Toronto wins 2010 Pan-Am bid. USL may come to Hamilton now.

Discussion in 'USL Expansion' started by carnifex2005, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. carnifex2005

    carnifex2005 Member+

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    Toronto won the 2015 Pan-Am games bid today. The bid includes a new 10,000 seat SSS in Hamilton. Bob Young, the owner of the Hamilton Ti-Cats CFL team (who will now play out of the new 30,000 seat track stadium after the games), mentioned that if the games bid won he will want to operate a USL-1 team out of the new stadium. Hopefully if this USL/TOA stuff gets worked out it will mean a nice Hamilton and Ottawa Fury rivalry in the future and more teams in the Nutralife Canadian Championships.

    Here's the link to the stadium plans and rendering. Just a warning that the site is pretty slow.


  2. jakcfl

    jakcfl New Member

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    I posted this to another forum too but I guess it's still relevenat here. With Bob Young as a minority owner in Carolina, who are part of the breakaway TOA group, would this effect which league Hamilton would go to? I haven't seen anything with Young's feelings about the break so if anyone else has I'd love to know.
  3. Kingston

    Kingston Member

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    The problem is that, with anything I've seen, the new stadium he intends to play the soccer team out of is the new 30 000 seat football stadium. (The 10 000 soccer stadium in the bid for Hamilton is actually just a minor renovation to the turf-covered Ron Joyce stadium at McMaster University.) The USL1 team appears to be wanted mainly as calendar filler. It might still be the best venue in the city for it but I can't see a USL1 team drawing well enough to make a 30 000 seat stadium feel like home.

    (There is also a proposed new soccer stadium but that's in Burlington.)
  4. Chef Medeski

    Chef Medeski New Member

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    Plus his CFL background means he loves small quirky leagues. TOA for sure!!

    No, I'm sure Saputo will be able to get to him. Canadian sports owners number in the like single digits so they all have a weekly banquet dinner. I'd be surprised to hear him go TOA.

    Edit: Yeah I saw the bit about how he owns the other stadium. I was confused but now it makes sense. No way he can go USL with 30k, he'll die quick and sudden death. But I also think that pushes him to TOA if they can prove they can increase visibility and marketing allowing 30k to be reached. I don't see any other way he could potentially survive. Definitely filler, definitely bad news for soccer to treat it like that.


  5. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    1) Neither the USL nor the TOA leagues are going to bring in 30,000 fans a game anytime soon. Most of the teams in the Premier League don't draw 30,000 fans a game.

    2) The New England Revolution don't draw anywhere near 30,000 fans a game, but play in a 70,000 seat stadium. There's no reason a team couldn't draw 10,000 and play in a 30,000 seat stadium and do just fine, especially if the team owner owns the stadium as well.
  6. Mr. Caca

    Mr. Caca New Member

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    Actually the New England Revolution is far from getting good crowds in their horrible, for soccer, stadium. They didn't even get 8000 people for their playoff game. The atmosphere is just not that great when they are too many empty seats.

    You are still right that except exceptional MLS teams no soccer team in the US or Canada can draw over 20 000 regularly.
  7. Kingston

    Kingston Member

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    Two points. First, while it's always hard to predict, I'd count on crowd sizes of more like 3000 than 10 000. Done right there is a market for soccer in Hamilton but any owners expecting 10 000 per game will soon join the people responsible for the Edmonton Aviators fiasco as former owners.

    Second, there's the more philosophical question about what "doing fine" means and how that plays into stadium size. If the owner has a football team that pays off the stadium and so views even $1 of soccer revenue as gravy (e.g. the New England Revolution experience) then, sure, a Hamilton USL1 team could do fine in a 30 000 seat football stadium even with a crowd size of 3000.

    If, however, you want to build a soccer team that can stand on its own two feet then the game day experience for soccer fans is important. If you have ever attended a professional sports even in a stadium with five or ten times as many seats as people you will realize just how horrible a game day experience it makes for. It is literally the difference between a casual fan who tries his first game having fun and coming back or not. And it would be converting those casual fans that would let the team capture the crowds it needs to survive long term.
  8. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

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    Am I the only one that actually sees 2 stadiums in Hamilton?


    the 30,000 Pan-Am stadium that would be for the CFL

    and a 10,000 seat Sherwood Park, which would be great for Div II soccer
  9. Keystone FC

    Keystone FC New Member

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    I saw it as well, plus by the 10,000 seater is two smaller fields for 5v5. I think the 10,000 would be the stadium the Hamilton club would use BUT could use the 30,000 seater for matches against Montreal, Vancover, and TFC for the Canadian Championship.
    Not to mention the 10,000 looks like it could be expanded easily to 15,000 or even 20,000.
  10. KLR650

    KLR650 Member

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    Great post.

    Interesting tidbit of information, according to here Australia's A-League (which IMO is probably the best a Canadian league/club could reasonably aspire to) has an average attendance just under 13,000. The list also includes stadium capacities and if you crunch the numbers, you'll find that the average number of empty seats is 21,000+.

    The average A-League match is played in a stadium where nearly 2/3 of the seats are empty.
  11. Chef Medeski

    Chef Medeski New Member

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    Yeah but if TOA is more likely to draw more theorethically (with nothing proving that just a possibility from talks of more marketing), lets say 10k instead of probably 3-4k (honestly who gets above that in USL?). Well thats a big difference in a 30k stadium. I'm not expecting hamilton to average 30k, I'm just saying a couple extra k will be much more important when you're playing at a 30k stadium than at a 10k.

    And everyone thinks NER home game atmosphere sucks cause of it. 10k in 30k is fine, there is no way they'd get that in USL though, only city to have that is Montreal. One would hope it would be a possibility in the TOA league otherwise I don't know what theyre going all out for.
  12. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

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    Your thinking the TOA will bring in more people is pretty much pie in the sky thinking. Will the TOA league- maybe, but it's going to be market driven and quality on the pitch driven.

    Look at all the other stadiums in the new TOA - Montreal is the biggest at 13,000, and Atlanta (currently 3,000) is the smallest. My guess is average attendence league wide, based on USL market will be between 5,000 and 7,000. Having a 10,000 seat stadium would be perfect.

    Please keep in mind there is also a supply/deman ratio that is also plays into effect here. It's why Seattle has kept capacity at 32,000 all season, and why Toronto hasn't added another 10,000 seats.

    Regularly sell out 10,000 first, then look into a stadium with 30,000
  13. Chef Medeski

    Chef Medeski New Member

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    I said exactly that, there's nothing supporting the notion TOA will draw more just hypothethically saying.

    Read the thread, I didn't say to use the 30k stadium, someone poitned out that it was a misconception that the team would play at the 10k, and that it was actually going to be filler for the Ti-cats who play at the 30k stadium. I agree they should play at the 10k, not the 30k but IF they were to play at the 30k, better marketing would become more crucial since 5k would look very bad...
  14. Kingston

    Kingston Member

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    The Sherwood Park stadium belongs to a local university and is turf. Not insurmountable obstacles.

    Local newspaper (Hamilton Spectator) reports from this summer all talk about the CFL owner running a USL1 team in the 30 000 seat venue. While the 10 000 seat venue might work for soccer in Hamilton it isn't what the local ownership group is looking at.

    (For that matter, Brian Timmis stadium is better located, has a grass surface, and seats 5000. It would be great for a USL1 team but that isn't what the potential owner wants.)
  15. BHTC Mike

    BHTC Mike Member

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    No, Sherwood Park is at the Oakville end of Burlington, will probably be owned by the City of Burlington and operated by the Burlington Youth Soccer Club or some other full time tenant, and would not work for any club branded as "Hamilton": trust me, I live there! You're thinking of the existing stadium at McMaster Unversity - Ron Joyce IIRC - in Hamilton's west end which will also be upgraded for the games and has been suggested as a home for a USL/TOA level team in the past.

