Hamilton city council held a special meeting Tuesday and voted 13-2 to look at a new possible compromise location in the city’s west end.
“We are acutely aware that this new direction may be (the) last opportunity to kick-start a stadium in Hamilton,” Pan Am Games Organizing Committee chief executive officer Ian Troop said in a statement. “Our venue development work for the stadium is hard up against an immovable deadline for test events in 2014. It is critical to have the City of Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats committing to a co-operative partnership with a concrete plan presented to city council on Sept. 14.”
The “compromise” location is one that emerged in the last week or so: the so-called Longwood site in Hamilton’s west end, which Ticats owner Bob Young praised in a letter to Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger on Monday as meeting “the essential sports stadium requirements.”
Eisenberger told the National Post that he’s “not confident at all” that a deal will be struck in the next two weeks, and that “there’s going to have to be an awful lot of work done . . . nobody should jump to the conclusion that this is a slam drunk.” (Sic — unless that’s some Canadianism I haven’t heard.) The big question appears to be how “concrete” the plan will need to be by then to make the Pan Am Games folks happy; if “we’ve agreed to focus on the new site, but don’t know how much it’ll cost or how it’ll be paid for” is enough, clearly that’s easier to accomplish in two weeks than an actual fleshed-out plan.