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Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume responds to reporters questions Tuesday, September 6, 2011 in Quebec City over the signed agreement with Pierre Karl Peladeau and Quebecor on the management of a future arena.

Jacques Boissinot

This probably doesn't mean anything, unless it means everything.

Quebec City's municipal council has approved $6.8 million to revamp the aging Colisée this summer - but will spend the money only if the NHL decides to relocate a franchise to the Quebec capital this coming fall.

Mayor Régis Labeaume, an irrepressible sort who was kindly invited to keep his trap shut by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly at January's All-Star Game, is evidently sending a signal to the league and to the handful of struggling NHL franchises that his city is willing and able to host a team as soon as the 2012-13 season.

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According to Labeaume, whose administration has signed an arena-lease deal with media giant and putative NHL franchisee Quebecor to build a new multi-purpose arena - the projected costs of which appear to be ballooning - the original estimate of about $11 million to refurbish the home of the Nordiques was inflated, and tenders will be issued this week for bids to bring the aging building up to NHL standards.

The city is confident the renovation work, which would include fixing the dressing rooms, medical facilities and the building's cooling infrastructure, could be completed over the summer. Plans for the new arena, originally budgeted to cost about $400 million, continue apace - although it's not expected the new building will open its doors until the fall of 2015.

If you speak French, you can listen to a short burst of Labeaume in his own words here

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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