    Burlington would do well to support a CSL team. Maybe, MAYBE, as a combined Burlington/Oakville "Burloak" club they could play at some higher level but I don't really see TOA being interested in a market like that and unfortunately there's not really anything in between that and the PDL that's viable.

    Again, a "Hamilton" team playing out of Burlington is just a non-starter though.

    The Tim is great! Heck, it's where my board name originates from and has a lot of great local soccer memories associated with it. That said, calling it antiquated is borderline flattering. The stands feel like they're about to fall down, the neighbourhood is dodgy, and there's absolutely no parking. I love it and I think the character of the area is great for people to connect with a local club but if the Ti-Cats, Hamilton's true love, are moving out of there then there's really little reason to place a different club down there.

    Still, the idea of someone using the site to build a tight little 6000-8000 seater (with a terraced Kop end!) is one of those little dreams that'll always linger in my heart. We just need some more soccer mad billionaires around here to start dreaming big and asking me what my wishlist is! (Coast to coast) CSL 2.0 here we come!
  16. Kingston

    Kingston Member

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    You're right - my bad, I was thinking of Ron Joyce. Regardless, my main point was that Bob Young is interested in the new CFL stadium for soccer regardless of how many potentially more suitable venues are available.

    You are right on Brian Timmis, though. With some renovations it would be a great place to watch soccer and would certainly be "Hamilton" enough for the local fans.
  17. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    Forgive me, but who exactly is the ownership group behind a Hamilton team? Is it the old Toronto Lynx owners?
  18. carnifex2005

    carnifex2005 Member+

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    Bob Young, owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and part-owner of USL Carolina RailHawk.
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  19. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    So, is Young/Hamilton now looking at the TOA league, considering his relationship to Carolina and proximity to Montreal?
  20. carnifex2005

    carnifex2005 Member+

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    I don't know. I doubt that even he knows as yet. Bob Young wouldn't be getting a team until the stadium is done and that won't be until 2014.
  21. jakcfl

    jakcfl New Member

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    in a semi-related development the Landsdowne Live project in Ottawa has cleared another politcal hurdle so a new stadium to replace Frank Clair, used for the previous youth world cup, is closer to reality. this would be the home of the proposed USL-1 team for Ottawa. the same seating capacity issues would be in play here as in Hamilton as the stadium will be for Canadian Football League sizing first, soccer second, so it too would have a larger capacity then would probably to be utilized at the D-2 level. Now if they were to get Melnyk to sign on for a later MLS bid for this location the sizing would probably be right. of course he wanted it by the arena since he could tie a new mls stadium there to development he would profit from. the in town location of landsdowne will benefit a different development group.
  22. NF-FC

    NF-FC Member

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    Jeff Hunt said on "Primetime with Bob McCown" that the new stadium in Ottawa will be 23-24,000, with 40-50 luxury boxes, and unfortunately Field Turf
  23. TFCSucks

    TFCSucks Red Card

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    I can't see any new stadiums being built there with Lansdowne being refurbished and reconfigured...USL 1 would be a good fit and if in the future MLS looks to expansion after Montreal..maybe, if USL does well there. They would be a natural rival for TFC and Montreal and 4 teams here would be perfect as I always felt MLS should be a 24 team , 2 division league.
  24. Eusebio66

    Eusebio66 New Member

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    i am currently a tfc season ticket holder from Hamilton and would rip them up if Hamilton were to acquire a USL team,.... one thing that has been over looked in regards to the future pan am stadium is the Athletic track surrounding the soccer field.This is the biggest obstacle i see in having a great atmosphere on game day.... it will kill it from day one! i hope Bob factors that in ....... bring back the Hamilton Steelers! haha i love it!
  25. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    When are you Canadians going to get your stuff together and get a Canadian wide league?

    Make it a Div3 in par with USL below which ever league survives (TOA vs USL1).

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