Posted July 13, 2010
The Downtown BIA writes to the mayor and council:
Dear Mayor Eisenberger and Members of Council:
The business community in Downtown Hamilton is deeply disappointed with council’s decision to add a Greenfield east mountain location as a possible alternative to the West Harbour site for the Pan Am Games stadium.
Representatives of the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area have on several occasions come before council to offer a snapshot of lessons learned by other communities when deciding on a location for a stadium. We have been consistent in our efforts to demonstrate to City Council the benefits of building a stadium in close proximity to Downtown as other communities have learned. There are strong existing examples of Downtown Stadiums which have re-defined their corresponding Communities. These include Memphis, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, and Pittsburgh in the U.S. Canadian communities include Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and there are also discussions to put a new stadium in downtown Winnipeg.
After council’s decision to look at an alternative site on the East Mountain for the Pan Am Stadium the BIA has been flooded with communication regarding the downtown business community’s concerns and from residents interested in the future of Hamilton, the waterfront and downtown.
We urge council members to show leadership with respect to your original vision for the stadium to act as a catalyst to help build opportunities for Downtown redevelopment, for the project to bridge the gap between the waterfront and downtown and the opportunities this location presents to clean up a brownfield that would otherwise continue to sit empty for potentially a very long time if this project does not go ahead in the West Harbour location.
We believe that the issues surrounding the West Harbour site are not insurmountable and could be solved with some creative thinking from those who believe that city building and sustainable principles are paramount to Hamilton’s reputation as a progressive city.
Tim Bullock, Chairman