Sports

McHattie: Expand MIP to Include CP Rail Yard

By RTH Staff
Published October 12, 2010

Councillor Brian McHattie (Ward 1) plans to introduce a motion [PDF link] at today's Committee of the Whole calling on Councillors to look at expanding the West Hamilton Innovation District to include the CP Rail Yards currently under consideration as the site for a Pan Am stadium.

The motion reads:

Whereas, the McMaster Innovation Park and West Hamilton Innovation District is deemed to be small by research park industry standards, and;

Whereas, Hamilton economy of the future will be based on innovation and high technology industries, proving many well-paid jobs, and;

Whereas, the CPR yard at Aberdeen and Longwood is now available for sale and re-purposing.

Therefore,

That staff investigate expanding the West Hamilton Innovation District zoning plan to include the CPR yard lands at Aberdeen Avenue and Longwood Road.

At today's meeting, staff will present their latest report on the progress of the stadium negotiations.

82 Comments

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:27:48

While it is spectacularly, absurdly premature and overconfident to believe that the MIP will reach a scale that demands the conversion of the Aberdeen rail yard (which is already a successful business), it does make sense to keep the long-term option open.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:39:01

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:42:17

^No, he doesn't want it in a stupid location that costs us more than we can afford and has no benefits. He didn't want it in East Mountain either.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:56:38

Great work, McHattie!

The other wards can only dream about having councillors who put the interests of the entire city first

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 11:41:20

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-12 10:42:33

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 11:52:00

Is this the last meeting of the (w)hole before the election ? That would be good ! Council should NOT be making major decisions at this point in their terms, and HostCo should be prepared to wait since they are as responsible for this debacle as the Ticats in fact remembering that Braely was on the board of HostCo until his appointment to the Senate one could assume that their has fair amount of collusion between HostCo and the CFL.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 11:57:48

HamiltonFan the only agenda here, if you can call it that, is to not throw millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars at a project that has little to no return for the taxpaying public

If you still think this is only about a dream of city building at WH you are dead wrong.

Many here would rather have no stadium, the cats at IWS, and a future fund still full and ready to go toward actual city building.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:10:07

WH was the only site with real support that will bring good things to the surrounding community.

Personally I agree with Bratina that a "true downtown" site would be even better, but WH had some synergy with the harbourfront development and north end revitalization, the Rheem site (which needs to be cleared either way and a stadium provides the impetus to do it), and the new Go station (which I think is being overstated).

That's why McHattie and the mayor stick to it. I agree with Bratina that other sites like Confed. park shouldn't have been taken off the table so quickly, but on analysis it looks like WH really was the best option.

I mean, EM would probably be the best place for Bob Young to do business... but it wouldn't be the best for Hamilton, and so Hamiltonians shouldn't be paying for that.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:10:36

seancb, most stadiums that are publicly funded are losing propostions for taxpayers. Go read about the San Diego Chargers for example, I was reading the stadium loses $17 mill a year for the city. It's often about the intangibles with stadiums and what perceived value they bring to a city with teams that get on national television, marketing and exposure for cities. Not saying that is right but I think that's how it's looked at. And I can appreciate your last 2 paragraphs but from what I've heard from BY, IWS will not do for him as the owner of the team. Which begs other questions of course.

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:15:21

most stadiums that are publicly funded are losing propostions for taxpayers.

That's a warning, not an excuse.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:21:25

So, HamiltonFan, I agree we are talking about a losing proposition no matter what we do

But can't we at least fight for the LEAST BAD option?

Longwood, with all of its mystery costs, could end up being WORSE than EM for the city!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 13:36:24

Agree seancb that Longwood could end up being worse than EM for the city taxpayer, yes. I just don't have the skills nor imformation to make a valid judgement or analysis of that though. And I think councillors are having a difficult time with it as well.

Look, I don't have a problem with WH, wife and me love going there now for walks and that and I'd love the stadium to go to WH because we do like it. The only reason I don't want it there is because I respect the owner we have in the TigerCats, I'm a big fan, and I want to see him happy and profitable with the team as strange as that might sound to some people.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-12 12:38:33

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By frank (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 14:46:25

HF I lost "respect" for BY when he used the underhanded tactics he did to "negotiate" with the city and the return of the respect was seriously undermined when it seems that the very reasons he refused to play at WH are not really reasons at all. I lost respect when he decided to disappear when people started asking real questions and remove himself from negotiations. I don't have respect for a businessman that attempts to stretch this City and its taxpayers over a pork barrel in order to gain some personal profit, especially when it's at everyone else's expense all the while claiming to be negotiating in good faith.

I do want the team to be profitable and I have yet to see a SHRED of actual evidence that the WH location would not have been a playable location for the Cats. Therefore my support is either for a WH location or a revamped stadium at Ivor Wynne.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 14:49:26

That's fair enough frank how you think about the situation. I don't share your opinion and perspective on BY but then that's what makes the world go around as they say.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 15:01:55

Bob Young is the one who waited 7 years until 1 month before the deadline to start making waves about the site selection. Up until then, everybody thought he was onboard.

