The debate has been going on for weeks to come to a consensus or a decision on what site to locate the new Pan Am Stadium. The stadium was to be first and foremost a track and field venue for the 2015 Pan Am Games and was to be then converted to suit the permanent tenant in the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL.
The debate has become somewhat of a mute point now that the organizing committee for the games has decided to pull the track and field events from Hamilton in favour of finding another venue in Toronto.
This came shortly after the concerns were raised by Athletics Canada that the track could be torn up after the games in favour of getting fans closer to the football game. Whether that would have been the case does not matter as there will be no track and field stadium built in the city.
As one sport has been taken out of Hamilton, the organizers have stated that soccer will be played in Hamilton instead.
In addition to this announcement the Hamilton Tiger Cats held a press conference Thursday to announce that they are proposing the construction of the bicycle veledrome, no chance from current plans, and a 3,500 seat amphitheatre on the West Harbour instead of the stadium. I don’t think an amphitheatre would have anywhere near the same impact on the neighbourhood as the stadium would have had.
The Cats still hold firm on the East Mountain location and have publically stated that the team will never play at a stadium in the west harbour.
I’m not sure that debate is over on the location but you have to wonder what the wisest course of action is now. Is there any sense in building a stadium now that, while could serve to host the soccer matches during the games, will be an empty field afterwards? Hardly makes sense now.
Don’t get me wrong I would love to see the stadium in the west harbour and feel that putting the stadium out on the east mountain is a mistake. If anything for the commuters that use public transit to get to and from the game. If that location is chosen there will have to be major service improvements in that area for public transit as the area has severely limited transit service. Even with the continuation of gameday shuttles it will be a long commute for fans who don’t drive to the game.
The whole thing has turned into a mess. Almost as big a mess as barrels of who-knows-what.