Photo of Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City. Former home arena of the Quebec Nordiques. 

Image Credit: Riclaf (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It's been 17 long years since professional hockey was played in Colisse de Quebec; former home of the Quebec Nordiques. When attendances dwindled and the Canadian dollar began to weaken, the franchise fell upon hard times because the players' salaries were paid in American dollars. Almost two decades later, it looks as if the city has a legitimate shot at reclaiming their former franchise via an expansion or relocation. A relocation would be much cheaper for all parties involved.

Well, technically the original Quebec Nordiques franchise still plays in Denver, Colorado as the Colorado Avalanche. But like the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec may get a second chance at an NHL franchise following the completion of a $400M arena in coming years. The recent success of the Jets has increased Quebec City's chances of acquiring a new team. Tickets to Winnipeg Jets games are hard to come by; the MTS Centre has sold out essentially every game since the team's arrival.

Media giant Quebecor has been in negotiations with Quebec's government officials for more than two years about purchasing the naming rights to the could-be NHL arena. If the city is able to land a transplanted team like the Arizona Coyotes or the Florida Panthers, Quebecor would pay $63.5 million for naming rights to the arena and an additional $5 million in annual rent. If Quebecor is unable to lure a hockey team, it would pay $33 million for naming rights to the arena.

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has also expressed interest in possibly selling the franchise to another city if a new arena is not built for the Islanders. There have been rumors that the Islanders could possibly share the new Barclays Center when the Nets move to Brooklyn next season. The problem with that idea is that it would replace Winnipeg's MTS Centre as the smallest arena in hockey. 14,000 seats capacity would not yield a ton of revenue for Mr. Wang and the New York Islanders even with great corporate sponsorship.

Although hopes are running high in Quebec, the fans should also understand that they're against stiff competition for landing an NHL team. Cities such as Kansas City, Seattle, Hamilton and Saskatoon have showed strong interest in acquiring an NHL franchise as well. 


Related Articles