News

"Tiger Town" At The Economic Summit? Ugh.

By Adrian Duyzer
Published April 25, 2012

The Spectator reports that the Hamilton Economic Summit has landed some key sponsors for this year's summit.

The sponsors are the Tiger-Cats, the City, the airport, and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Hamilton. And it appears that the Tiger-Cats are getting some special treatment:

The city’s football squad will sponsor Tiger Town, where attendees will have breakfast and lunch and listen to keynote speaker David Foot, an economist who studies demographics.

Tiger Town? I thought this was a summit for businesspeople, professionals and entrepreneurs, not nine-year-olds.

The worst part is that "Tiger Town" includes breakfast and lunch. Nothing makes me lose my appetite more than people pretending that the Tiger-Cats are out for anyone other than themselves.

If the goal of the summit is to grow Hamilton's economic prosperity and advance our civic goals, I can't think of another private organization that has done more damage to those objectives than the Tiger-Cats.

Meanwhile the Spec also reports that the City is "asking the province to guarantee millions of dollars in Tiger-Cats revenue in case a new Ivor Wynne Stadium isn't built in time for the 2014 football season":

The Ticats have agreed to play elsewhere in 2013 while the old city stadium is torn down and rebuilt for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Construction on the city-owned facility is supposed to be done by July 1, 2014.

But if it's not, the football club estimates it could lose more than $1.5 million for every cancelled home game. The city would also lose its cut, up to $200,000 a game.

City finance head Rob Rossini said council is formally requesting a construction indemnity Wednesday on behalf of the Ticats - but he added local taxpayers aren't on the hook for any club revenue losses, regardless.

"We have a partnership with the Ticats; this is us helping a partner," said Rossini, who noted the city has a revenue-sharing agreement with its stadium tenant. "Obviously, the Ticats want someone to provide that guarantee, and you can understand why."

Ah yes, the Tiger-Cats are a "partner". The kind of partner who derails a civic process for their own benefit and uses every means of pressuring our democratically-elected representatives to ignore the wishes of Hamilton's citizens, including threatening to leave town if they don't get their way.

Now they're getting a new stadium built to order, but that's not enough: they want taxpayers to step in to ensure they don't lose any money if the stadium they ordered gets served late.

I'd like the Tiger-Cats to guarantee that if I can't stomach my meals at the summit's Tiger Town they'll cover the cost of registration. It's really the least they can do.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 08:45:56

Just an FYI for you, according to the city's website, "Hamilton was famous as ‘Tiger Town’ prior to the naming of the city’s present CFL football team, The Hamilton Tiger Cats, and still proudly bears this nickname."

I have no idea why we were called Tiger Town before 1873, but apparently we were.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:24:33 in reply to Comment 76210

http://www.canadianwings.com/Squadrons/s...

Although not sure before that time. Likely because the Tiger-Cats were first the Hamilton Tigers Football Club and was founded in 1869.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_Ti...

They later merged with the Hamilton Flying Wildcats (so named because of how many RCAF members played on the team) and became known as the Tiger-Cats after that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_Wi...

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-04-25 10:27:09

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By Tiger Tail (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:11:11 in reply to Comment 76210

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_Tigers_(ice_hockey)

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:20:29 in reply to Comment 76219

The Tigers (hockey) team showed up in 1920, well after the Tigers (football) team.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 09:10:09 in reply to Comment 76210

Why do I feel like they're making this stuff up?

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 09:17:52

If the goal of the summit is to grow Hamilton's economic prosperity and advance our civic goals, I can't think of another private organization that has done more damage to those objectives than the Tiger-Cats.

This.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 09:29:50

Please relax. While they are not a economic driver for the city the Ticats do provide Hamilton with a great deal of national publicity and are a source of pride for many in this city.

Go out and purchase some season tickets for the coming season. Have some fun and support your local team!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted April 27, 2012 at 17:10:25 in reply to Comment 76213

... seriously? Mr. "All Free Market All The Time" is suddenly okay with nine figures of public money going to subsidize a private entertainment organization?

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:20:24 in reply to Comment 76213

Purchase some season Tickets? .. are you kidding me ? i was a season ticket holder since i moved here in Hamilton since 1994 , and after that stunt that OUR dear Bob yOUNG PULL ON US DURING THE DEBATE FOR THE STADIUM I SAW who he really is , and trust me i fallowed the debate from start to finish i will never bye season tickets EVER again

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 14:47:27 in reply to Comment 76236

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By smrt (anonymous) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 12:45:21 in reply to Comment 76244

I was a long time fan and Young and Mitchell have managed to turn me off the team. Really smart business strategy!

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 21:15:57 in reply to Comment 76244

I couldn't disagree more with your flippant attitude.

