SBD/March 26, 2012/Facilities

Quebec City And Quebecor Agree To Terms On C$400M NHL-Style Arena

Construction on new 18,000-seat arena near downtown will begin in mid-September
Quebec City "will have its new arena," and the city can now "justifiably tell the NHL that a new building is definitely on the way," according to Sean Gordon of the GLOBE & MAIL. The new arena "will have 18,000 seats, it will be situated on the site of a harness racing track near downtown, and construction will begin in mid-September." A contract was signed yesterday that "formalizes a tentative deal reached just over a year ago" that will see media conglomerate Quebecor "take over the management" of a C$400M multi-use arena in '15. Gordon writes there were "few if any doubts that a contract would be signed before" the March 31 deadline that both parties had agreed to. Quebecor President & CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau said, "As of today there are no more obstacles, no more exit doors, no more uncertainty. What was, up until today, an idea, now officially takes form." Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said that the building will have "a smaller footprint than originally planned, but that it will be more or less identical in size" to Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center. Under the terms of the 25-year contract, Quebecor will "manage the arena and be its exclusive tenant." The company will pay C$63.5M for the naming rights. Quebecor's rent will "depend on whether it succeeds in attracting an NHL team, in which case it would average" C$5M per year (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/26). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "I am informed of what is going on in my world. I also know that the economic power of Quebec City is much bigger than it was." However, Bettman added that "the NHL is not talking about moving any teams at the moment." Peladeau referred to the new building as a "multifunctional amphitheatre." The arena will also "include a television studio specifically for Quebecor Media" (TORONTO SUN, 3/26).
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