Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Anyways, in the article the Ticats finally reveal who their business partners are that don't like the West Harbour site. I figured it wouldn't be somebody like DeLuca Roofing. It turns out it is Primus, the long distance provider, who are thinking of buying the naming rights and according to Andy Day the CEO, the amount Primus would pay depends on how many can see it. Thus for them it would appear a highway site would be ideal, the West Harbour site not so much.
This section of the article was also interesting:
Schott, CEO of the property developer Osmington Inc., said he advised the Tiger-Cats that the west harbour site was limited because it wouldn't attract a substantial fee for naming rights.
Osmington co-owns Eastgate Square and Centre Mall with the Canadian Pension Plan investment board and Schott, who grew up in the city's east end, said the company has helped develop other sports facilities.
The Toronto-based company is part of a private-equity group which built the $133-million MTS Centre, a hockey arena in Winnipeg.
Schott said he has looked at the six sites the city once offered as a short list as well as the Lafarge slag operation on Windermere Road.
He noted it offered high visibility due to being close to the Queen Elizabeth Way.
City Councillor Bernie Morelli considers it the primary Plan B site if the west harbour plan doesn't work out.So lets break this down. The city is contributing a huge amount for the stadium through the Future Fund contribution, plus a bunch of money from senior levels of government. The Cats are trying to come up with approximatley $50 million of private sector money with the naming rights being from $10 to $15 million over fifteen or twenty years. So this is basically a case of the tail wagging the dog. The city wants the stadium in a place beneficial to the city and Primus wants it by a highway that would have virtually no benefits for the city (and to my mind, not much for the Cats either).
How about the Lafarge slag site then? First, if Ivor Wynne suffers from being too near heavy industry, well you can't get more heavy industry than the Windemere basin with perhaps the exception of building it on the Randle Reef. So much for the image of Hamilton conveyed to the rest of the country on TSN. Second, if the West Harbour site is problematic due to remediation, how much is it going to cost to fix up a slag site? That's going to be a festival of heavy metal contamination. Third, what benefit does the site give to the city in terms of driving development? You're not going to build some condo towers down there that's for sure. Plus as I'm fond of mentioning, CFL teams already stay at Burlington hotels enough as it is. Putting the stadium at Windemere or Confederation Park makes it a forgone conclusion. Why spend the future fund money on a stadium that is located so that another city gets some of the spillover benefits? It isn't like Burlington is contributing any cash.
Maybe a solution here is for Primus to get naming rights for the stadium, plus the city allows them to erect a giant ass Primus sign on the Lafarge site for ten years, so people see it on the highway. Win win for everybody.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Spec has been reporting on a group of local business men proposing other sites for the main stadium. Frankly the locations are a little insane. Lafarge Canada? Really? Sure a bunch of people will drive by it, but everyone who actually goes to a game will know that yes, Hamilton has a lot of heavy industry. I haven't been by that area in a while, but from what I can remember, there's not a lot of places nearby if you want food or drink, preceding or after the game. Maybe for the Cats, that's a feature not a bug. Plus what will be the remediation on a slag site?
The old Studebaker plant? Better than Lafarge, but pretty hard by Bunge. I like the smell of crushed soybeans, but I'm not sure everyone attending will. Maybe the smell will give the Cats some sort of strange chemical home advantage.
Confederation still gets bandied around. I've mentioned the fact that a lot of CFL teams end up staying in hotels in Burlington. Obviously, with the Confederation Park scenario, that will always happen. Plus no spinoff benefits, because nothing else will be built around it. Certainly no spinoff benefits for Ward 2.
The private business people wouldn't be interested if there wasn't public money, included a huge amount from the City's future fund. At this point, if it isn't going to be West Harbour, the city should just forget the Pan Am funding and use some of the future fund to renovate Ivor Wynne and wait to try again for the Commonwealth games in the 2030 centenial year. A long way off, but that's Hamilton for you.