In a new twist to the Pan Am stadium saga, Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring is appealing to Hamilton to take the lead in bringing the stadium to his community because “it is becoming clear to me that this is a regional opportunity rather than a Burlington opportunity.”
The mayor says the two cities share a local economy, so locating the stadium in Aldershot would benefit both.
“It is not uncommon for cities to operate facilities outside of the their boundaries,” Goldring said in a statement released late Monday afternoon. “Burlington is simply not large enough and therefore does not have financial capacity to lead on this project.”
Hamilton council is to meet tomorrow to decide on a stadium site to meet a Feb. 1 deadline set by Pan Am organizers Hostco.
Goldring notes the Aldershot option “is very late coming to the table” and faces challenges from the Hostco deadline and does not have an agreement for funding from Ottawa and Queen’s Park, as Hamilton has.
Some Hamilton councillors were incredulous at Goldring’s appeal. “We bail them out so they can take the Ticats?” asked Ward 9 Councillor Brad Clark. “Who would agree to that?”
He couldn’t imagine what possible payback would compensate Hamilton for making a $150-million Pan Am stadium possible in Burlington.