It's been a while since I posted a blog here. In fact, I haven't posted anything in ages!
I decided to write a bit about the situation that prevails here in Quebec City regarding the new arena and everything that revolves around it.
First off, I think I speak for everyone here in Quebec when I say Congratulations to Winnipeg! It is so amazing that you got your team back, I will be following closely the team and watch games on TV as well.
The return of the Jets is very inspiring for us. It means that it is possible! Efforts are not in vain, and the good news is that we have great people working very hard to make the same scenario happen with us.
So, what's the situation here in Quebec, and why do I think we will be next?
- Group J'ai ma place (www.jaimaplace.com
) has been selling seats rights to companies and people. Companies have to pay 25,000$ for each luxury box with a promise of purchase. People can buy 3 levels of seats: 1500$, 3000$ and 5000$. So far, 70 luxury boxes have been sold and over 5500 seats!! When you own a seat, it is yours for your lifetime, and you have a first right of purchase on tickets for any show that would take place in the new arena. Nothing like this has been seen ever before.
- Mayor Labeaume got elected saying he would deliver a new arena to his citizens with no less than 85% of votes!! So needless to say that the population is behind him. He also got a huge commitment from the Provincial Government in Quebec to invest 200M$ for the new arena.
- Pierre Karl Peladeau, CEO of Quebecor Media, has reach a formal agreement with the City of Quebec, to be the manager of the new arena. Quebecor has made it quite clear that his intentions are to buy an NHL team and move it to Quebec. He has been following the non-written rules about how to approach the NHL and he is doing a formidable job at lobbying to the big guys at the NHL. It is quite clear to me that he is a well seen figure at the NHL and that he would be a welcome addition to the elite group of owners. The reason is simple! The guy owns all kinds of medias. He just started a new 100% sports channel (TVA Sports) in Quebec. Ottawa Senators games will be broadcasted this year but let's be honest, this channel has been created for the Nordiques.
With that said, it is now 100% official that a brand new arena, worth about 400M$ will be ready for 2015-2016 NHL season.
If a team was to be available before that, commissioner Bettman has said publicly a few times last winter that the old Colisée de Québec could be adequate for a few years (2, maybe 3 at the most), as long as a few changes would be made to it (like a proper air conditionning system
With all those elements lined up, it is easy for us in Quebec to believe in a return of our Nordiques. I, for one, have been dreaming about this for years! And I feel we are closer than ever.
Here's a few reasons:
1- An arena will be built
2- A great owner is in place and ready to do what it takes to bring a team back
3- Government (municipal and provincial) are all behind the project and pushing hard for it to work
4- We've got the fans
I don't see any other city in a better situation than Quebec, and that is a fact. Every other city luring a team is missing one or many of those elements.
What do you think? Will Quebec be back sooner than later? In 2015-16 or before? Never???