Comment 46300

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 08:54:42

Nice article.

I wonder why people always blame either the city or the ti-cats for their failure to negotiate an agreement? Maybe the fact is there is no site that would be satisfactory for both teams?

Failed negotiations don't always mean the negotiators have failed, sometimes the desires of the parties are so different that there is no zone of agreement - no area where the two parties can both have their minimum requirements satisfied. There might not exist a site that fulfills the cities needs while fulfilling the ti-cats needs.

However, as someone who has taken two negotiating courses one thing you're taught is that you have to find the underlying reasons for a party's needs, and try and satisfy those. If the ti-cats want parking, accessibility, and visibilty, why do they want those things? Why do they want a driveway to driveway experience? The answer is revenue. They believe they can attract a higher class of fan who will pay more for the experience, they can attract a greater amount for naming rights (who said naming rights were theirs to sell anyways?), and they can attract more fans if they have those features. However there are other ways to get revenue, and the city repeatedly said they are willing to discuss alternative revenue generation at the West Harbour site, something the ti-cats have flat out refused to do.

This kind of entrenchment by the ti-cats, being "Anti west harbour" even when the city is offering to give them tools to reach their goal of financial success, is detrimental to a negotiation.

The city, one should note, was willing to look at alternative locations, but none of the other locations came cloes to providing the city-building experience of the West Harbour. The city knows the East Mountain will get filled in and developed in a few years anyways - the stadium isn't needed ou there. In the end, the city's objectives were not minimally satisfied by any other site.

So, did the ti-cats doom the negotiations? I'm not sure. They certainly didn't negotiate to their fullest as they refused to talk to the city about the west harbour. Woudl the outcome have been different if they had? Maybe not. Maybe the city couldn't find enough alternative revenue to bring the ti-cats on side.

Unfortunately we'll never know if this mess was just another failed negotiation, or if it was a failure to negotiate.

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