstakingly explained.

"The City Hall renovation alone puts to rest any fears of this stadium scaling up in the future, allaying any anxiety that non-progressive residents from any of these three neighborhoods may feel at the image of, say a 20,000-seat stadium in their midst. It simply won’t happen in our cultural landscape. In fact, the only place where scalability has proven to work well in our city is in our schools. With their portables."

From the satirical essay 'A Case for the 'Mother of all Stadium Locations in Hamilton' by Mahesh Butani.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:44:34

What we were not told is that there were 1600, yes count them, 1600 deficiencies to the city hall when staff moved back in....many are still now being dealt with.

Anyone in the know able to provide what an expected level of 'deficiencies' would be for a project of this scope?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:44:57

Many teams have fluctuating attendances but people don't go around saying they are a failing business. Are the Bulldgos a failing business with their tiny attendance? Yes, then accordingly so should be evicted from Copps, an arena for too big and plush for what they bring to the table.

The Arizona Cardinals were averaging around 38,000 for years but with a new stadium and better team, have attendances now in the 60,000 plus range.

The NHL doesn't mind having some teams in the US with small attendances but they don't go around saying they are a failing business, so it seems.

The Blue Jays average 45,000 plus for years, now it's about half that. Are they failing as well?

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-12 11:46:36

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:45:16

Zephyr,

The WH business case was done many years ago, the WH was part of the PanAm bid book, and the site has been ratified 7 times

That business plan would have been for a 25,000 seat stadium with a major tenant bringing in close to capacity crowds 9-10 times a year, not for a 6000 seat scalable stadium with small if any attendance for community use. Honestly, how can you compare the two venues under the same business plan?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:46:58

There's another option...

Since it's been proven that Dalton and his cronies have been meddling in our local politics, how about simply asking him to take over and figure out the best thing for us... it's not like we can say that our IncumbencyWOW councillors are any closer to some high faluting ethical ideal of "working for the people" than any other politicians...

Frak it all anyways. I'm going to keep earning money outside of the City of Hamilton and spending it as close to home as I possibly can, thereby doing more for city building than the self-congratulatory reach-around squad in the Sidewalks 'R Us bunker on Main West.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:52:26

people don't go around saying they are a failing business.

No they say that when the business loses millions of dollars a year, year after year.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:58:01

Its not new thinking that the WH option is based on emotion. Thats what its always been based on rather that a business plan that has the financing in order. A 6000 seater was an act that has no resemblance to the original plan that is more than 10 years in the making and is even more of an act of emotion. The plan for IWS is also an act of emotion. Now is the time to put emotion aside and do whats best for the city based on 3 possible choices

1. Reject the stadium because there is insufficient funds to meet our goals
2. Accept the IWS because its within our means and meets most of our goals knowing that it means we'll have to find another way of cleaning up the Rheem property
3. Accept the 6000 scaleable stadium because it meets most of our goals but ensures that we'll never have a 20,000 plus stadium we'll need to find another way of cleaning up IWS, Scott Park and Dominion Glass

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:00:04

HamiltonFan: "Many teams have fluctuating attendances but people don't go around saying they are a failing business."

And certainly not their owners!

"The team had gone bankrupt in 2003 and has lived on the edge of insolvency for the last forty years, trying to play out of Ivor Wynne." - Bob Young

http://www.ticats.ca/article/caretaker-stadium-update-october-5

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:00:55

@Avenger

I think I spelled your name correctly, even though you misspelled mine :-)

My concerns with the way City Hall was being renovated seem to be borne out by your claim of 1600 construction deficiencies. Are you loving the patchwork quilt called the concrete cladding despite claims that "the average person would not be able to see the difference"? Thanks for pointing out that my concerns were well-founded.

Having said that, what my comments regarding the City Hall renovation have to do with my posts regarding the stadium debate are unclear to me, but please feel free to comment as you see fit. BTW, love your name, although I think your cape might be on a little too tight.

Comment edited by H+H on 2011-01-12 12:13:42

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:01:14

Does anyone know why Montreal closed it's Velodrome in 1989? I was kind of shocked that they would.

Montreal Velodrome

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:06:18

They like many others (most in fact) found the costs of operating the facility to be too high

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:17:10

Whether you agree that the costs were too high or not, that was the reason given

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:17:21

@mrjanitor,

The reason for the 25,000 business plan is that the Ti-Cats were to be a legacy tenant for the stadium and were to contribute to the cost of expanding the stadium from what was required for the PanAm games. The expansion to accomodate the Ti-Cats was only a "nice to have" as confirmed by Ian Troop.

Changing the business plan to a 6,000 seat stadium fulfills the PanAm game mandate (amateur athletics legacy) nicely and is indeed what other communities are proposing to the PanAm committee as a contingency in case Hamilton fails to find an acceptable solution. As again confirmed by Ian Troop the cost savings in building a smaller stadium could be put towards building a permanent velodrome.

