Comment 49761

By Dave Mac Donald (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2010 at 15:40:50

This is Sam Merulla's position and has been since the start of this mess. Merulla not only had courage for standing alone on this issue but the man has brilliantly put this issue into perspective. way to go Sam!

Many thanks for taking the time to provide me with your input. From my perspective the foundation of the problem is that the Toronto Pan Am games bid has been fueled by emotion and based on wants rather than needs of our community. The original purpose was to create a legacy for amateur sport and provide a new stadium for the Ti Cats. My contention has always been that if the Ti- Cats cannot afford the old stadium how would they afford a new stadium? Well the answer was provided by the Ti Cats with the East Mountain proposal and now Longwood which changed the original purpose to simply creating a legacy for the Ti- Cats and a potential professional soccer team in partnership with a private developer(s). This relationship with the developer(s) is what in essence allows the Ti- Cats to become sustainable but only leveraging public dollars and with a capital deficit of approx 120 million which benefits the Ti- Cats and developer(s) but not the local taxpayer.

Therefore the issue of sustainability is only realistically addressed at Ivor Wynne and the business challenge of the Ti-Cats is to fill the nearly 30 thousand seats available to them at a publicly subsidized Ivor Wynne. The issue of a new stadium is not the answer to the Ti- Cats sustainability. The issue of sustainability is addressed in providing a product on the field that creates a demand for tickets and the necessary revenue to become and remain sustainable. Therefore a renovated Ivor Wynne and a sold out stadium for all Ti- Cat home games is the answer and the most prudent initiative for all to pursue which is not what some people want but I believe that is what they need.

I believe we need to focus on priorities that matter e.g. Manufacturing Jobs, 2 billion dollar infrastructure deficit , 146 million dollar provincial downloading crisis and 20 percent poverty rate. My position has always been the same and that is the fact the Pan Am games and stadium is the mother of all unfocused priorities. I've attached the proceeding comments for your perusal surrounding this fiasco I had written during the summer months:

Bottom line is a vote for West Harbour is a vote for Ivor Wynne due to the criterion that money will only be allocated to a site with a long term tenant. Keep in mind West Harbour has a capital deficit of approximate 50 million dollars and millions more in operating thereby creating an environment of an ultimatum from the Province and the Feds due to the preceding criterion.

A vote for the urban sprawl option on the East Mountain is a vote for a stadium that is underfunded by approximately 120 million dollars deeming it unaffordable to the taxpayer but with a tenant.

Therefore the only viable option left is the renovation of Ivor Wynne which can accommodate soccer and a sustainable tenant that has played at Ivor Wynne since 1930. Anything but Ivor Wynn is a pie in the ski option and a travesty to the hard working people of the City of Hamilton. This unmitigated disaster could have been prevented had my request for due diligence been pursued back in February of 2009. Although I didn't support such a unmitigated ill prepared initiative at least we would have known then what we've confirmed now that this unfocused priority will victimize the taxpayers of this city.

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