Sports

IWS Rebuild Needs Ticat Money

By Jason Leach
Published January 21, 2011

Once again I would like to thank Council for their hard work on trying to land a good deal for Hamilton with this stadium. This process has become a bit of a joke and I urge our Councillors to stay the course and not allow all the antics to wear them down.

I have thought long and hard about this Ivor Wynne deal and feel compelled to to voice my displeasure. At the end of the day, my problem is quite simple - the Cats are putting up no money.

In Winnipeg, their CFL team is paying for $85 million towards their new stadium. In Hamilton, we have an American owner who clearly understands the corporate welfare routine so commonly used down there.

I think it is irresponsible and sets a bad precedent if we simply agree to fund 100% of the cost of an Ivor Wynne re-build.

Some folks in Hamilton were a little miffed at the concessions presented to Canada Bread for their new Hamilton plant. I personally don't mind it, and understand that we are in a position of needing to work extra hard to lure companies back to our city.

That's why I don't mind putting up $115 million of taxpayers money to help the Cats build a new stadium. But to fund the entire project is completely insane and would send out a horrible message about the psyche and self-worth of our city.

The folks on CHML and other media outlets continue to dismiss the West Harbour notion due to the 'funding gap'. Well, of course there is a funding gap! The football team that will play in the stadium hasn't committed any money towards the project.

If this is how Hamilton is going to conduct business, I'll be down at the Small Business Centre this afternoon to register my company. It's unethical, it's irresponsible and I hope that Council continue to put Hamilton first as they have through this entire process.

City council would have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if they were to let the Ticats know that they are willing to present $115 million towards construction of a West Harbour stadium. Most sports teams (like the Blue Bombers) would kill for such a gracious offer from their city.

If the Cats say no, then I would recommend Council inform Hostco that Hamilton would like a 6,000 seat soccer stadium at the harbour and we'll build it in a scalable fashion for future expansion.

I'm tired of my city being kicked around and treated second-class. Please continue to represent us with the professionalism and city-building goals that you have had in mind from the very beginning.

Hamilton's Future Fund is precious. It should not be squandered as a corporate welfare handout.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By AnneMariePavlov (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:00:26

I couldn't agree more, Jason. Thank you for articulating what is on the minds of many.

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:10:54

At the least whatever naming rights brings should be contributed as private money. There's not a lot of highway visibility, but prominent mention on TSN broadcasts and other media outlets should be worth something.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:17:32

There's not a lot of highway visibility

Unless you count Main / King / Cannon as highways...

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:20:08

So very well expressed and I actually think that the majority of city council is of the same mind as you at this point (judging from some responses I have received from council).

Hamiltonians who want to see fiscal responsibility exercissed in this matter shouldn't be complacent, but I think the deal the mayor and Bob Young are trying to cobble together is so incredibly silly that there really is no way council could in good faith pass it.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:21:21

I will agree, that the Cats need to put something into this. The Bombers set the bar.

I would like to think that on Monday, the Cats will announce how much they are willing to put into this plan to make it work, including a commitment that either any and all funds that may exceed our $115M spending limit is covered by by the Cats, or they re-evalue their upgrades to get that cost below $115M.

The 20-year lease is a great start, but what happens if the team or the league for that matter, folds within a certain time? Is there a guaranteed payout based on a certain # of years the team will be here whether they folded after 2 years or not? Something like we'll sign a 20-year lease and gurantee so much $ in losses up to 10 years?

Anyone have a number that seems reasonable as to what they feel the Cats should contribute? The last offer for a stadium build was $10M over so many years I belive wasn't it?

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-21 13:23:11

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:34:41

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-21 13:50:36

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:40:44

It's going to have to be one hell of a huge funding commitment for a "unanimous vote". A lot more than the measly amount the Ti-Cats cobbled together for Longwood. There can't be any Bob's World sillyness this time, we need real numbers and a solid commitment.

edit: 80% of the reason I made this reply is cause I giggle uncontrollably at the term "Bob World".

... Bob World.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-21 13:42:30

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:45:24

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-21 13:52:01

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:56:57

I expect that with the information provided by Chris Murray and staff from the negotiations that it will be a resounding unanamimous vote for the IWS2 project.

