Dear Mr. Young;
I just read this from the new Hamilton Spectator article of Thurs. Feb. 19.http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/516268
[b]"Hamilton politicians will be asked Monday to commit $60 million for a new Pan Am Games stadium and velodrome to be built on a west harbourfront site.
The cash would be the city's share of a $113-million combined complex to be built on a 30-acre site bounded by Barton and Stuart streets and Bay and Queen streets."[/b]
and then this from the same report
[b]"There is also risk that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the main tenant at Ivor Wynne Stadium and potential partner in a new stadium, may leave Hamilton should a new stadium not be built," Adames says in his report.
"The impact of losing North America's oldest professional football team may be significant on Hamilton's image, both short-term and long-term."
Ticat president Scott Mitchell said the organization supports the west harbourfront site but added the club would have to study the business model before revealing how much it would contribute to the project."[/b]
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a step back and really think hard about what City Hall is actually proposing here. They are trying to re-capture a romantic notion of a new stadium way down in the bowels of the north end as if it were 1950 all over again and people would enjoy fighting their way down there through city streets and then walking 5 or 10 blocks. Yes, it sounds like a Norman Rockwell painting all right and a step back into time -a la- Groundhog Day (deja vu?), but in reality who are they kidding?
To survive the next 50 years, the Tiger-Cats are going to HAVE to start marketing to places such as Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, St. Catharines, London, Caledonia, Cayuga, Hagersville, Dunnville, Grimsby, Niagara, Guelph, Burlington and all points between.
And which people will be the customers of the future? All the young people who right now have very little interest in toughing it out like most of us did as kids going to Ivor Wynne.
This new breed, and through no fault of their own, have been raised to arrive and depart in relative luxury and comfort to whatever their destination is, whether it be the mall, the movie theatre, concerts, casinos or just driving around. They like their technology in their hands until the last possible moment and really don't care much as to where they are going as long as it doesn't bring too much discomfort in arriving. This is why the Ancaster Meadowlands was designed the way it was and we now see that concept being developed on the East Mountain near Hwy # 20 and Hwy #53.
All the new money and housing development is on the south mountain now and will be for years to come. It would blow your mind what is happening up there and I suggest you take a tour even into Binbrook down to Rymal Road. It's mind-boggling and these young families ARE your new customers. They are the new breed that like convenience and ease of arrival to a destination.
Now, having said that, this is exactly why the Red Hill Expressway and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway were built and they now connect to both the QEW and the 403 and even the 401 via the 403. Also, the new Hamilton Airport by-pass can bring people onto the south mountain from Burlington and downtown Hamilton, Dundas and West Hamilton in mere minutes.
You should also know when I tried the new Red Hill when it opened, I entered the Linc from Upper James and via the Red Hill expressway and the QEW was on Ontario St. in St. Catharines in exactly 30 minutes going the exact speed limit.
This is how your new breed of customers want to travel and arrive at a new stadium and with a self enclosed parking lot just like Buffalo and all the newer venues have. Flamborough Downs in fact was an early example in this area of how people like their venue parking to be as well as easy, dummy-proof routes to get there.
Do you really think customers from all those new markets I proposed up above are going to want to drive into the street traffic hell of Hamilton to fight their way to the extreme north end ? Maybe up until the 80's they would, but the new crop of customers are either going to arrive in painless style or they won't come at all.
I don't think the city council has done any due diligence on the present and future demographic of YOUR customers, but rather, are tossing their stupid Norman Rockwell fantasies of a picturesque setting beside some water and trails that in all reality are covered in Canada Goose, squirrel and raccoon crap. They forget to mention that YOU will have a hell of a time convincing people from all those places in surrounding areas and towns to enjoy their awful drive down Burlington St or James St or Bay St. towards an ever narrowing area of jam packed homes, poor street design and traffic jam hell.
They want the glory of a two week event for their own posterity and nice looking photos and news clippings for their walls at home, to show off to their friends and families --------but with OTHER'S cash.
You on the other hand, will be stuck with a never ending battle forever, to convince people that fighting and clawing their way into one of the most choked, remote and depressing areas of Hamilton is the way of the future. Good Luck with that with the new demographic.
Did I mention that unlike the politicians, you have the pleasure of spending YOUR money for this disaster waiting to happen. And you'll be stuck with it well after these City Councillors are up north, retired and chugging their ales and lagers, watching the Tiger-Cats at No-Name Stadium in the stinky north end, from their cottage decks 200 miles away.
I urge you to not bite on this delusional pipe dream of theirs.
Get this stadium up onto the South Mountain where all the money is, the new, younger families are, the easy access via new highway infrastructure and massive land for both stadium and parking is. And above all, your new customers from all those new markets will appreciate you locating in a place they CAN FIND and feel positive about going to. Out of towners might even get to know all the brand new shopping areas on the South Mountain and come 8 hours earlier to do some shopping in proper malls instead of slogging through an old residential area fighting for parking.
I'm just saying to be very careful on this one Mr.Young. This is one City Council who doesn't have a very good track record of doing anything correctly.
I'll even suggest you do a quick helicopter tour of the South Mountain so you can visualize what's really happening there and get a mind's eye of the future and how all your new customers can arrive there with such ease and comfort.
Engineering wise, I understand the South Mountain has a base of limestone and clay which is ideal for a massive structure like a stadium.
Down in the North End on the other hand ?
Well,enough of all that.
I hope you read this Mr.Young and give this some serious thought and don't rely on these questionable characters for vision and direction.
And they want urban renewal to brag about? What? A few city blocks for the TV cameras in 2015 ?
Be smarter than those clowns.
That's all I have to say about that.