Could Hamilton be on the Pan Am pitch mound again?
Baseball fans will probably be delighted to hear that Hamilton’s been invited to make a pitch to host the baseball and softball competitions at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Our men won gold last time the games were held. Our women took silver. Could be fun, right?
Sure. But it should surprise no one — and will relieve almost everybody — to hear the initial reception to the idea among the city’s decision makers was cool at best. Bordering on frigid. Especially when council discovered we could be on the hook for nearly $6 million if all-new facilities were required.
Council is still smarting from the endless and painful stadium and velodrome sagas that dominated their lives for months and made them the object of scorn in town. Just the phrase Pan Am Games causes some to break into cold sweats and experience dry heaves. As a result, it was no surprise that a good number sounded like they’d rather shove hot metal pokers into their eyes than step back into the fray of another protracted, potentially pricey facility debate.
“I think you can hear the expressions of not doubt, but concern, that we may be going down an expensive path,” Mayor Bob Bratina said. “Nobody is going to, I don’t think, approve any large expenditure. But we don’t know what the site requirements are or what our participation would involve. So all we need is to find that out.”
A letter dated March 1 from Murray Noble, senior vice-president of infrastructure for the Pan Am organizing committee, invites Hamilton — and some other unnamed cities — to consider putting together a facility that would include a baseball stadium with 8,000 to 10,000 seats, a secondary diamond with 1,500, a main softball stadium that could hold as many as 6,000 and a secondary field with a capacity of 1,000. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)