I don't think anybody would be angry at him if he'd made his East Mountain ultimatum/offer two years ago. I mean, we'd still disagree, but I don't think we'd see any of the anger we've got here.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 16:50:18

HamiltonFan said "Of course this ties in with the "WH or no stadium" agenda others have" .......which, I guess, ties in with the "no stadium if it's WH" agenda that still others have.

Once again, I ask, when balancing the needs of BOTH our City AND the Tiger-Cats, name a better site than the West Harbour? And tell us why.

And please, please, please, don't use the "well the Tiger-Cats won't play there" avoidance therapy. Their acceptance of Longwood/Aberdeen shows anyone but the most wilfully blind that they had nowhere to go and their rear end was sucking wind.

If only we had a Council that would stand up and tell the emperor he has no clothes.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 17:18:31

real, the emperor must be a government official, BY doesn't govern this city. Of course you knew that, just wanted to clarify that. The emperor, therefore in my mind is the Mayor.

Agree, the WH balances the needs of both the City and a group of selected TigerCats fans as you say with this added caveat, I don't disagree with that. But that's only because I love the WH. Unfortunately I don't think there are enough potential TigerCat fans that want to make the WH a destination for the team. It is evident to me the culture of southern Ontario is a driveway-to-driveway experience, unlike say a city like Edmonton with Commonwealth. I can't change that. The city should not have built the RHE but rather a perimeter road linking the 403 and QEW. That was a big mistake and it is and will continue to take it's toll on downtown, TigerCats or no TigerCats. Huge mistake IMHO. A shame. Downtown Hamilton will stagnate for decades to come from this decision and if weren't for a select group like RTH and some of others like myself that purposely go down to the harbourfront for a walk and go to the library, take in a restaurant, it would be a ghost downtown.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-12 16:22:10

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 20:22:25

most stadiums that are publicly funded are losing propostions for taxpayers. Go read about the San Diego Chargers for example, I was reading the stadium loses $17 mill a year for the city. It's often about the intangibles with stadiums

BINGO!

And that's why the WH is the only site that makes sense for the Hamilton taxpayers who will be footing the bill - it brings a whole host of 'intangibles' otherwise known as development, brownfield clean-up, downtown renewal, waterfront renewal, image boosting etc.... Look at all the private developers who were lining up to build near the WH site. Today Mitchell said that the CP isn't attractive to developers which is why none have come to the table. So, why are we talking about putting a subsidized stadium at a site with no intangibles???
That was the whole argument on RTH and Our City, Our Future all along - stadiums lose money so let's be sure we put ours in the spot with the most and best spinoffs.

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 21:49:20

The comment below is an outright fabrication that has been passed around this forum so often that many (most?) posters here now believe it to be true.

"Bob Young is the one who waited 7 years until 1 month before the deadline to start making waves about the site selection. Up until then, everybody thought he was onboard.

I don't think anybody would be angry at him if he'd made his East Mountain ultimatum/offer two years ago. I mean, we'd still disagree, but I don't think we'd see any of the anger we've got here."

The fact is that as soon as the Ticats were asked their opinion they have pointed out the shortcomings of the WH as a location for a 25,000 seat stadium. We expressed this information privately to the City for years, and to anyone who bothered to ask us. Out of respect for the process and our role as tenant we did not take our concerns public until it become clear that the city was committed to a location for the stadium that would not work for a large audience business.

Stadiums without good road access never work. And the WH, no matter what the posters here want to believe, has awful road access by comparison to any successful downtown stadium.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 22:16:04

McHattie's right. There's a huge opportunity here to redevelop a big swath of the city, and it shouldn't be squandered on a no-win stadium compromise. Hamilton needs serious new employment, not just people sweeping floors and working concession stands. Fill up all our brownfields with frivolous investment projects like this, and there won't be any money around to support any of it (the history, sadly, of most development in this town).

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 22:37:12

Caretaker,

With all the parking available downtown, just a 10 minute walk to the WH location, road access is excellent. It also means that the cars are dispersed so that when it comes time to leave, it's easier to get out than if 2,000+ cars are trying to get out of one small bottleneck.

Add in the GO station right there and downtown's transit options and it's an excellent situation for people trying to get to and from the stadium.

And, for the record, the reason everyone thought that the 'Cats were on board were the comments along the lines of "We'll play anywhere". Had you, from day one, said "We refuse to play at this location" it would likely not have passed the seven council votes that it did.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 12, 2010 at 22:40:34

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2010 at 23:19:53

The comment below is an outright fabrication that has been passed around this forum so often that many (most?) posters here now believe it to be true.

  • caretaker (in reference to the comment about the ticats not speaking out against WH until the final month)

We will make it work, whatever the site

  • Bob Young (the real "caretaker"), January 2010

So who is doing the fabricating?

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 08:05:51

"We will make it work, whatever the site

* Bob Young (the real "caretaker"), January 2010"

There you go again.

As you know, or should know by now, any quote of mine sounding like that has been taken so far out of context as to qualify as an intentional lie.

