Field of Schemes
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January 24, 2011

Everybody's got a Plan B for Quebec arena

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume declared last week that he's given up on federal funding for a new hockey arena, and "it's time to move on to Plan B." And what would that Plan B be, Postmedia News?

He declined to give details on the so-called plan B, but has said the city could increase its financial contribution to the project.

Given that the city has currently only proposed chipping in $50 million, and there's a $175 million funding gap, that'd have to be a hefty increase.

Likewise, Quebecor media titan Pierre Karl Peladeau announced last night that he'd be willing to put "tens of millions of dollars" in private money into the project, which likewise sounds more impressive when you don't take into consideration that the whole shebang is supposed to cost $400 million. Also, Quebecor would likely want the right to manage the arena as part of any deal, which means it could end up recouping its money via a cozy lease with the public owners. No way to say for sure, as Peladeau said he wants to "keep these talks private," which is no doubt why he announced their existence to a reporter for the Globe and Mail.

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