Hamilton Stadium Debate

The link enclosed is of the discussion Scott Mitchell had with Rick Zamperin regarding Ivor Wynne Stadium.

We are overdue for a new stadium. If Toronto can get how many stadiums funded on the public dime over the last 77 some odd years, including the Skydome that would cost 1 billion today's dollars, Hamilton deserves public funding for a new stadium as well. Make it modern. Make it expandable for any forseeable future needs. Make the construction of the stadium integrated into other developement in Hamilton - I can picture hotels, condos near by.

I'd prefer it on the waterfront, or near to it.

Maybe Bob can kick in a few dollars, I don't think he can afford to pay for the whole thing (nor should he have to). But if he were to help get a stadium built in Hamilton and have the Tiger-Cats win a Grey Cup in it, that would be one heck of a legacy to leave behind.

May I be the first (?) to suggest the name of the new ball park as "Bob Young Stadium"?

Hamiltonians are so pessimistic.The city has no flair or spunk.Look at the awful new face to the art gallery.The politicians need to get some foresight and move into the future and not let the city die.Stop the tearing down,and get some guts and build for the years ahead and quit bellyaching and find a way to make the city a better place.

May I be the first (?) to suggest the name of the new ball park as "Bob Young Stadium"?
Haha, you know what, assuming he puts some of his own coin into the effort I don't see who would deserve it more.

Well I suppose we could call it the Shiela Copps Stadium? Kidding!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

Here's something to think about if you want to represent Hamilton to the world.

I said it before how about the "Lulu RIM",shaped like a rectangle. Featuring a retractable steel roof (Dofasco) and Dofasco/RIM/LULU vision jumbotrons. Now that's a legacy.

50 million each from Dofasco, Bob Young and Jim Balsille and you probably could be close (150 million dollars) considering Dofasco has the steel. You also avoid a union because of Dofasco so you could come in on or under budget.

But here's the one of a kind idea; throw in a hockey arena concept and you have a stadium/arena that is unique in the entire world. I have been told that the engineering to contain a hockey arena inside a football stadium is possible. If you can engineer an indoor skiing montain in Dubai why not a hockey arena inside a football stadium?

Not an outdoor thing like the game at Raplh Wilson but literally a 35-45 thousand seat football stadium which can become a 5-20 thousand seat hockey arena during the winter. Through the use of hydrolics the piping and ice surface for the arena would be below the artificial turf and raised when necessary. The stadium seating would simple condense from the outside in depending on the size of the event being hosted or game being played which could also include many sports such as basketball, volleyball etc...

It may seem far-fetched but it could also be an architectual and engineering marvel which is probably interesting to persons like Bob Young and Jim Balsillee.

what makes it profitable is that the stadium would be privately owned. What makes it interesting to tax payers is that it would be privately owned, no tax money needed.

There's my two cents or other people's 150 + million dollars.

Wow, that sounds like a great idea. Maybe you could build some restaurants/bars/shops around this area to generate even more economic activity.

The thing I love about going 2 the sky dome is that the steamwhistle brewery is around the corner from the stadium. With free samples and tours of the brewery its a great way to kill time if you get tired of pre-game activities.

Just look at what's going to happen in Ottawa - a major development. A group willing to spend $250 MILLION and not a penny of taxpayers money. This is the right idea, let governments stay out of it.

[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=8cc5facd-d555-4314-a951-12c535133a2b&k=96385]http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... 2b&k=96385[/url]

As a season ticket holders, as much as I love Ivor Wynn, I would love a new stadium. It would help make the team profitable. Win/win situation for everyone.

As for Tax Payer money... feel free to throw in my tax dollars. This city needs it!!!

If Winnipeg and Ottawa can get a new stadium, we deserve one too.

Call me old fashioned…but I don’t even want a new stadium. I love Ivor Wynne. I take pride in it.
It’s like that old car that still runs pretty darn well. You never want to get rid of it…she’s a classic, she’s a beauty.
Renovate it, that’s fine. But I don’t like these new cold stadiums. BMO field has all this “soccer environment”, to me…it looks boring and cold.
IF a new stadium is built…I hope it incorporates the skyline and is built in a similar fashion to some of the new MLB stadiums…a retro-type look.

