Ivor Wynn Stadium

Ivor Wynne Stadium (originally Civic Stadium) is 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 originally constructed in 1928 to host the 1930 British Empire Games, though playing fields had stood on the site since the city bought the land from a local farmer in 1913. The stadium, which currently seats 30,000 for football, has been the home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL since 1950. The clubs previous home had been the HAAA Grounds.

The stadium consists of 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. The stadium was heavily rebuilt in 1970-71 and renamed for Ivor Wynne, the former chairman of the city Parks Board, in 1971. From 1971 to 1975, Ivor Wynne’s 34,500 seats made it the largest stadium in the CFL. There are 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.

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 for the addition of a new scoreboard, dropping capacity to approx. 29,500. A subsequent retrofit of the north stand 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 AstroPlay 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 ArcelorMittal TigerVision. In April 2005, Ivor Wynne hosted Our Game to Give, a charity hockey game similar in concept to the Heritage Classic.

Ivor Wynne has hosted the Grey Cup twice, in 1972 (with a win by the hometown Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan in a sell out) and 1996, when temporary west and east end zone seating raised capacity to 43,000. Actual attendance however, was only 36,000 even with a last minute discount ticket promotion by local coffee giant Tim Hortons. This resulted in the loss of potential revenues amounting to almost $2.5 million. The ’96 Cup game, perhaps one of the greatest of all time, was played in a steady snowstorm, and won by the Toronto Argonauts over the Edmonton Eskimos.

The stadium has also hosted some of the best-attended CIS football games, including the 2004, 2005 and 2008 Vanier Cups.

Some concerts have occurred at Ivor Wynne, the biggest being 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 and shattered windows in neighboring houses. The last concert held at Ivor Wynne was Rush in 1979.

Aspect: See the Tiger Roar
Theme: The Spirit of Hamilton’s Competitive Nature

Face: Tabby

First Appearance: Game Plan

Ivor Wynn Stadium

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