Ivor Wynne Stadium

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Ivor Wynne Stadium
IvorWynneStadium Hamilton.jpg
Former names Civic Stadium (1930-1969)
Location 75 Balsam Ave. North Hamilton, Ontario L8L 8C1
Owner City of Hamilton
Capacity Football: 29,600[1]
Surface AstroPlay 2003 to 2012
Astroturf 1970 to 2002
Grass 1930 to 1969
Construction
Opened 1928[1]
Closed October 27, 2012
Demolished December 2012 - April 2013
Construction cost Unknown
Architect Unknown
Tenants
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) (1950-2012)
Hamilton Wildcats (1941-49)
Hamilton Minor Football Association
McMaster Maurauders (CIS) (2005-2007)
Vanier Cup (CIS) (2004, 2005, 2008)
1930 British Empire Games

Ivor Wynne Stadium (formerly Civic Stadium) was a Canadian football stadium located at the corner of Balsam and Beechwood Avenues, two blocks west of Gage Avenue North in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The stadium was the home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL from 1950 until it closed on October 27, 2012.[1] The club's previous home was the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds. The stadium was replaced by Tim Hortons Field, with a fixed capacity of 24,000, on the same property.

From 1928, while the stands were still under construction, the civic stadium was mainly used for track & field by the Hamilton Olympic Club and men's soccer teams, while the Hamilton AAA was used more for football and cricket. The stadium had a cinder track where the Cap Cornelius secondary-school relays were held.[2][3]

Construction history[edit]

The stadium, called simply the civic stadium (lower cased),[2] was originally built in 1928 to host the 1930 British Empire Games (later the Commonwealth Games).[4] However, playing fields had stood on the site since the city bought the land from a local farmer in 1913.

The stadium was heavily rebuilt in 1970-71. In 1971, it was renamed for Ivor Wynne, a former chairman of the city Parks Board who was Athletic Director and Dean of Students at McMaster University when he died in 1970. He was considered to be largely responsible for creating McMaster's physical education course and planning its athletic complex.[5] From 1971 to 1975, Ivor Wynne was the largest stadium in the CFL with 34,500 seats.

Ivor Wynne was the second facility in Canada to use Astroturf, after Empire Stadium in Vancouver. In the 1980s, the west endzone bleachers were removed so that a new scoreboard could be added. That dropped capacity to about 29,500. A later retrofit of the north stand's lower east section for handicapped access in the 1990s dropped capacity further to just under 29,000.

The stadium was renovated again after the 2002 football season and had a new second-generation AstroTurf playing surface installed. Shortly after the 2003 season, a new scoreboard was erected in the west end of the stadium; owing to sponsorship, it is known as Dofasco TigerVision. Dofasco was bought out by Arcelor Steel in 2006 who was bought out by Mittal Steel now know as ArcelorMittal.

In 2012, the stadium had a large grandstand on one side of the field, with a small section curving around the end zone, and a separate grandstand on the opposite side of the field, with a capacity of just under 29,000.

There were plans to renovate the stadium again in 2012, with a completion date in 2014, which would also be used for the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games.[6] On February 25, 2011, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am board of directors approved stadium plans which would see the south side stands demolished and rebuilt and the north side stands extensively renovated.[7] However, that plan was not used. The new plan, announced August 31, 2011, calls for a brand-new $150 million stadium with a new north-south field alignment that makes for equal advantage for sports where prevailing wind direction and sun glares are equal for both teams. It will be a multifunction stadium, hosting concerts and football, soccer, and hockey games. During construction, the Tiger-Cats played at the University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium for the 2013 season. Proceeds from the agreement will go to the Gryphon Athletics fundraising campaign as a part of the University of Guelph’s BetterPlanet Project.[8]

Events[edit]

Ivor Wynne Stadium hosted the Grey Cup three times:

  • in 1944, when the Flying Wildcats were defeated by a wartime team from the Montreal Navy)
  • in 1972, with a win by the hometown Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan before a capacity crowd
  • 1996, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats did not play. In the 1996 game, temporary west and east end zone seating raised capacity to 40,000. That game, perhaps one of the greatest of all time, was played in a steady snowstorm, and was won by Doug Flutie and the Toronto Argonauts over the Edmonton Eskimos.[9]

On August 8 1961, the Tiger-Cats defeated the visiting Buffalo Bills, at that time a member of the American Football League, in a preseason exhibition game in Hamilton. The Bills, playing the entire game under Canadian rules, lost 38-21. The game marked the only CFL-AFL meeting where the CFL team won.

