Whiffing on CFL Week another example of Hamilton’s lack of vision

The news last week that Hamilton won’t make a bid to host CFL Week until litigation regarding Tim Hortons Field is resolved was disappointing to read.

Disappointing not just as a fan of the Ticats, but as a resident of Hamilton.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m plenty mad as a football fan in Hamilton who will have to continue to wait for a major CFL event to come to my city, but I am more angry at the fact that the city will miss out on showcasing itself to the country.

I came back to Hamilton in 2009 after spending many years living, working and going to school in Toronto. The transformation I have seen this city take over the last nine years is something I wouldn’t have believed possible when I left in 2002.

Hamilton is a trendy city to live in. Our city is making lists of places to visit. Hamilton has some of the best, hip, innovative restaurants in the Golden Horseshoe. Hamilton is a city that needs to be shown off to the country and hosting CFL Week would have been a great way to do that.

But, sadly, the people who run this city don’t feel the same.

While I don’t like that Hamilton continues to wait to host a Grey Cup — 22 years and counting, in case you forgot — I get it. You kind of need a stadium to host a football game, and I understand the city wanting to make sure everything is settled with stadium lawsuits before we host the marquee event on the CFL calendar.

But CFL Week? Aside from the Hall of Fame announcement, there wasn’t one other event held at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg during last week’s CFL Week extravaganza. So if you can’t, or don’t want to, use Tim Hortons Field, don’t. You can always hold the Hall of Fame announcement somewhere else.

Hamilton is equipped to host all the CFL Week events — do the combine at Players Paradise in Stoney Creek (which is about 30km from downtown Hamilton) and host the fan fest at the convention centre — so it makes no sense to use stadium litigation as a reason to not bid to host CFL Week.

And why not use hosting CFL Week as a way to do a dry run before bidding on a Grey Cup? You can work out any logistical kinks with a lower stakes event and not face the wrath of anyone if things don’t go exactly as planned.

But instead we get reasons why not instead of the forward thinking you would hope would come from a city council who should be proud to show off what has become of the city.

As a Ticats fan, I’m sick of every other CFL community getting to enjoy being a full member of the league as we “wait for our turn” like the good little soldiers Hamilton fans have been for over two decades. I don’t hold it against any other city that gets to enjoy all the perks of having a CFL team, but that still doesn’t mean I’m not tired of having to travel elsewhere to enjoy everything being a CFL fan has to offer.

But as a Hamilton resident, I’m tired of living in a place where the people who run the city treat progress like a disease that needs to be quarantined.

Maybe one day we will get people in power who understand what an event like CFL Week could do for our city. Instead of giving us lame excuses why not, they’ll jump in feet first and we can show what kind of city Hamilton has become.


One day.

But unfortunately that day doesn’t seem to be today.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith

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Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

55 Comments on Whiffing on CFL Week another example of Hamilton’s lack of vision

  1. just saying // April 2, 2018 at 10:07 am //

    Until i know what the litigation’s involve its hard to comment, but i’m sure there’s a good reasons. can you give us any info regarding this? we can also look at this in a different perspective,which is…… would you be willing to take the hit if something went wrong? any inside info on the situation would be a helpful read.

  2. Wingback // April 2, 2018 at 10:14 am //

    Great city, great team.
    It will be nice to see these legal issues end. Hamilton deserves a Grey Cup.
    Seems odd the stadium issue would stop a move forward on hosting CFL week. They wouldn’t need the stadium.

  3. David Carswell // April 2, 2018 at 10:30 am //

    I still don’t understand why the City (read that as City Council and the Mayor) seem to want to somehow blame the TiCats for issues with the stadium…. and they obviously do, as they have named the Cats in their lawsuits against the contractors….It just seems like this is their “payback” for not getting the stadium built where they wanted it to be built….

  4. Hamilton is a JOKE on many levels !

    • Cal Gary Shampeders // April 2, 2018 at 10:58 am //

      And yet the Hall of Fame in inexplicable located there. May be even more inappropriate than having the baseball Hall in a place that has never, and will never have a pro team of *any* type.

      Hamilton wants no part of any CFL festivities and has a very poorly built stadium they know to be unsafe. And the management brings in players and coaches that make local women feel uncomfortable to be in the community. Far from trendy, Hamilton is indeed a really bad joke.

      • You are a complete moron, but I’m sure you knew that already.

      • White Horse // April 2, 2018 at 12:58 pm //

        I totally disagree Cal Gary…I am born/raised Calgarian and my wife and I went to Hamilton and area last summer. (first trip ever there) We were very impressed with the friendliness and the city over all. Go Hamilton!

      • Ticats2.0 // April 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm //

        If you have been to the city in the last few years then you have failed to see the massive progress and change the city has undergone. Hamilton was one of the hottest real estate markets in North America last year for a reason. It is trendy indeed. For someone that grew up in the city, it has been amazing to see this transformation.

