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December 30, 2010
Can't tell the rejected Tiger-Cats stadium sites without a scorecard
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats owners barely had time to leak the news yesterday that they were considering building a stadium in the neighboring city of Burlington before Burlington elected officials said they hated the idea. With the city already busy paying off a new performing arts center and other improvements, and property taxes already on the rise, several city councillors said they'd be wary of committing to a football stadium as well.
Or, as councillor Jack Dennison memorably put it:
"Our mouths are full. Our constituents agree our mouths are full and we have to stop chewing before we go and stick any more in our mouth."
Still, Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring is expected to commission a report on the possibility of building a Tiger-Cats stadium in Burlington, for which a total price tag remains unknown. And if nothing else, it could be scaring some Hamilton pols into reconsidering their rejection of stadium sites in their city: At least one of the nine councillors who opposed the Confederation Park site, says he could change his vote at the next council hearing on January 12. Stadium deals are never over till they're over...
Another study, just what everybody needs with a month to go until the latest non-deadline deadline (unless, of course, this one is a deadline... which it could be... but might not be).
In our little league (CFL), I am amazed that the stadium construction costs are running away as they are in Winnipeg, and are proposed to in Hamilton. CFL fans aren't the same as NFL fans, and 'revenue generation' isn't as easy in CFL stadia as it is in the new football palaces you folks build south of the 49th.
Proof positive that a CFL sized stadium can be built for less than the $200m the Bombers are spending (and Hamilton, or Burlington, might)?
Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park (Dallas) Texas. It's a nice, no frills facility. It seats 32,000 and was built for $45M, as I recall, in 1999. There is no reason in the world why a modern copy can't be built today for less than $100m... probably much less.
But hey, why keep your 'wants' under control when someone else is paying...
Looking at pics of that stadium, it would probably be perfect for any CFL team. I have no clue about the sight lines (maybe that could be rectified) but that seems ideal for a league that should be pushing for teams playing in 25k-45k size stadiums.
CFL has enough big houses to host the Grey Cups in Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto. It needs small, intimate settings that will match the demand for tickets and not exceed it (see: Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton).