STA­DIUM LAW­SUIT SET­TLE­MENT

No de­tails yet, but sources say Tim Hor­tons Field fra­cas is over

The Hamilton Spectator - - Front Page - MATTHEW VAN DON­GEN mvan­don­gen@thes­pec.com 905-526-3241 | @Mat­tatthes­pec

The city has essen­tially set­tled a law­suit with the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats, In­fra­struc­ture On­tario and Pan Am or­ga­niz­ers over com­pet­ing com­plaints about con­struc­tion of its $145-mil­lion sta­dium.

Mul­ti­ple city sources anony­mously have con­firmed this week that the broad strokes of the long-sought set­tle­ment are in place.

Mayor Fred Eisen­berger said Wed­nes­day that he ex­pected there will “be some­thing to an­nounce soon” on the law­suit, but wasn’t yet will­ing to say it was a done deal.

He did pre­dict, how­ever, that in an up­com­ing an­nounce­ment “we will be able to re­port that the City of Hamil­ton will be kept whole” in ne­go­ti­a­tions over who pays what for a litany of sta­dium-re­lated com­plaints.

Coun­cil dis­cussed the law­suit be­hind closed doors last week and emerged to vote on se­cret di­rec­tions to staff. Coun­cil­lors Terry White­head and Donna Skelly voted against the closed-door de­ci­sion, but did not spec­ify why.

The sta­dium was handed over to the city late and un­fin­ished in 2015, even­tu­ally spurring tens of mil­lions in com­pet­ing law­suit claims from the foot­ball club, the city and prov­ince.

The city has used hold­back cash to pay for more than $2.5 mil­lion in leak dam­age, un­safe rail­ings and miss­ing beer lines.

The Tiger-Cats, mean­while, have claimed mil­lions in dam­ages due to sta­dium de­lays, seat­ing and sound sys­tem prob­lems. The le­gal stale­mate is af­fect­ing the city in other ways, even if lo­cal tax­pay­ers re­main off the hook for the on­go­ing pa­rade of re­pairs.

The lit­i­ga­tion has been blamed for ef­fec­tively pre­vent­ing the city and Ti­cats from team­ing up on a Grey Cup bid.

Sim­i­larly, coun­cil cited the law­suit as a rea­son to pass on the chance to part­ner with team owner Bob Young and a lo­cal con­sor­tium in­ter­ested in in­stalling an all-sea­son dome over the sta­dium.

The team and city have also sparred pub­licly over whether the Tiger-Cats have a valid lease to al­low a planned new Cana­dian soc­cer fran­chise to play in the sta­dium.

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