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Quebec province claims they'd cover 45 percent of construction costs for new arena

Sep 7, 2010, 8:50 PM EDT

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Thumbnail image for nordiquesvsjets.jpgWho knows if the province of Quebec can actually land another NHL team, but their politicians certainly seem like they’re doing their best to make it happen.

We’ve been all over this rumor-laden story so far and while it’s far from a done deal that they’ll build a new arena – let alone add an existing or expansion NHL team – recent reports give reason to at least discuss the possibility. Marianne White of The Montreal Gazette reports that Quebec City will cover 45 percent of the estimated $400 million it would cost to build a new arena.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest detailed some of the plans and what would need to happen for the remaining 55 percent to be covered.

Charest said the province is going ahead with the project even though there’s no guarantee of either the return of an NHL franchise or an eventual Winter Olympics bid.

“Let’s do it and if it helps to obtain a hockey team, so be it, if it helps us obtain the Winter Olympics, so be it,” Charest said.

The city would put in $50 million.

With the province’s commitment, Charest is turning up the pressure on the federal government to come up with the remaining 45 per cent – an estimated $175 million – needed to build the arena.

Labeaume and Charest both said Tuesday Ottawa needs to pledge the funds for the arena “as soon as possible.”

Read the original article for more details about the planners’ estimates of how much money this arena would earn with (or without) a hockey team. Naturally, there can often be a big gulf between estimates and actual profits, but it would be wise for planners to assume the worst (i.e. that they might not be able to attract an NHL team).

No doubt about it, though, it would be quite refreshing to see Canada gain an NHL team for a change. I mean, that’s what Jim Balsillie wanted the whole time, right?

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