Ivor Wynne Moves Forward

Published on January 24, 2011 10:05 PM by dbo.

Tense moments occurred during Hamilton council’s debate on the Ivor Wynne Stadium renovation proposal to Toronto2015 as the site report was earlier revealed to have a substantial funding shortfall.

The motion passed 10-6 to present Ivor Wynne Stadium to Toronto2015 as the Pan-Am Stadium site and the city to look at ways to make up the funding shortfall. Council will receive another report Thursday on sources of additional capital and additional details worked out with the Ti-Cats. I haven’t had a chance to read the full report, but Dean Edwards has a good summary and the presentation is worthwhile reviewing.

There was shock when it was revealed that there was no money from Ti-Cat sponsors for stadium construction, even indicating this was contrary to Bob Young’s statements. It was obvious to me that Mr. Young’s comments were that additional sponsorship money allowed the Ti-Cats to revisit staying in a refurbished Ivor Wynne Stadium, not that these sponsors would contribute capitally to the project. I think the audio of the press conference proves that out. Don’t blame Bob Young for the media’s misinterpretation.

In this stage of design there are a lot of ideas that are only getting rough cost estimates out on them. The Tiger-Cats seem willing to compromise, already waiving the idea of relocating their offices to the stadium. More ideas of what is required are coming out, fleshing out the scope of this project.

  • Stadium called fully new, not reconstruction
  • Infrastructure Ontario estimates construction to take two years, with demolition occurring after the 2011 season and the stadium not ready for football until 2014
  • Infrastructure Ontario estimates include a 20% contingency
  • Stadium would seat 23,500 + 1,500 suite and club seats to total 25,000
  • One proposal is for the Ti-Cats to play at Ron Joyce Stadium for 2012 and 2013 with 10,000 temporary seats (I would assume over the capacity of 12,000 after the stadium’s 6,000 temp seats are in place)
  • Ti-Cats are willing to open books to city to prove KPMG review stating team lost $25 to $30 million over last seven years
  • Site could not provide for 45,000 total seats with temp bleachers for Grey Cup. Ti-Cats would try to secure two Grey Cups with 35,000 seats, expect to need $2 million payment to league to make up revenue shortfall
  • Cost overruns include replacing Brian Timmins soccer field and velodrome construction
  • Over $1 million annually in rent proposed from the Ti-Cats from ticket surcharges and suite/club seat revenue to offset operating costs. A portion of naming rights would be paid to the city to offset capital costs. City’s rent estimate $680,000

This was the only move council could take. No commitment to a CFL sized stadium says you are not in the league of CFL cities, which does say something about a city’s standing in Canada, no matter what fallacies southern Ontarians believe. Get this approved and start working on the process of design, firming up costs, cutting unnecessary components, delaying non-critical components, compromising and finding additional funds. To scrap a CFL sized stadium and settle for a 5,000 seat stadium so some higher level government funds can be acquired, even with no need or long term benefit from the structure is the worst kind of waste. At the same time, it would signal the exit of the Ti-Cats from Hamilton in the next 20 years, something that has some economic and large intrinsic value.

So get at it Hamilton. The first thing to cut is the velodrome. The rest of the solution is there for those willing to discuss how to accomplish something instead of giving up.

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Ivor Wynne Moves Forward was published on January 24, 2011 10:05 PM by dbo.

620 words.

This article is categorized under Stadiums and tagged with ivor-wynne-stadium and pan-am-stadium.