Some concerts have occurred at Ivor Wynne. The biggest was Pink Floyd in 1975. It was the last show of the North American Tour, so in a dramatic finale Pink Floyd's crew decided to go out with a bang and used up their remaining pyrotechnics around the stadium scoreboard. The explosion at the climax of the show was so intense it blew the scoreboard to pieces[9] and shattered windows in neighbouring houses.[citation needed] The last concert held at Ivor Wynne was Rush in 1979 until the Tragically Hip played on October 6, 2012 before departing for an American tour.[10][11][12]

In April 2005, Ivor Wynne hosted Our Game to Give, a charity hockey game instigated as a result of the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Nearly 20,000 spectators braved inclement weather to watch locked-out NHL players and a handful of former professionals lace up the skates at an outdoor charity hockey game. Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. Team Gilmour rallied in the third period to defeat Team Staios 11-6. Proceeds of the Our Game To Give event went to the Tsunami Relief Fund of the Canadian Red Cross and Camp Trillium, the Ontario facility for children with cancer.

On January 21, 2012, Ivor Wynne hosted a regular season game of the American Hockey League, between the Toronto Marlies and the Hamilton Bulldogs. It was the first outdoor game in Canada in the league's history and the fourth in an annual series of outdoor AHL games.[13]

Grey Cup at Civic / Ivor Wynne Stadium[edit]

Hamilton hosted seven Grey Cup finals at the Hamilton AAA Grounds. The 84th Grey Cup of 1996 is, to date, the only Cup final played in Hamilton that did not feature a Hamilton team.

Grey Cup Date Champion Score Loser Attendance
32nd Grey Cup November 25, 1944 Montreal Navy 7-6 Hamilton Flying Wildcats 3,871
60th Grey Cup December 3, 1972 Hamilton Tiger Cats 13-10 Saskatchewan Roughriders 33,993
84th Grey Cup November 24, 1996 Toronto Argonauts 43-37 Edmonton Eskimos 38,595

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ivor Wynne Stadium: History". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Drew (2012-10-27). "A farewell to Ivor Wynne". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 2013-11-24. .
  3. ^ "John Richard Cornelius". My Hamilton: Gallery of Distinction. Hamilton Public Library. Retrieved 2013-11-24. Head of the Physical Education Department at Central Collegiate Institute, his teams of teenage runners for four decades smashed records making the Collegiate's name familiar across North America. Acclaimed as one of the most successful coaches in the world, and the greatest in Canada, during one twelve-year period, his team won even first at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, including three world records in one afternoon, an unparalleled feat. 
  4. ^ "Tearing Down Hamilton's History: Civic Stadium". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2013-11-24. . Three illustrations.
  5. ^ Prete, Carmelina (October 17, 1998). "Radio host runs afoul of Wynne family in bid to rename stadium". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  6. ^ "Hamilton votes for a city report on renovating Ivor Wynne". 2011-01-13. 
  7. ^ "Ivor Wynne Stadium Plan Approved For Pan-Am Games". 
  8. ^ "University of Guelph's Alumni Field to host Ticats in 2013". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. 
  9. ^ a b Fisher, Ben. "The Rouge: What's your favourite memory of Ivor Wynne?". Bell Media. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  10. ^ "The first concert in 33 years at Ivor Wynne... and the last!". Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  11. ^ "The Night Was Chilly But the Hip Were Hot". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  12. ^ "Interview: The Tragically Hip go back to Plan A". Shaw, Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  13. ^ "Bulldogs to host Marlies outdoors at Ivor Wynne Jan. 21". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°15′9.26″N 79°49′48.89″W / 43.2525722°N 79.8302472°W / 43.2525722; -79.8302472