Sports

Burlington Council Votes to Study Aldershot Stadium

By RTH Staff
Published January 06, 2011

Burlington Council just voted 5-2 to instruct city staff to investigate a proposal by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and a business consortium led by Paletta International to build a stadium in Aldershot, just south of Hwy QEW between Waterdown Rd. and King Rd.


View Aldershot Proposed Stadium Site in a larger map

The team claims the proposal will not cost the City any money in capital or operating costs. It depends on $30 million in capital funding and land donated by Paletta, plus $70 million from the Federal and Provincial governments that are currently earmarked for a proposed Pan Am stadium in Hamilton.

However, it would require the City to pay for any necessary infrastructure upgrades, including highway exits and road widening, to the site.

The Ticats refuse to play in the City of Hamilton's preferred West Harbour stadium location, while Council has rejected several proposed alternate sites as either financially unaffordable or inappropriate uses of the site.

Toronto 2015, the Pan Am Games host corporation, has set a hard February 1 deadline for Hamilton to deliver a workable site proposal. Otherwise, the stadium will go to a Plan B site in Mississauga or Brampton.

Hamilton still has the first opportunity to present a stadium proposal. Toronto 2015 CEO Ian Troop confirmed this week that Hamilton's proposal does not need to include the Ticats as a legacy tenant if the stadium is a 5,500-6,500 seat facility for community use.

Burlington Council has voted only to direct city staff to investigate the site and prepare a list of questions for further study to be presented in two weeks.

The Ticats hope that the report will prove encouraging enough that Toronto 2015 agrees to another extension, but Mr. Troop has stated repeatedly that the February 1 deadline is final.

"We've tried to be as flexible as we possibly can be, but we're now at a point where we've eaten all our flexibility and any schedule timing. Any further delays will risk or jeopardize our ability to deliver the Games on time."

24 Comments

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 13:35:28

This changes nothing, if anything it finally clears out the Confed Park distraction so council can make a simple decision, west harbour or nowhere.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 13:38:15

So then it's time to proceed with a new Hamilton. Let's implement the Setting Sail recommendations for West Harbour and build a new 6000 seat Civic/Pan-Am stadium at Beechwood and Balsam after IWS gets demolished.

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By Desmond (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:20:26

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:21:10

mrjanitor - your plan has some merit but who exactly are you trying to reach by posting it over and over again here?

The simple refrain of "too late for a new location" rings as true for your idea as it does for confederation park - or aldershot for that matter

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:28:28

seancb,

Fair enough, I'm aware of that and decided to risk it anyways. My hope is that since a stadium already exists at Beechwood and Balsam there is no need to study the site, the fact that IWS stands there is enough to look at the site seriously.

It's the same idea as zoning for a bar, once an building is zoned for a drinking establishment there is no need to study or consult any further, any bar can use that building. How is the IWS location really different from that? It's ready to go, no need for anything else.

I'm being obstinate about this because I really believe we can do better than a stadium for the West Harbour. For me the stadium there was just, 'well what else can we do to clean this up?" In light of today's developments I think we can do much, much more for our West Harbour than a stadium!

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-06 14:35:17

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:34:52

Desmond, Sometimes a study isn't needed to know something is a bad idea. In those cases, a study is just a waste of time, money, and is a distraction.

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By Hipgnosis (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:41:02

@mrjanitor - I don't think that your argument is valid that once a building is zoned for something we do not need to revisit the zoning for future use. The Pearl Company is the perfect example of this. Also, Ivor Wynne was built 80 years ago and the City has changed dramatically since then. There maybe better uses for that site going forward.

I would prefer a park space for that property if it is deemed that the property values in the area are too depressed to make selling the property worth it. I would actually support using a portion of the future fund being used to create a unique urban park setting in area of the city that could use it considering Gage park is about all that they have. I envision purchasing Scott Park school since the City owns the park itself and producing pedestrian bridges over Cannon that would link the two. Pie in the sky? Maybe, but I think that it would be a beautiful addition to an area that could use it.

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 14:51:05

@Desmond wrote: There is no obligation to do anything but gather information here... Once the facts are in then an informed decision can be made.

We vote that down? I don't understand, when we hammered our council of not doing that here.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 15:00:31

Hipgnosis.

Thank you for reading. If I remember correctly the issue with The Pearl Company was that it was not zoned as a bar or entertainment establishment. It was zoned light industrial and required a variance to be issued by the city to allow it's use as an entertainment facility. The city declined issuing that variance to the Pearl for fear that they may eventually move and then the building could be used by any night club owner for any kind of booze can they wished instead of the current use as an arts and music center. Your point actually illustrates the power of zoning and previous use that exists with IWS.

Great ideas for future use! I don't think any of it was too pie in the sky, the area around IWS needs some re-visioning IMHO.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-06 15:02:58

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By George (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 15:12:59

@ Desmond - The Aldershot site is an empty lot slated for development.

Confederation park is a park already planned for updating. A city park on the lake front is much more valuable to the citizens of Hamilton than any huge stadium and it's requisite parking and revenue capturing complex.

In simpler terms, we, Hamilton, have a better use for it. There is no point in studying something that is not even wanted there.

The Tiger-Cats or any private interest is not entitled to valuable public land for free.

It's not theirs! It's ours and they can't have it!

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By Steve (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 16:07:01

I'm going to email the Premier and let him know if the PanAm committee funds $1 more dollar to Burlington than offered to Hamilton than I'm picking a Liberal riding that is on the fence and working for one of the other parties and I don't care which one.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 16:16:18

I love the Spec headline on this one "Burlington supports stadium". No they don't. They're simply looking at some info since all they've been given so far are conflicting numbers and a constantly changing story from the Cats. We'll know if they 'support the stadium' by Feb 1.

What's a journalist??

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By Lester (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 16:57:45

@nobrainer - correct, although I think that our mayor seems incredibly fixated on Confed Park - so he will drive for Confed Park at any cost (to us, not the Cats). Therefore, rallying to City Hall for the Council meeting on Wednesday January 12 9:30 is needed. In the meantime, e-mail or call your councillors and tell them to stand by the decision of December 22nd and drop the notion of building the stadium at Confederation park once and for all. Moreover, tell them to put the West Harbour Scalable stadium option on the agenda for the meeting on Wednesday such that the City can communicate to HostCo that we have a solution in place in regards to the Pan-Am games that is available now, and also put IWS as a second option on the meeting agenda as well.

I wish the Tiger-Cats well, but as much as this is business issue for them, so it has become for us - except that our business also involves policy decisions that are inclusive and benefit everyone.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 17:35:44

More business:

http://www.thespec.com/sports/bulldogs/article/309918--bulldogs-could-be-persuaded-to-move-to-aldershot

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 18:47:42

@Jason wrote: "I love the Spec headline on this one "Burlington supports stadium"

Oh, get me started... They did in print with the "will cost $0" line too.

These are aren't even assumptions, let alone facts, and not supported by the reporting. Metroland's self-interest is why every Hamilton issue deteriorates to a fugue of angry debate, I swear.

We get angry when we read something so we buy more to read to fuel that anger. Then we blame "the city" at large because they tell us we are our problem.

Its arming both sides in a debate with mis-information that will collapse on them, then filming the fight gone wrong. This routine wears me out.

Comment edited by Wentworthst on 2011-01-06 18:50:54

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 20:33:12

I finally snapped and registered on the Spec website to post comments on the numbers Mitchell and Paletta are throwing around to try and con Burlington.

I suspect I will last on that site for about, oh five minutes.

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By view from the west (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 21:17:21

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 21:37:56

Uh oh another "its all Hamilton's fault" viewpoint from "the west"!

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 21:56:33

This new Spec article is hilarious outlining the various costs.

I can see up to $85 million in extra expenses that will fall to Burlington up front with a possible extra $40 million down the road for expansion over 25,000 seats. And the Spec just shrugs and says "unclear" when trying to figure out where the 'extra $30 million comes from" and what the road infrastructure costs will be and the huge $45 million gap Mitchell is throwing around for initial construction costs.

What's a journalist??

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

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-06 21:57:00

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By taxman (registered) | Posted January 06, 2011 at 22:12:39

Desmond, I'll agree with you that there is not harm in "studying a site". That said, neither Burlington nor Hamilton have the time to "study a site" at this late stage in the game. Burlington acknolwedges the furthest they will get is likely a "list of further questions".

So, while you have a point that there is no harm in studying, I would disagree and say that, where the study cannot possibly lead to anything (because it won't be completed in time) we shouldn't waste staff time with it.

The ti-cats should have approached Paletta and Burlington back when we were debating West Harbour versus East Mountain, not waiting until the last minute and hoping everything would fall into place. They've just waited too long.

They should realize you don't get "bonus points" for dramatic flair in football.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2011 at 22:27:28

@view from the west: There is no decent offer on the table. Nothing that wouldn't cost us, as a city, tens of millions at least. This kind of federal/provincial money is offered all the time - look at the RHVP, Light rail, Aerotropolis, Canmet at the Innovation park, etc.

It's been how many years since we built the last big stadium in this town? Mac Just built one. I haven't been following the talk of a new one for Redeemer. Before this it was the NHL, Commonwealth Games, Toronto Olympics bid, Bike Races, Grey Cup etc... And it certainly wasn't 80 years ago that Pan-Am and NHL talks got Copps built.

This is far from a once-in a lifetime offer. And even if it was, it would still be dubious.

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By view from the west (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 01:12:44

Transitstudent -- didn't mean to impugn the people of Hamilton, just bafflement at the political process and probably impaired by my love for big league sport (CFL qualifies for me) and the benefits I believe it brings to the economy and urban vibrancy. Undustrial -- as i said, the citizens of the the city / cities know best and will make the call. To abuse the football metaphor, I just see Hamilton at third and inches and deciding to neither rush, pass, kick or punt, but just to ground the ball or wander around with too many men on the field.

IMHO, Calgary, especially Regina (the two being the most decrepit stadiums in Canada after Ivor Wynne), would love the opportunity to replace or repair aging facilities -- ideally something like Winnipeg plans, which provides year-round use for a variety of users, mostly recreational and amateur plus some concert tour action.

But mine is truly a view from a long way away from the politics and budget realities of Hamilton or Burlington taxpayers -- the view from the cheap seats.

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By view from the west (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 01:18:57

And to head off any provocation of indignation... I'm saying I'm the one with the view from the cheap seats, not the local folks!

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 07, 2011 at 12:00:22

Good Heavens, now there is an article on the Spec that states Mr. Paletta has dreams of an NHL team in Aldershot. http://www.thespec.com/sports/bulldogs/a...

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