Bye, Bye Ivor Wynne and other old stadiums

This is a very interesting article and brings up a lot of harsh realities about the fans of today:

Bye-bye Ivor Wynne

CFL commissioner admits the future lies in getting rid of tumbledown parks so fans can enjoy a more comfortable experience


Globe and Mail
Wednesday, Sep. 08, 2010

There was a nostalgia fest Monday about the Labour Day experience at ancient Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton. The memories of the bandbox field. The decrepit stands, the cramped dressing rooms, the hardscrabble neighbourhood that will be history in a few short years. Some voiced the sentiment that the Tiger Cats’ new stadium - if there is to be a new stadium in Hamilton - should replicate the gritty 1950s ambience of ol’ I Never Wynne.

For them, tough news from a report by the Consumer Electronics Association this year that says 35 per cent of American fans now prefer watching football on a high-definition television than attend in person. (The numbers hare higher when 3D is added to the question.) Reasons for choosing Hi-Def in the den over low comedy at the park include cost, time expenditure, convenience, improvements in TV technology and the je ne sais quoi of a fellow traveller puking on your shoes while asking your girlfriend to flash what her momma gave her.

Click this link to read the rest:

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This part here has to scare the hell out of CFL owners........ :o

"a report by the Consumer Electronics Association this year that says 35 per cent of American fans now prefer watching football on a high-definition television than attend in person. (The numbers hare higher when 3D is added to the question."

Maybe this helps explain why the Ticats can not go to the West Harbour and need to market to a more regional audience and make it easy to get to a game (driveway to driveway).......and take advantage of high visibility.

People, especially the newer, younger, future fans are pampered with conveniences and technology compared to the fans of, let's say, the 50's, 60's, 70's for example it or not.

SO TRUE! :thup: That is why it is so important to build the CFL comradarie through friendly fan banter and create a great "Game Day Experience". The a$$-holes that abused the visiting Argo fans should bear that in mind! :wink:

Great read deer. This one by a former CFL player Jan Carinci goes along with it:

CFL stadiums have a lot of character

Imagine being the starting quarterback for the BC Lions standing on the roof of BC Place Stadium in full gear pretending you're throwing a pass to a suburb of Vancouver.
Caption reads: "Hey Burnaby, catch this."
That was one component of the marketing campaign for the BC Lions in 1991, the year I retired from the CFL and joined the team responsible for putting bums in seats at BC Place.
Drag the Lions' QB and a photographer up through a narrow manhole that led to the ring beam of BC Place and from there, pull on ropes to climb to the centre of the roof.
Once everyone got comfortable knowing the Teflon could support us we'd all jump up and down like kids on the biggest trampoline ever.

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Newer, more confortable, higher revenue producing stadiums can't come soon enough for the CFL. For far too long, the League has played in outdated, poorly designed, poorly maintained facilities. That is yet another reason the League fell from grace in the latter part of the the previous century. Thank goodness there are signs that things finally seem to be changing.

I laugh whenever a Bruce Dowbiggin read is directed toward me every now and then in this day and age. He's a pompous, CBC Toronto reject from the "90's....wait part of that might be a good thing. He finally landed a job in Calgary where everyone get's hired and has continued to spew his drivel for shock value. He refers to the "ancient Ivor Wynne Stadium" in his article, but doesn't realize that half the stadium was built in 1970. Over half of McMahon Stadium in Calgary is older than that. The other half of Ivor Wynner Stadium was constructed in 1958. This 80 year old stadium fallacy perpetuated by Scott Mitchell, Brunt and now TSN shows their ignorance of facts. Dowbiggin refers to the sold out crowd at last Monday's Labour Day game as a "nostalgia fest" that includes fans' memories of the "cramped dressing rooms".... I wonder how many fans had that in mind as their reason for attending. Maybe Bruce thinks a little too much about the showers. He quotes the American "Consumer Electronics Association" as the reason why CFL fans' attendance may drop because 35 per cent of American fans prefer watching football on their high definition TV screens instead of attending the games. Maybe it's because they can't actually see the game in NFL Place, Commonwealth, Skydome, Olympic Stadium. You wonder why McGill is such a great success? It's actually some 90 years old with absolutely no parking at all. Big parking lots, highway traffic jams, and "biggie size me" seats aren't goint to bring fans to new stadiums for many years to come. (Hmmm, high definition TV you say?)
As consistent with Dobbiggin, he doesn't actually make a point at all, but likes to include little red herrings along with the CFL's Cohon.
Ivor Wynne Stadium and the Tiger-Cats have experienced their best average attendance through the 2000's then they did in the 70's, 80.s and 90's. This year's average is 24,000 plus. With a $20 million investment to make Ivor Wynne Stadium structurally sound according to the 2007 Engineering Reports for the next 45 years plus....this sounds more than about right to me. Of course nobody takes the time to actually read the whole report..... ... f.....Even our Concillors along with Public Works Manager Chris Murray couldn't answer the question the very simple question raised at last weeks "emergency meeting" as to how much money the Tiger-Cats generate for the City of Hamilton at last weeks emergency meeting. We used to get threats from the owners that the break even point was 21,000 average attendance.....what happened?
Bruce... are you still drinking the same kool-aid that you used to smuggle into the CBC.

