Cat's Say No to West Harbour

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/764349

I saw that. Oh well. Guess I'll have to wait and see if season tickets are a viable option for me based on my work schedule and the location of the stadium. I guess the team DOES have a preference of where the stadium goes...

This is exactly what we have known for months.

The Cats hate the West Harbour front. Period.

It will be interesting to see what stance the city will take now. I think the fireworks are about to start.

Wow, west harbourfront is worse than I had thought from the Cats' analysis. Although it doesn't surprise me one bit actually when you think about it.

I really just hope that all sides check their ego's on this -- if that's even a factor, I'm not sure it is -- and do what's best for all parties.

Personally, I can't for the life of me see how a west-harbour location is less appealing than the Red Hill/ QE site -- but, am interested in hearing the details. I'm in that area at least twice a week, tonight actually, so I'll have to keep my eyes open to see what I must be missing.

It's not like Bob Young and Scott Mitchell haven't been giving gentle hints the past few months as to what the decision would be. The stubbornness of Mayor Fred and some on council sadly got in the way. Young is running a business and needs to make sound business decisions based on reality, unlike the Mayor and council who are spending public money and are not qualified in the least to run a sports franchise.

The West Harbour site has and always will be a disaster in the making and I submit that the Mayor and Council had best wake up to that facts before the Pan Am games are relocated to another community as I have been predicting will happen if they don't get their heads out of their butts. The venue committee will re-locate the stadium in a heartbeat as David Braley has warned. The clock is ticking.

I say it would be a wise and prudent move to work with the Tiger-Cats and their sponsors and find the best location for all involved and forget about Rheem forever........before it's too late.

Wonderful... I'm curious what the mayor says. I have a bad feeling about this.... I hope the City realizes the Ticats point of view and can work together. But Hamilton is famous for doing the exact opposite.

We'll find out soon if the Mayor actually really cares about the health of the Tiger-Cats in the Hamilton area soon enough. If he doesn't show that he really cares, the Cats are gonzo from here.

Let's not forget that Mayor Fred is supposed to be representing the interests of the community. Quite often, what's good for business conflicts with what's good for the community. (See "Hamilton industrial region" for reference). Best case scenario is that they find a solution that works for both.

City council has made it very clear, to me anyway, that concentrated growth in and around downtown Hamilton is a key agenda. Would they be doing their jobs if they simple threw up their hands months ago and agreed to fund a stadium wherever the Ticats wanted?? I don't think so. Perhaps that will be the solution, but as a voter, I'd be pretty irritated if, without much resistance the public funds set aside for a stadium ended up acheiving 1 of 3 public objectives. And, if provincial financing is dependent on an urban renewal/ revitalization strategy, then the city is pretty handcuffed to locations that satisfy those requirements.

Personally, I think your original suggestion a location near the Linc and Red Hill seems to make more sense than any of the 3 locations that have been suggested in this article. Accessibility is one thing, shouldn't it still be a suitable, showcase-style destination? That's what I'm failing to see with the competing sites.

I just don't want to look back on this decision 10 years from now, scratching our heads trying to figure out why we were the only municipality in North America to voluntarily opt to drop a stadium in a non-civic central location.

(Note: Here's my personal accessibility report for the two locations based on google -- not that I think it really biases my opinion:

  • West Harbour: Car - 24 mins, Public Transit - 1h 4 mins
  • Confederation Park: Car - 29 mins, Public Transit - 2h 7mins)

There is a reason very smart men like Bob Young and David Braley, say the Red Hill/QEW area, near Confederation Park, could work well. Think about it, it's not rocket science nor a trick question.

Yes, I always thought the Red Hill and the Linc is the best location due to the visibility, easy access for so many fans from Hamilton and surrounding municipalities and the current growth explosion up there......however, if it's not an option, I started paying attention to the other sites the Ticats talked about and examined those ideas.It was always clear to me that the Ticats had no interest in the Rheem location and for the life of me, I can't figure out why the City has been so stubborn on this and wasting everyone's time and money chasing a ridiculous idea that is rife with problems.....all the while insulting and dimissing it's main tenant. It's spectacularly bizzare.

Of course, the city can always build a 15,000 seater for a 2 week event and explain to tax payers and north end residents why it sits empty.

I definitely agree with that -- and I agree that they are smart people.

But, business owners are, inherently, self-interested. Hence their success. As one of the taxpayers who is going to be paying 66% of the price tag, I'd like to ensure that the West Harbour -- which, for arguments sake, had many community building benefits -- is being dumped because it's completely unworkable, not because a site that has little in the way of community benefit is slightly more lucrative to the Ticats.

See what I mean?

Obviously, if the primary tenant can't make a case for long-term success/ survival, than there is a problem. That's fine. And, if it's determined that the hurdles cannot be overcome at that site, cool. From what I've read, the land-locked issue alludes to lack of ability to capitalize on adjacent commercial opportunities. And to me, those types of opportunities are going to be far more possible in the centre of the city versus under the shadows of smoke stacks.

Again, I can only look at what other cities are doing when locating their new stadiums. And, this plan certainly seems to contradict much of that thinking. If a case can be made that shows this is innovative and progressive planning, fine. I'm just not seeing that yet.

I also thought that maybe the Linc and Red Hill area would be good but I'm sure it doesn't get the traffic volume at the other end of the Red Hill and I'm sure there are other reasons we aren't aware of why that site doesn't seem an option.

slo, soon enough we will see the Tiger-Cats plan in more detail which will help clarify their position. Also I think the benefits to the community from a non Harbourfront site are there but have been supppresed by the City for whatever reasons.

Well, it's probably spectacularly tied to government infrastructure and remediation funding. If the Cats were footing the bill for the whole $150m, then they could build the stadium on the moon if they felt like it. So, city stubbornness is likely because it's trying to make the stadium cover off a few more objectives than satisfying a handful of business partners 10 days a year.

As a huge Ticat fan, I still can't take opposition to the city's efforts in this regard.

There's also this from Mr. Young himself,

[url=http://ticats.ca/article/caretaker-s-update-pan-am-stadium]http://ticats.ca/article/caretaker-s-up ... am-stadium[/url]

It's not rocket science.......if you leave the Pan-Am stadium and velodrome OUT of the equation.
The city is committed to downtown re-development....will they throw all that overboard and let Bob Young decide where the stadium should be located? I don't see it. But....who knows?

The Caretaker would have been better off going it alone in the first place......his suggestion of Aldershot last fall was a good one for the Cats. But not for the city which needs a showcase location downtown for re-development.
This Pan-Am stadium could turn out to be a curse rather than a blessing.
City council....it's your move now.

It would make a lot of sense to have it in the Aldershot area and I understand why Bob would prefer that area. Just think of the potential for access to the site from Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton.

It is the most central of all the sites, and when I mean Central I mean Central for Southern Ontario where you want to draw your fans from and your future fan base. It's time to think about the future when the Argos are gone and the NFL is in TO

Really good read! Man, I like that Bob Young!

Alan:
We have NOT known for months that the Cats hate the West Harbour. All Scott Mitchell has ever said is that they have some concerns and are still looking at it. Until now.
But you are right about the fireworks. The Pan-Am Committee will have to get involved for sure.
There may not be enough time to re-vamp all the Rheem site plans. The City could very easily lose the stadium unless the city insists it needs it for re-development...with or without the Cats.

Well, in my opinion, that would be the case study in the course entitled "How to kill a 130 year old brand in just one off-season."

I'd be mighty wary of an uprooting like that.