Tiger-Cats Owner Bob Young released a letter today that outlines how he, and the Tiger-Cats, feel about the possibility of the Pan Am Stadium being located on the east mountain.
I won't outline everything, because you can read it yourself with the link I've provided, but I will discuss a couple of points.
First, the east mountain wasn't the Ti-Cats' preferred site, and it wasn't even its second choice. I wasn't surprised by this. The next point, however, shows how much the team didn't want the stadium in the west harbour, and how much they view the east mountain as a better alternative, even though it wasn't their first or second choice.
That's the amount that Bob Young and the Tiger-Cats are willing to put up for costs associated with the new stadium on the east mountain. It's not just for building the stadium, but for other things as well. One example is that the new stadium would get two Grey Cup games, which cost $7,000,000 each to host. A letter from CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon was attached to Mr. Young's letter that essentially promised a Grey Cup game to Hamilton as soon as a new stadium is operational. Mr. Cohon says in his letter that the "economic benefit... will be approximately $100 million dollars in 2010."
These are just two of the many points that are made in Bob Young's letter. There is just so much to sift through that you'd be better served by reading the letter and the other attached items yourself and deciding if you think it's good enough to get the stadium built on the east mountain.
My optimism is sky high right now. I understand that this letter hardly answers all the questions, but this is the best news we Ti-Cat fans have heard or read since the Pan Am Games were awarded back in November. Everything since then has pretty much been negative, whether it's fans not wanting it in a certain area, or the pissing match that occurred between the City of Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats over where the stadium should be and why.
The one person who needs to be thanked endlessly is Michael Fenn. Mr. Fenn is the facilitator who may have just saved the Pan Am Stadium for the City of Hamilton and stopped the Tiger-Cats from possibly leaving Hamilton. I thank you, Michael Fenn, for making the seemingly impossible, possible.
So here's where we stand. We have a very large financial commitment from Bob Young, so now the ball is in the City of Hamilton's court. I think with Bob Young's commitment, a deal can be struck to get the stadium built on the east mountain. In fact, I'll take it one step further and say that a deal will be struck, and the stadium will be built on the east mountain. As little faith as I have in Hamilton City Council, it would take ineptitude of monumental proportions to screw this up.
I look forward to the day when I'm sitting in my season seat at the new stadium on Hamilton's east mountain.