First look at Hamilton Pan Am stadium concept


Pan Am Games bid adds muscle with outreach

John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator

[i]TORONTO — Branding, bonding and a Hamilton-inspired outreach program were the key themes as the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid book was unveiled today.

The launch of the 233-page document backed up the sales pitch that southern Ontario is the must market for the Games movement to reinvent itself in North America.

There was a strong emphasis on the athlete experience, with young people gathering in a region rich in international flavours.

Moreover, a potential vote-clincher in the competition to win the Games and attendant Parapan Games is a program building on a born-in-Steeltown initiative
from the city’s two Commonwealth Games bids.

The four-point plan will help athletes and coaches from smaller countries among the 42-member Pan American Sports Organization, or PASO, come to Canada and enjoy training and coaching help in advance of the Games. It would involve athlete scholarships, clinics, and sports administration and marketing workshops.

“If everything else is equal, it could be a tipping point,? said Mike Chambers of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “I’ve never seen something like this in a bid which was backed up with a real budget.?

Chambers, who sits on the 2015 Pan Am board and is an executive member of PASO, called it a “foundational and persuasive? element of Toronto 2015, which spans municipalities from Oshawa to Welland.

Hamilton’s 2010 Commonwealth Games bid proposed that athletes and coaches from smaller countries could come to McMaster University for training, coaching and sports medicine opportunities.

“This is unique to our bid in this competition and most PASO countries say it is one area they can benefit from,? Chambers said. “They’re going to want that leading up to 2015. It could make the difference in the competition, it’s that important.?

The southern Ontario bid faces competition from Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia.

Chambers said it is vital the money to support the programs is in Toronto 2015’s $1.4-billion Games budget, as other bids have made vague promises with no financial accounting.

Chambers was on the evaluation committee that looked at Rio de Janeiro and San Antonio, Texas, for the 2007 Games, which Rio won, and noted the American bid failed to back up with money its offer of help to other nations.

While the Toronto 2015 bid book did not break out funding, Chambers said it was clearly there for the program.

Bid president Jagoda Pike said the new opportunities program grew out of the Commonwealth Games experience, as Hamilton’s bid leaders saw the inequities among countries.

“There was a huge discrepancy between big, rich countries and smaller countries that really need help with sport development,? she said. “It’s the same with PASO. Some national sports organizations don’t aspire to win more medals, they aspire to win a medal.?

In fact, some PASO countries have never won a single medal, she said.

“What we’re hearing from delegates is, ‘Help us take our game up before the Games,’ so these programs would be a pre-Games legacy run in the four years leading up to the Games.?

Gymnast Alexandra Orlando, who has competed in Pan Am and Olympic Games, said the program is unique.

“This is such a great opportunity to help athletes from those countries grow. They’re incredibly talented but don’t have the resources to back them up.?

A successful bid would deliver Hamilton a $100-million stadium for athletics and an $11-million velodrome for the West Harbour location at Barton and Tiffany streets.

McMaster would get a $35-million pool suitable for international competition.

Hamilton would stage track and field, track cycling, volleyball at Copps Coliseum and soccer at Mac’s Ron Joyce Stadium. Burlington would host early-round soccer at Sherwood Forest Park. The Mac pool would be for training.

When the bid book was presented to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today, he said it was important to stress why he championed the Games, citing the link between sports, recreation and health.

“We want our kids to be inspired by our amateur athletes,? he said. “We want more kids from all backgrounds pursuing amateur sports. And we want our kids to be healthy.?

He also cited 15,000 construction jobs, many in Hamilton, and a $1-billion athletes’ village in Toronto’s West Donlands that will provide market and low-income housing.

In Bogota, Mayor Samuel Moreno lauded his city’s bid, which he said had all facilities in a six-kilometre zone, and criticized Toronto 2015’s spread-out plan.

But quoted him as conceding Bogota’s altitude of 2,650 metres was a disadvantage.[/i]
$1-billion athletes’ village...
Nice looking stadium, they just need to finish the upper deck on the right grandstands. But a billion dollars for an athlete's village? Yikes, this is sounding much like the doomed Halifax Commonwealth bid!

Why spend so much on such a 3rd rate competition? Those billions should be spent on promoting Canadian athletics, not to pamper some 3rd-world athletes for two weeks.

Beware of Athlete's Villiages!!! Look what is happening in Vancouver!


This is just something that the bid committee came up with for the bid book. Something tells me that Bob Young is going to determine the final product. I bet you that if the bid is successful, Young will step forward with a group of private investors with a concept for both a stadium and surrounding developments (bars, restaurants, entertainment etc). What would be really great is if he can sell the Hamilton politicians on a stadium that would have a track until the games are over. Once they're finished, dig the field level lower and add seats on the sides of the bowl until the field is standard CFL size. I dunno if the politicians would allow this, especially if they ever plan on hosting a track and field event in the future. One way to soften the blow might be to build a small cheap grandstand beside the practice track that Hamilton is going to have to build as part of the games.

All I can say is be careful of what you wish for.

Hamilton could go from having the best sightlines in the league, right on top of the action, to one that features (from this design anyway), graduated seating, a track, and a soccer sized playing field. Viewing a football game from the back of the grandstand will be akin to looking into the opposite end of a telescope. :frowning:

I agree, but remember this is concept art made by some dude who probably has never been to a ticat game.

The Hamilton Continuity needs to be activity engaged in designing this thing, and it's hard to say if the track is going to be used at all after the games.

why do new stadiums seem to make one grandstand way higher than the other? why not make them the same height?

Nice looking stadium provided they build up the opposite side upperdeck. Glad they kept that wonderful Commonwealth Games stadium design instead of opting for a cheaper option. However, this stadium drawing does appear to have way more than the 15,000 seats that were supposed to be in the proposed stadium. From the render it looks more like 20,000- 25,000 seats.

Yes - it is a great design.
Would love to see that built and expanded for the CFL

Yes the other second teer is needed and hopefully they will get rid of the track.

Too many empty seats for CFL games maybe? Most times stadiums look half-empty like Commonwealth or BC Place etc… Toronto closes the top tier of the skydome for regular season Argo games, do they not? The design looks good for a 40 to 45 K stadium. A second tier on the other side would only be good for a GC game, and that would be once every 8-9 years or so. I’m not sure that other events would need those extra seats anyway.

don't like the stadium for 1 reason the track would make the seats to far away from the action

It’s kinda hard to have a stadium for the Pan Am games without a track.

i mean, instead of having 25K in one grandstand and 10K in the other…why not balance it out to 17.5K in each grandstand.??

it currently looks silly to me, with one super tall grandstand and the track, and zero endzone seats.

Ever been to Taylor Field/Mosaic Stadium? They're copying the greatest football park in the country.

As well they should. Although they missed out on the club seating on the small side. Not having club seating on both sides will really hurt.


During Pan Ams:

After Pan Ams:

I'm not the least bit surprised by this.....

and a $1-billion athletes’ village in Toronto’s West Donlands that will provide market and low-income housing.

When you consider this............

Ontario's failing record on affordable housing has left a $1 billion spending gap since 2001, the year it signed a federal-provincial pact to boost funding in the area, says a new report.

Talk about abuse of tax dollars.