Stadium Vote Is In!

Live Spectator blog of the vote to see how councillors debated the issue -

Vote passed 12-3

Well done, people.

This is just the beginning - but it's sure better to start out from a position of strength.

I'm happy about the outcome :rockin:

Hopefully, the west harbourfront will be chosen as the site.

Well, build it and I will come. I don't really care where..........................

Wonderful start. The best thing this present city council has done.

all that remains is where they put it and adding an extra zero to the end of the cost number.

Will Still Won't win the Games
Bogotá, Colombia will win the Games..
They have more need for the Games then we do


Toronto will get it based simply on the rotation. north america is due.

2003 Domincan Republic

2007 Rio De Janiero

2011 Mexico

Mexico and the Dominican Republic are in North America.

I guess you are correct. I always only think of the US and Canada as north america.

let's just say then that somewhere north of Texas is due for the games. lol

I just read this on the Spec on-line

this Spectator column guy isn't too pleased at all.

Two-stage stadium plan a 'shell game'

February 23, 2009
Andrew Dreschel
The Hamilton Spectator
(Feb 23, 2009)
Amid all the shimmying and shuffling leading up to today's city council vote on the Pan Am Games bid, the slickest move by far was dividing the stadium proposal into two stages.

Rather than asking council to commit to the whole shebang, city staff sweetened the pill by only asking for $60 million for a 15,000-seat venue, big enough to host Pan Am events, but not Ticat games.

Only the second phase, which adds $50 million to the price tag and as many a 15,000 more seats, would allow the shiny new facility to replace Ivor Wynne as the Ticats' home field.

But council isn't actually being asked to approve that second stage.

All they're being asked to do is direct staff to pursue other "funding opportunities" for it -- public, private, lotteries, donations, asset sales, you name it.

It's a brilliant piece of stickhandling because it gives the impression that local taxpayers are only being tapped for $60 million.

But it's shell game, of course.

We all know that if those other "funding opportunities" don't materialize or fail to bring in the full $50 million, local taxpayers will be on the hook.

And we all know that once council commits to investing the $60 million, they'll be writing a blank cheque for the second phase.

That's because we don't want or need a new 15,000-seat venue.

We want and need a full-size stadium to replace the worn-out Ivor Wynne, which is already 30 years past its best before date.

We all know that the only reason Hamilton council will likely back the bid is the lure of getting that stadium through a cost-sharing plan that would see the senior levels of government kick in millions of dollars.

This is not about the Games.

A world record hasn't been set at Pan Am since 1979.

They attract only limited public interest and marginal TV exposure, at least in the United States.

This has never been about the Games.

This is all about "legacy." And the legacy is building a new stadium.

Can we afford it?

They're talking about bankrolling the $60 million through the Hamilton Future Fund, which would have no impact on operating and capital budgets, or the city's credit rating.

Councillor Sam Merulla makes a persuasive argument that the $60 million would be better spent on repairing and replacing basic infrastructure.

But it's unlikely he'll convince the majority of his colleagues. As Merulla notes, Pan Am boosters have entered a dream-like state in which a new stadium has taken precedence over all other needs in the community.

So, whether you call it a leap of faith or sleepwalking, tapping the Future Fund for the $60 million is clearly the safe way to go.

But what about the other $50 million? Can we afford that?

If the other "funding opportunities "fail, the city could always dip back into the Future Fund, which will be topped up again in a few years.

But bear in mind, the city already needs to find funding for several big capital projects it wants to do but hasn't budgeted for -- $22 million for Lister, $10 million for the proposed downtown education centre, $20 million for a new fire training centre, and unknown millions for a light rail transit system.

Also bear in mind that it costs the city $51 million annually to service its debt, which now stands at $426 million.

When you factor in the cost of a new water treatment plant, the debt will soon rise to about $1 billion.

That projected debt load has already lowered the city's credit rating, which means it now costs more for the city to borrow money.

We want a new stadium. We need a new stadium. But can we afford a new stadium?

Call me a heretic, but I'm hoping Lima, Peru, or Bogota, Colombia, win the bid so we won't have to find out the hard way.

