Special Report: Pan Am

Pan Am Opportunity: A 22,000 West Harbour Stadium

If, according to Bob Young, cost and not location is the primary issue left concerning the Pan Am Games stadium, a strong case can be made for a 22,000 seat stadium at West Harbour.

By Paul Shaker
Published January 17, 2011

When the scalable West Harbour stadium was proposed, the Ticats were still insisting on a suburban location with highway visibility and access. Since then, things have obviously changed with the Ivor Wynne proposal.

As Bob Young said recently, "The big improvement" [of Ivor Wynne] over west harbour or east Mountain options is "simple costs."

West Harbour Stadium / Velodrom Concept
West Harbour Stadium / Velodrom Concept

If, according to Bob Young, cost and not location is the primary issue left concerning the Pan Am Games stadium, then a strong case can be made for a 22,000 seat stadium at West Harbour that would serve the twin needs of community redevelopment and a future home for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

This is based on the available information:

City Council has voted to examine the Ivor Wynne proposal and the scalable option at West Harbour as plan B. All that would be required is for staff to examine the scalable option at both the 6,000 and 22,000 seat level and then assess the viability compared to the Ivor Wynne proposal.

If the costs analysis comes back relatively close between the options, the decision should be made based on the ancillary benefits that each location would bring to the city and its redevelopment goals.

While this debate has gone in multiple directions over the last year, the fact remains that we still, after all this time, have in front of us the opportunity to realize the potential of the Pan Am games as a transformative development for the city.

A 22,000 seat West Harbour stadium could be an option to explore in order to achieve multiple city redevelopment objectives as well as keeping the Ticats.

Knowing the costs and opportunities as they stand right now would ensure that the community would end up with significant public benefit from the Future Fund investment rather than settling for a "last resort" that really only maintains the status quo.

Update: Is it too late for this option?

The fact remains that almost all the studies and costing has been done for West Harbour, far more than even Ivor Wynne at this point so time is not an issue. Further, City Council has voted to examine the Ivor Wynne proposal and the scalable option at West Harbour as plan B.

All that would be required is for staff to examine the scalable option at both the 6,000 and 22,000 seat level (which is just an incremental cost) and then assess the viability compared to the Ivor Wynne proposal.

Paul Shaker is an urban planner and a co-founder of the Centre for Community Study, a Hamilton-based urban research organization.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:17:52

@Paul wrote:
> ...ensure that the community would end up with significant public benefit from the Future Fund investment rather than settling for a "last resort" that really only maintains the status quo.

I'm not sure there is time left for adding 'Plan C' even if it was a previous plan..?

I just don't think think there is anything about spending $100+ million in Ward 3 that will "maintain status quo" here.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:20:14

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-17 08:34:52

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:25:37

There are too many councilors that vote to keep Bob Young happy rather than using common sense and voting for whats is best for the city.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:32:53

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By Simmons (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:37:26

Not sure if there was one fact in that non-sensical rant by hammy. But thanks for the laugh.

Bob Young and the mayor are on record as saying the only difference between IWS and WH is "simple costs." With that being the case, Paul is simply providing ample evidence as to why WH can work for the same amount of money promised to the new Ivor Wynne.

Unfortunately we're much too late in the game, I fear, to look at another plan. Shame the Ticats hijacked the process from the beginning and lied about their reasons of not wanting WH. Shame a few councillors, namely mine -- Whitehead -- were fooled into thinking the Cats would actually leave and were played by Young and Co.

Comment edited by Simmons on 2011-01-17 08:41:47

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:39:02

What's with all the trolls in RTH lately???

where is the other 25-50 million to clean up and service the site??

You mean the other $2-5 million? Nice job overstating the cost by ten times.

The stadium issue has never been about brownsfield, never was and never will be!

the stadium issue has never been about the Ticats, never was and never will be!

See what I did there? The stadium was is and always shall be about the PanAm Games and amateur sport legacy. What we decide to do alongside that is up to us.

Not only will the Cats not play at this site

Just like the Cats said they won't play at IWS?

the CFL has made it perfectly clear they will pull out of the city

It's called a bluff, let's go ahead and call them on it, the CFL can't afford to lose markets.

No Cats, no potential for pro soccer, at least from BY.

Yeah because there's no one else in the world who could bring pro soccer to Hamilton.

No legacy tenant, a requirment of Hostco for such a large stadium.

The Ticats would play in WH if that was there only choice, just like they'll play at IWS if that's there only choice.

Parking, IW will have much improved parking.

A thousand spots at IWS compared to almost 5000 spots at WH.

Costs? Substantially higher for less than IW.

Really? IWS is costing us $115 million to rebuild half of an existing stadium.

Access, total nightmare at WH.

Another disproved lie like the "no parking" lie.

No private money for WH from three major sponsers

How do you know? They said they's sponsor the Ticats to stay in Hamilton, pretty sure they don't care whether it's at IWS or WH.

Location, IW is located centrally for the entire city to access.

So how come the Ticats said it was a bad location until last week, it seems whenever they change there minds about what they can and can't live with, all their parrots change there minds as well, try thinking for yourself for a change.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:39:57

I love how the nefarious "WH/RTH group" with their self serving ulterior motives (give me a break) are chastized for sticking to the original site that was CHOSEN BY THE PUBLIC and CHOSEN OVER AND OVER THROUGH COUNCIL VOTES.

Meanwhile, the ones who are willing to be blown in every direction by the wind (coming out of bob young's ass) consider themselves to be supporting the best location for the city - all driven by (completely unfounded) fear of losing a football team.

Let me make this perfectly clear. There is no organized pro WH group, either underground or above ground. There is no ulterior personal motive driving a "pro WH agenda". There is no conspiracy. People who support WH do so because they believe in Hamilton and they want what's best for the city - and they are tired of every decision being made to serve the narrow interests of a handful of very rich businesspeople who live on the fringes of Hamilton (or further abroad) and who think nothing of sinking their teeth in and sucking our city dry.

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By race_to_the_bottom (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:43:51

I love how the Mayor and the Tigercat owner have secret meetings to develop a plan after getting a secret call from the premier's office and spring the plan onto the public and council at the last minute ..... but RTH is a "special interest group".

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:45:38

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:50:40

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By c'mon (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 08:51:14

Do people seriously think RTH and other progressive minded groups in town hold sway with our councillors? C'mon - really? If this were true - then we would have a city filled with jobs for all, no parking lots downtown, light rail swooshing on Main Street, no one way streets, etc.

But we don't do we? The only special interest groups in Hamilton whispering into guys like Tom Jackson's ears are Fluke, Orlick, Ticats, etc. and they like everything just the way it is...

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By Participant (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:08:56

Paul:
Sadly, along with demonstrating that he is (among other things, not all bad) a corporate welfare thug, Young has also proven to be a serial prevaricator. So to premise any proposal at this late point in the process on any one of his (ahem) 'diverse' utterances would be to build your concept on a pretty flimsy foundation.
I do support the concept, though. Thank you!

Comment edited by Participant on 2011-01-17 09:15:55

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:30:02

Paul

Excellent piece. I can understand why people like Hammy and I Told You So are so negative about your piece. You made the error of citing studies, including facts, and using logic. Three ingredients that just don't work for them.

Well done. I, for one, would like to believe this kind of thinking just has to give our Councillors at least a moment of sober second thought. Let's hope so.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:30:59

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By Another Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:38:15

I have to agree with Capitalist.

It's over,let's move on.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:39:34

I will say that a 22,000 stadium at the WH site, comparing it to a 6,000 seater, would make much more sense perhaps if the TigerCats were to accept this site. But that is the kicker because Bob Young will not lease IMHO from someone like Daryl Katz, only from the city from what I can see. If WH did "win out", Bob will not play with Katz and if Hamilton choses to pass on the PanAms, again Katz doesn't get Bob even though the TigerCats may have no place to play.

I just don't see Bob Young and Daryl Katz, assuming he could still be in the mix in Hamilton, ever working together on some sort of business arrangement.

The city still needs to keep WH for Katz even if this WH might end up being an ampitheatre or velodrome or something I believe is the city's thinking and will remain since the dream is an NHL team in all probability. And Katz wants to use the WH as a potential money maker in some way.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-17 09:45:31

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:50:26

I do not for one minute feel as though RTH is some private interest group, but I think people who make important decisions in this city do spend some time on this site. So much of what is posted on here is well thought out and researched. If this site does influence decison I think that is a good thing. What I would have like is for someone with Pauls background and knowledge, would have stepped up and made a case for Ward 3 and an Ivor Wynne plan along time ago. I think we can accomplish just as much if not more at 75 Balsam than at WH if nothing more than the fact that with the exposure the Harbor has received over the cousre of the last six months, I can't see how something rmarkable wouldn't immediately start to materialize onve the final decison on these Pan Am games has been cast. The Ivor Wynne site and the area had very little exposure and we would have had no input on that sites development and would have ended up with a seniors residence and no change to 'the status quo' and the loss of a lot of spending dollars on top of the FOF leaving our community. Look at the responses from the people of Ward 3. They are ecstatic and now we are truly seeing how many people hade dreamed of this from the beginning. Do I think WH supporters should give up? Not at all. If there is one thing I have learned from Save Ivor Wynne Stadium, its never give up. I would have continued to fight even if Ivor Wynne hadn't been put on the table. I wanted something remarkable to live on at 75 Balsam whether IWS remained, or the stadiums of that site were honored for ifinity with a smaller scale staidium for local sports to be able to always remember what Ivor Wynne Stadium meant to this community. So if WH 'loses', the fight can't end to turn that part of our city around and for a better Ward 2. I will do my part in ensuring the pathway to downtown via Ward 3, is something that makes people want to get off the highway to see our city and they don't get right back on the highway when they enter our city from our Ward, they are encouraged to continue on to see our gem of a downtown and a harbor that we can be proud of. Ward 3. The pathway to downtown. A dream? Perhaps, but so was Saving Ivor Wynne Stadium. Fallback? Yes, but I'll take it and do my little part in ensuring people coming to this city in 2015 see what I and many others seen at 75 Balsam and the surrounding community.

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By Simmons (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:51:59

I just don't see Bob Young and Daryl Katz, assuming he could still be in the mix in Hamilton, ever working together on some sort of business arrangement.

Business is business. If there's a way to make money, a smart businessman would follow up on it and not let petty personal differences get in the way. It depends on what kind of businessman and person Bob Young really is.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 09:52:21

Excuse the one big long paragraph. Good old mobile texting.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:16:54

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:18:03

As for those saying WH is dead ... nothing is dead or a sure thing - including Ivor Wynne. Everyday I read something new, get an email, etc, and I am nervous about this whole plan. Excited that IWS and Ward 3 ares getting the attention and discusion finally, but I won't feel the least bit confident until council and HostCo approve this.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:19:54

Well said Lawrence. Agree with each and every word. A win for Ward 3 is not a loss for Ward 2 unless we allow it to be one

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By Mistery (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:39:47

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By Wiccan (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:43:14

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By Gambler (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:44:12

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:44:53

Since when is it 'ward vs. ward' anyway? A stadium benefits the city as a whole.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:45:40

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:55:56

Simmons, I don't think this is about personal differences, it's about money as most things usually are in the business world. If the city should give BY control of whatever aspects for revenue generation, then maybe a WH deal. But BY isn't trying to bring the NHL to town so the city can't provide him with what Katz wants. It's about the NHL dream for Hamilton, the city isn't going to give this up to someone who is not after an NHL team. This is why WH is not in BY's scenario at least the way I see it but I'm just postulating here.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-17 10:56:46

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 10:59:07

I imagine that a rendering is just a rendering, but if you expect to attain the pictured vision, the city will be expropriating an additional dozen or so properties around Bay and Stuart.

Aside from that, the political fatigue on this file is the deal-breaker. Without forceful leadership, it's understandable that the bid components would be scattered on the wind.

And if I'm not mistaken, it's not just council and the Cats that need convincing, either. Permanent velodrome cost has been pegged at $21-25 million, a $10-14 million funding gap. On top of which the NCCH's velodrome enthusiasm broke from West Harbour in the summer. (In September, the group asked council for the two facilities to be separated; potential alternate sites include Olympic Park, Confederation Park, East Mountain and YHM.)

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By agreed (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:00:52

The velodrome suffers from a funding gap that is tough to bridge under any plan

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:08:21

Bob Young will not lease IMHO from someone like Daryl Katz, only from the city.

This statement is pure gold and is probably true. Can't get a corporate handout from a billionaire like Katz. He knows what he's doing.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:15:12

And of course Katz isn't going to lease from someone else as well, he would want to work on the deal with the city. That's the way the corporate handout deal works best for someone from a potential revenue generation standpoint. And I get that.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:18:07

WH IS DEAD LOSERS!!!

STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS AND GET A LIFE!!!!

Yessir.

WH has been dead for months!!

The author of this article must be seriously underworked!

GIVE IT UP!

Yup. Whatever you say.

LOL

What is it about online behaviour that- I mean, who in their right mind has the need to insist that someone stop talking about something?

Oh.

Right.

Sorry. I gotta remember to take off my Cap of Naïveté.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:20:05

What is it about online behaviour

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3...

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:09:08

WH has been dead for months!!

The author of this article must be seriously underworked!

GIVE IT UP!

Positivaty at it's best. Sounds like some of the ummm ... rhetoric I heard throughout my plea.

Okay. You are right. I'll give up.

Anyway, your piece is nicely written Paul. If WH supporters wouldn't have been so passionate in their 'sell' of this whole Harbor vision, I would have never known what truly was at stake in the harbor. Just that I wanted Ivor Wynne to live on.

Maybe some people have an agenda? I can be kind of naive to some of these things (I always try to see the best in everyone and assume the attent is always a good one and I know that isn't always the case), but I live in Ward 3 so I know what this kind of funding could do to finally change what has long been avoided.

As for the Ward vs. Ward comment. I don't think it is, but I think we could achieve more by working together. If others don't see the IW proposal as the best for Ward 3, then those who understand business and planning and people and dynamics ... tell us your thoughts? There has been nothing on RTH about Ivor Wynne except my shameless plugs and one story I wrote back in August.

I wish somoene much wiser than I about politics and such, would write something about 75 Balsam and the surrounding community. Other than attending a dozen events during the Red Hill fight, I have never been this engaged before so this has been a huge learning curve and I know I have so much more to learn. I also understand that there are a million other things more important than a football stadium or the Pan Am games, but it was something that I understood to some degree and loved about our city so I stepped up finally. The longer this goes though, I strongly feel it is about more than a stadium now. Escpecially at the thought of a Code Red community as others have put it, standing a chance at a huge boost to changing that designation.

But prove me wrong please because I want to know why those who understand all these 'processes', feel we are missing a huge opportunity, by going IW instead of WH. If this isn't over and shouldn't be over, then why?

I am open and much stronger than I was when I began this fight. I had those same comments above thrown at me so keep them coming. A little more constructive comments would be nice, but lay the facts on me.

You may not believe it but that is what I wanted all along. For councillors, the Cats, and those who know better, to challenge me on what I have posted on here and the SIWS site. I am just stating my feelings and sharing ideas and ideas from posts I have read as to why I feel 75 Balsam has always been the best choice. Where am I wrong though; I need to be corrected and challenged. I can't say that I have really seen a challenge on this site yet, except one that goes back to why WH is best.

So kick me in the teeth and let's get this all out in the open and debate this. We have a few days left. Let's make the best of this and learn as much more about this process and all the locations that have been discussed throughout as possible.

I have supported WH through all of this. Show IW support now, but feel free to challenge it. Perhaps by stopping talking about WH for a moment, you will either see why IW is a good plan, or we will all learn why IW isn't one. Perhaps by switching focus, there can be a win for WH - whatever form that win takes. I dont' think it's dead like I said above. It's not over until someone starts singing.

Do I want that last point to be proven. No, of course not, but I am emotionally attached to this process. I do love my city first but I have an affection for history and IWS is part of that historical attachment. Yes, I love the Cats too even though I hate big business and the politics behind sports these days, but that franchise has been a big part of my past. IW has been a reunion venue for my family and friends for a very long time.

In my eyes, Ivor Wynne won't be a win for the 'Cats'. It will be a win for the fans, the city, and especially Ward 3. But that's me.

So it's time for some logic to take charge of the Ivor Wynne Stadium dream of mine. Help me get all the facts from both angles on my website. Constructive angles; not IW is a dump and so is the neighborhood.

Send the RTH staff an article/blog post and I'll put it on my site with RTH's permission. I have always wanted to show both sides but of course IW was never an option so nobody took much interest in proving IW otherwise.

I have had close to 500 hits over the past week which is really good for the SIWS site. Tell people what you find wrong with the IWS proposal, or what you feel would be a better vision for the lands linding Balsam. Or, if you truly feel there are some nice benefits to this plan, that would be welcomed with open arms as well.

If the negative trolls on here have something to say, throw some facts in your posts or just go through and click negative on everything. Telling anyone to give up on their dreams is bad form. Tell us your dreams, instead of shooting down somebody elsess.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-17 12:11:33

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By PaulS (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:19:34

When I decided to write this article, I too was suffering from stadium fatigue and thought about the point of bringing this issue forward. What refocused my thinking was the fact that we are spending at least $45 million dollars of our Future Fund money, money we will not be getting back. No matter how tiring this debate becomes, I would think we should never just sign over $45 million out of fatigue.

The Ivor Wynne plan might be a workable plan, but we have literally millions of dollars in plans, priorities, and investments tied to west harbour development. Everything from the provincial Places to Grow Plan, our Official Plan, our transportation and rapid transit plans, to our corporate strategy, the current land assembly costs, the metrolinx regional transportation plan, not to mention the investments in the adjacent downtown which, collectively are about creating a critical mass of infrastructure investment to both stabilize and boost the area’s development potential. This is to say nothing of the whole concept of putting a new face of Hamilton to the world when the international community comes to our region.

If we are still going to contemplate spending our Future Fund on this initiative, then we need to assess how to get maximum benefit from the Pan Am investment. If that can be achieved at Ivor Wynne, great, but there is simply too much on the line to ignore, even at this late stage. The fact remains that we have the opportunity to achieve several city development objectives in a four year time-frame which is unheard of in normal circumstances, let along at the traditional development speed in Hamilton.

There was a great blog entry by a Hamilton-born sports writer that sums up the issue rather well:

Damien Cox - The Toronto Star

My thumb is down to the stadium resolution in Hamilton. The clever Mr. Hodge says it's a "Wynne-Wynne" but I'm not so sure. All of the wrangling and discussions and arguments and bitterness, I thought if there was going to be a stadium that it would be a gem, but instead what are they going to do? They are going to refurbish Ivor Wynne Stadium. I suppose that makes some sense to some people, but I don't know how they are going to play football games there while they are rebuilding the place. Somehow they are going to do it, but it would seem that they missed out on a great opportunity in Hamilton.
http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=349735

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:22:58

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:26:36

Excellent reads lawrence and paul. I'm a huge Cats fan but I think you're saying Paul it might be worth it in some respects to say no to the PanAm full funding for anything to do with a stadium and take whatever amount the city can get for something at WH which at this point would be a velodrome. I think that is what you are saying and I can buy that if it makes sense for the city to do so, I don't know.

Of course my heart is with football and the TigerCats long history in Hamilton and that's where lawrence's reads hit me.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-17 12:27:14

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:32:40

While this all makes sense, I think the ship is sailing out of port with one guys. The last gasp for WH would have been when BY accepted IWS, to bring it up right then and there and say "If we can do WH without your money, are you in?".

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:32:44

"WH has been dead for months!!"

If it's dead then why is it the only site that has been approved. Why was it confirmed as the plan B site with this latest proposal.

Council only voted to study the feasability of rebuilding IWS. They did not vote for it to happen. The WH did get their support, with a 10-6 vote at the last council meeting. It got that support because the majority of council already know the answer with regard to IWS. The studies were done and the costs are already known. Thats why they voted originally to build a new stadium at a new site.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:40:38

Agree, WH for whatever is not dead for some funding of some sort for the PanAms.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:42:54

One more thing ... you don't have to write an article for me to publish your thoughts on the SIWS site. Just post a comment. The only reason I don't allow for them to appear immediately is becuae the amount of spam WordPress blogs get and the amount that Askimet misses, is substantial. I will post everything. Even the most negative of negatives. Your opion is your opnion. I'll just rebut with my two cents.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:07:15

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-17 13:10:07

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:15:08

hammy,

Bob Young has said alot of things. He also said that he would not play at a rebuilt IWS.

Nothing Bob Young says has any credibility. He will play wherever the stadium is built. Beggers can't be choosers.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:17:52

Perhaps a stadium fund should be set up to allow interested parties to donate to the building of a new Hamilton stadium/I.W. upgrade. That way, people who aren't interested in sports can use their money to donate elsewhere, like helping the poor, or donating to cultural institutions, or a hundred other causes that our local government has thought of.

This would allow taxpayer funds to be shared more broadly with worthy causes, rather than creating a winner takes all scenario, where a few people will be happy, but most will not.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:29:47

I agree with a stadium fund. One should have been set up all along as only $9M or so dollars has gone into the stadium since the 70's, outside the yearly maintenance costs.

If a bldg means something to a city, oh let's just say the AGH for instance, sometimes you have to put some money in it to freshen it up a bit and modernize it. Ivor Wynne hasn't had such a vision. I love the new AGH but do people from all walks of life utilize the place? Would they agree to funds going to that project over IW? This might be a bad example but there are many projects money goes into, tax payers dollars, that not everyone will benefit from.

What if we use this opportunity to upgrade IW, but going forward we set up a stadium fund? What if a percentage of our taxes could be allocated by the taxpayer? Say 2% is set aside as taxpayer allocated funds? I want mine to go to the stadium. Joe blow wants his or hers to go to AGH or the Lister Bldg, or ... Maybe it's 5% like an RSP and we get to either allocate the entire 5% to one thing, or split it up into a few projects. Maybe a certain percentage has to go to arts and a certain percentage has to go to infastructure kind of like Canadian investments versus foreign?

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:33:39

Enjoying that my earlier statement of fact was down-voted without my having endorsed WH or IWS. Reality does suck, I'll admit. Here's a link about the funding numbers and the severance request:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/253596--velodrome-backers-confident-planning-is-in-high

Without the track facility or the velodrome involved in the WH option, I'm sure that there are any number of surface-parking-heavy options that could be fast-tracked to sweeten the deal for the "major tenant," but I worry that at this stage there is no appetite for anything but cost-saving compromise, which is nothing to build a city on, IMHO. Certainly a problematic cornerstone of waterfront identity.

I tend to agree with Eisenberger, Adames and the NCCH/CCA/ICU (and, elliptically, HostCo) that the velodrome could prove to be the dark horse success of the Games' legacy, and unlike the NCCH I feel that a velodrome would be a good fit for the WH. Regardless of your favoured location, thrift will almost certainly be the undoing of that potential. Hence Troop's admonition that one of three needs that the city's bid must meet includes the velodrome, “which has great potential to provide athletic legacy not just for the country but the entire country,” which to me posits a permanent facility of enduring quality, something that the city has been sitting on its thumbs about since this process began. And yet under a hard-nosed reading of those criteria, it's conceivable that mucking the velodrome up could cost us Pan Am involvement.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/473494--we-have-lots-of-questions-troop
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/473706--mcguinty-determined-to-get-good-pan-am-result-for-hamilton

Further to the political juice of this bid saga, another link that I present as evidence of either facts or fractious (di)visions even within this legacy components. Feel free to down-vote again, but again I'd contend that the challenges to attaining this dream run deeper than the bottom line dollars and cents.

http://restorecootes.blogspot.com/2010/08/behind-scenes-of-velodrome.html

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:41:40

@PaulS

I'm not sure, because you only provided a partial quote, but this Damien Cox who gave a "thumbs down" to Ivor Wynne...does he actually suggest which site the City should have pursued in his article?

I only ask because it seems all too easy to suggest "the city got it wrong" if you don't have to identify a solution yourself. ;-)

Again, not a jab at you or anything, I'm just wondering if Mr. Cox had a constructive suggestion to the whole thing. If, for example, he did like the West Harbour, how exactly were we supposed to convince the "we'll-never-play-there-cats" to come to the bargaining table?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:00:03

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-17 14:05:35

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:04:57

Not really. The $10M is money spent from a $55M allotment leaving only $45M to spend The Rheem acquisition only means there is less money left to spend on any location

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:07:54

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:18:00

lawrence >> If a bldg means something to a city, oh let's just say the AGH for instance, sometimes you have to put some money in it to freshen it up a bit and modernize it

How is that different from saying the city should subsidize your neighbourhood's favourite restaurant? Both the AGH and the restaurant deliver a product that some people like, but not 99% of residents and yet, only the restaurant is expected to pay their own way, why is that?

What if I start an art exhibition store that makes $10,000 a year in profits after tax. Shouldn't I get tax money to expand my store? Why should the AGH, which is selling the art lifestyle, get subsidies, while I do not?

As for the stadium, which is designed for both observing and playing sports, how is that any different than a local gym, or fitness club, etc? They don't get subsidies and yet they are in the business of selling fitness and sports to people. I bet there are many people who would like a discount on their gym membership, dental care, haircuts, car payments, so why not have the city pool taxpayer funds and subsidize these as well.

Here's the best idea. We all buy food. So let's have City Hall pay grocers across the city to subsidize bread, milk and fruits/veggies. At least food would have greater usage then will a stadium.

Why is a stadium a public good when a lower percentage of people will use it than food, clothes, gasoline, T.V.'s, homes, etc?

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:22:57

Where do you stand on library vs bookstore? HSR vs taxis? where is the line?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:24:28

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:25:03

Perhaps a stadium fund should be set up

Absolutely. I'd love to see a surcharge of $2-$4 added to each ticket sold at Ivor Wynne until we recoup a bunch of money from this project.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:43:40

You are right @say what. Where do you draw the line? Perhaps that's why there isn't one? And A Smith, the AGH versus a private art gallery is a valid point too. The list could surely go on. Maybe subsidizing all these big buildings like the Conenvtion Centre, AGH, Hamilton Place, Lister Bldg, IWS, et al, should all be re-examined. Maybe libraries are the only one exempt from this discussion? Maybe not even them?

I am sure we are going to hear another passionate plea from Valerie on January 24th. The only speach through this whole debate that has brought tears to my eyes. She really brings it all into perspective. I hope she does delegate and that people truly listen to her.

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By Robert Emerson (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:50:54

A Smith: "What if I start an art exhibition store that makes $10,000 a year in profits after tax. Shouldn't I get tax money to expand my store? Why should the AGH, which is selling the art lifestyle, get subsidies, while I do not?"

The hypothetical store sounds like a private entity, one which by virtue of its description is "selling the art lifestyle" more than the AGH, which is a high-profile public, not-for-profit organization. Because of its history and profile inside and outside the city, it has the kind of political heft that influences decision-makers. My guess is that an "art exhibition store" would have a hard time even getting on the radar in the same way – maybe name-checked for creative class cred, but ultimately an entrepreneurial venture in a sector whose workers tend to labour below the poverty line.

Currently the third largest public gallery in the province, the AGH is apparently the most highly trafficked cultural destination in the city and has expanded its reputation since it was established 97 years ago (though, like the Cats, its modern chronology really starts in the early 1950s).

When the time came for its 2003-2005 renovation, it was a humid, leaky 26-year-old concrete bunker home to a $60 million permanent collection (including several significant works of Canadian art). That $22 million facelift was paid for federal and provincial grants as well as regular and proficient fundraising in the community, with the city kicking in $2.5 million from the Future Fund... a little over a tenth of the price tag, certainly less than the ratio we're seeing in the Pan Am builds.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:54:07

For the record I support the public funding to the AGH and other arts facilities, I just read that entry and woundered if there was any sacred cows in his world

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By Robert Emerson (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:59:10

I think everything should be scrutinized, but I'm just arguing on the AGH's behalf not because it's sacred (it's not) or even consistently compelling (it's not), but simply because it's not making out quite as lavishly as some people imagine. Certainly not compared to what's being pumped into HECFI or Ivor Wynne.

http://www.artgalleryofhamilton.com/aa_faq.php#26

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 15:12:39

Thanks for sharing those number @Robert. I didn't know proficient fundraising was a part of making what AGH is today. It's beautiful. I marvel at it every day as I await my ride to work each day.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 15:24:14

As a city we embarked on a year long site selection journey only to arrive where we began. We are left with 2 urban renewal settings, both in need of our attention. The challenge should be to find a best use solution that can be achieved within our means. Neither Ward 2 or Ward 3 is blessed with an abundance of amateur sports facilities, whereas the TO.2015 mandate is to enhance and build upon our amateur sports legacy.
As it is today the IW district includes IW Stadium, Brian Timmis Stadium, Scott Park Ice Rink, Jimmy Thompson Memorial Pool and 2 or 3 baseball diamonds. Other than the privately owned former Scott Park S.S and small parking lot there's no space left to add a reported 1000 to 1500 parking spots without forgoing the existing amateur sports infrastructure, never mind building a further legacy.
Combining the West Harbour lands with the IW district we could achieve all the goals set out by TO.2015 and more. All that remains to be seen is 'what goes where.'

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 15:45:33

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 15:54:07

there admittedly has not been a lot of discussion about additional fund raising for this project from the get go. I would not think a small surcharge on city recreational facilities and indeed on TiCat tickets would dissuade anyone from participating if they knew with out a doubt what the end product was going to be and where it was going to be. Put a 10 year moratorium on it and I don't see why an additional 10-20 million could not be raised.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 15:58:38

I agree Shemp. I wouldn't like to see it on all rec facilities but a surcharge on tickets and users of the new IWS and facilities seems like a no brainer

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By slodrive (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 16:57:15

A very good read. Sure sounds enticing on all sides. I'm not as familiar with the Deloitte study as most here, so I'll defer. But, does the site allow for expansion to 45,000 seats to host a Grey Cup event?

(And, secondly, to me, anything south of 25,000 seats isn't cutting it. I'm cool if that's what's part of the permanent structure, with the hope that another 3,500 poverty pews could be dumped in there. God forbid we ever have a winning team.)

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By Dadeo (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 17:07:20

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 17:16:03

Here's the issue

The Deloitte Report exclaims, for a 25,000 seater, we have a 30-50 million dollar funding gap. If the Ti-Cats or the private sector aren't on board with the site, there is no way that gap is getting closed, leaving us without an adequately sized stadium. Nevermind any cost over runs which I sadly must admit are more likely to occur at any waterfront site.

I think the current council choice is the best choice right now. We have both parties working on a site, it's not perfect but it will help another area of Hamilton that is in need of renewal and using the West Harbor as a backup plan if the Pan-Am committee rejects Ivor Wynne.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 17:18:12

As a side note, I would not object to a ticket surcharge for any new facility to put money back into the future fund, so long as we are talking $5 or less.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-01-17 17:18:34

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 17:27:53

Neither would I Hammer at all.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2011 at 17:37:38

It's definitely an area that needs to be discussed. It could be a long term way to pay for a permanent velodrome. I wouldn't like to see a property tax hike to finance it but user fee/surcharge, could be a great way to get this thing done.

