Hamilton's Syrian Refugees Displaced by Garth Brooks Fans
Published Mar 24, 2016The Syrian refugee crisis has become one of the largest, most heart-wrenching stories of our time, and now a large group of refugees living in Hamilton, Ontario will be forced to move yet again. This time, it's not a civil war forcing them out but instead a Garth Brooks concert.
Beginning tonight (March 24) and running until Sunday, Brooks will take residence at the FirstOntario Centre. Tickets for the initial show sold out in 45 minutes, and an additional four were added.
In other words, there's a massive amount of Garth Brooks fans about to descend on Hamilton. They've booked up a great deal of the city's hotel rooms, meaning some 200 Syrian refugees will be moved out of the city.
As Global reports, the Syrian refugees have been bussed to St. Catharines to stay at another hotel for the duration of Hamilton's Garth Brooks bonanza.
Amanda Kinnaird, a spokeswoman for Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, explained that the hotels were booked before they knew they'd be hosting refugees. "As the concert — and by extension the hotel rooms – were booked (in January) the decision to temporarily relocate the newcomers for the next four days, while disruptive, was made in advance, and our partners in the Niagara Region were ready and accommodating.
"We are expecting 80,000-plus out-of-town visitors to our city over the next four days, and are confident Wesley Urban Ministries … has expertly managed the process of ensuring a comfortable transition for our newcomers."
While it's surely annoying that the Syrian refugees will have to relocate for the next four days, the plus side is that they won't be subjected to 80,000 Garth Brooks fans.