The context, when accurately reported, was always along the lines of: "we will make a variety of sites work as long as they they have the attributes necessary for a -successful- stadium."

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 08:14:15

So did the Spec "intentionally lie" when they reported that quote?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 08:35:03

Caretaker,

I'm guessing that the breakdown in communication is coming from a disagreement over what defines "successful". To define it, we need to figure out what the goals are.

If the goal of the stadium is to revitalize downtown, then the crowds that come to game will inject money into the downtown via restaurants, stores, parking, etc.... Some would argue that this would be a successful use of the Future Fund money.

Given that the Longwood site has less parking available, far more restrictive access and no restaurants/shops immediate to it yet apparently has the potential to be successful, we can determine that your definition of successful is to funnel as much revenue as possible into your coffers. You've demonstrated this by being willing to invest $15M BESIDE the stadium.

I figure that if it's public money, it should benefit the public more than just the owner of the team. As, apparently, do a lot of other people. YMMV.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2010-10-13 07:35:53

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By McHootie (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 08:40:14

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:42:03

We will make it work, whatever the site

  • Bob Young, in January, when the only two options on the table were the airport and the west harbour.

The context, when accurately reported, was always along the lines of: "we will make a variety of sites work as long as they they have the attributes necessary for a -successful- stadium."

So - when that line was uttered by Bob Young, you are trying to say that at least one of the options currently on the table was completely unacceptable, but he neglected to mention it?

No matter which way you spin it, no matter how you interpret it, those words were a complete 100% lie.

There is no way to take them back, and none of this "out of context"" spin holds any water.

If BY does not like being called a liar, then the answer is simple - don't lie.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:56:01

We really need to stop throwing that "We will make it work, whatever the site" quote. It's a little tired. Trust me guys, I am with you on the WH boat for sure. Perhaps Mr Young errored a little bit in his statement, and although it appears that the TiCats may have waited till the last second, we do not know what conversations went on behind the scenes. Perhaps they discussed with Fred months before the initial deadline? I think if you continue the statement it had something like " provided it is economically feasble" . Which really, is just common business practice.

Either way, we are where we are. I certainly like the WH site the best, however if your chief concern is getting and and out fast, well then, the closer to the highway the better.

Of course, I still scratch my head at the parking situation.

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:58:58

Hey Mr. Caretaker: regardless of the sort of spin you put on your words, you cannot deny the ill will you've created between your football club and many of its fans, myself included. Over the last 5 years or so, I went to 3 or 4 Ticats games a season. This year, I've been to ZERO and it stems from the fact that I no longer choose to support your selfish, myopic way of doing business. And you know what? I'm not the only person who feels this way. And unless I have some sort of change of heart, which at this point in time, I can't see happening, I won't be going to another Ticats game for a very, very long time, nor will my family. So congratulations on alienating your fans and good luck with that "bare bones" stadium you'll be showcasing your team(s) in.
I can only hope the next council sees sense and pulls the plug on this sorry scenario.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:08:54

Caretaker, assuming you're actually Mr. Young, Scott Mitchell said yesterday that, even with nine sold out games a year, you wouldn't be able to make a profit. How will a new, smaller, stadium fix that? Do you plan on significantly raising ticket prices at the new stadium?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:09:38

Caretaker, you are a class act and as a season ticket holder for many years, we will continue to renew our seasons tickets. The people who you are causing "ill will" to have other issues hence why they are calling you names. Finally we have an owner of our TigerCats with the ability and desire to put many millions into the city but yet some people still don't get it. Sad, I'm glad I'm not one of these people. It's funny that in years when the team was winning the team was attracting some 12,000 to some games like in the 90's. Now, although we haven't been winning a lot, we are attacting over 20,000 per game and I believe much of that is due to your ownership, ownership that as a true fan I am proud to be associated with.

Thank you Caretaker for everything you have done, you have my and my wife's contined support all the way. You are a true class act!!

A stadium at WH without TigerCat involvement will result in me never spending a dime at that stadium. If that's what this Mayor wants, go to it my man.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 10:11:37

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:51:54

Can we acknowledge that mistakes were made by both the city and the Tiger-Cats and leave it at that so that everyone can work together form this point forward to sort out what is best for the city and the Tiger-Cats as true partners should?

Let's collaborate instead of throwing stones at the mayor, councillors, caretaker and Scott Mitchell. That gets no one any where.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:53:59

Well said Captain!

(Earl at cfl.ca)

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By context (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:57:06

'Build it, we'll play in it'
Cats owner backs any site city picks for stadium

January 14, 2010
John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/704705

The Tiger-Cats are behind whatever Pan Am Games stadium site the city chooses, says club owner Bob Young.

Young's commitment wipes out fears the football club and city hall were on a collision course over the stadium location.

"We will make it work, whatever the site," Young said yesterday.

A report on the feasibility of two sites, the west harbour location near Bay and Barton streets, and one in the airport area around Mount Hope, is expected Feb. 18.

Young said the site selection will create some controversy, "but that will be short-lived" and everyone will move on.

The stadium is identified as a $102-million, 15,000-seat stadium for track and field at the 2015 Games, but the city has challenged the Ticats and other private partners to come up with $50 million to erect a facility of 24,000 to 27,000 seats as the new home of the Cats.

The club's home, Ivor Wynne Stadium, is near the end of its life. It costs $1.5 million a year to keep going and would cost almost $100 million to totally rebuild.

The city is committing $45 million toward the new stadium, while the provincial and federal governments will contribute $57 million.

Young has said the football club would donate "in the millions" to the project.

Yesterday, he pointed to the urgency in getting a stadium project up and running.

He's hoping for a facility that will best serve both the city and the Tiger-Cats.

Young has been meeting with prominent city business people about the stadium development. That includes Tom Weisz, the CEO of Effort Trust and chairperson of the city's Future Fund, who is a strong proponent of the west harbour site.

Hamilton's commitment of $60 million to the 2015 Games will come from the Future Fund.

Weisz believes the west harbour location best fits the fund's mandate of making a dramatic change to the face of the city through increased prosperity and enhanced community life.

Young's vote of confidence came as the 2015 host corporation board prepared for its first meeting today. Businessman David Braley, Hamilton's representative on the board, said he hopes it can get to work soon to identify a CEO and review plans for the $1.4-billion Games and billion-dollar athlete's village.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:57:29

Mitchell also said yesterday they would lose something like $70 million operating a stadium at CP. So I say, let's go back to WH. If they're going to lose gobs of money regardless, let's do it at a place that actually makes sense for Hamilton and is cheaper to build.

My personal hope is that with the new deadline extended to Feb, we will get the proper mayor and a council with some stones and immediately after the election they can go back to their WH position. If the Cats leave the discussions, so be it. It'll be 4 long years to the next election and nobody will care by then. We'll have a redeveloped WH with a stadium that can be expanded for soccer and football down the road. This whole process could end up working out perfectly for us by not having to make a final decision right before an election. It's a shame that only a couple councillors are willing to make the tough choices in the face of an election, but that's politics. Get over the election hump and I hope council will come out with guns blazing ready to do the right thing for Hamilton.
Of course, if we elect an old-boys club mayor, don't be surprised to see the stadium drain every cent from the city's coffers and be located out by the Mid-Pen corridor as a means of pushing through another unnecessary highway project.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 12:58:38

Jason, did Mitchell say they would lose $70 million operating a stadium at the CP lands, or that they could potentially lose $70 million? I was following the debate yesterday and at no point do I recall Mitchell saying the Ticats expect to be losing money operating at CP.

With respect to WH, I think Hostco has been pretty clear on how they stand on that as a stadium site. At this point it is stadium at CP site or no stadium, regardless of who forms the next council.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:02:17

caretaker wrote: "Stadiums without good road access never work. And the WH, no matter what the posters here want to believe, has awful road access by comparison to any successful downtown stadium."

Other than being directly beside the 403, doesn't WH have more lanes leading to it than does the CP site? Doesn't the CP site only have Longwood and Aberdeen, two roads only (each from one direction only!) besides the 403? Am I missing something?

WH has Barton and Bay which would be the equivalent of Longwood and Aberdeen, except that Barton serves WH from 2 directions instead of one.

Also other roads leading to WH are James, Hess, Queen.

And what I continue to miss is why WH's proxinmity to 403 is such a bad thing? Seems very close, a few minutes at most.

Perhaps I'm misinformed but I remain unconvinced.

The greatest plus for WH from my POV is the vibrancy our core wil experience during gamedays along with the spinoff benefits to such exposure, as well as the tremendous national TV exposure that would should off our much maligned city by showcasing the most beautifil part of our city ( from many angles!)

I really wish that the city and province would commit to solving road access issues to WH.

Damn CN!







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By frank (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:03:03

Then my vote goes to no stadium

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:04:16

Re: $70m.

Might that be operating costs of $3.5m a year over 20 years?

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:07:49

realitycheck, Here is the exact update that came through several times on twitter:

EmmaatTheSpec Mitchell says the #Ticats could lose $70 million over 20 years if they run the stadium, but the team is willing to take on those costs. about 21 hours ago via web Retweeted by thespec

So, he says they 'could' lose $70 mil. So I'm saying, let them lose $70 mil in a spot that costs less and works better for the city. He also said no private developers were interested in CP lands. Well, we've got developers coming out of our ears at WH hoping the stadium will go there.
Even using Mitchell's own logic, it is clear that WH is the only site that makes sense...unless there are political games being played behind the scenes revolving around the upcoming election. Hmmm......

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:10:49

I think at this point the WH will be tied in for redevelopment, cleanup in some way apart from the stadium. If Fred is on board with that, then it will show to me that he has moved on from a stadium-only image of WH which I will support. But if he's stuck on the stadium at WH as the only way to get what needs to happen at Rheem and the adjacent brownfield, then he does not have my support.

