Interestingly enough, the legendary rock band Def Leppard has weighed in on Hamilton’s long-simmering arena debate.
A video, shared by a Redditor earlier this week, offers a behind-the-scenes look at Def Leppard’s most recent show in Hamilton at FirstOntario Centre this past summer.
WARNING: The video below contains coarse language.
The band’s vocalist, Joe Elliot, Brings on the Heartbreak by pointing out that the arena is old and that it “f***ing stinks like 10,000 asses stink. It’s awful! It’s f***ing minging!”
EDS NOTE: The stink certainly didn’t affect their performance that night, I can assure you. They brought the house down, as per usual.
The video comes to light at a particularly sensitive point in the debate over the future of Hamilton’s entertainment facilities.
Back in September, City Council received an unsolicited proposal from Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer, in partnership with Cadillac Fairview, to build a 6,000-seat arena complex next to Lime Ridge Mall.
The overall price tag for such an undertaking was pegged at $126 million of which taxpayers would be on the hook for approximately $100 million as Andlauer offered to contribute $30 million to the project.
Previous estimates for retrofitting FirstOntario and bringing it up to modern standards stands at approximately $68 million.
The debate over Andlauer’s proposal was lengthy and, at times, contentious.
Earlier this week, a staff report submitted by the city’s director of Planning and Economic Development Department, Glen Norton, really Poured Some cold water on the debate and found that perhaps Andlauer’s proposal came in Two Steps Behind the city’s planning process.
The report asks “that staff be directed to take no further action on the unsolicited proposal.”
The report lays out the reasoning for the recommendation and most notably points out that despite Andlauer’s generous monetary commitment, the Lime Ridge Arena scenario will ultimately cost taxpayers more.
In light of this new report, the future of hockey in Hamilton has become rather uncertain.
It seems it might be Too Late for Love as Andlauer told the Spectator’s Scott Radley that he’s frustrated by council’s focus on keeping an entertainment district in the downtown and given the new report he will likely be looking for options to house his hockey team outside of the city.
The report will be debated by the General Issues Committee next Wednesday (Jan. 15) when it is believed council will Armageddon It (the proposal).
In the meantime, Def Leppard has generated some Hysteria surrounding Hamilton’s arena debate which is the perfect example of when Love (of an ageing facility in our beloved downtown) and Hate (of said ageing and stinky facility) Collide.
“They need to tear it down and replace it with a 5,000 seat arena with modern amenities that can be converted for concerts etc as needed,” wrote one Redditor.
“That’s a hundred million dollars of taxpayer money for an OHL team. If it’s not worth keeping in its current state, just tear it down and sell it to a developer,” wrote another.
Some had other ideas:
“A few tanker trucks of Glade should fix that.”
Photo courtesy Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr.