City of Hamilton and Ticats reach settlement on stadium lawsuit: sources

The city of Hamilton has essentially settled a lawsuit with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Infrastructure Ontario and Pan Am organizers over competing complaints surrounding construction of its $145-million stadium.

Multiple city sources anonymously have confirmed this week the broad strokes of the long-sought settlement are in place.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said Wednesday he expected there will “be something to announce soon” on the lawsuit, but wasn’t yet willing to say it was a done deal.

He did predict, however, that in an upcoming announcement “we will be able to report that the city of Hamilton will be kept whole” in negotiations over who pays what for a litany of stadium-related complaints.

Council discussed the lawsuit behind closed doors last week and emerged to vote on secret directions to staff. Councillors Terry Whitehead and Donna Skelly voted against the closed-door decision, but did not specify why.

The stadium was handed to the city over late and unfinished in 2015, eventually spurring tens of millions in competing lawsuit claims from the football club, the city and province.

The city has used holdback cash to pay for more than $2.5 million in leak damage, unsafe railings and missing beer lines.

The Tiger-Cats, meanwhile, have claimed millions in damages due to stadium delays, seating and sound system problems.

The legal stalemate is affecting the city in other ways, even if local taxpayers remain off the hook for the ongoing parade of repairs.

The litigation has been blamed for effectively preventing the city and Ticats from teaming up on a Grey Cup bid. Similarly, council cited the lawsuit as a reason to pass on the chance to partner with team owner Bob Young and a local consortium interested in installing an all-season dome over the stadium.

The team and city have also sparred publicly over whether the Tiger-Cats have a valid lease to allow a planned new Canadian soccer franchise to play in the stadium.