Hamilton picks harbour site for Pan Am stadium, but it might cost them a CFL franchise

Hamilton picks harbour site for Pan Am stadium, but it might cost them a CFL franchise

Owners of the CFL's Tiger-Cats pounced on a city decision to place a Pan Am stadium downtown

In order to accommodate some of the track and field events for the Pan Am Games in 2015, the feds and Queen’s Park have offered funding for a new stadium in Hamilton. It’s extra value for the city, as well, since the new venue would become the home of the Tiger-Cats after the Pan Am event is over. The drama in this case is over where, precisely, to build the stadium: near Hamilton’s historic downtown in an attempt to rejuvenate the city core, or out in the suburbs, where easy highway access would be a boon to commuters? Yesterday, Hamilton city council made its choice, and it looks like the waterfront site won out in a big way.

According to the Hamilton Spectator:

Yesterday, council voted 12-3 in favour of putting a stadium at the downtown brownfield, a decision that puts an end to weeks of speculation about whether the city would choose west harbour or east Mountain.

But yesterday’s vote raises serious concerns about the future of the Pan Am Games and the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.

The city was left with no major tenant when Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young backed out of stadium negotiations altogether on Monday. And now that council has chosen a site hotly opposed by the Cats, there are questions about how the city can convince the Pan Am Host Corporation they have a solid business case for the stadium.

Hamilton council seems to be betting that Young and the Ticats are bluffing about leaving the city, and they have a few reasons to be confident. Damien Cox gave the rundown in the Star about just how weak Young’s position is. In a nutshell, Cox asks where the hell the Ticats would go if they packed up. And, of course, if the Ticats do leave, Hamiltonians can just hit the highway and come to a few Argos games instead. One football team is just as good as another, right? Oh, wait.

West harbour wins the day [Hamilton Spectator]
Hamilton council goes against Ticats owner [Toronto Sun]
• Hamilton’s stadium fumbles [Globe and Mail]
• Hamilton picks harbour site for stadium [Toronto Star]
• Damien Cox: Pointless Threats [Toronto Star]
• Hamilton council backs West Harbour stadium [CBC News]