Furthermore I am very, very tired of the predicament the past Mayor has put this city in with a hidden agenda all along that was based on only a WH location without revealing this motive upfront. Bad faith from someone in a position of power that has wasted so much precious time and the full analysis of other opportunities that may have served this community better.

I'm very tired of conclusions drawn from no basis or evidence, aside from personal "intuition" or feelings. Makes it impossible to take these sorts of statements seriously.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:19:02

Thanks Jason - your article is exactly what I have been thinking too.

@transitstudent - agreed!

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-21 14:19:24

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:24:42

It would be a disservice and you can thank Bob for it.

If the stadium is scalable, it means that it could be made larger when Bob comes to his senses and agrees to take the millions of dollars that would help him to make money, just not as much money he'd like to make.

Maybe if Bob sees a success story there he'll be willing to take part.

If only there was a community in Hamilton that was interested in soccer...

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:50:36

@HamiltonFan

Philanthropy ceases to be philanthropic if it is given with an expectation of a return. Joyce Young gave that money because she wanted to help, I assume. If the Youngs are giving money to the City of Hamilton in anticipation of cutting sweet business deals with the city in future...it ceases to be a gift, it is just an investment and cost of doing business. It could also be called a bribe.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:55:16

Wait for the report. There was every indication that the Tigercats and their partners were going to make a significant contribution. Whether there is agreement that investment is sufficient is improbable but like any other option that has been put forward the contribution will not be zero

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:56:15

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By Simon b (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 15:01:31

Isn't this what the city tried to do already? Isn't this the reason we got to this solution?

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 15:15:32

@HamiltonFan I keep reading your post regarding Red Hat and I am trying to understand it. You are making a connection that BY doing what he did with Red Hat provided his Aunt with money. That is a fact, no one can argue with that. Would you agree that what BY's Aunt did with some or all of the money has nothing to do with BY. The generous gift she gave was her decision. She deserves the credit for doing what she did, not BY. I am not trying to discredit Mr Young but the credit goes to Joyce Young for her generous and unselfish act. Quite frankly I think this once again has nothing to do with the stadium issue at all. You can be on the other side of an issue and still think that a person is an overall good person and believe that maybe, just maybe that person is wrong on a certain issue. I think BY and is family are good people. In my opinion I think he has been misguided throughout this whole process.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 15:17:50

"If it weren't for Red Hat, right now the Hamilton Community Foundation wouldn't have had $40 mill provided to them from Bob's aunt....Let's not jeapordize what the Young's might give to Hamilton in the future."

Please, Hamilton Fan, have some pride. This isn't a coalmine town in rural Kentucky. We don't have to kiss up to the boss.

Let's call a spade a spade. If it weren't for the sweat of countless thousands of hard-working Hamiltonians toiling in her family's cotton mill she wouldn't have had the $40 million in the first place.

Joyce Young donated a portion of her fortune while in her old age. She continued to live comfortably. There were no tag days for her. And, in any event, charity is about giving, not giving to justify receiving especially when it's not you but your nephew who's doing the receiving.

Now, let's do the math; Bob's aunt gives $40 million of HER money to charity and taxpayers give $115 million of THEIR money to Bob (who else needs a stadium this big?) to subsidize a hobby that he freely pursued.

Using this rationale, we might as well just give Charlie Juravinski the whole city.

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By Participant (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 15:44:53


Glad no one's actually mentioning "Grey Cups in the future". Having been to the last two games in Hamilton ('72 as a kid; '96 on the field as a support official), I can tell you that our track record in terms of overall success is 50/50 at best.
1972 was a bygone era when the CFL was at least still within shouting distance of the burgeoning juggernaut NFL as a marquee football league. It was a memorable time and a classic game (with the hometown team last minute winner).
The 1996 game for other reasons was another modern-day classic, but the week preceding it in Hamilton and the humiliating failure to sell the game out was a brutal embarassment to the city and the league. Of the two games, the latter has to be seen as the more reliable indicator of future success, as it is more representative of the divide in prestige these days between 'The Show' (NFL) and the rest (guess who).
Not to derail the discussion, because the issue is really only tangential, but when Young's acolytes keep "not mentioning" these imaginary events to add substance to their argument, I call 'bullshit'.
PS please don't start waving the flag at me; I was a long-time season ticket holder (Mr. Young fixed that) and have family who had a career in the league.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 15:53:10

participant, I love both the CFL and NFL for different reasons. It's not a hard concept really if you love gridiron and football. The Grey Cup has been sold out for a number of years in a row. No flag bearing, but it's ours. And to let you know, the NFL don't give shiiite about Hamilton and it's never coming to Hamilton. Get it?

