Special Report: Pan Am

A Case for Confederation Park

Time to finalize a Pan Am stadium in Hamilton is fast running out. Trey Shaugnessy argues that it's time to take another look at Confederation Park.

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published December 20, 2010

Now that the CP Rail Yards are too expensive for a Pan Am / Hamilton Tiger-Cat Stadium, it's time to reconsider doable locations. I'd like to make a case for Confederation Park as a location.

We've already heard its merits: we own the land, it's clean land, it's highway accessible and, most recently, the announcement from GO Transit that they will locate their new station at the foot of the Red Hill Valley Parkway rather than eastbound on the QEW near Fifty Road.

The arguments against have been: it's not big enough, it's only accessible by cars, and it destroys green space.

Ten Points For Confederation Park

1. The land is big enough. I've mocked up an image showing Celtic FC stadium (for no reason other than I was thinking of the Rangers FC and Celtic FC rivalry, just like the Argos and Ticats and the Oilers and Flames). It's also a much larger stadium than is necessary for us but the footprint is similar.

Mockup showing Celtic Park, Glasgow. (to scale from Google maps)
Mockup showing Celtic Park, Glasgow. (to scale from Google maps). Click the image to view larger.

2. This location makes the Ticats a regional team. It will be a destination from St. Catharines to Oakville. A larger catchment means more revenue and maybe a profitable franchise.

3. It enhances the green space. Currently the old campgrounds are just weeds and underused land. I can remember at one their was a bison zoo. The greenspace is not really a place that people choose to picnic, after all we have West Harbour if people want to sit by the water and wonder away the day.

4. It would look beautiful on our lakeside waterfront. Imagine having something other than factories to look at while driving over the Skyway. Sitting in the stands with a grand view of Lake. The design can take into consideration wind direction. The wind direction largely would come from behind the stadium if the front is facing the Lake. I'd suggest making the windward side three decks and the leeward side one deck (or lower), which conveniently blocks the view of the factories to the west and opens a view of the water.

5. It is not sprawl. Last time I checked East Hamilton is still Hamilton. As much as I want the downtown to improve, I'd also like all of Hamilton to improve within the urban boundary.

6. Parking already exists at Wild Water Works and other spots can be created on much of the underused land. Parking is important to ball fans and even concert goers. Let's be honest, tailgating and making an entire day out of a game-day is part of the event.

7. Parking does not have to mean ashpalt. There are green parking pavers that allow grass to grow through holes in bricks. It reduces run-off and the heat that radiates off black-top. It also gives the land other uses, such as big-tent events.

Green parking
Green parking

Big Tent even that gives a 'green' parking lot another use.
Big Tent even that gives a 'green' parking lot another use.

8. It would be the seed development to make our Great Lake waterfront an even prouder destination. In the photo I've mocked up 'guest docks' taken from Port Dalhousie as an exmaple, which is a popular and successful area for St. Catharines day-trippers.

9. Imagine "Baranga's on the Beach" times ten. A boardwalk with a variety of vendors that would profit outside of game days, because with guest docks, and the GO Station and the new pedestrian bridge (I'd imagine HSR would add a Van Wagners route), it would all create a critical mass.

10. Residential community. Non-residential use. Enough said.

I can see Hamilton with the fortunate advantage of having two distinctly different waterfronts. One is tucked away in a quiet corner of Hamilton, sheltered on a tranquil part at the end of Lake Ontario. The other waterfront I imagine as a much more built-up waterfront on the sandy, open shores of a Great inland Lake - an almost carnival atmosphere, with a regional multi-use stadium visible to tens of thousands of people every day.

We don't need to ruin West Harbour or McMaster Innovation Park with a stadium. Neither one benefits. West Harbour is not positioned to be more than a local park. Van Wagner's Beach/Confederation Park on the other side is ideally positioned to be a regional destination.

Time is running out, folks. I'm hopeful that somewhere someone has already been working on a case for Confederation Park.

Just imagine Black and Gold.
Just imagine Black and Gold.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:14:28

You say we don't need to ruin the West Harbour or MIP with a stadium, but what about ruining an existing park and valuable lakeshore with a stadium and massive parking lots. Confederation park is a non starter.

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By whatev (anonymous) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:44:12

The real issue is that, realistically, the Ti-Cats are an nonviable business. HostCo wants us to have an anchor tenant, but the Ti-Cats should be cut loose rather than be a monetary sinkhole.

I would rather have no stadium, no PanAm games and no Ti-Cats than waste our money on this stuff.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:48:39

This has to be a joke right?

Not a single one of the points made is sound.

  1. The land is big enough.

So what? The land is big enough at every one of the other spots suggested. Just because the land is big enough does not make it a good place to locate a stadium. The land is big enough?? That's one of the best reasons you could come up with? Seriously!?

  1. This location makes the Ticats a regional team.

So what? Are we spending the money and using up precious land to make the Ticats a regional team??

  1. It enhances the green space.

WHAT?! How, exactly do you define green space? Either you are an idiot or you think the people reading this are.

  1. It would look beautiful on our lakeside waterfront.

This is a matter of opinion which I happen to strongly disagree with. How about appreciating our waterfront for what it is? I believe the waterfront should be an open space for everyone to enjoy, not just football fans. I believe that the more natural it is, the more beautiful it is. Hamilton should be taking steps to make our waterfront look less built up and industrial.

As to your comment about wind direction. You are obviously unfamiliar with the fact that most of the days when the wind does come out of the North and East, is during the fall.

  1. It is not sprawl.

Neither are a lot of potential sights. Is this really the best you can come up with?

  1. Parking already exists

And, as you rightly point out, more would be needed (on park land). Are you frigging kidding me? You really think it's a good idea to take green space that has the potential to be turned into a wonderful natural place for Hamiltonians to visit and turn it into a parking lot and massive building that won't even be used that frequently?

  1. Parking does not have to mean ashpalt.

What on earth does this have to do with Confederation Park? You're really stretching for content aren't you?

  1. It would be the seed development to make our Great Lake waterfront an even prouder destination. In the photo I've mocked up 'guest docks'.

I'm already proud of our waterfront. Our waterfront is one of the last stretches of lakefront west of Toronto that isn't built up and can be walked, cycled, rollerbladed or otherwise enjoyed by anyone that wants to, for free. Lets not ruin that... forever.

  1. Imagine "Baranga's on the Beach" times ten. A boardwalk with a variety of vendors that would profit outside of game days, because with guest docks, and the GO Station and the new pedestrian bridge (I'd imagine HSR would add a Van Wagners route), it would all create a critical mass.

This can be done without a stadium built on park land.

  1. Residential community. Non-residential use. Enough said.

That, also, has absolutely nothing to do with Confederation Park. Just because you don't like the idea of putting a stadium in a residential area, doesn't make it a good idea to put it in an environmentally special area.

We don't need to ruin West Harbour or McMaster Innovation Park with a stadium.

So... you suggest "ruining" our lakefront instead?

I'm really hoping that this whole article was written as a joke. If not... this is a new low for RTH.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:51:53

Trey, with all due respect, here is my take on your ten points:

  1. As season family pass holders to Wild Waterworks and regulars on the trail, the land isn't big enough. I have no interest in seeing this regional park paved over any more than I wish to see Gage Park or Bayfront Park paved over.
  2. The Ticats are Hamilton. period. They've never been a regional team and never will. People in Oakville have made it clear they want nothing to do with Hamilton. Slapping up a stadium in tasting range of the smokestacks won't somehow endear them to the Hammer.
  3. It paves over the greenspace. No thanks
  4. I'm not sure if the lake looks any more beautiful from 5 stories up than it does at ground level. The beautiful view that we enjoy all year round will now only be seen 10 days a year. If anything, this will be an eyesore on the lakefront.
  5. It's 'stadium-sprawl'. 100% car dependent. Might as well build it in Caledonia.
  6. You'll need parking for 30,000 people.
  7. Not a bad idea. Downtown Hamilton could be the worlds biggest maze from space if we used this treatment there.
  8. I guess this could happen for 10 days a year.
  9. Will never happen. ever. the Conservation Authority wanted to build a hotel on site and Hamilton's NIMBY crowd showed up and had it scrapped.
  10. Nobody lives nearby, other than Beach Strip residents quite a distance away, but I just mentioned in number 9, NIMBY's find their way to any cause. You'll get a McDonalds, variety store and not much more next to this stadium.

Finally, you're missing point #11 - the future fund is meant to assist projects with 'city-building' goals and spinoff developments. No revitalization component, no future fund.
There's an instant cost increase of $50 million for Conf Park, making it just as unaffordable as any other sprawl location.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:54:23

High five Jason. We finally agree :)

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:55:10

LOL. We also had the same commenting idea at the same time. Go figure.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 21:59:37

Was Chad Collins a member of the Waterfront Trust Board? He's not now. Did he not choose to sit on the Board to save face about a stadium on Confederation Park.

Trey, I have to disagree with you on much of your article but more specifically item #2. Professor Rosentraub in his lecture at McMaster very clearly and firmly told the audience that the Ti-Cats are already a regional team and that there is no advantage to a city to build a stadium under the guise of creating a regional team. Rosentraub feels that highway access or even a new stadium will not bring any new fans to the team, I happen to agree with him.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-12-20 20:59:54

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:02:19

I have to say, some of your points "it's big enough", "green parking", "it is not sprawl" "it would look beautiful on the waterfront" for example, are equally valid to many other locations in Hamilton.

I have to take issue with the "regional team" point though, because it takes more than an accessible location to make a regional team. Just because people from Oakville can drive down to a game doesn't mean they will drive down to a game. Sure it's easier to develop a team with a regional location, but I hardly think this is a case of "if you build it they will come."

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:07:38

Jason, great minds think alike (some of the time I guess heh)

I read the bio about the author, Trey. It all makes sense now. Remember what Bill Hicks says about marketing and advertising.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:16:01

I'd make a case against Confederation Park

  1. Downwind of Woodward Septic Plants - Just the thing I want to smell on a gameday, and contrary what this article state, wind in Hamilton tends towards West to East.

  2. Projects a Poor image of Hamilton - How many people like what they see when they cross the Skyway bridge. Why would you want to highlight our Heavy and failing Industry and draw a large number of people to it.

  3. Poor Air Quality - The Beach Rd. White Flag campaign showed that the area has an incredible poor air quality and the area has frequently suffered from black metallic fallout falling from the sky, just the thing a CFL broadcast needs.

  4. Little Redevelopment being Sparked - The Parcel of Land at Confederation Park just barely fits a stadium. It brings very little accompanying redevelopment of the area, and all of it involves paving over parkland.

  5. Paving over Greenspace - I don't think anyone would argue that building a stadium over parkland is considered to be environmentally friendly, or a good PR story.

  6. Lacks proper infrastructure - The site is only serviceable via Confederation Dr. On a game day, even a direct exit is very likely to be backed up onto the QEW. It also lacks proper stormdrain capacity.

  7. Costlier then one realizes - A single pedestrian bridge crossing the QEW has taken us several million to build. The costs of building another for a potential GO site and a new Highway off ramp will be immense.

  8. Tax Burden - Lack of development turns a project designed to attract people to Hamilton into a Tax Burden. Tenant rent seldom pays for the costs of operating a stadium, and usually only benefits a city if fringe benefits occur.

  9. Risky - The Pan Am CEO Ian Troop has already warned Mayor Bratina that they aren't going to wait and that they likely won't have the patience to see another site get evaluated. Given we would have one month to evaluate the site, this has the potential to have us lose the Pan-Ams or worse, build a stadium that could potentially suffer from flooding (See Red Hill Valley Parkway) or other structural issues.

  10. Doesn't address NEEDED redevelopment - The Rheem plant, the Randall Reef, the Royal Connaught, the Flooding Red Hill Expressway, outdated sewer systems and the swath of derelict and toxic properties throughout Hamilton. All major projects that need to be resolved, of which this site selection would cause them to again fall to the wayside and other potential sites could aid.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:21:30

  1. Poor Air Quality - The Beach Rd. White Flag campaign showed that the area has an incredible poor air quality and the area has frequently suffered from black metallic fallout falling from the sky, just the thing a CFL broadcast needs.

So that's what all those black flakes in the water are? My fiends and I have always wondered about the mysterious black flakes in the water. We always knew they weren't good for us. I always rush to shower them off after a session in Lake Ontario. Although not good, Metalic black fallout sounds a lot better than some of the other theories we came up with.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:21:40

Trey...you bring up a good point, there are a lot of pluses to the Confederation location that were not there with the Aberdeen location.

If you look a the existing parking area, there is a grassy "berm" area there sitting there doing nothing, which is almost the same size as the existing IWS. I don't think building a stadium on this site would have to damage the park's ecology to such an extent as what you've drawn in here.

The status quo is an unkempt weeded-over ex-campground. It's not like we're talking about pristine forestland here. The park needs a refresh badly, and the draw of a stadium could be just what it needs to catalyze its renewal.

While some on-site parking would have to be supplied, the GO station on-site would be a plus, although getting to the park from the station is still not a pleasant situation without some additional expenditure for pedestrian walkways, etc. The plus is a 10 minute train ride from Downtown, and a 30-40 minute train ride from Oakville, Burlington & Aldershot, which all seem to manage to get lots of Ti-Cat fans out to Argo games.

I find it rather telling that Metrolinx announced just last week that the GO would in fact be built at Centennial instead of at Fruitland. Foreshadowing?

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:32:16

@SpaceMonkey

I still would be cautious of it, from my understanding a lot of it comes from the chemical industry not Dofasco/US Steel. Sam Meurulla has been screaming at the ministry of the environment to do something about it, but they can't do anything because they can't trace exactly who is spewing it out down there. Ahh the joys of clustered heavy industry.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:52:16

Are you suggesting the beaches at West Harbour are pristine? They have to chain link fence the toxic swamps off. At least I can swim at Confederation and Beachview Park.

Look at a map. The winds blow from West to East. That's what I'm saying in the piece. A stadium that opens onto the lake and has the higher tiers on the windward (west side) side actually can divert (as much as we can) smelly air. For gawdsakes as if you don't smell pollution at Ivor Wynne or won't at West Harbour. Drive into Hamilton on a smoggy summer day from Highway 6 south, and you see an actual brown 'dome' over the city -- it's everywhere. You'll also see that 'brown dome' over any city, from Baltimore to Chongqing, sorry that's life in a city. There is however a few nice islands you might like to move to, Pelee and Manitoulin if you don't like living in a city.

Look, if it's all about 'greenspace'. Conferation Park is hardly greenspace. It's surrounded by two major hiways, the most dense heavy industrial area in the country and is used for waterslides, batting cages, go-carting (every breathed the air near a go-cart track?).

Go to WH or Gage Park if you want greenspace. But as Confederation Park is right now.... it is not 'greenspace'. It's a hiway median.

GO Transit, HSR, Pedestrian link bridge from Eastgate Square LRT hub, onsite parking and Ticat shuttle busses like we already use. And if a breakwater is built an day-use boat dock, am I missing another form of transportation.? Like an airport or helipad. We could accommodate a Lee Chin helipad on the roof, then maybe it would be called the AIC Stadium.

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By Jonathan Dalton (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 22:52:21

There are some good points here, but I disagree mainly on the use of the Future Fund money where there is no tangible benefit to the downtown. Downtown revitalization is an important part of its mandate, and especially with such a large portion of it being depleted, it must be used where it benefits downtown. This was affirmed by the Future Fund Board this past summer.

A regional attraction at the beach strip is fine, however there is no regional Future Fund to build it.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 23:09:20

@TreyS

No I wouldn't, but I would like to note the Randall Reef and all of it's toxic glory certainly is helping the algae blooms in the area, another project which has fallen to the wayside due to lack of funding.

Yes, I will agree smog is a problem in Hamilton. So why would you build a stadium, a place where thousands (many from out of town) congregate to, directly next to the source of said smog.

I will agree, parts of Confederation Park have fallen derelict, and a good plan would be to renew the existing parkland for a fraction of the cost, and allow small scale commercial development build there.

You are also two large city blocks away from Eastgate Square, and while I do agree a GO station nearby helps it's case, the fact that a costly pedestrian bridge will be needed, as well as massive highway upgrade costs (to build the off ramps needed) will cost millions, which is to be expected any time you build next to the QEW, one of the world's busiest highways.

One last point I thought I would make, all the surrounding wards have voice adamant opposition against the site. Sam Merulla who has been anti-stadium since day one got in with over 65% of the vote! Chad Collins and Maria Pearson (another two incumbents) have consistently said that over 70% of their constituents don't want a stadium there. All the other sites, it has been quite muted.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 20, 2010 at 23:44:20

Trey,

I couldn't find anyone trying to suggest that the West Harbour is pristine. Hammer was making a case against Confederation Park. You seem to confuse making a case against one thing with making a case for another thing.

Look at a map. The winds blow from West to East. That's what I'm saying in the piece. A stadium that opens onto the lake and has the higher tiers on the windward (west side) side actually can divert (as much as we can) smelly air.

Your reasoning and research reads like a shameful grade 8 Science Fair project.

The winds do not always blow from West to East. Yes, the prevailing wind direction in this area is SW to NE, but read what I said carefully. To make it more clear for you... The two most common wind directions here are SW (most common) and NE/NW (second most common). The most common time of the year for the wind to come out of the NE and NW is during the fall. Got it? The prevailing wind direction off of Lake Ontario in the winter is NW.

You'd think if someone was going to write an article, they would do some research.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 00:27:50

okay good. we got the wind direction out of the question. It favours Conferation Park, unlike Cleveland. That's good. next?

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 00:38:38

Look SpaceMonkey, if you want, write your own article and have it picked apart piece by piece, by all means please do so. You conveniently chose the points of the article that you can argue. You chose to ignore certain other points made. That is apparent to everyone that reads this thread. I've made my points, and they will be read by thousands of people. I appreciate your input, but I haven't read anything that changes anything.

This is why Hamilton is where it is with regards to this issue.

The reason why RTH was created was to offer a variety of opinions, sorry if this opinion doesn't jive with yours.

There will always be pros and cons with every issue. We couldn't get passed them with Fred, so we hired a moderator. The moderator provided some compromised solutions. Then Fred chose to ignore them. How is that fair compromising? Why did we bother paying him?

There is just no compromising with people that only can only see with blinders, so for that reason, I've made my points. You can continue to pick them apart. I'll wait for your article. peace.

Comment edited by TreyS on 2010-12-20 23:39:13

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 00:45:20

No, it's not as bad of an option as the East Mountain or Aberdeen. It still stinks though - I can't imagine ever personally wanting to see such a thing there. Can we honestly say that we can't think of a single site between Queen and Centennial which would be better?

