Clearing up the subsidy myth and other stadium facts

To set the record straight, the Ticats do not receive any subsidy (Not one red penny) from the City of Hamilton. What has been written or perceived by some comments is not accurate. We have a mutually beneficial and acceptable agreement on the stadium that allows the Ticats to rent the stadium for a modest fee while continuing to invest in infrastructure and amenities for our fans. The Arcelor Mittal scoreboard, the new merchandise kiosks, the rotational signage, improvements to the box office, suites and tents, renovations to the dressing room and therapy center-- these are just some of the stadium improvements that the Ticats and Bob Young specifically have paid for themselves in exchange for a favorable lease. During the Bob Young ownership era, the Ticats have spent more than 4 million dollars on stadium improvements, and more than an additional 3 million dollars to own a building that the Ticats operate from because of the lack of suitable office space at Ivor Wynne.

With more than 7 million dollars invested (and counting), it can be said that Bob Young and the Ticats have been great partners with the City of Hamilton in maintaining Ivor Wynne as a place for our fans and their families to enjoy watching Ticats football.

The city owns and operates the stadium that serves the community. It does operate at a deficit but you can be assured that not one penny is "given" to the Ticats.

Shawn Burke
Director of Community Relations and Communications
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club

Thanks Sean for this info. Of course you realize The Speculator will continue to publish letters from the "knowledgeable" citizen out there that will "prove" to the contrary. :wink:

Thanks Shawn for clearing that up.

One would have to live under a rock to not know the contribution that Bob Young has made to our community through his/our Hamilton Tiger Cats.

That said those at City Hall who fling crap in the media need to step back and realize their roll. Which is in my opinion to protect the image of the City and the quality of the lives of its citizens.

Private citizen Bob Young has done that for Hamilton, I cant say the same of our elected officials.

I remember noticing how much cleaner Ivor wynne became the first year that Bob took over,it really started to show pride of ownership.
What ever happens with the new stadium I will continue to support Mr.Young and hope that he does the same with Tiger Cats.

After watching the Hamilton Council meeting tonight on Cable 14 and almost spitting nails at the outright lies and false information being spewed by one councilor in particular about this very subject, I am very pleased to see this thread by Mr. Burke.

I personally can attest to a lot of what he is saying as I was part of the initial "team" of various trades which took approx. four months of solid work, sometimes 10 hours a day, to bring the Tiger-Cats and Ivor Wynne Stadium out of the dark ages as far as infrastructure and technology.......this included work from many trades in the coaches offices, players lounges, the scoreboard, all the scoreboard technology, computer systems, wireless systems, electricians, carpenters, general contractors, re-building of private suites, new practice field offices, locker room improvements, weight room improvements, ticket office improvements............and this is just some of the stuff I was either involved in directly or witnessed with my own eyes.....there is a billion other things that also went into the Ticats Re-Build project in Year one of the Bob Young regime that I can't even begin to list.

And that was just the first year........tons of this stuff is ongoing and upgraded each year......

Now here's my point.......I never once had to go to the City for approval or permission to proceed........because the Tiger-Cats were who I contracted direct bosses were a combination of Dave Sauve, Greg Marshall, Christopher Dean, Ron Lancaster, Ticats office employees who were responsible for the handling my particular "trade"....and so on

Not once did I ever receive a dime from the city and all my cheques were out of the Tiger-Cats bank accounts......with no copy of any invoice required to be sent to the City of Hamilton..........why?...because the Tiger-Cats paid for all of this stuff out of their own pockets......not one dime came from the city........and I have copies of all the cheques to prove it.

I can't testify for other contractors but I can say how it worked with me......and I can therefore assume it worked the same with others.....The Tiger-Cats paid the freight....

So it really peed me off when I saw these morons at council spouting off about stuff they know very little about and inferring the Tiger-Cats somehow have been zooming the public purse...........that is such an incredible fabrication that it defies belief.

Had to get that off my chest because it's been bugging me when reading this nonsense in the papers lately.

And no, I was not asked to post this account of my experiences by anybody.....


Oskee Wee Wee !

I've been really bothered by the whole "the Tiger-Cats are subsidized by the city to the tune of 1.3 million" line. Fred started it right after Bob said the West Harbor wasn't feasible, and people have been pushing that crap ever since.

PLEASE Tiger-Cats, write an op-ed to the spectator making the financial case for the CITY to keep the tiger-cats. I.E. that the 1.3 million operating deficit of Ivor Wynne is worth it to the community at large. I think you can largely make this argument with numbers, you can talk about the economic activity generated by the tiger-cats. You can give estimates on how much tax dollars the city generates FROM this economic activity. I would be surprised if it did not approach 1.3 million. You could bring up the fact that 1.3 million for the national tv exposure is great advertising dollars. You can talk about the community building aspect of owning a team. You can talk abut the fact that without the tiger-cats, Hamilton would not be getting a stadium partially funded by federal and provincial dollars period.

Fight back Tiger-Cats!! At least against the misinformation. Don't go mouthing off to the city and stir up trouble like us peanut gallery posters, but just fight back against the misinformation. Please!

I'll make one more point about this because I am in a unique position to be able to speak directly to Mr. Burke stated, the Ticats spent about $7 million so far just getting the franchise and infrastructure up to normal operating standards.

And a portion of that went to local contractors like me who in turn spent cash out on local suppliers of all kinds.......and even down to local restaurants near Head Office and Ivor Wynne......(personally, I became a DeRosa Bakery/Italian Restaurant addict starting in 2004)

so, my point is, eventually all that money trickles down to benefit the local economy.......Bob's $ 7 million!......not the taxpayers!

And how about all the charitable work the Ticats do ?????......on their own dime........not the taxpayers!

And how about all the interns who get a free education from the Ticats in their quest for a career in sports management......?

These councilors know nothing of what they speak.......and I'm so happy the Ticats finally spoke up and set them straight

And for the record, we, the taxpayers, are "subsidizing" the salaries of the politicians and everyone else employed by the city. I wonder if they will acknowledge that? And I wonder exactly if we get a good return on our investment at times with some of these clowns.

Acknowledging the intangibles the cats bring to the city in exposure. Compare that to what Dofasco, US Steel, McMaster University, the new Canada bread coming in and others bring to the city and the Cats are small potatoes.

You could make these claims for just about any business around. They all contribute to the economy, I'll wager they all make significant charitable donations. Dofasco is one of the biggest boosters for McMaster and Mohawk college engineering programs.

I think it is fair for the Cats to essentially play for free at IWS with all the renovations they make. Same as it is fair for Dofasco that they likely pay reduced hydro, taxes and other things.

Yes Mr Burke, thank you for clearing that up and setting the record straight.

Like deerhunter, I was frustrated and incensed by the antics of publicity and vote seeking fools like Sam Murella during Wednesday night's Council meeting (and by Eisenberger's similar statements in the past).

Unfortunately, when a lie is spouted often enough and loud enough, it sounds like the truth and tends to become "fact".

I too agree that the TiCats should respond thru the media to counter the ignorance and deliberate misinformation being distributed.

Tiger-Cat President Scott Mitchell was on CHML’s Bill Kelly show earlier this morning and re-iterated exactly what Mr. Burke posted…and very strongly might I add.

The one intangible though the Cats bring to the table is television exposure which a Dofasco doesn't bring, unless there is a major accident at the plant or a shutdown etc.

The Cats are on TV around 18 times a year plus sports highlights, on national TV and the word Hamilton is there. I don't think that can be underestimated for a city like Hamilton that doesn't get the publicity of say a city like Ottawa or a city with an NHL team.

Now how to measure this television exposure and it's positive impacts, I don't know.

