Sports

TO2015 to Pursue Alternate Velodrome Location

By RTH Staff
Published October 11, 2011

After Hamilton City Council voted today to cap the city's Velodrome contribution to $5 million, Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop issued a statement that the Pan Am Games host corporation will now negotiate with other interested municipalities to locate the Pan Am Velodrome.

The Velodrome proposal Council considered today would require a commitment of up to $22 million from the City, much higher than the original Council commitment of $5 million. Troop stated that the $5 million amount, "while generous, does not represent a sufficient financial commitment to go forward with the plans".

His statement reads:

The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) acknowledges Hamilton City Council's decision to cap their contribution at $5 million towards the building of a four-season velodrome at Mohawk College.

However, this contribution, while generous, does not represent a sufficient financial commitment to go forward with the plans to build this velodrome in Hamilton.

TO2015 would like to thank the City of Hamilton for their hard work in developing a strong four-season velodrome proposal and the due diligence of their committees to evaluate this proposal.

As a result of Council's decision, TO2015 will pursue discussions with other municipalities who have expressed interest in this significant legacy facility.

This high-calibre facility remains a vital component to the Pan/Parapan Am Games legacy. The velodrome will attract future elite, and amateur national and international competitions, allow Ontario-based athletes to train in their home province and give the surrounding community access to a world-class facility.

TO2015 is looking forward to working closely with its community partners to help ensure a velodrome is delivered on time, on budget and on scope.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 18:17:09

So... what is Hamilton "getting" from the Pan Am games? An updated stadium where we already had one,resulting in the loss of an amateur playing field? Another opportunity lost I guess.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 18:21:42

Opportunity lost?! We saved the Tiger Cats!

Here's to amateur sports!

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 07:52:41 in reply to Comment 70430

As somebody who participated in amateur sports all his life (track as a teen, kayaking in university/adulthood), I am not the least bit surprised at how this turned out.

This is going to sound like sour grapes, it is not. It is reality- in North America The "big 5" sports (hockey, football, basketball, soccer, baseball)rule the day. It is simply part of our culture.

I have seen the great struggles that amateur sports has had to get public funding and private sponsorship. Therefore it doesn't shock me when the province drops $22mm to ensure the Ticats have a place to play but a velodrome falls by the wayside. It shouldn't surprise any body here.

Look at every major games event in North America- Montreal and Atlanta Olympics, Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and Victoria. Pan Am games in Indianapolis and Winnipeg. None of these have built a permanent velodrome and made it stick. Only the LA Olympics have succeeded in this. That is a much of a legacy of our "stick and ball sport" society as anything.

As an Ontario taxpayer, hopefully there is a city that perhaps wants to get into the Pan am mix that is willing to bite the bullet on this (or has a sugar daddy with a cheque in tow) so we do have something in the area.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 19:11:42

So I take it all those cycling fundraisers who were going to rush around during the last month to get pledges and funding failed to raise any additional dollars at all?

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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2011 at 19:12:31

Between this boondoggle and the newly instituted paywall at thespec.com, Hamilton's new slogan should be, "Hamilton, daily becoming a greater place to be from."

cheers from charlottetown, TLB

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 20:20:25

this sucks... city has lost sight of PanAM goals for amature sport and of any vision of Hamilton being a better place. Mediocrity defined.

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-10-11 20:20:36

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By JM (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 08:41:20 in reply to Comment 70440

totally lost sight.... we HAD a clear vision at the start. remember the west harbour?? (to be honest i think a lot of people forgot) just think of the "savings" bundling the two sites, plus the DIRECT access to transit

i still don't understand how the James North GO station is going to be utilized for the games when its nowhere near any of the venues!!!

way to go Bob

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 23:21:14 in reply to Comment 70440

where in the hell are our LEADERS leading us?

"Hamilton ~ the Blind City"

Comment edited by mike_sak on 2011-10-11 23:25:51

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 21:24:38

I had already scrapped my allegiance to the Ticats and this just confirms my choice. They sabotaged what was supposed to be a great event for Hamilton. We're left with brownfields, no legacy, no urban renewal spinoffs and wasting tons of future fund money for some rich guy's sports team.