However this area has a lot of people who are negative like yourself and believe me, the CFL won't be shedding a tear if no team exists in the city of Hamilton. Believe you me.

I'm proud of the history of the TigerCats in this city and our country. It's not flag bearing, it's reality.

But if you want to look for negatives and ignore your history, that is your choice. But I won't ignore it and I won't disrespect it. I can wear a Vikings hat and a TigerCats jersey at the same time and feel perfectly at home, or a Super Bowl jersey and Grey Cup hat likewise.

Not a difficult concept really.

As well, I feel proud spending my entertainment money in the city I live in and buying a hot dog or drink from a student working at the games trying to get some cash to go through school. I like contributing to my community in this way rather than always running down south or to Toronto to spend my money. But hey, to me the game is more than a game, it's a culture and the culture of spending money in Hamilton is good to me. I like it because I like this city.

And I am so proud of IWS even though it needs much upgrading. It's a part of our history and to me these are hallowed grounds, as our many other fine buildings in Hamilton.

And I am a proud Bob Young fan whether you like it or not.

To mention again, the NFL doesn't give a rats arse about Hamilton and isn't coming here. You think Bettman thinks Hamilton is a crapper, why don't you ask Goodell what he thinks of it.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-21 16:04:25

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:11:29

In fact, if tabbies agree to a fair contribution themselves, I would support the city kicking in even more for a West Harbour stadium than what the currently slated $45m.

What's a WH stadium worth to the city?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:21:25

HamiltonFan wrote:

"And I am a proud Bob Young fan whether you like it or not."

And so am I, but it doesn't mean I agree with everything he may say or do. I do not like how the Tiger-Cats handled the stadium situation (and yes, the city has its share of blame too), and nothing would make me happier than to see the Bob Young owned Tiger-Cats playing out of WH.

PeterF wrote:

" I think BY and is family are good people. In my opinion I think he has been misguided throughout this whole process."

Agreed completely, and I wouldn't doubt it if many or most WH supporters feel the same way. This is not personal.

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By Participant (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:23:57

@HamiltonFan:
Thank you for the tutorial on the NFL's intentions. I guess I will be sad for a while now that I know that just because the league will soon be departing Buffalo and detouring around Toronto (likely back to LA), Roger et al will not be considering our lovely metropolis. It will take some time to get my head around that, but I resolve to work through my grief.
Again, HF, thank you for sharing your masterful command of the obvious. I hope you're sharing with your friends Bob and Scott just as much.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:32:50

Captain, I don't agree with everything about BY as well. But then I don't agree with everything I've done as well or what I will do in the future I'm sure. I love my wife dearly but there's been a few times I haven't quite cared for her behaviour, so to speak. ;)

participant, I forgot, the NFL does like Hamiltonians as long as they spend their money on gear and money on going to games and watching games to up the TV numbers. So in fact I wasn't completely correct actually come to think of it.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 17:22:54

Jason,

Let's not forget about this smaller but important project:

Alouettes unveil stadium expansion

The Als put in over 19% of the money needed for the expansion. $29 million got the stadium 5000 more seats, 19 corporate boxes and a few other upgrades.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 18:03:30

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 18:34:18

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 18:39:27

Does that mean the Bombers contribution of $85M is actually a city contribution???? I'm not trying to start something but it sure looks nothing like a private company paying its share

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 18:40:38

Looked it up, Bombers are community owned and Asper has backed out

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 19:02:03

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 19:03:07

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 20:13:00

Well said hammy! Bingo!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:22:02

@ Hammy.

The main difference between Montreal and Hamilton is quality of product, which in turn is reflected in demand.

Montreal knows how to run a football team. Consistently a winner. Counting playoff games, the Tiger-Cats have yet to have a single winning season under the current ownership. What is it now, seven years?

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:25:57

Hammy asked "Why would we want to pi$$ him (Bob Young) off anymore by asking him to invest money he will never recover from a stadium owned by the city?"

