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Tiger-Cats owner promises stadium will be ready for Labour Day Classic

Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman Ivan Brown tackles Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back C.J. Gable during first half CFL action in Toronto on Friday October 4, 2013.

The Canadian Press

Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young is vowing that Tim Hortons Field will be ready to host the Toronto Argonauts in Monday's Labour Day Classic.

"To quote the movie Apollo 13, failure is not an option. We are determined to play Labour Day at Tim Hortons Field at 1 o'clock," Young said at a news conference Monday.

The promise comes amid concerns over construction delays at the new stadium, which was originally scheduled to open in July.

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"You can be sure that we have had backup plans to our backup plans for many months now," Young said.

"I have no interest in discussing backup plans," he added. "Because we are committed to — using Apollo 13 — landing our spaceship at centre field at 1 o'clock on Sept. 1. We are determined. Everyone involved is determined to work the hours necessary, and spend the money necessary to get the full list (of building projects) completed by Monday morning."

Young said the Ticats would hold their first practice at Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday.

Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina said he is also confident the stadium will be ready to host the Argos in the CFL's traditional Labour Day battle.

"We haven't been told anything that would suggest to us that we better start thinking another way," Bratina said.

The 22,500-seat stadium was originally scheduled to open in July, but has been plagued with delays, many attributed to the unusually long and cold winter. The Tiger-Cats have been playing their home games at McMaster University.

According to recent reports out of Hamilton, the stadium may only be able to accommodate 18,000 fans on Monday.

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The $145.7-million stadium is also a key venue for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, as the site of all 32 men's and women's soccer games.

Young also announced the new stadium would host its first concert on Sept. 27, featuring country stars Keith Urban and Darius Rucker.

"We are very confident that we will be open for Labour Day. . ." Young reiterated. "Then the Keith Urban-Darius Rucker concert is 27 days later, and we'll have an even more beautiful stadium for them."

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