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By Peter (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 21:32:53

I'm gutted...absolutely gutted.

The funny thing is, City councillors are probably patting themselves on the back thinking they've done the right thing.

Once again, Hamilton comes off as incompetent on the national stage.

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 08:06:13 in reply to Comment 70444

While this is unfortunate it is not a "national" anything. This news is nowhere in the national papers or TV. It barely made the Toronto Star. The only reason the stadium became national news was it involved the Hamilton Tiger Cats (anybody who thinks otherwise is naive).

It's unfortunate but it's true- nobody outside of the cycling community and the city hosting it truly cares where a velodrome gets built.

Even if it did make national news- so what? Denver turned down the entire 1976 winter olympics after they were awarded them. Last I checked, Denver is a thriving, growing city and their Olympic experience is the answer to a trivial pursuit question.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2011 at 22:10:01

What frustrates me the most is that Council could have taken the savings from the IWS refurbishment and applied it to the Velodrome ... if only Council had been given the option of realizing the savings rather than spending the same money on a full rebuild. Instead, that decision was made for us earlier this summer and Council wasn't even advised until the end of August. (I suspected something was going on in July but couldn't get a straight answer from anyone.)

So we end up with a brand-new stadium on the site of the old stadium that will do little or nothing to achieve the city's goals of community building and economic development, while the waterfront land that was supposed to host the new stadium remains an un-remediated industrial brownfield.

Meanwhile, the velodrome, which would actually have advanced the TO2015 goal of promoting high performance amateur sport, will go to another municipality. I was conflicted about the Velodrome, not least because of the secretive process and desperation planning that accompanied it; but if I had to choose just one of the two Pan Am legacy facilities, I would pick the one that did more to advance both the City's and TO2015's objectives.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 09:40:21 in reply to Comment 70447

Council could have taken the savings from the IWS refurbishment

What savings? I didn't realise the project was done yet. I'll believe there are savings when the project is finished, until then we don't really know what it will cost.

We need to stop playing with pretend money in this city. Cost projections and real cost are two very different things.

Does purchasing something with the perceived savings from something that hasn't been paid for yet seem like good fiscal management?

Comment edited by Kiely on 2011-10-12 09:41:01

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 15:13:25 in reply to Comment 70469

Does it seem like good fiscal management to commit $X to build Y, and then stand by idly while the builder proceeds to build Y+Z and charge you the same amount ($X)?

Some might consider the bonus (Z) the freebie, but we all no there is no such thing as a free lunch, the cost of Z is included in the $X figure.

So wouldn't it be more fiscally responsible to say "build only what I asked for, and return any extra to me?"

Had we done that, there would have been funds for the velodrom. That's the point that Ryan is trying to make.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 14:19:57 in reply to Comment 70501

So wouldn't it be more fiscally responsible to say "build only what I asked for, and return any extra to me?"

Still no guarantee that "building only what we ask for" comes in on budget. Look no further than Burlington's pier fiasco for what can happen with construction projects. You can pay more than you budgeted and still not get what you asked for.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2011 at 14:35:20 in reply to Comment 70541

Projects come late and over budget because they are mismanaged, not because of some innate quality of infrastructure budgeting.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2011 at 22:33:48 in reply to Comment 70447

My feelings on the velodrome are similar to yours, I always thought it was the better facility, but the process and the last minute plea for tens of millions in more money (despite the fact we all knew a permanent facility would cost millions of dollars more from the outset) lead me to have lukewarm feelings for the Mohawk proposal.

I'm still disappointed, but as between "nothing" and a "bad deal" with Mohawk...it's kind of a toss up.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 08:45:52

If I ever have anything positive to say about another games bid, just slap me. These things are a nightmare every time, and I'm sorry that I ever had anything nice to say about this one.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 09:45:06 in reply to Comment 70463

Throwing a bucket of money in a room and telling people to fight for their share is never a good idea.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 08:49:00

I'm the kinda guy that would go to a velodrome to watch a competition. I think it'd be a great addition to the city. That being said, I'm glad this happened. We offered to pay $5 mil from the outset, and we stuck to our guns for a change. (If only we had stuck to our guns about the West Harbour, but that's a whole other story...)

