Sports

Professor: Urban Stadiums Can Rejuvenate City Cores

By Jason Leach
Published October 28, 2010

An article in today's Spectator quotes American sport management professor Mark Rosentraub saying American sports and entertainment developers "would have loved to get into the Canadian market" by investing in a West Harbour stadium.

Rosentaub, who is giving a lecture tonight at McMaster, has studied stadium economics and concluded that urban stadiums can help rejuvenate city cores but self-contained "theme-park" style stadiums produce very little rejuvenation.

Honestly, sometimes I think we should just pull out of Pan Am Games. We're sitting on one of the last great untapped markets in North America and we've heard nothing but amazing things from Katz and AEG about the West Harbour site.

I'm tired of hearing from the very best in the business who say "we could have done something great" but instead we're going to do another lame big box development with Osmington.

The city owns Ivor Wynne and will own our new stadium. I think they need to seriously talk with AEG and/or Katz and do the RIGHT thing in this stadium debate.

With no election planned for four years, now is the time for council to make the right choice and start working with a real partner who actually has money and actually knows what they are doing instead of ruining a once-in-a-generation development opportunity over small vision and narrow self-interest.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By frank (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:53:50

Ya but they don't have the Tiger Cats... It's different with them. The Tiger Cats draw enough fans to support a stadium complex out by the airport :P

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:41:47

Take the half a billion dollars we're going to spend on a stadium (luxury) and AEGD (pipe dream) and I bet you could use it to spawn a whole lot more rejuvenation of the city core.

These two issues are of critical importance to this city. I think everyone should take a walk around this city and ask themselves - Is this a city that looks like it has half a billion dollars to spend on two projects, one a luxury and the other a pipe dream?

I know my answer... NO!!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:55:43

FYI, AEGD will probably end up costing closer to $1 billion. We already know of half a billion in expenses for AEGD. The connection to Woodward Ave and other expenses not included in the city report are likely another half a billion.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:57:53

Since when is the stadium going to cost $500,000,000? Unbelievable

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:58:35

Kiely, I love your use of the term "pipe dream". The issue of water pipes to the airport (highest point of land around, well outside of town for obvious reasons) is one of my favourite reasons not to support Aeropocaly-er-tropolis.

As for the stadium - if there's some hope this thing can finally be built NOW at the West Harbour, then just git-er-done. Otherwise, this thing has to die before all these shenanigans double the cost again.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 13:10:23

the stadium is never going to Rheem. That ship sailed a very long time ago and even a fractured council has seen the light on that one. If it Rheem or nothing, then its nothing

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By MattM (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 13:30:04

It SHOULD be nothing at this point. CP/Aberdeen is fail. Confed. Park is fail. East Mountain is fail. Let's save what money we can at this point and politefully back out of this mess so we can take the time to do it right. It's hard for me to even blame city council for this mess when in reality its most of the residents of this city who are narrow-minded idiots. The second BY threatened to take his kitties and go home most Hamiltonians went ape shit, organizing rallies and death threats against the mayor. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the common Hamiltonian is more interested about getting their cup 'o Timmies than they are about urban form and progressive city building. It's a foreign idea to them and it is the main reason why this city is so held back.

A quick scouring of the spectator's inane and often illiterate comments backs up my opinion.

Comment edited by MattM on 2010-10-28 12:31:45

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 13:57:49

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 15:08:45

He lost the election by trying to do what was best for the city while having the process hijacked by a savvy business man trying to funnel federal, provincial and municipal cash into his own little profit kingdom by stampeding a cowardly council with the threat of pulling the 'Cats out of the city.

Lets everyone keep in mind that BY was given the choice of city rejuvenation or more profit for the 'Cats and made his priorities quite clear.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 15:30:31

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By the people (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 18:20:01

The people showed up when they had the chance and spoke very loudly and almost unanimously for the West Harbour. Then council changed their mind with no input from the people. No wonder the people are pissed.

And all of it in response to a huge bluff that Bob Young would never, ever be able to follow through with.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 20:04:22

Turbo, Freddy did not exactly run away with the election last time. While the stadium situation certainly did not help, I actually think him sticking to his guns got a lot of votes, its was the PERCEPTION that he backed down (which he dident) to BY like most of those pillow biters over at Ticats.ca that did him in.