Oh wait, we already have one.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 00:54:44

This is my last time saying this. We are in the "westerlies", the wind will come from behind the stadium if the stadium opens-up towards the Lake. It's an advantage. Also the reason why if you look at most industrial cities in the northeast of North America, the east end is the poorest. Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago, because they deliberately built their industry east of the city for the wind to blow the pollution away. Same goes for Hamilton. However the Lakefront in Hamilton's south western beachfront is a good location that the pollution actually flows into the middle of Lake.

Why are we debating one single point I made? It's done. The wind direction benefits Confederation Park. The end.

No but some posts pointed out something about 'black flags' on Lake Ontario. West Harbour is a wetland. I don't expect it to be awash in fresh water, ergo it's a swamp, with geese poop everywhere and algae and other stuff. It's always closed to swimming except in March April. Lake Ontario is a safer bet. Besides, who said, swimming in the adjacent water is necessary? It is just a pro for ConFed Park, something that doesn't favour WH. Confed has a natural beach. Look blame God, I didn't create the beach and prevailing winds, it just is.

Wind direction done.

Water pollution done.

Beach done.

next.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 00:55:08

I'm just not willing to consider any other sites at this point. Perhaps at the outset a rational case could have been made for Confederation Park that would not have elicited such negative response, but having been put through the emotional wringer with this issue, I don't want to hear any more pleas for any location.

But while I'm thinking about it, I do think it would be a great idea to focus some energy on revitalizing Confederation Park. I'm not sure why it's been left to go to seed, but I suspect it's just like General Motors did with public transit in the USA. Does the HCA think that they will let it deteriorate to the point that people will start arguing that it should be turned into a parking lot?

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 01:08:59

okay so Rosenfeld (?) said the team is already a regional team. One guy, Where is he from? The catchment can be expanded. I know a bit about marketing so in my opinion the cathment of the 'regional' team can be expanded. I'm glad you're not a marketing director of my company.

I think the people who run the CFL and own teams in the CFL know a bit about sports marketing, a bit more than you or I do. I'm done. I made my points and they may be contrary to most of commentaters on RTH but so be it.

The Ticats are one of the last remaining amenities that make Hamilton a regional, individual city. or else throw in the towel and consider us a Brampton. I've made my point.

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By Hooray (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 01:16:51

Trey for Mayor!!! Well done.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 02:59:56

Trey.... if the CFL are such marketing geniuses why do they have a spare team that Braley can't get anyone to take off his hands?

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By Santa2 (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 06:31:37

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

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By Hamiltonp (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 06:49:09

Trey's points are pretty much all good, and at least he is showing some rational, positive thought; whereas, Space monkey, Jason and their ilk seem bent on shooting down the idea of any stadium, anywhere. Unfortunately, I think there are too many opinions being bandied about, and the clock is rapidly running out of time.... Barely over a month to go. I'm afraid the blame-shifters will have a heyday come March...

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 07:12:15

Let me take issue with the points raised.

  1. Big enough - It isn't. Yes, you can build a stadium on the footprint. But you can't build anything else... including the transportation infrastructure (parking, walkways, transitways and terminal buildings) that you need. Celtic Park can exist on the (much bigger) footprint it has in Parkhead because it's in Parkhead... it's in a city neighborhood with existing infrastructure (and there is lots of parking around it).

  2. Regional team - The Ticats already are a regional team, and would be no matter where you put a stadium.

  3. Greenspace - No, this is putting a big building and a lot of concrete and asphalt over green space. I am all for revitalizing the old campground areas - with park, though, not parking.

  4. Scenic - A park is scenic but a stadium isn't really a thing that is beautiful. If you're thinking that it would improve the image of the city, it might; but not from the Skyway. Because you won't be able to see it from the Skyway. I mean, you have driven over the Skyway, right? You can't see the proposed site from there.

  5. It's not sprawl, OK, I can give you that one. However, it is far from the centre of the city and necessitates longer transportation links than a city-centre project would. And the Stoney Creek Lakeshore is not an area in need of economic development.

  6. There is parking but more parking will be needed. There is no on-street parking available because there are no streets. So as others have pointed out, you end up paving over multi-use parkland to build parking spaces.

  7. This is an interesting idea, one that I wasn't familiar with and would like to know more about. NEvertheless, a parking lot with grass growing on it isn't a park. It's a parking lot.

  8. More expense. Marinas are expensive to build and maintain. Whose expense? The West Harbour location had extensive yachting clubs with extensive marina space already there adjacent to the site.

  9. Such a development needs to be built over the existing park. Currently places like Hutch's and Baranga's fit nicely into an existing park. Multiply it by ten and there's no park left - and no natural setting to attract people to, except for ten game days and maybe a few concert events each year.

  10. You know what? I will give you that one. I like mixed uses. Confederation Park really isn't mixed-use or residential, it's a park. But there are residential areas not ridiculously far away.

This was a good try, but clearly Confederation Park is an impossible site; far too much value to be poured into a stadium site. If we're getting rid of this land, I'd rather even sell to a developer.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 08:25:53

Wow, look at the comments against Confed Park vs the comments in favour. The comments against are mostly long, reasoned and polite. The comments in favour are mostly short and rude.

That's pretty much the Pan Am stadium debate in a nut shell.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:13:35

Coming soon:

'Why Gage Park is Our Best Choice for PanAm Games Stadium Site'.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:16:33

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 TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:43:20

I guess there was no point in illustrating that a 50k seat stadium fits on the land at Confed Park. As well land for GO and parking and all along the waterfront trail where Barangas is, is plenty of parking and space for a boardwalk type of a commercial strip, like Ocean City or Atlantic City.

Comment edited by TreyS on 2010-12-21 08:43:55

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:44:33

The Ticats are one of the last remaining amenities that make Hamilton a regional, individual city. or else throw in the towel and consider us a Brampton. I've made my point.

You really sound like a champion of the city, Trey!

okay so Rosenfeld (?) said the team is already a regional team. One guy, Where is he from?

Well the Ticats also said it (pdf). See page 7.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 09:46:06

It's interesting that no WH supporters mention that a GO Station is planned at the site.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:09:02

I was on the fence about Confederation Park but thanks to this article, I am now firmly against it.

@nobrainer said:

Wow, look at the comments against Confed Park vs the comments in favour. The comments against are mostly long, reasoned and polite. The comments in favour are mostly short and rude.

Well said.

Comment edited by synxer on 2010-12-21 09:11:45

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:09:38

It's interesting that no WH supporters mention that a GO Station is planned at the site.

At which site? There is one planned within about 600m of the WH location. The walk from this planned station to the WH location would be along relatively quiet, safe streets.

There is also, apparently (does anyone have a link to this decision?), a station planned on Centennial? which is within about 600m of Confederation park. If this is the site you mean, why do you find it interesting that no one else mentioned it? You already mentioned it! The walk from this planned station to Confederation Park would be along a busy, ugly road and over a highway. I think Centennial might be Hamilton's ugliest road. Ever since I've moved here, the first thing that comes to mind when I'm on Centennial is that it looks like the ugly parts of America.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:12:39

It's interesting that no WH supporters mention that a GO Station is planned at the site.

Because there isn't. A GO Station is planned on the other side of the QEW somewhere on Centennial. Probably the old Waxman property.
This is Hamilton. People don't like walking for 3 minutes to get to Hortons. They aren't going to walk across a freeway in bad weather for 20+ minutes to get to a Ticat game just so they can say they 'took the train'. WH on the other hand has a new GO Station being built 2 blocks from the stadium site. WH wins that element of transportation hands down.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:16:05

Kudos to Trey for presenting an unpopular argument on RtH. We sometimes run the risk of becoming an echo chamber for one kind of view of a better Hamilton, instead of a forum for "citizens who believe in our city's potential and are willing to get involved in making the city a more vibrant, livable, and attractive place to live and work."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get on my bike to go to the independent coffee shop for an organic muffin before I pedal down to the Farmer's Market for some locally-grown beets, cursing the one-way streets the whole while.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:18:27

You conveniently chose the points of the article that you can argue. You chose to ignore certain other points made. That is apparent to everyone that reads this thread.

I conveniently demonstrated why every single one of the points you made are unsound. If you truly believe that I have ignored certain other points and are interested in hearing what I have to say about them, please let me know what they are. Thanks.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:25:00

We sometimes run the risk of becoming an echo chamber for one kind of view of a better Hamilton

Moylek, this thought crossed my mind last night too. I went to bed realizing that I've criticized RTH before for only presenting one side of the story, or for arguing the pros of one thing with no mention of the pros for the other side. I think that it's great for RTH to present varying opinions. I'm happy to see other views allowed to be expressed. However, I believe that it's important that if something is going to be published on RTH, it should be accurate and factual and presented with sound logic. The above article, doesn't even come close.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:36:44

sorry if this opinion doesn't jive with yours.

I think varying opinions are great. I don't hold your opinion against you. One of the problems is that you've expressed your opinion as if it is fact and/or the opinion of all. This is clearly demonstrated in your points #3 and #4.

There will always be pros and cons with every issue. We couldn't get passed them with Fred, so we hired a moderator.

Who couldn't get passed what?

There is just no compromising with people that only can only see with blinders

Are you kidding me? Are you suggesting that I am thinking with blinders on? If I was thinking with blinders on, I would have read your article and thought "hmmm.. neat.. Confederation Park is a good idea". By taking the blinders off and thinking critically about your article, it's obvious that not ONE of your points successfully argues in favour of building a stadium at Confederation Park.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:40:39

"I guess there was no point in illustrating that a 50k seat stadium fits on the land at Confed Park. As well land for GO and parking and all along the waterfront trail where Barangas is, is plenty of parking and space for a boardwalk type of a commercial strip, like Ocean City or Atlantic City."

No, you showed that a stadium fits, along with what looks like a small parking lot and a GO symbol much smaller than a GO station actually needs to be. That's not "plenty of parking" - that's a small lot about 20% of the size of what the Ticats say they need - and no street and almost no lot parking in the area to make up the difference.

As for the waterfront trail, do I really need to remind you that you just plopped the stadium down on top of it!? Your plan you showed above would destroy the waterfront trail. It will cease to exist. (You also stuck it on top of the only access road to your proposed site, a very tight 2-lane roadway without shoulders, but I was happy to call that a detail - presumably they can shave a corner off the stadium or something).

Kudos, seriously, for trying to find the good buried in the Confederation Park site proposal. But the proposal would entirely destroy a part of the city that is one of its best resources for sensible future development.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:40:40

Jason, this (similar posting) is starting to freak me out ;) haha

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:43:00

plenty of parking and space for a boardwalk type of a commercial strip, like Ocean City or Atlantic City.

Ew!

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:47:19

The Ticats are one of the last remaining amenities that make Hamilton a regional, individual city. or else throw in the towel and consider us a Brampton.

Trey obviously places a lot of value in the Ticats. It is becoming more and more obvious why he so enthusiastically suggests destroying our valuable parkland to build a stadium. If someone believes that a football team is the most important part of a city, their reasoning and intelligence must be questioned.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 10:48:28

I applaud this article -- primarily because it takes a contrary viewpoint. Well done. If nothing else, its generated some sound discussion and brought up some great points.

Personally, I think it's a glass-half-full viewpoint. My concern, as a citizen and Ticat ticket holder, is getting to the stadium and enjoying the city. I can't for the life of me see how public transit of any kind is going to be able to support this site. And, it's clear that enjoyment of anything beyond the game will be virtually nil at that site. Even Aberdeen was merely 2kms from Hess.

Alas, I worry we're that our backs are to the wall here. I certainly would not want to see this team leave the city. Regardless of how you feel about the team's historical finances, play on the field, or whether you're even a fan, the Ticats are synonymous with Hamilton. And their 130+ years here deserves some amount of recognition.

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By JM (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:00:30

Don't everyone bash Trey here... Although i don't support all of his points, as with the WH there are Pros and Cons for each and every one of the proposed stadium sites. The problem is, we're dreaming of one with NO cons.... and that will satisfy 100% of the population.

What i find might satisfy everyone more is to scrap this idea completely now.... continue experiencing the History of IWS, and spend the extra money on the Velodrome which could bring far more benefits, and people beyond the "regional" boundaries of the City. This velodrome could be in the North American Spotlight, and something Toronto could definitely be jealous they won't have - no one outside of Hamilton (especially in Oakville) cares about where the damn stadium is, and who plays there! (I'm a Ticat fan... but its true!)

Can we move on now? Let Mississauga or Markham have their 5,000 seat stadium for Pan Am. We already have one at Mac, and a perfectly good and historically significant 30,000 seat stadium (which people seem to forget holds MORE people than what were asking for?! i still don't get it.....)

JM

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By JM (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:04:10

@Spacemonkey

The Ti-cats DO have a lot of value to this City - regardless of their actual $ value. Having the Ti-cats makes me more proud to be a Hamiltonian. It's one thing that doesn't "drag us into", and keeps us separate from Toronto!

Without the cats, we'll just become more leaf fans.......

Waffles anyone?

JM

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:11:40

As mentioned above, parking is a major point for the Ticats. This whole location fiasco is about revenue. They want us to build them 4000-6000 parking spaces and practically GIVE them the naming rights revenue that would come from a high-profile location. Regardless of whether you think that's fair, there's not enough space on that map for an additional 2000-4000 parking spaces without clobbering a significant portion of the park. They also seem to be insisting on ancillary development.. hotel, sports complex, etc, etc. Where's that going to go?

If you told the Ticats you'd make up the difference with transit, they'd find some way to object -- they care less about how fans get to the game and more about the $20 per space in parking revenue they want to charge.

Comment edited by DanJelly on 2010-12-21 10:12:59

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:18:36

This is my last time saying this. We are in the "westerlies", the wind will come from behind the stadium if the stadium opens-up towards the Lake. It's an advantage.

Trey, you have missed my point twice now. I'm not sure if it's an inability on my part to communicate clearly or an inability on your part to comprehend things.

Yes, we are in the "Westerlies" (in the summer anyway). The wind, however, will not always come from behind the stadium. I'm not arguing with you that if you're going to leave one side of the stadium open, it should be the NE side. Good idea. I'm arguing with your matter of fact statement that the wind always comes out of the West. It doesn't. Take a look at the coming week's forecast for example. For the next 7 days, the wind is forecast to come out of the N or NW. This makes sense as the prevailing winds here in the winter are, in fact, NW.

When the wind is blowing out of the N, NW, or NE, the last place I'd want to be as a football fan, is on the lakefront.

Why are we debating one single point I made? It's done. The wind direction benefits Confederation Park. The end.

We're not debating one single point. Some of us are debating every single point you've made. Although I don't think that if a stadium is down wind or up wind from a factory should have much weight when considering where a stadium goes, since you mention it... how does the wind direction favour Confederation Park again? It is down wind of the industry from the Westerlies that you mention. The other sites are not.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:32:05

Trey, I'm not bashing on you here... I'm honestly wondering if you carefully read the comments that you respond to or if you breeze quickly through them. I wonder this because...

  1. As mentioned above, after explaining the wind thing twice, you still didn't get what I was saying. Admittedly, this could be my fault for not explaining things clearly enough. If so, I apologize.

  2. No but some posts pointed out something about 'black flags' on Lake Ontario.

No one mentioned black flags. I mentioned the black flakes in the water. That, by the way, had nothing to do with the stadium debate. I was just always curious about what they were and was happy to have been provided with an answer.

  1. > Besides, who said, swimming in the adjacent water is necessary?

No one said that being able to swim adjacent to the stadium is necessary. Where the heck did that come from?

So those are my reasons for wondering how carefully you're reading the things you're responding to.

One last point you made...

Confed has a natural beach

That's a good thing right? Your plan abolishes the natural beach... forever. Think about that... forever.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 11:49:03

I'm more balanced in my view here...while ultimately West Harbour makes the most sense, it is not a perfect location. A great deal of improvements for pedestrian travel and to accomodate vehicular traffic would need to be made for WH to succeed. There's also the issue of the expectation of independent business to provide complementary uses nearby, and the single family residential component to that area. The biggest plus for WH is its proximity to Downtown.

Neither is Confederation Park a perfect location, although for some reason the Cats have made clear it's their #1 choice, and I believe that this site represents a better second choice for the city than any of the other sites under consideration. There are some real synergies with the existing uses of the park, and an opportunity to bring about significant development of this space as an event center for the city, combining nature, sports and recreation. However the physical separation from the city proper with the location of the highways and on-ramps are a significant drawback. A look at Google street view on Centennial shows how downright scary this area is at present - complete with no sidewalks and a broken stroller near the rail underpass! This area, like the West Harbour, has been cursed with an overabundance of neglect.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2010 at 13:41:08

Will people please stop whining when others don't agree with them? Does this have to happen with every third or fourth thread? It's getting really really old. It doesn't convince anyone, it doesn't make any actual arguments, and often tends to miss the mark pretty badly in its own right. A month ago, SpaceMonkey was the 'contrarian', now he's on the side of the RTH 'majority'. At what point do we simply admit that groups of similar people often come to similar conclusions when assessing the same set of data? There is a difference between consensus and hegemony, and that difference lies in exactly this kind of discussion.

Believe me, I'm an anarchist. I know exactly what it's like to hold unpopular opinions. And I know what its like to constantly have my points dismissed because they're unpopular, or people just feel that I'm shit-disturbing with contrarian "why not" arguments. Most of all, from my first five years on web forums far less 'nice' than this one, I know that accusing people of this only strengthens their resolve. When I started taking some of the "attacks" more seriously and less personally, though, I realised that they often held crucial clues as to why the arguments I was making weren't getting through.

I'm sorry, but despite Trey's article (which was very well written), I still don't think Confederation Park would be a good place for a stadium, and niether do most people here. And we have explained why. The discussion isn't over by any means, and I'm thoroughly glad that Confederation is now being re-examined. But that doesn't mean it's a good place to put that stadium.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 14:53:49

Trey,

You wrote a very good article summarizing your thoughts on the issue. I don't happen to agree with you but amid some of the over-the-top comments look at the amount of real discussion and debate you have created. It took guts to submit an article that is so very contrary to the general RTH mind-set on the stadium issue.

Without a differential in anything be it heat, electrical charge, pressure, commerce, opinion or thought then there would be no flow of anything, and everything would be still and dead. Only differential creates, lets support and cultivate it.

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:12:57

@Undustrial...

Well said. The only point I'd like to make (and I include myself in this assessment) is that most of the Confed Park/ EM/ Aldershot, etc... naysayers have been light on offering potential alternatives.

I know it's easy to say that "there's lots of room in Hamilton", but there's rarely a bona fide suggestion. That's not due to lack of effort, but largely due to lack of information from the city and/or actual lack of suitable property. Aside from waving the West Harbour flag -- which, since we've been down that path umpteen times, is not really productive.

I'll admit it...I really don't like Confederation Park for the reasons mentioned, I want to see the Ticats AND the city thrive, but I don't have a solution. I thought Aberdeen was it. I thought that was the compromise most could live with. How that property skyrockets to that kind of price is beyond me. But, this is where we are.

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By Bob Lee (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 15:48:18

Great article Trey, I almost entirely agree with you. I would love a stadium at CP, it's a much better use than crummy greenspace in the middle of factoryland. However I still don't think the FF money should be spent there. Maybe if the city gave Bob the land and he put in 50-75 million of Ticats money I would be on board, but as it is there isn't enough investment from the legacy tenant.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 16:10:21

@slodrive .

I agree. I think part of the problem and the reason that WH keeps coming up is that it really honestly is the best choice (and trust me, I am not one of the RTH , WH-or-nothing crowd.. no offence guys). I was okay with the Railyard, but am scared of both the Mountain and even more so, the Park. At the end of the day everything just seems so damned expensive. At least with WH you could justify to a large segment of people dipping into the FF a little more if we needed. You could understand a little more the TiCats not investing a great deal of money (as they are being "forced" to play there).

The 90 million cost includes a lot of things, not only the land itself. The cost of moving CP Rail is included. If you have ever seen the numbers on how much it takes to build a bridge or something you will start to understand, moving rail lines, or building the switch infrastructure elsewhere is expensive, and that cost is to be shouldered by us (CP Would not have to do it if they were not being "evicted").

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By SSP (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 16:45:27

Sorry Trey. Your anti Hamilton rants on SSP lately has made me lose all faith in your ideas for Hamilton.

These plans are coming from a new-found squelcher so therefor I cannot trust you.

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By silbordeo (registered) | Posted December 21, 2010 at 20:35:33

agree with undustrial about wining about the locations, any location is gonna have its faults but my concern is who is gonna benefit from it....... the city or private investors???

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth - enough said

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 08:32:38

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth - enough said

Actually, if the 'gift' is inappropriate, or not the right fit, or otherwise not aligned with your genuine needs, by all means say 'Thanks, but no thanks.' This is what evolved people, organizations, communities do. It's called maturity.

From where I sit, I'm curious as to where the collective energies that have been applied to this issue will be focused next. Because what it's had going for it garnering attention-wise is that it's a tangible 'thing'. An identifiable acquisition. How will things change when we've put all this behind us and need to look at core issues more than (supposed) core projects? I guess this will be a litmus test, whether social conviction will be as fervent when we're discussing theoreticals and philosophies, how we want our Council to proceed with the greater task at hand, the revitalization of Hamilton.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 08:36:07

Heading to the emergency Council meeting at 9:30 this morning. If nothing else, it will be interesting to listen to some new, but mostly old, Councillors weighing in on the debate.

The Spec reports it does not take a 2/3 majority to put Confederation Park back on the table.

May the pencil throwing begin!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 08:56:26

H+H

On the bright side of this morass, that also means it will not take a 2/3 majority to get rid of the AEGD!

I hope they just walk away from the table on a stadium. That 'FREE' money I keep hearing about only seems to get more and more expensive every day.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2010 at 09:59:25

For all of the reasons mentioned up top, I firmly believe that Confed. Park should have been in the running. I think Bratina is bang-on about this - it's embarrassing that we never even looked at this option when it came up the first time.

That said, I am concerned about the location, not because it's greenspace (imho, the city already has an assload of greenspace along the harbourfront and Lake Ontario, and Confed. park is big enough to build a stadium and keep a nice parkland there too for picnics and playgrounds and trails and whatnot)... but because it's so far from the commercial areas of town. I mean, there is no synergy with a stadium and the nearby half-dead factories and winding roadways. There isn't even much in the way of public transportation there.

And yes, you can smell the factories there.

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By Yo Yo Ma (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:48:23

I'm a football fan, I don't live in Hamilton, and Confederation Park would be a very convenient location for me. That being said, it would be absolutely ridiculous to spend millions of dollars to pave over the nicest park location in the city to build a stadium that will be used a dozen times a year.

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has a responsibility to protect these lands for future generations. Building it at Confederation Park would be the equivalent of (or worse) paving over Bayfront Park and building it there. No stadium is a better solution.

Like I said, I am not a Hamilton taxpayer; if I was, I would be picketing outside of City Hall today. A couple of days of protests will save you all thousands of dollars of taxes in the long run. When do taxpayers stop paying for the whims of politicians or the entertainment of a few thousand middle aged men?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:48:41

Yes, Trey made the point very carefully that the wind blows from the west here. Guess which direction Conf Park lies from the factories? That's right - due east. What a way to welcome people to the new Hamilton and give them a better impression of our city.

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By Policy Guy (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:53:15

Building the stadium at Confederation Park is a non-starter and a poor example of public policy - it would only serve a private interest, create exclusive rather than inclusive public policy, would not contribute to city economic development, permanently destroy a green space and symbol of the public interest, take access to our own lake side waterfront away from us, and do these things with our money as opposed to theirs.

From the standpoints of recreation, exercise (and the health benefits thereof), relaxation, and socialization, Confederation Park was created as inclusive public policy that benefits all who use it. As a Tiger-Cats season ticket holder, I would like to see a stadium compromise that works for eveyone, but from a standpoint of inclusive public policy where we would all ultimately benefit, building a stadium at Confederation park is the wrong choice.

Let's either reno Ivor Wynne, or put a fork in the whole idea and find better uses for the future fund money. It does not belong to Bob Young. It belongs to us, and we have more pressing concerns than building a stadium, never mind going out of our way to cave in give a private sector interest absolutely everything they want. Oh yeah, Hamilton's history of having that approach to public policy is one of the factors that contributed how we got all those lovely brownfields in the first place.

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By BTR (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2010 at 18:27:11

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 TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 17:28:31

I want to comment on the fact that someone mentioned "parking" revenue. As the only source of income that the Cats are interested in with a new stadium.

There are plenty of revenue streams that IVW stadium is not providing, other than parking.

  1. Box seats
  2. Food and Beverage (a variety of sit down and full service). Currently we stand in line for a beer and hot dog in a concrete tunnel. I think they have nachos on the menu as well.
  3. Merchandise. A new stadium or logo it is well-known in sports marketing that merch sales increase for 2-3 years afterwards.
  4. Parking. just like everyone else does. Are the Cats evil for wanting that too?
  5. Premium Seating. our "premium" seating is not.
  6. Regionally accessible location -- increase the catchment of fan base, increase the gate. Also increases ad sales.
  7. Naming rights

All this is missing from the current stadium. So yes it may be true that even with a sell-out season, the Cats will still lose million$ because the current stadium can't provide a full spectrum of available revenue. Even with $20mil in renovations, there is no way IVW will deliver what modern stadiums do to pro-sports.

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By Hamilsauga (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 23:31:05

why should a Hamilton stadium have a very clear downtown Toronto skyline view rather than a downtown Hamilton skyline view?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 21:08:22

Absolutely NOT Confederation Park!

Thank you council for preserving our park and our future fund.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:13:57

A Conferderation Park location doesn't mean we have a view of Toronto's skyline???? where do these comments come from? WH greenbins obviously. As for Hamilton's skyline. ? We'll need to build on top of the Jolly Cut, to get a skykine view of Hamilton that truly is impressive.

Preserving the dusty old roads of Van Wagners is hardly preserving 'green space'... I think where everyone lost their mind was with the word "park" in Confederation Park. It's hardly green and hardly a park. it's a dusty old road and parking lots along Van Wagners/Eastport Drive. Ya let's keep that green?????

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By George (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 19:56:06

Um, yes, across the lake, Toronto's skyline is clearly visible from Confederation Park.

the alternative would be to turn the cameras around to view our industry and sewage treatment plant.

A WH site would have provided national TV audiences with the most splendid views of our city, from Cootes Paradise to Hamitlon's skyline back dropped by the escarpment. This refrain has been repeated many, many times already.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 28, 2010 at 20:18:03

The more Trey writes, the more it seems that a logical debate is not possible with him.

Trey, did you consider that the location in which you illustrate the stadium offers almost zero (except for maybe the top) visibility of the stadium from the highway, and that the major power lines which run through the area would have to be moved?

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By cut me I bleed Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2010 at 17:08:25

Boy Young has said we need to think out of the box for a stadium solution.( yes Boy instead of Bob )
He probably means Hamilton give me everything I need like your green space, Confed. park or I'm out of Hamilton.
BUT Here are a couple of out of the box ideas.

1 West Harbour- ticats have rejected the cities choice ( remember we have spent 10.2 million on this location already )because of Hwy. access. In the 1970's the city planners recognized a need for a perimeter road. The plan was to widen Burlington rd ( already done ) turn up between Victoria and Wellington St. ( already purchased ) travel beside the cn rail lines . Next it got a little far fetched with a plan to tunnel under Dundurn castle and meet up with the 403 filling in part of Cootes paradise.
While filling in Cootes and tunneling under Dundurn castle are a non starter , certainly taking the first parts of the road swinging it up either Bay or Queen and tying into an already widened York rd and we would have an excellent perimeter road.
Two benefits , better access for WH stadium site and second getting transport trucks off the 4 lane hwy called Cannon street ( remember community building )

2 BY and Cats still won't buy into some needed community building ( see option # 1 )
Back to IW stadium we go.
Tear down the old south side stands , move a new stands complete with modern private boxes ( a must have ) father south into Brian Timmins stadium, giving more room on the sidelines ( better player safety )
If we took part of B.T stadium we could increase the size of the south stands and increase the overall capacity of the stadium to say 35,000.
PARKING ,well if BY is so concerned about getting 20 to 30 bucks per car let him and his investors buy the old Consumer Glass factory.

3 Still isn't working for ya , Boy and the Bob-cats.
Remember this the funding from Hostco is for a Soccer stadium for the Pan_am games.
This funding does not belong to the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
The funding was increased to build a larger stadium for a legacy tenant ( yes the cats ) but Hamilton could choose to build a soccer stadium on the WH site and not worry about a football team that has now said Aldershot is the best site.
I think a building a combination Velodrome and Soccer stadium at WH with reduced Hostco money and future fund money serves the cities needs best.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 00:47:59

I want everyone to remember that QP called Fred's office and offered a bigger cherry for the EM location if the City voted in favour of EM and Fred refused to pass on that call/info to the rest of council. Not until the call was exposed did he admit that the call occurred. Now vote that fact down.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2011 at 07:53:08

I want everyone to remember that QP called Fred's office and offered a bigger cherry for the EM location if the City voted in favour of EM and Fred refused to pass on that call/info to the rest of council.

You're skipping a few crucial details. The call came on the same day that we heard the Feds would only fund an East Mountain stadium. The very next day, the Feds reaffirmed that their funding was not contingent on a particular site. Eisenberger asked the Premier's office to provide some detail as to what they were offering. Once the Feds backpedaled, the Premier's office had no reason to follow up.

In short, Eisenberger didn't report the offer to council because there was no offer. I think Henry Jacek put it best in a CHML interview:

A conversation like this, I really don't know how useful it would be to even talk about it, because it just seems to be very, very vague and no specific information. [...] I'm not sure that there was really, so far as we know, enough information there to be at all useful in making the kind of decision that the Council had to make. [...] There's a lot of stuff floating around here that, in my own view, I don't think people should get too excited about this sort of stuff. [...]

I don't know why [the mayor] hasn't told us who called him from the Premier's Office. Maybe that person called up - and this happens in politics all the time - and said, 'I want to pass some information to you but don't you ever report that I called you.' That this conversation never happened. Now that happens in politics all the time. I mean, people get those kinds of calls, and how do you treat it when the person making the call says, 'Don't tell anybody it was me who called you'? Well, how good is that information? Personally, I wouldn't take it to the bank when somebody tells me that.

I agree that Eisenberger should have handled it better, but the real political interference in that fiasco was the Province and/or Feds trying to influence a Council decision via back-channels while publicly claiming the decision was the City's to make.


P.S. It does not promote respectful discussion to post opinions that make selective use of evidence and then bait people to downvote them.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-01-03 07:53:38

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 03, 2011 at 12:33:29

TreyS,

Please don't let the fact that most on this site don't agree with your article sour you.

It is a very good and well thought out piece no matter how far from RTH consensus it is. I am in that camp, I don't want it at Cofed as in my opinion it does absolutely nothing for anyone other than Bob Young. For some, Confed is a great site, for some it is an acceptable compromise and for others it is the worst of locations.

You must have realized just how far off consensus this article was as I see you have written many times for the site. You also must have realized the opposition that inevitably was coming to your article. You seem to have become very angry and bitter because of that opposition, challenging the bar patrons to shut you up if they dare. I don't know you and am fairly new to RTH but I really doubt that is the kind of person you are. You took a chance, did some very good work and presented it to a very well informed and vocal crowd. I really hope you put the response to this article in perspective and continue writing for RTH.

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