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  #2121  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 3:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Anders Knudsen View Post
Merulla wants Ivor Wynne restored, McCarthy wants no Panam games or stadium, Mitchell seemed to want to have nothing to do with anything Eisenberger's supporting.
You can always forget about McCarthy's vote. I have no idea why she is there? It's always a "NO" vote. put up a cardboard cutout of her hair with a talk bubble with the word "No" in it and leave it at her council seat.
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  #2122  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 4:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dennis1 View Post
Real City, one more question:


Is hamilton still a stand alone city? Or is it now suburb of Toronto?
dennis1, I like your participation. Keep it up. It doesn't matter if people agree, this is to discuss things. SSP can be inspirational and nitemarishinal.

Is Hamilton a stand alone city? If you can look back on this forum *I'm serious* 8 years ago, that same question was being asked. I'm going to answer that question based on the last ten years.

Sooner than we think... No.

Not at this rate. Hamilton used to rival Toronto, Kingston and Stratford for importance. In the history of Stelco, Toronto went against Hamilton for their expanded relocation from Montreal to become a full fledged steel producer.. the first in Canada. At the time we were the last 'developed' country without its own steel production. So for Hamilton to have the Steel Company of Canada made Hamilton pretty much near #1 or top 3 cities in Canada. While Stratford, Kingston *once the capital of Canada* and Toronto whining.

Present Day: In about 10 more years we will be just another stop on the GO Train that the announcer calls out, "Aldershot, Hamilton, Grimsby...Niagara Falls".

The further the call from Union the further you are relevant. Think of Grand Central Terminal in NYC. NJ and Long Island.. same thing. *Except when you get super far on Long Island Expressway you become super rich *but that is your 'country home', and NYC is your "townhouse", but you still need the Robert Moses *I mean* Long Island Expressway to exist.

Note: I always found it interesting how a "TownHouse" in Canada meant, someone who can't afford a full house and in NYC, London etc. to own a "Townhouse" meant you were uberich, enough to own urban dwelling and a "townhouse" in the city. In Canada it frigs me up to think that marketing has turned the meaning of term the 'townhouse' absolutely backwards.

Look... I bleed black and yellow *whatever Hamilton's colours would be*, bring back the Black and yellow busses, *damn Dave Kuric for his grey/blue design* *you know I love ya Dave*.

I really hate to say it. But I'm getting tired of the fight. It's been too long. 2003, since the founding of RTH 2004. I'm getting tired of the disappointments. I'm getting tired of hearing about the "potential" and never seeing it realized.

I've cheerleaded long enough. To know that this city does not need cheerleaders. *Mayor Fred.. but something more* I always believed that we were our own worst enemies. We still are. But we are so divided on what a city should be. Ergo this latest spam of circumstances.

I really don't know dennis1. i really don't know.
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  #2123  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 4:37 AM
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Originally Posted by realcity View Post
dennis1, I like your participation. Keep it up. It doesn't matter if people agree, this is to discuss things. SSP can be inspirational and nitemarishinal.

Is Hamilton a stand alone city? If you can look back on this forum *I'm serious* 8 years ago, that same question was being asked. I'm going to answer that question based on the last ten years.

Sooner than we think... No.

Not at this rate. Hamilton used to rival Toronto, Kingston and Stratford for importance. In the history of Stelco, Toronto went against Hamilton for their expanded relocation from Montreal to become a full fledged steel producer.. the first in Canada. At the time we were the last 'developed' country without its own steel production. So for Hamilton to have the Steel Company of Canada made Hamilton pretty much near #1 or top 3 cities in Canada. While Stratford, Kingston *once the capital of Canada* and Toronto whining.

Present Day: In about 10 more years we will be just another stop on the GO Train that the announcer calls out, "Aldershot, Hamilton, Grimsby...Niagara Falls".

The further the call from Union the further you are relevant. Think of Grand Central Terminal in NYC. NJ and Long Island.. same thing. *Except when you get super far on Long Island Expressway you become super rich *but that is your 'country home', and NYC is your "townhouse", but you still need the Robert Moses *I mean* Long Island Expressway to exist.

Note: I always found it interesting how a "TownHouse" in Canada meant, someone who can't afford a full house and in NYC, London etc. to own a "Townhouse" meant you were uberich, enough to own urban dwelling and a "townhouse" in the city. In Canada it frigs me up to think that marketing has turned the meaning of term the 'townhouse' absolutely backwards.

Look... I bleed black and yellow *whatever Hamilton's colours would be*, bring back the Black and yellow busses, *damn Dave Kuric for his grey/blue design* *you know I love ya Dave*.

I really hate to say it. But I'm getting tired of the fight. It's been too long. 2003, since the founding of RTH 2004. I'm getting tired of the disappointments. I'm getting tired of hearing about the "potential" and never seeing it realized.

I've cheerleaded long enough. To know that this city does not need cheerleaders. *Mayor Fred.. but something more* I always believed that we were our own worst enemies. We still are. But we are so divided on what a city should be. Ergo this latest spam of circumstances.

I really don't know dennis1. i really don't know.
Thanks. Great Answer.
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  #2124  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 6:31 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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Damn. I am so disappointed I had to miss all of this excitement while I was at work.

I am proud of this city once again. City council has shown they have a pair for once.

I keep reading this nonsense that Hostco is somehow going to deny funding for this stadium. I can tell you right now that you will not see that happen. The only reason Hamilton was included in the bid was so the province and feds could funnel money into this city for a badly needed stadium. We will get the funding.

After Ian Troops little game last weekend I would be willing to bet that the Premier has already called him in and laid down the law with him. He has more than likely already been told that Hostco will approve the stadium and I would go further and say that, that funding will be increased just to smooth things over.

Politicians do not like to be made to look like fools, especially by their underlings. Ian Troop actually did this city a favour by spreading the rumour about funding being pulled. First of all it galvanized support for the West Harbour and secondly it guaranteed that it will be funded.

We should all email him thanking him for his stupidity.
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  #2125  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 7:14 AM
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Wow, what an 11 hours. I've followed city politics for a few years now, but this is the first time I've taken a whole day off work to be there to see it in real time. Great to see so much support from the community and from Mayor Fred and Council standing up for our City. Anything could happen from here on, but today we won because we established ourselves as a strong and independent City that stands firm on its decisions.
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  #2126  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 7:22 AM
EastVanMark EastVanMark is offline
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Only one team in the CFL turns a profit.
This is blatantly not true. MOST CFL teams make money. (probably4-6 out of the eight, depending on the year). The only ones consistently losing larger sums of money are the two Southern Ontario franchises.
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  #2127  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 10:20 AM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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Originally Posted by Jon Dalton View Post
Wow, what an 11 hours. I've followed city politics for a few years now, but this is the first time I've taken a whole day off work to be there to see it in real time. Great to see so much support from the community and from Mayor Fred and Council standing up for our City. Anything could happen from here on, but today we won because we established ourselves as a strong and independent City that stands firm on its decisions.
But at what cost?

Council is now pulling out all the stops in a desperate bid to keep the Ticats from leaving, and this needss to be done within 24 hours. What will it cost to keep them here? From all accounts it is already too late. Foxcroft has said in an interview the landing spot has already been arranged, and as a Hamilton businessman he is sickened by the loss.

Without the Ticats, the stadium is financially unviable. It likely won't even be built as financial viability is a precondition for Hostco. Even if it does, Hamilton will have its very own version of Montreal's "Big Owe". Council has just voted for a money pit.

We'll be paying annually for years on a white elephant added to our HECFI collection. If it gets built, and as things stand now it won't be built. Even if the Ticats stay, Hamilton will be paying out to keep them here. FInancially this is a lose-lose situation.

And all for what? A downtown stadium eating up land. A massive empty hulk where there could be apartment condos and businesses.

This may be a voctory for WH proponents, but they have no idea what their 'prize' is. But we'll be paying for it off for decades to come. Meantime, Hamilton slips further into obscurity. Well done!
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  #2128  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by realcity View Post
dennis1, I like your participation. Keep it up. It doesn't matter if people agree, this is to discuss things. SSP can be inspirational and nitemarishinal.

Is Hamilton a stand alone city? If you can look back on this forum *I'm serious* 8 years ago, that same question was being asked. I'm going to answer that question based on the last ten years.

Sooner than we think... No.

Not at this rate. Hamilton used to rival Toronto, Kingston and Stratford for importance. In the history of Stelco, Toronto went against Hamilton for their expanded relocation from Montreal to become a full fledged steel producer.. the first in Canada. At the time we were the last 'developed' country without its own steel production. So for Hamilton to have the Steel Company of Canada made Hamilton pretty much near #1 or top 3 cities in Canada. While Stratford, Kingston *once the capital of Canada* and Toronto whining.

Present Day: In about 10 more years we will be just another stop on the GO Train that the announcer calls out, "Aldershot, Hamilton, Grimsby...Niagara Falls".

The further the call from Union the further you are relevant. Think of Grand Central Terminal in NYC. NJ and Long Island.. same thing. *Except when you get super far on Long Island Expressway you become super rich *but that is your 'country home', and NYC is your "townhouse", but you still need the Robert Moses *I mean* Long Island Expressway to exist.

Note: I always found it interesting how a "TownHouse" in Canada meant, someone who can't afford a full house and in NYC, London etc. to own a "Townhouse" meant you were uberich, enough to own urban dwelling and a "townhouse" in the city. In Canada it frigs me up to think that marketing has turned the meaning of term the 'townhouse' absolutely backwards.

Look... I bleed black and yellow *whatever Hamilton's colours would be*, bring back the Black and yellow busses, *damn Dave Kuric for his grey/blue design* *you know I love ya Dave*.

I really hate to say it. But I'm getting tired of the fight. It's been too long. 2003, since the founding of RTH 2004. I'm getting tired of the disappointments. I'm getting tired of hearing about the "potential" and never seeing it realized.

I've cheerleaded long enough. To know that this city does not need cheerleaders. *Mayor Fred.. but something more* I always believed that we were our own worst enemies. We still are. But we are so divided on what a city should be. Ergo this latest spam of circumstances.

I really don't know dennis1. i really don't know.

Hi realcity

I hear despair in your voice and this is the same thing I heard in Bob Young's voice and it saddens me a bit.

Bob Young's vision - or lack of - was fueled by other interested parties. This is what often happens to "caretakers" or benefactors. A person steps up with an offering to financially back a close to heart venture and, before you know it, that person is being manipulated and their money funnelled for ulterior motives, usually driven by greed.

What we have witnessed is Cohon, Mitchell and other vested parties drive Bob Young into a position where he truly believed that the team could not possibly turn a profit or even break even at any location downtown. The manipulation was so strong from these vested parties, that Bob Young truly believed this. Now I ask you, id this the mindset of a winning sports team owner? Is this the mindset of a successful business owner?

Let me tell you a little something about winning attitudes. There are scores and scores of books and videos on the subject. There are droves of motivational speakers who charge big bucks to give seminars on the subject around the world; for companies and employees, as well as for private citizens. Why is that? Because all success starts with a winning attitude. Where has Bob Young's winning attitude gone.

When the Ticats go to Calgary, does Bob Young tell the team, "Oh drats, guys. We're going to Calgary. You all know what that means. There's no way we're going to win there. Absolutely no way possible to win there."?

Does Cohon or Mitchell step up and echo, "Shoot, you guys! Calgary, eh? Why are you even going there. You can't win there. No way, no how!"?

A successful team owner tells the team exactly the opposite; that they can and will win, regardless of where they set foot. A successful business entrepreneur becomes successful by believing that nothing is impossible. Friends may tell that entrepreneur that they will likely fail; banks will tell the entrepreneur that they can't lend them the money, that they will likely fail. The entrepreneur still pushes on, however, believing fully in his/her idea, believing fully in the success of that idea.

"If you didn't believe it was impossible, what would you do?"

That is the question Bob Young should have been asked repeatedly, not the poisonous drivel spewed by other parties with a broader hidden agenda.

Mr Young needs to apologise to his team. For the past few months, he has been telling his team, "We can't! We cannot! We can't!" far too much. As a representative of a winning team, those words should never escape your mouth. Oh wait. See where it starts?

Mr Cohon needs to apologise to Mr Young. He has used his position of power to divide rather than unite. Ditto Mr Mitchell.

The city of Hamilton should apologise to the Ticats. We have allowed outside parties with alterior motives to come in and drive a wedge between the city and our Tabbies. Whenever a family member goes outside the family for help, that always causes extra tension within the family. We should have told Cohon and Mitchell very early on, "Take a hike. We've got this one", and then sat down with our Ticats and kept working at it one on one.

There are two ways out of every no-way-out situation. Bob Young can take the Ticats out of Hamilton, or he can work with the city and get his team enthusiastic about playing in a new stadium. Bob Young also has to ask himself, what of the vested interests who are driving this and to what end? Who benefits, really, if the team moves out and was this their plan all along? Anything is possible. Nothing is too far fetched where money is concerned.

I'll conclude with a short story here.

I worked in Burlington fifteen years ago. In the course of a day, I interacted with many people. Whenever someone used to give me their phone number and I recognised it as a Hamilton exchange, I used to point that out. To a 521 exchange, I'd say "Oh, you're from Hamilton!" and they would respond, "Yes, how did you know?", always with a smile. To a 387 exchange, I would note, likewise, that they must be from Hamilton, but their response would be different, eight times out of ten. "No, I'm from the mountain", they would invariably say.

That was fifteen years ago and things haven't changed one bit. Do you think that their response would be the same if the "mountain" was attached to Burlington? Would they still call it the mountain, or would they be proud enough to call the whole city, top and bottom, by the same name?

I hear the same veiled discrimination today. I wonder if anyone else has noticed it in the language, both on-line and off-line, during this stadium debate. You can flip through the past pages of posts here and on other blogs and sites to see for yourself. Whenever the East Mountain proponents spoke of property development, in relation to the stadium development, in their preferred neighbourhood, they would say "residential". Whenever they referred to the equivalent developments downtown, they would say "housing". Very telling, in my opinion, since "housing" is usually used in reference to income assisted residential properties.

We tell our brothers, our sisters, our friends and acquaintances to stand up for themselves. Well, it's time for Hamilton to stand up for itself. It's time for Hamilton to say, "Hey, this is Hamilton. All of it! You pick on one part of us, you pick on us all!". It's time for Hamilton to rise up, shake off the dust, "sh1t, shower and shave", as they say, and step on out into the world again. Go out and attract new industry for the new millennium - solar. Go out and attract more sporting and entertainment events. Go out and attract business like Hazel (McCallion). Go out and Win!

Ticats, you're coming with us. We're family! Bob (Young), you *can* win in Hamilton!
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  #2129  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 1:07 PM
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I'll conclude with a short story here.

I worked in Burlington fifteen years ago. In the course of a day, I interacted with many people. Whenever someone used to give me their phone number and I recognised it as a Hamilton exchange, I used to point that out. To a 521 exchange, I'd say "Oh, you're from Hamilton!" and they would respond, "Yes, how did you know?", always with a smile. To a 387 exchange, I would note, likewise, that they must be from Hamilton, but their response would be different, eight times out of ten. "No, I'm from the mountain", they would invariably say.

That was fifteen years ago and things haven't changed one bit. Do you think that their response would be the same if the "mountain" was attached to Burlington? Would they still call it the mountain, or would they be proud enough to call the whole city, top and bottom, by the same name?

I hear the same veiled discrimination today. I wonder if anyone else has noticed it in the language, both on-line and off-line, during this stadium debate. You can flip through the past pages of posts here and on other blogs and sites to see for yourself. Whenever the East Mountain proponents spoke of property development, in relation to the stadium development, in their preferred neighbourhood, they would say "residential". Whenever they referred to the equivalent developments downtown, they would say "housing". Very telling, in my opinion, since "housing" is usually used in reference to income assisted residential properties.
This is precisely what this whole thing was about. Mr. Young is following the standard "business" advice from GTA business people. Hamilton is a no go zone, we all know that. The money men don't want another stadium in the "ghetto." Put it on the nice shiny mountain. Hamilton has been hollowing out for years (mostly to Burlington) and people want to put a stop to it. The EM stadium would have been a continuation of the detrimental suburban policy. Like I said before, an EM stadium might as well be in Waterdown, or Oakville or Mississauga. It would be missing the Hamilton identity.

Realcity, you know marketing, you know the EM location certainly wouldn't be associated as closely with Hamilton as the Ticats are now. How does that help Hamilton become an A-city? When they show the aerial of the stadium on TV, and all you see are highway interchanges and subdivisions, how does that help brand the city? Should Hamilton bend over backwards to accomodate a sports team that is ashamed of the city? The NHL is ashamed of Hamilton too. They don't want their brand associated with Hamilton and all its negatives.


Let me continue with a difficult truth: Hamilton always tried to be an A city but never made it. The "Ambitious City" moniker was always derisively applied by Toronto media. Sure, Hamilton was the leading manufacturing centre of Canada, with over 500 factories, including a bevy of American branch plants that read like the NY stock exchange listings. Hamilton hosted the first British Empire Games. Hamilton was the last Canadian city other than Montreal or Toronto to have a national bank headquarters. 100 years ago, Hamilton was one of the top 5 most populous cities in Canada. Hamilton did play host to Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong and all kinds of other celebrities. Hamilton has old money too. It was a happening town, a city with a strong identity and sense of place. But it was never an A city.

Toronto started sucking away Hamilton's business even when Hamilton was still booming in the first half of the 20th century. Hamilton's best and brightest left town. McMaster University didn't even move here till the 1930's, and even then, the brightest still left for Toronto. Toronto was the seat of government. Toronto had a better location and become the major commercial centre of Ontario. Toronto was the centre of education. All the best lawyers and other professionals practiced in Toronto. Toronto was the centre of finance and later grew into the financial center for all of Canada. Toronto grew and grew with a diverse economy.

Hamilton had all its eggs in one basket. Hamilton got slaughtered in the recession of the 1890s. And again in the 30s. And again in the 70s. And again in the 80s. And again in the 90s. And again in the curent recession. By the 1960s and 70s, Hamilton already started making big mistakes out of desperation, demolishing most of its downtown in the false hopes that the empty lots would be filled with shining skyscrapers like in Toronto. Then Copps Coliseum was built in a failed attempt to lure the NHL. Toronto slapped Hamilton down again. Then the businesses started to relocate. Not just to Toronto, because meanwhile, a new city sprung up just on the other side of the Harbour, which continues to leech its bigger, older sibling, sucking away professionals and business people as well as the businesses themselves.

All the while, Hamilton was rarely mentioned in the national media. Hamilton had zero presence internationally. It could not even succeed as a regional centre because Toronto was too close. Hamilton has not had any importance for a long time. It hasn't been a destination for anyone for a long time.

Despite all this, Hamilton still managed to become a real city. The wealth of architecture has been plundered, but enough still remains to make it unique. It remains dense and diverse. Hamilton is never dull, it has a character and sense of place that cities like Calgary and Edmonton will never have. Hamilton's uniqueness and strengths, its identity, are in the lower city.

But Hamilton has carried the lower city like it was some kind of baggage. And it is in the sense that the city must deal with the aging infrastructure of a big city that got choked off by Toronto. Hamilton could develop its suburban areas all it wants, but because it drags along the giant hulk of the lower city, it can never beat Burlington and Mississauga at their own games. Unfortunately, the lower city cannot compete with Toronto on big city terms. Hamilton will always lose. That's why they shouldn't have got involved int he Toronto Pan Am games, and why Hamilton should stop chasing elusive NHL teams (if it happens, good, but otherwise...)

My advice: Don't try to beat Toronto at its own game. Hamilton will lose. Don't compare Hamilton to Toronto. Hamilton will look bad. Aspire to be Hamilton, not Toronto. Draw on Hamilton's strengths, things like fixing up neighbourhoods and local commercial streets that could ooze charm. Urban living without the hassle and expense. Do the simple things that don't take millions of dollars, like say, taking some pride in the city. Start small and get the city back on the upswing. Hamilton has a lot to do and see, but nobody knows about them. Hamilton doesn't exploit the views fromt he mountain. I could go on, but you all know these things.

Bottom line: people need to quit being down on the city. There is one thing that without fail every single sucessful person has: confidence. That applies to cities too. And remember, false confidence never works out in the long run. Successful people have realistic goals and know what they can achieve and when to draw the line. This applies to cities too.
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  #2130  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 1:21 PM
dennis1 dennis1 is offline
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http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/823948

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Give the Cats another chance, then move on to the Katz Group.

That was one view as city council confirmed the west harbour as the site for the Pan Am Games stadium yesterday.

"The first thing we have to do is to reach out to the Tiger-Cats," said Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.

"We have to try what is reasonable to get them back to the table. Let's let the emotion drain out of it."

So Katz was involved. Hamilton says NHL>CFL
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  #2131  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 1:45 PM
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CFL football fans in Toronto don't seem as hardcore and passionate as other cities. Give them an NFL team and there is no doubt that they would do great. Plenty of NFL football fans and plenty of corporate support. They would easily sell out a 70,000 seat stadium 8 times a year. You also have to remember that it's not just Toronto... it'd be drawing from all of Southern Ontario... you know, just like a good deal of fans from Southern Ontario go to Bills games in Buffalo. It's pretty much a slam dunk if they were to ever get a team.

Basing NFL support on Argos support is pointless. That'd be like saying Toronto can't support the NHL because the Marlies have horrible attendance. Apples and oranges.
Have to agree with this. An NFL team in Toronto would have no problem filling a 70,000 (or even 80,000) seat stadium 8 times a season. They would draw fans from all over southern Ontario, and from Ottawa, Sudbury, North Bay, etc. They would even draw some from southwestern Quebec and Montreal probably.

It would also do really well on the corporate sponsorship front. Sponsors would beat down their door. Trust me.

The main stumbling blocks are a stadium and NFL decision-making.

Of these, the stadium is by far the biggest. Canada's doesn't have a big "build it with public funds and they will come" mentality like the U.S., so it looks as though TO would need private money for both the franchise AND the stadium. If it were just the team that had to be paid for, the NFL might already be on its way to Toronto. But there is no way any level of government in Canada is going to sink millions of dollars into a stadium for the NFL in Toronto, given the potential risk that would pose for the future of the CFL.

As for the NFL's attitude towards Toronto, it is probably "show me the money". I don't think they are itching to come to Toronto, but if the numbers were all lined up just right they would certainly go for it.
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  #2132  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 1:49 PM
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Even if that dream came true, you know FIFA will avoid Hamilton like the plague. This city is sending a clear message to sports organizations: We are closed for business!
I was thinking more of places like Quebec City and Halifax getting much-needed stadiums out of the World Cup adventure.

Especially since it looks like Hamilton will already have a new stadium by 2015.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 1:54 PM
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As it stands now, PEPS can hold 18,000, 1,000 more than current average attendance. How can it be worse than current Hamilton situation?
I thought the Ticats average attendance was over 20,000 at the very least?

Also, I think PEPS only has 12,000 permanent seats. It takes a lot of temporary bleachers to bump it up to even 18,000.

If you've seen Laval games where they boast of record crowds, they usually even have quite a lot of people standing or sitting on the grass behind the end zones.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 2:04 PM
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Great post. One thing I would add is besides business, Hamilton has been on the wrong side of the increasing % of GDP being government spending over the years. As capitals, Toronto and Ottawa have benefited hugely from this, to the detriment to non-capital cities in Ontario. As an anecdote, I have friends with consulting gigs with the provincial government for silly amounts per hour in Toronto. Those don't really exist here, plus the unfathomable number of ministry jobs there. I've always wondered why Hamilton politicians didn't squawk about getting more Ontario government jobs in the city. Other cities at least seem to have grabbed some crumbs.

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Originally Posted by flar View Post
This is precisely what this whole thing was about. Mr. Young is
following the standard "business" advice from GTA business people. Hamilton is a no go zone, we all know that. The money men don't want another stadium in the "ghetto." Put it on the nice shiny mountain. Hamilton has been hollowing out for years (mostly to Burlington) and people want to put a stop to it. The EM stadium would have been a continuation of the detrimental suburban policy. Like I said before, an EM stadium might as well be in Waterdown, or Oakville or Mississauga. It would be missing the Hamilton identity.

Realcity, you know marketing, you know the EM location certainly wouldn't be associated as closely with Hamilton as the Ticats are now. How does that help Hamilton become an A-city? When they show the aerial of the stadium on TV, and all you see are highway interchanges and subdivisions, how does that help brand the city? Should Hamilton bend over backwards to accomodate a sports team that is ashamed of the city? The NHL is ashamed of Hamilton too. They don't want their brand associated with Hamilton and all its negatives.


Let me continue with a difficult truth: Hamilton always tried to be an A city but never made it. The "Ambitious City" moniker was always derisively applied by Toronto media. Sure, Hamilton was the leading manufacturing centre of Canada, with over 500 factories, including a bevy of American branch plants that read like the NY stock exchange listings. Hamilton hosted the first British Empire Games. Hamilton was the last Canadian city other than Montreal or Toronto to have a national bank headquarters. 100 years ago, Hamilton was one of the top 5 most populous cities in Canada. Hamilton did play host to Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong and all kinds of other celebrities. Hamilton has old money too. It was a happening town, a city with a strong identity and sense of place. But it was never an A city.

Toronto started sucking away Hamilton's business even when Hamilton was still booming in the first half of the 20th century. Hamilton's best and brightest left town. McMaster University didn't even move here till the 1930's, and even then, the brightest still left for Toronto. Toronto was the seat of government. Toronto had a better location and become the major commercial centre of Ontario. Toronto was the centre of education. All the best lawyers and other professionals practiced in Toronto. Toronto was the centre of finance and later grew into the financial center for all of Canada. Toronto grew and grew with a diverse economy.

Hamilton had all its eggs in one basket. Hamilton got slaughtered in the recession of the 1890s. And again in the 30s. And again in the 70s. And again in the 80s. And again in the 90s. And again in the curent recession. By the 1960s and 70s, Hamilton already started making big mistakes out of desperation, demolishing most of its downtown in the false hopes that the empty lots would be filled with shining skyscrapers like in Toronto. Then Copps Coliseum was built in a failed attempt to lure the NHL. Toronto slapped Hamilton down again. Then the businesses started to relocate. Not just to Toronto, because meanwhile, a new city sprung up just on the other side of the Harbour, which continues to leech its bigger, older sibling, sucking away professionals and business people as well as the businesses themselves.

All the while, Hamilton was rarely mentioned in the national media. Hamilton had zero presence internationally. It could not even succeed as a regional centre because Toronto was too close. Hamilton has not had any importance for a long time. It hasn't been a destination for anyone for a long time.

Despite all this, Hamilton still managed to become a real city. The wealth of architecture has been plundered, but enough still remains to make it unique. It remains dense and diverse. Hamilton is never dull, it has a character and sense of place that cities like Calgary and Edmonton will never have. Hamilton's uniqueness and strengths, its identity, are in the lower city.

But Hamilton has carried the lower city like it was some kind of baggage. And it is in the sense that the city must deal with the aging infrastructure of a big city that got choked off by Toronto. Hamilton could develop its suburban areas all it wants, but because it drags along the giant hulk of the lower city, it can never beat Burlington and Mississauga at their own games. Unfortunately, the lower city cannot compete with Toronto on big city terms. Hamilton will always lose. That's why they shouldn't have got involved int he Toronto Pan Am games, and why Hamilton should stop chasing elusive NHL teams (if it happens, good, but otherwise...)

My advice: Don't try to beat Toronto at its own game. Hamilton will lose. Don't compare Hamilton to Toronto. Hamilton will look bad. Aspire to be Hamilton, not Toronto. Draw on Hamilton's strengths, things like fixing up neighbourhoods and local commercial streets that could ooze charm. Urban living without the hassle and expense. Do the simple things that don't take millions of dollars, like say, taking some pride in the city. Start small and get the city back on the upswing. Hamilton has a lot to do and see, but nobody knows about them. Hamilton doesn't exploit the views fromt he mountain. I could go on, but you all know these things.

Bottom line: people need to quit being down on the city. There is one thing that without fail every single sucessful person has: confidence. That applies to cities too. And remember, false confidence never works out in the long run. Successful people have realistic goals and know what they can achieve and when to draw the line. This applies to cities too.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 2:07 PM
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Lastly, the temporary stadium in Vancouver can be shipped and used a temporary solution just about anywhere.
This might be the ace Bob Young has or thinks he has up his sleeve.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 2:55 PM
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If anything I don't think the Ti Cats would relocate very far from Hamilton anyways. Likely to Aldershot. But the issue would be how would Bob Young get the funding for a stadium? There would be no government funding.

But I hope it doesn't come down to this anyways.

Last edited by SteelTown; Aug 11, 2010 at 3:06 PM.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 3:07 PM
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If anything I don't think the Ti Cats would relocate very far from Hamilton anyways. Likely to Aldershot. But the issue would be how would Bob Young get the funding for a stadium? There would be no government funding.
Damien Cox on his Toronto Star blog today quoted both Cam Jackson and the Halton Region chair as saying they would not contribute a dime to a new stadium in their area. That kind of puts the kibosh on any idea of building in Burlington unless the Cats are going to finance it themselves.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 3:09 PM
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Damien Cox on his Toronto Star blog today quoted both Cam Jackson and the Halton Region chair as saying they would not contribute a dime to a new stadium in their area. That kind of puts the kibosh on any idea of building in Burlington unless the Cats are going to finance it themselves.
And if they have enough cash to fund a stadium, where was that money last month? I think the City (and Hamiltonians) would have been much more receptive to the idea of an East Mountain stadium if the Cats were willing to fund 50 - 80% of it.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 3:33 PM
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Athletics Canada has successfully convinced Hostco to move track events close to the atheletes village in Toronto.

There are limited funds available for facilities, which makes it challenging for Pan Am Hostco to finance the construction of a new track facility as well as a soccer stadium.

Given that soccer can be hosted in existing structures throughout the area and there is no longer a solid legacy element to stadium plans in Hamilton, I'm predicting that the Pan AM Games will cancel new stadium construction plans in Hamilton entirely and instead place the track stadium here, adjacent to the Atheletes Village in Toronto. Post Pan Am Games, the stadium legacy will be as a new home for the Toronto Argonauts.

Pan Am will keep the velodrome plans for Hamilton, and increase the budget for it to allow it to serve as a permanent facility. Ivor Wynne will receive minor upgrades so it may host some of the soccer games.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2010, 3:49 PM
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And if they have enough cash to fund a stadium, where was that money last month? I think the City (and Hamiltonians) would have been much more receptive to the idea of an East Mountain stadium if the Cats were willing to fund 50 - 80% of it.
If the Ti Cats would fund that much I would also approve a stadium at Confederation Park as well.
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