From TSN.ca today is a story out of Quebec City that the city is going ahead with the construction of a new arena in the hopes of luring an NHL team to the city.
When the idea of building an NHL arena in Quebec City arose, the city as well as the province initially sought out funding from the National government as well as the private sector. The National government initially stated that they would be willing to help fund the arena but retracted that statement later.
Currently, the arena is being built without any help from the private sector. The article states that the city will fund 50% of the project and the provincial government will pay the other 50%. As of right now, no NHL will move into that building when it is completed. This is similar to Kansas City, Missouri, which built a new arena with the hopes of luring the Penguins to town. The Penguins stayed and the KC arena does not have a professional sport anchor tenant for the arena.
The question is who gains from QC building the arena. The NHL certainly looks like the big winner. As the article states, “[Gary] Bettman [NHL commissioner] has declared that, even with a new arena, there’s no guarantee that Quebec City will get its Nordiques back.” But with an arena ready, it certainly provides existing franchises leverage to negotiate arena deals with current cities knowing that potentially a move to Quebec City (or Kansas City for that matter) could take place pending a league vote.