Perfect Time to Put New Stadium Downtown

By Jason Leach
Published January 20, 2009

I'm baffled at the notion that building a stadium along the QEW in the narrow strip of land at Confederation Park is remotely a good idea.

The only positive is the potential naming rights for a facility located along the highway. That's where the positives end.

Are we attempting to build a stadium or a billboard? We spent much of the 1970s destroying our city and we now have an overabundance of empty lots and mega-parking lots downtown.

Any city worth its salt is putting these types of facilities downtown in 2009. I urge council to consider the spinoff effects on local businesses and restaurants by having a stadium located in the heart of the city.

With hope increasing for light rail to come to Hamilton and improvements continuing downtown and along the west harbour, now would be a perfect time to put our stadium in that area.

Why would we pave over a park in the green space-starved east end when we can centrally locate a stadium that is accessible by foot, bike, transit and car?

Kudos to Councillor Chad Collins for getting half the equation right. Now we need someone on council to champion the downtown location before we end up following Buffalo's fabulous lead and building our own Ralph Wilson Stadium out in the middle of nowhere.

(Published on January 20, 2009 in the Hamilton Spectator as a letter to the editor.)

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By hunter (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2009 at 11:48:40

Hear hear. Downtown or west harbour all the way. Put parking nodes at each end of the lrt and give ticket holders a free ride (like HSR does now).

A factor that gets overlooked is that if you build a stadium right along lake Ontario, there will be a cold wind blowing. In Cleveland, they called it the 'mistake by the lake'. Exhibition stadium in Toronto had the same problem.

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