In my mind, the WH is dead as a stadium site and the more people want to hold onto that, the more they mind end up with a crappy 10,000-15,000 bare bones stadium that will be a joke.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 12:12:06

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:32:15

I think at this point the WH will be tied in for redevelopment, cleanup in some way apart from the stadium. If Fred is on board with that, then it will show to me that he has moved on from a stadium-only image of WH which I will support. But if he's stuck on the stadium at WH as the only way to get what needs to happen at Rheem and the adjacent brownfield, then he does not have my support.

you're forgetting that the WH will be a casualty of the CP site due to the massive cost increases. I could care less if a stadium goes to WH. I want WH redeveloped as priority number 1. In fact, I call it priority 1,2 and 3. That has the most potential for our city and I want to see the developers and condo builders free to help create a new community down there. If the stadium can go somewhere else near LRT and in the central city without using every red cent of our money, I'm all for it. If the Cats go back to Ivor Wynne and we get to move forward with WH plans, I'm all for that too. A stadium simply isn't important in the grand scheme of things.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 13:45:01

Here here jason! Ditch the stadium and use the FF to remediate the WH and other brownfields in the dt/northend. At this point a stadium is a waste of money if it doesn't give us downtown renewal as a side benefit.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:00:56

Perhaps the Tiger-Cats should get in touch with the Frank Gehry group and the Katz/AEG group and think really big.

The city might offer up substantially more FF money if this could truly transform downtown. The province and feds too.

Is Feb 1 enough time. Methinks I am dreaming in technicolour, but it would be great, wouldn't it?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:16:55

Good idea Captain. As I just mentioned at cfl.ca, it's too bad in some ways the CFL is as successful as it is. Meaning in some ways it would be nice if the CFL had a more amateur model where 10,000 seat stadiums would suffice. You'd have more cities able to have a team. And with just 10,000-15,000 to be able to run a successful franchise (salary cap would probably be no more than $1 mill per team at the most) the WH would be fine just as Ron Joyce works for McMaster. Then again, you'd just need Ron Joyce stadium here in Hamilton, abeit slight expanded over what it is now. Oh well, that's a whole different discussion. And of course the talent level wouldn't be as high as now which might be problematic to even get 10,0000 out regularly. But then again, it brings me back to thinking of the days when the universities vied for the Grey Cup. This is one reason why while I would be sad if the CFL went caput, it would mean a more inclusive team base to vie for the champsionship since many Canadian cities have CIS teams and junior teams. Hmmm, a CFL season ticket holder thinking maybe the end of the CFL wouldn't be a bad thing perhaps. Ok, I need another coffee me thinks, although maybe not, the CIS does have, IMHO, an excellent talent level, not nearly as high as the CFL but pretty darn good nevertheless. hmmmm

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 13:23:50

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:22:55

it's too bad in some ways the CFL is as successful as it is

Laugh of the day! Nearly all the teams are losing money (the one team that's making money is publicly owned and has a stadium right downtown nowhere near a highway, just sayin') and not one of them would be even remotely viable if they had to pay for their own stadiums.

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:31:45

HamiltonFan said: "...end up with a crappy 10,000-15,000 bare bones stadium that will be a joke."

As opposed to a 25,000 seat bare bones stadium that will be a joke? What's the difference?

P.S. Nowhere in my previous post to BY did I resort to name calling.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:38:47

Well nobrainer, it would be nice if the league could get more TV money. TV ratings for CFL games often outdraw both "major" league Raptor and Blue Jays games and are even in the NHL range some games depending who is playing. Also nobrainer, most NFL teams wouldn't exist in such plush stadiums if they all had to pay for stadiums themselves, and many wouldn't exist, even with the exorbitant TV money they get.

MALEX, BMO is a bare-bones tin can stadium and is successful. Is it a joke?

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:45:34

*shakes head*
HamiltonFan, mate, YOU were the one that said a 10,000-15,000 seat bare bones stadium would be a joke. So explain to me, in your estimation, what is the difference between a bare bones smaller stadium being a joke, but a 25,000 seat bare bones stadium (a al BMO Field) not being a joke?

Can't wait to hear your tin pan logic on this one...

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 14:59:25

MALEX, I am speaking of not attending a WH stadium like this if the TigerCats are not involved because I don't like soccer and the only way for me to watch it is if it is tied in with TigerCats with my season tickets to get a very, very cheap ticket and with the TigerCats on board with it. So yes, in this case with no TigerCat involvement, such a stadium would be a joke for me to attend because it would be soccer. BMO is at least 20,000 and has some pro flair to it and some say it's not a joke, the soccer community is supporting it. But I will never go to BMO because soccer isn't my game. But NASL soccer or whatever league it's called is below MLS, have fun attending, no thanks for me. Unless it's run by the TigerCats, then I'll probably support it, at least to some extent. That's the way it works for me.

