New Hamilton Stadium- The Architect's Perspective

There is an article titled "Pan Am possibilities in the round" by John Kernaghan in today's Hamilton Spectator. Kernaghan speaks with Bob Johnston, the architectural consultant for the proposed Hamilton Pan Am Games stadium. Johnston's design philosophy is to "...begin the use of the facility as you want to end. What business are you in?", and he intends to draw from recommendations to be made by a Hamilton community advisory board in his design of the new stadium.

Kernaghan also reviews Johnston's most recent project, the Richmond Olympic Oval built for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. That facility has an attractive yet flexible and environmentally compatible design capable of accommodating many uses for the community after the Olympics are over. This approach should bode well for the new stadium in Hamilton and the entire community.

Here is the link to the article:

Mr Johnson has said sports organisations could lease their own training facilities
inside the stadium to use for the development of their youth and elite athletes.

There is already a need for that with cycling.

Cyclists have been making due training at Mc Master
since the World Cycling Championships a few years ago.

Good point, ronfromtigertown. The construction of a velodrome near the new stadium should provide added value to the Hamilton community after the Pan Am Games are done.

Rob Good, program manager at Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario, made a presentation at the special city council meeting in Hamilton on Feb 23/09. He said that the Forest City Velodrome has successful training programs for elite cyclists and beginners. He was confident that the Hamilton Velodrome can have similar success and he envisions the two velodrome managements working together to benefit the sport of cycling in southern Ontario.

Here is the link to the Forest City Velodrome website:

Excellent and with a harbour location it makes it closer to McMaster facilities where athletes don't have to travel that far, creating a critical mass area that often spurns new ideas for use and training.

At the city council meeting on Monday,

Rob Good, program manager at the Forest City Velodrome in London,
mentioned that his club did a pilot project with 2 inner city schools.

100 youth were given bikes and clothes, some instruction
and a few days riding experience on their track in London

and 7 of these kids ended up joining their youth program.


The more youth that take up a sport in a country the more
elite athletes that country will evenually get in that sport.

Rob mentioned that Manchester England, now world reknowned
for cycling, with their many Olympic medals, had few medals

before their velodrome was put up in the year 2000.

By the way, here is a link to an interesting prototype for a waterfront stadium being contemplated by the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL:

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If built, the new Hamilton Pan Am stadium will run north to south unlike Ivor Wynne Stadium which runs east to west. If the stadium is built at the west harbour site, the north end would face Stuart Street, the railyards and the harbour, the south end would face Barton Street West, the east side would face Tiffany Street, and the west side would face Queen Street North. Similar to the positioning of the proposed Whitecap Waterfront Stadium, it would be visually impressive for the Hamilton stadium to have a basically open north end offering views of the harbour while a partial roof on the east and west sides and the south end could help to contain and/or deflect some of the stadium noise away from the adjacent neighbourhoods particularly to the east and south.

The Velodrome will be a "White Elephant" - like the one they built in Montreal.
They should be looking at plans to make it into something else once the games are finished, maybe convert it to a Casino.
There's just not enough demand for that type of speed cycling, it will not be used very much and will cost the city to run it. Start making plans now on how to convert this thing to something useful that can at least make some money.

Did you read my post about the one in London, Ontario mikem?

and the success of the velodrome in Manchester, England
in developing participation in the sport and Olympic medals?

The Velodrome in Montreal was a white elephant because it was such an extravagant building. The roof of that building alone likely cost as much as a whole CFL stadium, even in 1976 dollars. The track in London is a great example of how to recycle old arenas. We just lost or old rink here in Barrie with out so much as a thought to other sports related uses. If a modest (IE: affordable for the users) and good facility is built, I think you will be surprised as to the use it would get. Hamilton has a tremendous opportunity here. I hope you make the best of it.

But who is going to run the thing? The City of Hamilton? If a private company can come in or cycling groups that can make some money out of it then do it, prove it.
We have to look at what we are going to do with these facilities.

I'm hoping that they are looking at a plan to use the stadium year round. Are they considering a dome so the facility could be used year round?