I totally agree that Mr. Young saved the team, but he has put his personal vision ahead of everything else, including the city. His attitude of 'me-first', stalling and vetoing the location of the stadium, threatening to move the team, poor performances over the past few years, the goofy "caretaker" title, and so on has irked me. Like I said elsewhere, I will not renew my seasons tickets for this upcoming year and am considering not going to any games - something I haven't done in 10 years or more!

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 16:13:02 in reply to Comment 76247


Good riddence to you!

I will enjoy ticat games in the new stadium without you people.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 17:57:04 in reply to Comment 76301

It'll be pretty lonely there with just you, the mayor, the owner, and his staff. Don't catch a cold from the wind!

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By George (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 18:14:11 in reply to Comment 76244

Please do not presume to speak for all season ticket holders. You do not. I'm one and I disagree with you. I still have mine, although I'm deeply disappointed at what the Tiger-Cats did to damage this city. I know at least two long time season ticket holders who have dropped their seats due to how the Tiger-Cats handled the stadium situation.

Comment edited by George on 2012-04-25 19:04:16

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 09:39:50

Yet another opportunity for "important" people to schmooze, network and conspire. Of course the Cats would be there - they're power-brokers, and that's what this is about.

Ugh.

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By Toady (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 09:45:20

Geez Adrian, you really have yourself all riled up over this. You really must have a hate-on for the Tiger-Cats? Whatever works for you though as they say.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:00:21

Oh yes, what a terrible organization. Preserving and continuing the history of one of Canada's oldest sports. I mean, a national league that generates tons of publicity for the city, that's crazy. It's not like we have some kind of Football Hall of Fame in our city. I mean, what you'd think they were older then the Lister Block itself!

Speaking of history, where do they get off working with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to run flybys over the stadium on game days when thousands are in attendance. It's not like our military history should supported and publicly displayed.

How dare they continue to help raise thousands for various charitable organizations including McMaster children's hospital, Speroway, the Untied Way, CityKids, Big Brothers, Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, nevermind the dozens of minor and junior football organizations (of which many of their players help run free football camps).

Oh what awful people these guys who run a Food Drive every Labor Day to help fill local food banks. What jerks, them and their fanbase are by running the annual Ron Lancaster climb to end cancer, nevermind bring in all of the corporate charity events like the Purolater tackle hunger program to our city. Also, how dare their players raise awareness for countries like Hatti and Guyana.

and now that they have to run an entire season out of pocket (It's not like we want to be like Vancouver, we gotta show them how it's done, given that they completely paid for a a temporary stadium for the Lions when BC Place was getting a reno), they want to make sure the stadium is done on time for the start of the season or potentially lose millions as a result.

Pfft, are you kidding me, it not like any major Hamilton works project has every stalled and not been on time. What do you think this is, the Red Hill Expressway, the Lister Block, the Randle Reef, the Westmount rec center, the Stoney Creek rec center?

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-04-25 10:35:48

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 08:52:05 in reply to Comment 76217

and now that they have to run an entire season out of pocket (It's not like we want to be like Vancouver, we gotta show them how it's done, given that they completely paid for a a temporary stadium for the Lions when BC Place was getting a reno), they want to make sure the stadium is done on time for the start of the season or potentially lose millions as a result.

If Bob hadn't derailed the stadium issue the new stadium would be under construction downtown and Ivor Wynne would be available for another season.

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By El Communito (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 23:20:55 in reply to Comment 76217

Although I do not want to diminish the importance of these contributions, they do not justify the existence of the team if the contribution that the city makes to that team exceeds the cumulative financial impact of the good works listed here.

In other words- that's all great, but we could take our municipal cash, pump it into these charitable causes, and bypass the football team altogether (and I suspect, although I haven't crunched the numbers, that we'd have cash left over.)

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 10:39:02 in reply to Comment 76217

Awesome Tributes -Hammer- man! I often wonder what Tiger-Town might look like 74 years after PanAm.

"And so IT was decreed that each year, the twelve districts of PanAm, shall offer up in tribute one young man and woman between the ages of 12 and 18 to be trained in the art of survival, and to be prepared to fight to the death... Welcome, and happy Hunger Games!" - President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-04-26 11:02:11

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:30:43 in reply to Comment 76217

Hammer.. 99% of what you said here is the players doing all of this ... there talking about the Owner and the head office ... and about B.C. maybe Bob Young can take a page out of there books if he is all hung up to loose all that Money and let me say it its Public money all over again we pay for the Stadium and the loses

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 21:54:05 in reply to Comment 76237

Oh yes, the players are the ones who organize with Warplane Heritage, the players organize the 50/50 draws, the players all run the Food Drives before the game and manage the volunteer staff, the players attract the corporate sponsorship and programs. The players organize without the organization's help the various school visits, Cops and Cats basketball program, Charity Dinners and events all on their own. Sure there are players who organize stuff independent of the organization (although often as partners with the organization) but how exactly would you expect the players to even come to Hamilton and do all of that of their own accord without the team actually being there?

