Québec political and business leaders are desperate as they want to impress NHL owners.
The National Hockey League has begun the process of scheduling its 2024-2025 pre-season slate and there will be two pre-season games that will take place in Québec City. The fact that the NHL has decided to stop in Québec City for pre-season hockey games would not be noticed except these two games are unusual. Québec City and Québec taxpayers will be underwriting the games which means that taxpayers will pick up whatever financial losses that are incurred by the local promoter. After all, Québec City political and business leaders want to land an NHL expansion or relocation team and what better way to show NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the 32 owners how sincere or desperate the leaders are for a team. Why not have taxpayers pick up a tab that could be as much as $7 million Canadian or about $5.17 million US.
The Los Angeles Kings will be the road team in the two pre-season games one against the Boston Bruins and another against the Florida Panthers. The Québec Finance Minister Eric Girard said he would have loved for the two games to cost $2 million Canadian or $1.5 million US and tried to negotiate a lower number. The NHL said no. Girard said losses are expected because of player travel and accommodations and the way the hockey games deal is constructed as money will be going to the Bruins and the Panthers ownerships. Those two organizations are losing out on ticket and concession sales for games that would normally have been played in their home arenas. While Girard has no problem handing out money to billionaire NHL owners, there are public sector labor problems in Québec. The Common Front, which has 420,000 health, social services and education workers, has announced a week-long strike to begin on December 8th lasting through the 14th.
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