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.