The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are calling for the creation of a Pan Am park in the city's West Harbour district in a bid to gain support for the construction of a new stadium at the CFL team's preferred site in the East Mountain area.
The Tiger-Cats announced at a news conference Thursday they would like to see a 3,500-seat amphitheatre at the city-endorsed West Harbour location along with a cycling velodrome that is to be built for the 2015 Pan American Games.
Team president Scott Mitchell said the Ticats and their corporate sponsors are willing to put up $1.5-million toward the creation of the project, along with an additional $100,000 a year in maintenance costs.
"It fits all the needs of the people in the north end and the west harbour," Mitchell said during a telephone interview.
The velodrome would be converted into a community recreation centre after the Pan Am Games.
The construction site of a new stadium for the Pan-Am Games that would also serve as the new home of the football team is the focal point of a bitter dispute between the Tiger-Cats and the City of Hamilton.
The City favours the stadium to be built near the waterfront and would help spark urban renewal in the downtown core. The CFL club prefers the East Mountain location.
Mitchell said the new concept being proposed by the football team would allow for the development of a "financially sustainable" stadium.
Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games organizing committee, said he can see merit in the Ticats' proposal.
"I think the Tiger-Cats are helping to reframe the discussion back to what's best for the city," Troop said. "I think too many people are thinking that it's an either-or argument - that the stadium goes downtown or we don't have renewal.
"I think we can do both."
A final decision on the waterfront plans is expected to be made by the City of Hamilton on Aug. 12.
Follow us on Twitter: