News of Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Stadiums progress made headlines again this week. The ongoing development of the stadium has become a contentious issue between the City of Hamilton and Infrastructure Ontario. The stadium, which was supposed to open in June of 2014, now runs the risk of not being finished in time for the Pan Am Games in July. The federal, provincial and municipal governments have invested $145.7 million in total to build this infrastructure but the development has continually run into issues over the past three years. Below is an overview of the development.
Tim Hortons Stadium Stats
$145.7 million facility to be completed in June 2015
Built on the site of the demolished Ivor Wynne Stadium – 4.45 hectre parcel
Government investment: Federal $69.3 million, Provincial $22.3 million, and the City of Hamilton $54.1 million
Permanent seating for 24,000 with expansion capabilities up to 40,000
The stadium will temporarily be called the CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium until the games are complete
Built and designed by Ontario Sport Solutions
Long Term Viability
The City of Hamilton originally planned to relocate the stadium to the West Harbour waterfront by developing and remediating a Hamilton brownfield site. This option could have been an important step in the efforts to revitalize Hamilton’s waterfront. However, Hamilton Tiger-cats owner, Brian Young, threatened to remove the team from Hamilton if the stadium was constructed in the location. This forced the city to abandon the concept of a brownfield redevelopment in favour of building in Ivor Wynne’s Stradium’s original Stipley neighbourhood location.
In order to justify investing in a new stadium, the City required that an anchor lease be in place. This February, a 20 year lease agreement was reached between the Hamilton Tiger-cats and the City of Hamilton, securing the stadium as the Tiger-cats home field. This lease ensures that jobs will be developed and it will relieve some risk for taxpayers. Through the lease the Tiger-cats will pay the City $1.4 million per year.
Impact on Hamilton’s Economy
For a period throughout this summer Hamilton will experience an economic boost from the increased tourism to the City as a part of the Pan Am Games. However, the Tim Hortons Stadium is located in a dense residential area, due to the location there are not opportunities for commercial sector investment within the immediate area. It will be interesting to see if the presence of a state-of-the-art stadium will reshape the neighbourhood and if the stadium will be able to attract large scale events to boost the economy.