If the Ti-Cats find some money to contribute to this project, they can find themselves at the negotiating table as a partner. Right now whether we choose the IWS site of the WH site, they are merely a corporate welfare recipient.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:22:49

@Fred Street

...uhh, so, upwards of 28,000 sounds pretty accurate to me. I think using the current ownership group era is plenty far enough back. Judging fan support during 1-17 bankruptcy years is a little deceiving. So, by my rudimentary/ anecdotal calculations we get around 25k for the opener, 30k for Labour Day, 27k for playoffs and between 21k and 24k for the others -- depending on the team's record and who's in town.

So, I'll add "...an average of about 23,500 AND upwards of 30,000". Not that it makes any difference to my argument.

I do question the objective of those who quote that the team averages 20,000. It doesn't take much googling to figure out that crowds in that neighbourhood are few and far between. Let's gather evidence from someplace more recent than the Grant-ownership era.

Regardless, call it 18,000k, with say, 150,000 watching for 3 hours, 10 times a year on TV. Does the city have another property that generates this many national impressions?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:27:33

I don't think that a mind-blowing, renovated IWS will bring in more Ticat fans, although it will retain fans. I think a different location with better access and nice surroundings (whether that be neighbourhood or post-game activities) will. A mind-blowing, renovated IWS may keep the Ticats; then again, it may not. A smaller, WH stadium may lose the Ticats; then again, it may not. I know this was all supposed to be about the Pan Am Games, and the Cats SHOULD NOT be driving this economic boat, but they are attached to this issue in a huge way. In simple economic terms, contributing to a losing business in any way is sheer stupidity, an activity for bored billionnaires not hard-working citizens, but there's so much more to the Ticats role in Hamilton's identity than simply economics. Bottom line on BY is that what he says is irrelevant; contracts only. Makes one wonder why the east coast is so bent on getting CFL action/expansion down there. There must be a case for this to be a good economic move, especially with all the data out there on stadium losses/profits now. I do believe we are getting snowed insofar as the Cats being a losing venture; I just don't know what we can do about it.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:32:55

Zephyr,

I have to call BS on your last post. Hamilton fan wrote this:

Will such a facility at WH, if it remains 6000 for years to come, be a drain on city coffers? Already they are looking at HECFI and how much it loses and thinking of privatizing it. To use the term "failing business", that would seem to apply to what the city owns and operates now in HECFI. Zephyr, then people need to develop a written business case and present this to council and quick if it's not too late.

You responded:

The WH business case was done many years ago, the WH was part of the PanAm bid book, and the site has been ratified 7 times

You clearly reference the studies already done for a ti-Cat leased 25,000 seat stadium, not studies that need to be done for a 6000 seat stadium. In response I wrote this:

That business plan would have been for a 25,000 seat stadium with a major tenant bringing in close to capacity crowds 9-10 times a year, not for a 6000 seat scalable stadium with small if any attendance for community use. Honestly, how can you compare the two venues under the same business plan.

Then you rebuttal me with this.

Changing the business plan to a 6,000 seat stadium fulfills the PanAm game mandate (amateur athletics legacy) nicely and is indeed what other communities are proposing to the PanAm committee as a contingency in case Hamilton fails to find an acceptable solution.

Zephyr, business plans are based on studies, statistics, financial analysis and on examples from other sites reference as a precedent, there are not something you just simply 'change'. A business plan is not something you throw together in a day to justify what you happen to believe, the data has to match the business assumptions. Please tell where the data discussed exists for a 6000 seat stadium in West Harbour? I don't think there is any in existence.

You are reaching for straws on this now, please discuss things that are in existence or can be completed in the next two weeks.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-12 12:36:57

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:50:06

@mrjanitor

Thanks for the lengthy explanation of what a business plan entails (incidentally I am a Project Manager/Consultant so I have completed a few in my career :) ).

If we can't revise the much-studied WH business plan from a 25,000 seat stadium to a 6,000 seat stadium (which is already fully costed has been confirmed as acceptable by the PanAm committee), then it begs the obvious question of how we can possibly draft said business plan from scratch for the IWS site in just over two weeks.

As confirmed by you, business plans are very serious things and not to be taken lightly:

"based on studies, statistics, financial analysis and on examples from other sites reference as a precedent, there are not something you just simply 'change'. A business plan is not something you throw together in a day to justify what you happen to believe, the data has to match the business assumptions."

I double your BS call... and blow a raspberry at you... and double-dog-dare-you to find me an IWS business proposal :)

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-12 12:52:24

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:52:19

"it begs the obvious question of how we can possibly draft said business plan from scratch for the IWS site in just over two weeks."

Especially when we already know the Ticats lose money every year there and until a week ago said the site couldn't work for them....

