Ticats say no to west-harbour stadium
Want 90-day freeze to look at other sites
[i]The Hamilton Tiger-Cats say that the west harbour site for a new football stadium will not work.
Ticats owner Bob Young told a private meeting of Tiger-Cats supporters this morning that the team could lose as much as $7 million a year if it were forced into the city-preferred west harbor option.
Bob Young's Letter: http://www.ticats.ca/article/caretaker- ... am-stadium
The Cats are asking the City of Hamilton for a 90-day moratorium on the stadium decision to look at other options.
After the meeting, Young explained there are at least three options that have not been full explored: One is the intersection of the QEW and the Red Hill Valley Parkway near Confederation Park; the second is “on the Hamilton side of Aldershot;? and the third is Chedoke Park, although Young acknowledged this site would be complicated because the land is under the protection of the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
Young said he considers the first to be the best of those option.
Outside the breakfast meeting, Young emphasized “failure is not an option? and said he plans to work closely with the city to find a successful resolution.
“David Braley (owner of the Argos and B.C. Lions) and I own these institutions that were in business for 100 years before we got involved, and we have a responsibility to make sure they’re still in business 100 years after we’ve been involved,? he said.
Hamilton is contributing $60 million for a $102-million, 15,000-seat track-and-field stadium, $11.4-million velodrome and the land they sit on for the 2015 Pan Am Games. The provincial and federal governments are chipping in almost $32 million each.
The Tiger-Cats and the private sector are being asked to come up with up to $50 million to create a 25,000- to 30,000-seat stadium for football after the Games.
Young said, “like any landlord, you’d better make sure your tenant is successful if you’re going to make your business successful.?
“I don’t know about you, I don’t know about Mr. Braley, but I sure don’t have $7 million a year to support the Tiger-Cats with.?
Young said the west harbour site is effectively landlocked.
It’s bordered by a residential neighbourhood that lacks sufficient roads to move fans in and out of football games and hemmed in by water, rail yards and the cliff at the High Level Bridge.
It also lacks visibility to make sponsorship feasible for the team and the city, he said.[url=http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/postedsports/archive/2010/05/06/tiger-cats-owner-blasts-city-of-hamilton-over-pan-am-games-stadium-plans.aspx]http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blog ... plans.aspx[/url]
by Mark Masters
[i]Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young is blasting the City of Hamilton for not working with his team to ensure a new stadium built for the 2015 Pan Am Games becomes a suitable future home for his Canadian Football League franchise.
In an open letter to Ticats fans, Young said city politicians are refusing to compromise regarding the location of the new stadium.
Young writes: "Simply put there has been no collaboration in Hamilton’s stadium project to date. The Tiger-Cats have pointed out many unresolved problems with the West Harbour location."
The City of Hamilton is contributing $60-million to build a 15,000 track and field stadium and other venues for the Pan Am Games. The provincial and federal governments are also making contributions.
The Ticats and the private sector are expected to come up with around $50-million to increase the stadium's capacity after the event.
Young contends that the current proposed location is in a part of the city that is hard to get to and has little available parking. The team currently plays its home games at Ivor Wynne Stadium, which was built in 1930.
"Whenever we try to point out any of these problems to the City our concerns are summarily rejected, with the claim that it won’t be any worse than Ivor Wynne, but Ivor Wynne is a drain on the City’s of Hamilton’s budget, and is the cause of the Tiger-Cats financial instability for more than 40 years," writes Young.
Young wrote that the current stadium location could result in a $7 million loss for his club per season.
The Ticats are asking the city to delay any final decision on the stadium location and look at other options.[/i]
Build it for football[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/unwritten-rules/build-it-for-football/article1558941/]http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/u ... le1558941/[/url]
[i]The sense in Hamilton is that they’ll screw this up somehow – that the stadium that was supposed to be built here for the 2015 Pan Am Games that nobody seems much interested in will never see the light of day because it’s an issue too big to be handled by a city council that always seems bereft of ideas.
Thursday, Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young flatly rejected a cock-eyed idea to wedge the stadium in the city’s West Harbour. Here’s The Spec’s website piece and here’s a design of the place with more background.
As usual, there are two sides to this argument. Young’s a great guy and god love him for bankrolling the Ti-Cats but there is no such thing as a private businessman without an agenda, so let’s just put that out there and be done with it. But civic politicians never cease to amaze me: they see waterfront and they think automatic success! Camden Yards! Picturesque views!
I used to spend a fair amount of time in a stadium that was built without any input at all from its future main tenant. A place that had so many bells and whistles it became unusable. A place that was like some goofy architectural and engineering acid trip. That was Olympic Stadium, and while I’m not equating this modest little pigskin paradise in our modest little burg with the Big Owe, I’d like to remind the people my tax dollars go to – yeah, I have a vested interest in this thing - that much like the Montreal Expos were ultimately done in by their concrete tomb there will be no second chances if Young tires of the nonsense. This will be the Ti-Cats Stadium. Nobody else's. If it doesn't work for them, give it to Burlington or Oakville or some other place.
This whole thing has been predictable from Day 1. Anybody who lives here and has gone down to the harbour had one simple question: how the hell do we get in and out. On bikes? Helicopters? Boat? What if there’s an evacuation necessary? Whatever ….
I’m not a big fan of hooking urban development onto a stadium to begin with because there are more than enough economics to show that a new stadium does not generate as much income for an area as sports owners and their amen lobby like to think. At best, there’s a redistribution of existing money. (And the fact of the matter is Baltimore’s Harbourfront revival owes more to its stunning, world-class, year-round aquarium than a now often-empty ballpark.)
But this is pretty simple. The stadium is about the Ti-Cats, not some B-list international event being held to soothe Toronto’s pain at never landing the really big show. That’s just an excuse to get government money (Oh come on, you all know that as well as I do!) It needs to be economical and accessible. It needs to be football-first. Hamilton’s already been screwed by its blind love affair with Jim Balsillie – who, while it was all good fun and yucks, had no real hope in hell of ever bringing an NHL team here. Build the stadium for football. Add all the other stuff later. Because David Braley already owns one-quarter of the CFL. Tough to ask him to make it three of eight, no?[/i]