I’d also suggest, if Ivor Wynne will be torn down(which I assume it would) that the new stadium follow the Rangers tradition and call the new field - Ivor Wynne Stadium.
No corporate names…and DEFINITELY not Bob Young Stadium…that’s just dumb. Do you like Buffalo? I hate it. I definitely don’t want to do anything those morons do, like naming their stadium after the owner.
Maybe…Ivor Wynne Field at Dofasco Gardens or something like that.
So media can say “Here at the Dofasco Gardens the Tigercats are getting knocked all over Ivor Wynne Field.”
Again…I guess I’m a bit old school, I hate to see tradition die.
I also fear that a new stadium would make Hamilton just another city to play in…not something visiting teams and fans dread coming to.
But hey…I still miss Maple Leaf Gardens, Chicago Stadium, Montreal Forum, Tiger Stadium and Comiskey Park. So, I’m slightly biased.

I love ivor wynne myself. there is nothing wrong with the stadium. its unique because of its closeness to the players and the game. Maybe it needs a few renovations, but I really don`t think we need a new stadium. I like the tradition of Ivor Wynne. If we can get a few need season ticket holders. I say put in some new seats in the other end zone. Expand Ivor wynne to about 33000 seats. ( An extra 6000-7000) seats. But I would never want to see a dome stadium in Hamilton. They are plain ugly, and have a horrible atmosphere. Seeing a game in a dome stadium is lousy!!!

RevClark) 50 million each from Dofasco, Bob Young and Jim Balsille and you probably could be close (150 million dollars) considering Dofasco has the steel. You also avoid a union because of Dofasco so you could come in on or under budget.

Dofasco doesn't make structural steel. They make flat rolled tin plate, galvanized and cold rolled sheet and coils.

Such a stadium would be composed mainly of
steel beams, rebar and concrete. Algoma could help out here, perhaps working jointly with Dofasco pending the type of structure desired.

Hey Rocky, my bad, my father who worked at Dofasco for 15 years would not be pleased that I did not know that. Having said that I understand that Dofasco's parent company has access to any type of steel necessary from many places around the world if Algoma isn't interested. The downside would be non-Hamiltonians being interested in investing unless you could make the "one of a kind," idea inticing to them.

It would be great to have Hamilton known around the world for this stadium instead of some of the other negative and I would say undeserved stereotypes.

Winnipeg will not be getting a new stadium, why pay 65 million in taxpayers dollars for a new stadium and not own the team???Vic Toews said he would look at it but basically it wasnt a priority. I’m glad, nothing wrong with what we have so why tear it down

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Ivor Wynne has the best sight-lines of any venue.
If the place IS broke - fix it.
Don't pour money into a new one.
We can tailgate at the old Scott Park and parking is relatively easy to find (and mostly free).
Bring your own seat cushion and the seats are perfect.
If you want more comfort than Ivor Wynne offers, you want to stay home and watch the game.
I'd rather see my tax dollars fixing the potholes on my street, policing my neighbourhoods and stopping my water from turning green every August.

There is no debate here - who started the debate - Ticat brass?
If they want a new stadium they can go ahead and build it without excessive amounts of my tax dollars.
$20 million over 5 years to refurbish IWS is a worthy investment for a city of 500,000.
Bump up the capacity, add some corporate square footage and maybe encourage private investment in the NW and SW corners of the block (Health Club for the team and the public, Endzone Restaurant, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, etc).
Maybe give the Ticat organization incentives to improve the locker rooms and player / coach facilities.
To spend $200 million is an inappropriate allocation of tax funds.

Just curious....has the capacity changed lately? Numbers I recall regarding Ivor Wynne's capacity are hovering around the 36,000 mark.
You said they should add six or seven thousand seats to make a capacity of 33,000.

I don't think more seats are required.....just fix 'er up...dress 'er up all nice...and that's it.

I just read this article on Ballparks.com (where I looked up the capacity of Ivor Wynne..listed as 35,000) and thought it was worth a read over considering the subject of replacing Ivor Wynne.

November 19, 1996 - PAUL WILSON, Southam Newspapers
In this town, where cheerleaders wear buttons that say Argos $uck, it's always hard not to think of Toronto.

There, at the foot of the world's tallest freestanding structure, they play football inside an expensive, mysterious-looking white bubble that comes into view as you approach on the Gardiner.

Here they play ball in an old-time stadium that's big on history, small on mystery. What you see is what you get, as you motor up on Cannon Street East.

Welcome to Ivor Wynne. Where you can reach out and actually touch a Ticat. Where the black is the painted steel pillars and the gold, even on a cold day, is lager in clear plastic cups.