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:03:47

Just to debunk another myth about crowds being 20,000 or less the majority of the time. Attendace for 11 home games this season was 262,483 for an average of 23862. The largest crowd was 30,048 the smallest was 19645 for an exhibition game 20791 for regular season games and 8 games drew more than 23,000

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:06:32

@no brainer. A plan was drafted and presented to council in 2007 to do exactly what is proposed. I think they can update the numbers to todays figures in 2 weeks. God I hope they aren't so incompetent that they can't

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:07:22

" double your BS call... and blow a raspberry at you... and double-dog-dare-you to find me an IWS business proposal :)"

Well, the IWS proposal and yes I don't know if any detailed proposal exists, does include Grey Cups which have proven successful lately in other communities.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:07:54

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:10:09

@HamiltonFan

Awesome! Where can I read the happy news that our fair city has been awarded multiple Grey Cups? (And to think I missed the news about the first one).

I hope this news is at least as concrete as the contribution from the "major corporate sponsors" to the new stadium....

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:14:44

@mrjanitor --

You said that it would not be feasible to revise the WH business plan from 25,000 seats to 6,000 seats in two weeks... by your very own logic, it would seem to be impossible to create an IWS business plan in the same amount of time (which you do realize is all the time we have to submit a costed proposal with a construction timeline, right?) So I'm hoping for your sake that there is a IWS business plan out there or else the IWS reno seems doomed.

Sorry my attempt at logic (not to mention humour) was wasted.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:15:04

mrjanitor wrote:

A business plan is not something you throw together in a day to justify what you happen to believe, the data has to match the business assumptions.

This is an arguments against the Ivor Wynne site, because it's (theoretically) easier to adjust the existing West Harbour proposal than it is to create one for Ivor Wynne.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:28:17

Zephyr,

My point is that it is impossible to revise, edit or reassemble the current WH plan accurately because there is absolutely no data for a community use 6000 seater in it. They are completely different animals and can only be studied as unique entities unto themselves.

Once again, you deflect (and still not answer) your accountability for what you wrote while putting accountability on me something I have never written about:

You said that it would not be feasible to revise the WH business plan from 25,000 seats to 6,000 seats in two weeks... by your very own logic, it would seem to be impossible to create an IWS business plan in the same amount of time

Why won't you defend YOUR statements without trying to leave $h!t smears on me for something (yet again) I have never discussed?

I believe an IWS plan is already in existence, however the best person to ask is Lawrence, he has been all over IWS for years now. Here is his web site:

www.saveivorwynnestadium.com

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:36:28

@mrjanitor --

It is rather vulgar to accuse a lady of trying to leave the smears to which you refer ... I would never do that, even metaphorically. Nevertheless:

My answer is that I think it very reasonable to put together a business case for a 6,000 seat stadium located on the WH lands in two weeks. Especially as the PanAm committee has already confirmed that this solution fits their criteria as a legacy for amateur athletics and that there is no need for a permanent tenant. The business case is that it will be used as a soccer stadium during the PanAm games and for community athletic events going forward. What we really need now is a detailed cost breakdown and a proposed construction schedule, as other communities are already working on will submit towards the end of January, on time for the Feb 1st deadline.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:36:44

Just throwing it out there; wouldn't the current community use of Ivor Wynne be suitable data for a new 6,000 seat stadium? We are not talking about exclusively the need for new users.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:40:07

@ slodrive /

I think I was clear and generous about the attendance figures. I was just putting things in an historical scope; it's clear that attendance has slumped, though not to historic lows.What I questioned was the assertion that "this is a 130 year old institution that brings upwards of 28,000 into the lower city 10 times a year." In fact, this is a 141-year-old institution that brought upwards of 28,000 into the lower city 12 times since the 2003 season began. Via Wikipedia:

Sept 6, 2004: 29,170 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Oct 15, 2004: 29,220 vs. Ottawa Renegades
July 2, 2005: 29,032 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Aug 6, 2005: 28,822 vs. Ottawa Renegades
Sept 5, 2005: 29,600 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Aug 12, 2006: 29,010 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Sept 1, 2006: 28,891 vs. Toronto Argonauts
July 7, 2007: 28,198 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Sept 3, 2008: 28,644 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Sept 1, 2008, 25,911 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Sept 7, 2009: 30,293 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Sept 6, 2010: 30,319 vs. Toronto Argonauts


Hypothetical: If HECFI brings half as many downtown twice as often, should the city build a replacement for Copps?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:40:41

How do we know that there is absolutely no data for a 6,000-seater? Maybe Staff already have this info from the early days of the bid. Just because the media doesn't have copies of studies doesn't mean that City Staff don't. Anyways...ultimately it's City Staff that provide all necessary info the decision makers. We can research and study with info culled from our business experiences, the internet and common sense, but in the end...chances are Staff's reports supply the credible info for the Councillors.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By ProLine (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:41:01

"I believe an IWS plan is already in existence..."

Yes, and HamiltonFan has "believed" that every proposed site since East Mountain would be 'the one' and look where we are now (s/he should have put his money where his mouth was, because my pocket's a good home for his/her cash).