It's a fine line I think. If you don't build a full on full service facility you are not going to have it being used or attracting visitors. Do it right, generate the revenue and the rest should take care of itself.

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 20:10:40

Bottom line is the amateur sport legacy of the IWS rebuild is one less soccer stadium and 3 less public ball diamonds, some Pan Am legacy. And I saw a quote from Bo Young about doing some "creative" things like turning nearby industrial employment lands into parking lots used 10 times a year!

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 20:40:21

That would be parking space that has no use at all right now, correct??

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 21:21:40

Before we assume what the plans are wouldn't it be a good idea to see what they really are? Nothing like critiquing something you have zero information on

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 21:40:17

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 22:26:43

I agree with A. Smith and others on the issue of a facility fee. I don't mind paying the facility charge at Hamilton Place ($2.50). I would gladly pay that and more, since I am actually getting real value for that cost, unlike the ticketmaster 20% gouge, which I go out of my way to avoid. I saw a plan recently for a stadium pay per use charge with the proposal at Lansdowne. There was an Ottawa guy here recently - maybe he knows. I suspect this will cannibalize other revenue streams, namely the ticket revenues for the CFL team. I think there is a limit that people are willing to pay for CFL football in this town, so the caretaker may not like that charge. On the surface, the Lansdowne deal doesn't look all that great, even though the location looks pretty sweet... 170 million loan from the city, with revenue streams controlled by the OSEG. At least the OSEG is coming in with some actual equity (30 million). Check this out. http://www.letsgetitright.ca/images/the_once_and_future_lansdowne_park.pdf

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 22:32:36

User fees are just another tax. Frankly Hamilton is taxed to death already.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 23:46:48

Ticat president Scott Mitchell seemed amenable to a 22,000 seat minimum Pan Am athletics/football stadium at the west harbour when he addressed Hamilton city council on February 23, 2009. His presentation helped convince Hamilton city council to vote that same day to spend $60 Million on the proposed west harbour Pan Am stadium and velodrome in support of the Toronto Pan Am bid. He also expressed a clear preference not to make a long-term investment at Ivor Wynne Stadium. Here is the link to the minutes of that meeting (the summary of Mr. Mitchell's presentation is contained in item 5.6 on page 5): http://hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/A74BC236...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-17 23:50:48

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 23:52:46

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 00:04:57

@ say what

Please read page 7 of the Minutes.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-18 00:05:47

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 06:18:54

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-18 06:23:36

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 08:12:32

I quoted the only section Mitchell spoke. He never mentioned any site that I can see.

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By George (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 09:09:15

The whole meeting was based on a WH site.

Comment edited by George on 2011-01-18 09:09:27

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 09:11:53

The Ticats agreement was based on the assumption that it could change. Again show me where Mitchell mentioned WH.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 09:59:16

"The Ticats agreement was based on the assumption that it could change. Again show me where Mitchell mentioned WH."

Show everyone where he said he assumed that it could change.

Given that the City's bid, and the previous two bids, was about one site and one site only AND the fact that Mitchell DIDN'T mention WH (if in fact he didn't, I haven't read the minutes) is ample evidence to indicate that he too was referring to WH all along.

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By Serendipity (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 09:59:43

@saywhat, I agree, Mitchell states support for BID only, no mention of WH.

Important too, Mitchell was part of " 7. Public delegations" component of the COW on Feb 23/09. Next up was " 8. Discussion Items. " Mitchell supports bids BEFORE COW agrees to WH as preferred location.

Equally important, examine what else COW approved (save for McCarthy and?)...today it's rather clear, to me anyway, that the Discussion Items lay bare the reasons why we are where we are today.

Please know I live in the North End and have been involved, as a resident volunteer, in the "stadium" issues since it first reared its head as New Business at a COW on June 4 of 2002. This COW report is instrumental in understanding how WH, Confed Park and St Creek mountain were the first top three choices that were to be "analyzed" as the future site of the stadium.

A few nuggets from the '02 COW report: (a) That City Council approve a joint bid by the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Spectator for submission to Commonwealth Games (Canada) to host the 2012 Commonwealth Games. (g) That a Commonwealth Games Bid Sub-Committee be established consisting of members of Council, staff, key volunteers in the community and corporate partners.

As for the Spec, a partner in the Games, does anyone recall the Spec, again as a partner, write about the indepth analysis of the 3 stadium locale sites? How about the community involvement (the initial screening portion of an Environmental Assessment)that took place in the WH, Confed Park, and St Creek mountain neighbourhoods? Community involvement, as far as I know, happened in the North End, Bart/Tiff and Central areas. Anyone in the Confed Park area and St Creek recall Public Information Centres for 'potential' stadium in their neighbourhood? I'll wager they never happened because Confed Park and St creek mount were never taken as serious options from the start. As well, the stadium was part of Setting Sail planning and never took a "planning" life of its own; the latter would have ensured that the other 2 sites were being considered by the public as much as WH was. The fix was in; in hindsight, the omission of a stadium plan outside of Setting Sail was not something I thought of at the time but it was obvious we were getting hoodwinked because Confed Park and St Creek are not part of the WH neighbourhoods which were the only neighbourhoods in Setting Sail. Oh, I can kick myself now for missing it.

Moving on, on April 14, 2003 Setting Sail Panels at a Public Information Centre (community involvement City-style) shows the Tiger Cats & Commonwealth Games Stadium...in WH. I never did see an indepth analysis of Confed Park or St Cr mountain, OR WH. Has anyone seen the detailed analysis that was first spoken of in June of 2002 that resulted in the City/community/Tiger Cats et al joint decision to choose WH as the preferred stadium locale?

Alas, no. Instead, the detailed analysis of the Original 3 locations never say the light of day in my neighbourhood. Someone, somewhere made the decision that WH was "IT" and off we all went on what was, and still is, a wild and not-so-wooly ride.

Yes, it was only killed because we lost the bid for the games; however, staff, in the end, 2005, agreed with the WH neighbourhoods - Stadium was a poor fit, no stadium, thank goodness because it was taking a toll on the neighbourhoods who were in the midst of a huge planning process and Official Plan Amendment called Setting Sail. I, for one, was relieved the stadium was off the table for it's frustrating as hell to go through a public participation process but denied so many details along the way, ie, City strategies and decisions that were made long before any public participation takes place.

Enter Hamilton Tourism. COW, April 11/05. City of Hamilton supports the Hamilton Sport Tourism Action Plan. Reports cited are ECO 05002 and P&ED report of April 11, 2005. Hamilton Tourism is now the lead partner with the City and will handle the Sports Hamilton file and more Games bids. Soon, the pretty pictures of the WH stadium are floating around again. Confed Park now becomes one of 8-10, I can't remember there were so many, sites for the new Pan Am stadium. @&$#%, the WH neighbourhoods were heading back to 2002-05 to fight the whole thing over again.

@RenaissanceWatcher...please, get your facts straight, don't take out of context, goodness sakes that's why we're still in this mess.

I am not a football fan but I love the Cats because their our Cats. I love the idea of us receiving the last infrastructure monies from the feds and prov that will keep a lot of people in Hamilton working, building.

Hamilton Council messed up big time because they never demanded that Staff give them all that they agreed to from '02 through to now.

In the future it would be lovely to see if we can do what Berlin does when building important legacies...the public is invited to each stage and the City does periodic unveilings of stages of the structure being built, residents are invited to come see and marvel at what's going on...wouldn't it be lovely if our planning and building processes were truly transparent and community involvement was real and meaningful? When a City tells its residents that they're going to do a full and proper analysis of 3 original sites, find corporate sponsors, and work with the Cats from the get-go (at least use their name for the WH stadium pics during Setting Sail), and then the City drops the ball (the Hamilton Tourism lead was a disaster from the get go) at almost every turn...and we are where we are because of all the promises we believed from reading City reports and then had to bear witness that the talk was all rubbish and the City was going to do what they had wanted to do since showing the first picture of the WH stadium back in '02/03...

@Paul Shaker....the picture you include here is of a WH stadium (and track and velodrome?) and you've taken all the rail tracks out and replaced with luscious green grass. Akin to RenaissanceWAtcher in that you only present what you want us to see, but in reality there is so much more to see a real and clear picture.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:02:01

you only present what you want us to see

FFS the whole concept of a "ahem" concept drawing is to show a concept of what something might look like. Please stop all this trolling!!

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:35:10

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:45:55

"Sadly the Tigercats participation in discussions were limited to observer only." Full of s**t as usual Allan Taylor. They were at the table from the start on the Pan Am Bid committee and knew exactly where the stadium was going to go. Disagree if you want, but please stop polluting this forum with your lies.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:54:45

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By Interesting (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 11:18:51

Council's PanAm meeting has been pushed back from Jan. 24 to Jan 27?

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 11:37:55

IIRC the meeting last Wed set next Wed 26th for the council meeting. As I understand it the reports requested should be available to councilors by the 24th so they can read and understand them before they have the meeting where they will vote on them

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 11:43:44

Directly from the city of Hamilton
http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/CorporateServices/Clerks/calendars2011/

26
9:30 Farmers' Market (Council Chambers)

7:00 pm
Council (Council Chambers)

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 11:49:13

So now we disagree with the city that there is a meeting on the 26th? Wow. I see the 24th meeting but I still believe that the reports are going to be received then and the final vote will be the 24th as previously stated

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By Granola cruncher (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 16:35:15

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 16:50:06

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By Simon4 (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 19:46:15

I am really looking forward to staff's report on IW. There are a lot of unanswered questions - infrastructure cost for appropriate transportation improvements, setback requirements, and associated property expropriation are a few major considerations that come to mind.

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By Costs (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 20:00:04

Knowing the full costs is key for this project. I also want to know where they are getting the stadium construction numbers from - I see all sorts of figures. The new MLS stadium in Houston is 22,000-30,000 in capacity and is slated to cost $110 and these are 2011 numbers - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamo_Stadium_%28Houston%29

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By Sky (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 20:29:52

There are some amazing comments and opinions on this site.

I sincerely wish that somehow everyone could respect and kindly just diagree instead of the childish bashing.

Still too much speculation at this point and I won't even go on about who/what I believe because the bottom line here is everyone does want what is best for Hamilton...

