The Nordiques Guessing Game is Very Much Back On

The Nordiques Guessing Game is Very Much Back On

by Andrew Greenfield, Life in Quebec

Will we get an NHL team, won’t we get an NHL team?

The Quebec Nordiques guessing game is very much back on now that, as of 1pm today (Sunday March 25th, 2012), Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume has played his $400 million trump card.

Well, not so much a ‘Trump’ card as a Peladeau card.

Are Phoenix Coyotes On The Move?

At a hastily arranged press conference earlier today, our mayor announced that work will begin on the a new arena this September.

So, like a phoenix rising from the flames Phoenix, will the Nordiques make a return to our hockey-loving city after a near 20-year hiatus?

According to Labeaume, the new, purpose built, arena will be able to seat around 18,000 fans, therefore similar in capacity to many current National Hockey League venues.

So, the arena gets built, but we haven’t got a team to play in it have we (yet).

What Happens to the Quebec Remparts?

The city already has a thriving (junior) hockey team in the shape of the Quebec Remparts. Perhaps they’d like to move from the Colisée Pepsi to the new Quebecor Media-backed super structure?

Should we get an NHL team franchise to move to our hockey-mad city, just what will happen Patrick Roy’s Remparts is anyone’s guess?

Regis Labeaume stated that a deal with Quebecor was reached last week (CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau was also present at the press conference) whereby M. Peladeau’s company got the naming rights and exclusive management rights to the new amphitheatre.

While there may be ‘No more obstaces or uncertainty about the construction of the amphitheatre’ (M. Peladeau’s words), there will be many obstacles and a whole mountain of upheaval to contend with before the expected completion date (September 2015).

That, by the way, is roughly 20 years after the Quebec Nordiques morphed into the Colorado Avalanche, who went on to win the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season with, Quebec City born and raised, Patrick Roy keeping the pucks out.

Here’s a few thoughts to be going on with:

a) What do we do with the arena should we not get an NHL team back?

b) Has a deal already been done with a franchise elsewhere?

c) Will the $400 million budget overrun?

d) If so, who’s picking up the tab?

e) How much building work disruption will we see in and around town?

f) Will an NHL team bring more revenue to the city, or will residents simply spend money on tickets and merchandise that they’d otherwise spend elsewhere? 

g) Saying a team does come, will the current fervour and enthousiam wear off after a couple of seasons?

h) Around 15 bucks for a prime seat at a Remparts game represents terrific value for money. Who can honestly find $60-$100 once or twice a week for NHL tickets?

Your thoughts and feedback would really be appreciated on this hottest of hot topics.

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