how big should new stadium be?

with all the talk in the spectator about the pan-am games, there's been talk about a new stadium too.
i'm in favour of a refurbished ivor wynne — best fan-friendly football stadium anywhere, the Fenway Park of pro football.
more to the point, the people behind the bid are floating a 27,000-seat stadium. i think that's way too small. we'll never host a grey cup with that small a stadium (bob doesn't want to pay the high costs of temporary seating — about $100 a ticket — when it comes to bidding on a grey cup.)
even with our mediocre teams of late (and papered houses, to some degree) we've often had 27,000-plus at ivor wynne. in 2005 we averaged 28,002, and 27,853 in 2004.
i think we should aim for a stadium of 40,000, at least. it'll be another 80 years before we get another.

28,000 with room for temporary seats for the grey cup. Nice modern seating with the hall of fame built in, a large parking lot and a tailgating/party zone.

35,000 at minimum. You want it large enough to handle your largest crowds so you don't loose out on ticket sales. I have no problem with 25,000 on average in a 35,000 stadium. That's better than having 25,000 that could have been 35,000. The team won't make any money if they can't take advantage of larger crowd opportunities. Bob Young is a think big kind of guy and he would likely in a perfect world want larger stadium not always full than having a smaller stadium that could have held more....

I agree 'chris' . A stadium with 28 to 30 thousand would work, with room for temp seating.

I don't know why anyone would 'refurbish' such an old building. People keep saying that they love the way that IW is such a good fan-friendly stadium. You all know that you can also ''build'' a fan-friendly stadium, with good sightlines with better seating!!!


By the time the stadium is built the Tiger-Cats will have one the Grey Cup, there will be a large demand for tickets. In addition, the novelty of the stadium will attract even more fans.

Hosting a Grey Cup will then be a reality! :thup:

I agree with tc23...40,000 seats. Think big.
I think the future of this team is good and 40 thousand seats will allow more good seats to be available.
I can't see that costing any more (or very little more) than a 28 thousand seat stadium when it comes to upkeep. And I don't think the construction costs would become prohibitive either.
Heck if you are going to stay at 28 thousand you may as well just refurbish Ivor Wynne.

Maybe we can get bob to chip for an extra 12,000 seats at the last minute.

Yes, it should be designed so that you can accomodate the usual 25 - 30 thousand but have seats that are “closed” or hidden/covered/used for advertising so that they don’t look or feel like empty seats when you are there or at home watching on TV.

Furthermore, it should also be designed so that temporay seating could be added for special events such as the Grey Cup or big concerts or shows.

At least 35,000, with a design that would accomodate expansion in the future. Anything less is not worth building, might as well fix up the "old dump" on Balsam and admit that this city and its City Council can't do anything right.

Remember, you can't compare it to Fenway or Wrigley, both from my understanding, have had well over $100 mill into each to make it suitable and safe. This might not be the best for IWS, just like it wasn't for Tiger Stadium, Maple Leaf Gardens or the Montreal Forum. Every stadium/arena and city is a completely different kettle of fish.

In terms of size, no idea other than what I've said before, like the folks in Edmonton said, they should have kept it at 40,000, not 60,000 and Hamilton ain't no Edmonton for CFL football. 25,000-30,000 capable of going 40,000 for a GC, that's the max for this market. Better to spend the money on doing it right and classy rather than just "big".

The current seating capacity of IWS is 29,600. I could not find out what the current capacity is including standing and the tent section in the end zone. When we had the Grey Cup here in 1996 they added end zone bleachers which increased the capacity to 40,000.

In 2008 the biggest crowd we had was 25,911 for the Labour day game. In 2007 the biggest crowd was 28,644 for the Labour Day game. In 2006 the biggest crowd was 29,010 for an August game against the Argos. In 2005 the biggest crows was 29,600 for the Labour Day game.

So in my humble opinion the minimum seating for a football game in the new stadium should be 32,000 with the ability to add additional seating, so we have a chance at hosting another Grey Cup Game. With 32,000 seats you have room for more fans during the years the ticats are playing well and for those years when they are not playing well, the stadium will not look too empty.

Build it right the first time since all 3 levels of government will be kicking in money. If you build it too small now and want to expand it later with permanent seating, then Hamilton will have to foot that entire bill.

In terms of size, no idea other than what I've said before, like the folks in Edmonton said, they should have kept it at 40,000, not 60,000 and Hamilton ain't no Edmonton for CFL football. 25,000-30,000 capable of going 40,000 for a GC, that's the max for this market. Better to spend the money on doing it right and classy rather than just "big".
Right on, Earl. There's no sense in going for "overkill." We'd end up with thousands of empty seats with rare exceptions. I'm hoping we can build a very functional stadium of about 25,000 to 30,000 as you are suggesting and which is in line with the 27,000 seats advocated by the committee and the city.

Such a facility could be expanded for Grey Cup games by placing permanent seating over the track that will be used for the Pan Am games, (if we get them) and with temporary seating as we have done many times at Ivor Wynne stadium.

First things, first! Lets nail down the 2015 games for Hamilton, despite some narrow minded individuals on our City Council.

12 seats lol just kidding
28,000-37,500 max should be good


I laugh when I see stuff like this.

The CFL has always been a 25,000 - 30,000K league.
Edmonton may be the only exception.
Could you imagine always having 15,000 - 20,000 empty seats? Come on people, think!

Also, please quoting the Ticats attendance from 2, 3 years back.
The organization flat out said they gave out up to 8,000 tickets a game. Hence the massive attendance spike once Bob took over the team. This year is when they stopped doing that, and all of a sudden it's back to normal Hamilton crowds.

I've been a CFL fan forever. Hamilton and Ottawa are very similar (aside they we always had the messed up owners) - both cities have about 15K core fans, and the rest show up when the team does well.

However it is nice to see Hamilton in the running for a new stadium. With BC Place being referbished, Winnipeg almost certain to get a new stadium, the McGill going through renovations, talk of Sask getting a new park, along with Ottawa, it's going to put the CFL in good footing for the next 15-20 years, IMO.

How about we look at the capacity of the "original" version of Ivor Wynne (NOT Civic) Stadium. I believe, including the old west end zone stands, the capacity was about 33,000, and in fact, the attendance at the Grey Cup in 1972 was 33,993. So let's set that as a MAXIMUM capacity for regular seating, and set current as MINIMUM. Remember, we have to pay for ALL the regular seating, so I think we look at what a reasonable regular attendance would be and peg it there.

And remember that you also have to build a demand-generation component into the want enough seats to meet demand, but not have supply exceed demand. That makes the value of the seats go down, especially at season ticket time. I would think the ideal would be that people can't look and say "the place holds 40,000, so I can ALWAYS get a ticket when I want it." Larry smith, Pres of the Alouettes has actually suggested that is the biggest advantage to the small size of Molson Stadium, and why they DON'T want to either move to the Big Owe or add TOO many seats to Molson (they only want to add 5,000)...

SO? I say 30,000 to 32,000 with room to add temp seating for Grey Cup...and that impacts design, because bowl-shaped stadia, like Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich (which Kernaghan reviewed a few months back), can only be "expanded" by going higher, which I'm told doubles cost of temp seats.

All I know is that this becomes the next stage of rebirth for the Cats...and the Pan-Am experience, hopefully, for Hamilton. And let's put it in the West Harbor...might as well do the work needed to make that part of the city usable and desirable!

Another thing concerning the stadium size to possibly factor in although who knows at this point is that the TiCats might end up being Southern Ontario's team if the NFL moves into Toronto and kills the Argos. Personally I don't think this will happen but, as I say, who knows. Although even without the Argos, how many people from Toronto would come here to watch the CFL? Probably very few.

I suggest somewhere between 32,000 and 36,000. It will have to have a track for the Pan Am Games (assuming we win it… a big if), so it won’t have the intimacy of IWS. But then it won’t be on the verge of falling down either, I hope. A good trade-off I figure. Of course it would need to have significant room for temp seating too if hosting the Grey Cup is in future plans.

As to location, I really have no idea. This is always a big debate… downtown vs. suburbs, etc. I don’t think there’s a perfect answer to that one at all. Land acquisition cost will be a big factor in the decision for whatever level(s) of government are footing the bill.

Bigger is not always better. 40,000 seems way too big to me. There's nothing more depressing than sitting in a half empty stadium (like the Argos have done for years now). Also, limiting the availability of tickets builds demand as in the Alouette's case. I'd say 28,000-30,000 would be good with room for temporary seating for special events like the GC.

An Argo-Cup fan

What would they expect with regards to the Pan Am games? Would an opening ceremonies and track days draw more than 30,000? Anybody remember what Winnipeg drew for the 1999 Games? Great legacy there with the ball park!