This is an interesting topic. Thanks to the member who posted it in a new thread because it goes far beyond the "stadium debate".
Having had many personal conversations and interactions with the current owner and management, I've thought a lot about this subject on a "big picture" level and, as I see it, they are caught in a delicate dilemna. I believe they are smack dab in the middle of a huge transition period between the need to keep alive, the history and traditions of a storied franchise , with all the quaint memories that the old die hard fans of decades past hold dear, against the new realities of the needs and wishes that the new demographic of a younger, perhaps a less hardy and more spoiled audience might bring. (When I say spoiled, I mean they are used to easy, painless access to entertainment and have a multitude of options when deciding on where to spend their entertainment dollars......)
The days of the Tiger-Cats having a relatively captive audience from the city core are over and the need to spread their wings to a larger market and potential fan base is here........it's a simple reality. It's also a reality that they need more revenue streams than just ticket sales to survive........ie: parking, beer and liquor sales etc.
How can they achieve this?
They need an all inclusive venue which supplies all the above to the consumer who is willing to spend relatively huge bucks as long as they are royally entertained for 3-5 hours.........the NFL, NASCAR and even locally, Flamborough Downs, Marineland, African Lion Safari, Canada's Wonderland and the C.N.E all "get" this concept and is the reason why they are so successful........they maximize the opportunities to bring in as much revenues as they can from us whenever they have our attention ie: our attendance at their venues
So, if the Tiger-Cats need a venue which is much more likely to tap into the bigger dollars which access and visibiliy on a major highway will bring, it can't be looked at as a slag against the older fan base which just bought a ticket, took the bus and spent precious little else at the game.....and brown bagged their food and booze because they came from an era of being very conscious of their monthly disposable income.
It's a new era of potential fans and yes, they tend to spend a little more liberally than the past as long as you locate where they can get to your product very easily. The Silver City chain of movie theatres and big box store complexes illustrates this concept.
The notion that the Tiger-Cats, through a West Harbour stadium, are somehow obligated to be part of some sort of urban renewal plan of a Mayor and Council who know very little about business, is ridiculous.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on the matter.