Given the recent expression of optimism by Tiger Cat President Scott Mitchell (see it here or purchase The Spec's print copy), we thought we'd ask Clr. Merulla the following:
Q. In a recent article found in the Hamilton Spectator, Ti-Cat President Scott Mitchell is sounding very optimistic about the future of the team, up to and including a projected transition into sustainable profitability. While he was reportedly less enthusiastic on the period in which the Cats will have to play at a temporary location pending the build of the new stadium, overall he was sounding quite positive. Does this optimism surprise you and upon reflection, do you believe the taxpayers of Hamilton will be served well by the final outcome related to the stadium?
A. Ivor Wynne rebuild is being done without losing assessment growth with city building characteristics, an anchor tenant and doing so without a 35 to 120 million dollar deficit.
Also the total city commitment is approximately 25 million dollars more on capital than the 2007 renovation plan however this plan has no general levy impact ie taxes as a result of using the Future Fund and we are committed to incrementally eliminating the 1.3 million dollar annual subsidy provided to the Cats thereby mitigating the tax impact significantly and obtaining a newly refurbished stadium with a sustainable tenant. I said this then and I'm glad it is coming to fruition.