Comment 53782

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted December 24, 2010 at 09:43:46

@Pxtl, I agree with you 100% about money being given for Ivor Wynne updgrades as part of the games. I truly think It's about the 'east end' for many - even for HostCo (Toronto).

You know, I grew up on the east mountain. Moved to the downtown east end in my early twenties, lived in the west end for 3 years and did love so many aspects of that area, but I am back in the east end and have been for 5 years and I love so much about it as well. I like Ottawa Street more than Lock. Gage Park is an amazing space. Ivor Wynne of course is a very special part of the east end as well, and they may be stinky and an eye sore, but even the factories have a bit of a soft spot in my heart however sick that may sound. They represent a life line for now 4 generations of my family.

For those that think we are leaning away from being a lunch bucket town, in some aspects maybe - some parts, but look at all those factories and they aint just steel. They also are not going away for a very long time. Ivor Wynne represents so much of what is Hamilton. For many, this entire process is more about trying desperately to rid ourselves of the steel town/factory town persona. Problem is, that is who we are and who we will be for quite some time. I am not sure that is a bad thing. Dofasco still seems to be going strong for one and we are going to still need/produce steel for quite awhile I would think.

We are a hard working town and Ivor Wynne is a hard working stadium. It doesn't need to look like a dump and in my eyes, it isn't. It needs a little love and even perhaps an owner not as desperate as so many others, to build box stores and parking lots and big shiny everything when in fact the best part of this city which we are slowly losing in many ways, is our green space most of all, and our history. Ivor Wynne is a BIG part of that history. BIG!!!! That parcel of land represents one of the biggest parts of our cities history. That fact cannot be denied because maybe there are buildings that are older, business perhaps that are older (perhaps another east end landmark in East Hamilton Radio is one of them or actually about the same age as the old Civic Stadium, but how many of our historic sites have house the same business/tennant for 80 years. I am not just talking about the Cats because they only represent 60 years of 75 Balsam Avenue North's history. I am talking sports. A sports hub.

Red Hill is a big mistake because it was not forward thinking. If we looked at why people go up and down so much, to go see a movie or shop at Limeridege Mall or whatever else is up there that many people flock to, perhaps if we thought of building those experiences downtown or vice versa, we wouldn't need that basement flooding highway. If we could move faster toward people like me who sit in a cubicle all day who has a laptop anyway and if the VPN service at my house didn't suck, I would work from home way more often. We are close to this work from home/less traffic/less space needed in office buildings, from becoming a reality. If I worked from home, I could walk over to Ottawa St for lunch. Instead, I spend my money in Burlingotn close to where I work. Want businesses to survive in Hamilton (restaurants and such), get people working from home - it's not just about bringing in more business in my opinion.

When H1N1 was at it's peak, they started buying us all laptops at work and said if you even have a sniffle, stay home. Funny how that all went by the wayside when the scare was past. Now they just by PC's for replacements. What changed? How much money would businesses save and municipalities save, if we could encourage businesses to find ways for more of their employees to work from home 3 or 4 days a week?

My point, we don't need the NHL, a big fancy football stadium, and the likes to attract more business. We need to think outside the big box. We don't need more technological business in Hamilton although it would be nice I guess. We need more factory jobs, and for the people commuting east to Toronto (or even just Burlington/Oakville for that matter, to work remotely. To stay in Hamilton. Off the roads. Shopping and eating locally while they are working in town.

Then we don't need everythign we want at the harbour. We can keep that a green space with a Veledrome, keep our West end off of Aberdeen as a quiet little community, allow the big box phenomenon that is already spreading like a bad disease on the East (Stoney Creek) Mountain continue to happen on it's own therefore not needing the development of a stadium to occupy that space. Allow the dreams that so many in this city have for Confed Park to become a reality, and not a football/sports experience.

Stop urban sprawl because besides confed park, Binbrook (Tyneside) is one of hte last remaining green spaces/quite water spaces, in Hamilton. If more and more people want to live here, let's work on our downtown living. More condos, etc. Leave our beautiful perimeter and the smell of cows and serenity alone. Our council and business is allowing what is truly beautiful about our city. Open country, and history.

