The huddling is over, and Quebec officials have emerged with a challenge: We’ll put up $180 million towards a new $400 million Quebec City hockey arena, if the federal government matches our pledge.
Or maybe, if you read the Toronto Sun instead of TSN, the province of Quebec will put up $180 million, the city of Quebec will put up $50 million, and the feds would put up “the remaining $130 million.” Which adds up to … $360 million? Man, I hate Canadian math.
In any case, despite the happy talk from Quebec City’s mayor (“It’s major for us — there are now two partners out of three”), this presumably throws the ball back into the court of the federal government, which has previously demurred on getting involved in arena funding. Which is understandable, given that other cities are already lining up to be next should Ottawa open the arena-funding spigot.
My favorite line from this entire thing, meanwhile, comes from Postmedia News:
The firm Ernst & Young put together a business plan for a new arena and stressed the project would be viable but only if the construction costs are not taken into account.
There you have it in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen: New sports facilities are viable business investments — so long as you’re not the one paying for them.