The Pan Am games stadium will have an after life

Facilities have impact, legacy

They will be used: consultant

The Hamilton Spectator

February 21, 2009 John Kernaghan

This article quotes Rob Johnston, Hamilton's stadium consultant,

He is a sports architect

He is the man who will describe the possibilities for
the Pan Am Games stadium before city council Monday

He says modern sports facilities offer much
more 'go for the dough' than in the past.

because demanding taxpayers and developing technology have
combined to foster multi-faceted new-age facilities.

He has a portfolio of designs from many Olympic venues to show them.

Rob Johnston will tell them large public buildings such as stadiums
can transform cities and make impressive statements to the world.

and likely that they be useful multipurpose places
with plenty of public access and the legs

to deliver services to the community for decades.

Johnston, of Cannon Design of Victoria, B.C., has completed projects for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

He says Hamilton has identified a stadium site in the west harbour
that could achieve what Richmond, B.C., has done

with the $63-million skating oval for the Winter Games.

"The city wanted to connect downtown to the waterfront
(the Fraser River) in a former industrial area," noted Johnston.

And city fathers wanted plenty of public access for many sports, not just skating.

They wanted a health and fitness component and arts element, he added.

The result, Richmond promotional material crows,
is "the biggest community centre in the world."

The infield within the 400-metre skating oval boasts court sports
such as basketball and volleyball, indoor soccer, badminton,

there's a sprint lane for runners and opportunities for wheelchair athletes.

A separate indoor rowing/paddling tank provides elite training and
there is a public health club on the concourse area overlooking the skating oval.

Johnston, who worked on Hamilton's 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games bids,
says the topography of the Hamilton site near Bay and Barton streets

lends itself to some interesting design possibilities
to take advantage of Hamilton's best harbour views.

And he said there would be minimal added costs in building a 15,000-seat stadium,
then adding 10,000 to 15,000 seats later to accommodate the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

and it also quotes two city councillors who recently toured
a stadium and velodrome in Manchester, England,

and came away convinced Hamilton could engage the wider community,
not only elite athletes, in programs to keep the facilities busy

seven days of the week, most weeks.

Powers said one of the innovations in Manchester could be translated to a Hamilton facility.

"They have a covering they pull over the soccer field which is set up for tennis."

He pointed out with a winter bubble cover and engineering possibilities
involving stowaway courts, the stadium could be a sports multiplex.

And he could imagine visiting business conferences engaging in corporate challenges
and team-building at a facility capable of staging track, soccer, lacrosse and tennis.

Powers pointed out the Manchester velodrome, the source of England's
Olympic cycling surge, also utilized its infield for court sports.

"The stadium in Manchester is used 200 days a year and the velodrome was busy throughout the day when we were there," said Councillor Russ Powers.

Added Councillor Robert Pasuta: "I wasn't really sure what a velodrome was.
I came back thinking this really could work for Hamilton."

And based on what he saw at the stadium and the impact of other
2002 Commonwealth Games facilities in East Manchester, Pasuta said:

"This is an opportunity to move forward, it makes good business sense."

You know, when people complained about post-Games operating costs
and how they would be met I couldn't figure out how that'd be done.

I am glad I kept an open mind and I am sure getting an education.

and lastly,

and former Olympic swimming star Alex Baumann

says Hamilton has a unique opportunity to become

a national centre for both track and field and cycling.

Baumann is executive director of the Road to Excellence program,
which aims to make Canada a top 12 summer sport nation by 2012.

He believes a stadium and velodrome would first engage thousands
of young people and provide health and recreation opportunities.

A byproduct would be a "playground to podium" conversion
as the best move on to elite competition.


Aside from a Pan Am Games stadium bringing us a top class,
multi-faceted, new-age sports facility in downtown Hamilton

to enhance the cultural life in this community for decades,

it would also give Hamilton a venue to host
the Grey Cup at least once every eight years

putting a positive spotlight on Hamilton
during that week long national celebration

and generating millions of dollars for
our downtown business community.

