Bob Young - In his own words

The city of Hamilton and Ti-Cats fans are very lucky to have Bob Young as an owner of our football team. I'm not sure the team would still be here without him.

Here he talks about himself and how he came to be owner of the Ti-Cats.

http://ticats.ca/video/my-story-the-caretaker

Great interview.

I don't know the full story of Mr. Young''s ownership of the Ti-cats, or his background generally, but I've never understood any criticism of him. He seems like an excellent "Caretaker" and other teams would be fortunate to have similar.

He's made plenty of mistakes as owner which he owns up to :thup:

What IMO distinguishes him from others are two things. 1) How close he is to the fans. 2) His old school patience with his "investement" many owners have come into this league expecting a quick return only to abandon their teams/fans in the worst ways. I'm really happy for him that he's been rewarded for his patience. He's now got a jewel in his "care". Started with a piece of coal and with patience turned it into a diamond. He and his brother are leaving a wonderful legacy to the city of Hamilton.

Yes, and what I find very intriguing about Bob Young is that he admits the new stadium in Hamilton is not in the best place for a new sports stadium but despite the City of Hamilton and the "disconnect" that the Ticats had or has had with the City, was able to make an investment in an area of Hamilton any developer wants to stay clear of for many reasons. Bob Young with David Braley could have told the City of Hamilton to go shove it and keep their $40 mill for a new stadium and built a TiCats/Argos stadium in Aldershot or in the greater GTA like the Jets/Giants but Bob Young decided to stay committed to an old, some people call it drug infested, part of Hamilton and keep Hamilton's money in this part of Hamilton with this investment, even though from a pro sports aspect everyone and his brother knows it was the "wrong" this to do for profit making from the TiCats aspect. Very interesting.

$40 mill to Bob Young is neither here nor there from an investment point of view, he wanted the City of Hamilton to work with him but the City of Hamilton with the Mayor at the time decided to not work with him and yet, the new stadium happened as I say in what many people consider a low class and somewhat drug infested area of Hamilton. Weird, but it works.

This photo says it all, Fred Eisenberger was not interested at all in having the Cats as partners, simply as subordinates in the process to cater to getting the Oilers here as Fred was dealing with the Oilers and Katz under the table for Katz to control a new West Harbour stadium. Katz would control the new stadium as part of the NHL deal and the TiCats would be peeons in the process catering to the whims of Katz:

At least now Hamilton and Fred is forced to invest in the area around THF, an area that Fred couldn't care less about in Hamilton as Mayor, IMHO.

Forgot to mention that Fred was unable as part of this process to obtain an NHL team for Hamilton. :wink:

Only you Earl could take a feel good interview with Bob Young in which he takes great pride in his Hamilton roots and its blue collar core and turn it into an unfair criticism denigrating a blue collar residential area of the city by calling it 'drug infested'. Shameful Earl - absolutely shameful.

Is there a rough stretch of Barton Street a couple of blocks away that the city is working to make improvements with - yes - just like some areas a couple of blocks away from some of the priciest condos in Toronto that have similar issues - but nobody would say the condos were built in a drug infested neighbourhood.

Why don't you move from Hamilton Earl. You seem to hate the place.

Your revisionism, like all True Believers, continues to amuse, but you fail to mention how little Bob Young was putting into the stadium project and yet he wanted to be the tail that wagged the dog. The city was putting in the lions share that would transform a 10,000 stadium into a CFL stadium and it wanted it as the crown jewel of a waterfront redevelopment that would also have been close to the downtown area. It would have benefited all Hamiltonians, not just Bob Young and his army of Yes Men. But no, Young had to have tantrum and threaten to move the Cats, it he didn't get his way. He has been a really incompetent owner, made proof by the decade of crappy teams we had to endure, and it showed how he handled the stadium issue. He could have had a beautiful stadium in a beautiful location close to transportation hubs, but no, he ended with an average stadium in a lousy location, all on the taxpayers dime. His actions created a lot of animosity with a lot of citizens Hamilton, and it hasn't come close to healing yet. Don't be blaming Fred Eisenberger about any of this, he's gone the extra mile for the city and the stadium, and probably cares more than Bob Young and you True Believers ever do.

