Hamilton launches Tiger-Cats stadium renovation study

The Ivor Wynne renovation plan inched ahead yesterday, as the Hamilton city council voted unanimously to conduct a study analyzing the Tiger-Cats’ plan by January 24.

Estimates are that the cost of renovation could be covered by the $45 million already committed by the city and $70 million from the Pan Am Games, so at least unlike previous stadium plans, there’d be no funding gap. There are no details about what kind of lease the Tiger-Cats would want, though, which is somewhat worrying — apparently the city of Hamilton has already been subsidizing the team to the tune of $1.3 million a year, so one would hope that would be eliminated in exchange for providing them with a renovated stadium at no cost.

Also unknown: Who’ll get the proceeds from naming rights and other sponsorships, if those are sold? As hopefully Hamilton officials already known, a construction funding agreement is a nice start, but the real devil is in the lease details.

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One comment on “Hamilton launches Tiger-Cats stadium renovation study

  1. Neil;
    We are not sure that there will be no funding gap… at this stage, there has been no time for a detailed study of what it would cost to demolish the existing structures (part of the reno would involve demolishing an abandoned school just west of the stadium, which I’m told has been sitting abandoned for years precisely because it would cost so much to demolish – think asbestos), nor to rebuild on site. Ivor Wynne is a very compact facility – one that can’t be rebuilt that way under modern safety rules. They do have space to expand (at least in a couple of directions), but who knows what this might cost. Add to that, the site is surrounded by houses, so there may be limits placed on material delivery and construction schedule that impacts costs. I would agree they “have a chance” to build this half stadium for $115M, but it is not guaranteed at that price.

    On the positive side, though, the Hamilton council were unanimous in deciding not to make a decision. Even though they didn’t decide, at least there was unanimity in that decision… and in Steeltown, hey, that’s progress!

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