Interesting View From Terry Cooke

In today's Spec opinion section, Terry Cooke weighs in on stadium re-location. And with his resume, an interesting perspective indeed.

http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/501211

Remarks?

If terry cookie had his way in the past there would be no Hamilton Tiger-Cats today.

As far as im concerned he should not be commenting on this topic !

He's got a good point 'though, It's basically the same as the urban planners in Ottawa were saying; build it where it will be smartest to build it, so the city and the fans get the most benefit. Living near Vancouver IMO it's great to go to the city, stay with a friend and catch the rapid transit in to BC Place, then walk to a nice restaurant after the game, then catch the skytrain back out to where I've stayed and parked, for free. Where is that in Hamilton and Ottawa?

I'd love to enjoy the Tiger-Cats in that way. I want it to be a day or evening for me. Not just a football game.

Terry Cooke makes a very convincing argument.

All the more reason for a west harbourfront or downtown location.

Didn't we go through this whole process with the recent Commonwealth games bid? Did things change enough for them to go through this process yet again?

Of course he should.

Are you saying that the taxpayers should spend well over $100 million dollars [i][b]just[b][i] for the Tiger-Cats?

I say no, and I love the Cats.

Taxpayer money should be spent with a much broader base of concerns that affect the city as a whole. It's not just so that some can drive conveniently to a parking lot at Confederation Park.

Any major infrastructure project should be viewed as an investment, and all considerations on how best to invest in the city is first priority. Reclaiming brownspace is a no brainer in my opinion. How anyone can be against that is beyond me.

These points Terry made are pretty convincing

  • Simply put, a stadium is just a massive real-estate play for the municipality.

As a public building it will not pay taxes, therefore the only economic upside is
how much of a catalyst it can be for the redevelopment of adjacent properties

as a means of creating jobs and generating assessment growth.

Confederation Park is a landlocked parcel surrounded by highways
and water with zero potential for complementary land uses.

No restaurants, no hotels and no condos will be built in proximity

as the result of a stadium being constructed there.

  • The criteria for locating a new Hamilton stadium should rest on three principles:

opportunities to spur redevelopment,

access to public transit

and the ability to generate pedestrian traffic
for nearby businesses and cultural attractions.

This isn't rocket science.

We have two major commuter rail lines that bisect the city

and a possible future east-west light rail
transit system in the Main-King corridor.

Our biggest brownfields are in the west harbour

and our major cultural institutions and businesses are downtown.

Terry Cooke is a former Hamilton-Wentworth regional chair.

He is currently president of Cooke Capital Corporation
as well as a corporate director with several companies.

Our biggest brownfields are in the west harbour

and our major cultural institutions

and businesses are downtown.

terry cookie did make some good points, but those points have been reiterated.
People forget quickley when cookie was in council he was against saving the Tiger-cats.

It doesn't matter what Terry Cooke's bias is regarding
government being involved in Sports stadiums

he isn't on the Pan Am Games commitee, folks.

If Terry had a vote on Hamilton getting involved
in Pan Am Games bid he would likely be against it,

but that is irrelevant, he is a businessman.

He has done a considerable bit of research

and his research indicates that sports complexes work best
if located where economic redevelopments are spurred.

and where there is access to public transit

and the ability to generate pedestrian traffic
for nearby businesses and cultural attractions.

P.S.

I see now that inner city urban areas
work better from a business standpoint,

I'm not leaning towards the Confederation Park location
which I instinctively liked because of it's highway accessiblity

to other cities and towns and to showcase an area I am very fond of.

Now I need to be convinced there is adequate
road transportation and parking for people.

Here's what I really like about what he said. First off, let's face it, he's like a lot around these parts. a huge baseball fan. And that is fine, no problem at all. But he realizes Hamilton is not getting any MLB team as much as he and countless others might like it. We are "stuck" (thank goodness for me) with our TiCats, and he appreciates that. Wrigley, Fenway, Dodger Stadium, Jacobs all great, the best for many, but not here in Hamilton, just ain't going to happen to play agains't these teams.

But if we are going to get the Pan-Am Games and a stadium, then brownfields and downtown is the only way this will work for taxpayers in Hamilton. And I completely agree with him even if it might not be the "best" whatever site from other viewpoints.

Have to admit, this might be the first time a true MLB lover and me, a true CFL lover, see eye to eye on something. BTW, if anyone here sees that I'm wrong that Mr. Cooke loves MLB over the CFL, please correct me. Have to admit, I'm just assuming this reading the article, I don't know him at all.

Terry Cooke's op ed piece lists three criteria for selecting a stadium site:

"The criteria for locating a new Hamilton stadium should rest on three principles: opportunities to spur redevelopment, access to public transit and the ability to generate pedestrian traffic for nearby businesses and cultural attractions."

