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Announcing the New Quebec City Arena…

2011 February 10
by Brad Humphreys

Big news out of Quebec today.  The Province of Quebec and the Quebec City government announced formal plans to build a new arena in Quebec City.  The new facility will be 100% publicly financed, with the province and the city each picking up half of the cost.  The plan is to build the arena in hopes of attracting an NHL franchise back to Quebec City, which has been without a franchise since the Nordiques left for Colorado in 1995.

Kids, don’t try this at home.  Building an arena before you have a major league tenant under contract is not for amateurs.   It should only be attempted by politicians with deep pockets and a poor understanding of the economics of professional sports leagues and teams.  Consider, for example, the Sprint Center in Kansas City which was constructed on the same premise.  It opened in 2007.  I checked the schedule today and Kid Rock, Monster Jam Freestyle Mania, and the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions are going to be there in the next few weeks!

The new Quebec City Arena has “Epic Fail” already pre-stamped all over it.  Consider:

Bettman can’t promise a franchise.  But I can promise that if the arena gets built, the people who try to negotiate with a potential NFL franchise owner will have the weakest bargaining position possible.  And I can promise that any existing NHL franchise owner who wants a new facility (“Paging Darryl Katz and N. Murray Edwards”) will be eager to speak with these gentlemen from Quebec.

3 Responses
  1. t4bb permalink
    February 11, 2011

    “The mayor says he will finance his share of the construction by eliminating 500 city jobs.”

    How ridiculous but I guess if those city jobs are expendable, just eliminate them and don’t build the arena.

  2. February 12, 2011

    What an incredibly poor decision by both levels of government. I’m left to wonder how much money Stephen Harper may be funneling through the back door in support of this ill-advised project.

    I thought Canadians were smarter than this but I guess not.

  3. John Jasina permalink
    February 12, 2011

    Making the arena of wood seems like a good idea. The city can always sell it for fire wood after it sits unused for several years.

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