Sports

CP Rail Yard an Absurd Business Deal

By Graham Crawford
Published September 29, 2010

Dear City Council,

I have read the initial report that will be presented by City Manager, Chris Murray, this afternoon. Am I to conclude the recommendation is to have:

This is a good deal for the citizens of Hamilton?

I don't care if you've never owned a business, or ever met a payroll out of your own pocket. You simply can't disregard these stultifying facts and pretend this is progress.

This is an absurd business deal. Stop pretending it's working. It's not.

Can't wait to see the debate this afternoon.

Graham Crawford was raised in Hamilton, moving to Toronto in 1980 where he spent 25 years as the owner of a successful management consulting firm that he sold in 2000. He retired and moved back to Hamilton in 2005 and became involved in heritage and neighbourhood issues. He opened Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on James North in 2007, a multi-media exhibition space (aka a storefront museum) celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the City of Hamilton.

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By sbwoodside (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:29:31

Once again the Tiger Cats are offering a zero dollar value contribution.

They're going to operate the stadium -- that sounds nice -- but then it turns out we're going to pay them an administrative stipend to operate the stadium. So we're paying the operation costs after all.

Next, they're offering to buy part of the CP Lands. Cool! They're contributing! But wait, not so fast. They're not going to buy land for the stadium. No, that would be too helpful. Instead they're going to buy other land, outside of the stadium and parking area, so that they can develop it and make some money off the stadium that we're building for them.

Finally, in exchange for them doing absolutely nothing to help build the stadium, we'll give them the naming rights, which will generate a tidy sum for them, and a nice surcharge that they can add to every ticket sale.

So all in all, the Tiger Cats propose that we not only give them a stadium for free, but that we let them pick our pockets as well while we're at it.

Comment edited by sbwoodside on 2010-09-29 13:30:51

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:54:45

@sbwoodside - did you ever imagine that any stadium deal at any site wasn't going to look like that? Sports-teams are money-pits. Any deal is going to involve Bob Young skinning us, because that's the only way the lights stay on for a sports team.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-09-29 13:55:04

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 16:51:37

That's why the stadium has to benefit the city in other ways, like, um, remediation a brownfield on prime waterfront land and spurring all-day GO service. Otherwise it's not worth it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 17:19:13

Oh brother. We go from a world class facility on the harbourfront to a BMO Field on the 403.

http://twitter.com/joeycoleman

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By Footie (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 20:44:20

To those who've never been, BMO Field is a rattle-trap contraption that's easily a few steps below Ivor Wynn even in its current condition. If this is all we will be able to afford after blowing all our cash on the CP land, then forget it.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 21:27:36

The more I read about this debacle the more I see a bigger picture. Bob has invested quite a bit of money in the Tiger Cats and has also said that purchasing the Tiger Cats was Thee worst buisness decision he has made in his career.

From what was said in the past by Bob Young (and from what I believe) is that he is making the Tiger Cats a future sustainable and profitable franchise for the citizens of Hamilton, by his stagegy, even if most of us and city council don't like it. It also seems from his statements (through Mr Mitchell) that he is putting in very little investment in this project to raise the value of the franchise to sell to the highest bidder in the future after 2015, soccer team, retail and all. He IS creating Bob World to break even!

hmmm if I'm wrong so be it, but the city is getting almost all they are going to get from Bob on this project and that he knows what's best for us because he is a multimillionaire. He's sticking this out because he may have a chance to break even or possibly make a little profit. I don't know if I like his tactics and I'm not a buiness owner or anything but reading between the lines is becoming clearer and clearer.

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-09-29 20:32:48

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 22:00:58

Footie, exactly. BMO is a joke. We should be embarrassed if that's what we build as our new showpiece stadium.

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By FredOnomics (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 22:18:35

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 22:28:33

Fred isn't trying to dupe anyone. He has stated very clearly that deal sucks compared to WH. It's that crappy football team and a small band of councillors that are selling us out.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 22:29:43

Sigh. Haters gonna hate.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 23:09:10

maybe ... bob young should just sell out to david braley at least then hamilton would be dealing with the puppet master

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By Kevin B. (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 23:26:06

The unfortunate truth - The Ticats have the incumbent councillors by the balls. 4 weeks to an election with no resolution on the stadium issue. Bob Young couldn't care less, but the mayor and most councillors will sign any deal that puts this to bed, so they won't have to face the wrath of the uninformed electorate.
Fred fans, prepare to be disappointed.

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By Revenue Before expense (anonymous) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 09:29:37

There are Anti-Austerity Riots in Spain and all over Europe
WE NEED JOBS, NOT A BARE BONES STADIUM.

First you get the money.......

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:23:16

I caught part of the meeting by live feed and heard Rob Rossini talking about the stadium budget based on BMO Field per-unit costs. So now we're not just getting a stadium that costs too much in the location we don't want, we're getting a crappy stadium we can't afford in the wrong location. I'm more against this than ever.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:30:40

yea, this is pretty ridiculous. We go from getting a top notch stadium in the right location to a piece of junk in the wrong location. And the piece of junk stadium costs MORE??
No thanks.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:22:05

What I don't understand is why Bob Young would be ok with having his team showcased in such a shitty stadium. Ivor Wynne is 70 years old and still has more class and recognition than a piece of shit stadium like BMO field. The fact that he is alright with having a bare-bones stadium built to house his CFL team shows that he doesn't even care about the team either. It really is just about his $'s.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:51:48

Just to recap, we now have an inferior structure, that costs more money, on land we don't currently own, that virtually IS "one lane in and one lane out" and a $35 million funding shortfall.

Remind me again, why is it that this sight is so superior to West Harbour?

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By MattM (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:57:15

Because it appeases the Tiger Cats. And thats all that really matters to the average, albeit ignorant, Hamiltonian.

"Urban planning? Sustainability? Don't use big words on me son, I just want my double-double from Timmies and some Oskie Wee-wee."

Comment edited by MattM on 2010-09-30 10:58:21

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 17:04:05

Anybody having a change of heart regarding restoring Ivor Wynne versus building a utilitarian BMO/quick fix type stadium? Sounds like a lot of money for a forgettable, highway lined stadium. This doesn't sound like much of a legacy. The Save Ivor Wynne Stadium Petition

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-09-30 16:05:22

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 23:43:03

Lets face it. Nothing is going to happen. There is no way they will get all in place in time to appease HostCo. And I believe HostCo is happy as a pig in poop about that. Now they can take everything from everybody, and stick it all in Toronto. This was probably their plan from the start. Fred wasn't the only one duped, the whole of the GH was by the "we are the deserved ones" Toronto boosters. It's sickening.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 03, 2010 at 01:38:13

33 signatures Lawrence Wow, what an outpouring of support

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-03 00:38:44

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted October 03, 2010 at 01:54:47

Where is the info in regards to the BMO type of Stadium?? Just would like to read through the proposal etc.

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