I know the stadium location debate has been hashed to death on Ti-Cats board - but I am glad we did not end up with a stadium at West Harbour. Yes it would have been pretty next to the West Harbour but I much prefer the mixed use developments that are planned for the area now next to the beautiful Bayfront Park and Trail. Those plans are better for the city than a stadium with a significant sized footprint sitting their empty a block from the GO Station for months each year.

And THF might not have a pretty roof-like structure and the location without doubt is not ideal but it is far from just an average stadium. The sight lines, size and comfort of the seats, the patios and huge video board with superior club and suite amenities make it much better than just an average stadium.

For those who don't know the geography of Hamilton too well - the West Harbour location is just a few blocks from where I live just northwest of the downtown core. Tim Hortons Field is in a more residential area just east of downtown.

Here the view of the West Harbour area from the roof of my building looking north. A stadium would have been built to the area just to the right of this picture.

https://scontent-lga1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/11223900_10205348227118434_421316259049036132_n.jpg?oh=24bdd5848fa192ba812ca0b1918ea3f6&oe=5619A9D3

And here a view of Tim Horton's Field from my balcony

https://scontent-lga1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11013379_10205316017393211_1972067130529217787_n.jpg?oh=5a1731cd73fae5654ccc249d71fece77&oe=565680F3

And here not zoomed showing the current location in relation to downtown. (THF with lights on in this shot off my balcony

https://scontent-lga1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/10521913_10205335898930237_6043674364880093617_n.jpg?oh=27e6d802e5e31ccee6da9a48866109e7&oe=5618CC4E

And the current location seems to be working just fine with the shuttle busses they have been running from the new West Harbour GO Station for the Pan Am soccer games each night over these last couple of weeks.

So I for one am glad Bob Young held his ground against a West Harbour location.

Travel, I have no personal knowledge of the Sherman Hub area as drug infested, I am only quoting someone who responded to an article in The Spec or CBC Hamilton (I looked but don't see the reply, I think it may have been removed - think it was this article where I read the reply http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/ ... -1.3157629 ) about the Pan Am Games legacy for the Sherman Hub saying they live in the area and see many drug users in the area. Not my words or knowledge. I personally think as Bob Young has said while not where the stadium should have gone, it is great nonetheless for Hamilton to have the new stadium at the THF site.

I usually park at Gage Park area for games when I have gone and love the walk from that area to the stadium and back seeing the Niagara Escarpment in the background and am very pleased to see the area undergoing some development with the new stadium even if it wouldn't have the investment as Braley says if it was at another location such as Confederation Park that would have made more financial sense. See:

City council shortsighted to reject park site: Braley - City council rejected on Monday Confederation Park as one of four proposed sites to build a stadium to host the 2015 Pan Am Games

[url=https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/2164923-city-council-shortsighted-to-reject-park-site-braley/]https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story ... te-braley/[/url]

Found the reply to the article by a poster with the monikor Irritated, here it is, a Hamilton Spectator article:

I just watched a video of CBc showing our Sherman Hub area and the 'legacy of the games' in the surrounding stadium area. There will be no legacy other than the Ti Cats and small community groups. That's what you get for building a stadium in a crack area. I live here, I can say that before I get attacked.

[url=http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5740579-pan-ham-low-to-mid-grade-pan-am-fever/]http://www.thespec.com/news-story/57405 ... -am-fever/[/url]

Talk about a defeatist attitude. Generalizes calling an entire neighbourhood that he lives in a 'crack area' - which is not true for the bulk of the area - and seems to think it should be left that way forever rather than invest in the area to strive to improve things? How dumb is that! And you are using that as your source Earl???

I lived for 15 years a block from Regent Park in Toronto. The first ten - it was an awful area that I avoided walking through. But the last five it improved dramatically and now it is one of the most in demand neighbourhoods close to downtown Toronto with new community centrea, pool, parks, condos, banks, grocery stores etc.

If everybody in Toronto had the same attitude as that person - Regent Park would still be a hell hole.

I had a girlfriend who lived in regent park in early 70's. Didn't seem so bad back then, just a little on the poor side.

I drove through the the Regent Park area a couple of weeks ago, after not passing through for a couple of years.