Believing and knowing are very different beasts, Janitor, and I think Zephyr has effectively shown that we "know" about as much about IWS as we do about a scalable WH. The only difference in terms of this hallowed "business plan" you all seem to fetishize is that one "plan" has been developed following a legitimate process, and can be modified using the new set of "knowns" and "unknowns."

The other business plan is completely unknown, likely invented on the fly, and it is designed to save face and funnel tons of cash to a corporate welfare recipient that (like HamiltonFan) has never bothered to put any serious money on the line.

This "business" is content to suckle at the public teat while exploiting the misplaced emotional energy exuded by Ti-Cat fans (see what so many years of losing and mediocrity does to the psyche--you start caring more about the existence of a failing business than you do about the wellbeing of, and respect for, your fellow citizens).

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:48:34

My bad...

Sept 1, 2008: 25,911 (vs. Toronto Argonauts)

should be

Sept 3, 2007: 28,644 (vs. Toronto Argonauts)


Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:50:50

And of course the 2008 LDC (Sept 1, 2008) was the 25,911 attendance.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:51:09

Zephyr,

It is rather vulgar to accuse a lady of trying to leave the smears to which you refer ... I would never do that, even metaphorically.

And how am I supposed to know that? I believe a poster here going by joejoe is a woman, I got corrected (kindly) by inferring joejoe (i think that the one) was a man.

I originally asked you this:

Honestly, how can you compare the two venues under the same business plan?

And that still hasn't been answered. I called you out on it because I feel what you were posting was muddying the waters with things that didn't exist, or as any project manager would understand, would not contain comparable data for the two distinct projects. There is too much misinformation out there filling in the void created by the current lack of information. As Ryan has stated on another post, "No information is better than bad information." I'll discuss anything that can be backed up and I am willing to eat crow for any mistakes I make or unvalidated assumptions I throw around.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-12 14:02:35

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By kritter (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:58:31

I have to ask why our politicians are so afraid to stand up to Bob Young and what's really going on behind the scenes.

While I don't necessarily feel that reconstructing IWS is a bad idea, it's clear that Bob Young wants everyone else to pay for it - talk about a sweetheart deal.

If done properly, a new IWS could be a real city builder for an area that could use a boost, particularly if it incorporated some of the Scott Park lands and other brownfield land in the area. However, the last minute back-of-a-napkin nature of this proposal pretty much guarantees that it wouldn't be done properly.

Therefore, given the current proposal on the table, council's most prudent choice is to go ahead with a community stadium and velodrome and associated development at the WH site. For those critics who say we already have a small stadium - WE don't, McMaster does. Not the same thing.

This new stadium could be used for high school athletics and local minor sports. Although it's not headline news, the Catholic school board currently has a mandate to provide lighted turf fields for their high school athletics. Unfortunately the public board doesn't have the funds to do the same. A city-owned community stadium could fill that void.

At this point all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that council does the right thing here.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 13:59:22

ProLine

Believing and knowing are very different beasts, Janitor, and I think Zephyr has effectively shown that we "know" about as much about IWS as we do about a scalable WH.

And I referenced Zephyr to the best resource we have on the subject to find out if the plan exists.

The only difference in terms of this hallowed "business plan" you all seem to fetishize is that one "plan" has been developed following a legitimate process, and can be modified using the new set of "knowns" and "unknowns."

I am fetishizing nothing, I am focused on the 'business plan' only because Zephyr was using it for a very flawed argument

see what so many years of losing and mediocrity does to the psyche--you start caring more about the existence of a failing business than you do about the wellbeing of, and respect for, your fellow citizens

Are you talking about me here? You better clarify that immediately.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 14:19:23

A scalable '15,000 seat stadium' at the West Harbour site is at the very least as feasible as an Ivor Wynne rebuild, we just don't know it yet.
If we assume the $115 million needed to rebuild Ivor Wynne is accurate. Then Hostco would contribute $64.3 million or 56% and the City would be asked to put up $50.7 million or 44%.
On top of the $50.7 the City and Tiger-Cats would require for the 15,000 seat south stands Hostco may well pass the cost of the north stand retrofit back since it doesn't fall within their funding guidelines (15,000 seats). This additional cost is unknown but $10 million might be a conservative estimate.
Point being, the $115 million rebuild of IW could cost Hamilton $60.7 million or more, while the Hostco contribution shrinks to $54.3 or less depending on the cost of the north stand retrofit.
The Tiger-Cats need to admit West Harbour could work for them at least as well as IW. Flush out the real numbers and decide which option serves the City best.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 14:44:17