The place looks pretty right now. They've touched up the trim. Vulkem'ed the concrete. Blasted the litter with blowers that roar loud as a Labour Day crowd.

Long before the grass went plastic, they started playing sports here. The city expropriated 13 acres in 1913. Farmer J.J. Scott wanted $18,500 an acre. Hamilton knocked that down to $6,835.

By 1921, the land was home to two soccer fields, a baseball field, a cricket pitch, bowling green and children's playground.

In the summer of 1930, it was the British Empire Games. And 20 years after that, the Hamilton Tigers and Wildcats combined and played on the grounds.

But it must be said that this stadium was once the shame of North America.

It was 30 years ago, the fall of 1966. There was a CFL-TV network that broadcast games on a one-week delay basis to Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and 40 other cities across the States.

A couple of games from Hamilton had gone out over the network - the first Argo game and a Labour Day event against Ottawa.

But then Jake Gaudaur, head of the league's television committee, brought bad news:

"We have been asked to cancel all games from Hamilton, including the planned colour telecast of our Thanksgiving Day game, because they want shots of better-looking stadia, or as they put it, something which makes the game look 'big time'."

Apparently it was a couple of metal bleacher stands and the old concrete north stand, with its wooden press boxes from another era, that really shouted "bush league" to the Americans.

Image of Ivor Wynne Stadium courtesy of Jeff Keddie
Hamilton licked its wounds and resolved to build something better. And in 1971, after a $2-million renovation, Hamilton was ashamed no more.

It had the first AstroTurf installation in Canada. And the number of seats climbed past 34,000, which was biggest in the league.

The improved stadium got a new name. Ivor Wynne, former chairman of the parks board, had died late in 1970, age 51.

There had been talk back then of building a new stadium on city-owned land on the West Mountain.

But they decided to keep playing ball in the heart of the east end. Right outside Ivor Wynne, you have streets like Melrose, with solid homes, tall trees and lawns full of cars on game day.

From here, if the Cats are winning, you'll hear the crowd. If the home team's getting mauled, you'll only hear the announcer.

Or Aretha singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

No one lives closer to Ivor Wynne than Joe Syty. He moved into the house that sides onto Beechwood Avenue in 1968.

The back of those old stands, the ones the Americans sneered at, were a half-dozen paces from his well-tended lawn.

But the very next year the city announced plans for the new stands. They would rise twice as high, six storeys into the air.

And ever since, Joe's gone without his afternoon sun. He was out picking Ivor Wynne litter from his sidewalk the other day.

He said that had he known that structure was coming, he would not have bought the house.

But Joe does go to the games.

Inside Ivor Wynne, they say every seat's a good one. A lot of those seats are hard wooden benches, but you can see the game.

And if it's a bad match and you're sitting high enough - say up in Row V, up against the press box, you can just lean back and look out over Hamilton. The steel plants, with fire and smoke. The escarpment beyond. The last decade or so has been tough for the Cats.

What does this historic information have to do with the current status of Ivor Wynne Stadium?

The club and the city are both now admitting that this relic is near it's end and either needs renovations or re-inventing.

I have yet to see anything that official which questions the structural integrity of the stadium. The first thing is for the city to spend the money to find out whether the stadium will continue to be safe for the foreseeable future. If it is safe, this whole debate is a complete non-starter. I, for one, am happy with Ivor Wynne as it is. I'm a seasons ticket holder and I go there to see a football, not some other kind of "destination".
The only way the city could afford to do build a new stadium, anywhere, any kind, would be to sell the Linc and the Red Hill Expressway to that Spanish consortium and use the proceeds to finance it.
Mac just built their own stadium on campus so there's no prospect of the Marauders as tenants, and as has been pointed out elsewhere, 9 dates a year aren't enough for this to be a catalyst in the redevelopment of the downtown and waterfront.
Surely most taxpayers wouldn't stand for it in any event having been saddled with the questionable cost of the aforementioned Red Hill Expressway and the "if you build it, they will come" history of Copps Coliseum.
As for private money, they'll only buy in if there's money to be made from their investment. Bob Young made a leap of faith when he bought the club (and bless him for doing it) but what else is there?


It was a nice article that acts as a tribute to Ivor Wynne....showing the history and why I'd prefer we keep the ol' girl.

I'll spell it out next time...I thought I did when I said I thought it was worth the read considering we're talking about GETTING RID OF THE STADIUM!!