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markbarbera
Mar 11, 2010, 9:23 PM
Really, we are worrying about lost hotel revenue? Exactly how much hotel revenue is generated from a visiting team's overnight stay for ten CFL home games anyway? 40 rooms at 100 a night for ten nights equals a whopping $40,000 in annual spinoff revenue. Wow that's quite a bang for the $100 mil this city's going to end up shelling out towards this mistake.

The Harbour West location is not near any kind of proper road access, does not allow for the amount of parking the Ticat organization wants in the stadium, it's in a lowland completely hedged in by the CN freight yards to the north and west, and by single family residences to the south and east. And it is not a downtown stadium.

Thank God the private sector is doing the kind of hard thinking the politicians should have been doing a year ago.

drpgq
Mar 11, 2010, 9:34 PM
I'm sorry if I support private investment in Hamilton. We see very little of it so if there is going to be a hotel built there then great.

I'll tell you who will clean up the area even if the stadium is not built there. Us, Hamilton. the property is worth 1-2 million $ but do you think the owner will pay $37 for clean up on land worth 2$ million? They will go into tax default and the land will become Hamilton's anyway. Then we're still stuck with the $37 million clean up.

okay there's more than herbal teas, but they will still drive. No one takes the bus to Ivor Wynne now. And it hasn't improved the local area at all... just like Flar said. A CFL team and a stadium like this is a regional attraction, from Oakville to Niagara, so I think it does need to cater to a regional catchment.

Plenty of people take the bus to Ivor Wynne, including myself.

drpgq
Mar 11, 2010, 9:39 PM
Really, we are worrying about lost hotel revenue? Exactly how much hotel revenue is generated from a visiting team's overnight stay for ten CFL home games anyway? 40 rooms at 100 a night for ten nights equals a whopping $40,000 in annual spinoff revenue. Wow that's quite a bang for the $100 mil this city's going to end up shelling out towards this mistake.

The Harbour West location is not near any kind of proper road access, does not allow for the amount of parking the Ticat organization wants in the stadium, it's in a lowland completely hedged in by the CN freight yards to the north and west, and by single family residences to the south and east. And it is not a downtown stadium.

Thank God the private sector is doing the kind of hard thinking the politicians should have been doing a year ago.

Certainly where the teams stay should not be the only reason, but it is an example of a spinoff benefit having the stadium at least somewhere near downtown, rather than as far as way as possible in Confederation Park. You can define it as not downtown, but for me it isn't binary, red text or not.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 9:53 PM
Really, we are worrying about lost hotel revenue? Exactly how much hotel revenue is generated from a visiting team's overnight stay for ten CFL home games anyway? 40 rooms at 100 a night for ten nights equals a whopping $40,000 in annual spinoff revenue. Wow that's quite a bang for the $100 mil this city's going to end up shelling out towards this mistake.

The Harbour West location is not near any kind of proper road access, does not allow for the amount of parking the Ticat organization wants in the stadium, it's in a lowland completely hedged in by the CN freight yards to the north and west, and by single family residences to the south and east. And it is not a downtown stadium.

Thank God the private sector is doing the kind of hard thinking the politicians should have been doing a year ago.

I agree. This is not a downtown stadium. John and Wilson yes. And it's barely waterfront. It leaves no room for spinoff development as pointed out the rail yards and residential areas surrounding it. Not too mention some god awful ugliness on the west side of Caroline.

------------

go carts, batting cages and ice cream do help pay for the HCA's bills, but what is their mandate? Why not build a HCA Hotel or HCA Convention Hall, HCA Wedding photography all those things would help pay the bills too. Do the business you know.


I don't care what business person is behind some second sober thinking. It's at least raised the conversation about the locations. Look how brilliant our council was with creating a short list between the airport and a residential, industrial land locked, in accessible location at the end of the bay. There is no way this will help downtown, other then putting it downtown.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 10:05 PM
okay I didn't mean "NO ONE" takes the bus. exaggeration is so difficult to grasp.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 10:06 PM
So who will still be stuck cleaning up the land if the stadium is built somewhere else?

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 10:08 PM
Fifty years, folks. That's a long time to have a stadium in the middle of an industrial strip (unless the city eventually loses all of the industrial jobs there). It would also, as one commentator noted, feature Hamilton taxpayers subsidizing the profits of Burlington hotels. The private interests, here have advertising and naming rights in mind - much more so than community benefits, which would be dismal at best, or simply accrue elsewhere.

As for the beach pictures you provided, realcity, both are much closer to downtown than Hamilton's Centennial/QEW location would be, Baltimore's baseball stadium is smack downtown, and Portland's Rose Garden is an awful lot closer to their downtown (for a much larger city) than Hamilton's would be.

I recognize the difficulties, however, inherent in attracting private sponsorship to a location that isn't on the freeways - where private businesses know most Hamiltonians are much more comfortable. It's a shame (and something worth thinking about) that private sector support cannot be mobilized in favor of the long-term best interests of the city (when Hamilton will no doubt be very different, or face further decay), but must rely on relatively short-term returns on their investment.


Then build it downtown. Downtown has always been my first choice. Right smack downtown.

geoff's two cents
Mar 11, 2010, 11:06 PM
:previous: This might be an utter impossibility, but I agree with you here. I'm glad you and I can at least agree on something! It's a tad late in the game to be saying this, but I wish a proposed site between Main and King closer to downtown were on the table - perhaps in the neighborhood of Hess Village. This would satisfy the private sector, I'm sure.

SteelTown
Mar 12, 2010, 12:03 AM
Hamilton City Council has already selected the site for the stadium. So talk all you want you are just waiting air and finger muscles typing it up.

SteelTown
Mar 12, 2010, 12:07 AM
City says Pan Am Games activity is sparking interest around proposed site

BY EMMA REILLY

The Pan Am Games are contributing to a flurry of interest in real estate in the city’s core.

Ron Marini, Hamilton’s director of downtown renewal, says he’s been receiving a higher than usual number of inquiries into properties downtown and in the waterfront area. He attributes much of the interest to the Pan Am Games.

“We’re seeing people interested in now buying properties,” Marini said. “This is very recent.”

The majority of the inquiries have been centred around Bay Street, the main artery leading to the future site of the Pan Am stadium and velodrome at Tiffany and Barton streets. Marini said he couldn’t provide any specifics of the inquiries for privacy reasons.

Though Pan Ams are certainly playing a role in the upswing, Marini said, there are other factors involved.

One of the major drivers is provincial legislation, like Places to Grow, that mandates intensification in urban areas. Developers who would normally look to green space are now being forced to consider vacant properties, parking lots and brownfields instead.

Another element at play is the waning recession. Marini said the projects will likely start firming up when developers feel confident about the rebounding economy.

However, there may be a wrinkle in the boost of interest in downtown.

The west harbour site has been criticized for its high remediation costs and poor visibility which makes it less attractive to private sector investors.

Council members, led by Bernie Morelli, have advocated for a Plan B site in case the west harbour falls through, and several businessmen are examining other sites as potential spaces for the stadium.

However, Marini says the scuttlebutt around the west harbour site doesn’t worry him.

“They’re just rumours,” he said.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 1:03 AM
There has never been a more un-democratic decision made in the history of this city that I can think of. Go ahead, try to make west harbour work. It won't. It was chosen to fail.

But when the west harbour site doesn't work out then someone needs to answer.

Beware folks: we've already been given the reason why West Harbour won't work... remedial costs $... so don't be surprised when it's built at the airport.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 1:05 AM
"Places to Grow Act" do I need to repeat myself. I think I stated how much a fail that has been on another thread. We're 5 years in a 25 year plan and have done ZERO in terms of the Act.

thistleclub
Mar 12, 2010, 1:16 AM
Well the HCA should be about nature conservation and not operating waterslides, go-carts, batting cages.

Council voted overwhelmingly to ditch Confederation Park as one of four possible stadium sites over a year ago. (http://www.hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=461) A Confederation Park hotel also seems to be getting the cold shoulder. (http://www.thespec.com/article/732415) The coming remodel of Confederation Park seems to be more nature-focused (http://www.stoneycreeknews.com/news/article/201238). In late January, the Stoney Creek News reported:

A preliminary master plan of an updated Confederation Park unveiled Jan. 20 during a public information session at Lakeland Community Centre, includes more green space; closing the go kart facility and replacing it with a naturalized area and trail system; expanding Adventure Village; adding educational areas with more trails and paths; expanding Wild Waterworks; eliminating the camping area; constructing an inn and; building an ice track during winter and a sports field.

And again, the optimal time to impact decision-making is during debate on the issue, not after the decision has been made. Whatever you make of the selection process, the bid has been a while in the making, and the need for a new stadium isn't breaking news -- the Cats' backers and pals have known this was coming for a while. If there was a sensible private sector business model that could make a $150m stadium work, I'm sure the interest would have surfaced well before the city kicked in its $60m (to say nothing of the province's share). Today's "coup news" just accentuates the Mickey Mouse aspects of the project and its future tenants.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 7:59 AM
okay let's try for the west harbour. but I still don't think it will happen. Read: Plan B. that tells you the airport is the ultimate location. They've already given the excuse why it can't be built at west harbour (remedial costs) even though they decided it. It looks good for votes and the always "awe shucks we tried". just like Mac said about the downtown location. "awe shucks we tried".

PS: I hope I'm wrong

markbarbera
Mar 12, 2010, 1:05 PM
Oh, the West Harbour location will be built. It will cost the city nearly double what they are predicting now, and will barely be big enough to house the Ticats. And the so-called spin off for downtown will be zero.

Why are we taking Marini's comments seriously? Inquiries are nothing, let's see him close a deal for a change. Has he ever been right about downtown revitalization? Has any of these so-called enquiries made to him over the years resulted in anything? How many times has Marini been in the news telling us about a deal in the works for the Connaught, or a deal for a downtown Education Centre is on the way, then we find out months later he was just sucking air as usual. Why is it he still has his job?

Twenty years from now the Ticats will be playing out of Burlington and we'll have an empty stadium to tear down on Tiffany. Thanks for nothing, Marini.

SteelTown
Mar 12, 2010, 2:10 PM
I think what's going to happen is what happened in Melbourne’s stadium. They built the stadium for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and than after the games spent money to add more seats. They took away the track and field and added seats to create another bowl. Think that alone added 5,000 seats. So that would bring Hamilton's stadium to 20,000, which is the minimum for a CFL stadium.

I would keep the warm up track and field. Put a soccer field in the middle of it and build a bubble over the field. Turn it into a recreational centre.

highwater
Mar 12, 2010, 2:20 PM
It's a tad late in the game to be saying this, but I wish a proposed site between Main and King closer to downtown were on the table - perhaps in the neighborhood of Hess Village. This would satisfy the private sector, I'm sure.

I disagree. I think the private sector would hate a downtown site even more than the west harbour. The private sector has made their priorities clear: lots of taxpayer's dollars, highway visibility, highway visibility, parking, highway visibility, more taxpayer's dollars, parking, parking, and highway visibility. These guys are real visionaries.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 3:52 PM
Oh, the West Harbour location will be built. It will cost the city nearly double what they are predicting now, and will barely be big enough to house the Ticats. And the so-called spin off for downtown will be zero.

Why are we taking Marini's comments seriously? Inquiries are nothing, let's see him close a deal for a change. Has he ever been right about downtown revitalization? Has any of these so-called enquiries made to him over the years resulted in anything? How many times has Marini been in the news telling us about a deal in the works for the Connaught, or a deal for a downtown Education Centre is on the way, then we find out months later he was just sucking air as usual. Why is it he still has his job?

Twenty years from now the Ticats will be playing out of Burlington and we'll have an empty stadium to tear down on Tiffany. Thanks for nothing, Marini.

I'm so glad someone said this. It needed to be said.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 3:53 PM
Bratina wants Confederation Park back as stadium site alternative
March 12, 2010
JOHN KERNAGHAN
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
(Mar 12, 2010)
Confederation Park should be on the Plan B list of Pan Am stadium options, Councillor Bob Bratina says.

He believes only growing pressure from the public to get the east-end lakeside site back on the table could produce a council turnaround.

The park was removed from consideration early in 2009 before city council identified the west harbour site as its preferred location.

Bratina, a strong opponent of that Bay and Barton streets site, believes Confederation Park should be reconsidered because the city owns the land and the park operator lost $400,000 last year.

But he added a formal site evaluation may prove it is not suitable.

City staff say it might not be wide enough due to necessary setbacks from the Queen Elizabeth Way.

Councillor Chad Collins, who moved the park location be removed as a stadium option, was not available to comment yesterday.

A loose-knit group of city businessmen keen on having a Plan B scheme ready if the west harbour fails believes Confederation Park in combination with land on the other side of the QEW and connected by a pedestrian bridge could be a good option.

That is the former Waxman scrapyard on Centennial Parkway near the QEW now owned by developer SmartCentres. A plan for the 15-hectare site is being appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. This group also identifies the Lafarge Canada Inc. slag facility on Windermere Road near the QEW and the former Studebaker property on Victoria Avenue near Burlington Street as possible locations. Both are currently for sale.

If the west harbour location isn't feasible, the group would propose a large developer take on the job of finding an extra $50 million for a stadium large enough to house the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Just over $100 million in public funds has been committed to a 15,000-seat 2015 stadium, with the city putting up $55 million.

Meantime, support for the west harbour site was bolstered by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.

Its business manager, Hamiltonian Patrick Dillon, said in a letter to city council that "cleaning up this brownfield site to create a world-class, multi-purpose facility is the responsible environmental solution for this part of the city, creating 1,750 green jobs."

The west harbour site was selected for that reason and as a city-building project that would connect downtown to the waterfront.

That goal has a general parallel with the jewel of the Vancouver Olympics, the $170-million Richmond Oval.

It, too, was a brownfield site and seen as a key link between downtown Richmond and the Fraser River waterfront.

hamiltonguy
Mar 12, 2010, 4:07 PM
QEW/Centennial? I assumed Confed Park. I'm in favour only if it's on the Beach Strip, go cart area etc.

If they mean the south east area/Service Road off the cloverleaf, then that's Foxcroft's land.

Did they say business man?

hamiltonguy
Mar 12, 2010, 4:26 PM
The West Harbour stadium is an eleven minute walk from the nearest LRT station, a 16 minute walk to King and James, a twelve minute walk to hess village and a 6 minute walk to Bayfront Park an ideal location for festivities and extra parking (the time could be even less if they build a pedestrian bridge). It is also an approximately 13 minute, straight forward, drive from the QE and A six minute drive from the 403.

highwater
Mar 12, 2010, 4:28 PM
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/736116

March 12, 2010

Andrew Dreschel

Sure, they call him Foxy for short but Ron Foxcroft swears he's being nothing but frank when he denies any connection to a group of businessmen said to be looking at alternative sites for the Pan Am stadium.

Along with industrialist David Braley, Foxcroft is consistently linked to concealed efforts to find a more business-friendly location than the west harbour site chosen by city council.

Braley recently dismissed those stories. Now the owner of Fluke Transport and CEO of the Fox 40 sporting goods company is doing the same.

"The Braleys and the Foxcrofts are not behind the scenes trying to derail anything," Foxcroft said in an interview.

"We're not trying to pull strings."

Quoting an unnamed source, The Spectator yesterday reported that a loose-knit group of businessmen are looking at three possible sites -- Windemere Road, Victoria and Burlington streets and land near the QEW and Centennial Parkway.

But Foxcroft doesn't think there's anything remotely "mysterious" about the unidentified group.

"I think it's basically the Ticats and the group of people they've talked to for naming rights, construction, commercial and retail development."

Ticat president Scott Mitchell acknowledges the club has talked to dozens of developers, corporate partners and potential investors about the stadium.

But he says, at this point, they have not suggested or tried to assemble a working alliance to look at potential sites or anything else.

Mitchell even doubts such a body currently exists.

"I think we would know."

Still, he believes one or more such group will emerge as the stadium puzzle -- final cost, size and scope of the project -- start coming together.

"Obviously, it would be in everybody's interest if that group entails the city and the private sector working together," Mitchell said by e-mail.

Last month, city council voted 10-5 to build the stadium in the west harbour, northwest of Bay and Barton streets.

But they also voted to explore other options -- including the desolate Lafarge's slag site on Windemere Road -- if contamination cleanup costs go through the roof.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger believes remediation is the one unknown that could derail the harbour setting and its predicted community-building benefits for transit and downtown revitalization.

The Ticats admit to being lukewarm on the west harbour but their reservations carry little weight because they have yet to commit any money to the project or to present their own business plan.

Though Foxcroft insists he's only a sideline spectator, he argues that investigating alternative sites shouldn't be controversial. He says a fallback position is just good business practice.

"I see the pros and cons of the west harbour but I would love to see the business plan and the economics of the alternate site or sites.

"Not that I have any influence," says Foxy, "but my business is sports and I love Hamilton and I'm a big taxpayer."

His pros centre on downtown and waterfront redevelopment; his cons on limited parking and traffic congestion for events.

"We can talk all we want about public transit but, in North America, we drive cars."

Rest assured, Foxcroft will be on board if the city decides it can afford to build in the west harbour.

But he does point out that, when he relocated his trucking company to Burlington and Ottawa streets a few years ago, the cost of cleaning up the land came in at 600 per cent above budget.

I suppose that makes remediation kind of like searching for whose hands are on the levers behind the curtain: You never know what you'll find until you look.

adreschel@thespec.com
905-526-3495

Jon Dalton
Mar 12, 2010, 5:18 PM
Foxcroft: "We can talk all we want about public transit but, in North America, we drive cars."


Inspirational leadership fail.

In other cities, stadiums have basically driven rail transit projects. But here, we drive cars. Ok, we won't bother. Send the money back.

ihateittoo
Mar 12, 2010, 5:43 PM
it's a concrete argument. Jon. Also it's a coincidence that most east west buses heading into the ivor wynne vicinity on games day are packed for a good hour before the game and after. That's a coincidence. People just have places to go. They are off to the Busy Bee Mart to buy cigarettes, or to Hi line pizza for a slice or to work at the pizza pizza call centre. So there no hope in thinking that ANYONE what so ever would consider taking public transit to this new stadium anywhere.

So lets put it where there is the least public transit. QEW and Centennial or ConFed.

highwater
Mar 12, 2010, 6:49 PM
So lets put it where there is the least public transit. QEW and Centennial or ConFed.

You wisely left out the airport, since planes are public transit.

highwater
Mar 12, 2010, 6:51 PM
"We can talk all we want about public transit but, in North America, we drive cars."

Scary to realize that one of our most prominent business 'leaders' is unfamiliar with both history and reality.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 9:49 PM
Confederation Park should be on the Plan B list of Pan Am stadium options, Councillor Bob Bratina says.

He believes only growing pressure from the public to get the east-end lakeside site back on the table could produce a council turnaround.

The park was removed from consideration early in 2009 before city council identified the west harbour site as its preferred location.

Bratina, a strong opponent of that Bay and Barton streets site, believes Confederation Park should be reconsidered because the city owns the land and the park operator lost $400,000 last year.

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 9:52 PM
Lost $400,000 last year.

I thought the batting cages and waterslides helped pay for the expenses? hmmm I guess they better stick to what they know... conservation areas..

AND the City already owns the land. That's $37 million extra that could go towards making a first class stadium or one with metal bleacher seats on the west pond

drpgq
Mar 12, 2010, 10:55 PM
I love how Bratina is against remediation of a brownfield and economic development in Ward 2. This town sometimes...

markbarbera
Mar 12, 2010, 11:13 PM
I think what's going to happen is what happened in Melbourne’s stadium. They built the stadium for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and than after the games spent money to add more seats. They took away the track and field and added seats to create another bowl. Think that alone added 5,000 seats. So that would bring Hamilton's stadium to 20,000, which is the minimum for a CFL stadium.

I would keep the warm up track and field. Put a soccer field in the middle of it and build a bubble over the field. Turn it into a recreational centre.

If you are talkng about the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, then that's wishful thinking. That stadium cost 400 million to build back in the day. A little beyond our means.

20,000 is still too small to get the Ticats there.

Another point about sightlines. For those who think the Ticat partners' concerns about sightlines refers to its visibility in the skyline, you are mistaken. Sightlines is a referrence to stadium design that will allow for a maximum number of seats with clear, unobstructed views of the playing field. It has nothing to do with being near a highway.

The concern with the west harbour sight's sightline potential has to do with the footprint and multipurpose nature of the proposed facility. A field with a track surrounding it on the footprint being offered at the Tiffany site makes it challenging to get to the number of 'good' seats the organization needs in the stadium to get the kind of return on seat sales they hope for. Adding seats in the track area after the fact sounds like a good idea, but that would mean a 100' drop to the playing field for the Pan Am games, depreciating the viewing experience for the games, which is the driving force for the stadium (and I dont think Pan Am orgination committee would like that at all).

realcity
Mar 12, 2010, 11:55 PM
I love how Bratina is against remediation of a brownfield and economic development in Ward 2. This town sometimes...

No, that is how councillors should decide on issues... what best for the greater city. The mess now is because every councillor treats their ward as their little fiefdom. Other cities are now adopting two levels of municipal government. one level like now (call it the house of representatives) and another level that is not ward representative, but (a senate if you will) that is free to vote and decide on issues that would benefit the whole city. Bratina was doing just that, thinking outside his little ward and thinking about the city as a whole. i wish more councillors did that.

bigguy1231
Mar 13, 2010, 1:45 AM
Lost $400,000 last year.

I thought the batting cages and waterslides helped pay for the expenses? hmmm I guess they better stick to what they know... conservation areas..

AND the City already owns the land. That's $37 million extra that could go towards making a first class stadium or one with metal bleacher seats on the west pond

They lost that much because it was a crappy summer and nobody went to the waterpark. They will make money if we have a normal summer instead of the cold and rain we had last year.

bigguy1231
Mar 13, 2010, 1:51 AM
If the TiCats are worried about sightlines with regards to the seating arrangements then they are going to be out of luck. This stadium is being built for track and field events. If they build just one side of the stadium for the Pan Ams then add the second side after the games while getting rid of the track, they may get the compact stadium the TiCats are looking for. Otherwise the Cats are going to have to build their own stadium.

hamiltonguy
Mar 13, 2010, 2:08 AM
The concern with the west harbour sight's sightline potential has to do with the footprint and multipurpose nature of the proposed facility. A field with a track surrounding it on the footprint being offered at the Tiffany site makes it challenging to get to the number of 'good' seats the organization needs in the stadium to get the kind of return on seat sales they hope for. Adding seats in the track area after the fact sounds like a good idea, but that would mean a 100' drop to the playing field for the Pan Am games, depreciating the viewing experience for the games, which is the driving force for the stadium (and I dont think Pan Am orgination committee would like that at all).

The drop would be anywhere near 100' if it is anything like Ivor Wynne. Would it be ideal? Nope, but the Ti-Cats aren't getting a new stadium any other way and no one is going to pay for an unusable stadium just for the Pan-Ams.

Keith Mann
Mar 13, 2010, 1:01 PM
I'm afraid I'm not convinced by any of the anti-West Harbour arguments I've read. Bus routes can be modified; LRT lines that have yet to be built can be adjusted; parking lots -- as anyone in this city can attest -- are the easiest things in the world to build and have a way of appearing when they're needed. Access via the 403 and York Blvd is more than reasonable. The land is available and badly in need of revitilization.

The pro arguments are more convincing. The proximity to downtown, James North, Hess Village, and the rest of the waterfront is encouraging. It promotes the restoration of rail service to Liuna. It helps to tie Dundurn Castle and its grounds together with Harbourfront Park.

On a location-independent note: it's regrettable that a track stadium isn't ideal for football. Hopefully some clever engineering and planning can mitigate the downside. To think positively: a premiere track stadium carries its own benefits. Track and field may not be a huge draw, but it is underserviced and Hamilton will immediately draw the attention of the organizers of whatever suitable events may come along.

SteelTown
Mar 13, 2010, 4:51 PM
I think what's going to happen is what happened in Melbourne’s stadium. They built the stadium for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and than after the games spent money to add more seats. They took away the track and field and added seats to create another bowl. Think that alone added 5,000 seats. So that would bring Hamilton's stadium to 20,000, which is the minimum for a CFL stadium.

I would keep the warm up track and field. Put a soccer field in the middle of it and build a bubble over the field. Turn it into a recreational centre.

Oops it's Manchester not Melbourne

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/City_of_Manchester_Stadium_2002.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ee/Eastlands_East_Stand.jpg/800px-Eastlands_East_Stand.jpg

Taking away the track and field added about 5,000 seats.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 5:01 PM
They lost that much because it was a crappy summer and nobody went to the waterpark. They will make money if we have a normal summer instead of the cold and rain we had last year.

exactly. get out of a business you don't know.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 5:05 PM
Confederation Park should be on the Plan B list of Pan Am stadium options, Councillor Bob Bratina says.

He believes only growing pressure from the public to get the east-end lakeside site back on the table could produce a council turnaround.

The park was removed from consideration early in 2009 before city council identified the west harbour site as its preferred location.

Bratina, a strong opponent of that Bay and Barton streets site, believes Confederation Park should be reconsidered because the city owns the land and the park operator lost $400,000 last year.

I'm just quoting it again, it seems its being ignored simply because I've been saying this for weeks and now Bratina says the same.

highwater
Mar 13, 2010, 5:33 PM
Bratina was doing just that, thinking outside his little ward and thinking about the city as a whole.

Realcity, I admire your tenaciousness, and you've made some good arguments, but I think your devotion to the Confederation site has blinded you somewhat. You can't possibly be naive enough to think that Bratina only supports Confederation because he has the best interest of the city at heart. This has everything to do with the NIMBY's in his ward.