I just had a panoramic reality check. I was looking at pictures of the Ivor Wynne skyline vs the WH skyline and made the conclusion that IWS is a local and national venue, not in any way an international venue. One of the purposes in participating in the Pan Am Games is to showcase Hamilton to the world for marketing purposes, hence the WH development. I have no issue with IWS stadium shots showcasing Hamilton during a CFL game, in fact, what amazing exposure. We are a hard-working town with steel roots, and that is our strength and heritage. But I don't want that particular visual heritage to represent Hamilton internationally, because we have morphed since our industrial hay days and become much more culturally and economically diverse. I think, that finally, I have a clear decision: WH - 5,000 to 6,000-seat stadium w/ soccer tenant - high-tech Velodrome. End of. The City and Cats can negotiate IWS separate from the Pan Am Games, as I truly don't want to lose it - it's the Cats' home. City, in the meanwhile, get BY some parking revenues, for gawd's sakes. BY, stop whining about fictitious losses. Then, all of you, work on the necessary upgrades for IWS. The Cats belong at IWS and the Pan Am Stadium belongs at the WH. This is one instance of government money being offered, not a do-or-die situation for Hamilton.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 14:57:52

To hopefully un-muddy things (stats again via Wikipedia):

2004 SEASON [4-4-1 at home]
June 25, 2004: 25,712 [win over Winnipeg]
July 10, 2004: 27,664 [loss to Toronto]
July 23, 2004: 26,301 [loss to Montreal]
Aug 13, 2004: 27,891 [loss to BC]
Aug 27, 2004: 28,850 [win over Calgary]
Sept 6, 2004: 29,170 [tie with Toronto]
Sept 19, 2004: 27,983 [loss to Saskatchewan]
Oct 1, 2004: 27,884 [win over Edmonton]
Oct 15, 2004: 29,220 [win over Ottawa]

2005 SEASON [5-4 at home]
July 2, 2005: 29,032 [loss to Saskatchewan]
July 23, 2004: 27,692 [loss to BC]
Aug 6, 2005: 28,822 [loss to Ottawa]
Aug 26, 2005: 27,433 [win over Winnipeg]
Sept 5, 2005: 29,600 [win over Toronto]
Sept 17, 2005: 27,821 [loss to Calgary]
Sept 30, 2005: 27,582 [win over Edmonton]
Oct 21, 2005: 26,912 [win over Ottawa]
Nov 4, 2005: 27,114 [win over Montreal]

2006 SEASON [3-6 at home]
June 24, 2006: 27,911 [loss to Montreal]
July 14, 2006: 26,944 [win over Calgary]
July 28, 2006: 27,027 [win over Winnipeg]
Aug 12, 2006: 29,010 [loss to Toronto]
Aug 26, 2006: 26,564 [loss to Saskatchewan]
Sept 1, 2006: 28,891 [loss to Toronto]
Sept 16, 2006: 25,107 [win over Edmonton]
Sept 30, 2006: 24,163 [loss to BC]
Oct 15, 2006: 24,955 [loss to Winnipeg]

2007 SEASON [3-6 at home]
July 7, 2007: 28,198 [loss to Toronto]
July 14, 2007: 21,542 [loss to Montreal]
Aug 3, 2007: 24,201 [win over Winnipeg]
Sept 3, 2007: 28,644 [loss to Toronto]
Sept 15, 2007: 21,205 [loss to Winnipeg]
Sept 21, 2007: 23,115 [win over Calgary]
Oct 14, 2007: 22,167 [loss to Saskatchewan]
Oct 26, 2007: 19,322 [loss to BC]
Nov 3, 2007: 20,411 [win over Edmonton]

2008 SEASON [2-7 at home]
June 26, 2008: 20,589 [loss to Montreal]
July 12, 2008: 20,874 [loss to Saskatchewan]
July 24, 2008: 21,402 [loss to Edmonton]
Aug 7, 2008: 19,423 [win over Toronto]
Sept 1, 2008: 25,911 [loss to Toronto]
Sept 6, 2008: 18,723 [loss to BC]
Sept 19, 2008: 19,102 [loss to Winnipeg]
Oct 4, 2008: 20,423 [win over Montreal]
Oct 24, 2008: 20,614 [loss to Calgary]

2009 SEASON [5-4 at home]
July 1, 2009: 23,211 [loss to Toronto]
July 18, 2009: 24,292 [loss to Winnipeg]
July 31, 2009: 20,103 [win over BC]
Aug 8, 2009: 19,206 [win over Edmonton]
Sept 7, 2009: 30,293 [win over Toronto]
Sept 18, 2009: 19,448 [win over Calgary]
Sept 25, 2009: 22,083 [loss to Montreal]
Oct 12, 2009: 19,562 [loss to Winnipeg]
Oct 31, 2009: 24,586 [win over Saskatchewan]

2010 SEASON [5-4 at home]
July 10, 2010: 25,248 [loss to Calgary]
July 16, 2010: 21,408 [win over Winnipeg]
Aug 7, 2010: 23,653 [win over Winnipeg]
Sept 6, 2010: 30,319 [win over Toronto]
Sept 11, 2010: 23,452 [loss to Montreal]
Sept 25, 2010: 23,108 [loss to Saskatchewan]
Oct 8, 2010: 20,791 [win over Eskimos]
Oct 22, 2010: 23,118 [win over Montreal]
Nov 6, 2010: 23,913 [loss to BC]


2004-10 AVG ATTENDANCE @ IVOR WYNNE:

Tiger-Cats vs Argos: 27,528
Tiger-Cats vs Others: 20,447

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 14:59:12

@goin'downtown

I feel like we have witnessed a conversion, and am waiting for the gospel choir to break into song :)

Seriously, I suspect that we can probably renovate IWS for much less than the $115M that the two Bobs pulled out of thin air. There actually will be savings to the Future Fund by going smaller with the PanAm stadium, which could be put towards an IWS renovation. Its a great idea, so now you have your letter to council sorted :)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:13:29

Zephyr: "Seriously, I suspect that we can probably renovate IWS for much less than the $115M that the two Bobs pulled out of thin air."


•2007

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=15630358&postcount=10

Ivor Wynne Stadium, once known as Civic Stadium, was built for the 1930 British Empire Games.

While it lacks many modern stadium amenities, Ticats owner Bob Young spruced it up considerably when he bought the team four years ago, making it a decent place to watch football, at least for now.

But Mitchell estimates keeping it that way will be a $30-to-$40-million investment, money that could be invested in a new facility with broader uses.


• 2010

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/304277--and-then-there-were-two

Ticats president Scott Mitchell says the team is not open to renovating Ivor Wynne. He points out that the full cost of renovations to modernize the stadium will be $90 million.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:18:18

@ Mogadon Megalodon

-Did Scott Mitchell have any formal appraisals re: the cost of renovating IWS before throwing out the $90M figure?

  • The Ti-Cats were not open to playing at IWS any further just a few days ago.

-If the Ti-Cats want a shiny new stadium and associated revenues, they need to come forward with some money

  • And what exactly are the Ti-Cats going to do if the City doesn't build them what they want -- move to Aldershot?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:28:24

@ Zephyr:

I'm not sure. I suspect it was a tactical guesstimate designed to convey their disinterest (or actively discourage others' interest) in IWS. Which might account for the $25 million jump in project cost in the space of three weeks.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:31:39

@ Mogadon Megalodon

The $115m figure ($70m + $45m) is Toronto 2015's formula for financing the construction of a 15,000 seat stadium. That's always been the case.

The the current plan, as it stands now, involves the complete demolition of the south side, and construction of the new 15,000 seats.

It is not a reno as was priced out before, but rather a new construction.

The north side will be renovated.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By ProLine (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:39:21

@ Janitor --> "Are you talking about me here? You better clarify that immediately."

To be fair, I don't know you, so I don't really know if that generalization applies, but maybe a checklist à la DSM-IV would be helpful. Check all that apply:

( ) Sometimes I feel as though this City just wouldn't be the same without our "pro" football team.

( ) No amount of my neighbours' money is too much to give to Bob Young.

( ) When I see the locked out Stelco employees, I feel bad. When I think of Bob Young, Scott Mitchell, or Jason Farr losing their jobs, I feel worse.

( ) I think my children will realize more benefits from following a losing sports franchise playing in a frivolous, publicly funded stadium than the concrete benefits of safe, running tap-water, maintained streets, and the safe disposal of tonnes of toxic waste at old industrial sites.

( ) Those who question the wisdom of the Almighty Ti-Cats' business "needs", including the wisdom of giving them a free stadium and then handing them all the revenue earners (naming rights, parking, concessions, etc.) are unpatriotic and should be shipped off to Siberia to count trees.

If you agreed with two or more of these statements, then yes, I'd guess you're misplacing your emotional energy, and need a reality check.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:41:39

@CaptainKirk

I understand the $115m math, and the difference between Mitchell's "full cost of renovations to modernize the stadium" and the cost of the partial new construction we're looking at. I was being a bit cheeky is all.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:42:12

@ProLine:

Does that PhD in Sarcasm come with a tattoo...and a secret handshake...?

Man, that was deadly-incisive.

genuflects

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:54:28

The cost estimates for each and every site have been skewed to gain public support. The latest proposal is no different. The $115 includes $70 from T.O.2015 and $45 from Hamilton's Future Fund. T.O.2015's portion is inflated to 2014 dollar values, the future fund dollars are not. So either Hamilton will be asked to contribute more ($50.6) or T.O.2015 will contribute less ($64.4).
As a side note: The Tiger-Cats claimed a 22,000 seat stadium could be built for as little as $90 million in Aldershot.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 15:57:04

"You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts."

In light of all the massive back-and-forths with funding and revenue numbers at the forefront, it's a shame that we don't have a go-to FactFile here. You know, a resource where everyone could check and see what this number is, what those figures are...so that the abundance of grey matter being utilized isn't wasted on slipping and sliding over inaccuracies and misconceptions. Because I much prefer the arm-wrasslin' concerning viewpoints and philosophies and priorities over the fumbling that number-crunching elicits.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:05:33

Mystoneycreek that's the point that should be made. "The numbers are skewed to gain public support." Until we see the real numbers, how could anyone make a sound decision.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:13:09

mystoneycreek, take out the "Because I much prefer..." sarcasm and I am so with you on that suggestion. Seriously. The Council and media and public should have had a go-to source of info by mid-summer.

And Zephyr, you make me howl. Yes, there was a certain melodious "aaaa-aaaa-aaaaah" when the clarity hit. :) Clarity. Now there's the word of year. And, thanks, BTW, for the heads-up on the Troop article. It pays to go over old posts and articles, time allowing.

I have gone from staunch WH supporter w/ Cats, to renovate IWS for a lower fee w/ velodrome, to where my mind is now. Chances are I won't miss an RTH or Hamiltonian post, though. And there's some good stuff on The Spec online, too.

Thought-provoking, good. Alarmist and attitudinal, bad.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:20:42

$93M for an IWS is a city number that was presented to council in 2007 along with the $20M option of structural repairs only and costs to maintain IWS at a safe level until a new stadium could be built. The engineering report is wickedly long and detailed

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:22:06

Council, here's one more idea:

What if we move forward with a smaller WH stadium, saving some FF money in the process, and we earmark some future fund money to help the cats renovate IWS? This way we can ensure they are bargaining in good faith rather than trying to hijack significant public funds for their own interest.

Then they have a choice - help with expansion of WH -OR- accept our help and repair IWS. Two very viable and fair alternatives - better deals than they will find anywhere else in the country.

The problem with going full bore with IWS is that this is not a "plan" it is simply an "idea". And there are so many questions - IMPORTANT ONES - that we cannot afford to just blindly stamp it simply because we want the decision to be over with.

May I suggest that if we are going to propose IWS, we also submit our own plan B - the scalable stadium plan that is already 99% written and studied and would be approved easily.

If we go in with this shell of a plan for IWS and HostCo says that we have not answered enough of their requirements, we are screwing ourselves by not giving them another Hamilton option

Have we not learned from all of this that we need to take everything from Bob Young's mouth with a little grain of salt?

And a final note - previous council voted on WH many times. Based on public support shown in person, in the paper, on the internet, etc, the citizens of Hamilton clearly favour it. Does it not seem unconscionable to simply ignore the pleas of the citizens? Why did everyone bother to come out to council and spend an entire day passionately supporting WH if they were just going to be ignored?

Thanks again for your time - I can't believe we are finally closing in on this!

Sean

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:24:12

That plan just raised the funding shortfall to $93M

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:30:11

mystoneycreek

You're right, a go to fact file would be useful for all of us. @Pro-Line One of the best today. Honestly lol. You're vicious!

As for the $90 million figure, I'm quite certain it comes from the City's own staff report on the cost of "replacing" IWS on the same site. As in both stands, not just one. I remember her (sorry for not remembering her name) answering questions from Brad Clark about the report's findings some months ago.

At some point, perhaps we can ask one of our Councillors to check it out with the City Manager and get back to us? But hey, what's $25 million between good friends? Bob has probably spent a lot on PR consultants (he should demand a refund) and professional bloggers.

As I'm now fond of saying,

"Those TiCats are such taxholes!" :-)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 16:53:25

Pro-Line:

-I AM A LOCKED-OUT US STEEL WORKER.

-I advocated letting the Cats leave and building the 6000 seat Pan-Am stadium at Beechwood as the author of this and this

-I've written about the possibility of using the FF for micro-loans and mortgage assistance in wards 2 and 3 to spur re-vitalization of those areas.

-I wrote a suggestion in RTH that the city should lease space from York properties for displaced stall holders. Which Jason Farr motioned for a couple of weeks later

I'd say you are new here and need to learn a few things. Your sarcasm is heinous and misplaced. I'm slowly going broke walking the picket line (which regulars here openly know), and you think I worry about Farr, Bratina and Young. I think better things are in order for West Harbour and have yet to see a good business case that a 6000 seater will spur any development compared to Setting Sail.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:05:18

yeah, where's the mass hilarity now?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:09:49

mystoneycreek, take out the "Because I much prefer..." sarcasm

Actually, that wasn't sarcasm. And here's why:

Most decisions that get made by City Council are beyond us. Until the paradigm shifts, until the compact between citizenry and Councillors is re-written, it will remain thus. We aren't privy to the exigencies of the goings-on, we don't demand it in the main, and we're collectively hardly qualified to be at the table anyway, even if we're speaking metaphorically. So in all sincerity, I much prefer to witness good-spirited exchanges where we can all learn...to the pointless fiscal equivalent of either naval-gazing...or Rotisserie League Baseball. And to be honest, it's a little embarrassing at times to see how animated we can get...when we're really not 'players'.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-01-12 17:10:23

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:12:48

Your sarcasm is heinous and misplaced.

Couldn't agree less. And since when is slaggiing someone off for their method of expressing themselves...especially when so deftly crafted...de rigeur?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:12:58

You are right its not sarcasm if thats what you believe, more like snide comment

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:18:22

mystoneycreek,

I'm glad my financial difficulties due to US Steel amuse you. I wish I were so high and superior as you.

