Tuesday 6 July 2010

West Harbour or East Mountain

The Hamilton Spectator obtained a copy of Michael Fenn's draft report, and we are now down to two sites: the west habour and the east mountain.

We all know about the west habour. That's the mayor's preferred site, and he took an almost "come hell or high water" stance in regards to putting the stadium there. We also know that Bob Young wanted nothing to do with a stadium there, and that's why we have this quagmire to begin with.

But now we get this other site on the east mountain, which would be located at Stone Church Road and Mudd Street near the Red Hill Valley Parkway and the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway ("The Linc").

I will not lie; I live on the east mountain, about eight minutes from this proposed site. I have kept my mouth shut on where I would like the stadium to be, and I will continue to do so, but I won't lie and say I wouldn't like for the team to be playing games so close to my house. From a purely selfish standpoint, I would fully embrace a move to the east mountain.

There is obviously some negotiation still left to be done. In the report, Michael Fenn asks for a deadline extension until August 31st. The City would likely not pony up as much cash, because downtown renewal was part of the reason they were willing to spend so much money on the west harbour site. That means it's likely that the Cats would have to pick up more of the tab or find private investors to pitch in money. Would that be a problem if the stadium was in a location of their liking?

The fact that a second site, no matter where it is, has been added to the list of possible homes for the Pan Am Stadium is a good thing. The alternative was never attractive. It looks like, at the 11th hour, we may be able to salvage this thing. For the first time since this whole mess started, I am optimistic that we have just found a new home for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

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