It took a plebiscite on the municipal ballot to authorize the spending of $1,500,000.00 (?) to build the current north stands at Ivor Wynne (then still Civic Stadium) between the end of the 1970 season and beginning of the 1971 season (?). I remember the building of the south and east stands back in the early '60's.
I say the above to show not just my advancing years, but also to demonstrate my knowledge of and passion for the home of the Ticats, Ivor Wynne. However, every dog has its day. Ivor Wynne is in pretty rough shape and needs mega bucks just to stay a safe venue. Obviously this city needs and hopefully wants a replacement facility. One which would both become a fine home for the city's greatest goodwill ambassadors and some say greatest tourism draw, your favourite team: The HAMILTON Tiger-Cats.
I think that this city should explore the possibility of obtaining, both federal and provincial funding to build this stadium, irregardless of whether the Pam Am bid is successful or not. Seeing the recent record of this area's bid for major games including our two failed Commonwealth Games bids and Toronto's failed Olympic bid, does not give me great confidence in our ultimately being awarded the 2015 Pam Am games.
The need and want is there whether or not we are successful in getting the games. I think we shouldn't be pinning all of our hopes on something that isn't an actual "slam dunk". If gone about in the right way (and I'm certainly not an expert on this) both senior levels of government might be willing to come aboard with funding. I think that the need is great elsewhere in the CFL, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and even Ottawa (who is trying to get back in the league). The CFL is, at least on one weekend in November a great unifier in this country. Shouldn't the federal government, especially, be interested in helping it flourish?
Apparently there is money available for "shovel ready" infrastructure projects as part of the economic stimulus package. (Ottawa, for instance, is rushing to get their Lansdowne Stadium redevelopment plans "shovel ready" by the end of March in order to qualify). So if the games bid focuses the powers that be, and helps to get this project anywhere near shovel ready, there might be a truckload of federal cash available even if the Games bid isn't successful.
It's a long shot, given the city's track record, but where there's effort there's hope.
Our chances of getting the games look pretty good right now, depending on what council does tomorrow, however, it's a good idea to keep an "ace in the hole." From things I've heard and read lately, I would guess that one way or another, we'll get our stadium, but attaching it to the Pan Am games would save us millions.
In the event that we don't get a stadium, we could see the demise of the Hamilton Tiger Cats which would be a tragedy. In fact, we could see the demise of the CFL if they have to play with only seven teams. I know it looks like a sure thing that Ottawa is almost ready to go again, but things sometimes have a way of going awry, and I wouldn't count on that either.
All of this being said, I've got my money on a favourable decision tomorrow by council followed by a favourable decision by the Pan Am Committee.
Agree Spike. And Bob is in the drivers seat as I see it, he doesn't need the TiCats as much as in his heart he would love the TiCats, his team and ours with him, to win a GC. But reality is, no games, no new stadium, Hamilton says screw this, we will close IWS if it is deemed unsafe and screw Mr. Young etc. Bob walks away, he's still a multi, multi millionaire and then no headaches. While the city of Hamilton is faced with demolition costs for IWS and costs of doing something with this land. And no new stadium, still no NHL team etc.
Bob is already the winner in this regardless of how it all plays out. IMHO.