As you may recall, In June 2011, the HECFI board was dissolved and replaced with an interim board made up of Mayor Bratina. Clrs. Merulla, Partridge, Collins, and Farr.
On the heels of that, proposals were invited from firms or consortiums interested in taking over the Hamilton Entertainments and Convention facilities, in whole or in part. The move to request proposals was largely driven by the losses recorded by HECFI.
The objective, it would seem, is to encourage different approaches and competition in a bid to run/take over the facilities. The strategy seems to be working. Despite some bidders dropping off along the way, the enduring bids seem to present different options and approaches; some of which aggressively target the bottom line- eliminating public subsidy.
The Hamilton Spectator has an informative piece in today's paper, summarizing the bids. It can be found here, or by purchasing the print version.