'Let them eat cake', I would think that's a quote from one of your many past lives.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:47:07

well, I think it's officially time to declare that we've had one too many stadium articles on RTH.

Next time I log in I'm expecting the discussion to have devolved to "ya, well your Dad is a fat loser!"

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-12 17:47:40

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By rednic (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 17:49:48

@ mrjanitor The velodrome was removed from the building and a aquarium installed instead ... The bikes ( there were rentals) ended up in the hands of toronto bike couriers. The track itself was made of some irreplacable african wood ( used for train brakes as well) ... It was cut up with chain saws .. Edmonton must have had a velodrome as well for the commonwealth games ... The velodrome is really the thing worth fighting for .. I dream of a frank Geary designed track.. My dreams rarely come true though. If it happened I would also dream that Hamilton politicians were smarter than those in Montreal !

Wow i got the skill testing question wrong ! i'll use a calculator next time !

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 22:19:48

Ahh, a Gehry velodrome. How cool would that be.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By rednic (registered) | Posted January 12, 2011 at 23:49:21

@ jason ,,,

It could be cooler than we realize .... The fact the Velodrome seems to be forgotten in CatDrama is the for me the really frustrating thing ... I mean 'Everyone' has a money losing CFL team ...

Who has a 'Velodrome' that could be used for track racing .. roller derby .. even concerts < 5k Im sure i could book it for more than 10 nights a year !

And if of a 'stunning' design ( no Gehry needed) could serve as a showcase for hamilton industry

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 00:19:11

hey rednic, I really doubt we'd see any roller derby there bro. I think the old curved tracks you're thinking about were constructed in hockey rinks in the off season.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-13 00:19:35

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HH (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 02:49:11

@mrjanitor Are you really in any state of mind to be firing off angry posts here? It seems your rage at US Steel has allowed you to find targets on this site that in no way deserve your attack.

If you really want advice I would say start scanning the want ads as your fight is lost.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 13, 2011 at 08:19:55

Perhaps obvious to all, but just for the sake of clarity, I post as H+H, the previous post is not mine.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 08:24:01

The only anger is with posters like Pro-Line who use the lock-out they really know nothing about to make a point about someone they know nothing about. The ever so witty, sophisticated and urbane H+H, Zephyr and mystoneycreek finding a little checklist incredibly caustic and witty is only disappointing.

Nice try HH, that's all I'm going to say, not going to feed you.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By George (registered) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 00:57:03

Patrick LaForge of Oilers back in town again.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

“We got invited to sit down and have a bit of a discussion,” said Councillor Terry Whitehead. “We did talk about the stadium"

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-14 00:58:06

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 07:54:41

The Hamilton Spectator article does not mention whether the councillors talked to Patrick LaForge about the velodrome. The velodrome should have been at or near the top of the list given the fact that the Katz Group works closely with AEG, the operators of the successful velodrome in Los Angeles.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-14 07:55:50

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:18:12

RenaiissanceWatcher

Didn't know that. Great piece of info.

I'm with you re: the velodrome. I think we're in trouble on that front. There is no plan that's anywhere near complete. For example, we don't even have a location yet.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 20:51:07

Graham with all due respect you are almost wrong on everything you pointed out.
Truth, yours and the RTH's only concern is to develop the WH at any expense, even losing the Pan Am Games and losing our precious cats.
You should realize by now the majority of the city and council are fed up with the RTH and the WH group. This Pan Am proposal has nothing and I mean nothing to do with brownsfields. You can say the lie a thousand times it still doesn't make it true.
Sure you have a few council members who are die-hards like yourself, however there is little support among busniess, and the majority of citizens really could careless about what happens to the WH.
Your pipe dream is over.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 21:35:44

@hammy, You are right the Pam Am propsal had nothing to do with brownfields. The reason our council chose to remediate a brownfiled was to make your (our) tax dollars work for us. You must know that normally the Pan Am bids or any similiar type of bids do not include for a professional legay tenant. This was a polictical gift to Hamilton for us to include the Ticats. The problem is the Ticats became the only focus. I am not sure if the majority of the citzens do not care about WH but I would agree enough of them do not. Until this city starts rebuilding over these toxic wasteland we are doomed to be a rust bucket. Other cities have done it, one day we have to get on board. I think the majority of the city wants the cats to stay but a good portion wasn't willing to do it at all costs. For the record, I am a Ticat fan, wanted the WH bit think Macdonald HS would of been the best. As for rebuilding IWS, I do not think many people are happy about this outcome, no matter what position you had.

Comment edited by PeterF on 2011-01-14 21:37:48

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 14:40:43

Nice to see some sensible responses to my many posts. The site
Rais the Hampster [Hee Hee] was getting the reputation of being nothing but a radical political group only interested in their own agenda.
Lets hope we can all find a way to support IWS proposal and then we can move on to the next project, like WH.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

Comment Anonymously
Screen Name
What do you get if you multiply 5 and 1?
Leave This Field Blank
Comment

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds