This is an archived version of a Field of Schemes article. Comments on this page are closed. To find the current version of the article with updated comments, click here.
February 01, 2011
Hamilton Tiger-Cats get their (mostly) new stadium
And it's official: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be getting a rebuilt Ivor Wynne Stadium, after the Hamilton city council voted to approve the deal last night, with just hours to spare before a February 1 deadline to get a stadium plan in place or risk losing the 2015 Pan Am Games. A Pan Am announcement is now expected for today.
And what of that $38.6 million funding gap? The
council province dealt with that on Sunday, agreeing to kick in an additional $22.5 million to get the deal finalized. (Yeah, I know those numbers aren't the same — apparently the cost estimate was also reduced by $2.5 million, but that still doesn't explain it. Chalk it up to Canadian math.)
The upshot of this denouement? After rejecting earlier stadium plans because they would require additional city funds, Hamilton okayed a deal that would require additional city funds — just not quite as much. The TiCats, meanwhile, will be getting a virtually new stadium virtually free. It's not the worst deal for the public in stadium-subsidy history, but it's not exactly a victory, either — except inasmuch that both the Hamiton city council and I can stop thinking about it quite so much now.
I believe the province kicked in the extra $22.5M, while the city upped it's "max" contribution from $45M to $54M, if I remember correctly.
It still does leave a funding gap... but that gap is considerably smaller than it once was. None of this will matter when they actually have a tendered cost for the demolition and reconstruction, as that cost might be dramatically different from the estimates they've received thus far. But hey! It's unanimous... sort of...
Let's try my Canadian Math.
Original shortfall: 38.6 million. Province kicks in 22.5 million. City increases its contribution by 9 million (diverting the funds they'd earmarked to renovate Ivor Wynne -- to now renovate Ivor Wynne ;) ). Ticats agree to drop the need for $7 million in compensation for being kicked out of Ivor Wynne for two years.
Anyone besides me think this was all a big show meant to galvanize CFL fans since Mayor Rob Ford wants the Buffalo Bills to Toronto?
It could be, Rob.
I heard the other day that one of the Hamilton city councillors has been telling the others since Hostco first asked them if they wanted the stadium that the city didn't have the money to build at any of their proposed sites and could only afford some form of renovation at Ivor Wynne (I assume this means for a 25k stadium, as they certainly had enough cash to build a 5-7k stadium @ West Harbour if they wanted to).
If that's true... what they hell has all this hand wringing and public embarrassment for the city been about? Sad fact is, nothing would surprise me with this crowd...
JH: Not sure what the present plan is, but Young said at one stage that the club might demolish one stand in the next off season, then install temp seats for the following season, then remove them and install the permanent south stand the following off season.
I suppose it's possible that they could play at Ivor Wynne during reconstruction, if the above were doable. They may even be able to use some form of modular construction to speed the process along... who knows...