Published on July 9, 2010 5:30 PM by dbo.
On Wednesday Hamilton city council agreed to defer a decision on the Pan-Am Stadium location until August 12 while the East Mountain location raised in the facilitator’s report is investigated. (The debate as it happened.) While some councillors have been swayed enough by the Tiger-Cat commitment to endorse the East Mountain location, the mayor and others are not ready to abandon the West Harbour plan just yet.
More accurate information has come out about the proposed East Mountain site, with the stadium location being clarified as north of Stone Church Road East, bordered by the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and the Red Hill Valley Parkway. Michael Fenn is also being retained to facilitate the exploration of the two sites and the recommendations of his proposal.
Location of the proposed East Mountain stadium site (Google Maps)
After the euphoria of the initial report’s release, more investigation into the new location has been done. While the East Mountain site does extend travel times for athletes to the stadium from the athlete’s village, it is believed it is within the required parameters and will not cause an issue for Pan-Am organizers. Metrolinx officials have also stated LRT plans are not contingent on the stadium location.
Ti-Cat President Scott Mitchell stated that architect drawings for the new site should be forthcoming soon. Deeper analysis of what Ti-Cats owner Bob Young committed to in his letter to the mayor and council delved more into whether the requirements each side had were met rather than whether the full $74 million is going towards stadium construction. The Ti-Cats consider the freeway access to the new site key to their regional strategy to attract fans.
While the week of events provided much drama and the predicted 11th-hour development, there is still the question of who is to blame for the stalemate and the sudden reversal of opinions. Unless there are substantial technical issues that cannot be resolved, I see all leaning councillors toppling over to the East Mountain site. Once approved, the Tiger-Cats will try to fast-track stadium construction as much as possible so it may open by the 2013 season, two years before the Pan-Am Games.