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-04-25 21:54:35

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By seriously (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:14:52 in reply to Comment 76248

One must be very careful in delivery NEWSPEAK, regarding food drives, considering the fiasco a couple of years back.

The ad in the Spec stated that the box of food given would feed a family for a week, yet the reality was the most of the food was junk food and some of it was actually expired. But who really cares if the poor get sicker by eating food that is expired, right!

The people should be gathering together to change the the current policitacl strata that has so many dependant on a chiarty based system that is failing the many, instead of psuhing for real reform where all have enoguh money to buy what they need.

It amazes me that so many fall for the NEWSPEAK, the mindless masses, what can one do about that!




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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 22:09:01 in reply to Comment 76248

So helping some areas of the community absolves them of the deplorable way they have treated the fans with the on-field product and the way their senior managment and owner have acted in threatening to move the team if they don't get government subsidies?

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By Pigskin (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 01:43:56 in reply to Comment 76249

Why not? It works for motorcycle gangs (and their poker runs and stuffed toy drives).

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By Ahoy (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:15:59 in reply to Comment 76217

Any other business would be thrilled and shocked to have a city build its facilities and subsidize its operating costs. I have limited sympathies for a "professional" business that wouldn't exist if you cut off its allowance.

That said, these economic summits are usually an excuse to schmooze and develop mutually beneficial synergies. By their very nature they are not intended to shake up the status quo.

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By Scurvy (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:06:00 in reply to Comment 76217

The Lister Block was on time and on budget AND was consistent with what public wanted. If left to the developer and then toady Mayor, it would have been demolished and the city would be renting (in perpetuity) a glass box.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:54:30 in reply to Comment 76217

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By Gameplan (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:02:17

You are missing the ingenious point of this Adrian. Maybe we can plan our economic development on the Ticat model: Get someone else to pay to redo our major city infrastructure, threaten up move the city if they don't and all the while trading away our best talent and putting in a mediocre effort on the day to day. When things don't work out, there is always next season.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:01:45

I am not a big fan of this piece and I have stated as such on the Cats forum as well.

It's time to realize both sides fault in this ordeal. Plain and simple. The Mayor and Bob Young perhaps need to shake hands once again but this time, with a promise to both except their parts (City versus Cats), in the stadium debate. Both should take some responsibility as should IO. They said this could be done. All sides should accept some responsibilty.

Shake hands vowing to right the wrongs and promise above anything else, to involve us in this process, build us something beautiful and that everyone including the Tiger-Cats, will go to great lengths in striving to accomplish much of what we wanted to 'build' in the Harbor, along Balsam and the surrounding area.

A forum member recently pointed out an article about the former site of the old historic Tiger Stadium. You can read it here. It's what I feared would exist at the Ivor Wynne site some time after it was torn down. Are we so sure that 75 Balsam wouldn't have sat in a similar state for some time? Just one of the reasons why I feel good about 75 Balsam and it's future as the long term home of 80 more years of history and new and continued traditions.

I am sorry the Harbor is still more or less docked or shipwrecked is more like it. I truly am, but we are all to blame to some degree so let's move forward, stop the finger pointing, learn from the past and work towards a brighter future.

Whatever the case may be, there's a long history of this football club in Hamilton and hopefully that history will see 2 and 3 hundred, but both sides need to suck it up and realize that some sorry's might be called for and some promises of change.

Think of ways we can repair our relationships so that both sides truly feel those gestures are genuine. Not everyone will be able to get over it but that's life, but a good majority will that's all that is important.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 09:18:23 in reply to Comment 76222

The Mayor and Bob Young perhaps need to shake hands once again...

You believe these two are at odds?

WOW...

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:39:18 in reply to Comment 76277

Bob Y as representation from the Tiger-Cats and Bob B as a representative of Citizen.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:02:45 in reply to Comment 76283

Except for the minor fact that Bob B sold out Citizen during the whole stadium debacle.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:14:45 in reply to Comment 76222

Lawrence, I know your heart's in the right place, but this apologia for the awful behaviour demonstrated by our Mayor, Bob Young and the Ti-Cats organization last year is totally off-base. These parties completely derailed a well-planned development meant to put the heart back into the city's core. What we got was corporate welfare through threats, plain and simple.

Shaking hands and uttering disingenuous "sorries" is not going to make Barton-Tiffany any more of a desolate wasteland, and will not restore the millions of dollars that the Ti-Cats hijacked from the future fund.

I hope you and Capitalist enjoy those lazy days watching football at Ivor Wynne 2.0. Over the years, I hope you find that it more than makes up for the city's crumbling infrastructure, eventual service cuts, tax hikes and a deteriorating quality of life for our children.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2012-04-25 11:15:35

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:39:14 in reply to Comment 76223

Borrelli i am soo on your side on this ... i saw the debate from finish to the end .