WOW!
I was shocked that the city planners and administrators and engineers could transform such a run-down place into what I saw as a leading edge revamped community.
If Hamilton can do that in the area near THF, it would make such a huge positive impact.

I'll be at the Pan Am soccer match on Sunday for my first visit to THF. I'm very interested to see how it is compared to Ivor Wynne.

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Talk about a defeatist attitude. Generalizes calling an entire neighbourhood that he lives in a 'crack area' - which is not true for the bulk of the area - and seems to think it should be left that way forever rather than invest in the area to strive to improve things? How dumb is that! And you are using that as your source Earl???
Agree Travel and nice to see an area like Regent Park on the rebound. I'm not familiar with Regent Park but shows what can be done as you guys mention. With enough political will and with the involvement of future thinking business leaders like Bob Young, the Sherman Hub area in Hamilton will also improve as such over the years. Here's hoping.

Also I think it's accurate to say that drugs are in most every area of a city, it's just that in more affluent areas it's not as overt as in areas not as affluent.

The problem with improving the stadium area, is that it is not easy to do. If I may elaborate.

The overwhelming majority of the area is low to medium density housing. This means, two floor houses, single family dwellings. A bit cozy as far as property size but still fundamentally low density housing. There is the occasional 3 story, large house that has been split into a couple units, or some 5 floor apartments for medium density but for the most part, the area is an old, 60's era, suburb, lacking the architectural flair of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the core and the larger, more modern, (and extremely low density) bungalows and two floors of the mountain. Really, the worst of both the Urban and Suburban environment.

The area isn't quite dense enough to support a high volume of walk-to corner stores and restaurants, or setup stylish villages/areas where the Urban crowd wants to be. Ottawa St is the best effort in the area, and while it is nice, it's far far weaker then say James St N, Hess, Locke or Augusta. One needs only walk down Barton or King and count the boarded up three floor boxes to see this is true, and without a car to drive to Centre Mall or the core, you're options for groceries is limited.

Conversely, the small property sizes limit suburban interest. Barley a lawn and often not even room for a car does these houses no favors. You're also far removed from the high traffic, easy parking stored of Upper James (once again Centre Mall is the only nearby place, and it's at the outskirts of the area). There is barely a strip mall in sight in this area! Never mind that many houses in the area are still on Knob and Tube, and still have plenty of defects leftover from the time in Hamilton, where if you owned a truck, you could be a contractor. Heck, some are still on lead pipes! Why spend 150,000 buying a small house, then another 50,000 fixing it, when I can get onto the mountain for 275,000?

This has caused the houses in this area to boast some of the lowest property values in the city, which attracts a certain type of individual. Not young artists from Toronto, as the Condo's in the core are where many of them are heading. No, it's low income, often disabled, often struggling to meet ends meet couples and families, or sometimes outright criminal individuals.

So what is the fix? Well, you aren't ever going to make the area into a mountain suburb. The properties are too small to push for better auto infrastructure with limited street sizes and there is simply nowhere you can just start dropping large parking lot malls, strip malls and restaurants that have large swaths of parking without massive housing exoduses. It's not like, say the Stoney Creek mountain where you have no issue buying up a large farm tract to make into housing, or a power centre. Your only option is to start expropriating property and building up the density needed for the area that make local shops viable. You need to start finding those 1-3 floor boarded up boxes, pitching out whatever absentee landlord or speculator that is squatting on the property and saying "Hey, you build me a 5+ story building, we'll give you a tax break. If you got to take a wrecking ball so be it, but better the break if you don't"

But I digress, I really hope Bob gets a Grey Cup as Caretaker and I really hope that when it does come time for him to sell the team, there is a list of passionate buyers looking to do so (and hope to god not MLSE!)

Excellent read Hammer. I take from what you are saying though is that this area of the city where THF is does provide a lower cost option for those on more limited resources to own a fully detached 2 storey, often fully brick home, low maintenance with smaller yards than in a new burb, that is more or less halfway between Eastgate Mall and downtown which really is a good thing to have such an option. And will be on or close to the incoming LRT soon. And Centre Mall isn't too which provides some shopping conveniences such as a Walmart, Metro, large Shoppers, Canadian Tire for example.

Of course any lower cost option with fully detached homes is going to attract some undesirable sorts from a viewpoint of raising a family but welcome to the real world I guess. Even along, well near Centennial Parkway in Stoney Creek where the new GO station is going, there are some high rise apartments that have drug problems.

I'm a firm believer a city shouldn't simply concentrate everything like theatres and stadiums in just one area, Hamilton downtown and extended lower city out to Eastgate is an interesting urban project. Hamilton Health Sciences with the General site is quite bustling and has some real centres of excellence such as the neuro and cardiac and vascular program, Population Health Research Institute and the Regional Rehab Centre.

Was going to say, can't edit any longer, some of the newer homes on the moutain built 25-30 years ago weren't built on that great from what I understand and sooner or later are going to be having upgrade issues as well but the problem is, in some cases, they are not that close to a mall or grocery store. I think the LRT is going to be attractive to people in the THF area, as well the harbourfront with the nice trail out to Princess Point and McMaster isn't all that far away, wife and me drive from where we live to the harbourfront along Lawrence, past the stadium to Pier 4 and Bayfront Park and we are saying if we stay in hamilton maybe sell our home in Red Hill and move to around Gage Park, THF area, if we can't drive one day we can take the LRT all the way to McMaster and Princess Pt. There are druggies in Red HIll area, any area of a big city as I mentioned. Homes in the James st N and Bayfront Park area are overpriced IMHO and Locke St.

The problem here Earl, is saying "halfway" between Eastgate Square and Downtown is like saying "I'm halfway between Hamilton and Guelph". Sure there are advantages to being relatively close, but you are still in a spot with limited big commercial development (such as grocery stores, dept stores, theatres, malls, etc) and are completely car dependent to reach those areas. It's a suburban area, you are out in the country, and there is nothing with that life. However, the main advantage of that life is that you have plenty of room to park your car, raise your kids, expand your house if you want to, and you are out in the country. None of that is present in the stadium area.

LRT will mitigate this somewhat, as would other forms of public transit (like the Bike Share) but fundamentally it's still a low density suburb without most of the benefits you would normally get from living in a suburb with the only additional benefit of it being cheap. You aren't going to see small shops doing well without large swaths of parking or higher density and there is no place to build large shops. This is why many lament the lack of proper bars, restaurants and shops around the area in walking distance of the stadium.

Of course any lower cost option with fully detached homes is going to attract some undesirable sorts from a viewpoint of raising a family but welcome to the real world I guess. Even along, well near Centennial Parkway in Stoney Creek where the new GO station is going, there are some high rise apartments that have drug problems.
True, but generally areas with higher property values don't encounter these issues (because people with money typically don't need to fall into "undesirable" behavior) and higher density areas tend to attract buyers who want to turn properties around because lots of people walking around means lots of potential customers as well as a larger police presence. Generally though, not the rule. Drugs and Crime can happen anywhere but there is often a direct correlation to low property values and higher crime rates in an area.
I'm a firm believer a city shouldn't simply concentrate everything like theaters and stadiums in just one area, Hamilton downtown and extended lower city out to Eastgate is an interesting urban project. Hamilton Health Sciences with the General site is quite bustling and has some real centres of excellence such as the neuro and cardiac and vascular program, Population Health Research Institute and the Regional Rehab Centre.
That's fine, and not unreasonable in the slightest, but here is the problem. Where can you build in the area around the stadium? There aren't large parcels of unused land in the area. It's all packed tight low/mid density housing, or abandoned unsuccessful small commercial development that fails due to the lack of density in the area and lack of space to accommodate parking.

It's funny though, growing up in London, Ont near St. Joesephs Hospital, our neighbourhood was no where near a mall or many retail stores and grocery stores but with a family of 5 and one car and on the bus routes, it worked perfectly for our family and we never much thought about it. And my Dad taking us to London Knights games and Mustang football games and London Pontiacs Intercounty baseball games, being near bars and restaurants was a non-factor. It was all about taking the family out to a game and having a hot dog and fries and peanuts and soft drinks at the games.

I guess now it's more about bars and drinking and being "cool" for the non-family crowd. :?