We cannot afford more than the $5 million we were offering. We can't afford the annual operating costs.

Let's take this $5 million and put it to something better. Infrastructure, LRT, brownfield remediation, bike lanes, whatever. Something better than a perpetual money-sink velodrome at Mohawk.

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By Peter (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 09:38:06 in reply to Comment 70464

Can't afford? Not sure about that. The City has a $1B budget...let's not split hairs over a few million when it's going to a worthy cause.

Anyway, it's all moot now, isn't it.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 10:05:05 in reply to Comment 70468

I'm more worried about adding $5m (plus additional operating costs every year) to our debt load than what portion of our budget that is.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 09:46:48 in reply to Comment 70468

let's not split hairs over a few million when it's going to a worthy cause.

Are we feeding the poor with this money?

A velodrome stretches the definition of "worthy cause" don't you think?

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By JM (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 10:59:28 in reply to Comment 70471

if a velodrome draws tourists and high performance athletes to LIVE here, and promotes additional spending in the local economy (hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc.) then i would consider this a worthy cause... one of only a few facilities of its kind on the continent, something that sets us apart and ATTRACTS people to BE here... and STAY here... i'm sure we could go on about this... but i'll stop

but we don't need more people living and spending money here in Hamilton. we seem to enjoy our status quo

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 21:36:56 in reply to Comment 70479

How many people would honestly move to Hamilton? How big is the national cycling team. Okay, lets say its 50 families (which may or may not be significant), how many are simply going to purchase a place in Oakville, Burlingon, Cambridge, or other surrounding "nicer place to live".

This is not to knock Hamilton, I like it here a lot. But lets be serious, the city would be better off for 5-10-15 million buying a few older buildings, converting them to lofts, and selling them (at a break even point), if they want to attract small numbers of people.

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By Peter (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 22:33:25 in reply to Comment 70512

Why must it always be a choice? That seems a bit phony to me.

Do you really think that having one of only two such world-class facilities on the continent would have no positive effect on the city?

Like other examples - LRT - it's not a panacea but it's a step in the right direction; a step we won't now be taking.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 11:10:15 in reply to Comment 70516

No I don't . But a Velodrome? Really? Why not build an upside down house to attract people. There are FAR *FAR* better ways to spend the money. LTR is one of them.

When you buy a fixer upper house, yes, there is lots to do. Yes, no one single thing is going to make it "complete", but adding an odd looking hardly anyone has piece of furniture in the occasional room that will be seldom used should be next to last on that list. Particularly when you have budget constraints.

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By JM (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 09:19:19 in reply to Comment 70516

that's right... people need to understand that facilities, and redevelopment projects like these don't "save" the city single handedly... (is that a word?). i don't think anyone on this blog has ever promoted these projects in that way.

but, with each of these projects being implemented at a time they are one step towards attract different groups of people to different parts of the city.. THATS the idea behind it!

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 11:13:05 in reply to Comment 70525

And that is what council attempted to do. Cap the commitment at something they thought was doable.

If you knew how many projects potentially come to Hamilton (or any other city) that don't come to fruition you would throw yourself off a building based on the over reaction to this.

Best to use the money on something else equally as "city building", but for more people.

The opportunity cost of this project was simply too high at the end of the day (thanks Stadium Fiasco).

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:03:29 in reply to Comment 70533

Whenever we talk about transit, pan am, etc, it's always a big fat deal that it's going to cost money.

But bringing up the half billion dollar aerotropolis servicing costs, we just get crickets chirping.

WHat is so magical about pan am and transit that boils everyone's blood, and what is it about the aerotropolis fiasco that makes them complacent? I just don't get it.

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By JM (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:46:29 in reply to Comment 70537

aerotropolis is status quo development... same old same old that most people are comfortable with

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2011 at 08:05:15 in reply to Comment 70538

Are citizens comfortable because we know it well? Or are we comfortable because we are kept in the dark until the development is as good as done?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 10:07:42

I'd rather have the velodrome than the crazy amount of money we're putting into the stadium, and I'd rather have the LRT than either or both sporting facilities....

But either way, this process has been depressing all around.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 11:14:06 in reply to Comment 70475

I think overall a General use stadium has more worth then a highly specialized if it were and Either/Or situation. This should have never been that type of situation however.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 10:25:53

There was a commenter on TheSpec Live feed yesterday that mentioned using an old abandoned warehouse to house the Veledrome. I love the idea. An old brick building with new windows with the Veledrome track built inside. All we would have to focus on is a few aesthetics, the track, and some seating. The rest could be developed over time like training facilities within the building such as a weight room and what not. We could work on a running track within the bike track later on, and develop this thing up over time.

Our downtown is full of these abandoned facilities. One of them must be big enough?

By building bare bones for the needs of Pan Am and enough amenities that would attract the Canadian team, than anything above and beyond these sports organizations could fund raise and look for money over time from the city, to build onto this facility.

Not sure how big Rheem is or how much space the track and seating requires and it's not brick, but talk about a re-use.

As for the comment about losing an amateur facility. We will not. Brian Timmis will be re-located and I like Farr's suggestion about Eastwood. I played there as a kid. We mostly practised there except when we played against Eastwood in Select. A 5,000 seat soccer stadium with press boxes and such would surely give that area a visual and community facility boost. It saddened me to read about the struggling hockey program there.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-10-12 10:42:51

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 15:29:52 in reply to Comment 70477

As classy and beautiful as this would be, this kind of extreme adaptive reuse generally costs more than simply erecting a purpose-built facility.

And either way, most of Hamilton's old industrial properties are too toxic to simply reuse. The Rheem property requires remediation, including the soil, iirc. I'm willing to bet remediating the soil would require tearing down the building.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 15:59:13 in reply to Comment 70504

So say Rheem (or any other site that fits the Veledrome track footprint), doesn't have to be torn down to remediate. Say we add any other remediation costs (area around site) on top of the $5M investment from council.

Say that cost is an additional $5M. Money that would be going to improve a neighbourhood that needs to be spent at some point and isn't directly for the Veledrome - It just turns out it would benefit the project.

The Pan Am governing body would be putting money into this facility wherever it goes right? It's just that $5M investment for a totally new facility that I believe is estimated at $15M or so, isn't enough to cover the difference of what Troops group has in the budget to pool in.

I know this idea is starting to smell like the Ivor Wynne refurb which we later found couldn't be re-used and what's to say that Rheem or any other site wouldn't later reveal the same inability to be a re-use project, but get IO to one of these sites now.

Council to IO: "What's it going to cost to remediate, gut, and build a track with some seating in here (Rheem/Victoria/Gage), and perhaps some windows?" IO to council after some research: "25M + $10M for remediation." Council to IO: "Okay. Have a nice day."

or

IO to council: $10M plus $5M in remediation - guaranteed no cost overruns. Council: We'll give you $4.5M for build and cover remmediation. (isn't the magic number 44% of costs?)

Just grabbing some numbers from the sky obviously but at least we would know.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 14:48:36 in reply to Comment 70477

Yeah , that was me. It is a shame that we only seem to be able to focus on one solution at a time.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 15:02:08 in reply to Comment 70497

It doesn't sound like it's too late to propose something to council or Mr. Troop from the article in today's Spec. Dig up some proposed properties based on size of LA Veledrome, see if anyone has any estimated costs to retrofit an old building such as Hamilton has a surplus of as you mentioned.

If the city can only work on one thing at a time, and this is something you/we want, let's do some of the dirty work as Ryan and others have done on other projects such as the stadium in West Harbour or LRT. What do we have to lose. There is $5m there. What's that get us utilizing existing facilities?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:09:06 in reply to Comment 70477

I've been pushing here for some time to explore using the old Rheem building as the shell for the Velodrome

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:18:22 in reply to Comment 70480

So how can we push further? See my image below. Does the LA Veledrome footprint fit into Rheem or any other shells in Hamilton?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:16:51

LA Veledrome ADT Event Center Layout of the sports district where LA Veledrome is

I am assuming it's the white hexagon building off of University Dr in the above Google Maps link.

