Hey, how’s it going in Quebec City, which opened its new hockey arena one year ago with little fanfare, since it didn’t have a hockey team to play in it? What’s the scoop, Globe and Mail?
It’s early to start bandying terms such as “white elephant”
Oh, that really doesn’t sound good.
In short: The Centre Vidéotron (named for a cable company that’s part of Quebecor, the company that owns operating rights to the arena and also is hoping to land an NHL team eventually) is having trouble filling dates (it only has a measly 12 nights booked with concerts between September and March) and losing money on operations. The arena ran up about $1.4 million in red ink in the four months of 2016 that it was open, half of which has to be covered by Quebec taxpayers according to the arena lease agreement — so it still has a shot at costing taxpayers their entire lease payment from Quebecor, as was projected in June. And, of course, it’s doing nothing to help pay back the roughly $300 million in construction costs that Quebec residents are on the hook for.
Eventually, once the Canadian exchange rate recovers, Quebec will probably get a new NHL team (because Quebecor is almost certainly willing to throw half a billion dollars at the NHL for one, and the NHL is almost certainly willing to take its money), and then everyone will be happy, or at least hockey fans will, which is close enough to “everyone” in the case of Quebec. But man, is this turning into a money pit in the meantime.