Hamilton Is Not Ready To Host Grey Cup

After just returning from Grey Cup in Winnipeg. I'm not sure Hamilton is ready to host a Grey Cup.

  1. The city Of Winnipeg and downtown seems much bigger than I expected with more Downtown hotels, a large renovated convention centre and ample taxi's and transportation.

  2. The Stadium is much larger and beautiful in person and is in a pretty open area with lots of room for parking and bus transportation around the stadium. The whole complex around it seems huge. The transportation to and from the game was pretty slick (but still slow). Rows and Rows of buses. IMO much nicer venue the THF, which I was surprised about.

  3. Lots of great restaurants and bars around the MTS Centre were the Oilers play which is right downtown. Hung out at the Shark club quite a bit walking distance from my hotel. Many restaurants and venues to host team events and hospitality parties.

  4. Attendance was only 35,000 but the stadium easily handled that. (though there was some congestion in the concourse which gave me THF dejavu. Lots of outdoor room for tailgating outside the venue which were actually accessed with your game ticket so didn't have to wait to enter. (cool fire pits to boot every where outside).

To see the scale of this event in person, I'm having trouble visualizing Hamilton doing the same. Yes, I was at 1996, and it was great, but I'm not sure a beer tent on King street, an outdated arena/convention centre and poor transportation can cut it anymore.

Anyone else attend...thoughts? I'm sure there will be many opinions...let's have 'em!

Yeah your right. We shouldn't get it. Once in 44 years is all we deserve.

I think Hamilton IS ready, but they need to do something about exiting the stadium. I personally find it takes 30 minutes to exit unless you leave 5 minutes early or 30 minutes after the game. Hamilton deserves the Grey cup, they've only had 2 in 33 years, it's about time they have not just one but more like 3 in the next 10 years.

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

[b] "Stadium builder Ontario Sports Solutions has yet to provide details of the expansion which would allow Tim Hortons Field to go from its normal configuration of 24,500 seats to the 35,000 necessary to host the Grey Cup. It’s one of hundreds of deficiencies still outstanding and the city is holding back $6 million from the builder as a result.

The terms of the 20-year lease agreement between the city and the Ticats states they will work together to make “reasonable efforts to bid for the right to host two Grey Cups during the first ten years subject to mutual agreement of the Tiger-Cats and the City.?

While it’s the team who applies to the league to host the Grey Cup, an organizing committee of civic leaders typically spearheads the effort and Ticats’ CEO Scott Mitchell says Merulla motion is a positive step."[/b]

[url=http://3downnation.com/2015/09/16/hamilton-councillor-says-cfl-owes-city-some-grey-cups/]http://3downnation.com/2015/09/16/hamil ... grey-cups/[/url]

44 years ?? Could have sworn I was at one in Hamilton in 1996 --I know, details , details. Bottom line is , we lost tons of money on the last one , that is why it has to be done right this time , whenever that might be........And.... that won't be for a few years, BUT..... hopefully it will be before they rip up King Street for LRT installation.

He did say "once" in 44 years Mr P!

Oops my mistake , sorry :oops: ........still though, it has to be done with lots of thought this time, so it can be monetarily beneficial to all concerned ,instead of the other way around.

Agreed but if Winnipeg can pull it off, I have no doubt the Hammer can do better!!

I tend to agree, we are not capable of hosting the Cup with the present facility. It's crazy trying to exit this place now, let alone adding more seating for 35,000 fans. Building this facility in the middle of a residential neighbourhood was a terrible idea from the get-go. But, there is just no room for something this size anywhere near downtown. (not to open up the issue of the holler in west harbour again) The team/city never had any input into design, only location. If the team did, maybe the stadium would have been designe a lot differently. This facility was designed as a soccer facility only to be used for football after the soccer was long gone. Strange that the "legacy tenant" had no say in its design. So when you take a close look at it and compare apples to apples, the stadium has poor parking, poor access to and from, not much around it, difficult access in and out, and no proximity to hotels or major restaurants. Why the league would even consider a Grey Cup here is a real stretch.

I was there in 72 and 96, so there have been 2, but for a 9 team league, EVERY team should have one every 9 years, Hamilton should have had 4 or 5 in the last 44 years, not 2.

You really don’t understand how big Winnipeg is and how big our stadium is compared to THF . I’m not trolling . Our convention center housed , Riderville 1000 people plus in there , at the same time a TD MB. Social that sold out , 5000 people and it started at noon on Friday !! Schoonerville was full the entire wknd , those are just a few venues , spirit of Edm , Stamps house and lions den , plus a gala dinner and huge music concerts . Plus a interactive fan zone venue that was at the U of W and was fantastic and huge . You will also need more hotels , nobody is traveling far to stay in a different city , far away from the events .

Perhaps this is what the Caretaker means when he says there are many issues but not seating:

https://twitter.com/CaretakerBob/status/669945393032077312

I think they physically could fit 35000 people, in the same way you can physically fit 50 people in a 10'x10' room, it does not mean it's feasible.

Where do all these people move around? How do you transport, provide washrooms, and feed these people at a stadium that can't accomplish this when there are 24000 attending?

Second as people pointed out, you essentially need maybe 5-6 places capable of hosting a multi-day party for 1000's at each venue. Are there 5-6 places capable of this in the Hamilton area?

Lots of planning needed here.