Does that footprint fit into any other locations in Hamilton? Wasn't the property along Wellington/Victoria N mentioned once or twice during the stadium debate?

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-10-12 11:25:46

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By BillDunphy (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 19:45:19 in reply to Comment 70481

Hey Lawrence et al - It's about more than footprint. I don't have any special knowledge but reading John Kernahan's report on Dutch Velodromes points out a significant barrier to re-use of any of our old industrial buildings - a clear interior. The Pan Am requirements are that there be NO support pillars (presumably to ensure completely unubstructed views) in the interior of the velodrome - Kernahan mentions how the games committee forced another velodrome to abandon their original design for that very reason. We MAY have industrial sheds that large in Hamilton, but I kind of doubt it.

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By Synxer (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 12:05:10

Personally, I am not all that upset about losing the velodrome. It's a great thing, don't get me wrong - after the glitter has faded, I just can't see more than a handful of people - with respect to our population density - using it for its intended purpose. Tradeshows, etc are great - but Copps is already underused as it is. The velodrome might spread us a little thinner and perhaps not create the dynamics for igniting the use cases that a facility of this magnitude deserves.

Out of all of this, West Harbour revitalization was the key. The velodrome was a nice addition, but with nothing left but a save-face stadium in the same location, I don't see the point in being involved in the PanAm games going forward.

Educate me if I'm off-base.

Comment edited by Synxer on 2011-10-12 12:08:27

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 13:15:37 in reply to Comment 70486

Educate me if I'm off-base.

I wouldn't say you're 'off-base'...but it's clear that everyone involved did a shite job of stewardship/promotion of the velodrome's value on so many levels if your take is common. (And I'm thinking it is.)

Inspired by Graham Crawford's essay in The Spec today, I feel an article coming on...

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By Synxer (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 19:05:57 in reply to Comment 70494

...if your take is common. (And I'm thinking it is.)

It probably is. And I'm not even against it. I just don't think Hamilton understands what it is losing or gaining from the velodrome.

I'm no expert on cycling in Canada - or sports for that matter - but I think about how many professional cyclists, or even amateur cyclists, who would use this velodrome.

How many cyclists in Canada would use this facility? 100? 1000? 10000? My armchair guess would be maybe 2000. I am most likely way off, but if it were true, we could then ask, "How many will come to Hamilton to use the facility?". Maybe 200, 500, 1000? Again, probably way off.

So it stands to reason, from my bogus stats, that the velodrome could be empty quiet a bit.

I'm all for the fight of a great city building facility, but I think you nailed it - the values of the facility aren't completely clear.

Based on my education on the matter, I think $5M on bike lanes and some bicycle renting stations would be much more beneficial to the community as a whole.

Comment edited by Synxer on 2011-10-12 19:06:55

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 13:21:25

Out of all of this, West Harbour revitalization was the key. The velodrome was a nice addition, but with nothing left but a save-face stadium in the same location, I don't see the point in being involved in the PanAm games going forward.

Agreed, Synxer. I mean, really, are we even truly involved in Pan Am Gamesanymore? Aside from the games piggy-backing on the taxpayer subsidy of the operations of a (nominally) profit-making enterprise, it looks like Council's pretty much decided to sidestep the whole endeavour.

It really is a remarkable kind of leadership that pumps a city up about the transformative possibilities of infrastructure investment and then shamelessly turns the opportunity into a corporate welfare scheme.

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By Dolt (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 17:40:36

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.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 22:18:29 in reply to Comment 70506

When i ask for homes for habitat i do NOT dictate the location. Yet when bob young asks for a home for his business, for free from the taxpayers he has the right to dictate the location ?

SO corporate citizens have more rights than citizens .. Hamilton obviously needs a new movement (like take back Balsam St.)

