What the hell? Seems like the city is really chatting about replacing an innovation center with a football stadium. Just to put this in perspective we are planning to remove 20 acres of research facilities and job incubators and replace it with a block of concrete that will be used 10 time a year. The symbolism of crippling a University research center for a money losing stadium is profound.
The stadium will never be profitable for the people of Hamilton. It was supposed to be built for the Athletics portion of the Pan American Games. We have noodled away the crown jewel of the Pan American games. Now we scramble to find a way to give a failing entertainment company a $160 million dollar bail out. The only way this can help the people of the hammer is if the stadium doubles as a commuter GO station that can be used every day.
So let’s look at the Aberdeen and Longwood choice. The map is made from best guesses as all the conversation is going on behind closed doors and not even council will know about it until the day they vote. A and L site could be really close to GO transit and reasonably close to proposed LRT. I actually think a GO station near the old VIA rail station or even covering Aberdeen would be a useful legacy for the city. Commuters could drive in from Ancaster, Dundas, West Hamilton to connect themselves to the GO. This still is not as good as the Kay Drage Park location as there commuters could drive up to the GO, or walk from the proposed Rapid transit. The A and L site is going to cost heaps of money to purchase. This land is all ready to go for other developments.
Here is how the three sites compare on a map. Best location for rapid transit Kay Drage, A and L, then West Harbour. Best location for highway visuals A and L, Kay Drage, then West Harbour. Least traffic congestion Kay Drage (would require ramps from the 403), A and L, then West Harbour. Least damaging place to put 5000 parking spaces Kay Drage (other sites would be tragic). Best site for dinosaurs stuck on a plan from a previously FAILED Commonwealth Games bid West Harbour. Chat from 2003.
The best choice without a doubt is to build GO and LRT and let another city try and bail out the entertainment franchise.