If we do end up with some upper Government funding for the Pan Am Games, (I am having major doubts~ yet hoping for the best), how about we try to find funding for our beloved West Harbour through other funds ?

http://creativecity.ca/making-the-case/urban-renewal-3.html

Setting Sails document was a very good start...6 years later (after a 5 year process) and we are no further ahead...

So, any one else looking at other ways to get West Harbour up and running?

Instead of arguing who said what, who screwe* who, peering into a crystal ball with blinders on. ~How about we, collectively, put down our weapons and find solutions moving forward.

There are millions of dollars out there through other Federal/Provincial grants and funding, if we don't request them, someone else will.

If we get Pan Am, maybe we can ask for extra funding to improve other areas of the City ~ to showcase to the world, that Hamilton is up and running...no longer fighting!

Even if we lose the bid...this money is still out there, we have started this journey to improve our City, regardless of a Stadium or not, we all want better...

Any takers ? :)

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 20:31:58

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 20:59:59

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 21:26:57

@ say what

Your theory is that Mr. Mitchell assumed that the stadium would be built somewhere other than the west harbour lands when he did not express any opposition to the west harbour stadium site to Hamilton city council on February 23, 2009 even though council was voting to designate the west harbour as the preferred stadium site that same day? On your theory, why didn’t Mr. Mitchell publicly share his assumption with Hamilton city council at the Committee of the Whole meetings on February 23, 2009 and February 18, 2010? Why didn't he tell council that the Tiger-Cats would never play at the west harbour? Or that the Tiger-Cats would require the removal of the track after the Pan Am Games? Or that the Tiger-Cats required construction of a massive parking lot with all revenues controlled by the team? The Tiger-Cat organization did not give Hamilton city council the chance to take these "assumptions" into account when they voted to participate in the Pan Am Games in 2009 and 2010. It sure would have saved this city a great deal of time, trouble, money, and both national and international embarrassment had the Tiger-Cat organization been more forthcoming to city council early on about its intentions.

@ serendipity

The previously linked Minutes of the Hamilton city council on February 23, 2009 are facts on the public record. Mr. Mitchell did not oppose the proposed west harbour stadium site during his presentation to Hamilton city council that day. City council voted that same day to spend $60 Million on a Pan Am stadium and velodrome with the west harbour as the preferred site should Toronto go on win the 2015 Pan Am Games bid. The facts are straight. For you to suggest otherwise is pure spin.

Anyway, you indicated in your post that you are a north end resident. What would you like to see happen to the west harbour brownfield lands? Where will the money come from to pay for your vision for the west harbour brownfield lands if the Future Fund monies and Pan Am monies "set sail" for Ivor Wynne Stadium? How long are you prepared to wait for the west harbour brownfield lands to be remediated and redeveloped? Ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years?

My hope is that a made-in-Hamilton Pan Am stadium and velodrome solution can be found within the next week that maximizes the benefits for both the west harbour brownfield lands and the Ivor Wynne Stadium precinct. However, it is difficult right now to see where the money will come from to rejuvenate both of these areas within the next ten to twenty years.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-18 21:35:13

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 21:49:24

@ RenaissanceWatcher

Excellent post! Isn't it funny how anyone that points out facts or sequence of events etc. is accused of bashing the Ticat organization. The basic reply is the Mayor was an idiot, the council is useless, blah blah blah. I have lived in Hamilton all my life. It is one of the only times that I can remember that council and the Mayor actually held their ground, had a vision and kept voting it. Of course they are accused of flip flopping on the issue. In the end the only reason they had to keep voting was the Tabbies refusal to play at WH. If IWS is OK now then there is abosolutely no reason why WH cannot work for the stadium. I still think there will be some twists and turns before this is over.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 22:20:57

Hammy said "you will have plenty of space to fly your kite down there"

I would love to see kites flying on the Harbour! I think it might be too technical for those starting out in the sport of kitesurfing. The description on ikitesurf.com is that the Ham. Harbour launch is a high difficulty level. We need Randall cleaned up and the bacterial counts are still too high due to bird excrement to see that kind of leisure activity down there. Hopefully, we don't have to wait too long to see it. It would be glorious!

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 23:09:58

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 23:41:36

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 23:59:39

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By Serendipity (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:10:06

@ RenaissanceWatcher "The previously linked Minutes of the Hamilton city council on February 23, 2009 are facts on the public record. Mr. Mitchell did not oppose the proposed west harbour stadium site during his presentation to Hamilton city council that day. City council voted that same day to spend $60 Million on a Pan Am stadium and velodrome with the west harbour as the preferred site should Toronto go on win the 2015 Pan Am Games bid. The facts are straight. For you to suggest otherwise is pure spin."

A few facts I see from the Feb 23/09 are: Mitchell supported the bid but did not mention WH; North End Neighbourhood association opposed the stadium; Council chose WH as preferred location.

Is it possible that Mitchell/Cats had not seen the indepth analysis of the WH site,along with the analysis of the other 2 original sites = confed park, st creek mountain - that Council and Staff spoke to back in 2002? I have been on top of this for 8 years and I have never, ever seen an analysis of WH or any other site for that matter. Has anyone asked the Cats what analysis they were given? Or, did they have to rely on their own experts to deem the WH site unacceptable for a large stadium?

Like you, like everyone perhaps, I'm totally in the dark as I have never seen any analysis of any site....from the Original 3 in 2002 that then morphed into at least 8 sites years later, do any of us truly know how the WH was chosen as the preferred site? Simple answer is no. After all these years, I'd love to see the detailed analysis of all sites...yup, beginning in 2002 when Confed Park was one of three. Until I do see the site selection process laid bare for all to see, I'm still baffled how the WH became the preferred site.

@RenaissanceWatcher "Anyway, you indicated in your post that you are a north end resident. What would you like to see happen to the west harbour brownfield lands? Where will the money come from to pay for your vision for the west harbour brownfield lands if the Future Fund monies and Pan Am monies "set sail" for Ivor Wynne Stadium? How long are you prepared to wait for the west harbour brownfield lands to be remediated and redeveloped? Ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years?"

Have lived in the North End for almost twenty years and since '02 I've been giving my thoughts to the City, via community participation processes, regarding future development in the WH area. My vision for the WH never had anything to do with a stadium, still doesn't. And, truth be told, my opinion matters not because the goings-on behind closed doors at City Hall are not holding their breath for my, or your, opinion regarding WH. Where do we find the money to clean up Rheem? Good question, sorry I don't have an answer for you.

Here's a two-part question...Has anyone seen the indepth analysis of any potential stadium site, preferably Confed Park and WH, that would help me understand why the WH was chosen as the preferred site? And, Does anyone know if the Cats were privy to the Confed Park and WH analysis prior to the Feb 23/09 Council meeting?

If I knew the answer to the aforementioned questions I'd be one happy Cat.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:11:35

Plan B has next to zero chance, WhY? Simple, If for some reason council voted down IW next wk and were to vote for plan B that does nothing to secure the games. We are then put in a pot with 3 other communities with plan B. We then have a 1 in 4 chance of securing Pan Am money. Doesn't sound very promising does it.

The other communities only get crack at it after the Feb 1st deadline passes. Hamilton gets first shot before that, so as long as the Plan B were enacted before Feb 1, it would be guaranteed a position with TO2015. This has already been outlined by Troop.

Comment edited by MattM on 2011-01-19 09:11:59

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:05:21

The Happy Birthday comments were voted down because they have no relevance to the discussion at hand.

The fact that it is Bob Young's birthday is no more important to me than anyone else's.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:45:20

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:00:37

The Cats' forum site would be the appropriate place for birthday greetings.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:56:27

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-19 12:57:13

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:02:34

Hammy, I'm a TigerCat season ticket holder and fan all the way. So don't lump everyone in the same boat who posts on RTH. Yes, there are people who hate the Cats and BY for whatever reason but that is their issue to deal with. They have to deal with that.

I've wished BY a good one on ticats.ca and that is where most people are fans of the team.

And I know people who hate MLSE but are Leaf fans. So some people can not like an owner of a team, corporate or otherwise, and still be fans. Or not even know who owns the team and still be fans. I've always liked the Vikings in the NFL but I don't have a clue who owns the team.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-19 13:04:27

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:32:10

Everyone who posts on RTH is involved in this debate but I would not want to see birthday greetings to every single person here. This is a forum for opinion and debate, not a social networking site.

RTH is an excellent example of new media's ability to give a platform to a much broader segment of the population than traditional media. It reduces the ability of a rather narrow group of traditional gatekeepers to control information. I have turned to this site as the primary source of information re: the stadium debate because the articles here are well-written and backed up with facts. Perhaps the preponderance of support for the WH here is because it simply is better site than any other? So accuse the site of bias towards WH all you want, at least it is bias based on good information.

All I have seen from the Ti-Cats and non-WH supporters, on the other hand, is a lack of any information upon which council could in good faith make a decision. For example, last week council was asked to pass a motion designating IWS as the "preferred" PanAm stadium site, with no supporting documentation provided whatsoever. Several councillors alluded to the fact that the ONLY information they had was what they had gleaned from the Two Bob Press Conference.

For all those cheering Bob Young's business acumen, no well-run business would ever make a $115M decision based on an idea and a cursory study. And that's what council will be asked to do next week. Bob Young wouldn't run his businesses this way. Pro sports teams are hobbies for billionaires, but the City of Hamilton needs to be run with the rigour of a large corporation.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:39:45

Council can always just say they don't have the information to make a decision on anything. Isn't that their right? You make it sound Zephyr that there are no choices. As well, are you privy to all the information that council will be provided this week and next by the TigerCats and Chris Murray and his staff as well as other information from Toronto 2015 as part of the negotiations? I'm not privy to it.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-19 13:40:23

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:40:26

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:47:59

if those with opposing views to the norm are faded out.

Yeah but that's not why the comments are faded. They're faded because they say things like "Nothing like insulting a good busniess man. But not surprising considering this is RTH." That's not opposing to the norm, it's just plain rude. Hammy is rude, his "birthday wish" was just pointless downvote bait that did nothing except give him an excuse to whine about being downvoted.

Look at Lawrence's comments, his views are "opposing to the norm" but they don't get faded ..... because he's not rude. Stop making excuses for trolls, this isn't a free speech issue, it's a politeness issue and they want to be allowed to be rude and insulting and not get called out on it. I for one wish the mods would grow a set and just ban people who keep posting rude comments that don't help the debate and refuse to change there ways. Free speech doesn't mean you get to crap on someone else's website, it means you get to start your own website and tried to get people to read it.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:00:58

@HamiltonFan -- I agree with you that council has a responsibility to only vote on an option if they are provided adequate information -- this is the gist of my argument. I am not privy to any IWS information but have enough business experience to know that there is not enough time to do a proper analysis on the IWS site. City Manager Chris Murray as much as admitted this and only committed for city staff to do the best they could in the time remaining to them. I also think the city should be extremely careful before entering into any agreement with the Ti-Cats at this point. These are the people who said any site would work...IWS would not work....WH would not work....Aldershot could be done with $0 in commitment from Burlington... and finally IWS will work. This is not business negotiation, it is foolishness from a team that thought they were in the driver's seat, until they realized they weren't and grew increasingly desperate. Frankly, the whole deal is an insult to the collective intelligence of this city.

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By TomRobertson (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:07:52

nobrainer...I have seen some well presented posts faded out just because they opposed the "correct" view. The stadium issue has been very contentious in the city and there should be many comments from both sides here but one side has been alienated from joining in.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:08:25

Well Zephyr, they can vote it down if they as councillors subscribe to your mindset. Again, it is their right to think as they choose with the information they will have. I encourage them to do what they feel best for the city.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:19:25

@TomRobertson

Comments in support of IWS (or any other site) that contain information that adds to the debate are welcome to me. I enjoy reading lawrence's contributions here because he adds salient information and is respectful.

I downvote comments that are nasty and don't add anything to the discussion. I also downvote comments with an excessive amount of poor spelling/grammar because it is simply annoying. Usually I find nastiness and inability to craft proper sentences travel together around here.

A bit of nastiness but with an attempt at humour passes with me... cause we all need to lighten up around here, myself included :)

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-19 14:23:49

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:21:33

Vote it down and it costs the city half a million. That is not likely to happen.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:23:17

Zephyr, I found this business course description from the Univ. of Florida quite apt with what you are saying about the lack of information. Interesting that professors who teach business see this as an overall concern in the business world as well:

"Course Objective: Business decisions are often difficult and risky because decisions have to be made with incomplete and imperfect information. The primary purpose of this course is to introduce the basics of modeling and analyzing problems that involve business decision-making under uncertainty."

Source: http://warrington.ufl.edu/academics/docs...

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:37:14

@HamiltonFan

Even if an really high-quality study/business plan of IWS were to be completed (impossible in this timeframe), the project would still be fraught with risk and uncertainty. All big projects are. Information at the start of a project is never complete or perfect.

The IWS stadium idea has passed the first stage in a typical project management lifecycle - there has been agreement to use resources for a feasibility study. An essential part of this study is to come back with a list of initial risks -- and if these risks can be removed, mitigated or will have to be accepted. This initial risk management plan remains alive if the project is approved and typically continues to grow.

I think common sense tells us all that there is not time to do more than a cursory risk assessment at this point.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:42:26

The stadium issue has been very contentious in the city and there should be many comments from both sides here but one side has been alienated from joining in.

And which side would that be? The Confederation Park side, the Ivor Wynne side, or the side that is dubious about stadium spending altogether?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:49:13

Certainly Zephyr there is risk with this project, like any as we are talking about. Measuring the risk in both a quantifiable manner and qualitative manner with the time alloted may well indeed be cursory as you suggest albeit, again as we know, decisions of all sorts often have a political bent to them as well and I doubt that this situation with IWS stadium is any different. And how often have we heard that there are unreasonable timelines and deadlines with decisions in our lives put upon us by superiors who want answers, and fast? I know this has happened to me in my lifetime but again, it's just the way the world often works sometimes. I think the experts call it crisis management or something similar.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-19 14:49:29

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:52:38

And which side would that be?

Stop with the facts highwater, it only confuses the trolls.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:09:48

Foxcroft speaks. Hilarity ensues.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:11:20

@HamiltonFan

We don't disagree. I don't think the building/non-building of a stadium qualifies as a crisis such that we should set aside good governance of taxpayer dollars.

I am on the side of fiscal prudence.

We see where excessive debt is getting the industrialized world.

Public money is a scare resource that should only be used with a promise of a return -- in this case, there is a real probability of private investment to follow public dollars at the WH. Build a legacy for high-performance and amateur sport and make the WH something to be proud of.

The city cannot afford to invest our Future Fund in subsidizing a football team. Besides the fact that there is a real probability that the PanAm committee will not even accept an IWS reno as an acceptable legacy.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:17:05

Zephyr, I want the best stadium possible that makes sense enough for the city and the TigerCats, I don't care where it is. And I want the TigerCats to stay here. That's my emotions talking and that's what I get excited about, like on game day when I played as a high school athlete or now as a fan. I love football, I love the contact and the competition. And I love seeing our team able to vie for Lord Grey's trophy.

Now the intellectual side of me agrees stadiums are a waste of money etc...

Hey I'm a Gemini, what do you expect? ;)

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:20:04

Re: Foxcroft's comments

So who is Bob Young, really? A hard-headed businessman or Hamilton's CFL Santa who is doing this all as a gift to this fair city?

According to Foxcroft, it is the latter. It seems Poor Bob lost the Aldershot-Opportunity-of-a-Lifetime because of his star-crossed love.

It seems that if Poor Bob had jumped on the Aldershot train 6 months ago, they could have managed to leverage a chunk of Hamilton's Future and our PanAm legacy money to build a Burlington stadium.

But Bob kept hoping Hamilton would accept his gift and didn't start talking Aldershot until Christmas Eve.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:21:38

@Hamilton Fan,

Believe it or not, I am a lifelong Ti-Cat fan.

But I don't trust the organization anymore, sadly. And the economics don't make any sense either -- if we don't face economic reality now, it might be forced on us later (as it has been in the US).

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:33:34

Thanks for the link Highwater.

The new Burlington mayor said if his city had the benefit of six months or longer to look at an Aldershot solution, a regional approach involving Burlington, Hamilton and Halton Region might have evolved. “It was a great regional opportunity in which we could have shared the liability.”

I love this Goldring guy! Did we hear him espousing 'regional solutions' and 'shared liability' when the $90 million bill for the CP lands came in at the Longwood location? What did we hear from Burlington then?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:34:42

You know what Zephyr, it's been a long time since I've trusted anyone/thing or any business or organization in this world completely. And that includes people I love, people I hate, and everyone/thing inbetween.

That being said, I like to remain an up beat person, positive etc. and able to enjoy life and that in the midst of anarchy. I just don't like being down a lot, I don't enjoy that.

Even if the stadium doesn't happen in Hamilton, I'll still be upbeat. Heck my goal in life is to stay positive even if the world goes to all hell or an asteroid is coming and we know it and it's going to annihilate the Earth. Don't get me wrong, I do get down at times but there's an old saying I like: it's not how many times you get knocked down that matters, it's how many times you get back up.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:01:09

@HamiltonFan

I have actually found the stadium debate a wonderful exercise in democracy. It is the first time I (and I suspect many, many other Hamiltonians) have corresponded with city councillors or attended a council meeting. And I have realized that many of our councillors DO listen. So perhaps all the people complaining of the paucity of ideas/ representation they receive from our council need to stop and consider whether they can become part of the solution. If you care, write your councillor, write letters to the editor, register as a delegation to a council meeting.

I am happy to have had a voice. As corny as it sounds, we are truly blessed. One of my best friends is from Tunisia, where people have died fighting for freedom of expression -- we need to treasure it and use, not abuse it!

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:09:57

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:15:52

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-19 16:37:08

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:24:01

...kissing A now Hammy? Don't like being ignored?

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By TheBestDeal (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:28:48

@Zephyr said:
"Public money is a scare resource that should only be used with a promise of a return -- in this case, there is a real probability of private investment to follow public dollars at the WH. Build a legacy for high-performance and amateur sport and make the WH something to be proud of. The city cannot afford to invest our Future Fund in subsidizing a football team. Besides the fact that there is a real probability that the PanAm committee will not even accept an IWS reno as an acceptable legacy."

Excellent points Zephyr! The only way we are going to get a true sense of what "deal" is the best for Hamilton is to have a direct WH and IW comparison with all the numbers included - I've emailed my councillor to ask that this happen and I encourage you to do the same!

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:34:43

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:43:27

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-19 16:45:22

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:44:06

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:45:14

Actually can't the folks of Burlington see the WH from there (to paraphrase Ms Palin a bit). And isn't the WH closer to Burlington than Aldershot is to Hamilton? Perhaps we can approach Mayor Goldring with the chance to participate in this wonderful regional opportunity? I'm sure the good taxypayers of Burlington understand the need to share the liability of these regional projects...

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:47:39

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 16:49:45

Ummm... Hammy... that was an attempt at humour. I would try to explain it to you but it seems a bit hopeless at this point.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 17:08:39

"Hamilton fan, fair enough, I appologize for throwing everyone under the bus at the RTH. However, that doesn't change the fact that a nice gesture wishing Bob a happy birthday was faded out because of ill will from members of this site towards him. When did common decency not matter towards a fellow man, friend or someone sitting on the other side of the fence?"

Hammy, you just have to be a bit thick skinned around here, you are dealing with the majority, I gather, that really don't particularly like BY for whatever reason. In all liklihood most positive comments towards him on this site will get voted down. Many people here will see this as true justification rather than anything mean spirited or that. Just the way it is. Remember, RTH is a media site regardless if it's the newer social media or otherwise and thus people will find exception to what the more normative view that masses have on this site. That is the way it works.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-19 17:09:28

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 18:24:25

Hey Folks, remember when Adrian made a Magic Bullet for Turbo's trolling?

That was a great day!

More informative reading many of us have already covered!

Optimization by Proxy and Sufficiently Advanced Trolls

Trolling Through the Ages

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 18:56:28

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 19:09:24

OK, I've had it. Enough.

Hammy, would you please:

!. Turn on some lights in the room in which you're sitting other than your computer screen. 2. Turn off your computer. 3. Wash the dirty track pants you've been wearing all year. 4. Get out of the basement and go outside, being sure not to disturb your parents on the way out. 5. Try making eye contact with anybody you come into contact with on the street (don't look at your own shoes even once). 6. Go home and do not turn on your computer. 7. Repeat 1 through 6 every day for the next month. 8. Primary social skills may ensue. Although unlikely, it will keep you occupied.

You're welcome.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 21:01:32

H+H your a funny guy. Notice you didn't get faded for your rude post, you must be on the right team.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-19 21:02:34

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 21:37:54

Hammy has a point. H+H's post should be faded, and s/he should be warned. Very insulting to Hammy. H+H is not even in the minuses for the post! As far as I've seen, hammy hasn't written anything that's ANYWHERE close to that insulting.

But it's OK for H+H to be rude, because s/he believes in the WH and other RTH principles.

For shame, Ryan.

As for Bob's birthday, isn't he a registered user on this site? Technically, hammy and I are wishing a fellow RTH user a happy birthday. That's not permitted?

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-19 21:39:38

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 21:54:53

I wrote a letter opposing the outrageous stadium expenditure (to all councilors) and got a long reply from Sam Merulla which can be read at the above link. Here is an excerpt that seems to apply to the WH site.

"I believe we need to focus on priorities that matter e.g. Manufacturing Jobs, 2 billion dollar infrastructure deficit, 146 million dollar provincial downloading crisis and 20 percent poverty rate. My position has always been the same and that is the fact the Pan Am games and stadium is the mother of all unfocused priorities. I've attached the proceeding [subsequent?] comments for your perusal surrounding this fiasco I had written during the summer months:

Bottom line is a vote for West Harbour is a vote for Ivor Wynne due to the criterion that money will only be allocated to a site with a long term tenant. Keep in mind West Harbour has a capital deficit of approximate 50 million dollars and millions more in operating thereby creating an environment of an ultimatum from the Province and the Feds due to the preceding criterion."

I couldn't have said his first paragraph any better and even after his letter, cannot really understand his newfound support for this project as expressed at the recent council meeting. This spending madness is getting too close for our future comfort. Is nobody watching what most of the Western World is going through? Is Hamilton, Canada in a bubble?

Comment edited by bobinnes on 2011-01-19 21:55:40

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 22:05:36

For shame, Ryan.

In case you weren't aware, Ryan, nor RTH, nor some underground clique are choosing comment scores. The general public is.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 22:55:26

yes, but isn't Ryan the one who picks the format dictating that if you have an opposing viewpoint, your comment gets hidden, and in some cases, completely hidden?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 23:55:25

I notice H+H's insulting post is not faded. Does this mean the majority of people on this site approve of his trashy post?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 00:08:26

It means the majority of people on this site are sick of your shit and no longer feel you deserve to be taken seriously after all your rude behaviour. You can't insult a bunch of people day in and day out and not expect that someone will sooner or later tell you to go fuck yourself.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 08:29:44

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 08:47:04

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 08:48:26

I must admit I'm surprised there isn't a stop list of offensive words to be quite honest.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 08:50:38

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 08:50:54

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 08:55:35

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted January 20, 2011 at 09:13:56

Thank you Ryan.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 09:45:37

Volume in of itself is not trolling however in Hammy's case the persecution sure has pushed him over the edge to obnoxious irrational foul mouthed ahole. I'm pretty sure thats not what you wanted but its very predictable. Happens everywhere

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 10:31:07

in Hammy's case the persecution sure has pushed him over the edge to obnoxious irrational foul mouthed ahole.

Nice try, but he was an obnoxious irrational foul mouthed ahole right out of the gate.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 10:34:09

Volume in of itself is not trolling however in Hammy's case the persecution complex sure has pushed him over the edge...

Fixed it for ya.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 13:27:54

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 13:40:45

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 13:38:55

Interesting article by Chris Selley from The National Post on Pan Am games hidden costs.

A choice section of the article:

Mayor Rob Ford and Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday blame David Miller and his cronies for $23-million in unanticipated soil remediation necessary to build a $200-million aquatics centre on the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. "They knew there were problems with the site, but they didn't come forward and tell us," Mr. Holyday contended on Monday, after the Executive Committee reluctantly (rolls eyes) approved the new expenditures. "So we, as council, voted on the matter without having all the information and not knowing the total costs."

A couple of things look awfully familiar to me, what do you think?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 13:48:16

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 13:57:59

hammy,

I can't agree with you completely, the city of Hamilton does have some good studies done on the WH lands. There is a concern with ground water at WH. I'm trying to get a copy of the study from my councilor, still waiting.

I was more interested that Toronto's council, "voted on the matter without having all the information and not knowing the total costs." Sounds like a foreshadowing of the upcoming IWS2 vote.

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 14:44:02

So what if RTH is seen as radical (one man's radical is another man's visionary). Not sure why "radical" is always a bad word anyways. The City of Hamilton has suffered from a dearth of creativity and ideas for far too long. Who 10 years ago would have thought we'd have a hugely-successful art crawl on James St N? That took radical vision. Now we need a new radical vision of what our city can be.... so we can move from the stale TiCats and steel stereotype and become something more....

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-01-20 14:46:58

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By scary (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 15:38:45

Zephyr I would go a step further - to get to a new vision we have to simply start thinking with our brains, and not our rear-ends. The funny thing about Hamilton's problems is that there are a ton of examples from other cities about how we can address things but too many people still prefer to bury their heads in the sand and squander resources to maintain the current state of things. The stadium is a great example of blowing a wad of cash because people are afraid of a pursuing a new direction for the city. Ironically, those who tend to bash ideas for change are the ones how put down Hamilton left right and centre. Fortunately, demographic changes and a more engaged population are pushing this element to the margins of the city and I say thank God for that!

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 16:47:13

Hammy said "F. Ward. Cleat. is a stuffy name." I think it is a reference to Hamilton being the forward cleat of the golden horseshoe. I can't remember who said it...a former mayor, I believe.? Regardless, It's a great name, I wish I had thought of it!!!

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 17:05:54

You got it. Sorry no prize, I'm just a working stiff (not stuffy at all). It's a quote from the President Of Westinghouse around 1914.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 18:45:09

Good quote. Sorry for the stuffy comment forward.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 20:33:22

Zephyr... how is building a 6000 seat stadium at WH, which most of you want, considered 'visionary'? It'll just be another 6000 seat stadium. One of 4 in the city. Yes, I agree the Rheem site needs remediation, but with another mid-sized stadium? Surely, something more suitable could go there.

Hamilton needs a 20-30,000 seat stadium. Not just for the Tiger-Cats, although it's an obvious benefit (even if most of you don't see it), but also for major concerts, professional soccer, and other things. Is downsizing our stadium size by 25,000 really seen as 'visionary'?

Likewise, is getting rid of a sports team loved by thousands considered 'visionary'? You may not see it, but sports teams are a source of pride for a city, much like art crawls. Some of my best memories of childhood surround the Tiger Cats. You might say 'well, the Ticats are a reminder of hamilton's steel days, and we're trying to get rid of that stigma, so they can just go'. But if the city's image can change, then why can't the Ticats image change, too? When is subtraction of a city asset (and they are an asset, although subsidized) seen as 'visionary'. To be fair, if anyone decided to get rid of the James North Art Crawl, because of a disagreement with the city, everyone would be up in arms wanting to save it, because art is considered culture, and football is wrongly, not.

I've always said, if the city doesn't want to subsidize the Ticats (and I can't blame them), then they should help set them up to be successful.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-20 20:34:37

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:07:58

Surely, something more suitable could go there.

Where will the money come from? That's the $5 million dollar question. If we blow the Future Fund halfway rebuilding IWS, how much longer will Barton-Tiffany sit empty and contaminated? How much longer will all the properties around it sit empty and undeveloped? If you've got a better idea on how we can actually remediate the WH without a stadium, I'm all ears.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:10:21

Amphitheatre money offered in the EM failed deal would work. Maybe its going to be on the table again. Who knows?

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:14:21

Maybe a 5000 seat WH statium is not "visionary", but it has been the confirmed, and several times re-affirmed, vision of the city. I am not against an IW refurbishment as long as the WH remediation is a stated requirement to accompany the IWS project. The synergy of PanAm with the TiCats really was an exciting opportunity, but this protracted series of site choices has been nothing short of infuriating. I want the TiCats to stay, I want them to do well (financially and as a football team), but when I started to feel like the city was placing TiCat interests ahead of all other with seemingly zero due-dilligence, I started to watch this debacle much more closely. Finally the TiCats'bluff was called and we still enter into negotiations on a "plan" with no public details. What gets me even more annoyed is the fact that BY has put nothing concrete towards the statium, remediation, etc. The original vision is WH and I think the city should stick to it. Build a scalable 5000 seater at WH for amature sport and add a permanent veodrome. If the TiCats want to continue to be a part of the fine city then they'll ask how they can contribute to making the WH work. If BY can't do/see that then he should find a new home and bear the knowledge that he was the caretaker that threw away the proud Hamilton history and its fans. I love CFL, I love football, but should this IWS refurb proceed and just maintain the status quo then I will forever look at the TiCats as this city's lost (mis-spent?) opportunity.

Also, I hope the city never forgets its steel and industrial roots. Frankly I am surprised that it's not more prevalent. In a city like Pittsburgh there is no doubt it was a steel city - there's steel bridges and structures everywhere. Perhaps we could use a little more of that type of pride here.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:16:19

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:25:16

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 21:31:29

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:27:35

Council voted to study IWS 16-0. As a fall back position, council also voted to review the WH. Council has yet to vote on which plan to proceed with.

@Hammy - editing after the fact to redirect your point isn't cool. Please provide a referece for your added statement:

"After listening to troops comments defending himself after RTH comments accused him of all things, not be open. It sounds like the province wants nothing to do with it as well."

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-01-20 21:43:30

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:28:57

Correct Grape Ape.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:33:56

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:38:36

Hammy - seriously, which do you support:

1) govt hand out for rebuilding half of a sports complex

2) govt hand out for remediation toxic waste and renewal of prime city core realestate

They're both govt hand outs and if you want to talk deperate, consider the that one buisiness feels its interests/needs trump that of a city population.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:41:07

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:45:30

Both actually although thats a terribly condescending and uneven way to describe the 2 separate issues

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:45:31

They're rebuilding half of that, refurbing the other half. If this is truely your belief then you're clearly out to lunch.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:47:08

O he's that but not for the reason you stated.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:48:23

Just because someone has a different opinion does not mean they are wrong.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:48:30

condescending? uneven? It doesnt get more honest, or more even.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:50:08

Bottom line is you must be right Grape, you said so, the minority at RTH said so.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:50:20

Yes you can have a different opinion and you can be wrong.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:51:50

Fair enough, there is a 50% chance that your right according to you.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:52:52

you were OK until here:

"They're both govt hand outs and if you want to talk deperate, consider the that one buisiness feels its interests/needs trump that of a city population."