All of this above, is part of why Ivor Wynne has to stay. Scott Mitchell doesn't get it, Bob got it in the beginning (see Vol 6 - Our Gem of a Park), but perhaps only becuase he didn't have a choice then when we lost the Commonwealth bid when he first bought the team, but there are many in this city that do see what I am talking about. Maybe not all for the reasons I have stated, but if nothing else, for the money savings and the need to fix other things in this city they do.

Did you all know that there was once a time where the people of Boston and even the owners, didn't realize the gem they had in Fenway Park. Attendance was terrible, the building was the envy of knowone, and then one day it all changed and now look. It held one of the most amazing sporting events I have ever attended last New Years and people flock to it for the history alone. So much has been modernized, leaving only a few things like the old covered seats off of right field (3rd base), as the original wood seats. The brickwork, Green Monster, but otherwise it's all modernized. Perhaps you didn't know the same people that do concession at Fenway Park, also handle them at Ivor Wynne.

All that it will take for people (the Country and even North America), to change their minds about Ivor Wynne (even though many already hail it to be one of the best football watching experiences around), is for us to realize it's significance. To realize what it represents to Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats, and even the country. THe moment we designate it has having historical significance and put a 10-20 year plan in place to start modernizing it, finding the right owner who has the appetite and money to help Ivor Wynne realize it's place in pro sports, is the moment something special happens not only at Ivor Wynnne and in that east end community, but for our city. Mabye even for the game itself? History sells, the new, bare-bones stadium that we have proposed, won't. Not after the the first few seasons have come and gone anyway.

TLDR. Perhaps, but you all need to stop for a second and look into your heart at everything I and many others are saying. There is something in what we already have. It's just a matter of whether or not we can make others see that. Namely our council, the Cats owner, and it's president. We are stuck with our concil for 4 years, but the owner and president can be replaced if they either don't see the beauty and opportunity in Ivor Wynne, or are not willing to comprimise in West Harbor.

Either way perhaps it's time to see if there are owners out there who would appreciate what we already have and a willingness to make it work in a stadium that is basically rent free, or the gift of a brand new stadium with a mere $30M in investment form the team as I believe that is the shortfall at West Harbor.

That perhaps, is our real problem. Perhaps Bob Young's pockets are not as deep as one might think? I don't know. He is definately a little shortsited and parking lot minded because our current stadium already works parking wise, and West Harbor improves on that a little on it's own. Not to mention what would build around it and the more that is around it, the more people see it and add it to their list of things they would like to do/try in this city. I also think that attraction can be built along Barton Street for Ivor Wynne with King/Wellington like "You are entering the Stadium disrict signs", and reviging the old storefronts along that stretch of road that have been aloud to crumble. I think working with Ivor Wynne and the Barton Business district, does equally as much for our city if not more. People now see the opportunity in the Harbour becuase of this stadium exposure, but little has been done to promote the possibilities in cleaning up and revitalizing the east end.

It's Christmas Eve and a time to think about family right now, but in a few weeks our council will meet again. I wouldnt' mind some people delegating with me, to help our council truly see the potential in what we already have. I know there are people out there that believe in Ivor Wynne too. Let your voices be heard. At least you will have tried to save something you feel strongly about and that holds a special place in your heart. Maybe it's not the best option? I am not much of a money minded guy, but I think standing up for what you believe in is far more important than right or wrong or winning or losing. The only think wrong in my heart, is purposly hurting someone else. Otherwise, it's just following your heart.

What do you believe in? It's time to delegate and let your voices be heard. This is almost coming to a close so we need to revive our involvement over the past however many months for one more month. Feb. 1st is the deadline. Time to fight for what you belive in whether it's Ivor Wynne, West Harbor, or Confed Park, or wherever.

What is your heart telling you?

Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for some great debates and conversation this year.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-12-24 08:48:22

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