There is a fourth criterion that Cooke and a few other former politicians and current politicians sometimes tend to forget: the ability of the stadium to help pay for itself in the chosen location. This includes the ability to produce revenue from outdoor concerts.

If the stadium is to seat 15,000 people as currently planned by the Pan Am bid company, it would be too small for Ticat games and would have less seats for concert than Copps Coliseum already has now. It would not be financially feasible to build this stadium at any location.

This may be a moot point if the funding cannot be assembled, but the originally planned stadium seating 24,000 to 27,000 people would accommodate Ticat games and mid-sized concerts. As noted in a previous post on another thread, there have been almost no outdoor concerts held at Ivor Wynne Stadium over the past 30 years because it is located in a residential neighbourhood. Therefore, if the stadium is to be located at the West Harbourfront or in Downtown Hamilton, then the City of Hamilton had better start doing its homework right now by surveying the neighbourhoods bordering the proposed stadium sites to determine how many outdoor concerts (i.e. how much traffic congestion and noise) they are prepared to tolerate every year. This will help the city decide whether it would be politically and financially feasible to build a new stadium in either of those two locations. If it is not workable, then the city has to decide whether one of the potential sites is politically and financially feasible or shelve the project altogether.

Although Gage Park, in a residential area, has the festivals in the summer all the time. In fact, I went to see the Trews, a fairly loud rock band, play at the Fesitval of Friends (might be the wrong one, can't remember) and they played until 10:30 pm or thereabouts, and I don't think there were too many problems from the local residents. And it was pretty loud I will tell you.

Downtown is not the place for a stadium. These facilities do not spurr economic growth in the immediate areas around them. Office towers or condos or medical buildings etc create economic benefits to the areas around them daily, year round. Hamilton is not big enough to create the type of economic dead zones that surround downtown stadiums. A new stadium would do what? funnel maybe 20k people in and out of it 15- 20 times a year while draining public resources and eating up prime real estate? and any jobs they do create are low paying mostly seasonal jobs. Yankees have played in yankee stadium for how long? 100years maybe? and take a walk around the south bronx sometime and see how that stadium has made the area prosper. Ivory wynne hasnt done anything for that area either. its ludicrous and it doesnt work. The logical place for these stadiums is on the edge of a city where the future land use is expected to be low in value with public transit available and adequate parking. But.......the people who have deep pockets who will most benefit from these places and the real estate always want the downtown areas because it will most benefit THEM. They just dont want to pay to do it and would rather you and I pay for it.

Earl said:

Although Gage Park, in a residential area, has the festivals in the summer all the time. In fact, I went to see the Trews, a fairly loud rock band, play at the Fesitval of Friends (might be the wrong one, can't remember) and they played until 10:30 pm or thereabouts, and I don't think there were too many problems from the local residents. And it was pretty loud I will tell you.
There are two festivals held annually at Gage Park: Its Your Festival (Canada Day weekend) and Festival of Friends (first weekend in August). And, as you have stated, the festival concerts are loud. Some residents in the neighbourhood think the festivals are okay while some residents do not like the parking overload, noise and mess created by the festivals, but they generally tolerate it because they know that it only occurs two times a year on predictable dates. Building a new 24,000 to 27,000 stadium near the West Harbourfront or in Downtown Hamilton and having 10 Ticat football games and 10 to 20 outdoor concerts on varying dates each year is a much different situation that would require a large amount of advance consultation with and acceptance by the residents in the adjacent neighbourhoods and plenty of advance planning to be workable. In addition, an issue could emerge as to whether the brownfields near the West Harbourfront should be converted into green space in the same way that Bayfront (Pier 4) Park was converted to green space many years ago.

In any event, it now appears that provincial funding is not available to build the stadium to the size originally estimated by the City of Hamilton thus the dream of a new football home for the Ticats may be put on hold yet again.

Yes, certainly on hold now it seems if there isn't some way of raising more capital to make a proper CFL type stadium happen. No sense in this community to have a 15,000 seater when you have basically a smaller yet similar stadium just built at McMaster. Maybe upgrading IWS is the way to go if the money isn't there, certainly better than nothing.