Give your head a shake - The new stadium is going to be used exclusively by the Tiger Cats - the new stadium will provide many more events away from a designated residential area. Just imagine, the city as stupid as they have been and will continue to be would be absolutely and incredibly stupid to refurbish IWS. The stadium is old - the residents of Hamilton deserve much more than a sitting in no more than an expanded high school stadium. Think big, proper sets instead of a splinter in your keaster. IWS is a grand old lady that needs to be retired. The likes of that idiot Sam Merulla wanting to upgrade the stadium in an area where you can not hold concerts or other large events pretty well sums up why Hamilton is the way it is. Morons and incompetents city council who are only looking for a vote for $80,000.00 a year. What an absolute disgrace.

With the 5-10 year City of Hamilton plan the EM site would have been surrounded by residential homes…yes, all within close ear shot. There goes the Rush and Pink Floyd concerts. Not sure if you’ve been to Longwood and Aberdeen in the last 10 years, but there is quite the subdivision built up west of the Chedoke Golf Course not the mention the vast established area of residents just east of the Aberdeen and Longwood site, many of which are in as close of ear shot as many neighbours would be around Ivor Wynne. Stay tuned!

I don't think go. Chedoke Golf Course is the closest people will come to the stadium. Chedoke Avenue and several homes on Aberdeen are the closet to the proposed stadium. IWS is sitting IN a residential area. Chedole Golf Course and the 403 - MIP will be a perfect buffer for the noise.

"Not sure if you've been to Longwood and Aberdeen in the last 10 years". Now I know you haven't. There is quite the subdivision built up west of the Chedoke Golf Course not the mention the vast established area of residents just east of the Aberdeen and Longwood site, many of which are in as close of ear shot as many neighbours would be around Ivor Wynne. There goes the Rush and Pink Floyd concerts. Don't rely on the City of Hamilton's Councillors/Mayor or the Bob Mitchell/Scott Young two headed monster to lead you to the "promised land". Check out the increasing attendance stats at Ivor Wynne Stadium over the last 40 years instead. 21,000 average attendance to break even, but all of a sudden Bob is $7 million in debt. How could that be with all the great management decisions he made during the consecutive 4-17 (win/loss) seasons he directed over the years?

To be fair the only owner that ever said that was Grant, and what happened was a new owner came in that has more staff on front desk reception than Grant had in the organization. More staff, more marketing (any marketing), increased cap, increased wages, a decent web presence etc....
It's not much of a stretch to suggest the break even point could be higher than Grants days.

I never realised how much they're spending out in BC for that retractable roof and renovations at BC Place.

It's more than what the Winnipeg stadium will cost, and more than what our proposed stadium will cost.

According to wikipedia

On January 9, 2009, the British Columbia government approved the business case for a $365-million upgrade of BC Place, which will include a retractable roof estimated at about $200 million. The $365 million cost includes $65 million in interior improvements already underway, a $43-million seismic upgrade, the roof project, plumbing, electrical and infrastructure improvements and a contingency fund. BC Pavilion Corporation chair David Podmore said the retractable roof probably will not be finished until the summer of 2011.[15]

If Maple Leaf Gardens and the Forum had to be retired, so can IWS. It is time to move with the times if it can be done.

What they are doing though r4 with BC Place is amazing and the cost of keeping the marshmellow airborne was very high year to year. This should really make the stadium a place people want to be with a retractable roof that looks cool with ability to lower the ceiling with it and much much cheaper than a new facility.

Winnipeg manages to get business and all levels of government working together to get a stadium, without hosting any major event, like the Pan Am games.

Saskatchewan is looking to do the same. link

Again, no need to host a major event, the stadium is primarily for the Riders.

But in Hamilton, the only way a stadium gets built is if there is some excuse, like the Pan Am games.

Why is that?

Who knows, maybe because Hamilton is so focused on getting an NHL team and renovating Copps before it becomes impossible to do it is losing site of other gems under their nose. But with the Sabres with a fairly new facility and MLSE, well you know what I'm going to say.


Because Hamilton is poor, and its citizen's cannot afford to sustain a stadium through tickets prices. Quite simple really.

Is Regina rich? How rich is Winnipeg? Is Ontario poor?

I'm talking about Hamilton, it has some of the highest levels of people on social assistance programs in the country (in fact possibly the highest? not sure...)

If some one can barely afford the necessities of life how can they afford to purchase tickets to a game which would have to be more expensive then they are now to support the stadium if there was no donations from the government for the pan am games.

That's just it Brad, all three levels of government are donating (as you call it) money for the Winnipeg stadium, WITHOUT there being a PAN AM games.

And that is exactly what is being attempted in Saskatchewan, all levels of government contributing and no PAN AM games.

Just build a stadium.

Since half of Ivor Wynne Stadium was entirely rebuilt from the ground up just 12 years before Copps Colliseum started construction and since Ivor Ivor Wynne will be structurally sound for another 45 plus years with a $20 million upgrade on the south stands, the prudent and fiscally responsible thing would be to renovate it. Oops, we need track and field events, and a few concerts a year before the residents of Aberdeen and Longwood put a stop to it....oops we need 3,000 parking spots too. Hey, who's dime is vast majority of all of this on btw?