Hamilton Submitting Stadium Request


Hamilton is developing a list of venues it wants constructed for the Pan Am games:

Hamilton setting Pan-Am priorities
Four venues on the table today


January 12, 2009
John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator

[i]It's getting closer to crunch time in terms of Hamilton's Pan American Games role, the point where city councillors will have to make some big financial decisions.

That will be set up by today's report to the city's committee of the whole. It identifies four venues Hamilton could submit to the Toronto 2015 bid bosses, and asks for council's direction so staff can report back next month on financial implications of winning new and improved facilities in the bid process.

The facilities are:

* A 24,000-to-27,000-seat stadium to replace decaying Ivor Wynne Stadium. It would have a 400-metre track, 400-metre training track, retail space and training space indoors, as well as perhaps house The Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

  • A 50-metre pool that Toronto 2015 has earmarked for Hamilton as a training facility.

  • An improved Copps Coliseum to house volleyball.

  • A permanent velodrome, if the bid board decides on that option versus a temporary venue, to build on Hamilton's legacy from the 2003 world road championships.

The report, prepared by Tourism Hamilton executive director David Adames and to be presented by Tim McCabe, general manager of planning and economic development, identified four possible areas to house a stadium.

It listed the West Harbourfront, East-end Gateway at Confederation Park, downtown Hamilton and the airport lands.

If the $1.8-billion Games were won and Hamilton was awarded the four venues, 70 per cent of the capital costs would be handled by the provincial and federal governments, the remainder by Hamilton. But the city would receive credits for any land donated to house the facilities. The province has agreed to cover any cost overruns. And the Hamilton Tiger-Cats might contribute to the stadium bill.

Toronto 2015's bid book, a detailed blueprint of how a regional Games spanning the Golden Horseshoe would be staged, must be submitted by late April, in a competition that includes Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia. A decision on the 40-nation showcase is expected next fall.



Interesting. Sounds like it could be good news for the Ti-Cats. Just out of curiosity, what's the max capacity for Ivor Wynne? 24,000-27,000 sounds kind of small. I figured they'd go for 30,000.

Someone here will know for sure, but 28,000-29,000 seems to ring a bell.

Bogota, Columbia and Lima Peru. Ain't exactly the creme de la creme of the sporting world Hogtown's competing against. Unless cocaine muling or militaristic coups are going to be trial sports.

It'll be interesting how this works out here. A lot of die hard long-time TiCat fans here love IWS to death and don't want any part of an new stadium, the sightlines thing is paramount in their minds as well as keeping costs down on tickets and also love the old girl just because who she is.

I guess one question for the CFL in this, what would they rather see given that no way the Argos can afford to build their own facility - would they rather have the Argos in a smaller, intimate venue or the TiCats, first anyways, for the overall health of the CFL in southern Ontario? I think this is a fair question but one we will not hear an answer to.

Yes, IWS as it is, is around the 28,500 mark.

Hmm. If they're basically the same size, is renovating Ivor Wynne not a viable option?

I'd prefer to renovate IWS for the 15 mil they quoted in the paper a while ago.

McMaster has a brand new track. Just throw some temp seats around there and it will be suitable.

The problem I have with building all this stuff is that after the games are over, no one will use it. A velodrome? Please, it won't get used.

I don't want the taxpayers of this great city to pay for a new stadium that gets used for 10 CFL games, 10 high school games and a handful of track meets.

No one in Hamilton wants a new stadium. Only the city councillors and Sheila Copps do.

I personally want nothing to do with these games. We don't need to build venues that will never be used again, except for maybe a new pool but we have a lot in the city already.

Just renovate IWS and it will all be good.

Not really... the city's not ruling it out but even if they do renovate, they realize it still won't last forever... with the Pan Ams possibly (and quite probably) coming, they figure it's the best way to get a new stadium... if the Pan Ams don't pan out (no pun intended), then they'll review their other options

As for me, I love the old girl, even if other CFL fans in other cities think it's an eyesore. It will always be a special place for me.

That being said, all good things come to an end, and I am realistic that IWS won't last forever. If a new stadium is built, I welcome it with open arms.

An international sporting event isn’t going to award a winning bid to a region that is willing to throw a temporary venue up. I mean the 1996 Atlanta Olympic stadium was a temporary as a track and field venue but was a permanent stadium nonetheless with all the modern amenities of the time.

This city can only dream of being able to call itself great if we engage in challenging projects that make sense. The new stadium, (it has to be new) must be used year round to host much more than just football either as a trade centre and exhibition venue like the Fargodomehttp://www.fargodome.com or for year round recreation like the bubble used at BMO Field and what’s left of Frank Clair Stadium.

Ivor Wynne is antiquated beyond renovation and a refit isn’t going to cut it in attracting marquee events for the year round use needed to make a new venue viable.

The long term sustainability and growth of the Tiger-Cats depends on a new venue. They need a stadium that is more accommodating in the way of corporate suites, advertising spaces, media facilities, football facilities (IWS away dressing room is as accommodating as a urine soaked community ice rink change room), an indoor concourse, built in gift shops, modern concessions, restrooms, better wheelchair access and a new location.

I know its selling out but the thing has to look closer to a shopping mall until you get into the arena. You won’t have much of a change in your gate, but the corporate support should increase substantially.
The building itself has to make money for the community and team. If the team is ever to recoup its financial losses (as reported in the Spec) it needs a modern facility with the mentioned features and one that can accommodate Grey Cup. The Cats are right in not bidding on the Grey Cup now, it would be an embarrassment to the league and the city to host a national championship with the venue we currently have.

The sight lines are great but that’s all Ivor Wynne has left. Its only a matter of time before the older parts of the stadium have to be completely rebuilt anyhow.

In discussing the new stadium with Bob, he would like to see retractable seating installed so that the sightlines will be maintained. Also, as I posted elsewhere, Hamilton will not host the GC until after a new stadium is built.

Finally some potential good news, but agreed way too small.
At least a minimum 30,000 with room to expand for the GC is needed.

One stadium between Hamilton and Toronto and the Cats and Argos both play out of it. Not going to happen though. Not that I want that personally living in Hamilton but would be, could be, a great idea, make it "Southern Ontario CFL Central", the place to be, the Can FHoF there as well, right on the Go Train line. At least 18 games a year.

24000 is to small. minimum 35000 Think of future popularity of CFL!!

disagree, do the TFC model, create a demand for tickets and build a 2nd or larger tier after that.

Agreed, build a stadium that creates demand. While the CFL maintains its status as Canada's second most valuable sports league on TV, you never hear someone excited over being able to score tickets for anything other than Grey Cup. Yes prices would go up but it doesn't have to mean that they need to be ridiculously priced; just hard to get. This lends itself to a packed house with an intimate environment.

If the Cats can be competitive, at Ivor Wynne they'd probably average 25,000 a game. Build a 20,000 to 25,000 seater with a modestly competitive team you should have an Alouette-esque sell out streak for years.

Here's an idea. WIth government having issues with funding stadiums (unless its a hockey stadium) and the CFL having issues getting new teams because government's are having problems funding stadiums (except hockey), why not build a stadium in the Hammer with more than 1 team in mind.

Kitchener and London keep getting mentioned as potential CFL sites. They're both under 2 hours drive away. Hell even Windsor is only about 3 hours away. Why couldn't more than 1 team use the stadium, further justifying government support? It worked at the Meadowlands.


City’s Pan Am wish list hits $220m
Hamilton costs jumps sharply under funding formula to build facilities


John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jan 13, 2009)

[i]Hamilton’s wish list for the 2015 Pan American Games bid will be $220 million covering three new facilities.

That figure was revealed to city councillors yesterday by the city’s lead hand on the Games, Tourism Hamilton director David Adames.

They also learned the “informal” funding formula to build facilities, which could include a 27,000-seat stadium, a 50-metre pool and an indoor velodrome, might require 44 per cent support from the city and any private partners, up from the 30 per cent previously thought.

That would push the city’s contribution to the facilities to almost $97 million from an estimated $66 million.

Adames pointed out, however, that that margin could be offset somewhat by Toronto 2015 paying for operating expenses for the duration of the Games.

While the city’s cost is rising, the time frame for it to make the key decision about stadium location is shrinking.

“There is no firm deadline to identify a site but the bid book is due in April and the bid company wants a preferred stadium site (from Hamilton) by February or March,” Adames said.

But when all was said and done by city councillors, much was said and only one thing done.

That’s the Confederation Park site as a candidate to house a $150-million stadium as Hamilton’s part in the 2015 bid.

It became toast when city councillors voted it off the list of potential sites presented in Adames’ update on Hamilton’s developing role in Toronto 2015.

Councillor Chad Collins argued it made no sense to take valuable greenspace out of the urban landscape.

With that site struck from the list, councillors asked city staff to again consider a revamped Ivor Wynne Stadium as an alternative.

It was unanimous that no site was perfect and Adames later pointed out there are very few open sites in Hamilton of 8 hectares, the size needed to host track and field given the need for a training track.

Adames said all 20 locations considered in past Commonwealth Games bids would be revisited and perhaps another area of the city offered for consideration next month.

More detailed reports are expected then, but time is ticking away. And at some point in that time frame city council will also have to make a call on a financial commitment.

Civic politicians did not amend the list of venues the city is seeking, led by the proposed stadium.

McMaster University is assessing the 50-metre pool for inclusion in the David Braley Athletic Centre and a feasibility study/business plan for the velodrome is expected soon.

It’s being prepared by the Canadian Cycling Centre Hamilton, which is based at McMaster and is one of five high-performance centres in Canada.

Toronto 2015 must identify its venues in a bid book presented in April to the Pan American Sports Organization.

The Canadian bid, which will span the Golden Horseshoe, is up against Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia, in the competition for the 2015 showcase.

A vote next fall will determine the winning host city.



Eh... this may just be me, but if we're going to get a team in London, I'd rather they play in London. I'm not going to drive 2 hous every week to watch games.

Wahhh! I drive just over 3 hours to watch Rider games. Literally thousands drive from Saskatoon every week.

And I'm real proud of you, Artie. Honestly, you're a model fan. But I don't feel like driving to Hamilton to watch the London Whatevers.

Would you drive to Hamilton to watch the Eskies?