I am always hesitant to discuss the issue of the Pan Am Stadium because no matter what position you take, you alienate a lot of people.
Personally, I was hoping that with the season starting, Ti-Cat fans would move away from discussing the stadium and concentrate on the actual game being played. I thought this was simply a case of there being nothing to discuss during the long CFL off-season and that once the games started, talk about the Pan Am Stadium would die down.
I should have known better. Ti-Cat fans never let anything die.
News has been coming in left and right in the past few days, and since this is something that Tiger-Cat fans want to talk about, I might as well talk about it myself.
First, we have the story of Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz and his proposal or intention or whatever you'd like to call it to buy Copps Coliseum and invest heavily in the Pan Am Stadium at the west habour location. Depending on which side you're on regarding stadium placement, this is either the best thing that could happen or the worst news possible.
Second, we have two stories that say other municipalities (rumoured to be Mississauga, Burlington and Oakville) have contacted Tiger-Cat owner Bob Young expressing an interest in having him relocate the Tiger-Cats to their city. I completely understand why Bob Young would want to do this, but as one of the most pro-Hamilton people I know (just ask any of my co-workers, who are mostly from Toronto, how much I love the city of Hamilton, despite its faults), the Tiger-Cats should play in Hamilton.
As sad as it is for me to say, Ivor Wynne Stadium is no longer a viable venue for the Cats to play in. As much as we fans love that place, it no longer serves the needs of a pro-sports franchise in the 21st century. A new stadium is needed to help make the Tiger-Cats profitable.
Where the division among fans comes into play is on the issue of where the new stadium should be built. The city wants to put it in the downtown area to help with urban renewal; the team wants it near a highway with a large parking lot in order to maximize its profits. I won't say where I'd prefer the stadium to be because, frankly, I don't care where they put it. I'm a fan and have been a fan for as long as I can remember. Wherever the stadium is, I'll find a way to get there. There might be places that will be easier to get to, but we'll all do what we must to get ourselves to the new digs.
This is a story that has gotten uglier and uglier as the days have gone by. There is a deadline of July 8th to get everything resolved. Hopefully that will happen, and like it or lump it, we'll be able to put this whole thing behind us and concentrate on the one thing we, as fans, should be spending our time on: the games.