Ivor Wynne Stadium
Former names Civic Stadium (1930-1969)
Location 75 Balsam Ave. North Hamilton, Ontario L8L 8C1
Opened 1928[1]
Closed 2012
Demolished February 28 2013
Owner City of Hamilton
Surface AstroPlay 2003 to 2012
Astroturf 1970 to 2002
Grass 1930 to 1969
Construction cost Unknown
Architect Unknown
Capacity Football: 29,600[1]
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 (originally 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 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 at the time of closure seated 29,600 for football,[1] was the home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL from 1950 until the stadium's closure on October 27, 2012. The club's previous home had been the HAAA Grounds. The current stadium is slated for demolition, to be replaced by New Hamilton Stadium on the same property.

Construction historyEdit

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.

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 approximately 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 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 ArcelorMittal TigerVision.

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.[2] On February 25, 2011, the stadium plans were approved by the Toronto 2015 Pan Am board of directors which would see the south side stands demolished and rebuilt, with the north side stands extensively renovated.[3] The new plan, announced August 31, 2011, calls for a brand-new $150 million stadium with a new north-south pitch alignment that makes for equal advantage for sports where wind direction and sun glares are equal to both teams. It will be a multi-functioning stadium, hosting football, soccer, hockey and concerts. During construction, the Tiger-Cats will play 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.[4]


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), 1972 (with a win by the hometown Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan in a sell out) and 1996. 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 the Toronto Argonauts over the Edmonton Eskimos.

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.[citation needed] The last concert held at Ivor Wynne was Rush in 1979,[5] until the Tragically Hip played on October 6, 2012 in what was falsely billed as 'The first and last show at Ivor Wynne'. [6]

In April 2005, Ivor Wynne hosted Our Game to Give, a charity hockey game instigated as a result of the 2004–05 NHL lockout.

On January 21, 2012, Ivor Wynne hosted an AHL regular season game between the Toronto Marlies and Hamilton Bulldogs, the first outdoor game in Canada in the league's history and the fourth in an annual series of outdoor AHL games.[7]

Grey Cup at Civic / Ivor Wynne StadiumEdit

Hamilton had hosted seven Grey Cup finals at the HAAA 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 25 November 1944 Montreal Navy 7-6 Hamilton Flying Wildcats 3871
60th Grey Cup 3 December 1972 Hamilton Tiger Cats 13-10 Saskatchewan Roughriders 33,993
84th Grey Cup 24 November 1996 Toronto Argonauts 43-37 Edmonton Eskimos 38,595

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

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