Hamilton's new Pan Am Stadium unveiled

The new stadium is expected to be completed by July 1, 2014.
Courtesy Pan Am 2015 1:13

 Plans for the new Pan Am stadium have been unveiled.

The $147.5 million stadium will be built on the current Ivor Wynne stadium site and will host 32 men's and women's soccer games for the 2015 Pan Am games. It will also host the Tiger Cats starting with the 2014 CFL season.

The new stadium will have 22,500 fixed seats, fewer than the current stadium, but will be able to hold nearly 40,000 with temporary seats placed on the sidelines and endzones for special events.

Bob Johnston, architect with Cannon Design, said the stadium incorporates community-based design with a focus on the sports.

"It's all about the athletes," he said.

Johnston said the major difference from the current Ivor Wynne is the new stadium will run north-south rather than east-west.

"The 90-degree rotation is the fundamental change," Johnston said.

This will minimize the effect of the sun on athletes, reduce wind inside the stadium and maximize playing conditions, he said.

"Spectators will also be able to take in the imagery of games and to capture the escarpment and the city of Hamilton," Johnston said.

The stadium will have a base of masonry to reflect the residential community it is in and sit on a steel structure with a podium around the outside of the building.

Johnston said the stadium includes a plaza for community use at the south end.

The building is constructed to both FIFA and CFL standards, Johnston said.

The current Ivor Wynne stadium was built in 1928 for the first Commonwealth Games in 1930.

"Hamilton will come full-circle in 2015," said Ian Troop, Pan Am CEO.

Mayor Bob Bratina said the new stadium is bringing Hamilton back to its sporting roots. Prior to hosting the Commonwealth Games, the Civic Stadium, Ivor Wynne's previous name, held Canadian Olympic trials for the 1928 games in Amsterdam.

"Hamilton began a reputation to be a hot bed for athletics," he said. "These are sacred grounds for sport."

During the off-season, the stadium is open for community use.

Ward 3 councillor Bernie Moreilli said that the community's happiness with the stadium will be gauged by how much it can use it.

"If we can't use it for other than a meeting place," he said, "then we'll have missed the boat."

Moreilli hopes other things like a new community centre, ice pad or swimming pool follow.

Charles Sousa, provincial minister of sport, confirmed the federal government is contributing $69 million to the new Hamilton stadium and the provincial government $22 million on the capital side. The city is incurring a $54 million cost.

Sousa said about a 1,000 people will be employed to build all the new Pan Am facilities, with about 450 workers in Hamilton.

Ontario Sports Solutions was announced as the winning bidder at a city committee meeting Friday morning.

Demolition of the current stadium is expected in December, after the Tiger Cats season wraps up.