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:26:57 in reply to Comment 76223

Michael, I do understand where both you and Adrian are driving at both in the article and comment. I just don't agree with this constant looking back. Maybe hand shakes and sorry's aren't enough or no matter how you slice it, will seem fake, but as business men (of which I am not), why not discuss who should be there, what the real purposes is in long form, etc. Can this be done without looking back?

Maybe the past reference is needed to quickly highlight a businesses misplacement. I know the past shouldn't be completely ignored, but where is the fashion in which we are carrying this torch, really getting us?

How can we avoid similar circumstances? How can 'we' drive these summits? If they are meant to teach, how do we ensure those we are teaching are being taught about how to run ethical, social businesses yet still be profitable? Rather than judge how someone runs their business ie. most sports franchices, how would you/we run it? How would 'we' deal with cities and fans and citizens.

Basically I am saying let's be business leaders, not finger pointers. Leave those games to politicians because I don't care about what 'he' did. I care how I would do it or would like to see it done.

EDIT: As -Hammer- pointed out, there are so many good things that come from the Tiger-Cats being here and I am sure this can be argued back and forth until we are blue in the face, but we can lead by example. We can learn form them to in some of the positive ways they impact our city, and we can show them how they can achieve more or less the same results, by breaking the past mindset of how sports franchises have been run. Ethical and Socially responsible are the new Yellow Punch Buggies. Everyone is watching out for them. It's now cool to have a flower in your business dashboard.

More and more, big business are either forced or inspired, to follow the green and socially responsible wave. We can inspire the Cats by showing them the true value of citizen involvement in this process, and how that translates into their business going forward. There is no doubt in my mind the new stadium could be 40,000 and be packed every game with a packed field watching the game on a big screen across the street, but the Cats and the City needed to form much stronger connections and I truly believe that is possible.

It isn't as long as we stand back to back. Whatever is perceived from a handshake, you can't face the future without facing one another.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-04-25 11:37:58

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:19:25 in reply to Comment 76226

Basically I am saying let's be business leaders, not finger pointers. Leave those games to politicians because I don't care about what 'he' did. I care how I would do it or would like to see it done.

Fair enough. But given that business relies so heavily on trust (capitalism, commerce, contract law are all exercises in trust--parties agree to provide a good or service expect to get paid, and vice versa) thinking like business leaders would behove us to cease doing business with entities that so heavily violate trust.

Finger pointing or not, the Ti-Cats betrayed Hamilton by threatening to leave and playing the part of a bad-faith partner in siting the stadium; they betrayed Hamilton's future by re-directing public money for their private gain, and our Mayor has also violated the public trust by flip-flopping and facilitating this abuse of (misplaced, IMHO) goodwill towards a corporation who would have left us flapping in the wind.

I want to move forward as much as the next guy, Lawrence, but that starts with the parties involved taking responsibility, making a break with history, and rebuilding trust: the Ti-Cats should pay for their own stadium, not hit the city up for money, more money, and then guarantees. And our Mayor? Obviously he should resign. Simple. As. That.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:44:40 in reply to Comment 76235

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 14:08:33 in reply to Comment 76239

Time to hit the history books, Today, before you forget more of the past than you already have.

The original plan was for a city-owned stadium precinct that worked for taxpayers AND a tenant (Ti-Cats by default), and would lead to the redevelopment of our city's downtown.

What we got instead was a plan to rebuild a (smaller) stadium at an site that has never fully benefited from the existing stadium, away from regional transit, away from the highway, parking and amenities, all to satisfy an owner who played the City and its residents for fools.

Instead of city building, we'll get publicly funded business-building, and see none of the benefits.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2012-04-25 14:08:46

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 12:54:50 in reply to Comment 76242

I'm not going to wade into the debate about what Young and the Ticats did. I do have a personal view, but I also see the point of moving on and trying to create the most positive outcome we can, regardless of whether each of us felt the decision was wrong or right or of little consequence. And I apologize in advance if this comes off as a rant - it's not intended that way, just my perspective to add to the dialogue about something that holds personal importance for me.

I'd like to comment on the issue of "city building" and "benefits."

I think too much has been made of those things with respect to this particular piece of infrastructure. And to me, that's really what the new stadium is: infrastructure... cultural infrastructure. Its core purpose is to supply a demand, in this case to provide a venue for spectator field sports. That demand will vary from larger events such as CFL or Pan-Am soccer games (and possibly professional soccer, if the idea of a Hamilton team comes to fruition), medium-sized events such as the Vanier Cup or amateur championships, and smaller events such as high-school football and soccer, youth sports, or other community uses that may not fill the majority of seats.

Expecting that piece of infrastructure to be the catalyst for more is asking a lot. Particularly when the large events that draw the biggest demand are sparsely scheduled throughout the year, meaning opportunities are quite limited for spin-off businesses that would rely on masses of stadium users.

Consider that if the current stadium has not in that way fully benefited the neighbourhood that surrounds it, why would the new one do so in a different, albeit sexier location?

Or is there an expectation that the government investment alone would generate "me too" investments from the private sector? But what would the private sector stand to benefit from doing so? Would a new office building or condo complex be more feasible locating next to a large structure like this? Would a new restaurant or retail outlet generate more business next to a building that is not used to capacity more than a handful of times a year? The case for those investments is based more on other site-related merits, none of which depend on co-location of a stadium.

It becomes a dangerous game when debate is driven by conjecture about potential secondary benefits; impacts we cannot predict with much certainty. I see this play out with regard to other developments too - our road and transit investments are one example, and the location of public facilities and services is another. Some of those things are more likely to spur secondary benefits and development, but the main reason we should be building them is to serve the core demand (both current and projected) and improve the overall level or quality of service, so long as there's a positive economic or social benefit to doing so.

Short of drawing massive crowds several days a week, there are not many businesses that will have a better economic case for locating near the new stadium, no matter where it is built. So the new stadium's role as a catalyst may be more restricted to attracting a greater number of sporting events (most of them smaller scaled) and community-related uses because the facilities may be appropriately suitable to their needs as well as those of the primary tenants; the current stadium is clearly lacking in that respect, mainly due to age and outdated design.

I think we can all have hopes for more, but the social/cultural benefit of the stadium itself should be the key focus here, and not the potential for "city building."

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 15:32:14 in reply to Comment 76258

Viking, I see your points. Well put.

However, I think the issue isn't so much the piece of infrastructure itself, but the possibilities associated specifically with the location.

To go back to your points, an office building makes no sense near a stadium, perhaps, but an office building (or transit, or businesses) near a downtown stadium where businesses and density already exists makes more sense.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2012-04-26 15:33:26

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 18:07:44 in reply to Comment 76259

Yes, but I think the stadium would still not be the catalyst for that. The other new development would make sense in that downtown location because it may benefit from locational, agglomeration, density, or market advantages of the downtown.

I was pretty young during the debate over Copps Coliseum, but according to some it was supposed to help rejuvenate the downtown too. As an arena and convention space it's been a fairly successful building (and I know some don't feel that way) but it has hardly been a catalyst for more growth downtown. Even if it had become home to an NHL team, I doubt that would have mattered.

A downtown or near-downtown stadium would have been nice. But there are probably other more economically beneficial developments, which have a wider every-day impact, that can better make use of that land.

That's the flipside of the stadium location debate for me. And perhaps the irony too - right or wrong, Young's "highjacking" of the stadium funding may allow us to achieve a different and perhaps better vision for the downtown and west harbour lands.

Thing is, it will take hard work and planning even with the slow momentum that seems to be occurring downtown, and a lot of smaller steps, rather than hoping a single big one will get us there faster.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:33:58 in reply to Comment 76226

How can we avoid similar circumstances?

By looking back, and learning (i.e. "finger pointing"), so that we do not get played for fools again.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:49:15 in reply to Comment 76227

Okay John. So I am going through a divorce. Been a long almost 2 years now of living together separated. I'd do it again to see my kids every day. Tough situation. A lot of hatred and finger pointing and blame and being stuck in the past.

I have read so much about Family Law, a father's right and place in the family unit, and have talked to so many other divorced couples learning how they deal with these situations. I've talked to lawyers and mediators and duty council and advice has been coming out of the wood work from family and friends and coworkers and strangers who are regulars to the family court house on Main Street. It's been both disheartening, humbling, saddening, and encouraging. Divorcees really support one another - especially other fathers or mothers who realize the importance of a father in a child's life.

The moment I finally moved on from blame and denial and anger and self-pitty, is the moment I realized the lesson in all of it because there is a lesson in everything and that lesson can't be learned, from dwelling on the past. It comes the moment you decide to move on and determine how you can teach and help others going forward, to help them avoid making some of the same mistakes from lessons you learned in life.

I truly believe I will help a lot of father's going forward. It's what I need to take out of this. It's what has helped me see and accept and even embrace, this lesson.

How about we create a really indepth and creative documentary about all of this under the HBS umbrella. We can't complete it until after opening day, but maybe if we can work on this project with the promise that when it's complete, when the story has been told in all it's detail, we will move on and embrace the lessons. Hopefully in the end, we'll be able to look at something beautiful we have created in Ward 3, with the same ability to look at the Harbor and how it has either developed, or a concrete and work in progress plan for it to live up to it's glorious 'meant to be' reality.

We all got taken for fools. My wife and I likely both believe we both got taken for fools too, but we can either look at in this way or realize that some things simply aren't a good fit. Some things weren't meant to be.