Why would taxpayers build a stadium for him (nobody else needs a stadium of that size)with money they'll never recover?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 22:53:50

according to most recent published reports out of winnipeg, Asper is now out, but the team is still agreeing to contribute $85 million to the stadium. The Ticats are offering a spectacular deal of $0 dollars. And to be honest, even if the Bombers came out tomorrow and said "we aren't paying a dime", that still wouldn't change my position that this Ivor Wynne deal stinks. No sports team, anywhere, in any city should get a 100% free tax-funded handout like this.

Many of you supporting the Cats and their corporate welfare would flip a lid if you found out that the city of Hamilton was going to pay 100% of the cost for a new multi-million dollar plant for Fox 40 or US Steel or Walmart etc......

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By Themarket (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 23:23:42

As a long time reader and fan of this site I must say that even though I agree with majority of writers on this site that the ticats should pony up funds for the stadium I can't stand reading false information. Articles posted to this site should follow the same journalistic standards set forth by newspapers or it will never be taken seriously. I would hope that Jason Leach would read the comments posted as well as a few articles about the owner of the blue bombers before posting. Here is just one article for this interested. http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20101117/wpg_bombers_101117/20101117/?hub=WinnipegHome

I would like to hear Jasons comments after hearing that the bombers are run using tax dollars.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 23:43:40

Themarket,

I understand your point on accuracy however I think you need to read this

I would also have to challenge your faith in the accuracy of the Hamilton Spectator, that's going to get some great laughs around this site. As an example how many times have you read in the Spectator that Hamilton would not need a 6000 seat stadium if IWS was demolished because McMaster has Ron Joyce Stadium? Hamilton does not own RJS, McMaster is under no obligation to let Hamilton use it... and yet The Spec keeps spewing garbage implying that the city has access to it whenever we want. There are no standards for print accuracy and it is up to the aggrieved party to prove and quantify any damages beyond a doubt to get a small retraction, let alone a settlement. Your faith in print media is naive and unfounded.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-21 23:52:51

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 23:59:05

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-22 00:59:55

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 01:50:17

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 05:52:59

Jason, have you been reading the Equirer again? I will say it again, the city of Winnipeg owns the Bombers. So lets say it slowly together. The tax payers of winnipeg are paying $85 million for their new stadium.
That is 40 million more than the city of Hamilton has to pay.
Do you understand??

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-22 05:58:43

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By s (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 08:01:23

Its actually a registered not for profit without shares electing a board of directors chosen from the citizens of Winnipeg and producing a public financial statement. I'm really not sure that the city owns it or exactly how its run but in the past the city has covered off losses thus making it appear the city will have to be the guaranteer for the $80M and put it up as it appears that the pledge is for the Bombers to pay the money back over a long period of time

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:12:08

Just an FYI, I did post above that I was mistaken in not posting that Asper is now out and the team is forced to sell local bonds. Their ownership situation is a huge, murky mess at the moment and they are courting some new owners. That still doesn't change two facts:

  1. As of this writing, the team is committing to fund their $85 million portion
  2. Corporate welfare is unacceptable whether in Hamilton, or Winnipeg.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-22 09:13:01

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:19:27

They've committed zero real money. The city is fronting their portion. How they ever expect to pay it back it beyond me. In five years the city will be forced to start forgiving the loan or at the very least renegotiating the terms of repayment.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:21:57

@hammy, your writing style seems different today.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:25:00

Here the online link to an article by Drew Edwards about Ticat president Scott Mitchell and titled "Ticats leader playing to win". It is also on page 1 of the print version of today's Hamilton Spectator but the title is "Ticats leader played it to win": http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/art...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-22 09:28:21

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:27:34

I'm no expert, but isn't selling community bonds different than just having the tax base pay the entire cost? Selling bonds means that those who buy them are willingly doing so. I have no problem with that.

As a side note, I'm getting the impression that Asper kind of screwed them and left them holding this mess. If that's the case, we can certainly sympathize.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:29:18

Here the online link to an article by Drew Edwards titled "Ticats leader playing to win".

I love how our old boys club can act like brats, mess with taxpayers, try to extort us for their own gain and then when it's all over they get the media to help repair their image. Earlier in the week it was Young and Foxcroft they tried to make out to be local heros (even though neither of them live here), now it's Mitchell.
Too late boys. The damage is done. I hope your fanbase loves being the only team in the CFL with half a new stadium.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:36:59

Kind like city councilors with their trading for votes and withholding key information . Sorry guys its too late to improve your image too

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 11:54:06

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By George (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 12:13:47

@ hammy - Please stop spamming.

