Community groups shut out of Tim Hortons Field

News Jan 26, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Hamilton’s community groups are getting shut out of using Tim Hortons’ Field, despite an agreement between the city and the Tiger-Cats that allows for residents to take advantage of the stadium’s amenities.

Ward 3 councillor Matthew Green and Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr both argued that the Tiger-Cats and the city have already booked the stadium for activities starting in March without talking to community groups first.

Green talked about the city providing “equal access about community bookings” at the stadium during the Jan. 23 general issues community meeting when he introduced his motion to curtain future scheduling until community groups can get a tour of the facility.

“They have not had the opportunity yet,” said Green.

After some discussion among politicians concerning potential legal issues, they approved the motion to stop any future bookings of the stadium until after Feb. 11. Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Feb. 11 council meeting.

Under a contentious agreement between the city and Ticats that councillors approved in a close vote last year, the football club has access to the stadium from July 1 to the end of November, including 11 home games, and four event days. In some instances, said Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, the Tiger-Cats can use the stadium every day for practice under the agreement.

Fergusonreminded politicians of the heated incamera debate in February 2014 where councillors eventually voted 9-7 to give up control of scheduling allowing the Tiger-Cats full control. In a 2011 memorandum of understanding, the city remained in charge of scheduling the facility.

“We gave up the scheduling to the Tiger-Cats,” saidFerguson. “It’s a pretty serious issue.”

In addition, this year with the Pan Am Games happening community organizations may not be able to take advantage of the city-owned facility spaces until the end of July. So far, said Green and Farr, April is almost booked, while March has three “major” bookings.

And since the stadium is still not substantially completed, which is now expected to be finished by the end of February, public tours have yet to take place that would introduce the facility to the public.

There is an allowance for community groups to have 11,000 hours of field activities. But community groups can also take advantage of various meeting rooms and other amenities at the stadium too, said Farr.

“Potential user groups want to use the facility,” said Farr. “They don’t know what’s available. This is about being fair and equitable.”

So far the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, Ontario University Athletics and the Hamilton Hurricanes have all expressed an interest to rent the facility.

Gerry Davis, general manager of public works, said city staff has been working with the Tiger-Cats on the bookings. He said staff can provide the scheduling to councillors for review in the future.

Mountain councillor Tom Jackson praised Green and Farr for investigating the issue, but was dismayed that it took two councillors to discover a potential problem.

“It bothers me that someone has fumbled in terms of communication,” said Jackson.

 

Community groups shut out of Tim Hortons Field

News Jan 26, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Hamilton’s community groups are getting shut out of using Tim Hortons’ Field, despite an agreement between the city and the Tiger-Cats that allows for residents to take advantage of the stadium’s amenities.

Ward 3 councillor Matthew Green and Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr both argued that the Tiger-Cats and the city have already booked the stadium for activities starting in March without talking to community groups first.

Green talked about the city providing “equal access about community bookings” at the stadium during the Jan. 23 general issues community meeting when he introduced his motion to curtain future scheduling until community groups can get a tour of the facility.

“They have not had the opportunity yet,” said Green.

After some discussion among politicians concerning potential legal issues, they approved the motion to stop any future bookings of the stadium until after Feb. 11. Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Feb. 11 council meeting.

Under a contentious agreement between the city and Ticats that councillors approved in a close vote last year, the football club has access to the stadium from July 1 to the end of November, including 11 home games, and four event days. In some instances, said Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, the Tiger-Cats can use the stadium every day for practice under the agreement.

Fergusonreminded politicians of the heated incamera debate in February 2014 where councillors eventually voted 9-7 to give up control of scheduling allowing the Tiger-Cats full control. In a 2011 memorandum of understanding, the city remained in charge of scheduling the facility.

“We gave up the scheduling to the Tiger-Cats,” saidFerguson. “It’s a pretty serious issue.”

In addition, this year with the Pan Am Games happening community organizations may not be able to take advantage of the city-owned facility spaces until the end of July. So far, said Green and Farr, April is almost booked, while March has three “major” bookings.

And since the stadium is still not substantially completed, which is now expected to be finished by the end of February, public tours have yet to take place that would introduce the facility to the public.

There is an allowance for community groups to have 11,000 hours of field activities. But community groups can also take advantage of various meeting rooms and other amenities at the stadium too, said Farr.

“Potential user groups want to use the facility,” said Farr. “They don’t know what’s available. This is about being fair and equitable.”

So far the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, Ontario University Athletics and the Hamilton Hurricanes have all expressed an interest to rent the facility.

Gerry Davis, general manager of public works, said city staff has been working with the Tiger-Cats on the bookings. He said staff can provide the scheduling to councillors for review in the future.

Mountain councillor Tom Jackson praised Green and Farr for investigating the issue, but was dismayed that it took two councillors to discover a potential problem.

“It bothers me that someone has fumbled in terms of communication,” said Jackson.

 

Community groups shut out of Tim Hortons Field

News Jan 26, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Hamilton’s community groups are getting shut out of using Tim Hortons’ Field, despite an agreement between the city and the Tiger-Cats that allows for residents to take advantage of the stadium’s amenities.

Ward 3 councillor Matthew Green and Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr both argued that the Tiger-Cats and the city have already booked the stadium for activities starting in March without talking to community groups first.

Green talked about the city providing “equal access about community bookings” at the stadium during the Jan. 23 general issues community meeting when he introduced his motion to curtain future scheduling until community groups can get a tour of the facility.

“They have not had the opportunity yet,” said Green.

After some discussion among politicians concerning potential legal issues, they approved the motion to stop any future bookings of the stadium until after Feb. 11. Politicians will vote on the recommendation at their Feb. 11 council meeting.

Under a contentious agreement between the city and Ticats that councillors approved in a close vote last year, the football club has access to the stadium from July 1 to the end of November, including 11 home games, and four event days. In some instances, said Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, the Tiger-Cats can use the stadium every day for practice under the agreement.

Fergusonreminded politicians of the heated incamera debate in February 2014 where councillors eventually voted 9-7 to give up control of scheduling allowing the Tiger-Cats full control. In a 2011 memorandum of understanding, the city remained in charge of scheduling the facility.

“We gave up the scheduling to the Tiger-Cats,” saidFerguson. “It’s a pretty serious issue.”

In addition, this year with the Pan Am Games happening community organizations may not be able to take advantage of the city-owned facility spaces until the end of July. So far, said Green and Farr, April is almost booked, while March has three “major” bookings.

And since the stadium is still not substantially completed, which is now expected to be finished by the end of February, public tours have yet to take place that would introduce the facility to the public.

There is an allowance for community groups to have 11,000 hours of field activities. But community groups can also take advantage of various meeting rooms and other amenities at the stadium too, said Farr.

“Potential user groups want to use the facility,” said Farr. “They don’t know what’s available. This is about being fair and equitable.”

So far the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, Ontario University Athletics and the Hamilton Hurricanes have all expressed an interest to rent the facility.

Gerry Davis, general manager of public works, said city staff has been working with the Tiger-Cats on the bookings. He said staff can provide the scheduling to councillors for review in the future.

Mountain councillor Tom Jackson praised Green and Farr for investigating the issue, but was dismayed that it took two councillors to discover a potential problem.

“It bothers me that someone has fumbled in terms of communication,” said Jackson.