In the end we have two beautiful daughters together. They are our world. I believe in the end, no matter how we got there, our family will be happy and thrive well under two separate households, just like I believe Ward 3 and 2 will have drastically been changed for the better because of the steps they have both had to take to get to their end results.

That's what I chose to believe. That is how I chose, to look into the future.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-04-25 11:56:31

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:56:47 in reply to Comment 76229

Hi Lawrence,

I sympathize with your experiences, and while I can't directly relate to them, I can see why dwelling on the past isn't the most constructive way to move on from a divorce.

But I don't think the analogy applies to the TiCats. This is a business matter, not a personal one. Besides, the TiCats have shown absolutely no interest in "moving forward" with any kind of reconciliation. Rather, they're still asking for more money.

John

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 13:45:56 in reply to Comment 76231

Im on your side John

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:56:35 in reply to Comment 76231

I don't think the citizenry should be on the hook for the losses either. It is a tough way to begin a new year and the last season at Ivor Wynne, to be asking for money. But as a tennant wouldn't you be asking for some guarantees? Actually, I thought they were supposed to tell us about their plans for 2013 relocation early this year?

Anyway, what isn't thought about is what is going on and has been all along, behind the scenes as -Hammer- pointed out. There are good things happening. As humans we just dwell well on negatives.

This whole story first came across as rather absurd the Cats asking Hamilton to sign a gurantee. My first thought was 'take a hike'. Take some responsibility here too. Bottom line it's a situation that has to be addressed and one party shouldn't be held accountable for the entire thing. If anything, I would agree for the province or feds to sign that guarantee themselves and going forward, to get their noses involved in these stadium/arena proposals a little earlier in the game to ensure they don't have to keep paying for city and teams inability to communicate and act in the best interest of the people.

There is an analogy in everything and ideally, both sides walk away whether in business or in personal matters, stronger, better people with lessons in hand to pass on.

I have learned so much from this process and still do. We all have. Learning the hard way is unfortunate but the lessons really stick when we do.

Perhaps the big problem here is the whole idea of 'ownership' when you are talking teams housed out of civicly owned buildings. The stadium is ours in the end. Hamilton's. The problem is so is the brand the 'Tiger-Cats'. They are ours. Our history, but technically I assume an owner could take the players and names and all of that history with them. Is this true?

If so, maybe the name and it's branding, should all be turned back over to the city of hamilton. Maybe we can work towards more of a civic ownership of even the team itself? Maybe instead of owners, they are labelled as 'promoters' or 'sponsors' of 'our' teams?

That was a hard lesson through this debate as well. The harsh reality that they weren't ours. That they could be packed up and moved away as Ballard once tried to threaten as well. That's not a good hand for cities who are footing the majority of the bills, to not have control over. Neither is a statement from the league itself that if they leave, you will likely never get a team again.

So ya I remember the jabs and threats, but what have 'we' done to secure the future of our cities?

I think personally I don't like seeing the name 'Tiger-Cats' thrown around in reference to the past. If we are angry with something, it should be the owners or ownership bodies we use to reference these situations, and not the name of something that at it's core and as it relates to our history, has significant emotional and civic meaning.

Maybe none of this can be created with a for profit entity. But I don't believe that. Instead of going on about what we don't want, how about we talk about what we do want? That's the only we we are going to be able to create change.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-04-25 13:09:51

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 09:22:43 in reply to Comment 76232

As humans we just dwell well on negatives.

When the numbers are all in the red it is hard not to.

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By Too soon (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:52:08

It will be a long time before I can look at Bob Young without thinking about what he's cost us. There are much bigger businesses, much bigger employers that could have benefited from a loan of $45 million from our Future Fund. Instead, we have an expensive, retread stadium whose entire worth hangs on a failing football team that plays 9-10 days a year. We're such suckers it makes me sick.

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By theOther (registered) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 19:43:34 in reply to Comment 76230

Remember the line from the film 'Usual Suspects'(although I paraphrase): "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist"? My feeling is that Bob Young's aw-shucks Gomer Pyle act represents a similar phenomenon right here in Ham-town. As a (now-former) season-ticket holder, I sure bought it for a couple of years. But it's over now, and will be until he locates the next sucker to hold the bag for a while. My taxes (yeah, I pay to Ontario too) are going to backstop his liabilites even further now? Somebody make it stop, please. The fact is, the organization had nowhere else to go when Young's designated black hat, Mr. Mitchell, pressed his non-existent advantage. Yet the cowards we insist on re-electing caved anyway. As someone who loves the game of football in most of its iterations, I'm thinking we might have been better off to let them go to Moncton, for example, which the league has (mysteriously)chosen to eschew for the coming year. Or Ottawa, where they continue to fail to re-launch; or Quebec, which may actually be a prospect in the next 10 years; or Windsor, where ... no that's not happening either. .... and then faced a future without the burden of a minor-league sports team anchor pretending it is the only channel through which we present ourselves to the world.

Comment edited by theOther on 2012-04-25 19:44:55

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2012 at 14:31:52

I love where IWS is, been going there for years for games, it's a great site for the city owned stadium, better public transit access than the WH and the use of the FF money for this part of Hamilton is an excellent use IMHO, this area needs all the help it can get. This is city-building extraordinaire IMHO and I'm excited about it. Again, repeat this is a city owned facility.

I disagree with your assessment of Bob Young entirely but you are entitled to your opinion. Also consider from the Spec some of the details:
______________

“It is a risky manoeuvre when a provincial government steps outside an international games funding policy that has already been agreed to,” said Councillor Brad Clark. “There's always a potential that that could come back and bite them at a later date. They did the right thing and I am very grateful for that.”

City councillors spent much of Monday's meeting behind closed doors debating the MOU between the two sides, one of the final steps in the long process of solidifying the city's Pan Am pitch.

The MOU outlines the details of the rent arrangements, naming rights and parking revenues, and community use of Ivor Wynne.

The team has agreed to pay $450,000 in rent a year for football games and has offered another $150,000 per year to use the stadium for soccer.

The Cats have also agreed to guarantee the city $9 million in naming rights, 10 per cent of the team's net income after four years, and 50 per cent of offsite parking revenues.

The city will also receive 25 per cent of suite rental revenues above $4,000.

According to general manager of finance Roberto Rossini, the terms of the MOU are “equal to or better than any of the other CFL leases we've seen.”

The MOU also outlines the community use for the stadium. According to the city report, the new facility will offer three times the community use than before the renovations and will house 23,000 community soccer participants each year.

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 09:34:09

insult spam deleted

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 22:19:45 in reply to Comment 76254

Hey Death, all excellent outfits you describe. BTW, why didn't they put up some money for this? Or did they get "screwed" to use your descriptive language.

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:08:53 in reply to Comment 76269

insult spam deleted

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By heydeath (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 19:43:20 in reply to Comment 76254

Hey Death - sounds like one bumpin' city you described there. Give me 10 of them please.

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:06:55 in reply to Comment 76265

insult spam deleted

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By Transparency Beard (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 10:10:51 in reply to Comment 76254

Is that the new place selling Vespas on Locke?

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By Robert (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2012 at 12:25:21

@today and Lawrence - agreed, I think the Tiger-Cats and the City are as much interested in rubbing elbows with people who could become renters of those luxury boxes, seasons ticker purchasers, and/or developers of events that could be held in the stadium. Moreover, before we belittle the Summit, we should remember that any notion being held that the "Economic Summit" is the be-all and end-all source of planning and entreprenurial ideas and innovation in Hamilton is short-sighted, but it can be a source of contact and collaboration between all levels people interested in doing so.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 09:09:41

As disgusted as I am with the stadium process, you don't normally get "Special treatment" at one of these summits.

Various sponsorship packages are available and you can purchase what you want to purchase. The 'Cats obviously ponied up some serious coin to put themselves in a position to advertise themselves, which is the point of the sponsorship.

Unless we hear that they were offered a discount for their sponsorship there's no reason to suspect that they got one.

That being said it wouldn't surprise me to hear that Mayor Bob "Save the 'Cats at all costs" Bratina had asked HR to review the situation and then gone with their findings staying strictly hands off all the time (cough, cough).

Comment edited by Brandon on 2012-04-27 09:10:38

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By Tony (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 09:27:24

Just saw on Twitter that Hamilton Magazine's Weekly Poll is about the Tiger-Cats being the favorites to win the Grey Cup this year, and do you think they'll go all the way and win the Grey Cup. Funny thing is, one of the voting options is: "WHO CARES - I still haven't gotten over the Pan Am Stadium fiasco" and so far, that option has gotten 70% of the votes, lol...not a lot of love for Bob Young's Ticats amongst Hamilton Magazine readers, it would seem, lol...

The poll is on the Hamilton Magazine homepage, on the right.
www.hamiltonmagazine.com

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:10:11 in reply to Comment 76279

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

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By Tony (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 13:25:45 in reply to Comment 76290

According to their media kit, they've been around for 34 years and have a circulation base of 40,000, so somebody must be reading it!

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 19:55:52 in reply to Comment 76297

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By Thead (anonymous) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 10:08:31 in reply to Comment 76303

And precisely one enormous loser that trolls with the anonymous moniker "Death".

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 29, 2012 at 22:33:58 in reply to Comment 76305

insult spam deleted

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By ronfromtigertown (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:29:46

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Comment edited by ronfromtigertown on 2012-04-27 10:47:16

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted April 30, 2012 at 08:47:43 in reply to Comment 76282

"Face it, a stadium/commercial complex in that location wasn't commercially viable" How so?

