Quebec Arena Project A Go

Quebec City is moving full steam ahead with plans to build a modern arena that could help draw an NHL team back to the region.

Construction on an 18,000-seat facility on the grounds of the city’s shuttered Hippodrome racetrack will begin in September, Mayor Regis Labeaume announced March 25.

Quebecor Media will manage the venue. The company offered to pony up between $110 million and $200 million last year toward the project in exchange for management and naming rights to the venue.

Under the terms of a newly finalized deal, the company would reportedly pay $63.5 million for naming rights plus $5 million in rent annually if an NHL team is acquired, and $33 million for naming rights plus just more than $3 million annually for rent without a team. Quebecor is also expected to inject an additional $30 million to $40 million dollars to trick out the arena with technical equipment and a television production studio.

“Throughout construction and for the next 25 years, Quebecor Media intends to work with Quebec City residents and businesses, along with municipal and provincial governments to make sure this arena is an economic, cultural and sport success that will help Quebec City and the talents of its citizens shine for many years to come,” Quebecor President Pierre Karl Peladeau said.

Quebec lost the Nordiques in 1995 when the team moved to Denver and has since had trouble luring an NHL team to the aging Colisée Pepsi.

The new arena is to open in September 2015.