Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quebec New Arena Deal -- Build It and Someone Might Come (ADDENDUM)

Read this first:

Puck Daddy: New $400 million, 18,000 seat arena in Quebec City to be ready by Sept. 2015

That's ridiculous!  What city would build an arena with one already, and no prospective tenant for --- what, uh, ohhhh...

In fairness, Kemper Arena is past its prime, and Kansas City wanted to embark on a huge downtown revitalization plan.  The Sprint Center was to become a showpiece, an arena that could lure any and all concerts, acts, sporting events, and performances and generate revenue for the city with nearby restaurants and watering holes (i.e. Power and Light District).  Sprint Center was a replacement for Kemper, and it has served that purpose and then some.  It doesn't have a permanent tenant, but it does bring big acts to Kansas City.  In the paraphrased words of Tim Leiweke, "it doesn't need a permanent tenant to be successful."  It can stand alone.  So, does Quebec need a new arena?

In March, Labeaume said that millions of dollars in upgrades would be completed this summer to Le Colisee, the former home of the Nordiques; so should the Phoenix Coyotes -- or any other NHL team given the sharp left turn that happened a year ago -- have to be relocated this summer, a temporary home in Quebec would be available for the next three years while the new arena is being built.

Just a quick look at the ExpoCite, or Colisee Pepsi website, one can see that the building is not short on events.  Pitbull is coming, and OH LOOK an evening with Bryan Adams!!!  Only an evening?!?!

My point is, does a metropolitian area with under one million residents need TWO arenas (or "amphitheaters," as Quebecers call it)?  Obviously, Quebec doesn't need a new arena, they just want a NHL team, again.  That is just a rather specfic use of money.

Good luck to Quebec and Quebecor in their quest for a NHL franchise, but if another team from Gary Bettman's southern influence zone (*cough* Phoenix *cough*) were to move north of the border, I think it might be time to search for a new commissoner.  And, yes, a lot of people will say Bettman sucks already and he has ruined the league blah blah blah, but spreading the game in American markets has been his plight since he started in the '90s, and failing that WILL make him a failure as a commissoner.

But, really, wouldn't we all be a lot happier if every NHL team played in Canada?

Okay, maybe not a failure, but it certainly will be a major goal he did not accomplish during his tenure.  Then again, if Phoenix or whoever moves to Quebec, you really can't blame league officials for trying to sustain the league for the future.  There is no doubt Quebec will take to a new team as well as Winnipeg (and a fan of the sport would hope that support will last), but what does the NHL care about more: large markets, or filled arenas?

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