Burlington Soccer Stadium in Trouble

The Hamilton Spectator BURLINGTON (Jun 2, 2010)

Hamilton wants its Pan Am stadium built near the harbourfront. Burlington wants theirs on the escarpment.

Both are running into rough political terrain.

While the Tiger-Cats want to block the 15,000-seat west harbourfront stadium, Burlington is running into stiff defence from the Niagara Escarpment Commission, which has rejected a 10,000-seat soccer stadium at the southeast corner of Kerns Road and Dundas Street, property within its jurisdiction.

Burlington, which stands to receive nearly $3 million in senior government funding for its stadium, will ask the NEC to change its mind on June 17. Burlington still wants the stadium at New City Park but will pitch a smaller 5,000- seat venue.

Burlington is in the process of completing New City Park, which has NEC approval for soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a 1,500-seat soccer stadium and even a pavilion.

Burlington has been selected to host seven preliminary round soccer contests as part of the 2015 Pan Am Games. In addition, the park would host blind and disabled soccer events as part of the following Parapan games.

Councillor John Taylor said the city will likely lose the soccer games and the stadium cash to Hamilton if the NEC turns it down again on June 17.

"I would hate to think of the (soccer) games going to Hamilton," he said, adding McMaster's Ron Joyce Stadium would likely host the events if the Burlington site fails to win support.

The Burlington gambit could be a long shot. NEC general manager Ken Whitbread said two-thirds of the 17-member board would have to vote in favour of reconsideration first. That only happens about four times a year.

Burlington's Allan Magi, executive director corporate strategic initiatives, said in a report that New City Park is the "only viable site" for the event.

Magi said "new information" has come forward that is expected to "minimize the concerns" raised previously by the NEC.

It includes a stadium reduction, banning cars from the site in favour of shuttle buses, blocking access to naturalization areas of the park and consultation with area residents on transportation issues affecting the area.

Should the NEC hold firm, Burlington's only option will be to appeal the issue to the Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey.

This could certainly be good for Hamilton if we did end up hosting these soccer games. That and an additional 3 million in funding for the stadium/improvements to Mac certainly would be a bonus for Hamilton. This also I think, stresses that the Chedoke Park site is fairly unlikely as well.

I was shocked that Burlington City Council caved so easily when faced with opposition to the Sherwood Forest Park plan. I live very close to the Park, although my property does not back onto it. I thought a permanent 1,500 seat stadium was fine, so long as it included a connection of the park to Harvester Rd and therefore Burloak Drive. There would be a large number of temporary seats during the games, but in my mind that would just be a 2-week nuisance. In exchange Burlington would get a world class soccer excellence facility.

Anyway, there's probably no way they can go back to that option, nor does it appear their plan B is going to pan out (no pun intended). I wonder what's next?


what is going on up there ??? all of a sudden southern ontario has turned unfriendly towards sports …

But no problem if it's a road or highway going through green areas, these end up getting approval, but not a stadium that isn't even very big and is a place for people to play on green grass. This world baffles me to no end. :?

Yeah it's like that all over the region here. Anything 'environmentally sensitive' is pretty much a sacred cow. And to make it more fun they've pretty much labeled any patch of grass with over 3 trees and a bush with that designation. I'm all for urban green space and protecting what we have left but sometimes I think they've gone overboard. We've been looking for a suitable spot to create a off-leash dog park and pretty much any spot in the GHA is either 'environmentally sensitive' or has other criteria that eliminates it. If its not under jurisdiction of the RBG then its the NEC or the HCA. Too much bloody red tape.

Well, I hate to say it, but given the history of environmental disasters/areas of concern in the Hamilton area, I don't hold anyone against wanting to overly protect any environmental area in the area. I mean, after the various chemical spills & waste leakages into Cootes, the Harbour and the Red Hill Creek (before it was paved over and rebuilt) plus the smog of the traffic and steel plants, I can't really blame these organizations for scrutinizing any potential environmental issue and keeping the area on a tight leash. Burlington though, I would have thought they would have given then a bit of slack. Either way, if they lose it, more money for us for the Pan-Am Stadium.

Here, here. Totally agree.
There seems to be enough derelict properties -- even in Burlington -- and/or neutral space (such as the power grid areas near King Road and the highway) that there really shouldn't be much need for encroaching on any area even remotely environmentally sensitive.

Support for the Burlington Stadium should be moved down the road to Hamilton and just build a 30,000 seat Pan-Am Soccer/CFL Tiger-Cat stadium on the grounds of Confederation Park which is by far the best choice for any stadium to be built, great access to the QEW highway all-points, bus access, potential Go bus extension and from Via Rail, from train stations in Hamilton and Burlington, the GTA and Niagara Region and right on Lake Ontario what a great visual spot for all advertising sponsors. As far as this long time Ti-Cat fan is concerned there really is only one spot for a Stadium in Hamilton and Burlington and that is Confederation Park in Hamilton. GO CATS GO!!!!!

Is this a Hamilton stadium location thread now? Ok, well let me see... :wink:

I have Better Feeling Burlington will find a A way to get thing back on Track
Then Hamilton ever well.
You idea is a good Idea if Burlington Fails as well
it won't happen.
Hamilton city Officials have there head suck in the Stand like an Ostrich

Part of the job description of the facilitator: to be able to pull an ostrich head out of the sand seamlessly and without hurting anyone in the process. :slight_smile:

Personally I prefer the odds of Hamilton coming to an arrangement with the TigerCats over Burlington coming to an arrangement with the NEC. First case is still a long shot, the second is simply impossible to imagine