Breaking news : Cost of the Quebec Nordiques' return reveal

Carl Vaillancourt
April 22, 2024  (3:59 PM)

Centre Vidéotron
Photo credit: Architecture GLC

If the Minister of Finance and the person in charge of the Quebec Nordiques' return dossier, Éric Girard, recently met with NHL executives, progress on the Quebec Nordiques dossier doesn't seem to have advanced much since his appointment, but a new piece of information has been revealed just a few hours ago.

With the transfer of the Arizona Coyotes to the owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz, the famous question regarding the value of a new franchise in Quebec is revived. In the Arizona Coyotes transaction, the NHL bought back the franchise to eventually resell it to interested parties. The initial transaction was valued at 1 billion US dollars, and the resale was done between 1.2 and 1.3 billion dollars to relocate it to Salt Lake City. Owners are happy, as they will receive a few million dollars each through this transaction.
We witnessed the enthusiasm for a PWHL match at the Bell Centre last Saturday, so imagine the return of the Nordiques to Quebec. It would be hard to imagine the Videotron Centre not being filled to capacity.
The Minister of Finance of Quebec, Éric Girard, met with Gary Bettman last month. Jean-Charles Lajoie shared this information during his show.
However, as reported by the Go Nordiques website, JiC, as he's nicknamed, addressed the real underlying question about a potential return of an NHL team to the National Capital, which is money.
In essence, the TVA Sports host stated that it will take opening the checkbook to convince NHL executives to give a franchise back to Quebec.
"We're living in an era of capital movements by financial giants. If an NHL franchise is negotiated for over 1 billion, it's because it's valued by the bigwigs. We must regain this scale in Quebec. It failed us and cost us the Nordiques and the Expos."

It should be noted that the financial framework to bring an NHL team to Quebec will not be straightforward, as acquisition costs are high, not to mention the operational costs of a team. It would also be necessary to verify the agreement in principle between the Videotron Centre and the City of Quebec as well. Would it be viable financially?
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