More movement on Quebec City Franchise

Here's the scoop from the Globe and Mail:

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The federal government will announce today a multimillion dollar infrastructure program for Quebec that could pave the way for a Canadian Football league franchise in Quebec City.

The federal funding includes the expansion and renovation of Quebec City's Laval University sports centre where local investors are offering to expand the football stadium in their bid for a CFL franchise.

According to prominent Quebec City lawyer Marc Bellemare, local investors have already set aside half of the $40-million needed to expand the stadium with the other half expected to come from other potential investors once the project is approved.

However the head of Laval University Denis Brière has been reluctant in giving his full support to the stadium's expansion for a CFL franchise.

“It would be irresponsible to say no to the expansion of the football stadium.,? Mr. Bellemare said on behalf of the anonymous investors in an interview on Tuesday. “The investors need to settle the situation involving the stadium. And then we can move and show the rest of Canada that Quebec City is truly a city capable of attracting a CFL franchise.?

According to a marketing conducted on behalf of the investors the marketing firm Impact Recherche, 71 per cent of Quebec City residents support a CFL franchise. The study obtained by the Globe and Mail showed that 43-per cent of the 1001 people polled would be interested in purchasing a season ticket and that 85-per cent believed that Laval University sports centre would be an appropriate location to hold CFL games.

The investors worked closely with the Montreal Alouettes in preparing their project for a CFL franchise. Alouette's president Larry Smitth said in a recent local radio interview he embraced Quebec City as a potential CFL franchise location saying it would create a healthy rivalry between the two city that would boost interest for the league throughout Quebec. According to Mr. Bellemare, CFL director general Michael Copeland also indicated to him that Quebec City would be an ideal location for the league's proposed expansion project.

Quebec City has one of the most popular university football teams where the Laval University Rouge et Or has attracted as many as 19,000 people to local games in a stadium that only has slightly more than 10,000 seats. The marketing study showed that the attraction of CFL franchise in the city would not have a negative impact on the popularity of local university foot ball games.

“The university hold four local games per season. Most of the CFL local games could be scheduled in July and August and would no compete with the university games,? Mr. Bellemare said. “Now it's up to the government to urge the university to change their plans for a new sports centre to allow for the stadium's expansion.

Laval University's current $85-million sports centre proposal includes the construction of an indoor soccer field on empty land next to the current football stadium. The city has announced it will inject $10-million in the project with the other $75-million coming from equal contributions from Ottawa and the province.

The investors have proposed that the university modify the plan in order to move the soccer stadium further east and use the empty field for the expansion of the football field.

Today federal Minister of Transport, Infrastruture and Communities Lawrence cannon will confirm Ottawa's contribution to the university's sport centre proposal. Mr. Cannon as well as Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget are expected to respond to investors' proposal for changes to the University's plan that could pave the way for a CFL franchise in the city. :cowboy:

I hope this works out, that way Montreal will have a true rival and won't have to play BC on labour day.

Wow. As an Als fan and a Montrealer, this is very exciting news. I was devastated when the Nordiques left because it deprived my Habs of their fiercest rival. Hopefully a Quebec City CFL franchise will give the Alouettes a provincial rival.

Excellent Article.

I hope there's someone smart running the university. An extra $80M in private infrastructure funding in exchange for moving an indoor soccer venue a little further east seems like a no-brainer to me.

The support numbers from Quebec are surprising and encouraging. They're the first I've seen. While the season ticket support is good, they need to have one of those campaigns where people put $25 down for a deposit. That's really the only way to gauge the real interest.

Good on ya, Quebec, hope it all works out!

Excellent news.
Now if the people out east like Moncton even though they are also building a smaller stadium, were smart they would line up in Ottawa for their share.

Gigidy gigidy goo!

This would be a dream to have a ten team league and Quebec city included on the circuit!

Very good news.


No Rivalry for BC on Labour Day!

University board of directors are hard to deal with... This is not a done deal. Mayor hung them out there...Will be interesting times in QC

If you read the entire article it states the federal gov't is NOT funding a Quebec stadium expansion and will withdraw their funding for the Laval Sports Centre if any changes are made to accommodate a CFL stadium. The gov't also said they decided NOT give one cent for a new CFL stadium for Winnipeg.

It said in the article that the CFL investors in Quebec are now looking at another location for a $125M stadium.

So the expansion of Laval stadium is dead and the new stadium in Wpg is dead. I guess Hamilton is out of luck also, unless they can tie-in a soccer tournament to finance the much-needed improvements to Ivor Wynne they did in Toronto for BMO, which received nearly $30M in federal funding.

Mayor says investors are ready to pony up the 40 million on their own without the feds but the University isn't willing to move the soccer building. So your right Feds aren't paying for this one or Winnipeg's....but its the School that is the killer.