No need to repeat the same post over, and over and over... it's disruptive and counter productive to any argument even if the argument is against an article or viewpoint.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-22 12:14:46

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 13:50:10

The Blue Bombers are community owned, not city owned. They have their own Board of Directors and are a seperate entity from the city. If they were to fold the creditors cannot come after the city, in fact the city would be their biggest creditor. The $85M is a loan to the club which has to be payed back by the club. Of course in the past the community owned teams have gone to their respective cities for help but the ownership of the team is not the city.

Assuming the situation does not change in Winnepeg, the city loans the money initially and gets it back over 44 years.

Whether this is a better situation than what we have who knows. Winnepeg is laying out $85M and hopes to recoup it. We are using FF money and hope to recoup it from indirect means.

I found this story earlier today.

http://www.building.ca/issues/story.aspx...

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 22, 2011 at 13:54:34

Jason

Thanks for this.

Not surprisingly, Scott Mitchell says his "job is to protect Bob Young". I might question whether his pit bull tactics are in fact protecting Bob Young, or making his life and his reputation worse, but let's leave that aside for the moment.

Whose job is it to protect the citizens of Hamilton and their Future Fund? Politicians, of course. For me, that's why Fred Eisenberger stood his ground. He paid dearly for it, but he will always have both my gratitude and my respect for doing so, no matter the outcome of this debacle. Fred lives here. Fred was elected by the majority of citizens. He took his job just as seriously as Scott Mitchell does his. For me, the fact that Fred was looking out for the entire city and everybody in it is a lot easier to take than a guy who by his own admission has a singular, dare I say simplistic, focus to protect one guy - BY.

If "win at all cost" is the mantra of the President of the Tiger Cat organization, perhaps that explains, in part, why we're in such a mess?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 14:04:14

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 14:04:26

@H+H

Bang on!

Mitchell set the tone for the whole bargaining process. Fred Eisenberger lost his job standing up for the citizens of Hamilton. My fear of Mr. Bratina is he is willing to make any deal to keep the Cats here, which we all knew or suspected had no where to go. Fred Eisenberger is being proven right. The new mayor blinked when he didn't have to, what a shame.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 14:10:59

@hammy

Why Fred lost the last election is most likely because of the mess he was drawn into by an unwilling partner. Your tax dollars were going build them a new stadium for their use but that was not good enough. Fair enough Fred lost his job, Mitchell should be next!

After all this we end with IWS, what a cluster F*

Hey, maybe we can have a recall election like the do in California

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By Napoli (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 15:05:59

Not sure if that article is supposed to be damage control for Scott Mitchell and the Ticats, but he comes across as a complete and utter douche bag, which I always suspected he was. Smarmy, pompous, self absorbed...hey, if it looks like a d-bag, and walks like a d-bag, chances are...

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 15:29:30

@Napoli

Not sure what the purpose of the Spec article is, if it is to explain his behaviour then he sure set the record straight. Maybe it was to make him look so bad that we will all say "see, it wasn't BY, it was Mitchell, BY is OK". Mitchell works for BY and the direction comes from BY. If Mitchell spoke on his own, BY should of fired him.

Watch all the spin and "what went wrong" stories start to come out over the next little while.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 15:35:16

that one earlier this week about how BY is a great Hamiltonian and therefore took the Ivor Wynne deal just out of pure love for the Hammer was hilarious. Why does Burlington resident Ron Foxcroft get interviewed in Hamilton's media so much??

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 15:53:01

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-22 15:55:34

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By Investment (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:13:09

Regarding Jason's article - This is all city council needs to take from the Mitchell article:

“My job is to protect Bob Young, to protect the team and to protect the league. Sometimes that’s going to conflict with city-building.”

Council needs to make damn sure that if they are spending the majority of the costs for a stadium that they protect the city's investment from the Future Fund - this is not a donation to the tiger-cats, this is a big one-time investment in the city and we need the best return on that investment. In reality, the football team is a minor factor and as Mitchell admitted, they aren't necessarily good for city-building. It's WH versus IW plain and simple - may the best overall investment win.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:27:29

@jason

Spec has to sell papers and fill empty spaces. The article with Foxcroft was hilarious. Is it the paper or Foxcroft that believe that people are that gulliable? At least with Eisenberger he spoke on his own behalf. Damage contol at its worst. BY should ask both Mitchell and Foxcroft to not speak on his behalf. Didn't Troop ask for a media bblackout with the Stadium issue. Young has respected it, Council has so far, Eisenberger and Foxcroft are not bound by it, but Mitchell in the Spec and Bratina on CHML are kinda pusing it.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:31:49

What saddens me is that Mitchell's quotes and the descriptions of his competitiveness indicate an over-competitiveness to the point that he became confrontational rather than co-operative.

Instead of working with the city of Hamilton, his overly competitive style crossed the line leading him to work against the city of Hamilton. That is not how to deal with our elected officials.

That's what seems to be described here by more than one party.

Conclusion: He, Mitchell, is the source of Bob Young's ill advice, and he needs to go. Seems if there is one individual that assumes the largest share of this dysfunctional process, it would be Scott Mitchell.

And to top off that confrontational attitude, he seems to demonstrate through his actions and words, a total disregard for the very community that is tied directly, and very strongly to this team. A tie and connection that Bob Young himself has recognized by adopting the self appointed title of caretaker and relenting to IWS.

It explains the odd comments Mitchell made about Bob Young having a "come-to-Jesus" moment. At the time those comments came out, I found them slightly disturbing in that it seemed to imply a certain level of bitterness, as if he felt undermined and overruled by Bob Young.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-22 17:06:42

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:33:16

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:41:25

@ George

Yeah, I found that Drew Edwards piece to be quite insightful, with a twist of shock and disappointment.

Is it too late to salvage this process?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:42:32

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By George (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:50:12

@ CaptainKirk - Saw your comments at the Spectator site. Some very good points there.

@ hammy - I dunno, the more I follow this the more I think mayor Fred was right. Also, I find some of his critics too harsh because the WH was a plan long before he became mayor, it was strongly supported by council many times, and had very strong community support across a very broad base. This ain't just his baby.

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By orson (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 17:55:32

Does anyone actually listen to what Bill Kelly or Scott Thompson have to say and how they say it and steer the opinion of the callers? They definately belong on a tier 3 radio station. Bring back Roy Green!!

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By tellcouncil (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 18:47:47

Captain,

Is isn't too late to salvage this process - email your councillor and tell them to make sure we are getting the best-bang for our buck - WH or IW.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 18:57:30

George, throwing money at the WH for the sake of it is just wrong. We need a much bolder plan than throwing up a bunch of concrete at a location with such potential. How many here think the steel companies are going to be around in another 10-20 yrs? I don't. They are already on their last breath.
The potential for the future at WH/HBay could be brite.
I really get the feeling this has come down to nothing more than greed and money by some players we will likely never know.
One of the players we do know is the WH group. They are down to their last 1/2 million. They are in desperate need of funding to continue their quest. The empty buildings in the area suggest more money is involved. Who? Speculators and probably not many from this area.
City council needs to give IW the go, then look at a final solution for the WH that will benifit the entire city.
I do like the idea of concerts in the summer by the water, just a thought.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-22 18:58:59

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 19:17:35

Fred Eisenberger lost his job standing up for the citizens of Hamilton.

Wrong. He was standing up for the citizens of downtown. Please don't lump the rest of Hamilton with downtown.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 19:24:41

Basically this whole ordeal comes down to two sides:

1)The group that feels that developing a parcel of land is more important than keeping a historic football team

and

2)the group that feels that keeping a historic football team is more important than developing a parcel of land.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 19:40:06

@mb

So let me understand your comment, Eisenberger was only standing up for Downtown not the rest of Hamilton. Last time I checked downtown is part of Hamilton, in fact the image of most cities is rightly or wrongly based on the health of the downtown. So if the stadium went to the EM let's say, he/council would have been standing up for the EM only.

Let me rephrase it then, "he lost his job because of the Cat's management bullshit through this whole process".

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 19:42:44

@Peter

Thank you for informing me that downtown is part of Hamilton. I feel enlightened now that I know that.

I highly doubt a stadium at West Harbour would do anything for downtown. I've said that since day one. Businesses and residents. That's how you fix downtown. The majority of people I know live here on the Mountain, and most of those people don't feel Eisenberger was standing up for them.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-22 19:47:11

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 20:01:04

@mb

Enlightenment is good.

I also live on the mountain and most of the people I know wanted the stadium at WH. The big difference perhaps is that most of us have spent half our lives in the downtown area. Different strokes for different folks.

Basically this botch up of a process keeps compressing the time needed to pick a site and get the best out of it. We will see what comes out next week. Hopefully if it is go at IWS there will be some positive surprises for a change. I fear that because this process was a cluster Fxxx, the end result may be also.

Comment edited by PeterF on 2011-01-22 20:05:38

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 20:07:32

I also live on the mountain and most of the people I know wanted the stadium at WH. The big difference perhaps is that most of us have spent half our lives in the downtown area. Different strokes for different folks.

That's probably the difference. The majority of people I know have a disconnect from downtown. None of us were raised there or ever lived there, and the only time we ever go down is to go to Hamilton Place or Copps Coliseum for an event.

Basically this botch up of a process keeps compressing the time needed to pick a site and get the best out of it. We will see what comes out next week. Hopefully if it is go at IWS there will be some positive surprises for a change. I fear that because this process was a cluster Fxxx, the end result may be also.

Agreed. Let's get this done. Although I have a feeling that if IWS is a go (by the city, Ticats, prov, and Hostco all agreeing), that the WH people will be kicking and screaming about it, instead of letting it be.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-22 20:10:28

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 20:23:05

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 22:29:49

Great reasoning mb.

In successive posts you stated, "I highly doubt a stadium at West Harbour would do anything for downtown. I've said that since day one. Businesses and residents. That's how you fix downtown" and then later "the only time we ever go down is to go to Hamilton Place or Copps Coliseum for an event". Are you drunk? You acknowledge that Hamilton Place and Copps bring you downtown but somehow a strikingly similar attraction like a WH stadium wouldn't?

If you want business you have to have people. If you want people you have to have attractions. You acknowledge that two attractions already bring you downtown but somehow a third one wouldn't.

Give us a break. If you've got a real argument make it. If you're just posting to be aggravating or a contrarian, don't waste everyone's time.

You've just made RTH's point and it seems like you don't even know it.

Comment edited by realfreeenterpriser on 2011-01-22 22:30:39

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 23:44:00

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-22 23:45:34

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 01:30:58

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Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-23 01:36:36

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By George (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:01:18

I would argue that there are not many vacant buildings along King st.

How many do you think there are?

And BTW, a recent article in the Spec counted as many as 74 restaurants downtown, and I can assure you that they are busy during events.

I know, I go to downtown events and to many of those restaurants.

So I would say your assertions are incorrect.

Honestly, you are missing out on some of the other events you mention, and on the best selection of restaurants this city has to offer.

And of course a WH stadium will make a difference. Any time you draw a quarter of a million people downtown, it can only help. It's ludicrous to suggest that all the quarter million will go straight to the game, and then straight home. That just won't happen with all the downtown has to offer.

Again, you say you go straight to an event and straight home, so you don't know how busy downtown can be during events. I know otherwise, because I'm one of the many that patronizes the downtown. I see it myself. There are times I can't get a seat and must go elsewhere.

So if you're not hanging around downtown as I am, how can you profess to know what's going on there?

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-23 10:43:35

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 13:10:36

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 13:18:23

http://mattjelly.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/vacant-buildings/

This map clearly shows that you are correct that King Street is not the biggest problem, its the entire North central and west end. We don't need a stadium we need occupancy

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By George (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 13:42:22

@say what

On what authority are you speaking for the "vast majority"?

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 14:35:28

I guess we will find out very soon what contribution the Cats (or more likely their sponsors) will make to the stadium proper (not a surrounding "precinct"). If the Cats do not make this arrangement a partnership, and remain only paying tenants, then I suggest that the city make repayments to the loan from the FF out of the rent paid by the Cats and the other 200 renters/year. Say 20% of the rental fee goes to the loan repayment.

Also, as sole owners of the stadium the city should sell the naming rights and manage the facility. Also the terms of the lease should compensate the city for any parking revenue from city owned property (Brian Timmins etc). To hand these assets to a tenant is foolish. If the Cats need money from stadium operations (aside from the gate and game-day concessions) they need to invest in the bricks and morter.

