Tuesday 6 July 2010

Caretaker's Letter

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.


  1. This makes too much sense to ignore now. I'm all for it.

    That said, it's really not a full $74 million up front - a nice chunk for construction, but much is deferred "savings" for the city and the Grey Cup money would likely have been spent anyway were the Cats to stay in a different location (they'd be interested in spending it because they'd be interested in profiting from the events). And the soccer team is a nice throw in, but remains to be seen what kind of "investment" that becomes - it may very well be big, if a team were to succeed.

    But while I'm looking that gift horse in the mouth, I don't think the city should do the same, at least not to dismiss this. Combine it with what the upper levels of government are putting into this, including the land, and it's a no-brainer (likely to be tweaked in some way).

    They still need to find other investors. Or a way to build a bigger stadium for fewer funds, something in the range of what Asper proposed in The Peg (33k for $120 million). But that is all do-able I think.

    And it does not kill any hopes for west harbour. It means other entertainment options can be examined which may fit there - an amphitheatre, an activity complex, the commercial and residential development that I'm sure Katz is thinking about... Copps Coliseum is the real jewel in that chest for him and the stadium operation was just a throw in, I think.

    Hopefully this moves ahead swiftly and soundly. It's about time this town had something to get excited about. And I'm not even a current resident - Burlington is where I currently live, but Hamilton will always be home to me. Do it.

  2. There were a lot of people downtown looking forward to seeing more games in the new stadium. The money would have been better spent making the arena bigger downtown and adding a multi level parkade. Nice veiw of the water, breeze off the lake. The new location offers access to a mall. Guess what I can go to a mall anywhere. I like a lot of sports fans enjoy beer. I have a car but will not drink and drive. So its tv only for me. This moves the stadium away from the fan base. Give it a couple years and you will be losing even more money.

  3. Dear Anonymous...

    There are things called buses in Hamilton! No matter where you put a stadium there will always be fans that are closer to the stadium and unfortunately some that will be farther away. The proposed East Mountain location will have the Linc and Red Hill accessing it as well as a scheduled HSR route that goes there as well. I would also expect the HSR to continue with it's ticket to ride operation and shuttle buses from key locations going straight to the game.

    The west harbour location was an awful choice...even with a parking structure, it would have been horrible for transit into this location. Everything was 1 lane in and out. I also don't think the "mall" has anything to do with the location choice so let's not even bring that into the conversation.

    Where ever the stadium winds up, it will be a state of the art facility thast all the fans will enjoy...it will be no Ivor Wynne but I think in time I will be able to call it Home!