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December 23, 2010
Hamilton council rejects both Tiger-Cats stadium sites
The Hamitlon Tiger-Cats stadium plan just gets deader and deader: The Hamilton city council met yesterday, and not only rejected the overly pricey Canadian Pacific Railway site, but also the Confederation Park site that was supposed to be the cheaper alternative:
Council shot down a motion from Mayor Bob Bratina to investigate the location at an emergency meeting Wednesday morning. He proposed that staff bring a 'preliminary progress report' back to council by Jan. 14.
The majority of council disagreed with the mayor, arguing that Confederation Park was important green space, that the city was tired of the ongoing debate, and that staff don't have enough time to come up with an accurate analysis by mid-January.
"We're asking our staff to do an impossible job in a very short amount of time," said Councillor Terry Whitehead. "Therefore we will be making a decision based on incomplete information."
The odds of getting a stadium approved in time for the Pan Am Games deadline of February 1 just went from slim to virtually none, which would blow an additional $60 million hole in the stadium budget. (Though the Games organizers could conceivably extend the deadline, as they've done before.) As for what happens next, I'd lay my money on more veiled move threats, followed by more mad scrambling to find a suitable site, followed by more mad scrambling to figure out how to pay for the whole thing. Lather, rinse, repeat.