No body wants a wishy washy Mayor and even though he stuck to his guns it certainly appears at first glance that he caved

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 20:27:11

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-28 19:31:19

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 20:32:59

The fact is the city downvoted most of the RTH stadium is connected to brownfield objectives by turfing Fred

And they proved that by ... voting in a guy much more firmly committed to brownfield objectives than Fred ever was.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 20:40:38

I never said there was a good alternate but at least Bratina is open to discussing alternatives and frankly he's viewed as being more honest and less shifty. No matter what you think of it Freddy finished 3rd and if Bratina hadn't jumped in he still would have lost to the man convicted of violating the Municipal Act

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 20:57:52

How did he sabotage the process? He is only one vote. I was under the impression that the WH site was the prefered site by most, and BY was neutral on it untill the last minute. What actually lost him was BB pandering to all people about deamalgamation.

Take a trip over to The Spec and read a lot of the comments on anything to do with the stadium. You will notice A LOT of people were upset because they think Fred caved.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 21:01:47

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-28 20:02:10

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By Katz/AEG mirage (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 21:09:49

"I think they need to seriously talk with AEG and/or Katz and do the RIGHT thing in this stadium debate."

Where does this infatuation with the Katz group come from? They have not committed a dollar to doing anything in Hamilton. The former Mayor held a press conference to tout Katz's vision for the WH without a dollar being committed. Meantime the current members (and taxpayers) of the Hamilton community, the Ticats and their related companies and their partners and sponsors, are ignored.

If Katz had put down some money, say even just a million bucks, their offer to invest in Hamilton might have been real. But for a billion dollar group to refuse to commit even a dollar to a "vision" is a sure sign that they were not serious and had ulterior motives. In the Katz group's case it was to use their supposed "interest in Hamilton" to put pressure on Edmonton City council to build them a $400m arena in Edmonton.

Katz got what he wanted for free, and the City of Hamilton paid the bill for the press conference to give it to them.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 21:15:22

I said all along that Katz was only interested in Copps to leverage a better deal out of Edmonton in thier arena funding debate that is every bit as contentious as our stadium debate

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 22:32:18

To the best of my understanding, in August, the Katz group asked to defer their presentation/involvement with Hamilton CIty Council until December due to the stadium debate and the upcoming election. http://www.thespec.com/news/article/2519...

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 22:45:29

the quotes from this professional are more than enough evidence for me that we should bail on this plan and wait until we can form a partnership with one of the big players in this business who actually know what they are doing:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Quick refresher on stadium, copied from another thread:

A few facts being 'lost' in the discussion off the top of my head:

  • Cats were on board with WH, hugging and shaking hands at city council in Feb
  • Young: we'll make any site work
  • city evaluated several sites before finalizing WH as the best option
  • Conf Park removed upon learning that 100 acres of it's 230 acres would be paved over with big box complex as the ONLY means of it being a viable site for the Cats.
  • Cats hire Eric Cunningham
  • DiIanni hires Eric Cunningham
  • Cats propose EM
  • Cats walk away from EM
  • Almost all of council ratifies WH in the midst of BY's tantrum
  • Developers start lining up for WH
  • Katz/AEG love WH
  • Bratina calls EM big box plan "crap" (presumably he thinks the identical plan at Conf Park is also "crap")
  • no private money for ANY alternative site
  • no developers lining up for any alternative site.

Anyone else care to add anything? ....some of our commenters seems to need a quick refresher.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-10-28 21:46:38

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2010 at 23:35:08

Jason, according to TiCats.ca forums BY was livid that they voted WH .. I am not sure what he expected them to do since he folded like a cheap tent the day before the vote.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 01:02:45

Wow, it's almost comical now to see the Copps example as a reason not to build at WH. Another gem that gets batted around constantly at the Spec.com and ticat forums is that no one wants to live there or go down there.

Checkmate...http://wittonlofts.com/#

75% sold in 2 weeks sounds like some people like it.

I guess when you never go down there, you can believe whatever you want.

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By c (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 06:25:45

Wow! Great news!