I came back from my first ever Grey Cup from Winnipeg- for the first timer like me- it was an eye-opener on many levels
The Stadium is not the issue IMO- THF can work to host , add seats or whatever to make it work for the game but that aspect is 3 hours of a full week experience which is Grey Cup

Simply, the Hammer does not have the infrastructure to host the other activities that have been listed above- the things not associated with the actual game that other have listed- the team events in the evening are massive - I was in Riderville on Saturday night- it was packed to the hilt- and imagine 9 more venues need of similar size
and while Winnipeg was a bit spread out- Edmonton was a 10 minute cab ride from the downtown zone
it still is something Hamilton could not replicate yet
I look forward to when it can- but just not ready now

In Hamilton in the downtown area they could use:

FirstOntario Centre also offers ideal space for large conventions and exhibits, with a total of 117,000 square feet of exhibition space available. Retractable seating allows for 87,000 square feet of event space on one level by combining a large arena surface with the adjacent Exhibition Hall. An additional 30,000 square feet of space is offered on the Concourse Level. A street level ramp provides direct vehicle access to the arena and Exhibition Hall level, and the availability of four loading bays greatly reduces move-in and move-out time for exhibitors. Media facilities (including a TV studio), dressing locker rooms and a first aid room are also located on this level.
- Hamilton Place would be used for the award shows
  • Liuna Station on James Street North (convenient to out of towners right next to the new GO Station) could host events that I think can hold up to 800 in a banquet setting and I would assume probably hold up to about 1,000 people in a party room setting. - http://www.liunastation.com/

And if you needed more space you could always have a Mountain Grey Cup satellite party centre up at Carmen's or Michaelangelos.

You could have the city and league partner with Supercrawl people run a weekend Supercrawl type event running along James Street North the way Toronto did outdoor events along Front Street and at Nathan Phillips Square during the 2012 Grey Cup celebraations in Toronto.

Game day run kazillions of shuttle busses to the stadium (like they did with Pan Am soccer and turn the area on the south side of Cannon into a pre-game party zone (rather than a parking lot) and have all streets closed for a block around the stadium to cars so people aren't restricted to the sidewalks - again like they did for Pan Am soccer.

And between now and 2018 or 2019 there may be other venues in place.

We can do this!

Not sure Travel when there are people on city council like Robert Pasuta with ideas like why does Hamilton need a stadium when people here are just mainly NFL Buffalo Bills fans and don't follow the CFL or Grey Cup.

I agree Pat , with lots of planning and a big buy in by The City , corporate sponsers , businesses , Cats, Ontario Tourism , it can be done .

The event areas are available , now in 1996, tickets in the end could not be given away , I remember paying something like $175 to sit at centre field , now, the going price can be up to $500 or more . In 1996 even with the Argo's in it not enough Toronto folks would buy a ticket and drive to see their team win the G.C to sell the game out .

I am not sure local fans will buy up those expensive tickets even if the Cats are in it and there is a good chance they may not be . That is why it is so important to get the Corporate folks involved and have enough hotel rooms to house those people from out of the area who will pay for those expensive tickets to make a successful event .

Pat , do you know how many hotel rooms currently exist in the GHA. (Burlington , Hamilton , Stoney Creek , etc ) Do you think there would be enough to house say 20,000 out of towners locally ?

When it comes to the Grey Cup Festival, I found most people, including myself stay in a hotel close to the activities that go along with the game.

Now Winnipeg was only my 3rd Grey Cup, but I have been to games in all 9 CFL cities and what I have found, once Toronto moves to BMO Field, Vancouver and Calgary are the only cities with the game, the activities/team parties and hotels all within walking distance of each other.

As far as getting to and from the game in Winnipeg, It was a $20 cab ride from my hotel to the Stadium 4 hours before the game. Getting back downtown after the game was more time consuming. From the time I walked out of the stadium until I walked into the hotel was about 2 hours via Winnipeg's transit system. Even though they have a very cool transit corridor. In Regina, driving to the game was the only option for me as the nearest hotel we could get on short notice was a in Moose Jaw. 45 minutes from Regina.

From what I have seen in Hamilton, I would guess the activities would be at First Ontario place. As for the team parties, depending on what the city does with the old Football Hall of Fame, I think that would be a great location for the parties. I have been told the owner of the Sheraton has built a couple hotels west of it. Too bad the Royal Canaught is no longer a hotel. As for trasit to and from the game, The Scott Park lot would be ideal for the buses to stage in, but that would limit the game day activities and tailgate party. Probably parking as well.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Here's the thing, Hamilton is a member of the CFL. Regardless of facilities, Hamilton deserves to host the championship game from time to time, and we are over-due. When deciding how to spend our tax dollars, the CFL used the GC as incentive to build THF, now its time for the CFL to deliver.

No doubt, we need a new convention centre (probably would have happened had we accepted a downtown casino). A few more hotel rooms would help, but Hamilton has added a bunch of hotel rooms over the last 5 odd years, especially downtown. More hotel rooms are planned to be added as well. However, the infrastructure investment ins't going to happen with the sole purpose of attracting a GC. So if some of this infrastructure doesn't come to fruition, then other solutions will need to be found, because..... Hamilton is a member of the CFL. Regardless of facilities, Hamilton deserves to host the championship game from time to time, and we are over-due.

Once the Harbour lands (where the stadium should have been) start to get developed, there will be many new spaces events could be held. These can even be outdoor spaces set up as a temporary "fan zone" or what have you. Im thinking you could even 'rent' Centre Mall.....or that huge parking lot....for the week and set up all kinds of temproray strucutres, tents what ever you want. And its a 10 minute walk to the stadium from there!

It's our f***in' turn!