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 20:46:33 in reply to Comment 70506

If the city had sat down with the tiger-cats and asked them to work with them on choosing a site

The city did precisely that. For over a year, the Ticats participated fully in the Pan Am stadium committee that considered a number of sites and concluded that the west harbour was the best site.

The Ticats did not raise any objections to the west harbour until after what was supposed to be the final Council vote on the location - a blatant ploy to hijack the process at the 11th hour for their own narrow ends.

And we all know how that played out.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 21:55:51

Well at the risk of a law suit i will put my opinion into words.

This entire process was initiated by David Braley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Braley).

Mr.Braley owns TWO CFL teams. The argonauts have been looking for a way to get of Rogers place since it was renamed Rogers place from 'Skydome'. By the time the Pan Am games are over the argos will be playing at the new stadium at york university and the ticats will be playing at the new 'Ivor Wynne'. The ontario tax payers will have built both of these stadiums with funds ear marked for High-end amateur sports. (I'll agree with the amateur part high end is another story) We have seen the whole sale robbery of tax payers funds for a professional sports league. The east mountain thing was to increase the value of his land holdings. The retreat to Ivor Wynne was simply a face saving measure. It has all of the faults that the West Harbor has.

DAVID Mr.Braley HAS STOLEN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS from the tax payers of Ontario and Canada to fund the CFL.

Oh and the veoldrome Dead .. Why ? because braely coudn't figure out how to steal it as well from the taxpayers.

And the Spec was desperate for a senator from Hamilton .. we got one from Hamilton except his 'home' is really the CFL.

please do not delete my comment; i will gladly provide all contact info to the editors of this site when the law suit arrives but sorry some one needs to say what to be needs to be said.

Braley is just another conservative party member looking to rip the tax payers off

and we all lose

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 22:37:26 in reply to Comment 70514

I would have left out the fifth, and possibly the sixth, from last paragraphs.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 23:13:08 in reply to Comment 70517

I'm not sure which paragraphs your talking about but i take it you agree that the whole Pan am this is just a shell game to get the Southern ontario teams in the CFL free stadiums at the tax payers expense, surely if you felt differently you would present some kind of facts to back it up ?

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 09:20:50

Good points, Rednic--the process stank to high heaven and definitely seemed as though WAY too much was going on behind the scenes, out of the public eye.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 14:35:59

CFL free stadiums? WTF? Eisenberger doesn't even like football from my understanding and he's the one who went after the stadium. Some of the stuff I read here is unreal.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 16:17:05 in reply to Comment 70544

Eisenberger's well thought through plan got side-tracked. He promoted a stadium at the West Harbour that would help build the downtown. At one point, so did our new Mayor. But something happened along the way that resulted in a last-minute plan involving a refurb a decaying stadium with public money so that we could "keep" the "business" of a corporation that showed absolutely no loyalty or respect for the very citizens who have supported them for one hundred-plus years.

That's what's unreal, Anon.

Bob

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2011-10-13 16:18:42

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 17:55:48

Back on September 8, 2010, Adrian Duyzer posted on RTH a timeline of then Ward 2 Councillor Bratina's varying positions on the Pan Am stadium location: http://rthtools.org/bratinas_positions/

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-13 17:56:23

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 18:23:19

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.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2011 at 23:38:14

Just as an aside, not that this is really on topic, since thespec.com is now behind a paywall, I've had trouble getting local news, or seeing some of the links that are posted on RTH.

Well, I've found a good source for local news now, openfile hamilton. Do a search for it and you should be able to find it pretty easily. It's pretty good and the articles are timely.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2011 at 08:18:00

New stadium coming people, love it. Ok, so it's not going to be BC Place but it will be a nice one in a great part of town. Oh, I know, anything other than James St. N doesn't count with most posters on this site. Apologies for not remembering this all the time for the RTH posters.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:35:21 in reply to Comment 70560

It's not that anything other than James ST. North "doesn't count" it's that for a great many years, many parts of this city, including James St. North, were "written off" wholesale by councillors at city hall. James St. North "will never be what it was" is what a former area councillor once said.