I'm glad Scott Mitchell made the point strongly deer, I'm getting sick and tired of walking into people around this city, people who aren't TigerCat fans to begin with, who start yapping at me "let the Cats build their own stadium", they don't even see what a tremendous asset the Cats are for the city with the TV exposure as I say and the pride a city should have having a professional team in a great Canadian league with an opportunity to win a championship for the city with the name Hamilton on it. It irks me to no end these people, I can't stand them. It's like the TigerCats are "bad guys" or something. Man, it's your team people for your city whether you're a fan or not! A chance to be Grey Cup champs, national champs of Canada with the word HAMILTON all over the news etc. Idiots out there. :x


             Thanks for the first hand report on Bob Young's contribution to IWS. Very informative. <!-- s:thup: -->:thup:<!-- s:thup: --> 
              From a fan's point of view I was astonished at the improvements and game day experience when I went back to IWS a couple of years after Bob took over.

Well said :thup: :thup: :thup: :rockin: :rockin:


as to the money invested would you provide details?the scoreboard cost 2 million (long since written off as against income thanks to capital cost allowance)how much did caretaker get from naming rights and how much income do the non stop ads generate? as to jarvis street to buy and reoutfit the place would not cost 3 million much of that acquiston cost been allocated to lulu? as to no subsidy perhaps not direct but do you really believe the 5000 paid each year comes even remotely close to paying heat hydro security and cleaning that the city pays for out of that $5000?

Well, at least there are a few voices out there that actually witnessed what went on........Merulla was not there to know the truth of what it cost. Some cynics may say, "yeah sure, that's what the Ticats say"........well, here's one guy that isn't the Ticats

I don't want to get into confidential stuff of course, but I can recall vividly the Head of Tiger-Cat finance at the time, stating "if only the public knew how much personal cash Bob is putting into this their jaws would drop"........and the appeals from head office for more funds from North Carolina were never ending as the unforseen expenses rose.......remember, there was only a four month window so everyone was flying by the seat of their pants to get it done.........failure was not an option

I could write a book but I'll stop now, but I remember stuff like it was yesterday and that's why this current council pisses me off so much as to how they are so ungrateful and self-centred and flippant with their remarks, mis-information and insults. It boggles the mind.

-end rant-

So I guess we provide a "subsidy" to Elton John and all other huge rich acts that play Copps seeing as HECFI normally does not make a profit. Include the Bulldogs as well because they rent Copps too. We rent the ice for 400 an hour, hardly enough to turn a profit or pay the utillities.

Another point is the Corp of the City of Hamilton also files a T2 corporate income tax and takes advantage of all available write downs on expenses, using a tax position as a point is useless as those are the laws of the land and apply equally to all corporations. As I believe we all know if we listen to city hall, this City shows a loss every year.

Come on everyone, it's the TigerCats that are the "villains", the "bad guys" in Hamilton, not the Bulldogs or who plays Copps etc., it's the TigerCats all the way according to some movers and shakers in this city who wish they best be gone. :roll:

Good post, Shawn!
Personally, I very much appreciate it when media statements are either cleared up or retorted by the Cats. It helps the onlooker to put everything in perspective.

Sometimes, though, I wish the striking would be done when the iron is hot. I had almost forgotten about the initial report/ statement about subsidies when I saw this thread. However, I do understand the complexities that go into making these responses.

I worry this process is turning into a bit of a 'tit for tat' public relations campaign. As a fan (and someone working in the communications field), I'd really caution both parties about getting involved in this. At first, the drama gets some interest. Then people numb to it very quickly -- equating it to an ignorable squabble and perceive little of what they're hearing is truthful. Really, the same way the vast majority of the population cover up their ears and eyes during election campaigns.

I'd just continue to play up the idea that this is a joint effort -- whether that's real or not. To go 'head -to-head' with the city, for any team other than maybe the Leafs or Yankees, would be a pretty difficult battle to win.

what pray tell or moderator in telling the truth about renting copps versus the sweeeet deal of the cats?