A hockey fan in the Quebec City area might be watching the Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup Playoffs run and might be saying that could have been us. The Quebec Nordiques could be stunning the sports world. Las Vegas and Quebec City were in the running for a 2017 expansion team or teams. Las Vegas got the nod and the Quebec City bid was put on ice. The National Hockey League is on the verge of awarding Seattle an expansion team and Quebec City is on the outside looking in. And it does not look good for Quebec City as the Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs seemingly slammed the door on a Quebec City bid last week. Jacobs is perhaps the most powerful owner in the NHL. Coincidentally, Jacobs’ Delaware North concession company has a deal with Seattle owners to provide services in the renovated Seattle arena that is scheduled to open in 2020 with an NHL expansion team.
Jacobs didn’t say anything that was not known when addressing NHL issues last week about Quebec City. He is correct saying that Quebec is challenged. He was right pointing out that Quebec City is a small market with a limited population and income base. That is all true. Quebec City is a government and tourism town with a limited corporate base. Jacobs suggested that Quebec City would somehow have to distinguish itself. The only way Quebec City can do that is by someone handing over an incredible TV rights deal. When Quebec City was bidding for an expansion team, the fee to get into the NHL was $500 million US or about $625 million Canadian. Seattle backers may be putting up $650 million which would mean a Quebec City expansion franchise, if one was available, would be around $800 million Canadian. Quebec City could be a relocation destination but Houston is probably ahead of Quebec City. Money talks.