It's only through the hard work and perseverence of individuals that James North has been the success it is. It has nothing to do with city hall, and in fact I think city hall could do a lot more to help such entrepreneuers.

The stadium was to be built on the waterfront, as part of a coordinated plan to turn the waterfront into a destination, like those of many other cities, rather than the post-industrial wasteland most of it currently is.

You might be all excited about the new stadium, but how do you feel about the fact the neighbourhood is losing Brian Timmis? Is that a positive benefit to this great part of town? Will it make that part of town greater or lesser?

Oh, I know, anything other than the Ti-cats doesn't count with most Anon posters. Apologies for not remembering this all the time for the Anon posters. :-p

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2011 at 17:49:41

Any redevelopment and upgrading of an area such as where IWS is located is nothing but positive especially when the area is receiving over $20 million from the province and some $9 mill from the Hamilton TigerCats that don't really want to be there in the first place. IWS is a community stadium and is open to high school sports and other community uses, it's a city owned stadium despite the millions upon millions the TigerCats are putting into it. And that, my dear friend, counts very much with me, very much because I believe in inner city development.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 14, 2011 at 22:06:01

According to an article titled "Pan Am also rans invited to bid on velodrome" by Matthew Van Dongen on thepsec.com tonight, Toronto 2015 has sent out letters to cities such as Milton and Mississauga seeking expressions of interest to partner in the construction of the Pan Am Velodrome. London, Ontario is apparently out of the mix because it is more than 60 kilometres away from the Athletes Village: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-14 22:06:35

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 15, 2011 at 09:10:02

This opinion letter titled "Pan Am Games legacy has been squandered" by Hamiltonian Doug Farraway, who is one of the on-air personalities on TheFan 590 sports radio and was a former editor of the news department at 1150 CKOC radio back when it actually broadcast some news and commentary, was published in today's Hamilton Spectator:

"Our Pan Am Games legacy can be described with one work: zilch.

I agree with Councillor Brad Clark that only the Tiger-Cats benefited from 18 months of debate and indecision. What has Hamilton obtained through this process?

The answer: A new but smaller stadium on a tired and still divisive site in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. We were supposed to get a renovated/rebuilt stadium at Ivor Wynne but, arbitrarily in someone's back room, a decision was made to tear everything down and start afresh. There are no collateral benefits for the neighbourhood and the city as a whole by rebuilding at Ivor Wynne. No new businesses will be created because we are using the same old footprint as before. Fewer people will be attending Ticat games so even the people who park cars on their lawns will have fewer dollars in their pockets.

Bob Young is a beneficiary. By stamping his foot and threatening to move to anywhere but the west harbour, he got his way.

We don't get a new stadium in a west harbour location that would have linked our needy downtown to our green harbour. We don't get industrial revolution lands cleared and cleaned. We don't get any ripple economic effect for the money to be spent by three levels of government. We don't get any urban renewal momentum.

Now there is no velodrome. What sporting infrastructure and legacy will there be from the Pan Am Games in Hamilton? Zilch.

There is one thing we've accrued after this testy and sometimes acrimonious debate- a reputation elsewhere in the country that we haven't got a clue what we're doing going forward. There was another way. Sadly that way has passed us by."

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-15 09:13:12

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 17, 2011 at 22:22:02

Emma Reilly of the Hamilton Spectator reports that Ward 3 Councillor Bernie Morelli introduced a notice of motion at the end of last week's Special GIC meeting on the velodrome seeking to reallocate the city's $5 Million velodrome commitment toward the building of a senior centre in Ward 3 if the velodrome is not built in Hamilton. Ms. Reilly also notes that city council may move its council meetings up to 5:00 p.m. starting in January, 2012. http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-17 22:43:40

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 18, 2011 at 22:28:42

Here is the link to an article by Matthew Van Dongen on thespec.com tonight titled "Milton in the race for Pan Am velodrome". Milton decided yesterday to bid for the velodrome and Mississauga council will decide tomorrow whether they will also make a bid. http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-18 22:32:20

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