Special Report: Pan Am

Social Inclusion and Hamilton's 2015 Pan Am Games

The City can significantly improve inclusion for residents around Ivor Wynne Stadium by focusing on urban renewal and access to green space and recreational facilities in its renovation.

By Sarah V. Wayland
Published January 21, 2011

In previous presentations to City Council, the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction identified priorities and principles that should serve as a guide for a made-in-Hamilton social inclusion strategy for the Pan Am Games.

Our August 2010 submission examined the West Harbour and East Mountain proposed stadium site locations through a social inclusion lens, concluding that the West Harbour location provided more opportunities for inclusion.

In this brief report, we consider how the redevelopment of Ivor Wynne Stadium (IWS) Complex might impact the surrounding area in terms of social inclusion opportunities.

Any redevelopment of the land that includes the IWS Complex would be accompanied by opportunities to promote social inclusion, including job creation, improved public transit options, and the pride felt among area residents for being recipients of such significant investment.

We focus on two opportunities in particular: urban renewal and access to green space and recreational facilities. These are two areas where city investment can significantly improve inclusion for residents.

Demographic Profile Near Ivor Wynne Stadium
City of Hamilton Ivor Wynne (8 census tracts)
Total population 504,559 27,012
Median income in 2005 - all census families ($ range by tract, lowest to highest) $66,810 $36,348 - 53,483
Median % in low income after tax - all families 14.0 23.3
Median % in low income after tax - ages 0-17 18.6 35.5
Female lone parent families (% range by tract, lowest to highest) 14.8 19-32
Median population density (people per square kilometer) 452 4990

(from 2006 Census data and The Hamilton Spectator's Code Red series)

As shown in the table, the neighbourhoods surrounding IWS are high-density areas whose residents are significantly more likely to live in low income households. Compared to Hamilton as a whole, children and youth in this part of the city are twice as likely to live below the poverty line.

Moreover, the neighbourhood itself suffers from an absence of grocery stores, community and recreational facilities, and green space. The primary source of green space is Scott Park which consists of three baseball diamonds.

Urban Renewal

What the Studies Show

The "core constituency" of any stadium is not the residents of the surrounding area. Persons will travel from all over Hamilton as well as from outside the city to attend events at a stadium. However, the immediately surrounding population may benefit from commercial developments and other economic opportunities created by the presence of a stadium, and other forms of urban redevelopment.

Much of the literature on stadiums as a vehicle for urban renewal focus on creating a "precinct" with associated development of restaurants, hotels, even housing. A side benefit is that parking options will be in greater demand. The precinct notion has been present in the stadium discussions in Hamilton as well.

However, building a stadium will not ensure urban renewal. This is evidenced from many other recent stadium projects in North America. A stadium and associated development is only one part of a renewal solution. As such, municipalities should share costs with tenants and other investors.

One tested strategy for creating healthy neighbourhoods is the introduction of mixed-income housing. The popularity of recent condominium projects in Hamilton's downtown core indicates that the time may be right for Hamilton to follow the lead of other North American cities in terms of creating more higher-density housing options. This would be a positive step towards remedying the disparity highlighted in the The Hamilton Spectator's "Code Red" series.

View from the Ground

The IWS Complex is surrounded on all sides. It is hemmed in by

As such, the amount of land available for redevelopment is relatively small. Any development must be well thought-out and make the best use of all space that is available. For example, discussion of creating more parking space must be balanced by what will best serve the surrounding community on a daily basis.

Importance Of Green Space And Access To Recreation

What the Studies Show

Social inclusion of children and youth implies the equal opportunity for all children to actively participate in society and to develop their capacities and capabilities, leading to equitable life opportunities. Recreation and physical activity are prime contributors to healthy lifestyle for all. They are especially important to the healthy development of children and youth.

Children and youth living in poverty do not participate in recreation and physical activity as much as their wealthier peers do. They face many barriers that restrict access to quality recreation and physical activity opportunities, including lack of facilities in the community, transportation, family support, awareness, safe places to play, and childcare.

According to the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth, children's participation in recreation activities and the frequency of participation increases with rising income quintiles.

View from the Ground

The neighbourhood surrounding IWS is a densely-populated urban area with a few green spaces and recreational facilities. Students are in the area daily, and the area is already a hub of some recreational activity, though it lacks any multi-use recreational and community meeting space.