New stadium would be likely choice for Grey Cup

The Hamilton Spectator

February 21, 2009 Drew Edwards

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon says

"I [also] want to make it clear that

the opportunity to bring the Grey Cup back here
has a profound economic impact on cities,"

"That kind of opportunity can follow bringing a new stadium here."

...while Ivor Wynne is "one of my favourite places to watch a game,"

the stadium isn't up to the task of hosting a championship game.

"The costs of running a Grey Cup are different than years ago

... You really need a state-of-the-art stadium to make that work,"


Few people have viewed my 2 posts here
and not one of them has commented.

As I said before, I was concerned

that building a Pan Am Games stadium in Hamilton might be
a big drain on our city finances for decades after they are over.

[See my Post Script below for information on that.]

Many people are emotional because their taxes are involved
and the city is in bad shape and needs money for other things.

Infrastructure funds were announced in the new federal budget
and provincial money will also be available for that kind of thing.

There hasn't been enough attention focussed on a Fund that
has been set aside to be used for things like a new stadium.

The Hamilton Legacy Fund--$137 million dollars,
was put into it after Hamilton Hydro was taken over.

The city will have to pay $94 million to restore
Ivor Wynne stadium by itself in a few years,

why not use that same amount of money now and
the $60 million [?..more?] federal and provincial money

and end up with a brand new, multi-use stadium
and other Pan Am Games facilties that are planned?

If we do neither, we could also lose the Ticats.


The Spec article informed me that there are many stadiums
that are NOT money losing single use white elephants

exclusively used by professional football and baseball teams

and they are not a big drain on their city's finances.

Did all of you who viewed my first post already know that?

I am not laying out a pitch for such a facility here but
I hope more of you will read the whole Spec article

and anything else on the topic and keep an open mind.

I didn't realize I didn't put a link the the Spec article

Facilities have impact, legacy

They will be used: consultant

The Hamilton Spectator

February 21, 2009 John Kernaghan

Maybe you folks didn't like my 'Coles Notes' version of the Article.

The article quotes Rob Johnston, Hamilton's stadium consultant,

He is a sports architect

He is the man who will describe the possibilities for
the Pan Am Games stadium before city council Monday

There will be no -after-life- for a stadium on the waterfront because it will never be built there.

Council already voted to deem that land residential after much study. The residents there renovated their homes and have had their property assessments done based on that vote.

This will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada and the decision will be for the complainants. No stadium.

I’m astounded that Council isn’t informing people of this fact.

Herman Turkstra is no idiot and if he and the homeowners group he will form are pushed, they will launch an appeal with the OMB and then on further to the point that will have the City Council spinning it’s wheels and going blind on paperwork forever. I see it coming.

a harbourfront
Pan Am stadium will never happen in a million years

The good news is that I doubt the games committee cares as long as Hamilton committs to a stadium somewhere. The Games committee is only worried about a couple of weeks and then they are gone.

Good points deerhunter, I'm sure now that Mr. Turkstra and others will make their voices heard and get this to the Supreme Court, agreed, and the stadium is built in the south Mountain, they will get their residential homes in the old Rheem area - oh say around the year 2025 or so, by then some will have passed on and then finally the city will have it approved to clean up the soil etc. for residential homes. Oh, forgot, the recession, new homes are a real money maker like they were a few years ago.

But hey, whatever Mr. Tursktra wants I'm sure he'll get, at some point in history. Let me know please, while my ashes are being spread over whereever. :lol:

All he has to do is file a motion for a -Writ of Mandamus- and it’s all over. And he will. He seems very serious.

And in this case he will file for the Writ to compel City Council to abide by it’s own democratic and legally binding vote. It’s so fundamentally easy to do it’s ridiculous.

It was recently successful recently in this area by a common citizen to force the Crown to arrest people that it had refused to do previously.

dh, please explain, have to admit while I'm not totally dumb, I don't know what you are saying with this. Honestly.

