By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Tim Hortons Field won’t be ready for first two Ticat home games
Two weeks ago, the vice-president of Infrastructure Ontario was asked if there was time to get Tim Hortons Field done in time for the Tiger-Cats’ July 26 home opener, assuming good weather and no bankruptcies by subcontractors.
“Yes,” said John McKendrick. “Yes, there is. Yes.”
Apparently there wasn’t.
As if to put an exclamation point on a project that has divided, excited, angered, intrigued, frustrated and baffled Hamiltonians for the past half-decade, it was announced Monday that the building wouldn’t be ready for the Ticats’ games on July 26 and 31 after all. Instead, those two contests will be played at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium.
“All partners, including IO, confirmed today that the stadium would not be ready in time,” said Infrastructure Ontario communications adviser Mandy Downes.
While news of the announcement came suddenly — following the second long meeting in a week involving all the principals — it can’t have been much of a surprise to anyone who’s driven by the site lately.
There’s definitely been some progress made over the past few days. Most of the steel frame for the huge scoreboard has gone up since late last week. The turf isn’t ready for action, but it’s been laid. Other work has been done under the stands in the bowels of the building where it can’t be seen.
However, these incremental improvements were clearly moving at a slower pace than the hands on the stopwatch are spinning toward D-Day. With just seven days to go until the building department was going to be asked to begin its inspection toward granting an occupancy permit, there’s still more than a little to do.
According to Infrastructure Ontario, tasks remaining to be completed include: “Field of play installation, exterior building facade work, sprinkler systems installation, all mechanical and electrical work, installation of seats, VIP and box suites, installation of broadcast facilities, installation of railings and elevators throughout public areas.”
Sound like a lot? Walk around the site and it sure looks like a lot.
“They just haven’t been able to progress as they thought they would,” says Hamilton general manager of public works Gerry Davis.
So there’s another delay and another twist written into one of the most convoluted narratives this city has ever produced.
Even in its current state, this stadium looks like it has the potential to be really nice when it’s finally finished. Until now though, it’s been an ongoing migraine that flares up at regular intervals, with Monday being a Tylenol 3 day. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)