This is horse sh.... Feds are willing to fund these amateur soccer stadiums that draw nobody but won't help fund Football stadiums for a small league that has been around over a hundred years that are fully supported by the citizens....Crazy country sometimes

There is an election coming, if enough people phone their MLA and tell them they wouldn't vote Conservative, the could put enough pressure on them to make it an election issue and give prior promises.

That’s really weird. All the negative stuff wasn’t added until 7:23 this evening. The morning article is exactly as High_Five posted.

I’m really surprised that Lawrence Cannon would make that kind of statement, especially since he obviously didn’t have enough time to reveiw the proposal. It looks to me like he read the original story in the newspaper and immediately called the paper to comment.

Well, he’s getting an angry letter from me. Anyone else of like mind? Here’s his e-mail address:

It would appear that the original story was edited since posting to note that the Federal Government is not in support of building CFL stadiums... :cowboy:

YOu know whats even better? The CFL goes to ten teams, with a new team from the east, and Ottawa is no where to be seen.
Too good to be true!

But alas this deal will fall through, beucase its only Tranna that gets publicly financed stadiums. Maybe if the CFL were an American league, they'd have a better chance at federal money? Sadly, I think thats the case.


Stadium funding is a subject no politician will touch with a 10 ft poll during an election campain.

My letter to Lawrence Cannon:

[i]This message is intended for Mr. Lawrence Cannon, and is sent in response to his comments in the recent Globe article about a stadium in Quebec City:

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Mr. Cannon,

To call me displeased with your comments recently in the Globe regarding the funding of stadiums and the CFL in general would be a severe understatement.

I find it detestable that you have the nerve to state that stadiums are “not your business?. The word “infrastructure? is in your job title, sir, and a world-class sports and entertainment venue is a valuable piece of infrastructure to any community. They are host to amateur and professional sporting events, international competitions, and serve as concert venues. They are a source of utility for event spectators as well as anyone who follows the activities in the news. They create jobs, both at the stadium and indirectly at surrounding businesses, such as restaurants and hotels. They are a capital investment that facilitates economic activity, which happens to roughly be the definition of the word “infrastructure?. You may want to write that down.

As far as I can tell, you are hung up about contributing to the success of “professional? sports. This is a convenient label you’d like Canadians to apply to the CFL, but the reality is that franchises live more like not-for-profit organizations. While the league is not in the poor financial shape that was in the past, they are hardly flush with revenue. The most profitable team, Saskatchewan, generated a mere $1.7 million in profits. Others were not so lucky. CFL owners continue to participate not because they are laughing all the way to the bank, but because of their attachment to an institution that is meaningful to so many communities. How can you ask a businessman to invest over a hundred and fifty million dollars into a new stadium when his team would be extremely lucky to crack a million in profits every year? With his own financial benefits being a small fraction of the aggregate economic benefits, I certainly wouldn’t expect him to do so. As a result, ancillary businesses forego gains in revenues, and hundreds of thousands of people lose a reason to cheer. You want to scuttle the proposal, which would mean $40M in private investment in the university, because it would entail moving a proposed indoor soccer venue slightly to the east? Anyone so blind as to miss these spinoff benefits to a community has no place behind a desk in Ottawa.

Furthermore, you appear to be completely unaware of the significance of football in a city like Quebec. Their current facility is inadequate, with 19,000 people attending CIS games at a venue designed for no more than 10,000. This demonstrates a clear need to expand and improve, even without the presence of a CFL team. Adding a professional tenant would allow the community to receive more enjoyment from the facility, adding more days of use, and remove much of the burden of maintenance from the university. According to the above article, 71% of Quebecers agree with me. Last year’s Grey Cup generated $70M in economic activity for businesses in Toronto. Things like these most certainly matter to the people in Quebec, but you appear not to care. It’s not your riding, right? Why should you care about their wants and needs?

I have been a Liberal all my life, but was actually planning on voting with Harper’s party this year. However, if a victorious Conservative party would continue with a lackwit like yourself in charge of this country’s sporting infrastructure, I have no choice but to do my part in voting him out.

Best of luck in getting your act together.

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, [some Ontario university] [/i]

The original post looks promising but I won't get excited until I see a logo. In the past years there has been a strong culture of opposition in the province of Quebec. Every time an interresting project is proposed, a group opposing it forms and they usually bark louder than the promoters. We lost many good projects because of these groups: Grande Baleine hydro dam, Le centre du Cirque du Soleil in Mtl, the Hockey stadium in Quebec city, the Percival Molson stadium enlargment(delayed) and so much more.

I don't mean to bring everyone down, being myself a huge CFL fan I think this league can only survive through expansion (at least 10 teams) but I could see this kind of thing happen.

is the "Indoor arena" gonna host Hockey also,i remember this summer an article about this and a "NHL ready arena"