SteelTown
Mar 13, 2010, 5:44 PM
Plus only Ferguson voted to keep Confederation Park as a possible site for a new stadium. Bratina voted against any further pursuit of the entire Pan-Am bid.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 7:15 PM
Im just saying I wish Confed was the other option instead of Airport.

Naive perhaps because I can't comment on Ward 2s nimbys.

SteelTown
Mar 13, 2010, 7:48 PM
Whatever, Bratina voted blah blah... I don't know what vote you're referring to? It was never given a chance, Collins had it removed as a possible site long ago. What's important was Bratina's last relevant comment on the issue was that article. I'm totally off the mark, until Bratina says exactly what I've been saying, and all the Bratina-super-fans shut up.

Council voted overwhelmingly to ditch Confederation Park as one of four possible stadium sites over a year ago. (http://www.hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=461)

Only Ferguson supported Confederation Park. At the same day Bratina voted against supporting the Pan Am bid.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:30 PM
That's what I'm saying, it never got a chance to be a possible site. Now Bratina and some business leaders are asking that it be back on the list of possibles or at a minimum debated and explored. They gave no real reason why Confed was off the list right from the very start. Other than Collins' NIMBYs.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:32 PM
"Councillor Terry Whitehead on the other hand, is among those looking to revisit this week's decision to eliminate the location from the stadium siting process.

He insists that city council has a responsibility to be well informed, by doing its "due diligence", before making such a decision.

David Braley, the Pan-Am bid's original architect, has called the city's decision "shocking and shortsighted".

He says the Confederation Park location is a gateway, with the best chance to generate long-term revenue to the cover operating costs of the facility."

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:34 PM
"It was a classic Hamilton city council moment.

Classic in the sense of vintage, notable, enduring.

But not in a good way.

Classic in a close-minded, parochial, don't-bother-me-with-the-facts way.

Councillors had just heard a presentation from tourism director David Adames on Hamilton's wish-list for facilities in the event the Toronto-area bid wins the 2015 Pan American Games.

The centrepiece is a new $150-million, 27,000-seat stadium, whose ultimate legacy would be replacing the aged Ivor Wynne Stadium.

All Adames was looking for from council was approval to fully evaluate four potential sites for the stadium:

The west harbourfront;

Confederation Park;

Downtown;

The airport lands.

But before the discussion could even warm up, Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins moved to delete Confederation Park from the list.

Collins argued Confederation Park is a non-starter because he doesn't want to see important green space paved over with a municipal project."

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:36 PM
"But there are advantages: Access, room for parking without disrupting a residential neighbourhood, a lakefront view, a gateway attraction on the city's under-appreciated east-side approach, and the significant savings by utilizing vacant city-owned land. The stadium and parking would take about eight hectares out of the park's 83.

Also, Confederation Park is hardly natural green space. It is home now to Wild Waterworks water park (and its large parking lot), camping, mini-golf, batting cages, an arcade and other attractions.

But those are all factors that could have come into play into a serious public and council discussion. Instead, a matter involving tens of millions of local taxpayers dollars was short-circuited. Slamming the door shut without even looking through it was irresponsible."

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:46 PM
Braley owns two football teams I think he knows what he's talking about. Foxcroft part owns the Bulldogs and has been involved in pro sports his whole life. I think he knows a bit about it too. I would take their opinion over Collins'. Collins' decision was political. Adames is stunned as well. Peter George is in disbelief. And now some councilors are wondering themselves why Confed Park wasn't even debated or at least given a chance to be explored. This includes Bratina.

realcity
Mar 13, 2010, 9:51 PM
"I suppose that makes remediation kind of like searching for whose hands are on the levers behind the curtain: You never know what you'll find until you look." -- Foxcroft

SteelTown
Mar 13, 2010, 10:16 PM
It's not my job to copy and paste all articles here. Others do a great job of that.

You've probably posted a piece of that one article probably three times already. I'll post the other piece from that same article....

Meantime, support for the west harbour site was bolstered by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.

Its business manager, Hamiltonian Patrick Dillon, said in a letter to city council that "cleaning up this brownfield site to create a world-class, multi-purpose facility is the responsible environmental solution for this part of the city, creating 1,750 green jobs."

The west harbour site was selected for that reason and as a city-building project that would connect downtown to the waterfront.

That goal has a general parallel with the jewel of the Vancouver Olympics, the $170-million Richmond Oval.

It, too, was a brownfield site and seen as a key link between downtown Richmond and the Fraser River waterfront.

Take a look at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The same architect, from Cannon Design, that will design Hamilton's Pan American stadium. It also required remediation and is currently the pride of the City.

Site of the oval in Richmond - October 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Oval_construction_panorama15146.jpg

January 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Construction_Image_dated__2006-01-2013513.jpg

March 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/March_2006_Construction_Site13673.jpg

July 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Construction_Image_dated_2006-07-1415114.jpg

July 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Construction_Image_dated_2006-07-2115115.jpg

August 2006
http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Construction_Image_dated_2006-08-1015643.jpg

Took them a year to cleanup the site.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=138476

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3151/3052676669_b8e1304919.jpg

In the last four years of Bratina's term I've been greatly disappointed with his performance. He voted against the Confederation Park option, pushed for Sir John A McDonald (almost sounded as if he advocated for the closure the only High School in downtown Hamilton), when that didn't happen he voted against the entire Pan Am bid. Now he wants a clean up of downtown Hamilton by 2015 even though he doesn't support the Games. He skipped when it was time to vote for LIUNA and buddies proposal for mixed income Connaught, real fishy move for me. Supported Gord Moodie the entire time even though he faced allegation of corruption, which now he got fired from his job and in court for municipal corruption and breach of public trust.

scott000
Mar 14, 2010, 4:23 AM
Ok, here's my take on the west harbour (WH) vs. confed. park (CP) situation, feel free to comment/criticize:

Basically, WH is about potential. Despite not being directly downtown, the site provides the most potential to provide a link to downtown and the bayfront and offers the greatest opportunity to aid in the re-shaping of the City of Hamilton by drawing more attention and people towards these areas.

CP is about status quo business sense. The CP location is essentially a suburban location; it follows everything that business people like about suburban business parks along service roads (easy access, parking, great visual exposure, etc.) which make it a more profitable location under current conditions.

Is the CP location more economically responsible? Absolutely, less/no land costs, greater profit potential for the Ti-Cats,... but in city planning, other factors besides money should be considered. And thus the City is attempting to utilize the stadium as a catalyst for change. Whether or not WH will have any beneficial impact to downtown/ Bayfront is absolutely debatable, but you can be certain that CP will do zero for the benefit of downtown.

Another thing to consider is that the CP land is prime land due to its location; therefore the stadium is not needed to bring spin-off investment to the area. Whereas, nothing will happen on the WH land forever due to its present undesirability.

thistleclub
Mar 14, 2010, 12:42 PM
Oops it's Manchester not Melbourne

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/City_of_Manchester_Stadium_2002.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ee/Eastlands_East_Stand.jpg/800px-Eastlands_East_Stand.jpg

Taking away the track and field added about 5,000 seats.

Eastlands is indeed a study in flexible ambition. It was originally pitched in the early 90s as an 80,000-seat Olympic stadium, then again as a 60,000-seat venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It was eventually built with a capacity of 38,000 for the Commonwealth Games, increasing to almost 48,000 when Manchester City came in for their 2003-04 season. (The team signed a 250-year lease.) Eastlands can hold around 60,000 for concerts by annexing the field. Construction cost was around £110 million (approx $202m in 2002 CAD), £33 million (approx $61m in 2002 CAD) of which came from the city.

markbarbera
Mar 14, 2010, 5:32 PM
Eastlands is indeed a study in flexible ambition. It was originally pitched in the early 90s as an 80,000-seat Olympic stadium, then again as a 60,000-seat venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It was eventually built with a capacity of 38,000 for the Commonwealth Games, increasing to almost 48,000 when Manchester City came in for their 2003-04 season. (The team signed a 250-year lease.) Eastlands can hold around 60,000 for concerts by annexing the field. Construction cost was around £110 million (approx $202m in 2002 CAD), £33 million (approx $61m in 2002 CAD) of which came from the city.

Original stadium cost was £110 mil, the increased capacity cost another £30 mil. Eastlands is well removed from downtown Manchester, is not serviced by its transit system (well there is a station that's a 20 minute walk from the stadium), it is located at the intersection of two highways, and has 10,000 parking spaces on and around the site..

thistleclub
Mar 14, 2010, 6:04 PM
My understanding, and I may be mistaken, is that upper levels of government (ie. Sport England) kicked in 2/3 of project cost, the city the remaining third and that the team was on the hook for the expansion costs. Which, using your numbers, would be about what Hamilton is asking of the Ticats and their corporate partners.

On top of that, Man City FC owner HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is also behind a £1 billion ($1.5b CAD) leisure project and stadium expansion (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1257386/Manchester-City-seal-1bn-deal-transform-Eastlands-surrounding-area.html) on the adjacent lands -- including a proposed five-star hotel, luxury commercial office space, high-end retail and leisure facilities and a £50m ($77m CAD) training complex for the team. (Along the way, they'll possibly end up remediating a 17-acre former coal pit.)

Scale and budgets aside, imagine these words (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/12/manchester-city-development-eastlands) coming from the Ticats' camp: "The longer term considerations for the area reflect the long term commitment of our owners to the club and the community it serves."

markbarbera
Mar 14, 2010, 6:48 PM
The level of finincial contribution a sport franchise owner makes is directly related to the size of market and value of the franchise itself. Expecting Young (or any CFL franchise owner for that matter) to come close to matching the kind of financial committment a Premier League franchise owner could make is simply not realistic given the amount of resources available to the average Premier league franchise owner compared to a CFL franchise owner.

That being said, Young's committment to Hamilton and the Ticats has been demonstrated unequivocally through his actions since he took ownership, and actions always speak louder than words.

Are you suggesting we follow Manchester's example and invest in 'community' by building a stadium outside of downtown, next to a major highway interchange and provide parking for 10,000?

SteelTown
Mar 14, 2010, 7:27 PM
Tried a bunch of ways but Ivor Wynne shouldn't fit at Kay Drage. You would have to relocate the CP track and knock down some homes. Of course we'd have to include space for a new interchange from 403.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a382/hammer396/kay.jpg

thistleclub
Mar 14, 2010, 7:37 PM
@markbarbera

Not expecting EPL-scale financial commitment from the Ticats. The Premier League is a much bigger and more stable business than the CFL, and Man City plays twice as many home games. I would say that in the absence of a huge financial commitment to the new stadium, it would have been been nice to have heard enthusiasm from the team's owners in the run-up to the site selection. What we got was a city-knows-best stance on location and the vague promise of "millions or tens of millions." Young's past commitment to the team is one thing. On the stadium saga he has been little more than a cipher.

Although I have previously weighed Young's trial baloon suggestion of Aldershot as a potential site, I wasn't suggesting that a peripheral stadium is a good thing — though I think Eastlands is as far from central Manchester as Ivor Wynne is from downtown. I believe a downtown stadium is the best option. I was mainly interested in the stadium's relative financing and oscillating seating capacity aspirations. (Apt, I suppose, since like Ivor Wynne and the Pan Am stadium, Eastlands is a product of a Games bid.)

Also getting at the rub of holding up UK stadia as examples. Specifically, that upper government is more of a partner and that the teams are not just un-bankrupt but massively profitable. To say nothing of Manchester being able to enlist an architectural team like Arup.

markbarbera
Mar 14, 2010, 7:37 PM
You could fit a stadium at the southern end of the park. No need to relocate tracks - if need be build it out over top of the tracks. Absolutely no homes would need to be removed. But we won't know because for two years council has refused to seriously consider feasible alternatives ;)

SteelTown
Mar 14, 2010, 7:40 PM
You could fit a stadium at the southern end of the park. No need to relocate tracks - if need be build it out over top of the tracks. Absolutely no homes would need to be removed. But we won't know because for two years council has refused to seriously consider feasible alternatives ;)

Still wouldn't fit, would be extremely tight and no space for a warm up track and field.

highwater
Mar 14, 2010, 8:42 PM
As a commenter on the Spec blog pointed out, construction on this site would impact Cootes Paradise, and there is an RBG owned naturalized area and restored wetland immediately to the east of Kay Drage. From an environmental point of view, I think it's pretty safe to say this site is a non-starter.

bornagainbiking
Mar 14, 2010, 9:28 PM
To find a place is important and fairly soon to meet the completion deadline. So how much area is required. The WH area is nice but could be small. The downtown is not viable. The airport is just dumb, another huge area with minimal usage.
There is so much room in the north harbour but so industrial.
Has anyone thought of the area between the HGH (hospital) and Burlington Street and Victoria and Wellington. There is plenty of area along Victoria (abandon bldgs) and plenty of parking at the HGH on evening and weekends (hospital revenue).
This is just as close to the downtown as WH.... And that area could use the lift. North End Wellingtton to Bay:tup: :tup: :tup:
Look at a map. next to the railroad tracks and easy access empty land
Did I mention the harbour and Discovery Centre to park your vehicle.
Lots of the area near here could be parking as it is brown fields now.

SteelTown
Mar 14, 2010, 10:51 PM
Need a solid 20 acres of land for the stadium and the warm up track.

bigguy1231
Mar 15, 2010, 1:51 AM
To find a place is important and fairly soon to meet the completion deadline. So how much area is required. The WH area is nice but could be small. The downtown is not viable. The airport is just dumb, another huge area with minimal usage.
There is so much room in the north harbour but so industrial.
Has anyone thought of the area between the HGH (hospital) and Burlington Street and Victoria and Wellington. There is plenty of area along Victoria (abandon bldgs) and plenty of parking at the HGH on evening and weekends (hospital revenue).
This is just as close to the downtown as WH.... And that area could use the lift. North End Wellingtton to Bay:tup: :tup: :tup:
Look at a map. next to the railroad tracks and easy access empty land
Did I mention the harbour and Discovery Centre to park your vehicle.
Lots of the area near here could be parking as it is brown fields now.

They already have the location and it has been approved. No further discussion is needed.

markbarbera
Mar 15, 2010, 3:56 PM
Still wouldn't fit, would be extremely tight and no space for a warm up track and field.

There is plenty of room for a warmup track at the north end of the park. The park already houses two full soccer ptiches and two baseball diamonds, so there definitely is room.

As a commenter on the Spec blog pointed out, construction on this site would impact Cootes Paradise, and there is an RBG owned naturalized area and restored wetland immediately to the east of Kay Drage. From an environmental point of view, I think it's pretty safe to say this site is a non-starter.

Actually, there is a possibility that construction, if not properly planned, may impact Cootes Paradise environmentally. However, the construction can easily be planned and managed to be completed without an environmental impact, so it really cannot be labelled as a non-starter. After all, recent CN and CP rail track improvements were completed without an environmental impact. In fact, recent CN work was completed within the naturalized RBG area without any environmental impact. In fact, the construction gave the opportunity to enhance and restore the natural habitat.

Of course this discussion is all academic, because council artifically restricted the sourcing of feasible locations at the start of this process and is more interested in keeping their agenda instead of making the best possible decision for the city.

Council apologists will say move on, but some in this city are tired of seeing bad decisions being propped up for the sake of saving face or with the intension of blindly keeping up a flwawed agenda. Thing is, if enough heat is kept on this council perhaps they will realize it is okay to revisit a bad decision to see if it can be corrected before it is too late.

thistleclub
Mar 15, 2010, 8:58 PM
Dreschel in Friday's Spec (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/736116): "Quoting an unnamed source, The Spectator yesterday reported that a loose-knit group of businessmen are looking at three possible sites -- Windemere Road, Victoria and Burlington streets and land near the QEW and Centennial Parkway....[Foxcroft] does point out that, when he relocated his trucking company to Burlington and Ottawa streets a few years ago, the cost of cleaning up the land came in at 600 per cent above budget."

Okay, so let's rule out Lafarge. And Burlington Street, which is probably too close to Birge and Emerald's skin trade to be family-friendly anyway. Good thing those level-headed businessmen have another fail-safe. What's next? Oh, right...

"A loose-knit group of city businessmen keen on having a Plan B scheme ready if the west harbour fails believes Confederation Park in combination with land on the other side of the QEW and connected by a pedestrian bridge could be a good option (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/735888). That is the former Waxman scrapyard on Centennial Parkway near the QEW (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=south+service+road+and+centennial+parkway+hamilton+ON&sll=43.242827,-79.751387&sspn=0.018101,0.024204&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Centennial+Pkwy+%26+S+Service+Rd,+Hamilton,+Hamilton+Division,+Ontario,+Canada&t=h&z=16) now owned by developer SmartCentres. A plan for the 15-hectare site is being appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board."

The city's options may have been artifically constricted, but it's telling that nobody has come up with an unproblematic alternative. I mean, if "a fallback position is just good business practice," why have your next best option a site that's already embroiled in an OMB appeal — with the fabled Confederation Park synergy reliant on a pedestrian bridge spanning some 17 lanes of traffic?

Wasn't this process entered into years ago -- not just with the Pan Am Games, but with previous attempts to nail down the Commonwealth Games? Did nobody think about the realities of building a stadium to replace Ivor Wynne until the 2015 bid came through?

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 1:12 AM
So apparently city staff envision turning Bay and James St one way opposite direction when there is an event at the stadium.

adam
Mar 16, 2010, 4:20 AM
Great idea! We should also turn Upper James and Ancaster Meadowlands into 1-way on weekends to accomodate heavy shopper traffic.

markbarbera
Mar 16, 2010, 11:36 AM
Why is it in this city every suggested alternative immediately shot down without any serious thought given to it? Why is this city so afraid to think big and go for a real city-changing project (west harbour stadium is not city changing).

I know I have been plugging Kay Drage but that's mainly because its location would satisfy all parties involved and it would be a hell of a lot less expensive than the mess we will be getting into at west harbour. And it wouldn't force the eviction of any 80-year-olds or blind ladies (please see the article in today's Spec - I am sure Steetown will be posting it soon ;) )

I do have a bigger vision for the stadium in this city, one that would require a leader and collaborator to bring together all the parties needed to do something that will leave us all going 'Wow!' rather than 'Meh'. Okay, here is my thought - let's place the stadium smack dab in the city. Where? King and Bay.

The parcel of land bordered by Main, Bay, King and Caroline is mostly vacant and derelect. The land on the west side of Caroline between King and Main midway to Hess are also mainly vacant. Why not acquire the land in this area and build the stadium here? A kick-ass stadium with a built-in Hotel fronting either Main or King.

The practice track can be placed on the Board of Ed site, with connecting skywalk to stadium. Once the Pan Am's are done, the practice track can be redeveloped into a brand new convention and hotel complex, something HECFI says we need to do to attract more conventions. Imagine a convention floor stretching along the east side of Bay from King to Main, with a new office tower at the King end and a hotel at the Main Street end, all this linked to the existing convention centre, art gallery and Hamilton Place, and Copps one block north. Now that would be a lasting legacy.

Imagine in 2020, we would have a 30K-seat stadium downtown linked to a new convention floor across the street with a couple hotels. Retail can be built under the bleachers fronting directly onto King and Main. The new LRT would have a stop not a 15-minute walk away from the site, but right at the site's doorstep.

Any civic leaders out there willing or able to run with an amazing project like that? I didn't think so.

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 1:13 PM
Wouldn't you think it would be a huge waste of land to drop an open air stadium and a warm up track and field right in the middle of the downtown core? I do especially for a place what would be used the most 40 times a year.

I don't see an article about some blind lady this moring, woke up extra early so perhaps they posted it later on.

I do know they have started the eviction process and should wrap up by the end of the year. The city also wants soil collection from people's yards, but only with permission from the owner.

markbarbera
Mar 16, 2010, 2:47 PM
Wouldn't you think it would be a huge waste of land to drop an open air stadium and a warm up track and field right in the middle of the downtown core? I do especially for a place what would be used the most 40 times a year.


Is it a waste having Copps in the downtown core? How could it be a waste, this land has been basically vacant for a decade now. A multipurpose facility would really engage the area, especially if it included a hotel complex. And if you reread my post, I suggested the warmup track and field be developed into new convention space once the Pan Am was done. That's exactly what the downtown needs.

It's about dreaming big, which most in this city fail to do. Look at these architectural proposals for Regina's new stadium:

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/sports/Covered+Regina+stadium+costing+million+feasible+study/2627729/just+stadium+redevelopment+downtown+Regina+Mayor+Fiacco/2629317/2629137.bin
Photograph by: Leaderpost.com illustration, Leaderpost.com illustration

This is my favourite:
http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Renowned+Canadian+architect+Douglas+Cardinal+designs+spectacular+domed+stadium+Regina/2638478/2638480.bin?size=620x400
Photograph by: Courtesy of Douglas Cardinal Architect Inc.

The Douglas Cardinal design is spectacular. Check out the gallery here (http://www.djcarchitect.com/portfolio/currentprojects.html)

This is planned for smack dab in the core of Regina. Not off in the periphery of the general downtown area, not between industrial land and residential homes, right in the core. Which is the way it should be done.

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 2:59 PM
Copps isn't a waste since it's not an open air venue, plus it’s multi use and the sound can be confined inside Copps. Also Copps is compact and doesn't require large space. An open air stadium is bulky and square that takes up a lot of space.

We simply can't afford a retractable stadium like Rogers Centre. I highly doubt Regina will ever get its wet dream stadium.

markbarbera
Mar 16, 2010, 3:00 PM
I don't see an article about some blind lady this moring, woke up extra early so perhaps they posted it later on.

I do know they have started the eviction process and should wrap up by the end of the year. The city also wants soil collection from people's yards, but only with permission from the owner.

It was in the print edition this morning, so it must have been posted on the site last night at press time. But regardless, here it is:

'A fair shake'
http://media.hamiltonspectator.topscms.com/images/22/af/a0cbe49b4635b93b4c7b7c4ba488.jpeg
Some residents want city to pay costs of moving and renovations, others say 'get the hell out of here'

Jenni Dunning
The Hamilton Spectator

(Mar 16, 2010)
Barton Street residents are tired of waiting.

Fed up with the city's tight-lipped attitude, they want to know whether they'll be forced to move to make way for a proposed Pan Am stadium site.

"The only thing I want to hear is for them to get the hell out of here," said Rose Benassi of the city's interest in her neighbourhood. "They're driving me crazy."

She's just one of 60 land owners -- about 45 residential -- from whom the city wants permission to conduct environmental soil testing.

The city's also launching discussions about buying the properties, which are on the north side of Barton between Queen and Bay streets.

But most of the residents -- some of whom have lived there for nearly 80 years -- aren't willing to budge.

Benassi, who's legally blind, said she'll "get lost" if forced to move away from her neighbourhood, which she has memorized.

"I don't think they have the right to tell me to leave," she said.

Expropriation might be only one problem facing neighbours.

If the city backs out of a purchase based on negative test results and the cost of cleanup, residents might be left with unsellable homes.

"It can wipe out all its value," said John Hicks, a Burlington general practice lawyer.

"It can be hundreds of thousands of dollars to clear a (contaminated) site."

During a sale, homeowners must disclose to a real estate agent whether their land's contaminated.

Royal LePage sales representative Steve Ribaric is representing one of the residents and is willing to represent more.

If forced to move, residents should get compensation for moving costs and recent renovations, he said.

"That's all they want, a fair shake."

Councillor Bob Bratina, whose ward includes the proposed site, sent a letter to residents that suggested they hire a lawyer.

Manfred Rudolph, an expropriation law expert and lawyer, has met with 10 residents and is representing some of them.

The city sent a letter March 1 to residents about the testing, which he said is too vague.

"The letter is less than clear about what the city's intentions are in the neighbourhood," Rudolph said.

"I don't think that's fair to the residents."

If owners refuse the tests, the city would have to wait until they own the land by purchase or expropriation.

But there's a sense of helplessness on Barton Street, with many residents saying their fight might go nowhere.

"If they're going to kick me out, what can I do?" said Anthony Godin, 81.

"I'll fight it, (but) if they want this place, they'll take it."

thistleclub
Mar 16, 2010, 4:02 PM
Intriguing proposal, but problematic for the residential reasons that have been identified repeatedly in this thread. Forgetting about the logistics, I think politicians already have an uneasy relationship with Hess Village and its attendant noise complaints and hooliganism. Throw a much less profitable 25,000-seat open air stadium into the mix and you'd have the DNA in a rich, creamy lather.

markbarbera
Mar 16, 2010, 4:21 PM
Intriguing proposal, but problematic for the residential reasons that have been identified repeatedly in this thread. Forgetting about the logistics, I think politicians already have an uneasy relationship with Hess Village and its attendant noise complaints and hooliganism. Throw a much less profitable 25,000-seat open air stadium into the mix and you'd have the DNA in a rich, creamy lather.

So, what you're saying is it's okay to place an open air stadium in a residential neighbourhood north of King, say at Barton and Tiffany, but don't even think of an area south of King? Residents in the south end are of more consequence than those in the north end? Interesting. I wonder how residential concerns are ranked, geographically, socio-economically, or...

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 4:51 PM
The U shape stadium is facing towards the waterfront. Sound will reflect towards the water.

TimB09
Mar 16, 2010, 4:56 PM
My apologies as I haven't been able to read everything in this thread.
What is the status of the stadium? Have they picked a place to build it and have they picked a design?
And, being that I am a HUGE CFL fan, are the Ti-Cats going to get to play in the stadium when all is said and done?

Thanks

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 5:06 PM
My apologies as I haven't been able to read everything in this thread.
What is the status of the stadium? Have they picked a place to build it and have they picked a design?
And, being that I am a HUGE CFL fan, are the Ti-Cats going to get to play in the stadium when all is said and done?

Yes, Council has voted on the site for the stadium, West Harbourfront.

Will the Ti-Cats play at the new stadium? Yes, if the private sector cough up $50 million to increase the size of the stadium from 15,000 to 25,000ish.

TimB09
Mar 16, 2010, 6:39 PM
Yes, Council has voted on the site for the stadium, West Harbourfront.

Will the Ti-Cats play at the new stadium? Yes, if the private sector cough up $50 million to increase the size of the stadium from 15,000 to 25,000ish.

Thank you!

I would think and hope Bob Young would step up and put some of his money forward to help this happen for the Ti-Cats. I've seen a game at Ivor Wynne and as nice and cozy as that stadium is, they do need a new one.

markbarbera
Mar 16, 2010, 7:58 PM
The U shape stadium is facing towards the waterfront. Sound will reflect towards the water.

Water being the perfect propogator of sound, I am sure all those Burlington residences on the north shore of the harbour would be thrilled by that design element. From a noise supression point of view, it is far more beneficial to place it in a restricted that will absorb sound than to allow it to travel over open water. A downtown stadium should obviously be designed without an open end.

But why are we all still speculating on sites? The optimist in me hopes desperately that council will realize they need to find an alternate downtown site because there is too much risk that the Barton and Tiffany site development will fail. But the debate is closed and we're supposed to happily pretend the stadium will be built 'downtown' when we all know the Tiffany has been deliberately selected so it will fail and council will 'have no choice' but build in the plan B site (out by the airport).

thistleclub
Mar 16, 2010, 8:25 PM
So, what you're saying is it's okay to place an open air stadium in a residential neighbourhood north of King, say at Barton and Tiffany, but don't even think of an area south of King? Residents in the south end are of more consequence than those in the north end? Interesting. I wonder how residential concerns are ranked, geographically, socio-economically, or...

Wonder all you like. I'm not weighing the relative socioeconomic merits of Ward 2 neighbourhoods. I'm simply anticipating what might prove to be a robust NIMBY reaction based on politicians' track records thus far. That's why I invoked the four-block Hess Village, which becomes a policing hot potato every summer and fall, as an example. (NB: I'm not even debating the merits of politicians' stands on Hess.) My suspicion, again, is that the DNA, one of the city's oldest activist neighbourhood groups, would probably be able to kill a stadium proposal before it was ever put to a vote... even though it would technically not even be in their footprint.

geoff's two cents
Mar 16, 2010, 8:51 PM
So apparently city staff envision turning Bay and James St one way opposite direction when there is an event at the stadium.

Ugh. Hopefully this is at most a temporary measure until A-line rapid transit is up and running. It would be a shame to finally have a destination in the north end of downtown, only to reduce any potential neighborhood spin-off effects by turning James and Bay into expressways. Then again, I can't say I'm surprised by anything I hear from this city anymore.

SteelTown
Mar 16, 2010, 9:18 PM
It would only be done when there's an event so perhaps twice a month during the warm season.

geoff's two cents
Mar 16, 2010, 9:53 PM
It would only be done when there's an event

Precisely my point.;)

bluevue
Mar 17, 2010, 1:12 AM
I don' think we would need to worry about the airport as 'Plan B'. I doubt there is enough on council and/or any higher level of government that would support it. It would be a money pit from Day 1. I personally think and hope Confederation Park or another location east of "west harbour' will get the final build. Just my 2 cents.

Gurnett71
Mar 17, 2010, 2:56 AM
I do have a bigger vision for the stadium in this city, one that would require a leader and collaborator to bring together all the parties needed to do something that will leave us all going 'Wow!' rather than 'Meh'. Okay, here is my thought - let's place the stadium smack dab in the city. Where? King and Bay.

The parcel of land bordered by Main, Bay, King and Caroline is mostly vacant and derelect. The land on the west side of Caroline between King and Main midway to Hess are also mainly vacant. Why not acquire the land in this area and build the stadium here? A kick-ass stadium with a built-in Hotel fronting either Main or King.

The practice track can be placed on the Board of Ed site, with connecting skywalk to stadium. Once the Pan Am's are done, the practice track can be redeveloped into a brand new convention and hotel complex, something HECFI says we need to do to attract more conventions. Imagine a convention floor stretching along the east side of Bay from King to Main, with a new office tower at the King end and a hotel at the Main Street end, all this linked to the existing convention centre, art gallery and Hamilton Place, and Copps one block north. Now that would be a lasting legacy.

Imagine in 2020, we would have a 30K-seat stadium downtown linked to a new convention floor across the street with a couple hotels. Retail can be built under the bleachers fronting directly onto King and Main. The new LRT would have a stop not a 15-minute walk away from the site, but right at the site's doorstep.

Any civic leaders out there willing or able to run with an amazing project like that? I didn't think so.

An interesting proposal in my opinion. May not have the same aesthetics as being on the waterfront, but would provide better transit links and traffic ingress/egress while avoiding the whole remediation headache that is rearing its ugly head for the west harbour locale.

thistleclub
Mar 17, 2010, 11:20 AM
Ticats question harbour site (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/738716)
'There needs to be a business case' for stadium, team and taxpayer

John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 17, 2010)

There's no compelling reason to relocate the Tiger-Cats to a west harbour stadium, says team president Scott Mitchell.

Not yet.

"It's still in the preliminary stages but there needs to be a business case for the Pan Am stadium, the Tiger-Cats, and the taxpayer," he said yesterday.

There is no evidence at this point that enough money could be generated from naming rights, sponsorships and supplemental development to warrant a major stadium project. Even a financial analysis prepared for the city forecasts losses at the west harbour location, he pointed out.

"What would be the point in moving from one stadium (Ivor Wynne), where the city is losing money, spend $60 million and lose money at a new location?"

So far the Ticats' math doesn't work either.

"(Owner) Bob Young has invested tens of millions in the team and is hoping to break even at some point."

Mitchell, who began working on stadium concepts more than two years ago, continues to meet with city officials to seek answers on the west harbour despite little headway.

"That's not to say there isn't a business case out there that would work, it just isn't there now."

He added there's no reason to panic but it would be a worry if a stadium solution isn't found by late this year.

He also said major sponsors of the team and a large national land development company have assessed the west harbour and can't as yet see how it justifies private-sector investment in a larger stadium.

Mitchell said the organization is conflicted about the Pan Am Games stadium site.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for everyone and the Pan Am Games will be great," but he adds, "aesthetics and great theory" of the site is countered by the economic reality for the Tiger-Cats and the city.

Hamilton has pledged $55 million for the facility, while provincial and federal governments would provide $57 million for a 15,000-seat stadium to host track and field in the 2015 sports showcase.

The Tiger-Cats and the private sector were challenged to come up with enough to take the facility to 25,000 seats, an upgrade that would cost between $25 million and $50 million.

"Bob Young has said from the start, if the conditions are right, the team would invest millions in a stadium," Mitchell noted.

But the Ticat president said that means a scenario in 2015 where the club could cover between $17 million and $18 million in operating costs.

Mitchell said just as the city has held out Plan B stadium options, the club is looking at alternatives in case the west harbour site doesn't work out.

It could be prohibitive if cost estimates for soil remediation shoot up. A city consultant suggested a range from $3 million to $37 million to clean up the brownfield location.

- - -

So the franchise needs a brand-new stadium, but the only way they can justify it is if its rental fees are basically the same as 80-year-old Ivor Wynne? If so, the team's business model depends upon having a sugardaddy (if not Bob Young, then perhaps the city, or corporations) who's able to camouflage the fact that the team is at heart financially untenable. Which is maybe how they're able to diagnose the absence of a viable business plan.

realcity
Mar 17, 2010, 1:19 PM
I don' think we would need to worry about the airport as 'Plan B'. I doubt there is enough on council and/or any higher level of government that would support it. It would be a money pit from Day 1. I personally think and hope Confederation Park or another location east of "west harbour' will get the final build. Just my 2 cents.

Me too

realcity
Mar 17, 2010, 1:23 PM
Go Cats Go. Come public with your location choice. Or did they already? Confed Park.

SteelTown
Mar 17, 2010, 1:35 PM
Keep beating on a dead issue again? Council voted overwhelming against a stadium at Confederation Park.

markbarbera
Mar 17, 2010, 2:05 PM
Another 'missed' article from the Op-Ed in today's Spec:

Stadium won't transform Hamilton
We should take the $60m and shop for green-energy, transit factory jobs

Herman Turkstra
The Hamilton Spectator

(Mar 17, 2010)
Mayor Fred Eisenberger had an interesting opinion piece on this page March 6. His fundamental thesis was that spending $60 million on a stadium will transform Hamilton.

To understand any transformational sales talk, we should start by determining whether we all agree on what we are today; and then determining if we all agree on what we want to be transformed into; and finally, see if we can agree on a strategy to get from where we are today to where we want to be.

In Hamilton, we know something about transformations, some good, some disastrous.

For example, we tore up our original light rail transit (LRT) system called "street cars," and replaced it with major high-speed one-way auto routes through the lower city. The creation of the King-Main and Cannon-Wilson expressways tore the heart out of every downtown neighbourhood they passed through. That "transformation" turned Hamilton into a high-speed-vehicle city. Many people thought that was a good idea. Many people who lived in the wrecked neighbourhoods did not.

We've seen empty promises of transformation that did not work. We were promised the Red Hill Valley Parkway would transform Hamilton's employment situation by attracting new industries to highly visible sites along the Linc and the Red Hill. That was a promised transformation that never materialized. We got shopping centres and low-cost housing for GTA workers instead. The road did nothing to transform our skilled-employment reality.

We have successful transformation examples by highly engaged individuals who have made transformation happen. Tom Beckett and Ben Vandenbrug, as chair and general manager of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, transformed the Dundas Valley and our green spaces -- possibly for as long as a century or two. Louise Dompierre transformed Hamilton's art gallery. Business owners Dave Braley and Michael Lee Chin transformed their companies and created local jobs and community resources in the process. There are many more individual stories of successful transformations.

In each of those successful transformations there was a clear statement of the starting point, of the goal of the desired transformation and a clear strategy for achieving the desired result.

Eisenberger's theory can be tested against those principles.

So we start with what we are today. More people working in Hamilton are paid by tax dollars than are paid by commercial dollars. The government, public and nonprofit sectors collectively have become the employers of more than half our working population. That state of affairs is an economic death spiral. We have a huge deficiency in private-sector jobs, which demands transformation.

To this can be added the message from a series of talks given earlier this decade by Dr. Douglas Barber, a founder of the highly successful Gennum Corporation. He consistently told us that Hamilton had lost huge ground on all economic fronts over the previous 25 years, particularly in our ability to generate "traded dollars." Those are the dollars a city brings in from other places. With the exception of house builders and land developers, Hamilton's entrepreneurial base and traded dollars are steadily disappearing.

The test then becomes to see what we can practically change in Hamilton to transform/solve our private-sector-jobs deficiency and entrepreneurial deficiency.

There are positive factors that are on our side. We are an industrial city with superb access to water, rail, air, highways and a history of skilled industrial workers.

If Hamilton wants to transform itself, it needs to attract business owners willing to locate their operations in the city, to create jobs in Hamilton, to create employment opportunities, jobs that will perform and grow in the next economic cycle and beyond.

So is the stadium the most effective strategy to accomplish this transformation?

Visualize what would happen if Mayor Eisenberger put the stadium's $60 million in a suitcase, and visited the presidents and CEOs of companies such as Daewoo, Samsung, Royal Dutch Shell, the green-energy companies in Germany and the electric car companies in California with an offer to partner with them in Hamilton. Six Nations did it with Samsung, and Trenton, N.S., just did it with Daewoo. Hundreds of well-paying jobs are coming to those communities as a result.

Hamilton's economy missed the digital revolution. We missed the pharmaceutical revolution. We missed the telecom revolution. We missed the Internet revolution.

But, Hamilton, with millions of square feet of fabulous unused and underused existing factory space, all superbly served by water, rail, highways and hydro and with a long tradition of expert industrial workers, has everything needed to be the Canadian leader in green energy and green transit manufacturing.

This next revolutionary swing in the economy is a great opportunity for Hamilton because it involves our style of manufacturing. We should be the first and best candidate in the world for them. That would transform Hamilton.

If the real goal is a transformation of Hamilton's economic performance and private-sector jobs deficiency, the stadium track is the wrong track, using up our energy and dollars in the wrong venue, and taking our eye off the ball we should be playing. It may be good for games but it will not transform our city.

Herman Turkstra is a Hamilton lawyer and a North End resident. He has been publicly critical of a west harbour site for the Pan Am Games stadium.


How long before this whole fiasco ends up bogged down at OMB? Better source another Plan B site soon, or we'll have an airport stadium to deal with...

thistleclub
Mar 17, 2010, 2:23 PM
A bold vision from someone who doubtless knows a thing or two about remediation costs from his PSC days.

bigguy1231
Mar 17, 2010, 3:20 PM
At this point it doesn't really matter what the TiCats want. They had their chance to give input before the decision was made on the West Harbour location and Bob Young decided not to get involved in the process.

The decision has been made and the city is proceeding with the preliminary work. Any discussion of alternate locations is premature until the West Harbour site has been ruled out. But you can be sure if a alternate site is eventually chosen the people posting here against the West Harbour site are not going to like where they put it. It will end up at a greenfield site and far away from where it will be of any real benefit to this city.

Be careful what you wish for, you may not like the alternatives.

realcity
Mar 17, 2010, 4:54 PM
Another 'missed' article from the Op-Ed in today's Spec:

lol


How long before this whole fiasco ends up bogged down at OMB? Better source another Plan B site soon, or we'll have an airport stadium to deal with...

That's what I'm saying 3% chance it gets built here. 95% chance it gets built at the airport and 2% chance they come up with a better plan B option.

realcity
Mar 17, 2010, 4:58 PM
@Bigguy. we already know what the alternative location is.. I hate the airpot location more then any. I've always been saying the short list should've been west harbour, downtown or Confed Park.

We've already been given the reasons why they can't built it at West Harbour, 1. clean up costs, 2. private sector will ignore it because they hate the location, never will come up the extra $50 mil if it does get built there, it won't be suitable for Ti-Cats at 15,000 seats 3. OMB and NIMBYs because it's RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD!!

LikeHamilton
Mar 17, 2010, 9:04 PM
The people at Trade Port do not want the stadiun built up by the airport!

SteelTown
Mar 17, 2010, 11:14 PM
City Promises Fair Treatment

Ken Mann
3/17/2010
http://www.900chml.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocalGeneral/Story.aspx?ID=1207945

The city is trying to offer reassurances to property owners, as it starts the process of buying up homes at the future site of Hamilton's west harbour stadium.

David Adames, head of the Pan Am working group, is promising them "fair treatment".

That includes "compensation for all moving and relocation expenses" and "fair market value for their properties taking into account recent renovations or upgrades".

Adames is also insisting that any environmental testing that is done on private property, "will not affect fair market compensation that is being offered to residents".

The city is also offering 15 hundred dollars to those who allow environmental testing on their properties.

There are no specifics, at this point, in terms of the amount of resistance that city officials are running into at the doors of homeowners.

thistleclub
Mar 18, 2010, 1:13 AM
Via David Adames...

Update and clarification on Pan Am implementation: West Harbour site

HAMILTON – On February 24, 2010, City Council finalized the West Harbour as the site for the new Pan Am Stadium, warm-up track and velodrome. City staff has begun the process of land acquisitions starting with a "willing seller and willing buyer" process. Staff are working hard to ensure that residents at the site of the future Pan Am stadium are getting fair treatment including assistance to relocate, and can be assured that advance environmental testing will cause minimal disturbance.

"All property owners are being offered assistance to allow them to move to a similar house in the surrounding area if they so choose," stated David Adames, head of the City's Pan Am working group. "This includes compensation for all moving and relocation expenses. All property owners would receive fair market value for their properties taking into account recent renovations or upgrades."

City staff is also seeking permission from property owners to conduct environmental testing which will happen while the City of Hamilton continues to negotiate with individual property owners on the sale of their lands. Any testing done on private property would have minimal disruption to the property and any disturbances will be cleaned up. As a show of good faith the City is also providing a $1,500 payment to all property owners who sign an access agreement to cover any inconvenience.

Environmental testing is being done on a broad basis, not property-by-property, and findings will not affect fair market compensation that is being offered to residents. Indeed the request to test is in some cases happening concurrently with the offers to purchase their properties. Testing is being conducted now, ahead of property acquisition, simply to ensure that construction can begin as quickly as possible. Testing is not being done to determine whether the Pan Am Games venues could go on the lands as that decision has already been made by Council.

realcity
Mar 18, 2010, 2:47 AM
Good luck with that. Don't let it take too long tho.

hamiltonguy
Mar 18, 2010, 4:13 AM
The city should give the TiCats notice. Whatever stadium is built, Ivor Wynne will cease to be a city stadium after it is built.

Work with the city or move elsewhere. I love the cats, but they act like they think they should be in control. They are a partner, not the sole, or even leading investor in the project.

markbarbera
Mar 18, 2010, 11:38 AM
So how much of a downtown revitalization catalyst will it be if we end up with a 15000 seat empty stadium next to the CN freight yard and the Ticats playing in a stadium in Burlington?

BCTed
Mar 18, 2010, 12:38 PM
So how much of a downtown revitalization catalyst will it be if we end up with a 15000 seat empty stadium next to the CN freight yard and the Ticats playing in a stadium in Burlington?

How much of an impossibility is that scenario?