Look, maybe this would be great for the soccer community here in Hamilton which is growing and to heck with the Cats. The city can still, as people have said, keep WH as the site and tell HOSTCO this is the site, we don't care about the Cats. Maybe the new council will do this, that is their right of course.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 14:02:30

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:18:23

So let's see if I have this right: the smaller stadium would be a joke because the Almighty BY isn't involved and you don't like soccer (and wouldn't go), but if Bob Young was to be involved, you'd get a very cheap ticket and go. And that would mean the stadium wouldn't be a joke.

Gotcha.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:21:39

The stadium would still be a joke in terms of having a pro flair to it at that size, but I would go, yes, because I like supporting the TigerCats. It's very simple, any going to any games for soccer for me is only because of the Tigercats, you have that right. Stadium is still a joke if it's not even 20,000 if it wants to be referred to as a professional stadium. BMO at least made it 20,000 right off the bat. Never been there, some people call it a tin-can stadium because it didn't use a lot of concrete, their words, not mine.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 14:22:40

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By hamiltonfun (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:26:21

is hamiltonfan bob young's barely literate nephew?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:35:26

Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. haha

Keep it coming boys, I love it! Soccer is borrrrrrrrrrrrrring. hahahahha

Go Bob Young Go!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:35:37

Has anybody really sat down and taken a look at what it would take to get Ivor Wynne up to the standards needed to make the TiCats profitable, if that's possible at all? I keep coming back to the fact that it's really the only location that is

1) in the lower city and accessible to transit, which seems to be the city's big must-have.

2) has parking (assuming Scott Park is expendable in its current semi-abandoned state) and accessibility to the expressways and other major thoroughfares.

I mean yes, we know the problems with Ivor Wynne. It has uncomfortable seats, it's crammed in the middle of a residential area, and has no parking.

But a hundred million dollars is a lot of money. It can buy a lot of seats. It can build a lot of parking on an old school grounds. In a pinch, it can buy up a city block of houses in a depressed area.

Has Ivor Wynne really been measured? Is it entirely an emotional problem? After all, the cats obviously need to re-invent themselves to be profitable... a renovated stadium isn't enough of a "reinvention" to get new fans since old no-shows will still think of them as "the Cats at IW"?

@Brandon

I think Young has always been diplomatic when he discards the WH parking, because he doesn't want to say the actual problem: he needs to get more suburbanites into his stadium, he needs to charge more money.

Suburbanites want a stadium that looks and works like a trip to a theme park - you drive along the expressway, get off at the offramp that says "Nabsico Stadium" drive into the parking lot, pay your parking, and walk into the stadium that looms over the lot. They want it work like going to Costco, but with paid parking. Just like it works back home in Burlington, Mississauga, Stoney Creek mountain, etc.

They're not going to stand for driving through Hamilton, hunting for a parking lot staffed by a sketchy guy with a pricing system that you can't figure out (wait, if it's $6 maximum for all day, and $3 for evenings, and I parked for 3 hours, how are you charging me $7.50? Just because I crossed the 6pm threshold?) and so on. He wants to just offer them a nice, safe package.

Because he needs them. They pay more. And his team will go broke if they can't find a way to get people to pay more.

Young can provide the needed experience at EM. He can provide it at Longwood, but he'll have to charge through the nose for parking because it'll be a small lot and he's got to tweak the supply/demand curve to keep the lot getting sold out too fast and scaring off the folks who'd rather just pay for parking than go hunting for it.

He could probably provide it at Ivor Wynne, but I think that IW's image problem might make that unacceptable.

He can't do it at WH.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-10-13 14:48:12

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 15:57:45

So HamiltonFan, soccer is boring but you'd go if Bob was offering it to you? Would you go to ladies figure skating if it was owned and operated by BY?

I happen to love soccer, but I honestly don't think the NASL has the cache to lure the fans out...have you seen some of the attendance figures on their website? Eeesh. Most teams barely draw 1,000 fans...a 25,000 seat stadium is going to look awfully empty with that sort of attendance. And for how long could BY make a go of it if that's the sort of turn out he gets? And somehow, I don't think a visit from the Carolina Railhawks will create the sort of buzz needed to generate the crowds...lol...

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:20:51

I love that this discussion is still going and that it's stayed pretty respectful. On that note, I'm surprised at how eager some people are to defend BY, despite his disgusting display of bad faith negotiating throughout this process. I think the native RTH posters have done a pretty good job of highlighting the gap between what he's said in the past, and how quickly he's bitten the hand that feeds his Tiger-Beast.

Why anyone cares if the Cats stay in Hamilton is completely beyond me. I used to attend a couple of games a year up until this Stadium fiasco, and I've vowed that my family will never attend another one unless it's down the street from us, at WH. For the city to have a stakeholder or partner to act in such contempt of local democratic decision making only illuminates why our "leaders" must not cave to BY and his team. Over the past year the City has been beaten black and blue by "partners", like US Steel, Siemens and now our sports team. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Worst of all, as details emerge, we're beginning to see that this stadium plan is going to turn into a massive case of corporate welfare: a huge transfer of public money to serve a private interest who feels emboldened enough to issue diktats in order to hijack local decision-making. This "plan" may serve to further impoverish the city while offering precious few tangible benefits (as if we need another box-store precinct).

