Posted August 09, 2010
Dear members of council,
Bob Young's recent withdrawal from stadium negotiations puts you, our elected representatives, in firm control of the decision-making process once again.
This is where you stood several months ago before you extended a hand - and an astonishingly generous proposition - to the Tiger-Cats to join with Hamilton, as a minority partner, in building a once-in-a-generation civic project.
You and your staff had developed a visionary plan for a waterfront stadium, one that was supported by solid and careful analysis and tens of millions in public funds.
You received broad support from the citizens of Hamilton and many leaders of the private sector for this plan, and you voted overwhelmingly in its favour.
Our campaign continues to support you to push forward with that plan, because it is clear to thousands of Hamiltonians that it is Our City, Our Future, and Our Money to invest.
What unites us is a shared belief in the future of our city, the potential of our waterfront, and our ability as a community to come together and become the city we aspire to be. This vision for our city is contained in a motion that will be introduced at your meeting.
Supporting this vision are many hard facts, several of which are worth repeating:
1. West Harbour was your first choice.
After thorough analysis and literally years of planning going back to previous games bids, the West Harbour was the overwhelming choice of City Council.
2. West Harbour is the financially responsible choice.
The East Mountain site will cost at least tens of millions of dollars more and cost the city millions in foregone tax revenue. An East Mountain location would divert money from important economic development initiatives, including from the Glanbrook Industrial Park.
3. West Harbour would accelerate several important city initiatives.
These initiatives include waterfront redevelopment, downtown renewal, GO transit, and Rapid Transit.
4. West Harbour is the only site authorized for investment from the Future Fund.
The Future Fund Board has determined that an East Mountain stadium in not an appropriate use of this scarce resource.
5. The West Harbour, as your expert reports affirm, is a sensible choice for a stadium location.
It is within walking distance of 4,700 parking spots; it is accessible by many other means including a planned GO station that the Tiger-Cats own research says would be used by 39% of season ticket and 53% of single game ticket purchasers; and it has every likelihood of being a gorgeous stadium that will attract tenants, whether or not they are CFL teams.
We note that the recently conducted Angus Reid survey demonstrates that a clear majority of Hamiltonians want this stadium built, even if the Tiger-Cats are unwilling to participate.
We are with that majority. Like the majority of Hamiltonians, we support you. We support you because we elected you, not the Tiger-Cats or the CFL, to make decisions about our future.
We support you because you developed a vision for an amazing waterfront stadium.
Tomorrow, let's make that vision a reality. Vote to reaffirm the West Harbour as the site of the Pan Am Games stadium to be financed by money through the Future Fund.
The Our City, Our Future Campaign