        If you have not been to the city, then there is very little reason to slander the city for no reason at all.

      • brian johnson // April 3, 2018 at 6:47 pm //

        Well said and truthful. Why would Hamilton get a Grey Cup game. Oh because they built a tiny little unsafe building going the cheap route.
        Nice planning

  5. Susan Chadwick // April 2, 2018 at 10:40 am //

    Hall of Fame announcement could be made … wait for it … at the HALL OF FAME!!!! It’s in Hamilton for crying out loud!

    • Dangerdan // April 2, 2018 at 11:50 am //

      Agree with you 100% This all falls at so called caretakers Lap
      Bob young is Businessman who dose not even live in Hamilton most of the year
      it is a laughing stock north American wide
      The decision making with this organization is very very questionable and I will not support it for that reason

      The CFL is okay league for warm to real football anyways

    • brian johnson // April 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm //

      You have the CFL hall of fame.!!!!!!
      Don’t tell me you also have restaurants????

  6. Any idea if the City of Winnipeg was involved in the bid to host this year’s CFL Week?
    I would imagine that it is something that every City’s Economic development department would support as it brings tourist $$$ to the City. In that regard I can understand the City & TiCat organization not getting into any more deals together until any outstanding matters are settled.

    • Tourist dollars??
      Who would go to another city, stay in a hotel to watch some CFL players doing workouts?
      I would think that it’s for CFL fans in the host city, mainly the season ticket holders that would attend the event. This is not a major sporting event.

      • It is an event. If other things are happening in close proximity, it becomes a destination.

  7. Cal Gary Shampeders // April 2, 2018 at 10:54 am //

    “Hamilton is a trendy city to live in.”
    No it’s not.

    • What about that dump of a stadium in Calgary, people say it is even worse than old ivor wynne and that says a lot. The city won’t even think of building a new one for you. Maybe you can visit Hamilton and see how we are a city on the upswing. I will even let you park your horse at our house and show you around.

      • Occasionally I travel to Calgary on business. I used to try and time these trips to coincide with CFL games…not any more. I guess the horse will have the place all to himself if they ever get around to replacing that old barn.

      • Nothing is worse then old Ivor Wynne… and for a 70+yr old stadium, they do upkeep it.. its a better stadium then the plain Jane there now, which leaks in the stands, under into the dressing rooms, offices ect.

  8. Another problem is there aren’t enough Hotels! Also the new Hamilton Stadium as you can see by the photo lacks more seats needed between the goal lines because there is only 22,500 seats between the goal lines. So all the temporary bench seats would be in the endzones at Grey Cup prices, which wouod be a very hard sell. So if they when to 35,000 total seats which is low for a Grey Cup, 35 percent or more of the seats would be in the endzone. I think maybe you should give the real reasons why there hasn’t been a Grey Cup in Hamilton.

    • But that’s no different than a Grey Cup in Ottawa or at BMO. Temp seats in the end zones to bring seating up to 36,000. All three stadiums need around 12,000 temp end zone seats.
      36k for a Grey Cup is not low, Ottawa last season and Toronto the year before.
      Downtown Hamilton has only a few hotels but the region between Niagara and Toronto has thousands of hotel rooms.

      • There are more than enough hotels in Hamilton to accommodate a Grey Cup. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

      • Toronto could hold the Grey Cup at any one of their high schools, and not fill all the seats.

  9. Hamilton’s got a bad rap. It’s not that bad of a place to day trip. Apart from Montreal and Toronto, there are no “trendy” cities in Canada…maybe Hongcouve but that’s a stretch IMO.

  10. In a couple of years downtown streets will be torn up with LRT construction, So there will be another ready to use excuse not to have the Grey Cup or CFL Week for the years that takes to complete.

  11. Another waste of an article. the city and the team has made it clear that they won’t be bidding on events like this till everything is settled in court all parties have to be on the same page when it comes to these events. Once all is settled then they will and we will get the events .

    • Yeah Josh doesn’t seem to get it. Just because the lawsuits are surrounding the stadium doesn’t mean that’s the only thing thats affected. The relationship between the team and City is not good right now. They’re not about to sign any partnership agreements which would be necessary for CFL week, whether its at THF or not. People who are suing each other tend to not strike business deals mid lawsuit…

  12. Dangerdan // April 2, 2018 at 11:43 am //

    The city was Rail roaded to putting the stadium where is in the 1st place.
    AS Long Bob and His Hatchet Man Mitchell are running the Ticats
    They’ll be bad They are man reason I stop going to games
    I won’t support Bob Young Pocket book

    The City has been Railroaded by Ticats since we got Pan Am games
    By Bob And Scott When Bob Sell I come back till then I can’t support this team with my Money .