David Braley gave 5 million to Mac for an athletics centre named after him, let him pay the way for a new stadium if he's so inlcined and we'll call it the DBS. Sitting on the Pan Am Games Board, he would know what type or size of stadium is needed. Or what about Ron Joyce... paying minimum wages on way to his fortune. The sorry state of economics in this province.... cutting health care jobs in Hamilton is one example... dictates that we do not need to spend over a billion dollars for 2 weeks of Pan Am games with mostly B team athletes that most people don't care about. Half of Ivor Wynne was built in the 1970's, Calgary's stadium is older, but they seem to be doing fine on their way to hosting next years Grey Cup. Put our taxes where they are needed and stop wasting it on the construction contracts of those well connected. Vancouver is already looking at creating a new law in order to access more money to account for rising construction costs etc as the 2010 Olympic hosts. At least Halifax had the sense enough to pull out of the Commonweatlh bid a few years ago realizing the over 1 billion $ costs were astronomical and not reclaimable in incidental infrustucture/future revenue incentives.

beetlejuice said,
"Yankees have played in yankee stadium for how long? 100years maybe? and take a walk around the south bronx sometime and see how that stadium has made the area prosper. Ivory wynne hasnt done anything for that area either."

It's true, there are numerous examples of stadiums built in downtown areas that have not helped. building a stadium downtown does not neccesarily revitilize the downtown area, look at Copps Coliseum. People generally drive in watch the game and drive out. terry crooks idea sounds good on paper, but in reality is a lot more complicated than just building a stadium downtown.

For example, building a facility like MLSE is building, (Maple Leaf Square) with a mall, condos, restaurants, etc. with proper infrastucture would be viable. But this is not going to happen in Hamilton.
Sorry folks, this is a pipe dream, the downtown core needs a lot more done than a stadium to revitalize it.

In addition, it would cost millions of dollars above and beyond what is being allocated to make this viable.

Thank you terry crook for your 2 cents.

The unfortunate part of doing nothing though is that the downtown will continue to have the brownfields and that. Basically then have to wait for private investors to build hotels and that and do it basically more on their own.

Now, that does bring us back to maybe the airport area where private investors might be more inclined to do some complex type of thing along with a stadium, more a private venture. Do something like a Wheels in Chatham combined with a Wolfe Lodge Niagara Falls thingy, etc., a real family destination.

what mr cooke fails to mention is that the arena in downtown cleveland, now effectionately known as the "quicken loans arena" has done nothing to change the state of clevelands downtown. People go to the game and get out of there, same goes for the baseball stadium next door. It was mr gund who operated richfield colliseum and mr gund who tore it down when given a free ride to nice downtown spot on the backs of who else? taxpayers for course. He knew moving his team downtown would increase its value and it was his mission to make it happen, and finally he did. After proposal after proposal was turned down, including a domed stadium for downtown cleveland that taxpayers said no to they managed to get taxpayers to agree to a surcharge or as we call it, sin tax. In May 1990 county voters passed a 15-year sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes to help finance the complex. The tax involved various surcharges, such as 1.9 cents on a can of beer and 4.5 cents on a pack of cigarettes Mr gund signed a 30 year lease in exchange for naming rights to the stadium but what happened in the end? he sold the team ten years later and because of the building the taxpayers built for them mr gund sold the team for 375mil. Gund and his brother George bought the team from Ted Stepien in 1983 for $20 million. Add in that he secured an nba all star game in the new building its not hard to see why it happens. He sold the team before ten years of his 30 year lease were up( he held on to 10% ). Anyone who ever went to events at richfield through the years as I did can tell you about the two beer lines and id checks for everyone to show where you lived. If you lived inside summit or cayahogo you paid extra tax on the beer you bought to fund the new arena or if out of county, you went to the other line, it was pretty funny to see. It becomes a real estate grab and these new buildings raise the value of the teams playing in them almost immediately while the taxpayers build them and the owners use it as an excuse to double(many times) ticket prices and charge ridiculous seat licences. We all know a new stadium means a grey cup in hamilton almost right away. They refuse to discuss a grey cup until they get a new stadium even though cups have been here in the past. They can build a stadium and have the grey cup whenever they want if they pay for it somehow other than with tax dollars. The value in many of these pro sports teams is in the subsidies they can get from taxpayers in the communities they are in. Thats why as long as LA has no nfl team the other owners will use the 'pay us or we move' scenario to hold taxpayers ransom. Its what buffalo is going to use toronto for, as clear as anyone can see but toronto, lol.

What you failed to mention is that Cleveland and Hamilton are headed in two different directions.

Cleveland's population in 1990 was about 500,000 people and as of 2006 it shrunk to about 400,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland, ... mographics

Hamilton is growing with the latest population figures being over 500,000.

The reason Cooke probably did not mention Cleveland is that the situations of the two citites are very different and any such comparison is fairly meaningless.

Even today people frequent downtown establishments during evenings when events are held at Copps. During the night of the Who concert I was eating at a downtown Thai restaurant that was filled with Who concert goers. We got the very last table.

As GO service improves, and the metrolinx plans move forward, and the growth od SOuthern Ontarion continues, Hamilton will only grow with it.

'

Exactly, it didnt work there and it WONT work here. population counts the amalgamation numbers doesnt it for hamilton? I dont know but if it does then that argument goes out the window too.