Seems like the downtown condo momentum is starting to accelerate.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 08:32:39

Robbie K - the ticat forums are good for a laugh, and that's about it. I can't find it, but Lloyd Ferguson gave a great interview 2 months ago stating that there was zero indication from the Cats that WH wasn't a great site. They were overjoyed when council ratified it in Feb. He said that the Cats were in the room with council during that meeting and everyone left knowing they had just accomplished a great win.
Then, politics started.....

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:03:23

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-29 08:03:53

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:24:10

Hamilton Fan, have I posted anything untrue in my above post with multiple points?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:26:23

For everyone bashing the Katz financial contribution to date (I have no bias either way regarding them) let's keep in mind that BY has only reluctantly offered to put up to $10M in over 10 years. He's perfectly willing to invest BESIDE the stadium though, with IIRC $10M to $15M up front!

If BY was serious about not playing at WH he should have stated that unequivocally years ago instead of this last minute BS.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:29:28

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-29 08:29:58

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:38:20

The "important information" not passed to council was that it was possible that the provincial gov't would get involved to make EM work, but the next day that was taken off the table. How would that have affected council's decision?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 09:43:06

Where did you get that gem of a lie

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-29 08:43:22

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:22:56

As well, people need to realize the TigerCats will not play at WH. WH is finished, gonzo as far as the TigerCats are concerned. They will never pay a dime in rent or lease money to AEG or WhiteStar or whomever. The CFL will fold the team if necessary. For those that say fine, take whatever money can be had for a WH PanAm stadium and then work with AEG or whomever to get an MLS team, that is fine. But there is a lot of risk involved with this plan. But I can appreciate some people thinking this, rather to work with a huge company even if nothing is written in stone rather than a smaller Canadian firm like Osmington. Risky but perhaps doable. No CFL team ever again though in Hamilton as Cohon has stated. Again might not be important to some people.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:26:47

Umm, I appreciate the political answers not actually saying anything, but please direct us to any evidence that the above list is inaccurate.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 11:23:27

Since when is the stadium going to cost $500,000,000? Unbelievable - turbo

Stadium + AEGD first stage will cost that... you need to spool up a little slower and read before going and opening your wastegate turbo ; )

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 11:24:34

Kiely, I love your use of the term "pipe dream". - Undustrial

Yep, that's what we'll be doing… laying pipe to a dream ; )

FYI, AEGD will probably end up costing closer to $1 billion. - Jason

True, the "first stage" costs are all I considered. The eventual costs will be in the billions just for AEGD.

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 11:25:38

Turbo has demonstrated abundantly, consistently, and above all persistently that he is a troll seeking only to disrupt this forum. Don't waste your time trying to prove to him that he is a troll, he already knows what he is doing and abject denial is part of his game. Please refrain from further encouragement of his behaviour and stop responding to his comments.

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By waterboy (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:02:27

Rosentraub spoke at McMaster last night and seemed to present an unbiased lecture about sports, stadiums, urban development and economic opportunity.

The next morning CHCH reports one aspect of the lecture through a Ticat spokesperson spinning and stating, `...it gives us confidence that the Longwood rail site looks good.' Rosentraub never suggested one location over another. If anything could be read into his lecture its that urban renewal brings life back to the core of a city. Maybe West Harbour is still the more practical site, if it is a full fledged multipurpose facility and definitly in the 25,000 seating capacity range.

Based on two books Rosentraub has written - Major League Losers (1999), then ten years later - Major League Winners (2009), he has brought full circle the pros and cons of a sport entertainment development area. In 1999 he wrote:

"deals negotiated under the threat of a team leaving town result in many owners receiving land, investment opportunities, luxury suites, prime office space, and practice facilities—all financed by the taxpayers. Mark S. Rosentraub, a leading analyst of the economic impacts of sports on urban areas has studied the truth behind the claims routinely made by mayors, team owners, and the media..."

Ten years later Rosentraub continued his research and wrote about:

"... how communities can use sports and cultural centers to spur economic and social development... he examines approaches that municipalities take and how they relate to the success or failure of their projects... discusses the economics of sports and cultural centers and provides case studies examining economic redevelopment in several cities."

Afterwards, I got to wondering how the latest front runner Longwood area could ever become anymore than a single purpose football stadium bounded by highway, escarpment and residential neighbourhood. The community and Hamilton can get more bang for the buck nearer the downtown core.


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By cityfan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:04:53

@PseudonymousCoward

I agree with this statement!

Comment edited by cityfan on 2010-10-29 11:06:08

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:53:51

Rosentraub clearly stated that it extremely difficult for a sports team to move to a different city and that most will avoid it at any cost. Time to call the Cats bluff WH supporters??

He also made it very clear that the San Diego ballpark sports/housing/shopping complex worked exceedingly well... Whitestar WH project group anyone?

He leaned heavily to a covered stadium due to our climate, by his numbers an open air stadium was pointless for growth here.

Edit: He clarified that the Ti-Cats were ALREADY a regional team, therefor they do not need a new stadium to become one.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-10-29 11:57:05

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 13:03:13

How well was the lecture attended? Were any City Councillors there? Were Ticat representatives there?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 13:40:42

Scott Mitchell and his minions from the Ti-Cats were there. I didn't see any councilors but it did appear that there were quite a few city staffers in the front rows.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 13:59:15

Thanks for the report mrjanitor, (but was the "minions" remark really necessary?)

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 13:59:46

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-29 13:02:28

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 14:07:40

By minions I was referring to the other Ti-Cat staffers that were with Mitchell, I should have avoided the sarcasm and stated that clearly. I was not referring to fans.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 14:18:38

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 14:54:41

haha...I love how HamiltonFan always knows exactly what Bob Young is up to.
Where is he eating dinner tonight? I wouldn't mind dropping in and saying hi. Let me know if his schedule is clear if you get a sec, HFan. Thanks

So, another expert holds another meeting and tells us all something that we've known for years. I'm convinced we have the only sports owner in N. America who still thinks it's 1970 and everyone is just dying to sit in traffic on a highway. Call his bluff.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 15:08:10

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 15:42:00

Give it a rest TurdBlow.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 15:44:43

Jason, lyrics from a song I enjoy by a little know Canadian band Pilot Speed. The title of the song is Bluff:

"It ain't kind and it ain't right, but when you wore away the shine what did you find... Still you would say you're not afraid, to lay down your bones on the bed you’ve made...

Someone made a sound, it turned you right round I wasn't cold enough to care, but brother I dared See it tear you up, and it calls your bluff When the lie that keeps you warm, is the truth you're counting on

There's a shadow in the sun, and it crawls along the path from whence you've come It's not as clear as you had planned Feel the sun go down, turn and make your stand

Trying to account for the troubles you’ve found Hey could you use a little help to be honest with yourself

See it tear you up, and it calls your bluff When the lie that keeps you warm, is the truth you're counting on

Up in the clouds, tell me sister are you coming down

There’s a lie in every town oh (…) And every word and every sound oh (…)

See it tear you up, and it calls your bluff When the lie that keeps you warm, is the truth you're counting on"

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 15:59:50

It's hard to see BY as anything but an enemy at this point given how he's conducted negotiations (?) over the stadium.

Fans who blindly accept what they're told without question are definitely functioning as minions. That's what minions do.

I would love to be proven wrong about BY, but everything that I've seen indicates that he's trying to secure all the revenue streams for himself. As I've said before, I have no problem with him doing that if he's building his own stadium. Since he isn't and public money is involved, then as many as possible of the public (downtown core anyone?) should benefit from this money.

If a 'Cat fan could explain to me what's wrong with that idea, I'd love to hear it.

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 16:07:25

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 16:12:12

Markets 101: two parties will sign a contract if it's good for both sides. BY wants the taxpayers to sign a contract that's good for him but not for them. No need to assume he's an enemy, just don't sign the contract if it sucks (and the CP deal sucks for the taxpayer).

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 16:19:50

Des,

I agree he needs a say, I have no problem with that. My problem is that he's quoting "experts" without giving the proof of what he's saying. He's also demanding naming rights revenue as well. If it's the city's stadium, why should this revenue be his?

He's claimed that he cannot survive at WH but won't open his books to the city to prove it, despite being asked many times.

His negotiating tactics are dirty as well, waiting to the last minute before dropping the ultimatum knowing that an election was coming up and that the Pan Am games time table is pressing.

He is entitled to a say, he is entitled to some of the revenue generated, but neither of those should be taken as having the say or even being the recipient of most of the money. If he fronts more money, then he's welcome to a bigger ROI. But as taxpayers, so are we.

I, for one, am sick of privatized profits and socialized losses. It stuns me that everyone else isn't as well.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2010-10-29 15:20:28

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 16:27:11

I agree with z.

If the deal is not good don't sign it. But don't villify the guy who is being asked for $10 - $15 mil.

As far as I am concerned if it doesn't work for him it won't work for anyone else who will own the team.

Therefore a decision has to be made. Is it in the city's interest to have the Ti-Cats playing here? If so, how much is it worth?

Without the Cats there's no need for a stadium and the whole discussion is useless.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 17:01:12

HamiltonFan,

I have been very clear about my change of feelings towards the Tiger Cats since Bob Young's spring WH flip-flop, the only way you wouldn't know that is due to not paying attention.

I WAS a butt in the seat at the stadium fan (at least 4 games a year) for the now 18 years I have lived here. I was thrilled that a new stadium was going to be built. I thought the WH was a incredible win-win for all of the parties involved. I was stunned and shocked when Bob changed his mind (don't even bother arguing that), and I was also hurt that he didn't care about or love this city enough to synchronize his needs with those who are paying the bill for the venue, Hamilton taxpayers.

I liken Bob's negotiating tactics to an bullying spouse who threatens to leave with the children unless the other agrees to building a new garage/kitchen/pool/whatever. The one spouse loves the children and can't stand the thought of losing them, so the addition gets built under a load of prohibitive debt. This is evil to me, this is Bob Young to me.

I have said here before that I will no longer see the Tiger-Cats live because of the damage Bob has done to our city. He sabotaged Mayor Fred's career when he knew he was vulnerable for his own fiscal gain. Love him or not Fred did not deserve this, Bob was the one who knee-capped the city. Evil.

I have also posted about my disappointment with Jason Farr winning Ward 2. My personal gut feeling is that Jason was asked or at least encouraged to run by the Tiger-Cats. Now council has the "voice of the Tiger-Cats" right there in front of them. Once again, that is only my feeling, nothing I know or can prove.

I have stated here many time that I am done with the Ti-Cats, no more money out of my pocket. I have also said almost exactly that, "Bob Young can rot in hell" and I still mean that. When I compare the love that was put into the ourcityourfuture campaign and compare it to the dirty, manipulative and self-serving lies spun by the Tiger-Cats the only word that comes to mind is evil.

The great positive for me in this whole awful, disgusting mess is that I found RTH.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-10-29 16:20:13

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 18:17:14

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Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-29 17:17:54

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By z jones (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 19:26:58

"you say that RTH has basically made it possible for you not to like the TigerCats with their present owner"

What??? Where does mrjanitor say that? What "made it possible for him not to like the Tiger-Cats" was Bob's behaviour. If you're going to keep being a Bob Apologist, you need to own that.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 20:32:02

So you purchase more Tiger Cats gear because you disagree with some peoples view on where they believe a stadium should be built? That is just about the weirdest thing I have ever heard.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 22:18:06

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By Ty Webb (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2010 at 22:27:56

Wayyyy too much time and energy wasted on a minor league football team. Who cares? Move or fold the team and let's start rebuilding the core of this city!

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 08:13:18

Des,

BY isn't investing the $10-15M in the stadium, he's investing it BESIDE the stadium to capture as much revenue as possible. He's offered to contribute $8-10M over 10 yrs, but is also asking for parking revenues and naming rights, despite the parking lot and the stadium belonging to the city.

Go to your bank, tell them you want to buy a building with their money interest free and collect the rent money as well. When the loan officer is done laughing, ask him why they won't do it.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 08:19:05

...And then change the bank a management fee to run the building

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 08:42:57

More from Rosentraus:

-Yankee Stadium and Cowboy Stadium are great facilities in awful location as there are no opportunities for synergies around them.

-Don't build a bare-bones stadium, it's a waste of money. If you build it must have a "WOW" factor.

-The San Diego baseball stadium he states as being so successful does not have any parking in the vicinity. Trips are made by public transport or people park a distance away and walk.

-The core of his thesis: The main reason for a city to build a stadium is to provide GEOGRAPHICALLY CONCENTRATED entertainment and lifestyle opportunities for the 21-35 year olds to stay in the city and enjoy its amenities. These are the people who provide the 'Human Capital' that make a city successful through initiatives and, literally, patents. Without new patents being created in a city it will wither and die. The key to all successful cities in the last 50 years is that they retained the creative class that invented. They did that by creating an exciting environment and having attractive housing such as condos and townhouses that appealed to 21-35 year olds close to the entertainment areas. Without entertainment and housing in a concentrated area for the target age range; no human capital.

Edit: He started that lecture off with this statement, "In relation to growth in a city, where economic activity occurs matters more than how much economic activity occurs"

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-10-30 07:52:37

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:09:14

That's right Ty, minor leauge, not the overpaid, overpriced players in the "major" leagues that put in half hearted efforts a lot of the time and make multi millions. No thanks, I'm not paying for inflated ticket prices for those multi-mllionaire players, and they don't even play for an iconic Canadian trophy like our Grey Cup, Stanley Cup is close but we sold the NHL to the Americans that now control the league with so many more teams compared with Canadian teams.

Anyways, if you're talking minor, Hamilton is a minor league city all the way, no wonder the CFL is itching to rid itself of the TigerCats if there is no new stadium and the NHL doesn't want a team in here as we all know too well. I remember Bettman saying "how can I sell a team from Hamilton in the US." That's the "major" leagues for ya. Hey, Hamilton doesn't even have as many hotel rooms as little ol' London. Why? Because few people want to come to this city.

Maybe the TigerCats will fold and then I can get back to my no. 1 team growing up, the Argos, and the wife and me will be happy to go to games in a more interesting city than little ol' minor city Hamilton. She says fine with her, more time in Toronto is good in her books. And spend our money there.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-30 09:14:23

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 12:46:38

Has the Rosentraub lecture been recorded? Can't see amy mention of it in the Spec.

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 14:51:33

Brandon, your facts are wrong.

Without private money the stadium is too small to be worth building. Who is going to pony up the most money? Well the owner of the team would be your best option. You have to work with him towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

Just because a small but vocal group wants WH all else be damned doesn't make it right and certainly won't result in anything happening.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 15:29:17

CHCH was there for the whole lecture, I don't know if they have kept it.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 17:15:29

Well said Desmond. Let's get this right. Copps ended up being too big for the OHL and now AHL, built for an NHL team that was "sure to come" with the "build it and they will come" attitude. We know how that worked out. Let's not make the same mistake the other way this time and build a stadium too small and without a first class feel for what team? Let's do this right.

I'd love for it to be at WH as well but we need to work with the team and ownership that is here, Bob Young and the TigerCats. The team has been here for many decades and Bob has been here for over 5 years now and invested millions in Hamilton and wants to invest more. Not saying don't listen to White Star or AEG but unless they show the money soon, it's all pure speculation and fantasies.

Hamilton deserves to keep me spending my money in Hamilton rather than forcing me to go to Toronto. I just renewed 2 seasons tickets for the TigerCats for 2011 next year and bought my playoff tickets. I'm spending money in Hamilton, keeping young people employed at the games here as a part time job for their schooling and others in the TigerCats business and I feel good about this, even if Hamilton isn't a big time city and the CFL isn't all the glamour of those "major" leagues as people like to call them.

I have too many reasons to go to Toronto now. I went a couple weeks ago to see Jimmy Eat World at a venue I like the Kool Haus and am going tomorrow to see a group we love, Everest along with Matt Costa. Toronto is very convienient. But we went to see Wintersleep last week at Studio Theatre, a gem of a theatre, and go to the Casbah to see groups (have to get to This Ain't Hollywood but hopefully soon sometime). It's a tough market southern Ontario, a lot of choices, let's make sure Hamilton stays in the game and keeps people able to spend their money for some excellent choices in our fine city.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-30 16:24:34

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 17:17:44

Desmond - public opinion was equally divided regarding the WH. Hardly a small vocal minority.

The amount of private money being put into the stadium is marginal. If the stadium is being built it is with Federal, Provincial and Hamilton Future Fund dollars. The owner of the team may or may not be contributing a mere $10M towards capital costs. So I suggest that you get your facts straight.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 17:20:14

Marginal or however you view it Andrea, that's all that's coming. And there haven't been too many owners in the past willing to invest in this city with millions like Bob Young has agreed to do. Think about it. Do you want to give up some $60 mill in prov and fed funding? I don't, not at all, that would be a shame for our city. To give this up and then force people like me out of the city to spend my money in another city for something that Hamilton has had for so long, it really would be a shame. But I will if I'm forced to.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-30 16:25:20

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 22:43:59

Des,

You're kind of proving my point. I want BY to contribute a significant amount of money to the stadium. Right now he's throwing in a pittance but concentrating his investment beside the stadium. The better to catch all the revenue streams.

This is the problem with building at WH, there are too many other businesses that will benefit, which means money lost to BY.

Earl,

It's BY who's yanking your chain, not the city. If he'd honestly stated his position of not playing at WH years ago and proven his case there's no way it would have been voted for 7 times. By pulling all this last minute garbage he's threatening all the funding. WH's selection wasn't a surprise to anyone who's been remotely paying attention.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2010-10-30 21:46:12

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 30, 2010 at 23:57:16

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 07:38:01

I agree if all sides treated each other with the respect shown by BY Hamilton city council would actually function. Its the disrespect of council towards each other and towards people trying to invest in the city that has destroyed the city's reputation as a place to invest

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 11:49:37

The Ticats already play football in Hamilton and I haven't seen any economic growth or benefit to the city to date - look at the area around Ivor Wynne - it would be the same if the Ticats had a stadium there or not. I suppose the Tim Horton's down the street might have less business. If a new stadium is built I am sure many people will go see the game once or twice, and this will pull in some extra revenue for maybe the first year. But after that, the only people attending the games will be CFL fans who are already going to see the games. A new stadium will certainly not make me buy season tickets unless I am already a Ticats fan. Is there any evidence anywhere that a new stadium will help develop the area surrounding the stadium?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 12:02:38

A very good question. I don't think a stadium will do much at all to develop any particular area. Its really about what it can or cannot do for the entire city or more specifically how much it will cost to the city operate it. In that way tying a stadium to urban redevelopment is wrongheaded as it is my belief that a stadium will do nothing to achieve that and that by putting a stadium in any residential zone it will severely limit the earning power of the stadium and thus increase the cost to the city of operating it no matter who is managing the facility or what terms are negotiated

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 13:31:57

Here is the link to an interesting article titled "Will downtown arena work in our city?" by David Staples posted on the Edmonton Journal website on Oct 29/10. Staples considers the new riverfront arena and entertainment district in downtown Columbus, Ohio to be a success and concludes that a similar model in Edmonton could succeed but only if there is "massive private funding" along with public financing. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Wi...

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 13:49:11

I don't know how comparing an NHL market with a CFL and AHL market is even worth comparison. The traffic created is not similar by any standard. Edmonton has the NHL Columbus has the NHL Hamilton does not

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-31 12:50:08

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 15:19:32

Turbo,

Which of the two parties, BY or Council, has refused to show their books? Which of the two parties has thrown down an ultimatum?

All BY had to do a year or two ago was say "I can't make this location work, period, and I won't move the team there" and it probably would have been taken off the table while there were several other choices available. Either that or they would have worked out some sort of compensation. This last minute crap caught everyone by surprise and the 'Cats refusal to show any numbers, despite being asked repeatedly for them, can only cast doubt on their position.

As far as effects go, I worked at a restaurant at Barton and Gage years ago and on game nights there would sometimes be an hour and a half lineup. Lots of people means that restaurants in particular do well. BY knows this, which is why he wants to invest his capital not in the stadium, but beside the stadium.

It's also why he doesn't want the stadium in an area where he can't capture all the revenue streams.

Earl, I'm glad you've got faith in BY, but all I can judge him by are his recent actions.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2010-10-31 14:21:19

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 15:33:26

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-31 14:43:36

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 18:34:25

When it comes to business success stories, sports analogies can sometimes be apples:watermelons. If I'm not mistaken,

MLB = 81 regular season home games
NBA = 41 regular season home games
NHL = 41 regular season home games
AHL = 40 regular season home games
MLS = 15 regular season home games
NFL = 2 pre-season, 8 regular season home games
CFL = 1 pre-season, 9 regular season home games

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2010 at 18:56:02

You can also find apples:watermelons analogies even within leagues, of course. The Ticats have one of the lowest average home attendance records in the CFL, just as the Blue Jays have one of the most abysmal home attendance records in MLB (about a third of the league peak). Those uncomfortable facts have a way of impacting your bottom line.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 01, 2010 at 09:39:19

Turbo,

Mitchell may have said the books are open to everyone but he wasn't able to present them to council when they were needed.

If BY genuinely didn't believe that WH would work for him the ultimatum needed to come years ago, not two weeks before final decision.

BY is welcome to make as much money as he can if he invests his own money. If the majority of the funding comes from the public, the majority of the benefit should go there as well.

Why do you support privatized profits and socialized losses?

I'm done, we're just repeating the same things at each other.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 01, 2010 at 14:49:02

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-01 13:59:55

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 13:11:41

Does the city need a stadium? I don't know, but if there's money coming from outside for it and it will spur the LRT then it should be done. It should also be done for maximum public benefit, not the benefit of a single private interest.

I'm not demonizing BY, I'm criticizing his negotiating tactics and the fact that he's trying to hijack public money for his own gain at the expense of that of the city. There's no talk about money from the private sector now because no one knows what's going to happen thanks to BY's last minute ultimatum. Would you invest in anything that's so up in the air?

For the record, looking at White Star Group's website it seems to have a bit more to it than some thrown together ideas. They already own the land and are apparently ready to build condos and commercial buildings in the area but need the draw of the stadium and velodrome to make it viable. That's far more than what's being offered at the Longwood site right now.

We also disagree on the "fact" that the WH would be a lousy location for a stadium.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 16:13:54

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 16:27:29

He did explain it.

It's in today's RTH entitled: "Sustainable Cities through Sports Investment" in which it says:

"Rosentraub clearly states that a stadium alone is not enough to do this, and even answered that simply building a stadium as a place for a sports team to play offers nothing in gain for a city.

A unique and concentrated entertainment zone with many options is required to create a net benefit for a city. "Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate," as Rosentraub put it."

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 16:45:46

Did he also explain that his examples of LA and San Diego were districts built from scratch and that they couldn't be done in an already developed area? Did he mention that those entertainment districts get more than 10 times the sports traffic that Hamilton can expect? Did he mention that they also have many times more people in the area to visit the district irrespective of the sports teams? Nope, didn't think so. Apples and Pineapples

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-02 15:52:57

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 19:39:39

It's not about finding identical situations, (Even BY uses U.S. MLS soccer stadia for comparisons), it's about the idea of clustering and concentration in an established urban setting.

Downtown Hamilton has many fine resutarants, a growing condo presence, an emerging James st. N. and many enterntainment facilities from venues like Hamilton Place, Copps Coliseum, Convention Centre, Theatre Aquarius (Dofasco Centre for the Arts), Staircase theatre, Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, Westside Concert theatre, to small performance venues like the Casbah and This Ain't Hollywood.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 02, 2010 at 23:33:04

BY uses MLS Stadiums because thats what closest resembles the CFL in terms of attendance, schedule and city size in many cases. MLB, NHL, NHL and NFL bear no similarities to CFL in relative terms. Clustering empty buildings doesn't create critical mass, it creates critical condition.

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-02 22:35:02

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 10:40:04

How about using oher CFL cities?

This ain't the U.S., nor is it soccer.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 10:42:25

In that case we should build our stadium right downtown next to a train line with no highway access, that's where the CFL's most successful team plays.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 12:36:14

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 12:37:02

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-03 11:42:14

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 12:57:07

Tedious troll grasps at straws to keep controversy going. Film at eleven.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 03, 2010 at 14:19:20

Cyber bully takes another cheap shot at Turbo. More at 6

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