I'm a little dismayed by the relative quiet surrounding the stadium plan as candidates canvas their neighbourhoods for support, but I would dearly love for Hamiltonians to send a message to BY and the Ti-Cats by electing a mayor and council who can rise above the rhetoric that the Ti-Cats should be supported at any cost.

What we need more than a losing football team is a group of responsible fiscal stewards who won't mortgage our future for the sake of a private interest that has claimed it can't reliably make money in its only real line of business: not parking, not box-store development, but playing football and selling tickets.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:22:28

Pxtl,

When you have events, parking is a flat rate, there's nothing to figure out.

And as far as going to an amusement park, last time I was at Disney it was a 15 minute walk from the car to the monorail, then transit into the park itself.

I'd rather take transit or park in dispersed lots as it means a lot less hassle when it comes time to leave. If all 2000 cars have to leave through the same exit, that takes a while. Plus if traffic is too busy, there's a lot of restaurants downtown in which to grab a bite to eat.

I think you'd be surprised at what people would "stand for".

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:25:32

Saskatchewan is looking at building a 400 mil. Domed stadium that will be busy every night of the week. Maybe we should look bigger, go for a year round venue and then I think you would see way more private investors. Let hecfi run it with the ti-cats getting first refusal on bookings. Dreaming again, sorry.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:33:07

Why can't the city or downtown BIA make the effort to make caretaker an offer he couldn't refuse, like a campaign of downtown businesses that would buy up a certain amount of tickets thereby demonstrating that a WH site can work in it's own unique way.

They can't just expect to be entitled to the Tiger-Cats' draw of a quarter million people per year (and I'm not saying they are), but some sort of reaching out or offer of support might have helped, no? It ceratinly couldn't have hurt. Something substantial. Is that even possible?

How long do we have to wait to hear from Gehry and Katz?

I'm afraid that if a Gehry and Katz transformational intiative did come to fruittion, that the Tiger-Cats could miss the boat. Not likely though, is it? But why can't it be?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:34:21

@Brandon

Driving through a traffic jam, walking down a guided path connecting A to B with nothing to look at but parking lots and the gate? These are simple things. They're not easy or fun, but they're simple.

That's what he's selling. People are used to sitting in traffic and waiting. If you could find a way to power the city off the boredom and waste of QEW drivers, we'd never worry about our power needs again. So doing that for a game is okay - they're used to it. Hunting for a parking lot in a dense city like Hamilton, and then figuring out how to get to the stadium? So many unknowns. Not an experience he wants to sell. Not one he can sell to people who are used to suburban life, where the only question of parking is "oh rats, where did we leave the car in this ocean of spots?"

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:41:13

Pxtl - If that is the mindset, then what does that say about the product?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 16:43:13

MALEX, I'm a BY supporter and anything offered with my seasons for the TigerCats might get me to go and check it out. I find soccer and ice skating both rather boring to watch but if it might help the bottom line of my cherished TigerCats, I might check it out. It's like the Raptors deal with Leafs seasons.

I have lived in Hamilton a long time and I'm a bit skeptical about parking in some areas near downtown Hamilton that aren't well lit lots. Imagine out of towners with this city's image problem out there! Something to consider for anyone. When I've been to concerts at Hamilton Place, you see lots of people lining up for the direct onsite parking there even though there is a wait. They don't want to park a few blocks away is dimly lit lot and some can't walk that far perhaps. The way it is.

CP Longwood will be sketchy in terms of providing enough onsite parking to make it profitable for the TigerCats but they are willing to work with the site given other conditions in the deal. That works for me and I hope this comes to fruition for a true pro-feel stadium in an excellent location for the city and the TigerCats.

And speaking of the product, if it's your team you stick with your team through thick and thin. We have a CFL team, in a league that has sold out Grey Cups a few years in a row now well before the actual game. This year we are looking at a soldout Commonwealth Stadium, 60,000 (in Hamilton's dreams) that has been soldout for months now. Canadian football is an exciting brand of football dating back to it's origins in the 1800's. The Grey Cup will be celebrating it's, ours, 100th anniversary in 2012 in Toronto and I will be paying $500 a ticket, maybe more actually, for 2 the minute they go on sale. No questions asked to be part of Canadian sports history.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-13 15:49:57

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By caretaker (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 21:32:19

Instead of selectively quoting the Spec from January 2010, why not quote this site from the previous November 2009:

http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/97...

To repeat: trying to claim the Tiger-Cats have not been working hard to get the City to understand that the WH is not a good location for a large audience business is simply inaccurate.

or from the same week in 2009: http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/News...

with the quote: "He says he's okay with any site, as long as it makes economic sense over the long term."

Comment edited by caretaker on 2010-10-13 20:48:29

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 21:47:48

Instead of selectively quoting the Spec from January 2010

Selectively quoting? Someone posted the entire article just up there.^^ So did the Spec lie when they did that article??

why not quote this site from the previous November 2009:

Sure thing! "In the study A Tale of Two Stadiums: Comparing the Economic Impact of Chicago's Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field, economists Victor Matheson, Robert Baade and Mimi Niklova argue that compact, urban stadia that are closely integrated with their neighbourhoods generate a lot more related economic activity than large, sprawling suburban stadia surrounded by parking lots and highways."

