Comment 28221

By arienc (registered) | Posted January 15, 2009 at 13:19:19

Jason...good point...forgot about the playoffs. (It's been too long) :)

That said, while I'm sure there would be other uses for such a stadium, I'm referring to those types of events that attract large numbers of spectators (> 20,000) and paying customers.

Stadiums have to have large numbers of patrons in order that the staff to operate consessions, maintain the field, keep facilities working and clean for spectators, etc.

The only events I can think of that can provide this critical mass are are pro sports, concerts, and large community festivals.

There are enough large concert facilities in the Golden Horseshoe already, and very few touring artists these days command those kinds of crowds outdoors. That's good for maybe ten nights a year, tops.

The only current pro sports team that requires a stadium in Hamilton is the Ti-Cats. Maybe an MLS franchise would be an option. OK...that means maybe another 30 dates, if we somehow get a franchise.

That leaves community events. It's hard to make these into sufficient money-makers that reap enough at the gate to justify the cost of opening the doors. Anyhow, Gore Park makes more sense to be a place to bring the community together at its heart, rather than the confines of a stadium.

So maybe 60 days out of the year, the stadium has some use. 300 days or more out of every year, it sits empty. Plus there is the issue of what do we do with Ivor Wynne, and how much does it cost to dismantle?

We need to be realistic about this, and that means that we need a sustainable, sensible business plan before committing millions of dollars to building a new facility. Renovating Ivor Wynne would seem a better bet at this stage. Or investing in a few smaller, local facilities that can also be temporarily configured to handle Pan-Am (in the event our bid is even successful).

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