Comment 68597

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 29, 2011 at 16:58:05 in reply to Comment 68591

Zephyr, I think I have read your post 10 times now. Unfortunately technology kept me from being in the loop at all today, but I think if you have followed the process from the get go, you kind of get a sence as to the general feel of the meetings.

I used to go to Ti-Cat games for something much more intangible. Corny as it sounds, I think it was for civic pride. The chance to be part of a cheering mass of proud Hamiltonians, to feel part of the spirit of this city.

What you have written in your comment above has struck me. I try my best to ignore the ownership level of it all and the politics in general. I enjoy spending time with fellow Hamitonians most of all. I love being around a lot of people and the different views of our city the stadium in it's current location offers.

I enjoy football too. Very much so, but there is so much about professional sports that I despise. The CFL is much more grounded than other leagues in many ways, but it could use to step it down a couple of notches still.

Only when a night at the ballpark is all about the community and not corporate focused, can this be something that we can sink our souls into where Civic Pride is concerned.

I am hearing so much of what you are displaying in your comment Zephyr and it saddens me becuase I want to love our historied Tiger-Cats again. The truth is though, if you read through the Ivor Wynne Stadium Scrapbook at the Hamilton Public Library, none of this is new. All I have to say is Ballard, to remind everyone the sick twists and turns football in Hamilton has taken.

Having said that, I love the community where our stadium is now and they deserve this and they deserve the civic pride that fills their surounding streets and yes all that has transpired the past year and a half where the stadium is concerend has been a nightmare and I understand people not wanting to support Bob Young or the city in it's decision to continue the tradition at 75 Balsam - especially given the latest news, but this is all far bigger than speaking with our wallets.

Who do we really affect, if we stop supporting the Tiger-Cats and Ivor Wynne becomes an empty facade, leaving only faint cheers of High School football games and the echoes of the Civic Pride long gone from Hamilton. We then face the loss of our CFL franchise, no hopes of the NHL (of which I wish we'd move on from but that's another story), and all this hype and excitment that you see in the Twitterverse about Hamilton and it's exciting future, all reversed as the pride in everything we've seen as of late, leaves on the first all-day GO train out of dodge.

CFL football isn't everything in Hamilton, but would 20% be a low-balled estimate of the number of people this tradition was important to?

For me, the tradition of Ivor Wynne is even more important than the Tiger-Cats themselves. It's a bit of a twisted statement as you can't have one without the other it would seem, but 75 Balsam Avenue is an important fabric to this community as a site for sport that brings together over 20,000 fans. As far as I am concerend, you could put the Mauraders on the field as long as we can attract a capacity crowd of over 20,000 for that hightened sense of Civic Pride, and I'd attend. Likely more than I can afford to now.

I'll continue to push for a stadium district that we can be proud of - for what my input is worth, and when the doors open come 2014, I'll support the stadium and the other facilities the best I can for the sake of the community and realize yes, a multi-millionairre(s) are getting part of my money but what the stadium district has done for the area residents, I'll know that in a round-a-bout way, I am supporting them.

It's not about who is in the press boxes. It's about who is in the seat next to you or in the endzone at half-time raising a glass to you. It's about your kids watching TC and Stripes moving about the stadium the entire game. It's about a very silly oskee wee wee cheer. Maybe it's about the first black man to ever play quarterback in professional sports at Ivor Wynne or one of likely very few cities in professional football, to have a host city win the cup on their home field. It's about Osbaldiston's last play field goal sending Hamiltonians through the roof as we gain a birth in the 1998 Grey Cup. It's about all these defining moments and more.

That's what football is about. That is what civic pride is about. Balsam is what community is all about and that's about to improve 10-fold in the years to come - especially if some of the other dreams for the stadium district pan out.

Should we be ticked about this entire process and the back-room secrecy? Yes we should be very angry and push for some serious change and Town Hall meetings or something as this stuff has to stop NOW, but I still believe 75 Balsam is something we can be proud of as an initiative - even in light of these latest developments.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-08-29 17:07:25

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