Quebec is ready to have an NHL team back, says Marchand


The demonstration is clear that we are able to accommodate more people here than some National League arenas with a club from a higher league.said the mayor on Wednesday, referring to the recent attendance record set by the Quebec Remparts for a playoff game. QMJHL.

The people of Quebec are there, they are ready, they like hockey, they are ready to buy hockey tickets. In 18 minutes, filling an arena of more than 18,000 people for game number 5 of a final is not trivialhe added.

A crowd at the Videotron Center.

The Quebec Remparts have had no trouble filling the Videotron Center since the start of the QMJHL playoffs.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Philippe L’Heureux

As he had done shortly after his election as mayor, in November 2021, Bruno Marchand indicated that the City of Quebec was ready to welcome an NHL team.

Like City, we are ready

We at the City needed an arena, we have it. We are ready to welcome. If there is a private partner who is ready to recover a concession in difficulty, we will work hand in hand with them.assured the mayor.

 » It takes people to buy a club and say: « We’re going to bring it to Quebec ». But we, like Ville, are ready. »

A quote from Bruno Marchand, Mayor of Quebec

According to him, the crowd success achieved by the Remparts has not gone unnoticed in the Canadian and American sports sphere.

Arizona Coyotes players celebrate a goal on the ice.

It’s not the first time that the Arizona Coyotes’ difficulties have revived Quebec’s hopes of having an NHL team back. (File photo)

Photo: Getty Images/Christian Petersen

In all the sports reports, it happened, to see a full arena in the juniors, a historic record, historic records that we beat game after game. I think everyone in North America knows thatlaunched Bruno Marchand.

A new chapter in the saga surrounding the future of the Arizona Coyotes was written on Tuesday when the citizens of Tempe rejected in a referendum a project that included the construction of a new amphitheater for the club of the NHL.

Since moving from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996, the Coyotes have played in three different arenas. Upon their arrival in the Grand Canyon State, the defunct Jets were playing inside the Footprint Center in downtown, a home they shared with the Suns, from the NBA.

5000 seats

In 2003, the Coyotes moved to Gila River Arena (renamed Desert Diamond Arena) in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix. Unable to renew its lease with the Municipality at the end of the 2021-2022 season, the team played the last campaign at Mullett Arena, a barely 5,000-seat amphitheater located on the campus of the State University. from Arizona, to Tempe, another suburb of Phoenix.

Inside the Mullet Arena, desert.

The Mullet Arena is by far the arena with the lowest number of seats in the NHL. (File photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press/Ross D. Franklin

According to Martin Leclerc, sports columnist at Radio-Canada, the days of the concession in the land of giant cacti are numbered. He wouldn’t be surprised to see the team move very quickly.

There’s a 50-50 revenue split between the players and the owners, and the players lose a lot of money watching a team play in a 5,000-seat arena, and the owners [non plus] are not very infatuated with this situationobserves the journalist.

Quebec not in league plans

If the Coyotes move, it will probably be to a city in the United States like Houston, Kansas City or even Salt Lake City, predicts Martin Leclerc. He believes that Commissioner Gary Bettman’s clearly marked preference for the American market and his desire to preserve the geographical balance between the Eastern and Western Associations make a transfer to Quebec unlikely.

There have been two recent expansions and [les villes de] Seattle and Vegas were preferred over Quebec. So, there seems to be a clear desire on the part of the leaders of the National Hockey League to really give preference to the American market, but that said, it’s hard to understand why Quebec can’t find a more attentive ear.analyzes the columnist.

People walk past the Arizona Coyotes' Gila River Arena after a game.

The City of Glendale refused to renew the Coyotes’ lease at the Gila River Arena after the 2021-2022 season. (File photo)

Photo: AP/Ross D. Franklin

When the time comes to think about a possible buyer for the Coyotes willing to bring the team to Quebec, the name of Quebecor, manager of the Videotron Center, often tops the list.

In an email sent to Radio-Canada on Wednesday, the chief operating officer of Quebecor’s Sports and Entertainment Group, Martin Tremblay, writes that the company has always great interest in the return of the Nordiques to Quebec.

Fan support for the Remparts in these playoffs demonstrates their passion for hockey and the ability of the Quebec City market to support a professional team. Quebecor has all the necessary assets to successfully operate the activities of a National Hockey League teamsays Mr. Tremblay, echoing the words of Mayor Marchand.

Status quo for next season, says NHL

Despite the decision by Tempe residents, the National Hockey League expects the Coyotes to play next season at Mullet Arena.

The assistant commissioner of the NHLBill Daly, and the owner of the Coyotes, Xavier Gutierrez, confirmed this information to the ESPN network, which is national broadcaster of the NHL in the USA.

We don’t see the Coyotes playing anywhere other than Mullet Arena next year.communicated Daly by email to the television network.

The west entrance to the Videotron Center in summer.

The construction of the Videotron Center, inaugurated in September 2015, was not enough to bring an NHL team back to Quebec. (File photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pascal Poinlane

We wanted a different result in the vote, but we are still grateful to everyone who gave their time and talent.Gutierrez told ESPN. The future of our team will be studied by our owners and by the National Hockey League in the coming weeks.

ESPN reports that a source from the NHL said the plan was for the Coyotes to play another season at Mullet Arena unless something unexpected happened in the offseason.

With the collaboration of Guylaine Bussière, Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc, Jean-Philippe Martin, Marie-Claude Dufour and Simon Cremer


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