Tim Hortons Field stadium is six months overdue, and the project still has hundreds of deficiencies, from boilers that don’t work to wall plates missing from light switches.
The $145-million stadium was initially due for a June 30 completion, and has now been delayed until Jan. 31.
The project still has 50 non-compliant issues — larger problems that prevent the stadium from being finished to spec — and hundreds of major and minor deficiencies, said Gerry Davis, the city’s general manager of public works.
“It’s a lot,” Davis said. “The issue is we’re going into six months of being late. These items, (the builders) knew they had to do them since day one.
“It’s a significant amount.”
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is responsible for building the 22,500-seat stadium, which is home to the Hamilton Tiger Cats and will host the soccer games for the 2015 Pan Am Games in July.
The city, which contributed $40 million to the project, takes ownership when the stadium is substantially complete.
IO hired the consortium Ontario Sports Solutions (ONSS) to build the stadium. The first deadline was June 30. With each Ticats home game throughout the summer, ONSS estimated that it would have the stadium finished.
It was finished enough to host the Ticats Labour Day Classic game, and a Keith Urban concert not long after.
But crews missed another deadline of Nov. 28. Davis says he’s skeptical about the Jan. 31 one too.
“I have no confidence in it.”
Among the issues: three of the stadium’s four boilers aren’t working yet. One of the elevators doesn’t working. Crews are still doing work on the east stands, and work on a concrete floor.
The delay isn’t costing the city any money, Davis said. No scheduled events have been missed.
Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, a construction industry veteran and chair of the city’s Pan Am subcommittee, calls the delay “disgusting.”
“It’s ridiculous,” he said.
The city should, as a matter of course, include a financial penalty for any contractor who doesn’t finish a project on time. During Monday’s public works committee meeting, he cited the example of the $1.6-million Hamilton Bike Share program operated by Social Bicycles.
The project was due to launch in the summer. The bike racks are up, he said, but the bikes aren’t implemented yet. The program will launch in March.
The stadium is another example of that, he said.
“Add in $50,000 a day in liquidated damages, you watch how fast they double up their crews.”