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 22:47:15

with the quote: "He says he's okay with any site, as long as it makes economic sense over the long term."

So, possibly losing $70 million over 20 years 'makes economic sense over the long term'??

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 22:54:28

z jones, you are forgetting one thing. As BY has repeatedly indicated, he would be fine with WH if it had highway access, a perimeter road linking the 403 to the QEW. Most stadiums in the US that are being referred to in the report A Tale of Two Stadiums, probably are speaking primarily about such stadiums with this type of highway access.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 22:59:43

ya, cause we all see how beautiful Toronto's waterfront is with a highway roaring through it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 13, 2010 at 23:27:11

Even if they removed the Gardiner, I'm sure they would build a tunnel to replace it.

From a report on the net:

"Most of the larger complexes such as sports stadiums are located near major traffic access routes in metropolitan areas. ... Such complexes are characterized by... with ample parking facilities."

Source: http://books.google.ca/books?id=mi8vSfKz...

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By frank (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 08:32:48

My question would be simply this:

If this: "He says he's okay with any site, as long as it makes economic sense over the long term" is the case then why haven't you provided the public with this fabled economic report upon which you're basing such vehement rejection of a stadium at the WH location??

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2010 at 08:33:28

he would be fine with WH if it had highway access

access or visibility?

WH is highly accessible from the 403. It may not have a ramp straight from the highway to the front door, but it is within minutes of two major interchanges. It is also more accessible from the east since it easily connects to Burlington St, which is a veritable highway from the QEW to Wentworth.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2010 at 08:35:02

Anyway we already know this is not about highway access as much as it is about control of additional revenue streams (preferably built on the shoulders of the public) - as large a ticat-owned parking lot as possible, with a little bobzworld on the side.

ticats to taxpayers: "eat em raw"

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-10-14 07:35:27

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 09:21:38

Even if they removed the Gardiner, I'm sure they would build a tunnel to replace it.

Why on earth would we make the 40 year old mistake that Toronto is now having to pay through the nose to rectify?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2010 at 09:55:49

@seancb

I think he means direct, wide, simple street access, rather than getting lost in town getting from the expressway to the stadium. I imagine his idea would be something like a 4-lane road directly connecting York Blvd/Highway to a widened Stuart street, ploughing through the back of Dundurn Park, and a northbound exit from the 403 to York Blvd/Highway.

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By Roger Tilly (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:53:25

Nothing will ever be done with WH. Some of the lands the city wanted are not for sale and have never been. The city tried to expropriate and it was thrown out due to lack of cause. The city now needs big money to do anything there and it's money they don't have. Furthermore they can't expropriate without cause, they can't expropriate in order to sell to a developer either. Whatever is done at WH must be city funded, that includes clean up and remediation. It has never made sense to me to expropriate people from their homes in order to build homes on the same property. I spoke to someone on city council about remediation costs and they said remediation for contaminated land turned into residential is astronomical and is not something the city wants to do. In some cases like the gas station and industrial contaminated lands in this area, extensive testing must be done and in some cases the land must sit untouched for 5-10 years in order for it to be tested on an annual basis. The best they can do is take down the Rheem building and make a park.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 12:37:46

I'm not so sure that the perimeter road would prove to the obstruction that the Gardner expressway is.

The Gardner is elevataed and is a true physical and visual obstruction.

The perimter road was to be "below level" along the existing track and under current bridges at Bay, James etc.

IF only we could have gotten the CN lands, there would have been ample room for further development whether it be a road and some ancillary waterfront/stadium development. Wonder if the Tiger-Cats' private partners would have liked that.

Why no mention of the CN lands anymore, anywhere? Can't soemthing be done to acquire those lands. Stadium or not, that would be a great acquisition for the city and its waterfront.

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By landscaper (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 16:52:48

cn lands cannot be acquired or expropriated, they are protected lands by law. Nor can you build residential buildings within 300 yards due to structural integrity and land tremors. This has been ignore by Setting Sail and the pan am stadium projects. Neither would be able to overcome this because it is law and it is law due to safety concerns.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 18:52:45

At any rate whatever happens which way or the other, I'd like to see the Rheem building at least torn down. It's a eyesore to an otherwise nice enough looking area.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 20:37:32

@ landscaper - I don't understand. We can acquire CP lands but not CN lands?

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By Tim the baker (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 22:12:11

Cn is protected under the federal government. Let's say they did come to an agreement to move, they would have to be relocated, but still be able to maintain the transportation route. They can't go north because they would go into the bay and they can't go south because they wouldn't build an industrial rail yard through downtown. Either way it would cost the city about 500 billion dollars.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:55:33

How about moving them to the CP lands?

Sure, the curent CN rail lands are larger, but is it know if they need all that land, and would the CP rail lands be adequate?

Just thinkin' out loud here.

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