Andrew Dreschel's commentary appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 905-526-3495

You can count on that. The ace up the sleeve of the anti-development crowd is that they can challenge and challenge and challenge, each challenge in the name of "public consultation" and each adding months and cost, so that when all is said and done, the thing still gets build but they get the satisfaction of pointing out how much more it cost to build than originally forecast. Get ready to see more of Merulla than you ever thought possible over the next five years - it'll be a blessing if CH/E! shuts down. (Hey, wait a minute, ever notice how much CH/E! looks like Che -as in Guevara? No wonder Merulla gets his mug on there so often).

More fear mongering. When will this city learn that the state that they are in is because they have not done anything in terms rejuvenation in the community. Hamilton right now is stagnant. Why invest in a city where the only things that are fixed are the sewers and potholes in the roads. Yeah, that should attract new business. Businesses tend to locate in centres that are busy and dynamic. Hamilton is neither. It is about time the backward thinking city council took a step into the future. Cheers to the 12 who cast their vote for the stadium.

My two cents


Agree section8...

All the obstructionists will delay, delay, delay then crow and whine about any cost increase (just as they did with the Red Hill Expressway).

We also could get screwed again by politics. We lost out to a fixed and corrupt Commonwealth Games bid on the international stage against India for 2010. Then we have our own Canadian government (thru Sports Canada) give us the shaft in favour of an inferior and deliberately inaccurate bid from Halifax for 2014 (which then drops out when the real figures are revealed).

Despite the naysayers, here's hoping things FINALLY go our way and the Games (and our structures) come to Southern Ontario.

It's only been 79 years since the 1930 British Empire Games and a major event for this area. What do we have to complain about (cough)???


Sam Merulla will be the first one with shovel in hand for the photo op. when they break ground .

Merulla is a hypocrite...taxpayers are paying for his tanning sessions!!..millions!!.. :lol:

Excellent points Section8since72 and Brox!!

The Red hill Creek expressway was delayed, for what, 25 years because of the protests, environmental studies,legal actions ,etc... Any idea what the final cost was for the expressway?

I'm also curious to know how Merulla voted on the Red Hill Creek, and the 2 failed Commonwealth bids?

It certainly is time that the Council decided to take a risk and look towards the future instead of going with the status quo.

Wow, I was just speaking with my brother from London and he said he heard about Hamilton getting a new stadium, and he said nice.

It's not all just about roadwork and sewers, of course you need these things but also need some spice to show people this area is vibrant and alive apart from just sewers and roadwork which aren't that exciting.

Glad to see most councillors support putting our young people first and showing them that sport and recreation are great avenues for personal fullfillment and self esteem and taking care of your body. Copps was a mistake to build it so large without a team in place but what we have here with this stadium augmented with the Tiger-Cats in mind who will be supporting it will help showcase Hamilton to Canada and the rest of the world. Thank you councillors who voted yes for believing in this city. For those that voted no, well, I don't understand you.

I'll be the first to buy a pair of ticket packages to events. Bring it on, my wallet is open! Not for you though Merulla and your friends who are negatrons.

Definitely a step in the right direction for Hamilton.

Maybe city council could pitch in a few bucks by cutting back on their pizza lunches on those overtime meetings.

I guess the World Juniors, Memorial Cup and Canada Cup don't count for the bike race that everyone raves about.

Ah, memory is short lived slo. Longtime knows this but like most of us most of the time, history selectively takes a back seat until we are reminded and good job reminding! :thup:

As I’ve said before…i agree with the position the city is taking. I hope we win the bid and I hope the facilities that result make for a better, healthier city. Even an enhanced importance on sports (coupled with more available facilities) can dramatically change people’s behavior.

I also respect people like Sam Merulla for speaking up for his constituency. Not just going with what’s popular.

In case everyone here has forgotten, that’s what democracy is all about. Now, perhaps, some additional attention might be given due to the concerns he’s raised—and we can be better for it.

I see infrastructure upgrades being a long term spinoff of further investment downtown. I think these types of projects will help sell the downtown to businesses…creating tax revenue for social services.