"The soil remediation alone likely made building a stadium there a non-starter" The fee for soil remediation there was grossly overstated (and I believe, still being overstated by the mayor). That's a non-issue.

"Anyway, homes and businesses generate property taxes, the lifeblood of cities,

whereas city-owned stadium don't bring in any property taxes at all for the city." But, they make their cut from the team paying to use the facility, and licensing, etc.

"The writer says I will cost the Ticats $1.5 million for every cancelled home game

in 2014 and the city would also lose its cut, up to $200,000 a game.

and he makes it appear that the city is doing the Tiger Cats a big favour

by asking for an agreement to be in place to compensate the Tiger Cats,

AND the city, if the stadium is not ready for the start of the 2014 season." I don't recall the City saying they need to be reimbursed for any lost revenue. It was the team going to the City to request a guarantee the stadium would be done on time, and if not, they be reimbursed for lost revenue. The City said that it's not their domain as this is a provincial project, and have deferred this request to the province to comment on.

"The writer doesn't mention the Ticats let the city off the hook regarding

the added costs they'll have due to Ivor Wynne not being available in 2013.

Imagine the shortfall in gate receipts playing at Mac and other stadiums." ??? Why would a team that doesn't own the stadium they play in have any say whatsoever on that? It's not the City's responsibility to provide alternate accommodations for a team while building that team a brand-new, free (to them anyway) stadium.

"Perhaps it's because I vividly remember the sense of pride Hamiltonians felt in the Tiger Cats

during glory years of the 50's and 60's and the recognition they brought to this community

and due to the reinvigorated CFL, that recognition is rising again across the whole country." So holding on to memories from 50-60 years ago (much like the Leafs) is enough to give 'em a break? In any business, does that make sense?

Remember, the team (which is a for-profit business) wants to make money. They want guaranteed income and revenue streams. That's what they do. If they use the model of the Leafs (no championships in recent memory, so-so performance, and the like, while fleecing fans into paying ridiculous prices for merchandise and seating) they're free to try it, but I don't think it works in the much-smaller-scale CFL.

I'm a big fan of the Cats. Like I said elsewhere, I've been a season ticket holder and try to go to as many games as possible in a year. However, the stadium debacle, the tone of management and the owner, the city's bending over backwards to accommodate them has really upset me.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:48:12 in reply to Comment 76282

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/271346--stadiums-generate-wealth-for-inner-cities-expert

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By DBC (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:51:33 in reply to Comment 76282

"Personally, I would like a small outdoor privately owned concert venue down there."

It's comments like this one that make we wonder how many people really know what it is like at the "West Harbour". Have you been down there when they are shunting trains? The noise is deafening.

There is a reason CN fought so hard (rightly or wrongly)to not allow residenial development across the street from their marshalling yard.

An outdoor theatre makes about as much sense.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:47:23 in reply to Comment 76285

There are lots of tracks and train traffic in downtown Toronto where there are tons of new high rise condos going up.

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By DBC (registered) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:55:08 in reply to Comment 76294

True. However the tracks in downtown Toronto do not form a mashalling yard. They are used by commuter trains and through freight traffic.

Trains are not shunted and assembled in the shadows of the condos.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 13:39:44 in reply to Comment 76296

If you stand in front of the Renaissance Hotel at the Rogers Centre there are 8 tracks for trains running right below, in fact that is a huge hub for rail traffic and has been historically throughout the life of Toronto. Steamwhistle brewery right beside the Rogers Centre is the old Roundhouse for organizing and redirecting trains.... but the real question is, why is there still a shunting yard down at west harbour, when we've got hectares and hectares of old industrial land that would be far more suitable for CN down along Burlington Street with greater access to the highway and Hamilton's industrial waterfront?......

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 14:06:12 in reply to Comment 76307

That is a key issue.

Until it's no longer a viable operation (which I can't imagine happening in the near or distant future) CN is not likely to do anything about relocating unless someone else pays for it. CP wanted up to $90 million for the Aberdeen yard as a stadium site, a facility that is probably half the size of CN's and not as busy either - imagine what CN's ask would be.

I recall some discussion about moving it to Aldershot some time ago. One can easily imagine the opposition to that idea.

I'm not sure there's enough open area along the main corridor to move it further eastward, as there are a lot of industrial buildings near the tracks and many are still in use; there are also neighbourhoods which border it too. But that's an option that should be considered in the future if there's an opportunity to change some of the land uses to open up space to lay tracks. And I think the city would definitely need the help of the province and the federal government to make it happen.

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2012-04-28 14:16:30

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:12:12 in reply to Comment 76285

insult spam deleted

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By Death (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:21:28

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted April 28, 2012 at 18:47:29

Markham arena = on the GO train line. Is there any wonder, at all, why any team of any sport in Hamilton wouldn't want that? No, not at all, none what so ever.

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