Jason, I also like the public bond idea. One way or another the City needs to ensure a return on this investment. Or maybe BY needs to consider taking the Cats public. If the fans owned a piece of the team the may demand better from team management.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 15:37:28

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 17:07:46

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 17:17:39

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By George (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 19:22:28

@ say what - I asked about your "vast majority" of those that go downtown.

Why are you all of a sudden invoking RTH into my inquiry?

RTH is irrelevant to your post and my inquiry over your claim to represent the vast majority. RTH has nothing at all to do with that post.

say what wrote:

I too only go downtown for events at Copps. I never spend a nickel downtown outside of there when I visit and neither do the vast majority. It does the core no benefit to have me visit nor the majority that do the same as me. A football venue will be the same. No benefit from all of the extra visits. What you need is more jobs and more residents.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 20:55:06

Can't wait to see how all the BY koolaid drinkers spin this one:

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

Here's my take: BY - build your own office space. BY - build your own parking lot. BY - run your business so you aren't economically challenged (in other words, stop putting a CRAP product out) BY - don't let the door hit you on the way out. Moncton would love to drain their city coffers I hear. Happy trails.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 20:57:53

An article titled "Stadium stumble" by Emma Reilly has been posted on the Hamilton Spectator website tonight. She has obtained a copy of the city staff report on the Ivor Wynne Stadium refurbishment idea proposed by Mayor Bratina and Ticat owner Bob Young. The report indicates a cost of $156.5 to $174.5 Million to rebuild and refurbish Ivor Wynne Stadium, resulting in a funding gap of somewhere between $36.5 Million to $54.5 Million.

The report apparently states that Toronto 2015 estimates the cost of building the stadium at $156.5 Million and, on top of the basic stadium cost, the Tiger-Cats have various preconditions (stadium of at least 23,500 capacity, completely renovated north stands, new offices, parking lot, etc) that would cost an additional $18 Million, bringing the total cost to $174.5 Million.

The Tiger-Cats have apparently offered no financial contribution toward construction costs for the Ivor Wynne Stadium refurbishment proposal.

Ms. Reilly notes, "It also means that the only possibility that doesn't present a funding gap is a 5,000 seat stadium in the west harbour."

Here is the link to the article: http://www.thespec.com/news/crime/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-23 21:20:29

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 21:28:33

No money from the Cats. No mention of money from the "sponsors" that the Cats had lining up outside their door. Taxpayer donated parking lot? This is a lousy deal. Even with the ticket surcharge (at a 90% ticket sale rate, including sales for a non-existant soccer team) it'll take the city 70 years to recoup the FF investment (in 2010 dollars) with only a 20 year lease. What is the depreciation rate on a stadium?

All that and an impossible funding gap. Cats fans, it's time you demand better from "the caretaker". Everyone has known the budget is finite from the beginning of this process. Yet it's the Cats who keep asking for more. I guess that explains why they keep ending up in the red.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 21:31:19

I'm sure BY fans will somehow blame this on Fred. LOL

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 21:39:50

From the above-mentioned article - "Councillor Tom Jackson said if several costs are removed — including the $10 million renovations to the north stands and the $7 million transition costs — the funding gap could be narrowed to the point where the province could cover the outstanding costs."

..in a similar observation, Jackson noted that if his aunt had balls she'd be his uncle.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 21:51:38

Jason, I still can't figure out why BY has fans. I understand Ti-Cat fans, but BY fans?

I think it's time for the TCs and BY to fall on their sword. Public opinion has turned against their constant demands for our money. By tomorrow people (that's the majority, Hammy and Allen) will be demanding an end to this madness.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted January 23, 2011 at 21:55:01

@realfreeenterpriser, LMAO, that's the best laugh I've had all day! Thanks.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 22:06:03

me too!! LOL

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:08:31

I think it's time for the TCs and BY to fall on their sword.

I thought that was what Scott Mitchell was for.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 23:12:10

@mb

I am on this site to provide an opposing viewpoint.

Instead of just "providing an opposing viewpoint" why don't you decide each issue on its merits? Why set yourself up for constant opposition? One of the nice things about RTH is that the various people here agree and disagree on a bunch of issues case by case instead of having a 'slate of acceptable opinions' like some political partisan.

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