    • Lennywasout // April 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm //

      You are I’ll informed. Nothing was railroaded. The city was never going to be able to build downtown with out major money for cleanup and years of delays. Stop whining about water under the bridge. And if not for Bob Young and his DEEP pockets, we would not have the Ticats or a stadium.
      Get on with life. Don’t support this team! Stop making dumb comments.

    • Could somebody please translate this post into English?

      • Awaiting Moderation // April 3, 2018 at 9:25 am //

        It IS written in English.
        What don’t you understand?

        There are posts on this site that aren’t written in English.
        This isn’t one of them.

  13. Jeff, Ottawa has 25,000 seats between the goal lines!

  14. Chris, talk sports shows out west were saying Hamilton has no Hotels, but you’re right there is a lot more Hotels close to Hamilton. Regina shouldn’t talk, they lack Hotels within the city as well and they host Grey Cups, but have a lot more permanent seat capacity between the goal lines. It’s too bad in Hamilton that they didn’t at least or more make it the same permanent capacity between the goals lines as Ottawa. I hope Halifax doesn’t make the same mistake, if it even happens, because it’s been pretty silent of late. Listen, I would like to see Hamilton get the Grey Cup, but they should of thought about this when they built Tim Horton’s field.

    • Lennywasout // April 2, 2018 at 1:19 pm //

      The design allows for a Grey Cup capacity crowd.
      It’s our council that is causing the delay. Maybe if they committed to hosting a Grey Cup, it would force a resolution between the city and the Cats.

  15. It’s to bad that the stadium is still in such a bad neighbourhood with no parking and no restaurants or hotels nearby.

  16. Freelasagnahunter // April 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm //

    The team gave you the reason why they cant host CFL WEEK and the GC.
    You then say its lame but dont explain to readers how it is lame or why the team can really still do this in the middle of litigation or explain how this is a “lack of vision” apart from being disappointed.
    I know its every gawd given right right of every TC fan to complain about something but this is just off the cuff griping.

  17. Joy oh joy. Thankfully Hamilton is not going after CFL week. As a high taxed family in Waterdown the last thing we need is putting tax dollars into more self gratification like a CFL week. If you can’t sell the little stadium out for every home game don’t come to me for money about football anything.

    • Ticats2.0 // April 2, 2018 at 8:20 pm //

      The seating capacity in Tim Horton’s field is 24000. The stadium sold out near every game averaging the capacity over the season.

      As for CFL week, it brings much needed exposure to the new redefined city of Hamilton which in turn, yes will increase taxes but in turn will increase the value of your property.

  18. Forward thinking city council…good one…haha

  19. The stadium is unsave on many levels most notably the ingress and egress to the stadium.On aesthetcs it is embarrassingly cheaply built.It is an iffy neighbourhood.There is nothing in the area that a fan would want to go to.And the places that do exist usually close early on game days(to avoid business?).

  20. "HAWKS" // April 2, 2018 at 8:40 pm //

    Bravo Josh!

    This has to be one of the best articals I’ve read on 3down.

  21. Ethel Cardew // April 2, 2018 at 10:55 pm //

    Hamilton city council and those who work for them areca bunch of clownshoes Who could never shoot and score at an open goal from a foot away. They know how to screw things ups like no one else.

  22. Did you know that Hamilton Ontario is at the top of the list for density of pollution these are national statistics,for Canada!

    Priorities….someone is missing a humanity “chip”. Make it a voting issue.

    Dr. Flavia Bustreo, the WHO assistant-director general in charge of family, women and children’s health, said in a release from the organization, “When dirty air blankets our cities the most vulnerable urban populations—the youngest, oldest and poorest—are the most impacted.”

  23. Sorry Josh, I often agree with what you post but this is drivel. IF you realize there’s bigger picture, you’d figure out quite quickly that appearances count when it comes to court cases so the city bidding on any CFL event until that is resolved would only make their position weaker (and despite what some of you responders have posted here, it’s not the city vs. the Ticats… they’re in cahoots).

    Things may open up quickly if the litigation is resolved, or could take another year or two. Whining about it isn’t a good reaction.

    As for many of the posters here, you have zero clue about THF or Hamilton. But you already know that.

  24. Tickets 2.0…The permanent seat capacity between the goal lines is only 22,500 at Tim Hortons field. The 24,000 is with the made up patios in the endzones.

    • I believe the club seating is also not part of the 22.5k. I’d be surprised if there is more than a few hundred seats on the two patios the way they’re configured, including the field-level sideline tables. Lots of ticket holders from the stands gather around the bar in the south patio though.

  25. it would be nice if they had a concourse linking one side to the other instead of walking up and down stairs to get from one side to the other pa announcer needs new material.

    • It would be nice to see those bubble heads who show up on the video screen during game stoppages who pretend they know something about football replaced by legitimate TC employees who actually know something about football.

  26. Oh…and you SUCK Collaros!

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