Media giant Quebecor is stepping up to partially fund a new Quebec City arena and close a significant funding gap, as the city moves closer to a facility that could bring back NHL hockey — and perhaps bring in federal aid as well.
Quebecor President Pierre Karl PÃ©ladeau told the Globe and Mail that his firm was willing to put money toward a new arena. The firm, of course, isn’t doing this out of sheer goodness: Quebecor is launching a 24-hour sports network and presumably would use an NHL team as its programming centerpiece; there’s also talk Quebecor would want to manage the arena as well in return for its investment.
This, apparently, is the Plan B discussed by city officials late last week. There’s also talk of more private investment from RenÃ© AngÃ©lil, and there’s a surprising development: despite a stance that the arena could move forward without federal funding, the emergence of private investment could in fact bring in federal funds via the Public-Private Partnerships Canada. This program isn’t geared toward sports facilities, but rather toward public monies matching private investments to enable new development. So expect at some point the city to come up with financial studies touting the economic developments of a new arena.
The cost for the 18,000-seat, NHL-quality arena replacing Le Colisee is pegged at $400 million, and the provicial government has already committed $175 million. The city has pledged $50 million, and one prime funding source — naming rights — is still on the table.
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