The Ivor Wynne Stadium, an 84-year-old venue in North Ontario, will be demolished in December, giving way in 2014 to a new $145.7million facility that will be the new home of the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The new stadium will host all 32 men's and women's soccer games at the Pan American Games in 2015.

Plans are to build upon the current site of the Ivor Wynne Stadium and will be named Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium for the Games. It will feature two tiers of seats on both sides of the field with an initial seating capacity of 22,500. But that could expand to 40,000 seats for major events like the CFL Championship game, the Grey Cup. It will meet all the technical requirements of both the CFL and FIFA, soccer's governing body.

The new field will be moved to face from east to west in the aim of minimising the effect of the sun on athletes and reduce wind inside the facility.

The venue will have a seating capacity of roughly 24,000 for Ticats home games and will also feature 700 club seats located between the 25-yard lines, 400 group sales suites seats, 30 VIP suites, six elevators, larger seats, updated press and broadcasting facilities and concession stands on all levels. There will also be a public plaza in the south end.

Ticats owner Bob Young said the new stadium will also generate more revenue that could go back into helping further modify the facility.

"With more revenue you can do more things. The city maintains Ivor Wynne Stadium reasonably well but it's all the money they have available to them.

"With the money we can make in the new stadium it's going to be interesting to see where, between ourselves and the city, we eventually take this stadium. We're thrilled and very grateful at the way it has turned out."

With the new stadium under construction next season, the Ticats will have to find a new venue or venues for next year's home games. Young expects to announce the club's 2013 plans at the end of this season.

The federal government is footing the majority of the $145.7-million bill, providing $69.3 million. The city of Hamilton will pay $54.1 million with the province contributing the remaining $22.3 million.

The 24,000-seat capacity for football is roughly 5,900 less than the current Ivor Wynne. But CFL commissioner Mark Cohon isn't concerned: "I think that intimate, smaller stadium creates a great environment for CFL football.

"By realigning the stadium and creating a really intimate environment, essentially it's a stadium for not just the next generation but the generation after that."


Posted on 13/10/2012