Stadium Litigation Negotiations Fail, Parties Off to Court

By Joey Coleman // @JoeyColeman
Published: Jun 27 2017 (25 days ago) // Last Updated: Jun 27 2017 (25 days ago)

Negotiations to reach an out-of-court settlement on the fiasco that is Hamilton's new civic stadium on the site of the former Ivor Wynne Stadium have failed.

The City issued a statement this afternoon from the Mayor's Office declaring it had no role in the construction of the stadium, and that it should not have to fund any of the repairs that have already happened on and will be necessary at the new stadium.

The following is the full statement issued by the City:

Statement from the City of Hamilton on the Tim Hortons Field litigation

June 27, 2017, HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton has worked hard and in good faith to try to resolve the Tim Hortons Field litigation situation, however the parties (contractors Ontario Sports Solutions (ONSS), Kenaidan Contracting, and Bouygues Building Canada; the project manager, Infrastructure Ontario; The PanAm organizing committee (Toronto2015), City of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats) have been unable to reach a resolution to date. The City was not responsible for the construction of the stadium and is confident in its position in the litigation. It maintains its commitment that no additional costs for the stadium should be passed on to its taxpayers.

Since taking over the stadium, there have been numerous issues with the quality of the construction, including the speaker that fell from the overhead standard into the empty seats. To ensure this would not happen again, the City proactively worked to rectify this problem and inspected all speakers, despite not being responsible for the speakers’ original installation or suspension. There were also additional problems with late delivery, construction defects and stadium functionality including issues with a transformer, lighting controls, audio visual, water leaks and mechanical units not installed or connected properly. The stadium was meant to be delivered as a fully functioning stadium that our residents and visitors could enjoy for years to come.

It was also always part of the arrangement that the City and the Tiger-Cats would cooperate and make commercially reasonable efforts to bid for, and host, two Grey Cup games during the first 10 years of the stadium license. The current litigation does not change this, as the City is passing through the Tiger-Cats’ delay claims as agreed, and therefore the litigation is not a barrier to pursuing the Grey Cup games.

With respect to soccer, the Tiger-Cats’ soccer option under their license with the City expired in May 2016. There is no current soccer license agreement in place, and a new negotiation would be required for the Tiger-Cats to bring soccer to the stadium, but the current litigation is not a barrier to that occurring.

The next step is for the parties to submit their statements of defence, which the City plans to do early summer.

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