If you want reasonable discussion you need to be reasonable. That type of rhetoric is not reasonable. Its the main stumbling block to ever successfully convincing those you disagree with that you are objective and maybe they should listen

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:52:56

Actually by my logic it's 25%, but who's counting.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:54:03

And you can be an ahole and be right, not that it does your position any help.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:56:50

@say what - ok, you have a point. A business needs to make money and that is the goal of business. I just think the business in question has played on too many emotions and I am unable to see their logic to select an IWS refurb over a new WH. If there was some clarification from them and some effort at supporting the WH remediation then I could live with a half new IWS.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 21:57:47

but a right ahole is still right.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 22:08:57

We'll have to wait until Monday before we can judge the plan. It terribly sad that its come down to one ward in need of major investment against another. My opposition to WH was never about stifling WH but rather that the project was a bad fit for all concerned. I like every other reasonable minded Hamiltonian wants to see a cleanup and revitalized core, I just don't agree with the RTH vision of a stadium as a catalyst for change

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 22:10:44

I never intended to call you either

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 22:13:01

fair enough :)

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:14:18

At least the GrapeApe has a sense of humour. Good work Grape.
Now if we could only get some of the other RTH crowd to lighten up.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:44:49

Look, there is no way to judge the IWS plan until the details are revealed. Who knows, when the East Mountain site was on the table, the Ticats offered money for a WH amphitheatre if indeed EM was chosen. Maybe a similar proposal will take place? Look, Bob Young doesn't hate downtown. He even moved the Ticat offices there (they used to be on Main but closer to the stadium), as well as some of his other businesses. But he's convinced he can't make money from a stadium there.

Both sides have made mistakes:

-Bob Young should have let his feelings be known earlier. I remember saying to my wife.."I just wish Bob Young would just come out and say it...they don't like West Harbour".

-Bob Young should not have pulled out of negotiations the day before the Aug 12th vote; why he did this I'll never know... my only assumption is that Young knew how the vote would go. But still...

-Bob Young should not have waited so late in the game to suggest IWS rebuild

-the city should have had a plan B in case West Harbour didn't pan out; why this goes unnoticed is beyond me - their first and biggest failure in this whole ordeal

-the meetings with the Katz group during the Fenn facilitation process (I compared it to cheating on your wife during marriage counseling (that being said, it's apparent that Young was talking to Burlington at around the same time so...)

-the city referring to the Ticats as just a tenant. Not only does it ignore 142 years of history, but it's also insulting. True, the Cats are 'tenants', but shouldn't a landlord ensure that their tenant is set up for success?

Oh well, it'll all be over soon. Some in this city will be mad, some will be happy. Whatever the decision is, we'll deal with it and move on as a city to other pressing issues.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-20 23:45:44

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 23:52:04

Good read again M.
Well thought out and true.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 08:26:57

There is an opinion piece titled "Eisenberger says Cats were bluffing" by Andrew Dreschel in today's print version of the Hamilton Spectator but apparently not yet available online.

The end of Dreschel piece states:

"As for the bluff, well, we know how he feels about that.

"It's pretty clear that this has been a game of poker," said Eisenberger.

"I think the city has had its hand on the table from the very beginning and I think the Tiger-Cats kept their cards completely face down.""

The piece is lengthy and there is no time to retype large sections of it. Hopefully, a link to the piece will become available online at thespec.com later today.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 09:40:36

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/476360--eisenberger-says-cats-were-bluffing

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:08:54

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:18:15

Fred is bang on. The more I think about the Ivor Wynne deal, the more it stinks. The Cats aren't paying a DIME. What is this? The U.S.? Corporate welfare recipients can now just line up and empty out our city coffers??

Of course there is a funding gap at WH - the Cats were kind of expected to pay for THEIR OWN stadium.
If we'd re-elected Fred we would be firmly in control right now instead of trying to convince HOSTCO to fund half of a crappy stadium.

Time to email council, yet again, and remind them that we are in full control of $115 million. If the Cats want a free ride, we should pay their train ticket out of town to go poach some other loser city.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:30:35

His reasoning that a full sized stadium without the Cats could be built is made quite clear in that article.

His reasoning was nothing of the sort, but I don't blame you for thinking that, as that is the falsehood that Dreschel is trying to push in this column. Eisenberger's point is that, contrary to all their threats, the ticats had nowhere else to go, and if council had had the courage of their convictions, the ticats would have been forced to come around and accept WH, just as they have been forced to eat their words about IW not being viable, and lots of land for parking and Bob World being essential to their survival.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:40:45

Your interpretation that it doesn't mean that by extension Eisenberger felt all along that they could buld without the Tigercats doesn't jive with me. Even you feel the same way, build the stadium without the Tigercats and they won't have a choice. Its absolutely clear to me that is the way he was thinking reading this article. In fact he was still talking about bringing in another party to bridge the gap and bring in another tenant to do so solidifying the premise

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:54:42

Its absolutely clear to me that is the way he was thinking reading this article.

Then I guess it was a reading comprehension fail on your part after all. This is what the article states:

Eisenberger believes the council he led made a grave mistake in February, 2010, when, after confirming the west harbour site, they produced, to his surprise, an amendment that opened the door to a Plan B option.

“I think that point in time gave others the opportunity to look at alternative sites and exclude the west harbour location, and that’s essentially what ended up happening.”

“My sense is if we had not done that and council was resolved on the west harbour, I would think that today we would probably be well on our way to having developed the location.”

Shorter Fred: If council hadn't blinked, the ticats would have stayed with WH, and wouldn't have been able to thrown a wrench into the process at the last minute.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:54:58

Paul, just noticed I see nothing specifically about a stadium or arena on your site Bay City revival and am wondering how either a stadium or arena would fit in with the land use map as found on your site at:

http://www.communitystudy.ca/baycity/lan...

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:10:26

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By Yikes (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:30:30

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 12:04:20

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 12:36:44

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:15:56

@Hammy

If you are going to call someone a liar and a freeloader, you are obliged to prove your allegations.

I say you are slandering him because you will be unable to contribute one shred of evidence. (And even if you did make an attempt to put together a case you lack the ability to string logical, cogent sentences together so noone here would understand what you are trying to say).

Eisenburger was very clear on his position throughout this whole debate, it didn't change then and it did not now.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:13:54

Strongly disagree, Freddy was fine as long as everyone was on the same side of the fence that he was. As soon as the WH deal was coming undone he, like many on this site got a little testy.
We all know he lied regarding the phone call from the province, [thats one]. Do you really think that was the only lie he committed regarding the Wh issue? I hardly think so.
Most of the population in Hamilton seem to agree with this.
If they didn't, he probably would have been re-elected.
Pretty tuff to knock a sitting mayor from top of the later to a distant third.
Frankly he has no credability left.
This last attempt at swaying opinion is just another attempt by a desperate man and his followers.
This certainly won't be the last we here of him, however he can bla bla bla all he wants. Most of us are not listening.
With all due respect Zep, how does one put together a logical cogent sentence for us all to understand. Noone? what the hay is that?? Is that like neewne? Just wondering of course since you are the one finding falt in others wrighting style, I thought you might need some help with yours. No offense of course.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 16:41:02

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 18:57:13

@hammy

Eisenberger has no credibilty left? You must be joking, looks like he was proven right so far. The Cats had no place to go, the must haves like access, visbilty and parking etc. all vanished. In my opinion he lost because some of the public believed the Cats were going to leave and wanted someone that was willing to sell the farm to keep them..... we certainly got that.

Now back to the real discussion, any chance that the real back up plan going on behind the scenes might be that if for any reason IWS has major problems, money or otherwise that WH with the Cats is being pursued? May mean the Cats need to kick in real upfront cash, sponsor money and the Prov may need to pony up to make it work.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 19:04:43

No the only back up plan is a 6,000 seat scalable stadium that will increase the funding shortfall to bring it up to 22,000 to 25,000 as the Pan Am portion will be considerably less. If the 6000 seater happens the cheapest option for the city is to spend $20M on structural repairs to maintain IWS in its current form with no improvements. That option would actually be more expensive to the city than a rebuild of IWS with Pan Am money so I don't think its being taken seriously as the primary option by the majority of council

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 19:15:48

@By say what I do know what the voted on plan B was and you could be right that the majority of council will not go for what I said in my last post. The problem with IWS could be that HOSTCO will agree to the cost of the 15K but will not agree to the repair, refurbish whatever you want to call it of the 10K seats. Then again who knows what is going on at the provincial level.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 20:35:42

"Eisenburger was very clear on his position throughout this whole debate, it didn't change then and it did not now."

Couldn't have said it better Zeph. No wonder he longer longer holds the position of Mayor in Hamilton and I believe he didn't even come 2nd in the election, but correct me if I'm mistaken with that. The man has nothing to lose now by saying "look I was right all along." He lost, he kept that mantra up thinking he'd win. But if I was him, I'd be saying I was right all the time as well. Unless you were stupid.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-21 20:44:14

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:58:48

'In my opinion he lost because some of the public believed the Cats were going to leave and wanted someone that was willing to sell the farm to keep them'

Must tell you how much the Cats are loved in this city. They decided an election.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 22:26:37

@mb

Love for the Cats is one thing and I would agree the city does love them. How do we explain the Ballard years and his threats to move. It was the perceived or real fear of them leaving Hamilton that perhaps was the issue. The Cats did a very good job at perpetuating that. I want the cats to stay but not at all costs.

You can be a great fan of the Cats but diagree with some of what ownership has done. Lots of fans hated Ballard but loved the team.

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 23:08:18

@Peter F

I totally agree, you can hate an owner of a team you love, and that probably is the case for many in Hamilton (you also need to know that many people still support Young and even see his point of view).

That being said, IMHO, it would be better if people don't use 'Tiger-Cats' and 'Bob Young' so interchangeably. It's not the Tiger-Cats that you're mad at, it's the owner.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 13:06:23

@mb

It is not even a question of hate of an owner, I do not think people hate BY, myself included. Dislike how this all unfolded is more like it. Some are offended by Mitchell's action throughout this ordeal and I would imagine some are offended at some of councils actions. In the end all of council is painted by the same brush as are anyone from the Cat organization. The rants,tantrums on both sides should of stayed behind closed doors. Negiotiating in the open was just dumb!

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 15:40:40

Peter is right, sites like the RTH have caused more harm than good in this issue.
Time for us all to bud out and let council do its job.

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By PeterF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2011 at 00:45:32

@Hammy

You must have a READING comprehension problem, my point was that both sides, mainly the Cats negotiated out in the open, when they should have done it behind closed doors.

If you do not like RTH then leave.

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