The closest recreation centres are more than two kilometres away (Pinky Lewis and Central). The closest playgrounds are at Gage Park and Woodland Park, which are 1-2 kilometres from the site. Smaller parks with playgrounds are farther away: J.C. Beemer Park (68 Victoria Avenue North) and Belview Park (205 Belmont Avenue).

Nearby schools do make regular use of Scott Park and the Jimmy Thompson Memorial Pool. Schools have occasionally used IWS for events such as the Terry Fox Run, and they have partnerships with the TiCats that allow them to attend various special events at IWS and sometimes receive free tickets to football games.

Brian Timmis field does not appear to be used by the adjacent schools, though one school official stated that the school would use it if it were available to them. This is unfortunate as soccer is a very popular youth sport in Hamilton. Newcomer and downtown youth have few options for playing organized soccer in the city.

Recommendations

In view of the above findings, we recommend that the City of Hamilton undertake the following steps to enhance social inclusion in preparation for any redevelopment of the neighbhourhood around IWS:

  1. Solicit community input into the development process to identify neighbourhood priorities.

  2. To create the biggest impact in a limited space, investigate multi-use facilities, for example, a stadium with football, soccer, and community tenants and adjoining fitness/ recreation centre.

  3. Explore incorporating mixed-income housing models in the re-development.

  4. Ensure that facility management promotes ongoing and enhanced community use of facilities.

  5. Maintain the local economic benefits of existing stadium location, notably the parking revenues that go to nearby schools.

  6. Ensure that any redevelopment of IWS be accompanied by an expansion of green space open for public use.

  7. Ensure that any redevelopment of IWS be accompanied by the construction of a community centre or senior's centre containing meeting space as well as recreational facilities.

  8. Maximize impact of existing space, including safe street crossings, streetscaping, and signage to public transit

In closing, we wish to call attention to the potential impact of the velodrome and how its construction and operation might promote social inclusion wherever it is located. Many of the key points outlined here can apply to the velodrome as well.

Of Interest: City of Manchester Stadium

Sarah Wayland is a Hamiltonian, mother, and part-time civil servant. She moved to Canada to marry her husband John, whom she met at the University of Maryland while pursuing a PhD in political science.

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By Tnt (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:27:58

There is a park right near Birch Ave N that seems to be an underused greenspace. How many minifestivals could be had there?

Also has anyone done a MLS search along Barton Street? With all the empty storefronts next to none are for sale.

Comment edited by Tnt on 2011-01-21 13:28:35

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:37:16

I'm willing to bet nearly all of those empty storefronts are land speculators and numbered corporations from outside of Hamilton.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:53:33

Median population density (people per square kilometer) 452 (City of Hamilto) vs. 4990 (Ivor Wynne (8 census tracts)

Wow.

1.Solicit community input into the development process to identify neighbourhood priorities.

8.Maximize impact of existing space, including safe street crossings, streetscaping, and signage to public transit

A stop light at the curret stop sign in front of King George would be good for safe access to the park off of Belmont. It's a fairly large green space with a nice playground and plsah pad for the kids. Not sure why it doesn't show up on Google Maps? A lot of people walk through their to cross back and forth across the tracks to get to and from the games.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-21 13:54:08

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 13:55:52

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 14:06:50

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:08:41

Hamilton's density overall is pretty low because of all the agricultural land within the city limits. 4990 people per kilometer is not all that unusual in the older, denser neighbourhoods, especially ones containing apartment buildings. But having this many people living so close together reinforces the need for more green space and recreational facilities!

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:15:17

Those empty stores really are an eye sore and bring down the value of all the other properties around them. I wonder? Any RTH/west hammy supporters been speculating?

You got me, brah. I've got a handful of empty stores I bought on Barton Street 30 years ago. When our evil West Harbor plan comes to fruition, I'm going to turn them all into free-trade, hippy, communist, lefty-pinko gathering spaces. The RTH empire will prevail.

(I will not feed the troll again, I will not feed the troll again, I will no-...)

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:16:27

Moreover, the neighbourhood itself suffers from an absence of grocery stores, community and recreational facilities, and green space. The primary source of green space is Scott Park which consists of three baseball diamonds.

So true. In such a densely populated area; the only grocery store in the immediate vicinity is the FreshCo @ Gage & Barton. For a drug store do the local residents have to go to the Centre on Barton or Main and Sherman? An aerial view from the satellite pictures on google clearly illustrates the lack of greenspace. You would think with the density there would be more walkable solutions for everyday necessities.

I am really torn about the Ivor Wynne reno solution. It lacks the critical mass component that is crucial for any real type of urban renewal & it could cost the only baseball diamonds and greenspace in that area.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:37:08

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 14:50:31

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:02:09

Enjoyed your article Sarah. Excellent read.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:16:31

Sarah does mention Gage Park, although it's really hard to include that park when discussing Ivor Wynne. It's a 15 minute fast walk for someone 6ft. Probably a half an hour for little legs and you are talking crossing King and Main.

You have to wonder about the Arts College. I believe from what I've read, that the building is very under-utilized. I wonder how much the owner plans to expand the program. How many kids did it house when it was a high school? Would tearing it down and building a community centre attached to an arts college perhaps create a more reasonable space for the college?

Scott Park gets brought up a lot with this Ivor Wynne proposal, sometimes just saying 'Scott Park', and sometimes mentioning the school. Perhaps this owner can be 'bought'? I see huge benefits in having an arts school there don't get me wrong. Just curious if they need all that space? A Dundas Valley School of Art type facility would be great for that area. Although, the very few window layout of the facility, is not a very inspiring place to be creative I would think?

Could they actually build an arena into the main level of the school? Visually, the school looks very solid. Perhaps some sort of similar amalgamation would allow the space where the arena now resides, to be transformed into a playground with splash pad.

It would also be nice to encorporate soccer over at Scott Park field. I put together a quick picture which shows how a soccer pitch could be aligned. It would mean eliminating two of the three diamonds, but it creates another community accessible sport footprint.

The Boys and Girls club is not too far away as far as community centres go, a facility our family uses a lot. If the gym is still intact at Scott Park, could that not somehow be accesible to the community. Could there be seperation within the old Highschool, between the Arts College and a community centre? Jimmy Thompson is right next door so we don't need a pool. Just a gym, games room, a place for families like at the Boys & Girls club, and some meeting rooms.

The problem with the current setup of the school, pool, and arena, is that they are all seperate. I believe anyway unless they are attached at the back? Would combining them somehow in a new build project, create more space?

There is a playground at King George/Parkview as well although there is no greenspace around it. Could replacing Parkview or King George with new facilities or re-working the existing structures, allow for better configuration to create greenspace on those parcels of land?

An outdoor hockey rink with boards, that is concrete in the summer and ice created in the winter, would be a great addition to this sports hub.

This article surely identifies how important it is to keep Scott Park green in some way shape or form. And it is a green space. People talk about how they throw a football around or of course the baseball leagues that play there. People who walk their dogs around it. It's a nice spot, but it could possibly all be reconfigured to work more efficiently and better serve the commuinity and compliment Ivor Wynne. My favorite part of that park is the tree lined hill along Melrose. I hope that is left as is.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-21 16:21:12

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:25:15

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Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 16:26:31

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:30:14

I have heard that tax arrears thing as well, and I assumed the money the owner had put into it, was to deal with the asbestos issue. It's a shame as the facade does have some character if they could widen the windows that do exist in there. I always just hated it becuase I thought it was sitting there vacant for 10 years and full of asbesos. Knowing an art college had moved in and assuming the owner had cleaned out the poison, I switched to liking it there. I wonder if the status and plans for the school will be discussed on Monday.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:42:00

Its less than a 5 minute walk Lawrence. I speak as one who walks the neighbourhood regularily as a resident

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:47:48

I am sure we will know more of what is actually going on by Monday. Sounds to me like the city has known about the SP problem for awhile. Probably why it was lumped in for development with the rest of the site.
I do like your soccer field idea, especially if Brian Timmens gets levelled for some much needed parking. I certainly hope they make some handi-cap parking available to those that needs it.
I really feel for everyone who needs to walk with a cane or ride a scooter to the football stadium.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-21 16:48:18

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 16:58:14

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 17:32:32

if Brian Timmens gets levelled for some much needed parking.

Nothing says urban revitalization like another big parking lot.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 20:16:15

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2011-01-21 20:17:12

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 20:25:11

I tried. I skimmed twice. I teach this stuff. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them. It's not rocket science.

Was there a point to this? I know it's Friday night and I'm out of patience, but what is the point? We didn't even get a definition of terms. Christ, I'm getting too old for this shit.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:18:37

especially if Brian Timmens gets levelled for some much needed parking.

Atta way to fulfill the Pan Am Games mandate of amateur sport legacy - by actually ending up with less facilities than we have today!

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By Resident (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:24:35

drmopar/hammy what do you mean when you say "our police dept"? As a Brantfordian are you referring to Brantford Police? I don't understand what they would be doing in Hamilton.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:44:58

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:46:57

Resident, it has been established that Hammy is an embarrassment to Hamilton not Brantford Quit trolling the troll

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By no harm (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 21:52:16

This article, and comments, should be forwarded DIRECTLY to Mr. Bob Young.
Best to get in NOW before the FINAL drawings are done.

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By kevin (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 22:49:49

Time is precious and there’s not a more offensive way to squander it than slithering through the Internet smearing and offending people anonymously.

RTH is tragically diminished by the likes of Statius, Turbo, Taylor, and Hammy.

Hey, Hammy, you got water in the fuel, dude. A dictionary might be too much, but for God’s sakes, click “spell check” once in a while.

You don’t know the difference between your and you’re? Seriously? Seven year olds know that. You’re God, Bob, must be so disappointed in youse guys.

Rather than fretting over “the RTH,” improve you’re self.

Your welcome.

Nice job, Sarah.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 21, 2011 at 23:40:45

Even in downtown Hamilton when I go to our favourite restaurant I park in a parking lot.

No kidding:

http://raisethehammer.org/static/images/...

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-21 23:40:58

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 00:29:59

If the plan is seriously to pave over the ball diamonds and Brian Timmis without replacing them with comparable, affordable, accessible facilities then we run the risk that the Ivor Wynne will be turned down by HostCo. They were pretty clear about the amateur sport legacy component. Whether you agree with it or not, that's their mandate and they control the purse strings. It's probably not a good idea to give them an excuse to build a mini-stadium in Mississauga instead. Even City Council might balk at the idea of removing these amenities with no likelihood that nearby replacements will be created.

Even Car-worshipping, field-paving, wrecking ball-swinging Ticat fans would perhaps be wise to jump on the 'social inclusion' and 'amateur sport legacy' bandwagon for this one.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 22, 2011 at 03:39:00

The issue of social inclusion is crucial in any low income area. A hundred and fifteen million spent on one site does not equate to a broader distribution of needed funds in a poor area. Spin-off developments may occur, or they may not, and whether or not they will do anything "for the neighbourhood" can only be assessed when we know more about them.

Oh, and as for the parking issue... http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/07...

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 05:47:39

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 07:53:34

Agree with Dan and Industrial, I'm waiting for the report to see what the plan really is

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 08:54:13

Even Car-worshipping, field-paving, wrecking ball-swinging Ticat fans would perhaps be wise to jump on the 'social inclusion' and 'amateur sport legacy' bandwagon for this one'.

Dan, I'm deeply, deeply offended by your rash and unfair generalization of Ticat fans.

Some of us drive trucks, not cars!

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:31:45

I have friends who live in that area with young families and all of them are worried now that they won't see the neighbourhood revitalization that they had hoped for. It's a long, dangerous walk to Gage Park for folks who live there. They were all looking forward to a mixed use development with a great new neighbourhood park. If we end up with half a new stadium and a parking lot it will be an absolutely travesty and slap in the face to this central city neighbourhood. They deserve better.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 09:34:40

Wait for the plan before you pan it. To be honest I live nearby and don't hear any of what you are talking about. I hear very excited voices in anticipation of the rebuild

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 11:43:34

I agree Say, I am hearing nothing but positive comments from most on the IW redue except of course for the RTH site.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 11:47:00

I hope the plans are fantastic. This part of town needs it. I just worry when I hear people involved in the process talk about 'all the parking' that can be gained on site.

As much as I think the Ivor Wynne deal is a horrible one, if we're going to do it, I'll want it to be done right and develop an absolute top notch district in the heart of this urban neighbourhood. I love the points made by the author of this piece.

The Cats have proven so far (and confirmed today by Mitchell in the Spec) that they don't give a rat's backside about city-building or being honest, so please forgive me for not being overly optimistic that their plan won't suck. I HOPE that I am dead wrong. I really do.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 11:51:19

How about the need for handicap parking that is needed in a serious way??

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:20:59

The Cats have proven so far (and confirmed today by Mitchell in the Spec) that they don't give a rat's backside about city-building

Actually, Mitchell never said 'don't give a rat's ass about city building' he said something to the effect of 'sometimes our interests interfere with city building'. It's not that he's against city building or that he doesn't care... it's just not his or Bob Young's priority, nor should it be. Their top priority, first and foremost, is the well-being of the organization (profit) and its fans (the customers). Why is this so hard to understand? They are a business. Their top priority is to make money and help the business survive. I know Hamilton isn't a business-savvy city, but this is not hard to understand.

Also, I don't know what RTHers thought, but I thought Drew Edwards wrote a well-balanced article. Very interesting.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-22 16:21:37

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 16:51:25

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By geoff's two cents (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 17:16:27

@mb - I think RTH commentators, including myself, would be less perturbed by the Cats' business-like (and, as you point out, quite legitimate) dearth of charity and good will toward the community if they could count on the city to be just as ruthless and business-savvy in pursuing the interests of the citizens who elect them.

This latter point is still an open question, however, as evinced by the city's apparent preference for moving forward on the IW proposal without any firm financial commitment from the Cats. Honestly, what business could get away with an oversight like this and remain profitable?

It's the TiCat management's job to press for corporate welfare as a shortcut to profitability if at all possible. What business wouldn't if they had the chance? Young's negotiating tactics (chiding city council for its lack of transparency while negotiating behind the scenes and refusing to release any of their own "studies"; negotiating directly with the media, etc.) may strike many RTH observers, including myself, as transparently juvenile and disingenuous, but they appear to have carried the day. All the more power to the Cats as a business.

Hamilton city council, however, should follow the lead of other major Canadian cities and negotiate to keep the investment of public dollars to line Young's purse to an absolute minimum.

Comment edited by geoff's two cents on 2011-01-22 17:18:25

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By mb (registered) | Posted January 22, 2011 at 18:01:15

the IW proposal without any firm financial commitment from the Cats

To be fair, the Cats could very well have a financial commitment on the table as we speak. Negotiations are very hush hush, so who really knows. Just because negotiations have been public before, doesn't mean they are public now. We will find out soon. Same goes for corporate sponsorship, and so on.

Very nice comment geoff. Sensible, fair, and doesn't fault the Ticats for just doing business as usual. Like I said, it's not their job to 'city build'. Very few sports teams take on that role, nor should they. If anything, they help to 'build' the city just by being in business.

What I like about the article about Mitchell, is that he admits that he and Bob Young have made mistakes in this ordeal. I've said this all along, and it's great to hear him say it.

Hamilton city council, however, should follow the lead of other major Canadian cities and negotiate to keep the investment of public dollars to line Young's purse to an absolute minimum.

Agreed. As many of you know, I am a Ticat fan and supporter of football in this city. But, I do agree that the Cats have been subsidized for too long. Hopefully, whatever the new deal is, coupled with a new stadium, the Cats can be successful without being subsidized.

Comment edited by mb on 2011-01-22 18:07:04

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 09:31:48

The starting point for social inclusion is the timely sharing of public information before the making of major decisions by Hamilton city council.

The December 22, 2010 special Pan Am meeting by city council has never been listed on the City of Hamilton online meetings calendar. Therefore, the agenda for that meeting was never made available online to the public in advance of that meeting.

The city staff Pan Am report mentioned in the agenda for the General Issues Committee meeting on January 24, 2011 has not been made available to the public online in advance of the meeting. http://hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/Corpo...

The lack of timely online public information sharing on the Pan Am stadium issue during the early months of Mayor Bratina’s administration is alarming and disappointing. As it is clear by looking at tomorrow's meeting agenda that city staff has completed and submitted their Pan Am report, Hamilton taxpayers have a right to see it in advance of the meeting to know how much money city council is asking them to spend on the Pan Am stadium and related development, how that money will be spent, and how it benefits the Hamilton community.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-01-23 10:03:10

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 17:04:20

We already know how much the city is being asked to spend. $45 million.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2011 at 17:13:25

I'll wait for the report before I pan it. I do know that $45M is the most the city is going to spend. To suggest there is a question of how much is mischievious

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