The Pan Am games stadium will have an aftertaste

Care to share where you got this quote from?
Fred has publicly stated IWS will require $20 million over the next decade.
The Hamilton Mountain has 5 publicly funded ice surfaces for recreational hockey. No wonder why I am paying $450/6 months to play once a week at 11:00 at night. This is not to mention the other players and teams that are turned down in the winter because of lack of space and ice time. BTW have you seen the state of Barton Double Rinks, Rosedale, or Coronation among others? That is where this city could use the legacy fund.... and towards the crumbling state of many of the city's rec centres.
With the rest of the legacy fund and gov money (if some of our coucillors could actually work to bring in money rather than sit and wait on the back of Toronto's Pan Am bid to get a bigger tin can version of BMO Field) rebuild IWS south stands with increased seating capacity, multi-level parking/restaurant/team office on the B. Timmins site, and voila you get to be in the running for the Grey Cup that so many of you seem to prize.

A Writ of Mandamus is an ancient procedure which allows common citizens to ask the court to forcefully make the police, crown or governments to abide by their own rules and decisions. It is a safe guard for citizens so that these authorities don't , on a whim, ignore policy and rules.

In this case here, the City Council had already studied and voted at much public expense to rule the Rheem property to be strictly residential. Those citizens there invested money relying on that outcome.

An Order of Mandamus will protect those investors/homeowners now from City Councillors who are caught up in the delerium of a 2 week event. A Mandamus Writ will prevent these councillors from breaking it's own promises (vote for residential zoning) to the homeowners down there.

Herman Turkstra will have a slam-dunk on this one.

This is serious stuff.

Mr. Young was very smart by saying his investment will depend on the final stadium plan.

Thank you, interesting.

The estimates made public by the City of Hamilton indicate that it would cost approximately $20 million in incremental repairs to make Ivor Wynne Stadium operational for the next 15 years or it would cost in the range of $94 million to $96 million for major renovations to make Ivor Wynne Stadium functional for the next 30 years. There would be no Pan Am funds available in either case because the Ivor Wynne Stadium site is too small to accommodate a stadium with a track plus a warm-up track for the Pan Am Games.

You’re welcome.

Nice synthcat, good one. Appreciate your insights and knowledge as well.

Well $94 million over 30 years for IWS is the way to go if you ask me. Consider, that a new Pan Am stadium will cost $150 million alone just to build, will be most likely on the cheap like BMO Field. BMO Field is a metal structure that shakes and has already undergone emercency repairs to metal fasteners. BTW you talk about there being no Pan Am funds available, well since Dalton has already slashed the Pan Am commitment, hopefully he will slash it all and put it back into the economy on an equal share basis, not on a rich get richer devlopment like the Pan Am games.

And that's fine but should ever Toronto want an Olympic Games in the future, and personally why would they IMHO, if the Pan-Am Games thing doesn't work out, good bye Olympics for Toronto and their future NFL stadium.

Barton Double Rinks are privately owned so the city doesn't have to worry about that and you say the mountain has 5 rinks right you have Mohawk Quad Pads, Lawfield, Cedoke Twin Pads, Mountain Arena, Inch Park it may only be 5 rinks but that's 9 ice surfaces, the cost probably has more to do with cost of maintanence than lack of ice surfaces because in the Hamilton-Wenworth area there are more than 20 surfaces.

Mohawk with it's quad pad is privately owned and has a huge bar/restaurant upstairs that stretches the lenght of the 4 rinks. Like i said, that's 5 public rinks for Hamilton Mountain. Yet, still not enough to accomodate the need. Barton double rinks is privately owned now? Well thats a relief because when i played there last year they had yellow tape strung across one of the corners becasue the ice surface was a few inches below the boards.

Double posted my quote

double posted again.
BTW, Barton double rinks was the worst ice surface I've played on in recent years and then with the gaps between the ice and boards.... Anyone want to comment on that?