Comment 52063

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted November 23, 2010 at 12:17:25


Yes, and no and I will be honest, as a Ti-Cat fan I do have a bit of bias towards it. That being said, the I place higher for only one reason. Stadiums are designed to attract people from beyond it's boarders and promote a city's image/area, something of which Hamilton is in dire need. As much as several do like to rip into the Ti-Cats and professional sports team puts your city on the map internationally. The problem is, our current stadium has been in a residential and economically depressed area for too long, which has only furthered Hamilton's bad image. Simply put, without a good image, a city is hard pressed to attract investment, and without investment you can't build the Urban centers Hamilton requires to succeed.

Now, normally I would be against the stadium, but there are too many factors at work that tell me to catch this train before it leaves the station. The first is the amount of money the Pan-Am committee has put forth is too much to throw away. The second, is Ivor Wynne is in shambles and it's maintenance is outrageously high. The third, is we are eliminating a brownfield in the CP rail yard. The fourth is the surrounding development that has been tangibly put forth. The fifth is that we aren't going to get an opportunity like this for a stadium, for at least another 12-30 years (maybe with another Commonwealth Bid or a Toronto Olympic bid) of which if the status quo if maintained, would be a mute point without a legacy tenant.

Now that's not to say LRT doesn't offer similar benefits, but I have yet to see money committed to LRT from the higher levels of government. Fares do offset some of the costs but one needs only look at the transit mess of the TTC or Buffalo to see how costs can spiral out of control with any transit system. LRT does promote a better image, but it doesn't draw people into your city and it's potential to spurn redevelopment around it's footprint isn't as impacted.

Honestly though, LRT money isn't going to quickly evaporate in the coming years. Oil prices are going to keep going up, environmentalism is going to continue to pickup more momentum with every year and all levels of government will be continuing to invest in more sustainable transport. I see LRT money as more available in the coming years, then the once every 15-30 years stadium money comes around, which might not even be available if we can't stop a team with over 140 years of history behind it, from folding.

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